23! New! Papers!

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Over at Pierre Gosselin’s site, NoTricksZone, he’s trumpeting the fact that there are a bunch of new papers showing a solar effect on the climate. The headline is Already 23 Papers Supporting Sun As Major Climate Factor In 2015 …Burgeoning Evidence No Longer Dismissible!, complete with exclamation mark … sigh. Another person who thinks that because a paper is published in a scientific journal it’s not “dismissible” … skeptics of all people should know better than that. In any case, I figured I should at least take a look, and so as not to pick favorites, I grabbed the first paper in Pierre’s list.

Turns out that the very first paper was one of two discussed back in January here on WUWT. I didn’t see the WUWT post at the time, so it’s now my sad duty to pick up my shovel, put on my hip-boots, and wade into the mire.

Both papers are by David Douglas and Robert Knox. David has published occasionally here on WUWT. So I grabbed that first paper, yclept “The Sun is the climate pacemaker I. Equatorial Pacific Ocean temperatures”, available here.

I must confess that their Abstract left me scratching my head … it says:

Equatorial Pacific Ocean temperature time series data contain segments showing both a phase-locked annual signal and a phase-locked signal of period two years or three years, both locked to the annual solar cycle. Three such segments are observed between 1990 and 2014. It is asserted that these are caused by a solar forcing at a frequency of 1.0 cycle/yr. These periodic features are also found in global climate data (following paper). The analysis makes use of a twelve-month filter that cleanly separates seasonal effects from data. This is found to be significant for understanding the El Niño/La Niña phenomenon.

They claim that there are climate phenomena that are “locked to the annual solar cycle” … say what? Almost every climate phenomenon I know of is locked to the annual solar cycle with some variable amount of delay. How is that possibly news? I didn’t get that when I read it, and re-reading the paper hasn’t helped much.

Upon first reading, I thought that the secret might lie in the fact that they say they have a filter that “cleanly separates seasonal effects from data”. So maybe they’re not talking about just being phase-locked to the plain old solar cycle … because they’re looking at the data after the seasonal effects have been removed in some special way.

Now I have some interest in filters, so I looked to see what they were talking about. The normal way to remove the “seasonality”, the month-by-month changes in temperature, is to take monthly averages and subtract them from the data. These monthly averages for January to December are usually called the “climatology” for the region. However, the authors don’t like that process for some reason. They describe their own procedure as follows:

2.2. Methods: precise separation of high- and low-frequency effects

Studies of many geophysical phenomena start with a parent signal G0, such as a temperature or wind speed record, containing a component of interest mixed in with a seasonal component at frequencies of 1.0 cycle/yr and its harmonics. The component of interest might show ENSO effects with multi-year periodicity. An important task is to separate the seasonal component from G0 to obtain the one of interest. A moving average is one of the methods used to make this separation. Such a filter of length one year, which we denote by an operator F, is the most precise for seasonal components, as Douglass [5] has shown in a study of SST3.4 (the parent signal).

OK, they’re using a 12-month moving average filter, often called a “boxcar” filter, to remove the climatology. Not a choice I’d make, because it messes with the data at other cycle lengths. Let me demonstrate this problem in two ways. First, here is the underlying data (gray line in background), along with same data with the climatology (monthly averages) removed (blue line with dots), and finally in pale red, the results using their 12-month moving average “boxcar” filter.

sst3.4 with two methods seasonal variationsFigure 1. The monthly sea surface temperatures for the “Nino 3.4″ region, which extends 5° north and south of the equator from 120°W to 170°W in the tropical Pacific Ocean. The gray line in the background is the original data. The blue line with dots shows the normal method of removing the seasonal variations, by subtracting the monthly averages (the “climatology”) from the original data. The pale red line shows the result of applying their 12-month moving average “boxcar” filter to the original data.


What is clear from Figure 1 is that the 12-month boxcar filter (red line) is removing much more of the variation in the data than is the normal method of subtracting the climatology (blue line). The red line has smoothed away much of the short-term fluctuation in the original data. And while this result of theirs is of interest, it is not accurate to claim as they do that:

Such a filter of length one year, which we denote by an operator F, is the most precise for seasonal components …

I said I would show the boxcar filter problem in two ways. Here’s the other way to illustrate the difference between climatology and boxcar filter, using a periodogram. A periodogram shows the strengths of the various cycles that make up the signal. Here are the periodograms of the three different datasets used in Figure 1:

periodogram sst3.4 climatology boxcarFigure 2. Periodogram showing the cycle strengths of the original SST3.4 data (gray, only visible at cycles of one year or less), the original data with climatology removed (blue), and the 12-month moving average “boxcar” filter of the original data favored by the authors (red).

As one might expect, the original data (gray line) shows a strong cycle at both one year and six months (0.5 years). The precision of the climatology method (blue line) is shown by the fact that it only affects the data at frequencies of one year or less. Above that, you can’t even see the original data (gray line) because other than a slight difference at 13 months, the original gray line is hidden by the blue line, meaning that subtracting the climatology has not affected the cycles of other lengths at all.

Now contrast that with the effect of their filter (red line). In addition to doing what the authors desired, that is to say removing the one year and six month peaks, it has an unwanted side-effect. It has greatly reduced the strength of the cycles between one year and six years or so as well. This is the same thing we saw in Figure 1, where their boxcar filter (red line) was smooth and did NOT show the short-term cycles.

Setting that difficulty aside, let me move on to what they do with their boxcar filtered data. Their main scientific claim is that even though they’ve removed the annual variations with their boxcar filter, there are still some time periods that show evidence of either a two-year or a three-year cycle. They call these intervals “phase-locked” with the sun. Here’s their graph detailing those periods:

douglass figure 3aFigure 3. This shows Figure 3a from their paper. The thick black lines at the bottom indicate what they call “previously reported climate shifts”, although they give no citation for where they were “previously reported”. My guess is that these “climate shifts” were “previously reported” by the authors themselves, but then I’m a skeptical fellow. ORIGINAL CAPTION: Fig. 3. a. Low frequency index aSST3.4 (red) and NOAA anomaly index Nino3.4 generated by the climatology method (blue).

Before discussing this Figure, a momentary digression. Here is a giant red flag from their paper:

2.1. Data

This study considers only data from the period January 1990 through December 2013.

They are not using all of the data. The dataset is already short, only from January of 1982 through December 2013 at the time of their writing the study, or a total of 32 years of observations. Despite that, they’ve thrown away no less than eight years of the data, a full quarter of the available information … why? Unfortunately, the only discussion of that question I could find in their paper is the short sentence I quoted above.

Now, when someone does that, my urban legend alarm goes off. It generally means that the data are being stubborn and uncooperative … but I digress, back to Figure 3.

Looking at that Figure, I gotta say … whaaaa? This is their finding that justified publication in a scientific journal? This is the sum total of the first paper of the widely-hyped TWENTY-THREE NEW PAPERS ON SOLAR blah blah blah? This is it?

If you don’t see why I am so incredulous, there are several reasons. The first reason is the length of the time periods. Let’s take a look at interval #11 at the right of their Figure 3. It covers 5 3/4 years … and they are claiming a 3 year “phase-locked” cycle exists there? That’s not even two full cycle lengths! In climate science you need to have four cycle lengths to say whether a cycle is real and persistent or not … and often even that is sometimes not enough. And here, they are declaring a cycle is alive and well on the basis of not even two full cycles of data. This is meaningless.

And the same is true for time intervals #9 and #10 above. Neither of them are even three cycles in length. Declaring the existence of a “phase-locked” interval on that basis is foundation-free.

Second, what did they expect? If you have a complex signal like the SST3.4, it has cycles of a variety of lengths going on in it. Take a look at the periodogram in Figure 2 above. The original data has all kinds of cycle lengths which have some strength even after removing the annual signal by either method. So OF COURSE there are sections which have a stronger two-year or a three-year cycle in them, just as there are sections with stronger or weaker 2.5 year cycles in them.

Third, they make much of the fact that the cycles they’ve found are exact-year periods. Yes, those exact-year cycles are there, but per the periodogram, they’d do better by looking for cycles at 2.5 years, 3.75 years, and 5.5 years …

Here’s the problem. No matter what length cycle you look for … you’ll find it. So their claim that the periods are locked or related to the sun are nonsense—they’ve only looked at sun-related (exact-year) timespans, and surprise, that is what they have found.

Having digested all of that, I had to ask … so what?

Seriously, so what? What does one get by rooting through a pile of cycles and choosing some to focus on?

Well, here’s their answer to the question about why all this matters:

This study confirms the results of [1] that some of the largest maxima/minima in the oscillations of the phase-locked state correspond to well-known El Niños/La Niñas. For example, the sequence 1996 La Niña – 1997/98 El Niño – 1999 La Niña corresponds to a minimum–maximum–minimum portion of phase-locked segment #9.

Before I get into El Ninos, this quote brings up an issue that has bugged me throughout, similar to the issue of their omitting eight years of data … where are the “phase-locked segments” numbers #1 through #8? How come they didn’t show them or say one word about them? And since there is eight years of missing data, it doesn’t seem possible that the “phase-locked segments” #1 through #8 could be there. In any case, one rule that has rarely failed me, in climate science as in life, is that when a man hides something … it means he’s got something to hide. But again I digress … back to the El Ninos.

Their claim is that some of the largest maxima and minima in the El Nino 3.4 index correspond with El Ninos and La Ninas … again, I was dumbfounded. Large maxima in the El Nino 3.4 region correspond with large El Ninos? Who would have guessed? Why do the authors imagine that it’s called the “Nino3.4” region?

In any case, given their claims above about El Ninos, it appears that the scientific value of the 2-year and 3-year so-called “phase-locked sections” is to understand and thus better predict El Ninos. And to be sure, new theories can indeed have value if they can make testable predictions, regardless of how outré their claims or explanations might seem.  Sooo … here is their daring prediction based on their work:

The climate system is presently (June 2014) in a phase-locked state of periodicity 3 years. This state, which began in 2008, contains a maximum (El Niño) at about 2010 followed by a minimum (La Niña) followed by a maximum (weak El Niño at about 2013). If the climate system remains in this phase-locked state, the next maximum will not occur until about 2016 – i.e., no El Niño before that date. On the other hand, if a maximum occurs before then, it will signal the end of the phase-locked segment (and therefore a climate shift).

I gotta admit, I lost the plot entirely when I read that. If the climate system stays “phase-locked” it means an El Nino at the next maximum, unless no El Nino occurs at the next maximum, in which case it means a climate shift.

Given that the data they are using is SSTs of the the Nino 3.4 region, and given that El Ninos are defined inter alia by maxima in the sea surface temperature anomalies in the El Nino regions … I don’t even know what that prediction means. The only thing I can compare it to is Will Rogers’ unbeatable formula for making money in the stock market:

Buy a stock, and when it goes up, sell it. And if it doesn’t go up, don’t buy it.

