My Thanks, Apologies, and Reply to Dr. Nir Shaviv

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Dr. Nir Shaviv has kindly replied in the comments to my previous post. There, he says:

Nir Shaviv  August 15, 2015 at 2:51 pm

There is very little truth about any of the points raised by Eschenbach in this article. In particular, his analysis excludes the fact that the ocean has a large heat capacity such that one expects the sea level change rate to vary in sync with the solar forcing (which it does) and not the sea level itself. This basic physics mistake is the reason he finds no correlation. If you’re interested in reading more, I tried to address his main mistakes in: http://www.sciencebits.com/reply-eschenbach

I will not answer any comments on this page, since after Eschenbach expressed his derogatory remarks I see no point.

Also, since I am traveling, I will have little time to answer comments on my blog, but I will try.

At the referenced blog page, he summarizes his arguments as follows:

Let me summarize Eschenbach’s mistakes. Some are trivially wrong, some much worse.

• Eschenbach assumed in his analysis that if the sun has a strong solar forcing, the sea level should be in phase with it. This is plain wrong. Because of the high heat capacity of the ocean system, one roughly expects the sea level change rate (and not the sea level itself) to be proportional to the solar forcing. If one looks at the slope of the sea level, it does indeed correlate nicely with solar activity.

• Given that we explained how and why we carried out the fit using a harmonic analysis, we did not deceive anyone. Writing that we did is libelous.

• The reason we used a harmonic analysis is because it makes the analysis more transparent. If one uses a solar forcing proxy (such as the cosmic ray flux), one finds a similar fit. Namely, writing that by using actual solar proxies one obtains a bad fit is simply wrong. (Again, one has to remember the heat capacity of the oceans!)

• The model has 6 and not 7 parameters. Having all of them is necessary to compare the sea level to the physical model. To ridicule us that we used many parameters is totally irrelevant and inappropriate.

• Eschenbach wrote that I haven’t heard of von Neumann’s Elephant quote. I did many years ago, and even mentioned it in a 2007 blog post on my blog. Trivially wrong, but reflects the low standards of that article.

Dr. Shaviv, thanks for your comments, and for listing your objections in such a concise manner. I will address them one at a time below, after first clarifying my main objection to your work.

My Main Objection To The Study

I wrote my previous post because I was blown away when I found out that your “solar” study has no solar data at all in it. As a result, I said that calling it a solar analysis was “deceptive”. I apologize for that without reservation, it was an incorrect claim. I forgot a very important distinction—the fact that I felt deceived doesn’t make you deceptive.

I should have said that your analysis was misleading. This is much more accurate, as it describes the effect of the analysis and not the authors’ intentions. To show that this is not an empty apology, I have gone back to my original post and removed all references to deception.

Now, I understand you don’t like me saying that your study is highly misleading. But given that there is no data of any kind regarding the sun in your study, why do you call it a study of the sun? How is that NOT a mis-statement of the facts?

Here is a precis of the section of your study describing the data used:

2. Data Sets Used

The altimetry data set used is derived from the TOPEX/Poseidon and Jason altimeter missions with the seasonal signals removed [Nerem et al., 2010] (data electronically available at http://sealevel.colorado.edu/). The data we use have the inverse barometer and glacial isostatic adjustment corrections applied, and it covers the time period between mid-1993 to early 2013. … (more etc. re sea level data)

For the El Nino–Southern Oscillation we use the NINO3.4 index [Trenberth,1997], which is based on the sea surface temperature in the middle of the Pacific (bounded by 120◦W, 170◦W, 5◦S, and 5◦N). Because this index is directly related to the oceanic temperature while the Southern Oscillation Index depends on atmospheric pressures, we expect the former to have less variations and to more directly reflect the ocean heat content … (more etc. re ENSO data)

… the end of section 2 …

I read that and I got to the end and I thought “That’s the end? … That’s it for the data sets? Where’s the solar data?”

According to Section 2, we have the sea level dataset and the ENSO dataset. This means your study is indeed about sea level and ENSO. But since it doesn’t contain any solar data, I don’t understand how you can claim it is about the sun. Where is the “solar forcing” data you are referring to in the abstract?

Instead of solar, you’ve just put in a fitted sine wave. You have made no connection of any kind, statistical or otherwise, between this sine wave and the sun. While this converts your study from a ‘sea level as a function of ENSO’ study to a ‘sea level as a function of ENSO plus a fitted sine wave’ study, it doesn’t magically turn it into a solar study. This is particularly true since the sine wave is not related to the actual solar data by anything but a common period.

So I ask again—how can you call this a solar study? You have made no effort to statistically relate the sine wave to the actual solar forcing over the period. What gives you the right to say this is about “The Sun and ENSO”? I can understand the “ENSO” part … but how does the sun ever rise on a study which contains no solar data?

Replies to Dr. Shaviv’s Particular Objections

Having apologized to Dr. Shaviv, and having re-stated my main problem with the study, let me go through Dr. Shaviv’s objections one at a time.

OBJECTION ONE

Eschenbach assumed in his analysis that if the sun has a strong solar forcing, the sea level should be in phase with it. This is plain wrong. Because of the high heat capacity of the ocean system, one roughly expects the sea level change rate (and not the sea level itself) to be proportional to the solar forcing. If one looks at the slope of the sea level, it does indeed correlate nicely with solar activity.

Dr. Shaviv, looking at the change rate rather than at the sea level height is indeed what I started out believing you had done. And from an initial examination of your model formula, at first it appeared to me that you had done exactly that, viz:

 

shaviv model formulaI looked at that, and I thought, this looks fine. In your Equation (1), t is time in fractional years. In the text above it says that h is the sea level height”, which means of course that ∆h is not the sea level height, but the change in sea level height discussed in your Objection 1. That is the usual meaning of the delta () in the ∆h. It means the change in something. In the case of Equation (1) the delta in ∆h means the change in the sea level height h. So your formula said the change in sea level height ∆h(t) was a function of the values at time t of a sine wave plus ENSO plus the integral of ENSO plus a trend. So far, so good.

But then I tried to implement your formula, and after much confusion and head scratching I realized that no, in your notation, for some unknown reason ∆h is NOT the change in the sea level height h. Instead, you are using the notation ∆h for the sea height itself! Most peculiar.

I verified this oddity in a couple of ways. First, the fitted variable h1 in Equation (1) is the size of the annual trend in the model results. In your study you give a list of the fitted parameters which includes:

Table 1. The Model Fit Parameters

Parameter         Value

h1              3.29 ± 0.04 mm/yr

But 3.29 mm/year is absolutely not the trend in ∆h, the rate of sea level change. That is the trend in h, the sea level height itself.

Next, consider. If ∆h(t) in Equation 1 actually does represent change in sea level, and the change in sea level is increasing by 3.3 mm per year as the parameter h1 shows, twenty years after the start of the record the sea level would be rising by a six centimetres (about 2.5 inches) per year  … not happening.

As a final piece of evidence that for unknown reasons you are incorrectly using ∆h for sea level height, look at Figure 1 from your study. It shows the detrended and smoothed sea level height h from the University of Colorado, and I have duplicated that result to verify that it is indeed correct … but then look at the label on the vertical “Y” axis:

 

shaviv Fig 1 detrend sea level ensoYou show the linearly detrended sea height h by means of the blue dots, but you have labeled it “∆h” on the Y-axis. You have also incorrectly referred to the sea height h in the caption as ∆h. Clearly this is not just a typo, it is an ongoing misunderstanding.

So in fact, despite telling me that I screwed up by comparing solar forcing to sea level height h instead of comparing it to what you call the “sea level change rate”, which is ∆h that is exactly what you did in your analysis. 

As a result, when you say that “It is quite upsetting that Eschenbach did this mistake even though it was clearly explained in our paper”, I’m sorry, but although you are correct that it was clearly explained in your paper, that’s not what you did in your paper. Look at your equation 1. You are not calculating the change in height ∆h as you think, not with a trend of 3mm per year—you are calculating the sea height h itself. In other words, you did precisely what you accuse me of doing.

Now, I discovered this while replicating your work in the course of researching for my previous post. As a result, I was left in a quandary regarding how to handle this additional and very separate issue. I didn’t want to get into all of these h versus ∆h questions in my previous post. I like my posts to have a fairly narrow focus, and just mentioning this ∆h problem would have sidetracked or entirely derailed my main point, which was that your paper has nothing to do with the sun.

So after thinking it over, I took another tack. I decided to compare the solar forcing, not against ∆h as you said you’d done, but directly against the sea height h, just as you had actually done in your model. I figured that if it went by without comment, no harm, no foul … and if someone complained about my not using ∆h, I could give the explanation I just gave.

What I didn’t expect was that you’d be the one to bust me for it, but that’s OK. It just makes the issue clearer.

OBJECTION TWO

Given that we explained how and why we carried out the fit using a harmonic analysis, we did not deceive anyone. Writing that we did is libelous.

I have withdrawn the term “deceptive” entirely. However, from reading the comments on your paper at blogs like Tallbloke’s Talkshop, it seems there were many people who were misled by your work. Neither the commenters nor Tallbloke himself noticed that your paper had no solar data of any kind.

And I was certainly misled. Based on the title and the comments I’d seen on Tallbloke’s blog, I went into this expecting a study about solar forcing. Imagine my surprise when halfway through I realized I’d gotten a paper about sine waves with no solar in sight.

I started as usual by reading the title, all about solar effects on the sea level. I read the abstract, all about solar and solar cycles. Not a word about harmonic analysis. According to the abstract it was as the title said, a study of solar and ENSO components of sea level. Looked good.

So I read the introduction, more about the sun and its effects, about solar cycles and solar forcing. And again, nothing about sine waves, it was all solar, solar, solar. Onwards.

Everything was going swimmingly, until I got to the end of Section 2, Data Sets Used. I got to the end of that section and I though “Huh? What solar dataset did they use?” I thought I’d missed something so I re-read Section 2 … still nothing about solar.

Now as you point out, you did say in the later sections of the paper that “The above empirical fit assumed a harmonic solar forcing.” But you described the sine wave as a “harmonic solar component”, which it is not unless you can show it is, and you haven’t done that. You call it “harmonic solar forcing”, but there is no solar, it is 100% harmonic. You titled your paper as being about “The solar and Southern Oscillation components in the satellite altimetry data”, but there is nothing remotely solar about it. Let me repeat my example from my last post:

Suppose I’m studying the effect of gamma rays on marigold growth. And unfortunately for my lovely hypothesis, the gamma ray data is poorly correlated with the marigold growth data.

But an inspiration hits me. I notice a sine wave can be fitted to the marigold growth data quite well, and the sine wave kinda sorta looks like my gamma ray data, and even better, using the sine wave allows me to “significantly simplify the analysis” … sound familiar? It should, that is your justification for using a sine wave in place of the real solar data.

So I set aside all of my gamma ray data, and I just use the fitted sine wave in my computations. Here are the questions about my analysis of marigold growth.

Given that there is no gamma ray data of any kind in my study, and given that I have made no statistical or other connection between the sine wave and the gamma ray data, am I justified in calling the sine wave a “harmonic gamma ray component”?

Can I validly call the cycle of the sine wave the “gamma ray cycle”?

Is it legit to discuss “gamma ray forcing” without gamma ray data?

Can I title my sine-wave paper “The gamma ray components in the growth of marigolds” given the total absence of a single gamma-ray observation in the entire paper?

Or on the other hand: given that my paper has no gamma ray data of any kind in it and I have made no connection between the sine wave and the gamma rays, are all of those claims about gamma rays misleading?

I call those actions highly misleading. Their effect is to convince the reader that the sine wave data is gamma ray data. I say when someone leaves out every bit of gamma ray data in their analysis and then puts “gamma ray” in the title of their analysis, and calls a bog-simple sine wave a “harmonic gamma ray component” and talks knowingly of “gamma ray cycles” and “gamma ray forcing”, their analysis misleadingly describes a sine wave analysis as a gamma ray analysis, no matter what explanation they put into their small print.

Yes, as you say, it may well “significantly simplify the analysis”. And yes, as you explained in your objection, you “carried out the fit using a harmonic analysis”. That is 100% true. You did do a harmonic analysis.

But that is all it is, a HARMONIC analysis. It is not a “solar” analysis of any kind. The components are harmonic components, not “harmonic solar components” as you claim. You have made no connection at all between the sun and the sine. The cycles are harmonic cycles, not “solar cycles” as you assert. The calculated forcing, if it exists at all, is harmonic forcing, not “solar forcing”.

And the study is actually about “The harmonic and Southern Oscillation components in the satellite altimetry data”, not about the solar components as your actual title incorrectly states.

So no, Dr. Shaviv, it is far from enough to claim in the small print as you did that you are using “harmonic solar forcing”. It is harmonic forcing, pure and simple, nothing solar about it.

When your title and your abstract both claim the study is about the sun and solar forcing and solar cycles, a statement halfway through the study that your solar component is actually “harmonic solar forcing” just muddies the waters. Your study is no more about the sun and solar forcing and solar cycles than my analysis above with no gamma ray data is about gamma rays and gamma ray forcing and gamma ray cycles …

OBJECTION THREE

The reason we used a harmonic analysis is because it makes the analysis more transparent. If one uses a solar forcing proxy (such as the cosmic ray flux), one finds a similar fit. Namely, writing that by using actual solar proxies one obtains a bad fit is simply wrong. (Again, one has to remember the heat capacity of the oceans!)

I’m sure using a sine wave simplifies the computations, and makes the analysis more transparent. My issue is that it also makes the analysis an “ENSO and sine wave” analysis, not an “ENSO and sun” analysis as you seem to think.

And yes, I suspect you can get a “similar fit” with sunspots, or with any of a dozen other datasets, whether solar datasets or any of a number of kinds. That’s the beauty of fitting cycles with lots of tuned parameters as you are doing. You can get a “similar fit” lots of ways, particularly since “similar fit” doesn’t mean “better fit”. For example, I can show a “similar fit” between historical 20th century sea levels and the cost of US postage stamps. But that doesn’t turn a harmonic analysis into a postage stamp analysis.

And I do remember the heat capacity of the oceans. See my reply to Objection One above …

OBJECTION FOUR

The model has 6 and not 7 parameters. Having all of them is necessary to compare the sea level to the physical model. To ridicule us that we used many parameters is totally irrelevant and inappropriate.