Onwards to their conclusions, I can’t resist one more quote:

6. Conclusions and summary

Phase-locked sequences are found in Pacific Ocean SST3.4 temperature data during the periods 1991–1999, 2002–2008 and in 2009–2013. These three sequences apparently being separated by climate shifts. It is asserted that the associated climate system is driven by a forcing of solar origin that has two manifestations: (1) A direct phase-locked response to what is identified as a solar forcing at a frequency of 1.0 cycle/yr for the whole time series;

I couldn’t make it to the second “manifestation”, I was laughing so hard. It is boldly “asserted” that the temperature of the Pacific Ocean is “phase-locked” to “what is identified” as “a forcing of solar origin”??? You mean that the ocean temperature follows the sun? Who would have guessed? Who was the genius that first identified that it was “a forcing of solar origin”? That definitely proves that the sun has an effect on the climate, all right, no gainsaying that …

All kidding aside, let me put something on the table. First, it’s obvious that the sun affects the climate. Without the sun, we’d be pretty cold. And yes, according to this paper the temperature has what is usually called an “annual cycle” but which they refer to as a “phase-locked response to what is identified as a solar forcing at a frequency of 1.0 cycle/yr” … However, related to cycles longer than one year, things get murky pretty fast. In particular, consider the long-time hunt for some sign of the ~11-year solar sunspot-related cycle on the climate.

We humanoids have been looking for a definite clear effect on the climate that could be attributed to the solar variations associated with the sunspot cycle ever since William Herschel made his failed prediction (see below) about sunspots and wheat prices a couple of centuries ago. If such a clear definite effect had ever been demonstrated, we wouldn’t be still having this discussion. After hundreds and hundreds of people starting with Herschel and up to and including myself and others have looked over a total period of two centuries for evidence of such an effect, one thing is clear:

If something associated with the ~11-year sunspot cycle is having an effect on the climate, it is a very small effect, otherwise it would have been both identified and verified beyond question years ago.

At this point, the hunt for such evidence has become so obsessive that I was seriously presented with a paper that the commenter assured me clearly demonstrated that something associated with the ~11 year sunspot cycles was indeed having a measurable effect on the climate. It turned out the that evidence was in the form of tree ring records … tree ring records from one single core from one single tree in Chile.

One Chilean tree! That’s how desperate some folks are to have their ideas validated … and how desperate the scientific journals are for things to publish.

Now, given the number of One Chilean Tree papers published each year, including this paper discussed above, there’s no way that I could possibly deconstruct them all. First off I have to read and understand their paper. Then I have to go get the data they used and replicate their study, as I did above for this study. I have to do my own analyses until I’m clear where they’ve gone off the rails. Then I have to produce the graphics, which better be error-free, and write the paper, which hopefully is error-free or I will be properly and quickly (and fortunately) informed of my mistake(s).

Finally, I have to upload the paper to the web, upload all the graphics, connect up all the links, tag it and categorize it, spell-check it, and proof-read the preview to make sure it’s all correct. Oh, and pick the featured image, can’t forget that. From your side it just magically appears on your screen … on my side, each one is a pile of work.

So I’m declaring right now, I’m not touching the other 22 papers listed by Pierre. At this point, the onus is on you. I’m just one guy, no graduate students or associates, I can’t stem the flood of Chilean trees. So … if you think that something associated with the sunspot cycle (TSI, EUV, solar wind, GCRs, heliomagnetic field, pick your poison) is having an effect down here at the surface of the earth where we live, and you think you have the scientific paper that conclusively demonstrates it, then you are welcome to send me TWO LINKS:

A link to a non-paywalled version of the paper. I’m not paying $37 to read about another Chilean tree.

A link to the exact dataset(s) used by the authors in their study.

Don’t bother me with data dumps of five or twenty-three papers, not interested. I want the one paper that YOU think is the best, second place doesn’t interest me. I won’t guarantee to write about whatever paper it is, but I will write about it if the data and the analysis stands up. Remember that one link is not sufficient. I need a link to both the non-paywalled paper and to the data they used. Please, no papers about solar effects on the thermosphere or the Van Allen belts, read my request again.

Best to all,


PS—In these parlous times, if you disagree with someone (unlikely, I know, but it happens), please quote the EXACT WORDS YOU DISAGREE WITH. This allows all of us to know both who you are addressing, and what specifically what you are objecting to.

HERSCHEL: Before you get all steamed up and start yelling at me about how you know for a fact that the astronomer William Herschel proved that wheat prices varied with the sunspots, read On the insignificance of Herschel’s sunspot correlation, published in Geophysical Research Letters. I’d written a post on the subject a couple years ago that came to the same conclusion, but I never published it because I came across that link, and the author did it so much better. If you have specific problems with that paper, feel free to list them. While you are at it, you might profitably contemplate the concept of “scientific urban legends” …

FURTHER READING: If you have not done so, you might enjoy reading my previous posts on the sunspot-cycle question …

Riding A Mathemagical Solarcycle 2014-01-22

Among the papers in the Copernicus Special Issue of Pattern Recognition in Physics we find a paper from R. J. Salvador in which he says he has developed A mathematical model of the sunspot cycle for the past 1000 yr. Setting aside the difficulties of verification of sunspot numbers for…

Congenital Cyclomania Redux 2013-07-23

Well, I wasn’t going to mention this paper, but it seems to be getting some play in the blogosphere. Our friend Nicola Scafetta is back again, this time with a paper called “Solar and planetary oscillation control on climate change: hind-cast, forecast and a comparison with the CMIP5 GCMs”. He’s…

Cycles Without The Mania 2013-07-29

Are there cycles in the sun and its associated electromagnetic phenomena? Assuredly. What are the lengths of the cycles? Well, there’s the question. In the process of writing my recent post about cyclomania, I came across a very interesting paper entitled “Correlation Between the Sunspot Number, the Total Solar Irradiance,…

Sunspots and Sea Level 2014-01-21

I came across a curious graph and claim today in a peer-reviewed scientific paper. Here’s the graph relating sunspots and the change in sea level: And here is the claim about the graph: Sea level change and solar activity A stronger effect related to solar cycles is seen in Fig.…

Sunny Spots Along the Parana River 2014-01-25

In a comment on a recent post, I was pointed to a study making the following surprising claim: Here, we analyze the stream flow of one of the largest rivers in the world, the Parana ́ in southeastern South America. For the last century, we find a strong correlation with…

Usoskin Et Al. Discover A New Class of Sunspots 2014-02-22

There’s a new post up by Usoskin et al. entitled “Evidence for distinct modes of solar activity”. To their credit, they’ve archived their data, it’s available here. Figure 1 shows their reconstructed decadal averages of sunspot numbers for the last three thousand years, from their paper: Figure 1. The results…

Solar Periodicity 2014-04-10

I was pointed to a 2010 post by Dr. Roy Spencer over at his always interesting blog. In it, he says that he can show a relationship between total solar irradiance (TSI) and the HadCRUT3 global surface temperature anomalies. TSI is the strength of the sun’s energy at a specified distance…

The Tip of the Gleissberg 2014-05-17

A look at Gleissberg’s famous solar cycle reveals that it is constructed from some dubious signal analysis methods. This purported 80-year “Gleissberg cycle” in the sunspot numbers has excited much interest since Gleissberg’s original work. However, the claimed length of the cycle has varied widely.

Cosmic Rays, Sunspots, and Beryllium 2014-04-13

In investigations of the past history of cosmic rays, the deposition rates (flux rates) of the beryllium isotope 10Be are often used as a proxy for the amount of cosmic rays. This is because 10Be is produced, inter alia, by cosmic rays in the atmosphere. Being a congenitally inquisitive type…

The Effect of Gleissberg’s “Secular Smoothing” 2014-05-19

ABSTRACT: Slow Fourier Transform (SFT) periodograms reveal the strength of the cycles in the full sunspot dataset (n=314), in the sunspot cycle maxima data alone (n=28), and the sunspot cycle maxima after they have been “secularly smoothed” using the method of Gleissberg (n = 24). In all three datasets, there…

It’s The Evidence, Stupid! 2014-05-24

I hear a lot of folks give the following explanation for the vagaries of the climate, viz: It’s the sun, stupid. And in fact, when I first started looking at the climate I thought the very same thing. How could it not be the sun, I reasoned, since obviously that’s…

Sunspots and Sea Surface Temperature 2014-06-06

I thought I was done with sunspots … but as the well-known climate scientist Michael Corleone once remarked, “Just when I thought I was out … they pull me back in”. In this case Marcel Crok, the well-known Dutch climate writer, asked me if I’d seen the paper from Nir…

Maunder and Dalton Sunspot Minima 2014-06-23

In a recent interchange over at Joanne Nova’s always interesting blog, I’d said that the slow changes in the sun have little effect on temperature. Someone asked me, well, what about the cold temperatures during the Maunder and Dalton sunspot minima? And I thought … hey, what about them? I…

Splicing Clouds 2014-11-01

So once again, I have donned my Don Quijote armor and continued my quest for a ~11-year sunspot-related solar signal in some surface weather dataset. My plan for the quest has been simple. It is based on the fact that all of the phenomena commonly credited with affecting the temperature,…

Volcanoes and Sunspots 2015-02-09

I keep reading how sunspots are supposed to affect volcanoes. In the comments to my last post, Tides, Earthquakes, and Volcanoes, someone approvingly quoted a volcano researcher who had looked at eleven eruptions of a particular type and stated: …. Nine of the 11 events occurred during the solar inactive phase…

Early Sunspots and Volcanoes 2015-02-10

Well, as often happens I started out in one direction and then I got sidetractored … I wanted to respond to Michele Casati’s claim in the comments of my last post. His claim was that if we include the Maunder Minimum in the 1600’s, it’s clear that volcanoes with a…

Sunspots and Norwegian Child Mortality 2015-03-07

In January there was a study published by The Royal Society entitled “Solar activity at birth predicted infant survival and women’s fertility in historical Norway”, available here. It claimed that in Norway in the 1700s and 1800s the solar activity at birth affected a child’s survival chances. As you might imagine, this…

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Gloria Swansong
September 22, 2015 3:15 pm