Six or seven, either is too many. Consider: exactly your same argument might have been made by Freeman Dyson to Fermi, and he had only four parameters. The four parameters were certainly “necessary” to Dyson’s model, just like the six parameters are assuredly “necessary” to your model … so what? It’s still a six-parameter fitted model. And not just any fitted model. It is a sine-wave-containing model fitted to a dataset that is not even two full sine-wave cycles in length. If you couldn’t fit the sea level under those conditions, I’d be shocked.

I’d be especially shocked if you couldn’t get a good match because contrary to good modeling practice you have included outcome information among your independent variables in the form of ENSO. Let me explain exactly how this has happened.

The ENSO measure you’ve used is the temperature of a large expanse of the Pacific Ocean. Because water expands at a known rate as it warms, ocean temperature can be used to calculate ocean height, and vice versa. We know the expansion coefficient of sea water, so if the ocean is heated by a certain amount, to calculate the resulting thermal change in sea level height ∆h we simply multiply the change in temperature by the coefficient of expansion. And of course, the reverse is true—if the sea level height goes up because of temperature, we can calculate the corresponding change in temperature necessary to produce that rise in sea level by dividing the sea level change by the coefficient of expansion.

The important point to note is that change in global ocean temperature is calculable as a function of change in sea level. Now, let’s see what this means in terms of ENSO.

If we divide the areas of the ocean into areas A1 … An with temperatures T1 … Tn, we  can state the temperature/sea level relationship as h ≈ Coef.of.Expansion * mean(T1, T2, T3, T4 … Tn). In English, the global sea level is a function inter alia of the average ocean temperature.

Now, you’ve taken the temperature of a part of the ocean, the ENSO3.4 area. Let’s call that temperature T1. You’ve fitted T1 as a global ocean temperature proxy to the sea height h, and subtracted out the fitted values.

Now, lets imagine that instead of just using the temperature of the ENSO 3.4 area T1, you also use the temperatures of three other areas T2, T3, and T4 … since you now have more data about the ocean temperature, your estimate of the global ocean temperature will be more accurate, and as a result your calculated value of the sea level height h will be better as well.

But how can this be, that your model gets more and more accurate? Take it to the logical conclusion. If you included the temperature of every ocean area T1 to Tn as part of your “independent” variables, you’d be able to model the temperature dependent sea height h exactly … but that is only because you are directly including information about the dependent variable “h” in the so-called “independent” variables. So it’s no surprise at all that you can model the sea level so well—you have badly contaminated your sole “independent” variable with outcome information. As noted above, the relationship works both ways, which means that global ocean temperature change is a function of sea level change … which in turn means we can calculate your “independent” variable ENSO as a function of sea level. And that means your “independent” variable is a function of the dependent variable.

And when I say “badly contaminated”, I mean “terminally”. You are using the ENSO information at time t in Equation (1) (identified as S3.4(t)) to calculate the sea level height at time t. But ENSO temperature is composed entirely of outcome information, that is to say the ENSO information is a function of and can be calculated from the sea level data you are trying to model.

The problem is that this information coming from looking at the outcome before calculating your results is meaningless in terms of actual modeling. This is because the only thing that information about the outcome can tell us is that the outcome looks like the outcome … not useful at all. It’s like saying “I can forecast todays average temperature with very good accuracy … as long as I know the temperatures at 3 pm and 3 am” … not impressive, right? It is unimpressive because you are using information about the outcome to predict the outcome. Bad model, no cookies. Same thing with ENSO and sea level.

This means that in your model you have three things:

1. Useless ENSO information which is a function of the outcome to be modeled, but dang, it looks so good.

2. A sine wave with no connection to reality, but which reminds you of the sun, and

3. A linear trend.

Since there is no solar data, and the ENSO temperature is contaminated with outcome information, that leaves your study containing no independent observational variables of any kind

There is another related problem with your model. When you measure the ENSO 3.4 ocean temperature, that ocean temperature is created, modified, and maintained by the sun. As a result, the ENSO data already contains the solar signal including any possible effects of the tiny ~ 11-year variations. Again, imagine that we know all of the ocean temperatures T1 … Tn. Inter alia, that temperature determines the sea level … and every bit of the solar signal is present in the temperature, including tiny solar variations. This means that when you use the ENSO data to remove part of the signal, you are removing part of the solar signal as well …

Curiously, in your case that doesn’t matter much because as you point out yours is NOT an ENSO/solar analysis, it’s actually an ENSO/sine wave analysis that you are merely calling a solar analysis …

But that in itself makes the analysis strange, because now you have both solar data mixed in with the ENSO data, which is contaminated from snooping the outcome, plus the sine wave data acting as a clumsy proxy for the solar data … messy.

So those are my objections to your model itself. You have used a six-parameter tuned model which takes as input ENSO and a sine wave. You have fit this model to a sea level dataset barely one-and-a-half sine wave cycles in length. Your one “independent” variable is not independent, it is contaminated with outcome information. And you have picked independent variables that are not independent of each other, because the solar signal is present in the ENSO data.

Like I said above about your strange use of ∆h in place of h, I let all of this go without comment in my last post because I was so shocked that you would say your study is about the sun, and I didn’t want to distract people with a bunch of other issues. But since you brought it up … your model fails not just because it is a multi-parameter tuned fit. It fails for those other reasons I just listed.

OBJECTION FIVE

Eschenbach wrote that I haven’t heard of von Neumann’s Elephant quote. I did many years ago, and even mentioned it in a 2007 blog post on my blog. Trivially wrong, but reflects the low standards of that article.

You are correct, Dr. Shaviv, my apologies. What I wrote was:

Have these folks never heard the story of Von Neumann’s elephant? Obviously not … so I attach it for their edification.

My bad. I didn’t even consider the possibility that you could have heard that critical cautionary tale and then gone ahead and designed that model. My apologies, I was wrong to say you hadn’t read it, bad assumptions on my part.

I should have said that if you’d read it, that unfortunately you hadn’t taken it to heart. Freeman Dyson didn’t tell that story just to be passing the time. Model fitting, particularly to a short dataset, is both very easy and very meaningless, as you have just proven once again. Let me repeat the quote from Enrico Fermi regarding how to do calculations, as his words apply directly to your analysis:

One way, and this is the way I prefer, is to have a clear physical picture of the process that you are calculating. The other way is to have a precise and self-consistent mathematical formalism. You have neither.

CONCLUSIONS

Dr. Shaviv, I understand that I upset you by saying that your work was “deceptive”, and I have apologized to you for that. Let me say instead that your work strongly tends to mislead the reader into thinking you are talking about the sun.

I think it is accurate to say that describing a study which contains no gamma ray data as a “gamma ray study” that is using a “harmonic gamma ray component” and  “gamma ray cycles” to calculate “gamma ray forcing” is highly misleading. Similarly, I think that entitling a study containing no gamma ray data “The gamma ray and ENSO components of satellite sea levels” is misleading … and they are misleading even if in the small print you hedge your claims by saying you are using “harmonic gamma ray components”.

I also want to emphasize that your model is NOT as you have described it. It is NOT a model that calculates ∆h, the change in sea height as you have claimed. It is a model that directly calculates h, the sea level height … so you’ve busted me very emphatically for doing exactly what you did.

Moving on, you say you don’t want to discuss these matters here on WUWT because you have received “derogatory remarks” … if I followed that curious guideline, I’d never be able to comment on a host of sites, including both your site and this one. On this site, I take “derogatory remarks” that are much worse than being called “deceptive” on a daily basis … so what? I just man up and march on. On your site, you’ve busted me, in a derogatory manner, for doing exactly what you did in your study. Again, so what? That kind of thing happens all the time, and it doesn’t stop me from commenting here, there, or on any of the other web sites where I regularly take many, many more derogatory remarks than you’ve ever gotten from me.

I’ve responded to you here on WUWT, for a couple reasons. Fiirst, you didn’t enable the comments on your reply to my analysis, so neither I nor anyone else can comment there. This means you’ve refused to discuss it here, and you’ve entirely choked off comments there … I’m getting the feeling that WUWT is not actually the problem …

Additionally, I responded here because here both of us can use graphics in the discussion. It’s hard to discuss complex relationships without graphs.

Finally, you close your post by saying:

I should also add another point which is directed primarily to Anthony Watts. The Wattsupwiththat website used to keep very high standards. It also served as a very important outlet where discussions about various climate views, including those which do not conform to the dogmatic mainstream could be heard. However, the low standards borne from Eschenbach’s article, both in science and in style should be avoided. Anthony Watts should not expose himself to libelous type of writing, which is exactly what Eschenbach has done. Writing false statements is one thing, it is Eschenbach’s right for free speech, but writing that my colleagues and have “deceived” as well as other derogatory remarks that intend to tarnish our scientific integrity has no place in any scientific discussion.

Let me say in passing that I enjoy watching how everyone loves WUWT and thinks it is great until it is their own work being discussed … and then they jump up and down and complain how the WUWT standards have slipped from the good old days. Rarely fails. I note that Dr. Shaviv has never to my knowledge complained about the standards of WUWT when other peoples’ work was on the table …

Dr. Shaviv, I have apologized to you for calling you and the other authors “deceptive”. That was uncalled-for. However, people have indeed been misled by your study, a quick cruise around the web is enough to confirm that. In essence, you’ve claimed gamma rays and gamma ray cycles and gamma ray forcing where there is not a single gamma ray to be found. That is misleading.

Do I “intend to tarnish your scientific integrity”? Well, in a single paper you’ve claimed that a harmonic study is a solar study, you’ve included outcome information in your one “independent” variable and thus left yourself with no independent variables in your model, you’ve confused ∆h and h while accusing me of not understanding the difference, and you’ve used enough tunable parameters to make an elephant deliver obscene gestures with his proboscis … and you think I’m the one tarnishing your reputation?

Yes, I could have been nicer and more polite about what I’ve said, wrapped it all up in sugar, used all kinds of waffle words to muffle the impact of what I am saying. But I’ve had it up to here with bogus solar studies. I have tried to look at each one as they are brought to my attention, which I am regularly abused for doing. To date they’ve all been pathetic, all potatoes and no meat. Not as bad as your study, though—for some odd reason, almost every solar study except yours actually uses, you know … solar data … go figure.

So when I saw the title of your study, it sounded quite interesting. However, when I took the trouble to download your study and then to work my way through to the middle, I must confess I lost it when I realized I’d been a sucker, that it was not a solar study in any sense of the word. Instead, in your words, it was merely a “harmonic analysis”.

When I found that out, I fear I lost the plot, I waxed wroth and I said not one but a plethora of bad words. And while I left out the plethoretceteras in writing my post about your analysis, I know that some of my language in my post was still intemperate and unwarranted, and I apologize for that.

My best wishes to you,

w.

A Fervent Plea: misunderstanding is the bane of the web. To reduce misunderstanding, if you disagree with what someone has said, please quote the exact words you disagree with. That way we can all be crystal clear about both who and what you are talking about.

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253 thoughts on “My Thanks, Apologies, and Reply to Dr. Nir Shaviv

  1. Willis here is my argument as to why you fail to connect the solar/climate dots in any convincing way although you do leave the door opened.

    A quote from Willis, which is excellent.


    Any natural regulatory system has bounds on the variations it can control, and there are events that could alter or destroy the regulation.

    Second quote from Willis which is excellent.


    “Willis- The sun has no effect whatsoever on climate you are correct I apologize also to L svaalgard

    Willis says below that
    Eliza, I have never said that, nor anything even remotely resembling that. Those are YOUR WORDS, not mine.

    I have to apologize to Willis for not listening to him carefully enough because if one really listens to what he is saying he is opened to solar, while also saying there are events that can destroy or alter the natural regulatory system of the climate.

    So I have a starting point with Willis , which at one time I thought I did not have.

    Another point we agree on is if the sun varies enough it will have an impact on the climate. Everyone submits to this ,the disagreement however, is not if solar variation will change the climate but does the sun vary enough to accomplish this?

    This leads to my argument with Willis , which is the so called 11 year sunspot normal cycle is not where one is going to be able to find solar/climate connections, because the EXTREMES in solar activity are not strong enough in degree of magnitude or long enough in duration of time to have a climate effect. In addition the 11 year cycle going from weak to strong sunspot activity cancels the climate effect it may have before any significant impact could come about.

    In other words thresholds can not be reached in the climate system due to these 11 year variations in solar activity. This is the wrong place to look if one wants to find a solar climate connection.

    The place to look is when the sun enters an extreme period of prolonged minimum solar quiet and when one looks at these periods the data does show a climate/solar correlation to one degree or another.
    The problem is there are other factors superimposed upon even this extreme solar variability which although keeps the lower global average temperature trend in place there are periods of rising temperatures within the overall lower temperature trend.

    Why ? Because within any global temperature trend initiated by solar variability one has to take into account the following factors;

    1. all solar minimum differ as was the case recently with the 1996 solar minimum versus the 2008-2010 solar lull, which effects the climate in a different manner..

    2. the stage of where earth is in respect to Milankovitch Cycles is either going to work in concert or against the current trend the solar variability is exerting upon the climate. Right now I would say Milankovitch Cycles are on balance acting in concert with minimum prolonged solar activity.

    3. the geo magnetic field can enhance given solar activity effects or diminish given solar activity effects upon the climate. A weaker field compounding given solar effects.

    4. land /ocean arrangements and elevations. Right now acting in concert with reduced solar activity very favorable for cooling.

    5. the ice dynamic/snow cover which when at a critical stage can enhance or diminish the solar impacts. Right now not that favorable.

    6. the rogue terrestrial event such as a super volcanic eruption or the rogue extra terrestrial event such as an impact could turn things upside down in the climate system.

    7. this being very important which is the elusive thresholds which I think are out there but I do not know what degree of solar extremes are needed to bring them about, but there must be solar extremes that will bring them about. This is also probably tied into the initial state of the climate , for example point 5, which is to say just how far is the climate system of the earth from that inter –glacial/glacial threshold at the time the prolonged minimum solar conditions commence, which I think go a long way in the climatic effect the given solar variability will have upon the climate. .

    8. the normal earth intrinsic climate factors which superimpose themselves upon the big general climatic trend regardless if they are associated directly with given solar activity or not.

    9. Lunar input- which could possibly enhance or diminish given solar activity.

    My best guess based on the historical climatic record is the solar extremes needed to have a clear climatic impact and not one that is obscured have to be slightly less then quote so called normal 11 year sunspot minimums but more importantly the duration of time has to be longer.

    Once this is in when combined with the points in the above the climate result should come about, with the exception if point 6 were to take place.

    Possible important (some) secondary effects due to solar activity which in turn can moderate the climate.

    cosmic ray change moderates cloud coverage.

    ozone changes moderates atmospheric circulation

    geological activity moderation.

  2. Any natural regulatory system has bounds on the variations it can control, and there are events that could alter or destroy the regulation.

    Willis statement above one more time.

    Willis says there are events that could destroy or alter this regulation my question to him is what are the most likely events that can accomplish this? Willis what can do it?

    I am curious to know because so far on balance although he has not closed the door on anything to be fair, I have never heard Willis embrace any one particular item but that might be because it is elusive to him given the studies and research he has done.

    Nevertheless Willis, admits one thing or combination of things is out there that does have the ability to alter or destroy the climatic regulation.

    For my part I think I am on the correct path through the process of elimination if nothing else and another point which favors an extra- terrestrial event governing effect upon the climate to some degree is the semi cyclic nature of the climatic system of the earth.

    It is very hard to believe that random, chaotic earth bond intrinsic events in a system that is non linear to add insult to injury can somehow change over time in such a way to result in a semi cyclic beat to the climate. It seems highly unlikely.

    Do you understand Willis where I am coming from and if not how do earth bound random ,chaotic climate events result in a cyclicality to earth’s climatic system??

    Example being the semi cyclic 1470 year climate cycle.

    • I suspect there’s some additional potential confusion between ∆h (height) and ∆h/∆t (rate of change of height).

    • I took it as the difference between the actual sea height and the theoretical height using the average rate of sea level rise. So the delta, although confusing, denotes an actual difference.

      • The average is presumably constant over the time interval it is computed, so it is just a constant offset and thus not a ‘change’ in the usual meaning of that word.

    • Dr. Svalgaard you are the epitome of professional (and class). I would pay to see you and Robert Brown of Duke take questions on climate and physics and enjoy reaching into my pocket. Like good amateur golfers the jump to World top ten golfer is beyond most people’s comprehension (obviously science is the same/God did not create us all equal). Greatly appreciate your contribution of time and insight into the climate and physics discussions.

  3. Well I read the “layman” version of Dr. Shaviv’s study and watched the YouTube Video where he and two other scientists made their case. I freely admit the “in depth analysis” is somewhat beyond my capabilities but Dr. Shaviv, et. al. did seem to have some convincing points.

    The Youtube Video is linked here: The Cloud Mystery – Svensmark, Shaviv & Veizer – YouTube

    Hopefully, Dr. Shaviv will respond to Willis so we can all watch “peer review” in almost real time.
    I hope that Dr. Shaviv presents his rebuttal arguments here…..this is how real science takes place.

    Also, as Willis has apologized, I hope Dr. Shaviv will accept that and get to his points and the “meat of the matter”.
    Looking forward to it all,
    Thanks

    • The video dates from 2007 and I don’t know what the current theories on cloud formation are but what struck me was that at about 27 min. some pompous gentleman, presumably a Climate Change™ scientist, was vigorously arguing that an experiment should not be done.

      • The “pompous gentleman” is apparently Sir (Basil) John Mason, former director-general (1965–1983) of the UK Met Office, (more recently home of three predicted “barbecue summers” that failed to materialise and one unforeseen extremely cold winter that did.)

        Mason was professor of cloud physics at Imperial College London in 1961, and lecturer in meteorology from 1948 to 1965. The relevance of his 1961 experience to 2007 cloud theory might be questioned, but certainly not his credentials as a non-climate scientist in good standing. He passed on this year.

      • orgekafkazar
        August 17, 2015 at 3:40 pm

        The “pompous gentleman” is apparently Sir (Basil) John Mason…professor of cloud physics… [his cloud theory might be questioned]… but certainly not his credentials as a non-climate scientist in good standing.

        so a scientist “in good standing” should discourage efforts to falsify his favorite theories – really??

  4. Let us move on as wiser people.
    The study WAS mislabeled. It is not about solar effects on the change in sea level.
    The variables WERE corrupted in essence.
    The language of the criticism was too harsh. Nothing valuable comes from angry rhetoric. Having recognized your excesses you have apologized.
    I am favorably impressed. Several of your attackers have continued the assaults long after you have answered, even accepted, their criticisms. I believe you would make an excellent friend, a stimulating opponent and an enlightening instructor.
    Thanks for your wonderful work. Your knowledge is rare and your generosity in sharing it wonderful to experience.
    Don’t get a “big head”.

    • I believe you would make an excellent friend, a stimulating opponent and an enlightening instructor.

      And by expressing such thoughtful sentiments it is clear that you would, as well.

  5. Willis, did you really just tell him to put his study where the Sun doesn’t sine?

    [But only to look at the entire matter from a different tangent, because it is obtuse subject. .mod]

  6. I’d love to play poker with Dr. Shaviv … I’d have to assume he was bluffing on every hand … and I’d be right … (bluffing = lie thru your teeth)

  7. Thin skinned, whiny academic. Never BUILT anything in his life. Hires someone to do all the REAL work for him. Waves hands and pontificates a lot. I’m sorry, no sympathies. ALSO trying to extract usable information from unusable data. Cardinal sin. I’d suggest a new career in stock market modeling. Hey, he’s so damned good at getting “signal out of noise”…he’d make a fortune in a year on the stock market (primarily NOISE).

  8. The problem with the GCR-Cloud-Climate connection is that there has been no long-term trend in the solar wind open flux [solar wind], cosmic ray modulation, and solar magnetic activity [sunspots] the past 300 years.

    • Earth magnetic field is the by far strongest modulator of the GCRs impacting on the Earth’s magnetosphere. It certainly has a trend, it (inversely) correlates with the global temperature to a high degree of R^2 = 0.8.

      • Bah..
        You link states it is a model of the Earth’s field the authors have devised
        “The magnetic field in this particular model is dominated by the axial dipole component.”

        Go to NOAA’s data files and calculate it yourself, or you are suggesting NOAA is peddling yet another set of bogus data?

      • Figure 2 states: “Recent evolution of the geomagnetic dipole moment. a Change in dipole moment strength from 1840 to 2000 (symbols)”. This is not the result of a model and is, in fact, the correct evolution. As the paper explains:
        “Direct measurements of the dipole moment, beginning with Gauss’ famous 1839 analysis (Leaton and Malin 1967; Malin 1982) and continuing into the era of magnetic satellites (Langel et al. 1980; Olsen et al. 2000), reveal a sustained decrease in moment strength. As shown in Fig. 2a, the strength of the dipole moment has decreased from 8.5 10^22 Am^2 in 1840 to 7.79 10^22 Am^2 in 2000.”

        Your units are even wrong. As I said, enough of your nonsense.

      • It was far from phoney war either for those who won it at a great sacrifice, or those who lost it with millions of wasted lives.
        good night to you

      • @lsvalgaard

        I am curious why you say “the GCR-cloud hypothesis is dead”. I did look, but I haven’t seen much of anything on it that I would call conclusive.

      • It is dead because it relies on the flux of galactic cosmic rays as modulated by solar activity having decreased significantly over the past several hundred years supposedly resulting in fewer clouds and thus more sunlight reaching the ground that would in turn warm the atmosphere. However, new research have shown that the solar modulation of cosmic rays [and of the solar wind and of solar activity itself] has had no long-term trend the past 300 years.

      • “It was far from phoney war either for those who won it at a great sacrifice…”

        I assume Leif is referring to the so-called “phony war” period late 1939 to early 1940 in which no major military operations were launched by either side on the Western Front. I prefer the term “Sitzkrieg” myself. :-)

    • Leif writes

      The problem with the GCR-Cloud-Climate connection is that there has been no long-term trend in the solar wind open flux [solar wind], cosmic ray modulation, and solar magnetic activity [sunspots] the past 300 years.

      There doesn’t need to be. If the sun increased its output a little 300 years ago and remained constantly higher, then over that 300 years the earth accumulates energy which changes the way clouds form and the impacts GCRs have on them.

      You dont need to be turning up the stove constantly to boil the water.

      • That is not the way the Svensmark theory works. Assuming the Sun’s output was constant, but its magnetic field or the solar wind varied [the energy in the field is negligible] such that the cosmic ray intensity varied. The clouds are supposed to form more easily with more cosmic rays and that is supposed to be the link between climate and cosmic ray modulation. But the cosmic ray modulation has not shown any long-term trend the past 300 years, therefore no trend in formation of clouds and therefore no climate change due to that supposed process.

      • the cosmic ray modulation has not shown any long-term trend the past 300 years, therefore no trend in formation of clouds and therefore no climate change due to that supposed process.

        Again, it doesn’t need to show a trend.

      • According to the Svensmark theory the lag is short [perhaps only a few years], thus cloud cover and thus albedo should follow the sunspot number [cosmic ray, solar wind] and not show any trend as the solar activity does not show a trend. Are you suggesting that there is no climate trend? If so we can agree, otherwise the data are against you.

      • “thus cloud cover and thus albedo should follow the sunspot number”

        If only climate were so simple. I’m sorry which 300 year cloud data were you using? Or are you assuming the cloud changes manifest as a clear climate trend immediately too?

      • I am not using cloud data as none exist. But according to the Svensmark theory the low clouds should follow the cosmic rays which follows [inversely] the sunspot number. no sunspot trend = no cloud trend = no climate trend. You seem to assume there is no climate trend. If not, the Svensmark-Shaviv-etc theory is at variance with the data.

      • Leif writes “no sunspot trend = no cloud trend = no climate trend.”

        Leif you’re not making sense. There only needs to be a step change 300 years ago resulting in lets say GCRs forming more clouds and then the rest of the 300 years is the climate responding to that. You think that means cooling? Well maybe but then again maybe not at all. Saying increased albedo = cooling is naive IMO. What about increased night time cloud cover?

        Dont be disappointed when you cant find a simple correlation either because there are probably other drivers of climate over that period too.

        Climate is complex and the aggregate of all forcings and natural variation over the last 300 years or so has been warming.

      • I am going with what the Svensmark-Shaviv theory posits and according to that the cloud cover follows [inversely] the sunspot number with very little lag [zero in the original theory]. If you have a different theory, go ahead and develop it and publish it. My remark was that the Svensmark theory is dead.

      • “My remark was that the Svensmark theory is dead.”

        Based on faulty reasoning. Or perhaps an expectation that the changes due to GCRs ought to be detectable through our poor measures of cloud cover.

        I’m not saying he’s correct, but I am saying that saying “climate change isn’t caused by GCRs” doesn’t kill his theory either, it just relegates it to one of many forcings involved. Like CO2 is.

      • Feynman: if your theory does not match the data, your theory is wrong.

        Perhaps you are suggesting that there is no evidence for the Svensmark theory as climate is too complex. I can live with that interpretation. But will add that that shows that the theory is not THE major driver of climate [if its effect is not observable]. I can live with that interpretation as well. Can you?

      • Leif writes “But will add that that shows that the theory is not THE major driver of climate [if its effect is not observable]. I can live with that interpretation as well. Can you?”

        Yes, absolutely.

      • So, what are you whining about, as that interpretation clearly was what was meant by my remark. You could also have claimed that the North Pole Star [Polaris, which is a variable star] causes climate changes [which it undoubtedly does] so that the Polaris-theory is not dead, but relegated to other low-level causes. True, but of little interest as may also be the case with Svensmark’s.

      • Leif writes “So, what are you whining about, as that interpretation clearly was what was meant by my remark.”

        What makes you so sure there is a single driver that can be identified?

      • Leif writes “people who claim that the Svensmark theory is the main driver are wrong”

        Like Svensmark himself you mean? At the time it was thought that there was a grand maximum so Svensmark’s attribution wasn’t outrageous. So even if the sun has been constant over the last 300 years, that doesn’t destroy his theory, it just changes its impacts.

        Just like if CO2 is found to not be the primary driver of climate, that doesn’t destroy the theory of AGW, it would merely relegate its impact to one of many forcings that caused recent warming.

        It would destroy the theory of CAGW.

      • You seem dimmer today than usual. It does destroy the claim that the theory is the main, all important driver; and that is the only one we really care about. If Svensmark’s theory explained 1% of climate change, who would care>

      • Nice.

        You originally wrote “The problem with the GCR-Cloud-Climate connection is that there has been no long-term trend in the solar wind open flux [solar wind], cosmic ray modulation, and solar magnetic activity [sunspots] the past 300 years.”

        If we’re being like that I’ll remind you that what you wrong for the reasons I originally stated. It has nothing to do with Svensmark’s theory about being the primary driver of climate. It has to do with not needing to change over the last 300 years.

      • Nonsense. Svensmarks’s theory dictates that the climate follows the sunspot number [determining the cosmic ray modulation], and that this is the major driver.
        So, no trend in sunspots means no trend in climate.

      • “So, no trend in sunspots means no trend in climate.”

        This is the fundamentally faulty reasoning you cant run from because you stated it. It has nothing to do with Svensmark’s idea GCRs might be the primary driver. It is entirely about the mistaken belief that a thing needs to keep changing to effect continued change.

      • Again you appear dim. Svensmark posits a simple linear relation between cosmic rays [sunspots] and low clouds [albedo, climate]. Thus any trend in the former translates directly into a similar trend of the latter. since the former has no trend, the latter is predicted to also have no trend, contrary to observations. Hence the theory is falsified, as simple as that.

  9. Willis, is very good when it comes to saying why climate change theories are not correct but short in coming up with any theories himself to account for why the climate changes.

    This to me is a problem, which is to have someone shoot down all theories and have no counter theory.

    I have tried in my first two post to try to see if Willis might enlighten us on this .

    • NO. There is NO requirement – morally, ethically, or in principle nor practice, to “have a better theory”.