From Gosselin’s site:
The sun drives the climate: Proof of the 90 and 200-year cycles in the earth’s climate history
By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt
(Translated/edited by P Gosselin)
Solar activity fluctuates very much in cycles, among them the Gleissberg Cycle over 90 years, plus or minus 30 years. In March 2015 a study by Orgutsov et al. appeared in the journal Advances in Space Research which discovered the solar Gleissberg Cycle during the growth period of the northern hemisphere over the past 450 years. The authors suspected a solar impact on temperatures on plant growth. The abstract:
Evidence for the Gleissberg solar cycle at the high-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere
Time evolution of growing season temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere was analyzed using both wavelet and Fourier approaches. A century-scale (60–140 year) cyclicity was found in the summer temperature reconstruction from the Taymir peninsula (∼72° N, ∼105° E) and other high-latitude (60–70° N) regions during the time interval AD 1576–1970. This periodicity is significant and consists of two oscillation modes, 60–70 year and 120–140 year variations. In the summer temperatures from the Yamal peninsula (∼70° N, ∼67° E) only a shorter-term (60–70 year) variation is present. A comparison of the secular variation in the Northern Hemisphere temperature proxies with the corresponding variations in sunspot numbers and the fluxes of cosmogenic 10Be in Greenland ice shows that a probable cause of this variability is the modulation of temperature by the century-scale solar cycle of Gleissberg. This is consistent with the results obtained previously for Northern Fennoscandia (67°–70° N, 19°–33° E). Thus, evidence for a connection between century-long variations in solar activity and climate was obtained for the entire boreal zone of the Northern Hemisphere.”
A year earlier Ogurtsov and a Finnish colleague had already published another paper on the Gleissberg cycles in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics. Back then they reported a solar Gleissberg Cycle in the nitrate concentrations in polar ice cores:
Evidence of the solar Gleissberg cycle in the nitrate concentration in polar ice
Two sets of nitrate (NO3−) concentration data, obtained from Central Greenland and East Antarctic (Dronning Maud Land) ice cores, were analyzed statistically. Distinct century-scale (50–150 yr) variability was revealed in both data sets during AD 1576–1990. It was found that century-type variation in Greenland and Antarctic nitrate correlates fairly significantly with the corresponding Gleissberg cycle: (a) in sunspot number over 1700–1970 AD; (b) in 10Be concentration in Central and South Greenland over 1576–1970 AD. Thus, presence of century-scale relationship between polar nitrate and solar activity was confirmed over the last 4 centuries. That proves that NO3− concentration in polar ice caps could serve as indicator of long-term solar variability.”
Another crucial solar cycle is the Suess-de Vries Cycle. In February 2015 Hans-Joachim Lüdecke together with his colleagues Weiss and Hempelmann published an overview of the climatic link of this solar cycle in the journal Climate of the Past Discussions:
Paleoclimate forcing by the solar De Vries/Suess cycle
A large number of investigations of paleoclimate have noted the influence of a ~ 200 year oscillation which has been related to the De Vries/Suess cycle of solar activity. As such studies were concerned mostly with local climate, we have used extensive northern hemispheric proxy data sets of Büntgen and of Christiansen/Ljungqvist together with a southern hemispheric tree-ring set, all with 1 year time resolution, to analyze the climate influence of the solar cycle. As there is increasing interest in temperature rise rates, as opposed to present absolute temperatures, we have analyzed temperature differences over 100 years to shed light on climate dynamics of at least the last 2500 years. Fourier- and Wavelet transforms as well as nonlinear optimization to sine functions show the dominance of the ∼ 200 year cycle. The sine wave character of the climate oscillations permits an approximate prediction of the near future climate.”
Also a paper by Tiwari und Rajesh published in May, 2014 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters is in full agreement with the above paper. In it the authors found the Suess-de Vries cycle in the precipitation distribution in Northwest China over the past 700 years:
Imprint of long-term solar signal in groundwater recharge fluctuation rates from Northwest China
Multiple spectral and statistical analyses of a 700 yearlong temporal record of groundwater recharge from the dry lands, Badain Jaran Desert (Inner Mongolia) of Northwest China reveal a stationary harmonic cycle at ~200 ± 20 years. Interestingly, the underlying periodicity in groundwater recharge fluctuations is similar to those of solar-induced climate cycle “Suess wiggles” and appears to be coherent with phases of the climate fluctuations and solar cycles. Matching periodicity of groundwater recharge rates and solar and climate cycles renders a strong impression that solar-induced climate signals may act as a critical amplifier for driving the underlying hydrographic cycle through the common coupling of long-term Sun-climate groundwater linkages.”
Readers will also find a longer list of peer-reviewed papers showing the sun’s major impact on climate here. – PG
– See more at: http://notrickszone.com/#sthash.kBO6bnMM.dpuf
Review By German Experts Show That Even The 11-Year Solar Cycle Has Undeniable Impact On Global Climate
By P Gosselin on 15. September 2015
German geologist Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt focus on a number of papers that clearly show the sun’s unquestionable impact on the earth’s climate.
The sun drives climate: 11-year cycles shown in natural climate archives
By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt
(Translated/edited by P Gosselin)
Solar activity fluctuates in sync with a series of characteristic cycles. The most well-known of these is the 11-year Schwabe cycle. Naturally, 11 years are a relatively short time with respect to climate. Due to the inertia of the climate system, large climatic impacts cannot be expected from these short cycles. Yet it is still worthwhile to take a closer look. A series of appearing papers over the past years has looked into the Schwabe cycle and searched for a possible climate coupling in historical datasets. The search was fruitful: the solar Schwabe cycle has a measureable impact, and one that should not be underestimated.
We’d first like to start in Germany. Here a team of scientists led by Dominik Güttler of ETH Zürich studied 100-year old oak trees from the Medieval Warm Period in South Germany. Using C14 dating and counting tree rings, the scientists were able to find a clearly pulsating 11-year cycle. The paper appeared in January 2013 in the Proceedings of the Twelfth International Conference on Accelerator Mass Spectrometry. The abstract:
Evidence of 11-year solar cycles in tree rings from 1010 to 1110 AD – Progress on high precision AMS measurements
Oak tree rings from Southern Germany covering the AD 1010–1110 years have been analyzed for radiocarbon with accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) at the laboratory at ETH Zurich. High-precision measurements with a precision down to 12 years radiocarbon age and a time resolution of 2 years aimed to identify modulations of the 14C concentration in tree ring samples caused by the 11 years solar cycles, a feature that so far is not visible in the IntCal calibration curve. Our results are in good agreement with the current calibration curve IntCal09. However, we observed an offset in radiocarbon age of 25–40 years towards older values. An evaluation of our sample preparation, that included variations of e.g.: chemicals, test glasses and processing steps did not explain this offset. The numerous measurements using the AMS-MICADAS system validated its suitability for high precision measurements with high repeatability.”
The next stop is Italy in the Ionian Sea. Researchers there as well found the 11-year solar cycle in the climate archives of the last 2700 years. The study was published in March 2015 in the journal Climate of the Past. The abstract:
A high-resolution δ18O record and Mediterranean climate variability
A high-resolution, well-dated foraminiferal δ18O record from a shallow-water core drilled from the Gallipoli Terrace in the Gulf of Taranto (Ionian Sea), previously measured over the last two millennia, has been extended to cover 707 BC–AD 1979. Spectral analysis of this series, performed using singular-spectrum analysis (SSA) and other classical and advanced methods, strengthens the results obtained analysing the shorter δ18O profile, detecting the same highly significant oscillations of about 600, 380, 170, 130 and 11 years, respectively explaining about 12, 7, 5, 2 and 2% of the time series total variance, plus a millennial trend (18% of the variance). The comparison with the results of multi-channel singular-spectrum analysis (MSSA) applied to a data set of 26 Northern Hemisphere (NH) temperature-proxy records shows that NH temperature anomalies share with our local record a~long-term trend and a bicentennial (170-year period) cycle. These two variability modes, previously identified as temperature-driven, are the most powerful modes in the NH temperature data set. Both the long-term trends and the bicentennial oscillations, when reconstructed locally and hemispherically, show coherent phases. Furthermore, the corresponding local and hemispheric amplitudes are comparable if changes in the precipitation–evaporation balance of the Ionian sea, presumably associated with temperature changes, are taken into account.”
In April 2014 Liang Zhao and Jing-Song Wang of the Peking National Center for Space Weather reported in the Journal of Climate on another Schwabe finding. The authors studied fluctuations in the east Asian monsoons and here too were able to see a clear influence by the 11-year solar cycle. The abstract of the paper:
Robust Response of the East Asian Monsoon Rainband to Solar Variability
This study provides evidence of the robust response of the East Asian monsoon rainband to the 11-yr solar cycle and first identify the exact time period within the summer half-year (1958–2012) with the strongest correlation between the mean latitude of the rainband (MLRB) over China and the sunspot number (SSN). This period just corresponds to the climatological-mean East Asian mei-yu season, characterized by a large-scale quasi-zonal monsoon rainband (i.e., 22 May–13 July). Both the statistically significant correlation and the temporal coincidence indicate a robust response of the mei-yu rainband to solar variability during the last five solar cycles. During the high SSN years, the mei-yu MLRB lies 1.2° farther north, and the amplitude of its interannual variations increases when compared with low SSN years. The robust response of monsoon rainband to solar forcing is related to an anomalous general atmospheric pattern with an up–down seesaw and a north–south seesaw over East Asia.”
Two months ago a team of researchers led by Zhongfang Liu published a study on the North American winter climate in the journal Environmental Research Letters. Surprisingly the scientists found a strong impact by the 11-year solar cycle, which in part has an influence on the climate of the North American winter via the Pacific circulation system. Abstract:
Solar cycle modulation of the Pacific–North American teleconnection influence on North American winter climate
We investigate the role of the 11-year solar cycle in modulating the Pacific–North American (PNA) influence on North American winter climate. The PNA appears to play an important conduit between solar forcing and surface climate. The low solar (LS) activity may induce an atmospheric circulation pattern that resembles the positive phase of the PNA, resulting in a significant warming over northwestern North America and significant dry conditions in the Pacific Northwest, Canadian Prairies and the Ohio-Tennessee-lower Mississippi River Valley. The solar-induced changes in surface climate share more than 67% and 14% of spatial variances in the PNA-induced temperature and precipitation changes for 1950–2010 and 1901–2010 periods, respectively. These distinct solar signatures in North American climate may contribute to deconvolving modern and past continental-scale climate changes and improve our ability to interpret paleoclimate records in the region.”
In the conclusion they write:
Our results have shown the influence of the 11year solar cycle on the PNA associated atmospheric circulation pattern and winter surface climate in North America.”
Also in the Bering Sea a team of scientists showed the impacts of the solar Schwabe cycle. Kota Katsuki and his colleagues found the cycle in the climate archives of 13,000 years ago. That study appeared in April 2014 in the Geophysical Research Letters:
Response of the Bering Sea to 11-year solar irradiance cycles during the Bølling-Allerød
Previous studies find decadal climate variability possibly related to solar activity, although the details regarding the feedback with the ocean environment and ecosystem remain unknown. Here, we explore the feedback system of solar irradiance change during the Bølling-Allerød period, based on laminated sediments in the northern Bering Sea. During this period, well-ventilated water was restricted to the upper intermediate layer, and oxygen-poor lower intermediate water preserved the laminated sediment. An 11-year cycle of diatom and radiolarian flux peaks was identified from the laminated interval. Increased fresh meltwater input and early sea-ice retreat in spring under the solar irradiance maximum follow the positive phase of Arctic Oscillation which impacted the primary production and volume of upper intermediate water production in the following winter. Strength of this 11 year solar irradiance effect might be further regulated by the pressure patterns of Pacific decadal oscillation and/or El Niño-Southern Oscillation variability.”
Last but not least we have a classic paper on the Schwabe cycle by a group led by Hiroko Miyahara in 2009 appearing in the Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union:
Influence of the Schwabe/Hale solar cycles on climate change during the Maunder Minimum
We have examined the variation of carbon-14 content in annual tree rings, and investigated the transitions of the characteristics of the Schwabe/Hale (11-year/22-year) solar and cosmic-ray cycles during the last 1200 years, focusing mainly on the Maunder and Spoerer minima and the early Medieval Maximum Period. It has been revealed that the mean length of the Schwabe/Hale cycles changes associated with the centennial-scale variation of solar activity level. The mean length of Schwabe cycle had been ~14 years during the Maunder Minimum, while it was ~9 years during the early Medieval Maximum Period. We have also found that climate proxy record shows cyclic variations similar to stretching/shortening Schwabe/Hale solar cycles in time, suggesting that both Schwabe and Hale solar cycles are playing important role in climate change. In this paper, we review the nature of Schwabe and Hale cycles of solar activity and cosmic-ray flux during the Maunder Minimum and their possible influence on climate change. We suggest that the Hale cycle of cosmic rays are amplified during the grand solar minima and thus the influence of cosmic rays on climate change is prominently recognizable during such periods.”
If the 11-year cycle already has an impact, then just imagine the profound impact that the other loner term cycles have, such as the 78-year cycle and the 1000-year solar cycle. These surely cement the climate into longer term phases. -PG
– See more at: http://notrickszone.com/#sthash.kBO6bnMM.dpuf