      A “better” theory, in fact, almost never can be developed by anybody anywhere UNTIL the current wrong theory is FIRST attacked and proven wrong.

      • Amen! Independent verification of work is of the utmost importance. It needs nothing to accompany it to be a worthwhile endeavor.

      • +1. Willis has taken it upon himself to be the arithmetic police and it is a good thing, as no one else seems to be willing and able to do so. This does not mean that he is obligated to invent theories to replace those presented with faulty arithmetic. His grumpiness is a side benefit.

      • What I’d really like is for Willis to devote his energies and analytical skills more and more towards exposing dodgy adjustments to temp data from good stations and dodgy fabrication of temp data as a result of stations being closed. This is absolutely fundamental.

    • “This to me is a problem, which is to have someone shoot down all theories and have no counter theory.”

      Why is that a problem? I can only see that as a problem for persons adicted to have any theory…

      • Let us say it is not a problem but I think one into the climate as deeply as Willis is, must have some thoughts as to why/how the climate changes and it would be if nothing else very interesting to see what those thoughts are so we could learn more about where he is coming from when he objects to various theories.

        It would give us a better understanding.

      • — Salvatore Del Prete
        August 17, 2015 at 1:36 pm

        Let us say it is not a problem but I think one into the climate as deeply as Willis is, must have some thoughts as to why/how the climate changes and it would be if nothing else very interesting to see what those thoughts are so we could learn more about where he is coming from when he objects to various theories.

        It would give us a better understanding.–

        I would like some explanation of what caused the cooling of Little Ice Age, and less interested in explanations of temperatures “returning to normal”.

        As this could give clue about future cooling- and warming is not a problem as compared to cooling.

      • The job of science is TWOFOLD

        Take Leif

        Do you ANYONE would pay attention to Leif if ALL he did was criticize the old sun spot series?
        Nope.

        basic observation data is the foundation along with fundamental physics.

        Your job isnt complete if all you do is attack the foundation. You have to build a better foundation.

        otherwise you are not really Doing science.

      • “Do you ANYONE would pay attention to Leif if ALL he did was criticize the old sun spot series?
        Nope.”

        No, it’s ‘Yep.’ Now back to your drive by:

        “Your job isnt complete if all you do is attack the foundation. You have to build a better foundation.”

        Nope. You, obviously, have not the first foggiest clue about Logic, Rhetoric, or Duties and Responsibilities.

        “otherwise you are not really Doing science.”

        Maybe. But then, if they are legitimate attacks against legitimate flaws, then the target of the attack wasn’t doing science either. I suppose we can infer from your notions that Science is beyond reproach. If there is a fault, or if someone notes a fault, then Science isn’t in the picture. Which is a really nifty No True Scotsman that implies infallibility. I dig it.

        But if there is no falsification test, if we do not submit that it is fallible, then it’s not Science either. According to Popper, anyways. Cargo Cult religious fetishists disagree, obviously.

      • Mosher writes

        Your job isnt complete if all you do is attack the foundation. You have to build a better foundation.

        The last time I looked the definition of a sceptic didn’t include “and then proposes a better foundation”.

        I am sceptical about astrology. Thats all I need to be and I dont have to go on and describe any theories about how we might look for patterns that apply to ourselves or any other such thing. Its enough to be sceptical with the knowledge there is no reason for it to be true.

      • Steven Mosher: Your job isnt complete if all you do is attack the foundation. You have to build a better foundation.

        Your job isn’t complete anyway, in science, so what’s the point of that? Criticisms of foundations are good in their own right, at least when done well.

    • Actually having someone, anyone able to shoot down theories with holes in them is hugely valuable to the actual advancement of science and knowledge. Three Cheers for Willis! Hip hip hooray, hip hip hooray, hip hip hooray!

      Cheers,

      Joe

    • “This to me is a problem, which is to have someone shoot down all theories and have no counter theory.”

      Irrelevant.

      I do not need to be a cowboy to recognise the smell of bull ordure, nor does Willis.

      • If the hypothesis is, “Joe murdered Jim”, Joe’s defense ONLY needs to disprove “Joe did it”. Failure to establish who or what DID kill Jim has nothing to do with exonerating Joe.

        Yes, it would be nice to find Jim’s real killer — but who will even look for such until Joe is cleared?

    • Salvatore – but what if the original theory is nonsense at its core? Is one required to offer up alternative nonsense? What nonsense. Even those providing “peer review” are not required to offer up an alternate theory to “fix” a faulty one.

      You appear to conflate “theory” with “solution.” If a solution is required and one is offered, it is not unreasonable to expect an alternative suggestion if the first solution is challenged. Not necessarily so with theories. If they are perceived to be wrong, knock them down. The author can then revise or move on as THEY wish. It’s not up to the reviewer.

    • ya skeptics dont relaize that unless they have a better theory the current theory wins.

      It wins for pragmatic reasons

      • This is not true when one has classical experimentally verifiable computations showing the impossibility of some assertion .

        Until it was impressed on me in discussions here the non-optional and rather straight-forwardly computable effect of gravity on equilibrium temperature at the bottom of an atmosphere — which I have yet to work thru and confirm for myself , I had nothing but a crude guess as to the explanation of Venus’s extreme surface temperature . All I knew , and in some sense still all I know , is that Hansen’s claim that it is due to spectral effects , ie : a greenhouse effect , is quantitatively impossible by an order of magnitude .

      • “ya skeptics dont relaize that unless they have a better theory the current theory wins.
        It wins for pragmatic reasons”
        I think that Feynman just turned face down in embarrassment for your branch of “science”..

      • Steven Mosher:

        ya skeptics dont relaize that unless they have a better theory the current theory wins.

        It wins for pragmatic reasons

        Shub Niggurath:

        Can’t believe someone with such a wrong understanding of science and hypothesis testing runs BEST.

        I don’t have the words.

      • Martin, you missed the most important one.

        “The majority of the observed warming is through natural variation”

      • Its simply an empirical fact.

        If you have a dominant theory and no replacement theory, people will in fact use the dominant theory.

        The best example of that is right in front of your eyes.

        You might wish that were different, but people can and do use the dominate theory.

        They will use it well past its Prime. They will continue to use it until you have something better.

        This is not about the PHILOSOPHY of science, it is about the SOCIOLOGY of science.

        see the word “pragmatic” in my quote. People will continue to use a dominant theory well past its time has past. They will use it not because it is right, but because it is familar. It is easier to use.

        Again an example. and a dirt simple one that doesnt even INVOLVE theory

        Lets take Leifs new solar series.

        First the problems were identified

        Did people go on using the old series?

        YUP. why?

        Next Leif and company announced they were fixing the series.. Thats like a under construction sign being put up

        Did people CONTINUE to use the old series even when they knew a new and better one was coming?

        YUP. why

        Now we have a new series.

        How many people will go back and redo ALL the science that was done wth old series?

        will they recompile the science? or will a pile of bad papers based on bad data still get used
        and referenced?

        Here is a shocker “Piltdown Man” was still cited as being real AFTER it was found out to be a hoax
        In Nature magazine no less.

        bad theory, incomplete theory, mistakes, all of this stuff Operates WELL PAST its “sell by date”

        So, PRAGMATICALLY unless and until skeptics have a better theory people will use the dominate theory.

        They just will. Same way people continued to use the old solar series even when they knew a better record was being compiled.

        Now you might think that skeptics dont NEED to have an alternative theory. That true. They dont need a theory. They dont need cars. they dont need wings. They dont need 12 fingers. However, IF they want to have an impact they need to replace the dominate theory.

      • Clearly then Mosher would defend the use of leeches because bleeding was the best theory of the day for centuries. That’s the Mosher pragmatic approach. You can’t really make up stupid like that.

      • “It wins for pragmatic reasons” (per Steven Mosher)

        I would suggest that it is plain to all reasonably sensible people that (c)AGW is a busted flush, and also that green renewables cannot provide the energy developed countries need, and further even if they could, green renewables in any event do not significantly result in the reduction of CO2 emissions given the need for fossil fuel backup generation which generation is run in inefficient ramp up/ramp down mode.

        The reason why (c)AGW so far “wins” is not for “pragmatic reasons”, but for political ones. The tax payer is being taken for fools, and valuable resources are being wasted and tax dollars could be better spent.

        The politicians would not get away with this highway robbery if only competent and respected scientists would admit/acknowledge the lack of knowledge, the poor data and the problems with (c)AGW. They do not need to come up with a better theory. If (c)AGW were to be disowned that would suffice in itself.

        But in the climate case, we have a better theory, it is the null hypothesis, namely, all variations seen to date in the thermometer record to the extent that they are real and are not an illusion of data error/mishandling, is due to natural variation. No change in climate has been seen beyond the natural bounds of climate itself.

      • ya skeptics dont relaize that unless they have a better theory the current theory wins.
        ========
        the better theory is that noise in the climate system is not random (white noise). it is 1/f (pink noise). The longer the period under study, the greater the signal will vary naturally.

        Climate Change is the result of faulty statistics.

      • What you just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard
        At no point in your rambling incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought
        Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listen to it
        I award you no points and may God have mercy on your soul

      • And with this statement, Mosher makes it clear he is no longer a skeptic. He used to be, but having hung around Zeke and Co. at BEST, he’s lost his ability to look beyond consensus and has become institutionalized.

      • Absolutely not. The process of elimination only works if one theory is empirically correct. This is the red herring warmists have established (or one of them anyway). Skeptics are under no obligation to prove alternate theories – just simply point out that, since AGW theory is SO fallacious, that there is no reason to adapt world policy based on it.
        You can have five alternate theories and they can ALL be wrong and the only guy that wins is the one that says ‘nobody’s right’.
        That is, of course, unless your reference to ‘pragmatic’ is simply to reinforce said red herring.

      • Will Nitschke August 17, 2015 at 11:07 pm
        Clearly then Mosher would defend the use of leeches because bleeding was the best theory of the day for centuries. That’s the Mosher pragmatic approach. You can’t really make up stupid like that.

        Interestingly leeches are still used medicinally, it wasn’t that stupid.

    • Ah, so that is why we had to have the sun orbiting the earth for so long. No one had an alternate theory, so they could not say it was wrong.

      • In fact, failures are more important than successes. If the data is consistent with a given theory, it doesn’t establish that the theory is correct. It possibly is, but it is possibly not still. Nothing is gained, no knowledge beyond the data itself. Simply: Nothing follows.

        But if the data refutes the theory, then we still have the data. But we also know that any other theory that might possibly be valid must then avoid the flaws of the failures. Depending on the theory in question, this may be a very broad notion. But it may also be a very specific and targeted issue. And that, my friend, is were we begin discussing Proofs by Contradiction.

      • Michelson and Morley would probably agree. Of course, according to Mosher, one of the most significant experiments in science was not actually science, because all it did was show that the conventional belief that light travelled through aether was wrong.

    • In fact Willis has written some extremely interesting posts here about ’emergent phenomena’ which are well worth reading.

    • Salvatore Del Prete: Willis, is very good when it comes to saying why climate change theories are not correct but short in coming up with any theories himself to account for why the climate changes.

      I don’t think he is under any obligation, but Willis Eschenbach does have an interesting hypothesis about why the climate oscillations stay within bounds.

    • I think Willis’ posts demonstrate a certain humility in approach (if not in the actual rhetoric employed) that I wish were more prevalent in science as a whole. Willis, apparently, chooses not to wax grandiose about mega climate theories and the like, but instead chooses to constrain himself to that which is more readily observable. This is a much surer approach to science, especially for the independent observer.

      Sure, he doesn’t offer us the grand climate theory, but that should in no way detract from the understanding that he advances through his thoughtful, and narrowly focused posts.

      Take, for example, his discussion on albedo, here:
      1- https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/06/03/albedic-meanderings/
      2- https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/06/04/an-inherently-stable-system/
      3- https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/06/08/the-daily-albedo-cycle/

      He posits a theory, and then offers evidence to back it up. I found it fascinating and edifying. The more so since he wasn’t swinging for the fences with his claims.

      So, I don’t personally think it’s valid to critique him for not offering up his own theories for total global climate change. Which on that subject, is probably a fool’s errand anyway. We keep arguing about the primary forcing, as though it were always the same thing. That’s no different than searching for THE controlling party in British Parliament. In any given cycle it’s going to be whatever coalition of parties can claw their way to the top. Similarly with the climate, I think it’s much more likely that the primary forcing, at any given time, is an ever-changing combination of variables. Focusing on any single one of which will mislead you greatly as to the true nature of the system.

      rip

      • Only problem with Willy is that he doesn’t mind dishing out rampant criticism but has a glass jaw in reverse.

  10. Apologies are needed only if one had attacked the character of the scientist, rather than his work.
    No apology was needed here.

    “Deceptive” meant the work was not explained well.
    That was accurate here.

    The good news is in 100 years the work of 99% of scientists today will probably be dismissed as garbage.
    There’s no reason to expect Shaviv will be in the Top 1%

    This is real science: One man doubting the other — both skeptical — hot scientific debate in print for other to read and comment on.

    It’s the climate modelers who live in the world of politics:
    – Sitting in air conditioned offices playing computer games,
    – Making scary predictions that governments reward them for with grants,
    – Hiding the decline, and other biased data manipulation,
    – Launching character attacks, and lawsuits,
    – Claiming a 97%, or 99.9%, or 105%, consensus is on their side, and
    – Refusing to debate because “the science is settled” and its time ti discuss what to do about the “Carbon pollution”.

    One thing usually missing, from both sides, are the most important words in science: “I could be wrong”.

    Global warming is good news for people.
    More CO2 in the air is good news for plants, and the people and animals who eat them.
    Earth’s climate is better than it has been in hundreds of years.
    I’ve been reading about the climate since 1997, and still have not seen a rational argument proving that more CO2 and slight warming is bad news for people, animals or plants.

    Leftist scientists, and the politicians who hire them, are twisting good climate news in 2015 to get attention, money, and power, using one of the oldest propaganda strategies in the world: Announcing with great confidence that a catastrophe is coming unless everyone does as they say without question.

    Never apologize for calling another scientist deceptive — most scientists who predict the future climate ARE deceptive … and their wild guess climate predictions have been wrong for 40 years so far.

    • Sunshine +H20 +CO2 +Minerals = O2 +Sugars(food)

      Just ask the creatures on this planet and the plants, that were rescued from dangerously low levels of atmospheric CO2 what they think.

      A group of humans decided that the perfect level of atmospheric CO2 was much lower than this, at a severely deficient ~300 ppm and the perfect global temperature was at a chilly 1 degree cooler than this is, not because it makes sense to any measures of life but only because it provides the reasoning to impose standards which effect the use of humans fossil fuels.

      What about the 1 billion people that are without fresh water?
      What about the governmental support of the most polluting fuel of all, corn ethanol? Massive use of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides that runoff into our waterways, while taking out of commission, 40 million acres of the most fertile soil on the planet that could be used to produce food. Wasting billions of gallons of fresh water for irrigation and processing.

      Hoodwinked environmentalists should be outraged that the worlds governments are focusing resources to cut a beneficial gas, while clearly not addressing real pollution………..in fact, have ruinous policies that promote pollution and wasting of natural resources, when it is politically and financially advantageous.

      • as I read the “news” I’ve had the thought that we should interrupt presidential aspirants with signs:

        !! CO2 Matters !!

  11. Anthony Watts,

    Will you please specifically address Dr. Nir Shaviv’s concluding paragraph addressed to you in his blog post at his site?

    The post at Dr. Nir Shaviv’s blog was entitled ‘Reply to Eschenbach’ (August 15 2015). Here is his concluding paragraph addressed to you (Anthony Watts),

    Dr. Nir Shaviv wrote,

    “I should also add another point which is directed primarily to Anthony Watts. The Wattsupwiththat website used to keep very high standards. It also served as a very important outlet where discussions about various climate views, including those which do not conform to the dogmatic mainstream could be heard. However, the low standards borne from Eschenbach’s article, both in science and in style should be avoided. Anthony Watts should not expose himself to libelous type of writing, which is exactly what Eschenbach has done. Writing false statements is one thing, it is Eschenbach’s right for free speech, but writing that my colleagues and have “deceived” as well as other derogatory remarks that intend to tarnish our scientific integrity has no place in any scientific discussion.”

    I would appreciate it, as a long term and very positive supporter of WUWT.

    John

    • Huh?

      It has been a long time tradition here to make similar claims ( claims of fraud, deceit, misleading etc etc)
      against people on many sides of the debate.

    • Steven Mosher on August 17, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      – – – – – – –

      Steven Mosher,
      ,

      Dr Nir Shaviv addressed Anthony.

      I sincerely would like a response from Anthony to Dr Nir Shaviv. I request that out of nothing but respect for Anthony and his venue.

      And I have sincere basic respect for Dr Nir Shaviv.

      John

      • Show me the blog rule that says I cant express my opinion on a question asked to someone else.

        nanny.

      • Steven Mosher on August 17, 2015 at 3:58 pm

        Show me the blog rule that says I cant express my opinion on a question asked to someone else.

        nanny.

        Steven Mosher,

        You did express your opinion. Duh!

        Me? Nanny? If you insist then Mary Poppins seems an excellent one that I would emulate! So, if I am Mary Poppins then are you Jane or Michael Banks?

        John

      • Steven Mosher on August 17, 2015 at 8:54 pm

        Any thing follows from a false premise.

        Steven Mosher,

        Anything can start with a false premise, but once you start with a false premise then if you proceed from the start with proper logic then what follows is very constrained . . . so not true is your statement “Any thing follows from a false premise”.

        John

    • It [WUWT]also served as a very important outlet where discussions about various climate views, including those which do not conform to the dogmatic mainstream could be heard.

      Yes, but it seems that ‘heard’ in this instance is an entirely one way process. As soon as it is replaced by ‘discussion’, or even ‘criticism’, the toys start flying out of the pram. Quite unbelievable if it didn’t happen so often (especially the with ‘Solar’ crowd).

      Anthony Watts should not expose himself to libelous type of writing

      Says it all really. Veiled legal threats to silence critics. Now where have I heard that one before?

  12. Eschenbach wrote

    So in fact, despite telling me that I screwed up by comparing solar forcing to sea level height h instead of comparing it to what you call the “sea level change rate”, which is ∆h … that is exactly what you did in your analysis.

    No it is not!

    This shows how this debate is completely ridiculous. Echenbach has no clue on what the meaning of harmonic analysis is. He still thinks I assumed the sea level should be in sync with the forcing…

    Suppose the solar forcing is Delta F = F0 exp (i 2 pi t/P)

    The heat in the oceans (per unit area) will be (assuming feedback is small)

    Q = int Delta F dt = – i P F0 / (2 pi) exp (2 pi t / P)

    The sea level, if it is only affected by thermal expansion, will then be

    Delta h = alpha Q = – i alpha P F0/(2pi) exp (2 pi t / P)

    thus,

    Delta h = alpha Q = – i alpha P/(2pi) Delta F

    It seams like an algebraic relation, but in fact, the -i gives a 90° phase shift which describes the integral(!) If one take the real part of the above equation (to get the physical quantities), one finds

    Delta F = F0 cos (2 pi t/P)
    Delta h = alpha P F0/(2 pi) sin (2 pi t / P ) = alpha P F0/(2 pi) cos (2 pi t / P – pi/2 )

    That is, the integral appears in a harmonic analysis as a phase lag of 90°. In real life, this angle is not exactly 90° because of additional processes taking place, which was the whole point of the analysis!

    So again, Eschenbach’s analysis, compared the sea level to the solar forcing and found there is a poor fit. It is because the sea level is supposed to lag by 90° after the solar forcing! Eschenbach still does not acknowledge this.

    Also, Eschenbach’s claim that I compared to the sea level and not the rate ignores the fact that a harmonic analysis is expected to give a 90° lag if the sea level is the integral of the forcing, and this is exactly the case.

    Last, In my reply on my blog I added a link to an analysis of the sea level which takes a solar proxy instead of a harmonic analysis. The result is basically the same but Eschenbach chose to ignore it…

    It is a completely pointless discussion. And to scott who wrote ‘ “peer review” in almost real time.’. The answer is no. This isn’t peer review. It is a discussion with someone who doesn’t understand what harmonic analysis is or what physical modeling is, or even what simple ordinary differential equations are (and how a harmonic analysis turns them into simple algebraic equations if they are linear).

    You can continue debating it yourself, and even think I’m evading it or whatever. I simply have better things to do with my time than teach first year math. Have fun.

    • I simply have better things to do with my time
      Perhaps you could spend some of that valuable time pondering the consequences of there having been no long-trend in the solar wind, cosmic ray modulation, and solar activity the past 300 years.

      • Leif
        The 10Be Dye 3 and NGRIP flux data

        show clearly the general increase in solar “activity” (10Be decease ) from the Maunder Minimum at about 1700 to the late 20th century peak. The general later 18th century warming and the Dalton minimum are also nicely represented.
        Willis’s original analysis (fig 3) is too simple minded. There is no reason to suppose that there is a simple linear correlation between 10Be and SSN. They are both different measures of outcomes of a combination of underlying processes. Their general trends are similar however – see the Maunder and Dalton minimums and general 20th century rise in both in the same figure.

        For forecasts of the coming cooling based on the natural 60 and quasi-millennial temperature periodicities see
        http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2014/07/climate-forecasting-methods-and-cooling.html

      • Norman: you neglect to quote the conclusion of Berggren’s paper:
        “A comparison with sunspot and neutron records confirms that ice core 10Be reflects solar Schwabe cycle variations, and continued 10Be variability suggests cyclic solar activity throughout the Maunder and Spoerer grand solar activity minima. Recent 10Be values are low; however, they do not indicate unusually high recent solar activity compared to the last 600 years.”
        As she also points out, much of the 10Be variation is determined by climate rather than the Sun.
        “The good long-term agreement between 10Be variations in both cores reflects a regional response to production and climate changes

        There is no reason to suppose that there is a simple linear correlation between 10Be and SSN.
        Full, recent calculation of the modulation potential shows that there is a simple linear correlation between solar activity [SSN] and cosmic ray modulation [some of the 10Be], e.g.

      • Leif You say
        “Full, recent calculation of the modulation potential shows that there is a simple linear correlation between solar activity [SSN] and cosmic ray modulation [some of the 10Be], e.g.”
        Great .What is the equation and the reference.?

      • lsvalgaard: Perhaps you could spend some of that valuable time pondering the consequences of there having been no long-trend in the solar wind, cosmic ray modulation, and solar activity the past 300 years.

        I am sure that he would come up with something interesting. Recommending more work for someone else is standard, but not so illuminating here in this present interchange.

      • “I simply have better things to do with my time”
        Ahhhh, the classic “Dismissive wave of the hand” so fondly used by the liberal intellectual elitist class !!

      • Matthew W August 18, 2015 at 3:50 pm
        “I simply have better things to do with my time”
        Ahhhh, the classic “Dismissive wave of the hand” so fondly used by the liberal intellectual elitist class !!

        I am sure that you are perfectly aware of the fact that the quotation is from Shaviv’s comment, and that you thus comment on Shaviv’s attitude. You might be correct.

    • There are considerable uncertainties in sea level measurements. Is there a more precise way to measure a seal level change rate?

      • Yes! Use Tide Gauge data from the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL). The satellite “results” from TOPEX-Poseidon-Jason1&2 are “adjusted” beyond belief, largely because they don’t have sufficient resolution to perform height measurement accurately.

        Find a tectonically “inert” area (neither rising or subsiding) and look at rate changes accordingly!

    • lsvalgaard, I couldn’t agree more, entirely because of your inclusion of that bracketed word. If you truly understand something, you should be able to explain it to anyone who is actually willing to listen, but no matter how well you understand anything, you can’t make someone understand it if they’re not interested.

      • I’d rather he took some math classes. His previous teacher was not up to the task. (He identifies as self-taught). He’s just a few semesters away from a “who knew” moment.

    • Brandon Shollenberger on August 17, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      lsvalgaard, I couldn’t agree more, entirely because of your inclusion of that bracketed word. If you truly understand something, you should be able to explain it to anyone who is actually willing to listen, but no matter how well you understand anything, you can’t make someone understand it if they’re not interested.

      Brandon Shollenberger,

      I concur.

      I expand somewhat to say that when someone in a discourse has some focus on scoring ‘Sophist like’ points instead of working on understanding, you get a certain kind of blog post and comments.

      I said ‘Sophist like’ because a Sophist is paid but on this blog post the ‘Sophist like’ comments do not appear to be made by people who are paid to do so. A Sophist is,

      Sophist

      a paid teacher of philosophy and rhetoric in ancient Greece, associated in popular thought with moral skepticism and specious reasoning.

      http://www.bing.com/search?q=sophist&src=IE-SearchBox&FORM=IENTTR&conversationid=

      John

    • Nir Shaviv, gee, you spout a lot of ‘libelous’ stuff, yourself.

      “It is a discussion with someone who doesn’t understand what harmonic analysis is or what physical modeling is, or even what simple ordinary differential equations are..”

      You know this is not true!

    • Open Schrödinger’s imaginary box and ask his imaginary cat. Since it’s an imaginary cat, you can imagine its reply, even if you imagine it’s dead.

    • Leif says;
      “If you cannot explain your finding to an [attentive] eight-year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”

      I share the sentiment but you neglect to mention that the eight-year old will be sixty-eight at the end of the explanation.

    • Thanks Dr. Shaviv for clarifying

      Willis
      Re Shaviv’s comment: “That is, the integral appears in a harmonic analysis as a phase lag of 90°.”
      That is the point of David Stockwell’s analysis that I referred you to.

      “David Stockwell predicts that solar cycle heating will cause a Pi/2 (90 degree) lag in ocean temperatures”

      Re Willis:

      “You call it “harmonic solar forcing”, but there is no solar, it is 100% harmonic”

      I pointed out that Shaviv used the solar cycle period and the peak of the solar cycle for the forcing phase, and then identified the lag in the observed sea level data to that solar forcing.

    • Martin Clark…
      Ah, So you’re a “Real Scientist”…Where is your cape, mask and pedigree? Show us please oh please Mr. Scientist. Please demonstrate your advanced math abilities so we may be in awe of you… DH

    • Martin Clark writes “but fail when advanced math gets involved.”

      Crikey. You haven’t been paying attention to how poorly some of the real climate scientists do with their advanced maths. Some of them are sooo advanced they can make up their own statistical methods. Now THATS advanced.

    • Nir Shaviv: Last, In my reply on my blog I added a link to an analysis of the sea level which takes a solar proxy instead of a harmonic analysis.

      fwiw, I found it worthwhile to read Dr Shaviv’s reply in full at his web page and to download and read the paper that he linked to there. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in this debate.

      I simply have better things to do with my time than teach first year math.

      For myself, thank you for taking the time to respond to Willis Eschenbach’s critique. Willis writes lots of insightful posts: his own analyses and critiques of published papers. If you think he is wrong, I think it is usually worthwhile to write a rebuttal. In this goround, your paper stands up to his criticisms.

    • >>If you cannot explain your finding to an [attentive]
      >>eight-year old, you don’t understand it yourself.

      But you have still not explained how a 10% increase in insolation, for several thousand years, still results in cooling temperatures.

      I am not eight, but I am attentive.

      Ralph

    • ralfellis August 18, 2015 at 1:26 pm
      >>If you cannot explain your finding to an [attentive]
      >>eight-year old, you don’t understand it yourself.

      But you have still not explained how a 10% increase in insolation, for several thousand years, still results in cooling temperatures.

      I can [again] refer you to the “A Defense of Milankovich” paper, which I assume you have studied attentively.

    • “first year” math – it is of the utmost importance and you better always return to the basics time and again, as you can easily forget about the basics later on – it happens to all of us

  13. Shaviv is a giant and a gentleman who graces the all too often tawdry world of modern climate science. Eschenbach is a brilliant maverick, a man who thinks things through for himself and adds greatly to our understanding of climate data. Fascinating to see them collide a little here. Oh to be with them in the same room!

  14. There are enough “mea-culpas” here to last until the next ice age appears (may be sooner than most think).

    In any event, point by point rebuttals and counter arguments should be encouraged, and I thank Anthony for helping make this happen.