Reply to  Gloria Swansong
September 22, 2015 3:49 pm

GS, I do believe their are roughly cyclic oscillations in the nonlinear dynamic (chaotic) climate system. That must be true from first principles of mathematics. lorentz attractors and all that. But I do not think, as a trained econometrician, that most ofmthe curve fitting stuff you cite shows much of anything. For one, most climate data is autocorrelated, so the BLUE theorem fails, so simple uncorrected OLS (including sinusoidal fit ‘nonlinear’ equivalents) are statistical garbage. To oversimplify more complex reasoning arriving at a simple math based conclusion. Von Neumann’s elephant trunk dictum, further simplified.

Gloria Swansong
Reply to  ristvan
September 22, 2015 4:27 pm

I would not characterize most of the papers cited by Gosselin as curve-fitting exercises.

Reply to  Gloria Swansong
September 22, 2015 4:32 pm

Excellent post Gloria.

Gloria Swansong
Reply to  Salvatore Del Prete
September 22, 2015 4:43 pm

You can read more about them at Gosselin’s site, Notrickszone.com.

Dermot O'Logical
September 22, 2015 3:21 pm

Hi Willis
In all your hunting for the 11-year signal, have you done a frequency analysis against the _rate_ of temperature change?
Would that even be a statistically valid thing to do?

George E. Smith
September 22, 2015 3:21 pm

Well I would have thought that the seasonal variations were part of the data. So I would never have thought of removing them if I wanted to know what the climate was doing.
With enough filtering, you can remove everything that is changing, and just get a number for the climate.
But I can understand your curiosity about this Willis, since we all thought the science was settled.

September 22, 2015 3:28 pm

Willis, I certainly agree with your analysis of this paper. Having not read the other 22 either (with no intention of doing so, Jupiter really?, no comment on solar influences in general, especially as oceans ( and their vagarities) MUST BE a BIG deal given their heat capqcity and size.
But I am more cautious about solar on longer time frames. Milankovich, and all that. After all, we are only warmed by that big gravity contained nuclear fusion reactor in the sky. Well, for another 4-5 billion years or so. Good enough for government work.

Reply to  ristvan
September 22, 2015 11:13 pm

“we are only warmed by that big gravity contained nuclear fusion reactor in the sky”. Not according to Trenberth’s Earth energy budget, in which two-thirds of the warming comes from that greenhouse gas up in the atmosphere.

September 22, 2015 3:35 pm

The 23 New Papers on the impact of the sun on the climate may all be quite wrong, but what a relief to read something that is not rabbiting on endlessly about the effects of CO2 only! If you switched the Sun off, we would very soon be in trouble, if you switched CO2 off, people would not notice for quite a while.

Reply to  ntesdorf
September 22, 2015 3:55 pm

The plants would notice immediately which means would too !!!!

Reply to  Marcus
September 22, 2015 3:56 pm

The plants would notice immediately which means we would too !!!! FIXED IT !!!

richard verney
Reply to  Marcus
September 23, 2015 5:40 am

Whilst your point about plant food is a good one, do not forget that without sunlight plants would not photosynthesise – so they would not be consuming CO2 and thus the availability of CO2 would essentially be a non issue.
Even ignoring that point, there would be a delayed reaction whilst plants used the existing CO2 in the atmosphere, bringing it down from about 400ppm to about 170ppm, and then as you say, plants would well and truly notice.
The sun is the giver of life. Whilst I have yet to see any convincing data/evidence that the sun is the no.1 driver (and Willis has exposed the weakness of much of it), I would not be at all surprised if, together with changes in the patterns of cloudiness (which changes may or may not be solar induced), once the science is fully known and understood, it is revealed that the sun is the no.1 driver.
If temperatures do not increase over the next 10 years and if the sun continues to be in a quiet phase (whatever that might mean), it will be interesting to revisit this debate, and consider the arguments being advanced by those that support CO2 as the main driver, and those that support the sun. I can foresee a time when many will support the view that it is likely that the sun is the no.1 kid in town, even though we may still not understand why and how that is the case.
Get the popcorn out; the next 10 to 15 years could be very interesting – for which ever flank one is on.

Roy Spencer
September 22, 2015 3:36 pm

Thanks for taking the time to do this Willis. I talked with David when he was working on this and expressed my skepticism. But then, I’m a skeptic. 🙂

George E. Smith
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 23, 2015 12:44 pm

“””””….. Studies of many geophysical phenomena start with a parent signal G0, such as a temperature or wind speed record, containing a component of interest mixed in with a seasonal component at frequencies of 1.0 cycle/yr and its harmonics. …..”””””
Willis, I guess this is THEIR words, and not yours.
When I see ” harmonics ” I tend to think in frequency domain, so in this instance they would be meaning things like : 1 cycle per year, 2 cycles per year, 3 cycles per year , etc
Is this your understanding of what they MEANT to say.
I would have thought (maybe silly me) that periods of 1 year, 2 years, 3 years , 11 years etc would be more likely of interest; but then as I say, I can’t be sure what they mean.
Do they have it upside down in your opinion ??

George E. Smith
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 23, 2015 12:59 pm

Willis, I also just noticed a weird behavior in the fig 1 plots; perhaps you know what is going on.
So I ignored the grey background base data graph, and took the blue graph as the ‘ corrected ‘ signal.
The red graph then; the boxcar filter would seem to be some low pass filter version of the blue graph.
Now I usually consider low pass filters to at least be linear.
So when I look at the BIG wiggles in the blue graph, the red filter seems to attenuate them some amount (maybe 50% ish)
But then what about the smaller blue wiggles around 1999 to 2003 or thereabouts; post the big el nino.
Suddenly the smaller wiggles in the blue are completely vanished in the red graph.
How does that happen if the low pass box car process is a linear filter ??
Seems weird to me.

George E. Smith
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 23, 2015 1:03 pm

Well I see I goofed Willis. Their boxcar is applied to the original grey data.
But the same mystery applies. The small wiggles are completely squelched and the big ones only mildly attenuated.

George E. Smith
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 23, 2015 1:25 pm

And I hear you on the ChileYamal Christmas tree Willis. It’s as if way back when, someone core bored in the ground in South Africa, and came to the conclusion that the whole of Africa must be sitting on a giant layer of Type IIa diamond at a depth of about 18 meters.
Well the Cullinan diamond was actually sticking out of a tunnel wall at a depth of 18 meters, but it might just as easily been found in a drill core.
Tree ring core boring gives a one dimensional image of a three dimensional object, so why anyone pays attention to it, specially since it is accepted as a proxy for every physical variable known to science, is beyond me.
Dendrochronology has proved its value several times in correcting some aspects of history that were wrong at first. But how you tell anything else from tree rings, and separate the variables, when you completely scoff at things like Nyquist, just boggles my one.
In this instance Willis, ‘ you ‘ is synonymous with ‘ one ‘, and not intended to be Willis.
My all time favorite ‘ Far Side ‘ cartoon panel, is a perfect demonstration of the failure to pay attention to sampling theory.
I paid $75 for a legal copy of the panel (very nice) but can’t post it. NOBODY is ever authorized to post ANY ‘ Far Side ‘ panel. Permission, if sought ,is NEVER granted, to ANYONE.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 23, 2015 6:04 pm

Except that the alerce series is many, many trees, recognized by none other than Phil Jones as a deadly threat to CAGW.
Willis’ fantasy of a single tree is a figment of his fevered imagination.
Tree ring data can be used to reconstruct temperature as well as precipitation, if properly checked against other proxy data, as has been done repeatedly with the Patagonian data, as for instance against ice core oxygen isotope results.

Lady Gaiagaia
September 22, 2015 3:42 pm

So, then it appears that no amount of evidence will persuade you, as you ignore studies with which you can’t or won’t find fault..

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 22, 2015 3:52 pm

“Old” papers summarized from 2010 (Stanford’s Dr. Svalgaard not among the authors):
L. J. Gray,1,2 J. Beer,3 M. Geller,4 J. D. Haigh,5 M. Lockwood,6,7 K. Matthes,8,9 U. Cubasch,8
D. Fleitmann,10,11 G. Harrison,12 L. Hood,13 J. Luterbacher,14 G. A. Meehl,15 D. Shindell,16
B. van Geel,17 and W. White18
Received 5 January 2009; revised 23 April 2010; accepted 24 May 2010; published 30 October 2010.
[1] Understanding the influence of solar variability on the
Earth’s climate requires knowledge of solar variability,
solar‐terrestrial interactions, and the mechanisms determining
the response of the Earth’s climate system. We provide
a summary of our current understanding in each of these
three areas. Observations and mechanisms for the Sun’s variability
are described, including solar irradiance variations
on both decadal and centennial time scales and their relation
to galactic cosmic rays. Corresponding observations of variations
of the Earth’s climate on associated time scales are
described, including variations in ozone, temperatures,
winds, clouds, precipitation, and regional modes of variability
such as the monsoons and the North Atlantic Oscillation.
A discussion of the available solar and climate proxies is
provided. Mechanisms proposed to explain these climate
observations are described, including the effects of variations
in solar irradiance and of charged particles. Finally,
the contributions of solar variations to recent observations
of global climate change are discussed.
Citation: Gray, L. J., et al. (2010), Solar influences on climate, Rev. Geophys., 48, RG4001, doi:10.1029/2009RG000282.

Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 22, 2015 4:40 pm

A gentle chide. LG. ‘No amount of evidence’ does NOT include multiple bad papers that fail to do the most basic statistical stuff properly correcting for serial autocorrelation. Like the recent dreck out of Stanford, that made the correction using totally obsolete approximation methods in order to posit there was no statistically significant pause. Bad ‘curve fitting’ by sceptics is no better than bad climate models by warmunists. Bad is bad, period. We all need to learn such distinctions.
FWIW, I wait to dissect the new Evans series of posts forthcoming at JoNova, just like I did Monckton’s irriducible equation at CE (hint, it is mathematically much further reducible, even though Judith had trouble posting the math and had to resort to a .pdf supplement for the derivation). Truth wins in the end, enabled by knowledge of stuff like how to correct autocorrelated time series. Regards.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  ristvan
September 22, 2015 4:50 pm

The sun is a variable star. Its various variations affect climatic phenomena on earth and other planets. IMO these effects are observable, statistically significant and dwarf whatever effect an increase in CO2 from 280 to 560 ppmv might have.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 22, 2015 6:55 pm

You ignored the one I cited.
Typical male chauvinist attitude.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 22, 2015 7:48 pm

Except you provided one of two links he specifically requested before you ever posted. How is that male chauvinism?

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 22, 2015 7:54 pm

There was a link to a paper in the very comment to which he replied, asking for links.
In my prior comment I was referring to all the many studies cited previously from the same site out of which Willis picked a single one.
Why would he then ignore my additional link, while claiming not to ignore individual links? Instead of asking for another one, why not just respond to the one I already linked?
Only reason I can come up with for my valid citation being ignored is chauvinism.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 22, 2015 8:27 pm

Yes, but that is not what he asked for. At the end of his very long post, he specifically requested two links (to the SAME research information: One for Data, one for the paper itself). You then provided a single link: to the paper itself. I even pulled the DOI and checked for supplemental data containing what they used as their paper’s data set, and I didn’t see it at the DOI location (which is not unusual, which is probably why he asked for the data link in the first place.
I’m not trying to be combative, though I probably come across that way, I am just trying to understand your charge that he doesn’t want to listen to you because you are female.
If I ask a person to check the oil level in a vehicle as well as the fuel level and you come back and tell me that the fuel tank is full but you haven’t bothered to check the oil, is it chauvinist to ask that person check the oil also, as I originally asked, before I grab a set of keys and go jumping in to drive?
To me, the chauvinist thing to do is to assume you simply couldn’t perform that request (ostensibly because you are a woman) and then go and do it for you.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 22, 2015 9:08 pm

Which letter in TWO is giving you problems ?

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 22, 2015 9:10 pm

The data are available in the paper. Why do you need a separate link?
Why not just read the paper? This attitude is why so many find your obstinate, willful ignorance so anti-scientific. You simply ignore papers that you know will show your claims about solar influences false.
It also appears that you are misrepresenting the Chilean tree ring data, since you have so far not deigned to reply to my comment below on the alerce series. despite responses to other comments all around it. Both the alerce series and oxygen isotope data show a correlation with solar activity at a high confidence level.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 22, 2015 11:27 pm

I did give you the link to the entire paper, including its data, in the comment to which I refer at September 22, 2015 at 7:22 pm, below. Dunno how you missed it.
The well known alerce series includes lots of trees and solar influences have been found in the data for decades, in paper after paper. But the main reason that “consensus” advocates don’t like the data is because there is no hockey stick to be found in them.
Please show the Chilean study which you claim was based upon a single tree, a putative Southern Hemispheric Yamal. I don’t believe what you assert without evidence. Your memory is not to be trusted. Even if there were one reliant on a single tree, it would be just one among the numerous Patagonian tree studies.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 23, 2015 4:05 pm

Why should I have to provide two links?
The papers contain the data in the cases I cited.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 23, 2015 4:07 pm

No surprise that you ignored my request for the paper which you claim was based upon a single Chilean tree, rather than the whole alerce series or part of it.
See below for a comment containing the paper to which you refer. As I suspected, it was indeed about many trees, not just one, as you recalled incorrectly.

George E. Smith
Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 24, 2015 11:27 am

Lady GG, I’ll take your word for it that tree ring data can be used for other things than telling the age; BUT while that might be true for tree RINGS, I have to quibble about the relevance of a sliver of some tree rings that come from a bored core from a tree.
A tree is a three dimensional object, a tree ring is a two dimensional object; presumably rings vary with the height above the ground. A tree core is a one dimensional object, and contains even less certain information, than a complete section of the tree.
I wonder if you recall the sorry tale from many years agor, in National Geographic, about a newly graduated MS in Botany enthusiast, who wondered just how old a bristle cone pine might be. So (s)he hightailed it up into the White Mountains to look for old BC pine trees.
After finding what looked like a pretty old tree, our educated hero proceeded to cut the tree down, and cut out a slice of the tree, to take back to hiser lab to count rings.
The tree proved to be much older than anyone before ever thought they could be, and so (s)he proudly showed the results to colleagues.
They were horrified that this MS botany graduate had killed the tree to find out its age, and asked if core drills had ever come up in classes.
The embarrassed less than educated graduate, went back to the White mountains armed with a nice shiny new core drill, and started boring like a mound of termites.
S(he) never ever found another bristle cone pine tree that was within 500 years as old as the dearly departed one he had a piece of back in the lab.. As I recall, the tree was either 4,500 or 5,000 years old.
NG had a photograph of the sorry stump of what remained of the oldest known bristle cone pine tree.
As you know, the bristle cone pine trees carbon dating series was used to correct the carbon dating scale, which previously was based on the assumption that 14C production in the atmosphere was absolutely constant.
That ended up proving that some new pottery technology that was presumed to have travelled from Mesopotamia, to Spain, based on dating materials from ancient kilns, had in fact started in Spain, and gone the other way.
Personally, I much prefer to study phenomena that are only affected by one physical variable, at a time, rather than trying to decide if a tree ring width is a consequence of age of the tree, or the Temperature, or the prevailing wind direction, or the local moisture history, or the sudden change in minerals as a tresult of some geological event like a land slide, etc etc etc.
I place a lot of confidence in the presumed age of a tree from a drilled core, provided of course that the core goes precisely through the center of the tree.
I assume you are familiar with a fundamental theorem of pattern recognition, that says essentially that pattern recognition is impossible.
Well more pedantically (or nitpickerly as you choose), it says in effect that if you have a finite number of (n-1) dimensioned sections of an (n) dimensioned object, it is always possible to design a counterfeit object that is different from the subject object, but produces the exact same set of (n-1) dimensioned sections.
Well that of course is the mathematical result. It might not prevent a human from properly identifying the face on Mars, from just x, y, t sections of an x, y, z, t object. t of course being the time of the photographs which varies the lighting shadows.
A two year old child can identify a tree; ANY tree, and distinguish it from the AT&T tree; AKA a telephone pole. But a computer program can’t.

September 22, 2015 3:50 pm

Willis, i have a question: It seems like sun cycles 24-26 are portending a new grand minimum, do you think global temps will go down during sun cycle 25?

richard verney
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 23, 2015 5:47 am

Or then again, it may largely stay the same (ie., within the bounds of statistical meaning).
If I was a betting man, I would cover all 3 bases since the future is a notoriously fickle thing.

James of the West
September 22, 2015 3:57 pm

Instead of insinuating that the authors are hiding data to suit the conclusion as part of a deception it would be refreshing if Willis actually asked them why the additional data was not included. Actual research is a good substitute for inuendo IMO.

Reply to  James of the West
September 22, 2015 4:17 pm

james –
I understand your question, but can’t help but wonder:
They have data from January of 1982 through December 2013, but only use data from the period January 1990 through December 2013.
Why should one ask them why they didn’t use those 8 years? It is supposedly a “Peer reviewed paper” – shouldn’t the paper include the rationale for leaving out the 8 years? Shouldn’t one of the reviewers had questioned this? Or, is the rationale in the paper somewhere and Willis simply missed it?

James of the West
Reply to  JohnWho
September 23, 2015 9:55 pm

I will make it simple for you Willis.
Busting them for leaving out data = good.
Speculating they have something to hide without asking the authors the basic question ‘why” = could improve quality of article.
At the end of the day you may be right but the value of speculation is proportional to the amount of information used to derive it.

James of the West
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 23, 2015 12:27 pm

Who is writing and publishing an article on the paper? Whoever that is should do some research. I am commenting on your article and the research you used in your WUWT publication Willis. I am asking you how you jump to a conclusion of conspiracy without talking to the authors about their side of the data story. Note – I am asking you not just insinuating and casting aspersions on why you would fail to ask them about that.

James of the West
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 23, 2015 4:10 pm

Using that flawed logic someone like yourself reading your analysis might regard with suspicion the reasons you did not want to conduct further research of the authors reasons for the older data rejection is because it may not support the thrust and inuendo of your article.
I’m not making any such claim or assumptions – I am only suggesting that it would have been a better article with more diligent research to understand the reason for rejecting the older data and then making a more informed finding rather than in your own words “speculating” the reasons were because they “have something to hide”.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 23, 2015 6:17 pm

See Dr. Douglass’ comment below, and apologize for your scurrilous accusations. If you’re a man, which all here have reason to doubt.
BTW, having lived with a woman doesn’t mean that you’re not a chauvinist.

Pamela Gray
Reply to  James of the West
September 23, 2015 6:41 am

It is the responsibility of researchers to refute their hypothesis, not support it.

September 22, 2015 4:00 pm

Willis , I do not even have to read what you wrote because your mind has been already made up.
IF the global temperatures start to trend down in response to this prolonged solar minimum before this decade is out , you will still say no solar/climate connection.
Again Willis it is not the 11 year solar cycle one needs to look at but prolonged periods of minimum solar activity when certain criteria are met for a sufficient duration of time which I have outlined in detail.
If my criteria is met that is when the question as to if a solar/climate connection exist wiLl be answered. Until then Willis you are guessing and your guess is no better or worsae then any one else that has an opinion that differs from yours, although you go out of your way consistently to prove your guess work is correct and us who support the solar/climate connection are wrong and yet you have no data to back up what you say,and the data you do present is a convoluted mess.
This in contrast to my data which is clear and concise and that is what IN CONTRAST TO MINE WHICH IS CLEAR AND CONCISE

Pamela Gray
Reply to  Salvatore Del Prete
September 23, 2015 6:47 am

No it is not. It is wriggle matching. That the temperature may go down, or does go down, under your scenario, does not answer the question of right or wrong. You lack a defensible and plausible, mathematically sound and physically sound mechanism.

Jay Hope
Reply to  Salvatore Del Prete
September 23, 2015 3:26 pm

I agree, Salvatore, it’s not worth anyone’s precious time reading his stuff. He’s as blinkered as the warmists and just as unscientific……
One wonders why?

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Salvatore Del Prete
September 23, 2015 5:56 pm

I’m confused. How many “global temperatures” are there? There’s only one globe we’re concerned with, and there is no physically meaningful temperature for it. So what are these other globes you’re referring to?

September 22, 2015 4:04 pm

It went out before I had a chance to finish.
LAST SENTENCE – This in contrast to my data which is clear and concise which makes it hard to attack because it is either correct or wrong.