    Those who want to “take umbrage” and close communication are not helping their own cases in particular, or science in general. As for future discourse, keep it open, keep it simple, keep it civil, and most importantly, keep it accurate.

    Thanks to all for weighing in! Science is fascinating!!!

  15. Willis Eschenbach said,

    Now, I understand you (Dr. Nir Shaviv) don’t like me saying that your study is highly misleading. But given that there is no data of any kind regarding the sun in your study, why do you call it a study of the sun? How is that NOT a mis-statement of the facts?

    Willis Eschenbach,

    You beg the question. The question studied by Dr. Nir Shaviv in his work product was about the relation of the sun to various Earth phenomena. He looked at the Earth phenomena in comparative analysis in terms of a simplified/estimated shape of solar forcing; where he defined/gave his reasons as to why he considers the shape is beneficial to expand some perspective on solar to earth impacts.

    With your new tactic in this new post of yours, you are now starting to call Nir Shaviv’s work product’s title ‘misleading’. With that I think you have stepped outside of reasonable circumspect thinking and stepped into what appears to me to be rhetorical repartee suitable at witty cocktail parties. This (WUWT venue) ain’t no witty cocktail party . . . n’est ce pas?

    John

    • “He looked at the Earth phenomena in comparative analysis in terms of a simplified/estimated shape of solar forcing; where he defined/gave his reasons as to why he considers the shape is beneficial to expand some perspective on solar to earth impacts.”

      Is THAT all it takes to pass muster?

      Here is a simple fit that uses actual DATA

      http://static.berkeleyearth.org/pdf/annual-with-forcing.pdf

      By the Niv standards 95% of the temperature increase is explained by the SHAPE of the C02 curve
      and by S02 ( Note we are using the SHAPE of the c02 curve as a proxy for all forcings)

      You see here is the Funny thing

      We can already explain 95% of the temperature rise by using the SAME KIND OF SIMPLE METHODS
      that the solar guys use and that Niv uses. The same damn approach.

      BUT when we use those methods — well youall say that those methods prove nothing because it
      might have been UNICORNS.. we have only shown that the temperature data “is consistent with”
      The C02 hypothesis we have not rules out unicorns as a cause or some other mysterious component of the sun.

      • Gee these simplicities seem to work really well. Then why all the grants, expensive computers with models that don’t really work (projectively) and hi-dollar climatoligists. Let’s save a few billion…..

      • Mosher, what are your thoughts on the issue related to comparing anthropogenic CO2-sourced downwelling LWIR translated into W/m2 available just from that source, versus the watts required to raise sea water temperature?

    • “comparative analysis in terms of a simplified/estimated shape of solar forcing”
      i.e. a sine wave, yes? But not the sun.
      So the comparison is of A1, A2, A3 etc. with B and, somehow, we are expected to accept that B is a proxy for C (the sun) without there ever being a comparison of B and C.
      Kind of weakens the argument doesn’t it?

    • JohnH on August 17, 2015 at 4:05 pm

      – – – – – –

      JohnH,

      Willis’s current tactic is based parsing the title of Dr. Nir Shaviv’s work product to interpret it as also being in the ever expanding ‘misleading’ charge.

      Do you agree with Willis?

      My evaluation is that Willis lost circumspection as evidenced by his ‘title is misleading’ meme. Seriously, the giggle factor is imminent.

      John

    • Steven Mosher on August 17, 2015 at 3:55 pm

      – – – – – –

      Steven Mosher,

      It seems you don’t like the intent, the reasoning, approach or value/conclusions of the subject work product of Dr. Nir Shaviv.

      Ahhh, freedom is wonderful.

      Dr. Nir Shaviv is actively pursuing his ideas about the solar, earth, solar system, and galactic influences on climate. He looks like he loves it. And I kind of like the idea there are people like him who love it.

      John

      • lsvalgaard on August 17, 2015 at 5:19 pm

        Sometimes Love makes blind…

        Leif,

        I would say that you love your solar science study very very much. I love that you love to do all your study in the solar sciences. That has always been clear.

        Keep doing it.

        John

      • Steven Mosher on August 17, 2015 at 8:50 pm

        I like chocolate.

        Steven Mosher,

        I like the following things:

        Julie Andrews ‘My Favorite Things Lyrics’

        Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
        Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
        Brown paper packages tied up with string
        These are a few of my favourite things!
        Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
        Doorbells and slay bells and schnitzel with noodles
        Wild gees that fly with the moon en their wings
        These are a few of my favourite things!

        Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
        Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eye lashes
        Silver white winters that melt into spring
        These are a few of my favourite things!
        When the dog bites, when the bee stings
        When I’m feeling sad, I simply remember
        My favourite things!
        And then I don’t feel so bad!

        John

      • It’s a shame our Lord Kelvin couldn’t do the same. He’s too stuck in his own ‘be-lief’ system.:-)

  16. The rate of sea level rise here, over the past century, is 0.65mm/year, or about 0.0017mm per day, compared to daily swings of around 2000 mm. The claimed global average of 3.3mm/year seems a tad high. However surely analyzing a rate of change of the .0017 in 2000 is simply a study in noise?
    Even eyeballing the wiggles in the graph (below) shows no obvious signs of correlation with average air temperatures.

    • One tidal gauge doesn’t cut it. The entire continent of Australia might be “tipping.”
      Show another one from Perth, add in Darwin.

      Refer to this discussion from May 2012, “Is Sea Level Rise Accelerating”

      Eleven of the 27 stations [in the [Australia] National Tide Facility Survey 1998] recorded a sea level fall, while the mean rate of sea level rise for all the stations combined is only +0.3 mm/yr, with an average record length of 36.4 years. This is only one sixth of the IPCC figure. There was also no obvious geographical pattern of falls versus rises as both were distributed along all parts of the coast.

      And from my summary, RE Florida

      Now the 3 stations in Florida are Pensacola – Fernandia – Key West
      which makes a nice 550 km, 680 km, 800 km triangle.
      For the 1900-2000 span, the range is 2.16 – 2.51 mm/yr (a diff of 0.35)
      But for the 2000-2011 span, the range is -3.36 to +2.82. (a diff of 6.18 mm/yr)
      Somewhere the rock is moving, not the water. Either that or there is more noise in the system than an 11 year trend can detect.

    • “However surely analyzing a rate of change of the .0017 in 2000 is simply a study in noise?”

      Depends on how you go about it (and assuming you can tolerate continuity errors) …

      • You know, the crazy thing about the ENSO sea level correlation is that the total enthalpy of the oceans does not change until the energy is released to the atmosphere. There should be no net sea level rise as a bunch of mixed layer warm water is redistributed across the Pacific. What the correlation seems to argue is that something within the ENSO cycle creates or taps NEW energy. It is not going to be a slow accumulation of solar energy during nina periods. That would be a completely different thermosteric signal.

    • But then you begin to wonder about this strange beasty, which despite what look like systematic errors in the early detail, does have a somewhat longer term sinusoidal aspect to it that any self-respecting ballerina would probably scoff at …

  17. I agree that instead of just presenting the science and pointing out errors the site tone over time has become more personal and emotional. I enjoy the technical discussion and excellent reference pages. Lets have a reduction in personal attack and keep up the analysis. The warmists have always appealed to emotions and used character assassination, lets avoid that at all costs please.

  18. Please, gentlemen!

    To an educated layman, this sounds like a food fight.

    But, this discussion does focus attention on the fact that so much of what is called climate research is really mathematical modelling using very noisy data. With sufficient vigor, any set of numbers can be tortured until they give us the answer we want. Non-mathematical types have understood this for a long time.

    And, it must be very tempting for people with strong mathematical backgrounds to develop a condescending attitude towards people with an inferior math background. But, remember math nerds, they may seen clueless but look in the mirror occasionally. Being better at math than others doesn’t necessarily mean you know enough math to predict what mother nature will be doing in 10, 50, or 100 years. There is absolutely no record of such a thing ever having been done.

    Maybe nobody is clever enough. They observed about Churchill during WW II: “Winston wins all the arguments but loses all the battles.” (For example, Anzio.) That was because battles are not decided by clever arguments by men a long way from the action, but by cruel, unforgiving facts on the ground. I doubt mother nature is any more forgiving.

    So have some humility. It is easy to be dismissive of other people, but you can’t out-argue nature.

    • I started a food fight once. In a restaurant. It was a support group thing made up of parents of difficult (as in very) teenagers. We made a mess but we tipped a massive amount of coinage. Relieved a lot of stress.

  19. I find it interesting that Dr. Shaviv does not actually answer what I view as Eschenbach’s main point, which was that the paper in question DID in fact use a harmonic function, and not solar forcing at all.

    Shaviv argues that he linked to a similar study that included solar data, but that is irrelevant to the actual paper under discussion.

    Regardless of the “h” versus “delta h” question, if I had read the paper based on the title and the abstract, I would still come away feeling that the authors cheated, and that the paper was not entirely true to its title and abstract.

    • That was not a “similar study” that was supplementary material that was cut from the final published paper. That makes it part of the same study.

    • Anne Ominous: Shaviv argues that he linked to a similar study that included solar data, but that is irrelevant to the actual paper under discussion.

      Few papers are published without important parts getting left out. Editors pare everything down to reserve journal space for the papers of other authors. This is especially true of mathematical and statistical details, but not limited to them. More and more, the supplementary online material is available, and integral to the paper.

      • You can call it the editor’s fault, then, but that has zero bearing on what I wrote. Either the paper as published was about solar forcing, or it wasn’t. If it wasn’t, then the title and abstract are misleading, regardless of whose “fault” that is.

  20. Willis said (in the previous post): “But then, the TSI/sunpots inconveniently peak around 2001 and bottom out around 2008-2009. Meanwhile, sea level peaks at around 2006, about five years after the TSI/sunspots, and doesn’t bottom out until 2011 … no bueno for their lovely theory.”

    And now Willis says: “Dr. Shaviv, looking at the change rate rather than at the sea level height is indeed what I started out believing you had done. “

    Sorry, Willis, but you are still missing the point. They pointed out that the RATE of change should be related to insolation, ie the SLOPE. You are focusing on the DIFFERENCE from some baseline. In other words d(∆h)/dt should be related to the solar changes.

    In fact, you should re-read your own post here: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/18/time-lags-in-the-climate-system/ . You discuss this exact same idea — that temperatures changes (and hence sea level changes due to temperature changes) will lag well behind the periodic driving force.

    There SHOULD be a lag in the sea level rise behind the oscillating solar driving force. So this is muy bueno for their results.

      • I am saying that WILLIS’S OWN ANALYSIS shows an 11 year pattern, with the sea level rise lagging behind the solar forcing, exactly as Dr. Nir Shaviv was saying should happen. Furthermore, Willis has previously demonstrated that he knows why this lag should occur. But in this case, Willis is confusing the ‘anomaly’ with the ‘rate of change of the anomaly’ and misinterpreting that results.

        Whether the data is really robust enough to be conclusive is another matter, but the data does generally support the hypothesis.

  21. I saw one post here by Nir Shaviv , and he doesn’t address the main point of contention, – was solar data used in his analysis? Maybe he thinks harmonic analysis is solar data. His figure 1 is sunspot data. Does he use this in his analysis?

    • Did you entirely miss the part where he pointed to supplementary material that was cut from the published paper where solar data was used?

  22. We can see why a real atmospheric physicists or Freeman Dyson ect would never reply to anything on this site concerning Climate or meteorology or physics ect LOL especially with these Willis/Moshers/ types/fellows. A great apology is owed tp Steven Goddard. Within 2 years time this site will be more anti-warming ect than SG. Lukewarmers will be banished at this rate.LOL
    A nice reminder here http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/old_icecover.uk.php

  23. “In English, the global sea level is a function inter alia of the average ocean temperature.”

    I find it misleading to call that English, when it plainly contains a Latin term.

  24. Steven Mosher, I theorize that you have been beating your wife.
    Unless you have a better theory my theory wins.

    • Nah, we can all make our own judgments. Unless you have evidence, I’m going to assume he doesn’t.

      • Bill 2,

        You just guess at your hypothesis according to Feynman and indirectly with Popper. Evidence of the hypothesis is not necessary per their philosophy of science. They only require theory be in principle falsifiable.

        So, this is the weakness of Popper and Feynman philosophy of science.

        John

      • Steven Mosher, thanks for sharing the raw data and concisely pointing out the flaw in Steve Oregon’s theory.

        I theorize that if you had a wife, you would be beating the hell out of her. Cyclically, your violence would increase by 40% around Super Bowl.

        Unless you have a better theory my theory wins. For pragmatic reasons.

        Thanks also for your contribution to the theory of science.

      • Assuming the error bar is plus or minus 1/2 wife and utilizing proxy-wife data from an unarchived file, it appears the wife beating theory still can pass peer review.

    • I think that makes his point. In politics and law decisions need to be made to satisfy the constituents and litigants. They can’t wait a hundred years for science to finally come up with the correct answer so governments and judiciaries have to go with the best guess. So in that sense Mosher is right. Whoever has the best theory wins, for the time being, in politics and law.

      Somehow the scientific community never gets this through their heads, that politics and law really are religious based systems, and religions always have an answer. So whoever seems to come up with the best answer wins.

  25. Howdy Willis.
    I have great admiration for you in your willingness, determination and intellect to take on
    anything put out there, in which you have an interest, and turn it upside down and sideways to shake it out to the proper, final conclusion. Thanks for doing this for the less mathematically and scientifically inclined of me. More people like you are needed to both shake the trees and see what BS artists are hiding in them and to let the others, who may be considering pulling the wool over peoples eyes, that there are “peers” (or just regular smart folks) out here who are ready and able to catch them in their BS and call them out on it.
    Whatever the outcome, sometimes shaking the trees is a really good thing in any institution and should be done on a regular basis. And anyone in the science community who has a problem with being called out to explain themselves probably has a bigger problem with his/her science than with their egos.
    Thanks Willis. You’re a PUNK rocker.
    Dahlquist

  26. Fascinating drama, but so what?

    1) IPCC has no idea how much CO2 between 1750 and 2011 was caused by industrialized man mostly because there are no reliable numbers for natural sources.

    2) The 2 W/m^2 RF (W is power, energy over time, not energy per se) of the additional CO2 between 1750 and 2011 and the 4.5, 6.0 and 8.5 W/m^2 RFs of the RCPs are lost in the decimal points with ToA at 340 W/m^2 +/- 10 as well as the uncertainty bands of reflection, absorption by clouds, ground, oceans, albedos, etc. The oceans suck it up and spit it out a hundred times faster that GHGs can make it.

    3) As evidenced by the pause/hiatus/lull/whatever and as admitted by IPCC, the IPCC models are useless.

  27. Hey Willis,
    Your credibility is already toast! I am not going to waste any more time reading anything you write. Leave science to scientists! :-)

  28. As a quick question — if clouds reflect sunlight back into space, what effect do clouds have on preventing heat from leaving the earth? Which effect is greater?

    There have been a number of posts on clouds trapping heat but i can’t remember any of the conclusions. Clouds trapping heat is sort of a hothead thing, I realize.

    Short answer will do.

    Eugene WR Gallun

    • rokshox: A formula for Δh is not a formula for Δh/Δt.

      With constant spacing in t there is no important difference: the results differ only by the scaling constant
      1/Δt.

      In principle you can get slightly more accurate results by modeling a non-parametric estimate of the derivative in place of .Δh/Δt. or Δh, but with a smooth function the improvement would be negligible. When modeling with sines and cosines there would be no measurable improvement at all.

    • More like something near 50. There are three groups, that gives you 30, then about 15-25 small spots, for a total of 30+15 to 30+25 or 45 to 55. SILSO has 42, Kanzelhohe has 55. Granted that the spots are tiny so different observers are likely to differ.

  29. Eugene WR Gallun.

    The answer to your question which effect of clouds is greater is – it depends. Some factors are;

    a) time of day when the clouds were around (daytime clouds reflects some incident light back to space before conversion to longer wavelengths where as night clouds only trap radiation closer to surface)
    b) how much cloud cover area there was as a % of the sky is a factor in the equation relating to energy wavelength change at earths surface.
    c) what type of clouds they were (depth)
    d) what the surface albedo of the ground underneath the clouds normally is.
    e) precipitation – if it snows under the clouds that are present this will change the surface albedo and may even persist (or not) when clouds depart.
    f) what angle is the sunlight to the earths surface where the cloud is (lattitude on the earths surface) – clouds at the equator would reflect more intense incident energy than clouds at the poles going through more atmosphere before getting to the cloud but would serve equally well as a blanket to trap radiation from the earths surface.

  30. Rising sea levels – that aren’t, melting ice – that isn’t, sad polar bears – actually quite happy, confused walri – just doin’ their thing, and temperature anomalies “adjusted” to appear the hottest ever – when the actuals aren’t – just the warmists yelling to the proles, media and politicians, “See, we told you so!” when what they told us doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

  31. Willis, thank you very much.
    This article is very good, not only about language and personal interactions, but about the integrity of science and scientific debate.

  32. Willis Eschenbach: I should have said that your analysis was misleading. This is much more accurate, as it describes the effect of the analysis and not the authors’ intentions. To show that this is not an empty apology, I have gone back to my original post and removed all references to deception.

    I appreciate your apologizing for a mistake, as we all make them and they are no fun in public. However, I did not and do not think that Dr. Shaviv’s paper was “misleading”.

    • I did. Huge difference between using real solar data and an artificial construct harmonic derived from a 12.6 wholly contrived sinusoidal and then given a solar name in the title.

  33. I have a good theory which is easy to understand ,and is straight forward and easily falsified if wrong.

    No spin like all the others have but rather factual solar parameters that will give an x result when taken into consideration with other items which effect the climatic system of the earth.

    In addition my theory conforms to the historical climatic record unlike AGW theory which tries to make the historical climatic record conform to it.

    My theory is one of the best out there and it is 1000x better then AGW theory.

  34. Here is what I have concluded. My explanation as to how the climate may change conforms to the historical climatic data record which has led me to this type of an explanation. It does not try to make the historical climatic record conform to my explanation. It is in two parts.

    PART ONE

    HOW THE CLIMATE MAY CHANGE

    Below are my thoughts about how the climatic system may work. It starts with interesting observations made by Don Easterbrook. I then reply and ask some intriguing questions at the end which I hope might generate some feedback responses. I then conclude with my own thoughts to the questions I pose.

    From Don Easterbrook – Aside from the statistical analyses, there are very serious problems with the Milankovitch theory. For example, (1) as John Mercer pointed out decades ago, the synchronicity of glaciations in both hemispheres is ‘’a fly in the Malankovitch soup,’ (2) glaciations typically end very abruptly, not slowly, (3) the Dansgaard-Oeschger events are so abrupt that they could not possibility be caused by Milankovitch changes (this is why the YD is so significant), and (4) since the magnitude of the Younger Dryas changes were from full non-glacial to full glacial temperatures for 1000+ years and back to full non-glacial temperatures (20+ degrees in a century), it is clear that something other than Milankovitch cycles can cause full Pleistocene glaciations. Until we more clearly understand abrupt climate changes that are simultaneous in both hemispheres we will not understand the cause of glaciations and climate changes.

    My explanation:

    I agree that the data does give rise to the questions/thoughts Don Easterbrook, presents in the above. That data in turn leads me to believe along with the questions I pose at the end of this article, that a climatic variable force which changes often which is superimposed upon the climate trend has to be at play in the changing climatic scheme of things. The most likely candidate for that climatic variable force that comes to mind is solar variability (because I can think of no other force that can change or reverse in a different trend often enough, and quick enough to account for the historical climatic record,, and can perhaps result in primary and secondary climatic effects (due to solar variability),which I feel are a significant player in glacial/inter-glacial cycles, counter climatic trends when taken into consideration with these factors which are , land/ocean arrangements , mean land elevation ,mean magnetic field strength of the earth(magnetic excursions), the mean state of the climate (average global temperature gradient equator to pole), the initial state of the earth’s climate(how close to interglacial-glacial threshold condition it is/ average global temperature) the state of random terrestrial(violent volcanic eruption, or a random atmospheric circulation/oceanic pattern that feeds upon itself possibly) /extra terrestrial events (super-nova in vicinity of earth or a random impact) along with Milankovitch Cycles.

    What I think happens is land /ocean arrangements, mean land elevation, mean magnetic field strength of the earth, the mean state of the climate, the initial state of the climate, and Milankovitch Cycles, keep the climate of the earth moving in a general trend toward either cooling or warming on a very loose cyclic or semi cyclic beat(1470 years or so) but get consistently interrupted by solar variability and the associated primary and secondary effects associated with this solar variability, and on occasion from random terrestrial/extra terrestrial events, which brings about at times counter trends in the climate of the earth within the overall trend. While at other times when the factors I have mentioned setting the gradual background for the climate trend for either cooling or warming, those being land/ocean arrangements, mean land elevation, mean state of the climate, initial state of the climate, Milankovitch Cycles , then drive the climate of the earth gradually into a cooler/warmer trend(unless interrupted by a random terrestrial or extra terrestrial event in which case it would drive the climate to a different state much more rapidly even if the climate initially was far from the glacial /inter-glacial threshold, or whatever general trend it may have been in ) UNTIL it is near that inter- glacial/glacial threshold or climate intersection at which time allows any solar variability and the associated secondary effects, and or other forcing no matter how SLIGHT at that point to be enough to not only promote a counter trend to the climate, but cascade the climate into an abrupt climatic change. The back ground for the abrupt climatic change being in the making all along until the threshold glacial/inter-glacial intersection for the climate is reached ,which then gives rise to the abrupt climatic changes that occur and possibly feed upon themselves while the climate is around that glacial/inter-glacial threshold resulting in dramatic semi cyclic constant swings in the climate from glacial to inter-glacial while factors allow such an occurrence to take place. Which was the case 20000 years ago to 10000 years ago.

    The climatic back ground factors (those factors being previously mentioned) driving the climate gradually toward or away from the climate intersection or threshold of glacial versus interglacial. However when the climate is at the intersection the climate gets wild and abrupt, while once away from that intersection the climate is more stable. Although random terrestrial events and extra terrestrial events could be involved some times to account for some of the dramatic swings in the climatic history of the earth( perhaps to the tune of 10% ) at any time , while solar variability and the associated secondary effects are superimposed upon the otherwise gradual climatic trend, resulting in counter climatic trends, no matter where the initial state of the climate is although the further from the glacial/inter-glacial threshold the climate is the less dramatic the overall climatic change should be, all other items being equal.

    The climate is chaotic, random, and non linear, but in addition it is never in the same mean state or initial state which gives rise to given forcing to the climatic system always resulting in a different climatic out-come although the semi cyclic nature of the climate can still be derived to a degree amongst all the noise and counter trends within the main trend.

    QUESTIONS:

    Why is it when ever the climate changes the climate does not stray indefinitely from it’s mean in either a positive or negative direction? Why or rather what ALWAYS brings the climate back toward it’s mean value ? Why does the climate never go in the same direction once it heads in that direction?

    Along those lines ,why is it that when the ice sheets expand the higher albedo /lower temperature more ice expansion positive feedback cycle does not keep going on once it is set into motion? What causes it not only to stop but reverse?

    Vice Versa why is it when the Paleocene – Eocene Thermal Maximum once set into motion, that being an increase in CO2/higher temperature positive feedback cycle did not feed upon itself? Again it did not only stop but reversed?

    My conclusion is the climate system is always in a general gradual trend toward a warmer or cooler climate in a semi cyclic fashion which at times brings the climate system toward thresholds which make it subject to dramatic change with the slightest change of force superimposed upon the general trend and applied to it. While at other times the climate is subject to randomness being brought about from terrestrial /extra terrestrial events which can set up a rapid counter trend within the general slow moving climatic trend.

    .

    Despite this ,if enough time goes by (much time) the same factors that drive the climate toward a general gradual warming trend or cooling trend will prevail bringing the climate away from glacial/inter-glacial threshold conditions it had once brought the climate toward ending abrupt climatic change periods eventually, or reversing over time dramatic climate changes from randomness, because the climate is always under a semi extra terrestrial cyclic beat which stops the climate from going in one direction for eternity.

    NOTE 1- Thermohaline Circulation Changes are more likely in my opinion when the climate is near the glacial/

    inter-glacial threshold probably due to greater sources of fresh water input into the North Atlantic.

    PART TWO

    HOW THE CLIMATE MAY CHANGE

    Below I list my low average solar parameters criteria which I think will result in secondary effects being exerted upon the climatic system.

    My biggest hurdle I think is not if these low average solar parameters would exert an influence upon the climate but rather will they be reached and if reached for how long a period of time?

    I think each of the items I list , both primary and secondary effects due to solar variability if reached are more then enough to bring the global temperatures down by at least .5c in the coming years.

    Even a .15 % decrease from just solar irradiance alone is going to bring the average global temperature down by .2c or so all other things being equal. That is 40% of the .5c drop I think can be attained. Never mind the contribution from everything else that is mentioned.

    What I am going to do is look into research on sun like stars to try to get some sort of a gage as to how much possible variation might be inherent with the total solar irradiance of the sun. That said we know EUV light varies by much greater amounts, and within the spectrum of total solar irradiance some of it is in anti phase which mask total variability within the spectrum. It makes the total irradiance variation seem less then it is.

    I also think the .1% variation that is so acceptable for TSI is on flimsy ground in that measurements for this item are not consistent and the history of measuring this item with instrumentation is just to short to draw these conclusions not to mention I know some sun like stars (which I am going to look into more) have much greater variability of .1%.

    I think Milankovich Cycles, the Initial State of the Climate or Mean State of the Climate , State of Earth’s Magnetic Field set the background for long run climate change and how effective given solar variability will be when it changes when combined with those items. Nevertheless I think solar variability within itself will always be able to exert some kind of an influence on the climate regardless if , and that is my hurdle IF the solar variability is great enough in magnitude and duration of time. Sometimes solar variability acting in concert with factors setting the long term climatic trend while at other times acting in opposition.

    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 which commenced in year 2005. The key is duration of time because although sunspot activity can diminish it takes a much longer time for coronal holes to dissipate which can keep the solar wind elevated which was the case during the recent solar lull of 2008-2010 ,which in turn keep solar climatic effects more at bay. Duration of time therefore being key.

    If , these average solar parameters are the rule going forward for the remainder of this decade expect global average temperatures to fall by -.5C, with the largest global temperature declines occurring over the high latitudes of N.H. land areas.

    The decline in temperatures should begin to start to take place within six months after the ending of the maximum of solar cycle 24,if sub- solar conditions have been in place for 10 years + which we have now had. Again the solar wind will be needed to get to an average of below 350km/sec. in order to realize the full solar effects which I believe can be attained quite easily.

    Secondary Effects With Prolonged Minimum Solar Activity. A Brief Overview. Even if one or two should turn out to be true it would be enough to accomplish the solar /climatic connection.

    A Greater Meridional Atmospheric Circulation- due to less UV Light Lower Ozone in Lower Stratosphere.

    Increase In Low Clouds- due to an increase in Galactic Cosmic Rays.

    Greater Snow-Ice Cover- associated with a Meridional Atmospheric Circulation/an Increase In Clouds.

    Greater Snow-Ice Cover probably resulting over time to a more Zonal Atmospheric Circulation. This Circulation increasing the Aridity over the Ice Sheets eventually. Dust probably increasing into the atmosphere over time.

    Increase in Volcanic Activity – Since 1600 AD, data shows 85 % approximately of all major Volcanic eruptions have been associated with Prolonged Solar Minimum Conditions. Data from the Space and Science Center headed by Dr. Casey.

    Volcanic Activity -acting as a cooling agent for the climate,(SO2) and enhancing Aerosols possibly aiding in greater Cloud formation.

    Decrease In Ocean Heat Content/Sea Surface Temperature -due to a decline in Visible Light and Near UV light.

    This in turn should diminish the Greenhouse Gas Effect over time, while promoting a slow drying out of the atmosphere over time. This may be part of the reason why Aridity is very common with glacial periods.

    In addition sea surface temperature distribution changes should come about ,which probably results in different oceanic current patterns.

    [Long, interesting summary. Thank you. .mod]

    • Lordy. Once again your theory is like throwing stew on the refrigerator in the hope some of it sticks. Even if you get lucky you have not explained the mechanism. What if we go through a period of La Nina’s? We do have those you know. And if we do, what goes in must eventually come out.