September 22, 2015 4:10 pm

I am just sending part two and as one can see this is to the point and has specifics which equate to a general climatic outcome.
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.
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. which takes time because not only do the sunspots have to dissipate but also the coronal holes. In other words a long period of very low sunspots will be need to accomplish this. It will be a gradual wind down.
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.
The above accounts for abrupt climatic changes within a glacial or inter- glacial period. Dr. Curry this is similar to your stadium theory.
[Long, interesting summary. Thank you. .mod]

Mario Lento
Reply to  Salvatore Del Prete
September 22, 2015 4:18 pm

I like how you put it out there. You’ve stuck your neck out for quite some time. I am anxious to see the thought experiment progress… Of course I would love for the climate to cool, to take the wind out of the social science attack on carbon based energy!

Reply to  Mario Lento
September 22, 2015 4:33 pm

Thanks . The moderator a while back for this web-site also gave me a nice comment as you can see at the end of my previous post which I appreciated.

Mario Lento
Reply to  Mario Lento
September 22, 2015 4:43 pm

(Sorry, Mario. Different one. ~mod.)
You’re welcome by the way. I know you take a lot of flack… but I find your posts quite intersting.

Reply to  Salvatore Del Prete
September 22, 2015 4:25 pm

“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.”
.15% decrease over how long a period of time?
During a Solar Eclipse, people in the area directly shaded by the Moon notice a cooling but it becomes overwhelmed quickly once they are in the direct sunlight.
It would seem that a minor change in the sun would need to last long enough to have a discernible effect on Earth.
Just thinking out loud.

Matt G
Reply to  JohnWho
September 22, 2015 5:31 pm

A 0.15% decrease from solar irradiance alone actually results in 0.38 k decrease, but would have to cover a length of period at least for the duration of one whole cycle. (9-14 years) Hence, no sun spots for at least 9-14 years would be required for a temperature change like this to be felt. During a normal sun cycle the period of no/very low sun spots is roughly 4 times shorter, so there is only about 0.1 k difference measured.

George E. Smith
Reply to  JohnWho
September 22, 2015 7:39 pm

Is it the new texting craze that gets people to leave out the zero in front of a decimal point, and also leave out spaces so that one can’t determine if (.) in front of 15% is the end of sentence period from the previous sentence, so can’t determine if it is a 15% change or a 0.15% change.
Also can’t tell if the (.) is doing double duty as the period at the end of the sentence, and the decimal point from .15%

David A
Reply to  JohnWho
September 23, 2015 3:36 am

Matt says.. “A 0.15% decrease from solar irradiance alone actually results in 0.38 k decrease, but would have to cover a length of period at least for the duration of one whole cycle.”
How would one calculate that? Even ignoring all the other affects Salvatore mentions as possible, TSI at the surface alone we would have to know far more then we currently do. As mentioned by Salvatore , the duration of the affect is key.
“Only two things can affect the energy content of a system in a radiative balance, either a change in the input, or a change in the residence time of some aspect of the energy within the system.”
The greater the increase in residence time of the energy, the greater the potential energy accumulation!!
What is the cumulative daily energy difference at the ocean surface between, oh say pick any recent active solar cycle, and the current solar cycle. Divide that total difference into disparate W/L. Determine the earth (land-ocean-atmosphere) residence time of each disparate W/L. Multiply each disparate W/L daily energy by the particular residence time. Some you will multiply by one, for the residence time may be one day only or less, and primarily in the atmosphere. Some daily differences you may multiply by 3000 or more, as the residence time may be that long, or much longer. Now tell us the total energy gain over that one solar cycle. Now do the same over three active cycles vs. say three minimum cycles. What is the total difference in the earths energy?
It is similar to determining the oceans geo thermal heat total. The output is infinitesimal to solar energy, but to know how much geothermal heat is currently in the oceans, we need to know the mean residence time of the total geothermal output, which could be many hundreds of days.

David A
Reply to  JohnWho
September 23, 2015 3:57 am

In this sense (residence time of energy input) I maintain not all watts are equal. The residence time depends on both the materials encountered, and the WL of the watt under consideration. In a recent post Willis asserted that the LWIR re-striking the surface, via back radiation, was equal to the SW striking the surface,sans the clouds presence. Thus in this post just above, ignoring residence time, he limits the affect to a very small number. I have, on the basis of residence time, questioned the veracity of Willis’s proposition that, if the watt per square meter down welling LWIR due to clouds, is equal to the same watt per square meter down welling SW , sans clouds, then they make the same contribution to earth’s energy budget.
I postulate that the SW radiation will enter the earths oceans to depth, having far longer residence time. I postulate that the same increase in LWIR will expend much if its energy in accelerating the water cycle, be lost in evaporation, and released at altitude, to be liberated by GHG molecules, the more numerous, the more likely to be quickly liberated from our “system” I assert that (as an example) 10 straight days of SW pumping into the tropical ocean, will accumulate for the entire 10 days, losing little to space; whereas 10 days of LWIR from clouds, will lose far more total energy to space. I postulate that the residence time of the WL of radiation, as well as the materials encountered, are the reason the residence time and total accumulated energy within the system varies, despite an equal wattage flow per square meter.
As the residence time of some of this energy is multiple decades, then we would need to compare say three very weak cycles, verses three very strong cycles, to understand the total energy gained in the three strong solar cycles. But right now we simply do not know the residence time of disparate solar spectrum entering the SW selective surface of our GHL (Green house Liquid) oceans.

David A
Reply to  JohnWho
September 23, 2015 4:52 am

One more way in which not all watts are equal…
“Heat is a curious thing. In general it is described as an average of the kinetic energy of a given mass, such as one square meter. But this average, does not define the energy intensity of individual molecules or photons which composed said mass. A thought experiment if you will. Take a very large pot filled with water, say 100 square feet in area base, and ten feet deep, so 1000 square feet. and super insolated with a concave bottom, thinner in the center.
Now apply two different heat sources to this pot, both of which are say 100 watts per 1 square feet. The first source, example A, is a 100 square foot heating element, 10, 000 watts total, with the conducted heat perfectly distributed throughout. From this source, no matter how perfect the insolation of the pot of water, it can only get to the T of the heating element, at which point the net flow between the element and the pot will be equal.
Now consider a very different 100 watts per square foot AVERAGE source; example B. Apply a very small, say 1/4 inch square super heated but still 10,000 watts total, and so still 100 watts per square foot of the pot base. Given time, this greater energy intensity source of equal watts per square foot input to example A, can yet heat the pot of water to far higher Temperature. Under theoretical perfect insolation, the entire pot can reach the T of the source.
Comparing a flux in GHG LWIR to the energy intense SW flux striking a SW selective surface like the oceans, is like the example A verses B above. The watts per square meter flux is almost meaningless compared to the greater energy intensity of the SW flux and the thousands of times greater residence time of said SW flux striking the SW selective surface of the oceans, verses the very short residence time change in atmospheric energy due to increased GHG which also are far less energy intensive then the SW radiation penetrating the oceans. (Some of Konrad’s experiments may be useful here)
Due to the very long residence time of SW ocean insolation, and to the relatively higher energy intensity of SW insolation verses LWIR, then a 100 year long flux in SW insolation, can accumulate for every one of those 100 years, whereas the direct affects of a change in GHG LWIR, is balanced tomorrow. Indeed, not all watts are equal.

Matt G
Reply to  JohnWho
September 23, 2015 12:43 pm

“Please tell me we’re not back on the fabulous planet with “all other things being equal” … this is the mistake the alarmists make over and over. Things in climate are NEVER equal. The climate REACTS to changes in forcing by increasing or decreasing the reflected energy.
Next, you need to remember that just as not all of the TSI makes it to the surface, not all of the variation in the TSI makes it to the surface. Some 30% of the 0.05% is lost to albedo, leaving only 0.035% of actual decrease. Another ~20% is absorbed by the atmosphere where it has only half the effect, since half of it is radiated upwards away from the surface. That’s another 0.005%, so in all we’re down to a surface decrease of 0.03% … three hundredths of one percent.”
Solar irradiance (TSI), is a measure of the solar radiative power per unit area normal to the rays, incident on the Earth’s upper atmosphere. Therefore it is irrelevant what happens below the upper atmosphere in this context.
Based on this, the general science consensus supports that the sun warms the planet by 255 k. Therefore 0.15% result in a proportion of 0.38 k, but this just based on the average temperature of the planet now. This does vary with each solar cycle being different. It does of course matter how this TSI penetrates the surface of the planet, but that is different all together and doesn’t change the solar irradiance observed in the upper atmosphere above the clouds. We don’t know yet how little changes in this TSI affects the atmosphere and the Earth’s climate. (all of it is guess work) We don’t know yet if varying different wavelengths from solar energy are more important during historical periods. This certainly changes how that extra 1 or 2 W/m2 warm the oceans or could warm more with no or any little change.
Global cloud levels having been changing over recent decades and there is reasonable evidence suggesting changes in UV and/or ozone affect there formation. How do we know how other wavelengths changing with solar energy behave with clouds also? This is an area with so many questions, but with very few answers.
“Next, the total swing in TSI from the ~2008 trough to the ~2013 peak over the most recent solar cycle is only ~ 0.75 W/m2 out of 1360 W/m2. This is a TSI change of only about 0.05%, so I’m not sure where you got your “.15% decrease”
Solar peaks in the past have shown up to 2 W/m2 difference between maximum and minimum. The solar peak from maximum to minimum during the late 1600’s was probably around 0-0.1 W/m2. This period was cold not because the difference between maximum and minimum, but because of the difference over a long period compared to solar cycles with much larger maximum’s compared. The difference in a solar cycle mean almost nothing because what really matters is how long the period is, when it is up to 2 W/m2 or around 0.1 W/m2.
ENSO is totally solar driven and it is hard denying this, when illustrated below only 3 El Nino’s out of 21 have occurred during maximum periods of the sun cycle. Strong El Nino’s have only occurred towards around the minimum once the maximum period is out of the way. A few El Nino’s start just in the top 50% period of sun spots, but complete when the sun spots are reduced below 50%. The El Nino is a way of removing excess energy from the upper ocean generated during the maximum phase of the sun spot cycle. Just randomizing El Nino’s you would expect around 10 complete during maximum phases of the sun.

Matt G
Reply to  JohnWho
September 23, 2015 2:39 pm

David A September 23, 2015 at 3:36 am
That’s just calculated from general science consensus that the sun warms the planet by 255k based on the planets temperature now. This value changes with each different solar cycle, but solar irradiance % refers to the upper atmosphere above the clouds and therefore the internal workings of the planet are excluded from this.
To work out how changes in TSI contributes on the surface is different matter altogether and complicated to say the least if even possible at the moment. Added to your suggestions you need to know how these vary with albedo (clouds, snow and sea ice), oceans and humidity in the atmosphere. Nobody knows with any confidence how these are even affected by TSI, so without that it is impossible to say. The models are useless because they can’t model albedo, oceans and any TSI changes influence on internal mechanisms. I currently don’t know what changes in TSI contribute to the surface per cycle and not seen a paper that does (only guesses). Even the paper below don’t take these into account and include assumptions with a biased point of view towards global warming.
“The “solar cycle signal” obtained by regressing the global mean temperature onto the TSI time series yields the regression coefficient of κ = 0.18 ± 0.10°K per Wm−2 of solar constant variation, suggesting a mean global warming of ∼0.16°K from solar min to solar max. Next we will use a spatial filter to obtain a cleaner solar-cycle signal.”

David A
Reply to  JohnWho
September 24, 2015 3:39 pm

“To work out how changes in TSI contributes on the surface is different matter altogether and complicated to say the least if even possible at the moment.”
Indeed. My thoughts just encompass the direct surface affect, sans cloud cover changes, jet stream changes, etc, and we do not know the answer to those questions I posed above, let alone the current OHC balance relative to long term solar input. From what you say we have some idea of mid term solar responses affecting OHC affecting ENSO.
We do not even know the OHC of all below surface geothermal flux, primarily because we do not know the residence time of the input.

Matt G
September 22, 2015 4:34 pm

What you won’t find is a strong El Nino occurring during the maximum activity of the cycle. A strong El Nino always occurs towards the end of the sun cycle or slight overlap with the next one starting.
Why is this?
Well I am probably the first person to ever notice this? It’s down to the solar energy building during the maximum part of the cycle and when it winds down the tap is lowered, causing a favored change in persistent very weak trade winds across the tropics. The result is strong release of energy from the upper ocean to the atmosphere. How strong they are depends on the amount of low level clouds especially around the tropical oceans during the solar cycle and how warm the upper oceans are.
Therefore a quieter sun like during the LIA would favor more El Nino’s because the conditions are ideal in changing the trade winds across the tropical oceans. This matches proxies from Little Ice Age and other cooler periods where numerous El NIno’s where detected and I have described roughly how the mechanism fits in place. Lowered temporary solar energy, UV and/or ozone probably favor the conditions in the tropical atmosphere supporting persistent weaker trade winds that result in stronger El Nino’s.
My prediction is that the next strong El Nino will not occur if there is another one this soon, until towards the end of the next solar cycle. A quieter sun cycle in future could actually increase the rate of weak/medium El Nino’s in between each end of solar cycle strong event.

Reply to  Matt G
September 22, 2015 6:13 pm

72/73 and 82/83 occurred just after a sunspot peak. 97 occurred just after a minimum in 96. So I think your statement is not correct or so broad brush that all solutions fit.

Matt G
Reply to  pbweather
September 23, 2015 5:21 am

Not a broad brush, both El Nino’s you mention were after a 50% decline in sun spots and moving towards the minimum. It is correct the 1997/98 occurred after the minimum during the start of the next cycle. The current El Nino now is also after a 50% decline in sun spots moving towards the next minimum.

Matt G
Reply to  pbweather
September 23, 2015 5:23 am


September 22, 2015 4:53 pm

One makes their mind up on the facts as they are first presented. Only when good solid contradictory facts are later presented should you consider the alternative. SDP has had his mind made up a long time ago and chooses not to read contrary evidence. Therefore, never has (or is able) to change his mind.
As usual I enjoyed Willis and his take on this.

September 22, 2015 5:10 pm

I’ve not seen “yclept” for quite a long time. Glad it’s making a comeback.

Brett Keane
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 23, 2015 3:50 am

And becoming an iconoclast in your old age. Who woulda thunk it?

michael hart
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 23, 2015 7:25 am

I’ve learnt a new one today. Just glad I took the trouble to look it up before commenting.

Richard T
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 23, 2015 1:23 pm

Was it in Moby Dick?

Peter Sable
Reply to  RoHa
September 23, 2015 10:24 am


That’s going my list of useful Scrabble words – Only needs one vowel, which can be handy.

September 22, 2015 5:29 pm

I have a question for those that know how the energy from the Sun is accounted for that I would like answered. Would greatly appreciate an answer to these three questions.
1. When you look at the way the energy from the sun hits the earth only one spot is perpendicular to the sun and would receive the full/maximum amount. The remainder of the earth is at an angle. Is this decrease in energy because of this angle properly accounted for in all of the calculations and models.
2. When the energy travels through the atmosphere, it will be traveling through the (about) 60 miles of atmosphere to reach the earth, is this and the fact that it will be traveling through an increasing amount of atmosphere for every beam that is not exactly perpendicular. Thus every where else, before it his the earth it will be traveling through from 60+ miles to well over 2,000 (??) miles of atmosphere before it hits the earth.
3. Additionally, there is a tangential donut around the earth defined by donut shaped area 60 miles (plus?) thick and with a 7920 mile donut hole in the center (the earths diameter less the atmosphere) encompassing that area of sunlight that would never hit the earth BUT would hit the atmosphere surrounding the earth and absorbing energy from the Sun. Is this area accounted for?
In my mind all of these are affected by the Sun or have an effect on how much the various gasses in the atmosphere adsorb, reflect, and radiate energy. However, the math is way beyond my capabilities. Thank you for your effort.

Reply to  usurbrain
September 22, 2015 5:58 pm

The math is detailed, but not really “complex” .. You can understand, and we are working those equations for you (for all the readers here) relevant to the polar latitudes through the year.
The real key is in deciding what approximations and assumptions are valid, needed and appropriate to each source paper; and what approximations and assumptions lead you astray into gibberish and “flat plate earth” averages.

Reply to  RACookPE1978
September 24, 2015 12:39 pm

“flat plate earth” averages. That is the term I was looking for and could not remember. As a PE (I assume that is what the PE1978 means) even you are not an EE, you learned that the average of an AC sine wave is ZERO. The actual measure of work, energy is represented by the RMS value of the sine wave. That is what creates many questions in my mind. The Earth radiates energy on the dark side, and absorbs energy on the side the Sun is shining on. On any square inch, the effect would be represented, roughly by a sine wave shape which, may have different heights. Additionally the three questions I asked above would factor into the amount of energy absorbed, but not, in my mind, the energy radiated outward, as empty space is always going to be perpendicular to every square inch on the dark side. That has to be factored in and I don’t see how you make a Flat Plate and average it.
Then there is the effect of the third item I listed above. A significant (at least measurable and non-trivial) portion of the dark side is going to be shielded by a layer of the atmosphere that is significantly different than the area not in the “Gray Line” zone, that portion that because of the fact that the Sun is shining through it is warmer, and the ionosphere, (the thermosphere and parts of the mesosphere and exosphere), mesosphere, troposphere, and stratosphere and even the magnetosphere [the upper regions which are NOT spheroid in shape and are affected by the Suns AND Earth’s magnetic field and the Solar Wind) up there and will behave differently.
Secondly, this area bends the rays and wraps around the dark side, this is confirmed by the differences in observed and actual (calculated) sunrise. Thus effect is extended beyond the calculated affected area (unless this is taken into effect.
The point I think I am trying to make is that it is not a blue ball with light shining on one side and the other half (50.000000000000%) radiating energy into space. Seems to me it is closer to 50.5% vs 49.5% and that seems reasonable with only about 150 miles on the dark side being affected. I base the estimate of 150 miles on the fact that the “Gray Line” propagation area is about 10 degrees wide at the equator. Assuming that radiation is only affected by about 1/5 that ”area” would be 2 degrees or about 140 miles and that is about ½ a percent – rather conservative. Surely the electromagnetic energy rays of IR are affected in the same way as radio waves are? I have had good reliable, predictable communications with my ham radio using gray line propagation forecasts.
I have a second degree in Applied Math (Got my degree in the early 70’s and predicted then that Computers would take over electronics- Had to get a math degree to get into the Computer Science courses) Even with all of my Engineering math courses and the additional ones required for the BS in math I have no idea where to start on a problem like this. How do the Climate Scientists, most of which have just a BA, even make an intelligent guess at this? Methinks they are over simplifying the problem and ignoring known effects.

michael hart
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 23, 2015 7:37 am

…I’d be surprised if it weren’t included.

Less than a year ago, I was surprised to learn at Judith Curry’s blog that climate models didn’t bother adjusting for the fact that the latent heat of vaporization of water varies by many percent between the temperature at the poles and the temperature at the equator.
Surprised, but no longer shocked.

bit chilly
Reply to  usurbrain
September 23, 2015 3:42 pm

the bigger problem you have not mentioned is the state of the surface of the oceans when the light from the sun is hitting them. the reflective properties are continually changing,mainly due to wind, but also tide state and size.

September 22, 2015 6:04 pm

We still do not understand why the planet insists on repeated Ice Ages that last a long, long, long time punctuated by very brief warm Interglacials which all suddenly descend into super cold Ice Ages again. This stubborn cycle dominates this planet for the last 3 million years and it is getting worse, not better.
Several things cause this but the only thing that can suddenly, regularly heat up the planet for brief Interglacials is the sun. You see, it is ‘hot’ and sometimes is a lot hotter, and it can switch gears very suddenly or turn off suddenly. No other system can do this with the abruptness of the Local Star that keeps our planet from being a frozen ball of waste wandering about the Milky Way.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  emsnews
September 22, 2015 8:16 pm

“the only thing that can suddenly, regularly heat up the planet for brief Interglacials is the sun”
I think you are mixing solar changes with insolation changes. It is the insolation changes that have the greatest effect on climate. That’s why while watching the Boston – Tampa Bay baseball game this evening, the fans in Boston had jackets on and I was on my lanai in shorts and a t-shirt. Same Sun, different insolation.

Reply to  emsnews
September 23, 2015 12:17 pm

Changes in the Earth’s rotation and orbit are more likely causes than variations in the sun itself.