      The main issue I have with your theory is that something as simple as cloud variations, which are poorly understood and modeled, can create such noise that any solar signal you seek will be buried in that noise, impossible to extract.

      List all the parameters you want. Without solid mechanism, your theory is: Not a theory.

  35. Lot of criticism of Mr. Steven Mosher in the above comments.
    I think it is somewhat unfair, his opinions have evolved in the last 3-4 years, the fact that we don’t agree with many of his views, he should not be ostracised. Steven appears to have moved firmly into the ‘warming’ camp but he is not an extremist.
    Not many AGWs (I don’t think he is a CAGW, not yet anyway) come here to present the more moderate views of the ‘opposition’, therefore his presence could only help to widen the debate. I often read his comments on the JC’s blog and must admit he occasionally makes lot of sense.
    Despite the fact that once elsewhere he describe me as a ‘near lunatic’ I am still willing to read and consider what he has to say.

      • Steven, if you read my theory you may not agree with it but it is comprehensive and to the point and has clear guidelines from which to evaluate how correct or not it may eventually be.

        So when you say us skeptics do not come up with alternative theories you are wrong.

        What you are really saying is skeptics do not come up with theories that you embrace.

  36. Willis,

    Having read Dr. Shaviv et al.‘s paper (includind the supplementary material), it is clear that equation 1 should not contain the delta on the left hand side, Δh(t). The left hand side of the equation should be just h(t), the sea level height. It includes a linear component (h_0 and h_1 terms), an El Nino-Southern Oscillation component (b_0 and b_1 terms), and a sinusoidal term representing a solar component (a term).

    In Figure 1 from Dr. Shaviv’s paper, the vertical axis is correctly labeled with the delta, Δh. In this case, the delta is not referring to the change in the height as you seem to have interpreted it. That is, the delta is not referring to the difference in height between two successive times. Rather the delta is referring to the difference between the height datum at a particular time and a reference value at the same time. The reference value is the value of the linear trend at that time. This is similar to the way the temperature anomolies are represented as ΔT; the difference between the temperature datum and an arbitrary reference value.

    You complain that there is no solar data input into the model. But that misses the point of what Dr. Shaviv et al. are trying to do. They are not trying to overlay sunspot number data on top of the sea level rise data. As Dr. Shaviv pointed out, on physical grounds, one would not even expect those two data sets to be correlated. What Dr. Shaviv et al. are trying to is the following:

    1. Assume that sea level rise has three components: linear trend, El Nino-Southern Oscillation, solar.
    2. Detrend the sea level altimetry data (TOPEX/Poseidon and Jason) to eliminate the linear component.
    3. Use the NINO 3.4 index to eliminate the El-Nino-Southern Oscillation component.
    4. See if whatever is leftover can be accounted for by a sinusoidal function representing the solar component.

    The sinusoidal must have the same period as the solar cycle (they have chosen T=12.6 years). Because the ocean system is huge, it will react slowly to any solar influence. Therefore, the sinusoidal, which represents the solar influence on the oceans, will not neccessarily have the same phase as the sunspot data. Dr. Shaviv et al. demonstrated that after accounting for the linear and El Nino components the remaining component could be reasonably well approximated by the sinusoidal, lending support to their claim that it is related to solar influence.

    • In the first sentence of the abstract, Shaviv, et al., state:

      With satellite altimetry data accumulating over the past two decades, the mean sea level (MSL)
      can now be measured to unprecedented accuracy.

      Don’t they mean “precision” rather than “accuracy”?

      And given the extensive corrections, adjustments and filtering they applied to the raw data, perhaps they also meant “estimated” MSL, or “calculated”, rather than “measured”?

      • In fact, opluso, the truth is neither. Neither accurate nor precise. See the following videoclip, beginning at 4:15, and especially at 8:48 and further on. If you use a blank yardstick or meterstick, measuring inches or millimeters is fraught with peril, and ripe for data “adjusting,” manipulation, and other sometimes nefarious changes, none of which are accurate or precise. Here’s the clip:

        http://climateconferences.heartland.org/thomas-wysmuller-iccc9/

  37. Regarding: “You show the linearly detrended sea height h by means of the blue dots, but you have labeled it “∆h” on the Y-axis. You have also incorrectly referred to the sea height h in the caption as ∆h. Clearly this is not just a typo, it is an ongoing misunderstanding.”

    The way I see it, a deviation from the flat linear trend in a detrended dataset can be expressed as a delta from that flat linear trend.

  38. Food fight, yep! After reading every word, my conclusion is that Willis won by several butt kicks using his Red Wing steel toed work boots.

    I am not sure that it matters but the problem was not defined very well. The base was that the sea level is rising 3.3 mm/yr. Of this amount 2.4 mm/yr is from produced groundwater from no recharge and slow-to-recharge aquifers. This water is primarily used to irrigate land used to grow food and fodder. Additionally 0.2mm/yr of the seal level rise comes from the combination of oxygen with hydrocarbons when combusted for use in industry, transportation, heating, cooling, electricity and other facets of modern life. Thus, the unexplained sea level rise is 0.7 mm/yr. I agree with Willis that one can do magic tricks when using a 7 factor tuned model, no matter what you name it.

    Would the food fight have been different if the base was 0.7mm/yr instead of 3.3 mm/yr rise in sea level? Not likely, but at least the science would have been correct.

  39. Willis, a day late and a dollar short, but I think an email conversation with Dr. Shaviv was probably in order about the intended use/interpretation of delta-h and h. You could have also thrown in a “why noy use real solar data instead of a sine with the same approximate period of the solar data?”

    I still think you would have been left with a good article to write. My $0.02. :-)

    • Support your statement. Otherwise if I get older within a decade, and it cools, I caused cooling.

  40. This paper and its accompanying analyses reminds me of two things: the Hockey Stick with its clearly stated ‘this is two different temperature sets, one of which is a proxy, tacked together’, later interpreted by anyone with eyes to be a ‘single valid thing’, and the other is the ‘data set’ controversy that went with it. When M Mann was asked which data sets were used to create the Stick, he replied truthfully that they were all in the public domain, but would not identify which ones he used.

    My point is that saying very clearly within the text that there is no solar data in the analysis, it is correctly stating what the product is. OK, full points for describing the work. It is also fair counsel to point out that there are so many other terms used, swamping the truth with ‘solar’ references, that the innovation (using a short, fitted sine wave), which is a major change from convention, is lost in the verbal murk.

    I cannot asses whether or not this was a deliberate and intended so I poke no eyes here. But if scientists cannot communicate clearly their innovations so that all readers paying attention, citing the work, can do so in a manner that is true to the author’s words and also to the ideas embodied in it, they have failed the funders. I am not saying they failed ‘science’. I am saying they are not being very helpful if citations have to be qualified with a paragraph from the citer explaining what common terms ‘mean’ according to that source. I am not going to cite a source that requires me to explain that ‘solar’ in this reference really means ‘sine wave sorta like solar’.

    For that reason the reviewers should have insisted on clarification, possibly requiring the insertion of the term ‘proxy’ before each occurrence of ‘solar’ and so on. The purpose of a Journal is to communicate effectively the thoughts and innovations and discoveries currently taking place in a field. The paper does not have to be ‘right’ but they have to be clearly presented. Articles are not ‘cleverness’ contests.

    M Mann was not talking about all trees and temperatures, he was talking about some particular select trees and the weighting of them for their agreement with a predetermined hockey stick-shaped temperature profile. That he did not say clearly, so do not put the author here on the same meat hook. But it is very similar to Mann saying there are two sets of data that have nothing to do with each other presented in a manner that will induce the reader to think that the proxy is the thing itself. The net effect is to induce the reader, particularly a casual reader, to come to an inappropriate understanding of the work.

  41. I have visited Wattsupwitthat almost daily for over 10 years, and have even made a couple of contributions. I have got to the stage of skipping over reading any articles posted by Mr Eschenbach because they are often shrill, contentious, inflammatory and borderline abusive. (and quite frequently, factually wrong IMHO)

    I really do not understand why Mr Watts gives him Carte Blanche to post whatever he likes on this website. I hope that in future his articles are reviewed by an editor before being posted- they really do drag down the quality of everything else here.

    IMHO, using words and phrases like these are not acceptable in scientific debate:
    deceptive
    misleading
    magically
    Most peculiar
    this oddity
    etc,etc…

    The Initial attack on the paper is completely unreasonable, but the offence is compounded by this fake apology. The fact is, Mr Eschenback , and Wattsupwiththat are on thin legal ice due to both posts.

    I have to agree with Dr Shivav’s statement:

    “I should also add another point which is directed primarily to Anthony Watts. The Wattsupwiththat website used to keep very high standards. It also served as a very important outlet where discussions about various climate views, including those which do not conform to the dogmatic mainstream could be heard. However, the low standards borne from Eschenbach’s article, both in science and in style should be avoided. Anthony Watts should not expose himself to libelous type of writing, which is exactly what Eschenbach has done. Writing false statements is one thing, it is Eschenbach’s right for free speech, but writing that my colleagues and have “deceived” as well as other derogatory remarks that intend to tarnish our scientific integrity has no place in any scientific discussion.”

    • Mark:

      In my opinion, Willis’s articles are about the best here. They come in three forms:

      i) The legendary tales of the South Sea Islands that will one day form the spine of a bestselling autobiography;

      ii) Data investigations, e.g. with Argo floats, satellite data, you name it. They are often fascinating and it is always wise to let the data speak for itself. Too much black-boxery and massaging gets you hockey sticks;

      iii) Waxing full wroth about dodgy papers and refusing to give the authors any cookies, and as often as not they are dodgy papers by skeptics, showing a zeal not to be proven right, but to find the right answer.

      Now, if iii) aren’t to your taste, I still recommend you read types i) and ii).

  42. WILLIS says:

    “….Now, I understand you don’t like me saying that your study is highly misleading. But given that there is no data of any kind regarding the sun in your study, why do you call it a study of the sun? …..

    Instead of solar, you’ve just put in a fitted sine wave. You have made no connection of any kind, statistical or otherwise, between this sine wave and the sun…. “

    It would seem that Willis missed Dr Shaviv’s direct rebuttal of that statement.

    ….Studying this phase mismatch is simpler and clearer in a harmonic analysis, which is why we used it, but it is also possible to do it with a more direct solar proxy. I know this, because we also carried out the full analysis, but during the refereeing processes decided to leave it out as it didn’t add any more physics while making the results more opaque. If anyone is bored, he or she can read this “supplementary material” describing this analysis here.

    A quote from the first paragraph of the “supplementary material”

    Here we utilize a different approach. We use a proxy for the actual solar activity instead of a harmonic approximation, and instead of modeling the climate, we describe the sea level using generic processes that depend on the heat flux, its time integral and double integral. It allows for more “ignorance” of the physical processes, but shows that the main conclusions remain essentially the same.

    Dr. Shaviv has removed the pointer to WUWT from his blog

    It now says:

    Wattsupwiththat removed.
    Not sensible anymore.

    I am afraid I will have to agree with that and with Dr Shaviv’s last paragraph. Even without that direct pointer in the rebuttal that Willis and the rest here missed, if you look at the actual paper there are REFERENCES within the paper.

    In the first sentence of the introduction is a pointer to this paper.
    “On climate response to changes in cosmic ray flux and radiative budget” Shaviv N.J.
    onlinelibrary(DOT)wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2004JA010866/full

    That paper in turn points to several others including Celestial driver of Phanerozoic climate Shaviv and Veizer, 2003
    (WWWDOT)geosociety.org/gsatoday/archive/13/…/i1052-5173-13-7-4.pdf

    That paper gives this legend for the ‘sine curve’ that Willis is so upset about.

    Figure 2. The cosmic ray flux (Φ) and tropical temperature anomaly (∆T) variations over the Phanerozoic. The upper curves describe the reconstructed CRF using iron meteorite exposure age data (Shaviv, 2002b). The blue line depicts the nominal CRF, while the yellow shading delineates the allowed error range. The two dashed curves are additional CRF reconstructions that fit within the acceptable range (together with the blue line, these three curves denote the three CRF reconstructions used in the model simulations). The red curve describes the nominal CRF reconstruction after its period was fine tuned to best fit the low-latitude temperature anomaly (i.e., it is the “blue” reconstruction, after the exact CRF periodicity was fine tuned, within the CRF reconstruction error). The bottom black curve depicts the 10/50 m.y. (see Fig. 1) smoothed temperature anomaly (∆T) from Veizer et al. (2000). The red line is the predicted ∆Tmodel for the red curve above, taking into account also the secular long-term linear contribution (term B × t in equation 1). The green line is the residual. The largest residual is at 250 m.y. B.P., where only a few measurements of δ18O exist due to the dearth of fossils subsequent to the largest extinction event in Earth history. The top blue bars are as in Figure 1.

    Dr. Shaviv has a laymen’s explanation of that here:
    Cosmic Rays and Climate

    It took me all of ten minutes to track those references down. I certainly hope I do not also have to spoon feed the method by which the variations in the sun modulates cosmic rays.

    “Cosmic-Ray Modulation by Solar Wind” by E. N. Parker (1958)
    link(DOT)aps.org/doi/10.1103/PhysRev.110.1445

    “Solar Modulation of Cosmic Rays during the Declining and Minimum
    Phases of Solar Cycle 23: Comparison with Past Three Solar Cycles
    by Aslam ,Badruddin
    Published in Solar Physics (2012)
    arxiv(DOT)org/pdf/1311.7387

    I think you owe Dr. Shaviv a REAL APOLOGY this time. I can not believe that after all the work Dr Shaviv has done on the subject of cosmic rays, and the papers he has written, these two articles full of accusations actually appeared on the Internet.

  43. Let us show some respect where respect is really due:

    1. Dr Nir Shaviv is an Israeli‐American physics professor, carrying out research in the fields of astrophysics and climate science. He is a scientist. He is a professor at the Racah Institute of Physics of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. From 2014 he became a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

    2. Willis Eschenbach has a B.A. Psychology, Sonoma State University (1975). He is not a scientist. While he does provide some interesting analyses of the climate data, he does not undertake scientific research in the field of climate science.

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