Neil Jordan
September 22, 2015 6:10 pm

Willis, you gotta lighten up a bit:
“One Chilean tree! That’s how desperate some folks are to have their ideas validated … and how desperate the scientific journals are for things to publish.”
Think of the Global Symmetry that poor tree represents, one southern hemisphere tree in Chile and one northern hemisphere tree in Yamal.
\sarc maybe.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Neil Jordan
September 22, 2015 7:22 pm

I don’t know which paper Willis has in mind, but the alerce series of Chilean and Argentine tree rings is well known. It’s based not upon a single tree but many standing “alerces” or their stumps. (Alerce, cognate with “larch”, is the local Spanish word for genus Fitzroya, named for the captain of HMS Beagle.) The series is notorious in “climate science” for showing that the Medieval Warm Period and previous past intervals of the Holocene were hotter than the Modern WP in the Southern Hemisphere, not just part of the NH. It’s mentioned in the Climategate emails:
Here’s a 2008 paper which found a solar signal in both the alerce tree-ring series and oxygen isotopes in Antarctic and Peruvian ice cores:
The Medieval and Modern Maximum solar activity imprints in tree ring data from Chile and stable isotope records from Antarctica and Peru
This work presents a study of the relations between solar and climate variations during the last millennia by spectral and multi-resolution analysis for oxygen-18 and tree ring width time series. The spectral and wavelet analysis of tree ring data shows that main solar cycle periodicities are present in our time series at the 0.95 confidence level. This result suggests the possibility of a solar modulation of climate variations detected in accumulated ice oxygen-18. Results of spectral and wavelet analysis have shown that both solar and climate factors are also recorded in the oxygen-18 data

Gloria Swansong
Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 22, 2015 10:41 pm

You are correct. Willis only imagines that the study was of a single Chilean tree. In fact it was of many.
Willis, you shouldn’t trust your memory. Somehow you seem to have conflated the South American studies with Yamal, half a world away.
June 25, 2014 at 11:05 am
Willis, here are authors & abstract from another of the studies (or one like it) which you refused to consider in comments to one of your 11-year posts:
Nivaor Rodolfo Rigozo (1,2), Alan Prestes(2),
Daniel Jean Roger Nordemann(2), Ezequiel Echer(2),
Luís Eduardo Antunes Vieira(2) and
Heloisa Helena de Faria(2)
1Faculdade de Tecnologia Thereza Porto Marques – FAETEC,
CEP 12308-320, Jacareí, Brazil
Fone: 55 12 39524231
2Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais – INPE,
CP 515, 12201-970 São José dos Campos, Brazil.
Fone: 55 12 39456840 – Fax 55 12 39456810
E-MAIL: rodolfo@dge.inpe.br, prestes@dge.inpe.br, nordeman@dge.inpe.br, eecher@dge.inpe.br,
eduardo@dge.inpe.br, hfarai@dge.inpe.br
Tree ring index chronologies, representing standardized annual growth rates for Fitzroya cupressoides at
Cordillera de la Costa de Osorno in Chile, have been employed for the search of solar periodicities during the last 400
years. Spectral analysis of tree ring series by multitaper method has determined significant periodicities at about 21 and
10.7 years. These values are close to two known present basic solar activity periods at 22 and 11 years (Hale and
Schwabe cycles). Other periodic component appears at 5 years, which may also be related to solar variations. The short
periods found probably may be due the environmental and climatic influences. The application of band pass filter
techniques shows that the 11 year cycle present in tree ring series correlates with the sunspot numbers with a time lag
of about two years, since AD 1700, the extent of accurate sunspot record interval.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 23, 2015 3:45 pm

I was sure that Willis’ claim about a single tree had to be wrong, and now we know that it was. The paper to which he refers in his post covered tree ring series, not a lone alerce.
The most charitable explanation for Willis’ error is failing memory and confusing the Chilean paper with Yamal. But why give him the benefit of the doubt, when he ascribed nefarious motives to Douglas’ allegedly “hiding” data, without bothering to contact him?
We’ll see if he’s man enough to correct his mistake and retract the screed about a single Chilean tree.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 23, 2015 6:09 pm

Perhaps it was like Briffa’s Yamal, where multuple cores were studied, but only one showed a hockey stick, and was therefore made dominant in the conclusion.

Paul Westhaver
September 22, 2015 6:49 pm

Its the sun stupid.
I remain open minded that maybe just maybe the sun’s nuanced behavior might have some measurable impact on earth.
Monarch Butterflies have multi generational routes to Mexico &back.
Why? Some observed things are, as of yet, not understood.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
September 22, 2015 8:07 pm

Mechanisms for solar influence on the Earth’s climate
Joanna D. Haigh
Imperial College London
E-mail: j.haigh@imperial.ac.uk
Solar radiation is the fundamental energy source for the atmosphere and the global
average equilibrium temperature of the Earth is determined by a balance between
the energy acquired by the solar radiation absorbed and the energy lost to space by
the emission of heat radiation. The interaction of this radiation with the climate
system is complex but it is clear that any change in incoming solar irradiance has
the potential to influence climate. There is increasing evidence that changing solar
activity, on a wide range of time scales, influences the Earth’s climate although details
of the mechanisms involved remain uncertain. This article provides a brief review of
the observational evidence and an outline of the mechanisms whereby rather small
changes in solar radiation may induce detectable signals in the lower atmosphere.1
Grantham Institute for Climate Change
Briefing paper No 5
February 2011
Solar influences on Climate

Paul Westhaver
Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 22, 2015 8:39 pm

I see the terrestrial thermal system as complex transfer function operated on by a gain supplied by the sun and the lack of sun at night.
The output is therefore related to gain, as well as the function. Roy Spencer has taken the position that the transfer function is natural and the output is unaffected by small variations in gain. I speculate that the transfer function is not well understood and therefore the effect of variations of gain cannot be, as of yet, predicted.
I tend to keep an eye to the seemingly obvious.

September 22, 2015 7:51 pm

Willis, am I to understand you paid 37 dollars for a paper you could have found for free own Douglass’ web page?
That’s unfortunate.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Andrew_FL
September 22, 2015 7:58 pm

He also could have sent Douglas an email asking about the allegedly “hidden” data. Or called him up.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 22, 2015 9:22 pm

I didn’t write an article accusing him of “hiding” data. Your not having bothered to contact makes you not only lazy but scurrilous.

Pamela Gray
Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 23, 2015 7:04 am

Willis you quack me up, “…noooo…”. Your brand of misogyny is like that of the rascal offspring could Monty Python and Saturday Night Live have a baby. Perfect. And while I don’t have all the necessary equipment, I will still proudly stand with you and your ex-fiancee as a typical male chauvinist.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 24, 2015 6:37 pm

Probably because I’m not the most careful reader. Sorry.

Paul Westhaver
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 22, 2015 8:55 pm

All that glisters is not gold WE.
I would look to your fusiform gyrus on this one. It has let you down.
“What do monarch butterflies have to do with the sunspot cycle and whether it affects the climate?”
I don’t know, and that is the point, sort of. The point was obvious I thought. We observe a behavior and as scientists wonder why such behavior is as it is observed. Like the monarch’s multi-generational migration. Just because we don’t know why the monarch does this, does not change the observed fact that it does migrate. The explanation is elusive.
The most influential object in the universe to earth is not the earth, it is the sun, by orders of magnitude. To me that is obvious. It is an observation. Why or by what mechanism the sun alters the earths behavior, I don’t know. I doubt it is the Iditarod, ocean drilling of oil, Jupiter…people. I look to the big fat dynamic nuclear bomb 93,000,000 miles away.
The sun has an exceedingly high likelihood to be the cause of earthly climate variations. Simply based on size.
As for the Meme “It is the Sun Stupid”… it says quite a bit.
To recalcitrantly ignore the sun as a variation source or trigger, is anti-curious, anti science and a bad bet.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
September 22, 2015 9:20 pm

It may well be that monarchs navigate by the sun (!) and take their life cycle cues from seasonal changes in sunlight. Another, not mutually exclusive hypothesis is that generations leave as yet unidentified chemical clues or cues on trees.

Stephen Wilde
September 22, 2015 8:35 pm

Willis and Leif should get married 🙂
That said, there is one ‘paper’ which I regard as the ‘best’ thus far but it doesn’t meet Willis’s criteria:

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 22, 2015 9:48 pm

Studies of the effect of UV flux variation on climate via ozone are numerous. Many are in .pdf format, but should be easy for you to find, if you were willing to look and not afraid of what you’d find.
They go back decades:
Effects of Solar UV Variability on the Stratosphere
Lon L. Hood
Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
Previously thought to produce only relatively minor changes in ozone
concentration, radiative heating, and zonal circulation in the upper stratosphere,
solar ultraviolet (UV) variations at wavelengths near 200 nm are increasingly
recognized as a significant source of decadal variability throughout the stratosphere.
On the time scale of the 27-day solar rotation period, UV variations produce a
stratospheric ozone response at low latitudes that agrees approximately with current
photochemical model predictions. In addition, statistical studies suggest an
unmodeled dynamical component of the 27-day response that extends to the low
and middle stratosphere. On the time scale of the 11-year solar cycle, the ozone
response derived from available data is characterized by a strong maximum in the
upper stratosphere, a negligible response in the middle stratosphere, and a second
strong maximum in the tropical lower stratosphere. The 11-year temperature
response derived from NCEP/CPC data is characterized by a similar altitude
dependence. However, in the middle and upper stratosphere, disagreements exist
between analyses of alternate temperature data sets and further work is needed to
establish more accurately the 11-year temperature response. In the lower
stratosphere, in contrast to most model predictions, relatively large-amplitude,
apparent solar cycle variations of geopotential height, ozone, and temperature are
observed primarily at tropical and subtropical latitudes. As shown by the original
work of Labitzke and van Loon [1988], additional large responses can be detected
in the polar winter lower stratosphere if the data are separated according to the
phase of the equatorial quasi-biennial wind oscillation. A possible explanation for
the unexpectedly large lower stratospheric responses indicated by observational
studies is that solar UV forcing in the upper stratosphere may influence the selection
of preferred internal circulation modes in the winter stratosphere.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 22, 2015 10:20 pm

I left it for Steven to provide that. The linked study cites the authors. Why does everyone else have to do your research for you?
It took me seconds to find this one from 2014 just by searching on “2% variation ozone levels climate”:
Nature Geoscience | Letter
Tropospheric ozone variations governed by changes in stratospheric circulation
Jessica L. Neu, Thomas Flury, Gloria L. Manney, Michelle L. Santee, Nathaniel J. Livesey & John Worden
The downward transport of stratospheric ozone is an important natural source of tropospheric ozone, particularly in the upper troposphere, where changes in ozone have their largest radiative effect1. Stratospheric circulation is projected to intensify over the coming century, which could lead to an increase in the flux of ozone from the stratosphere to the troposphere2, 3, 4. However, large uncertainties in the stratospheric contribution to trends and variability in tropospheric ozone levels5, 6, 7 make it difficult to reliably project future changes in tropospheric ozone8. Here, we use satellite measurements of stratospheric water vapour and tropospheric ozone levels collected between 2005 and 2010 to assess the effect of changes in stratospheric circulation, driven by El Niño/Southern Oscillation and the stratospheric Quasi-Biennial Oscillation, on tropospheric ozone levels. We find that interannual variations in the strength of the stratospheric circulation of around 40%—comparable to the mean change in stratospheric circulation projected this century2—lead to changes in tropospheric ozone levels in the northern mid-latitudes of around 2%, approximately half of the interannual variability. Assuming that the observed response of tropospheric ozone levels to interannual variations in circulation is a good predictor of its equilibrium response, we suggest that the projected intensification of the stratospheric circulation over the coming century could lead to small but important increases in tropospheric ozone levels.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 22, 2015 10:54 pm

Here are observations of O3 changes in Nepal:
Tropospheric ozone variations at the Nepal Climate
Observatory-Pyramid (Himalayas, 5079ma.s.l.) and influence of
deep stratospheric intrusion events
The link is to the whole paper and it shows much greater than 2% swings, ie from 46 to 65 ppbv (+/- 9) in Table 2.
Why is it so hard for you to find data on your own?

richard verney
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 23, 2015 6:11 am

Even if TSI remains fairly stable, subtle changes in the composition of the wavelength of EMR from the sun may have an impact since the oceans absorb energy at different depths depending upon wavelength.
In a 3D world, a watt is not necessarily a watt. I would suggest that not all watts here on planet earth are born equal. The place where a watt resides (or buried) may yet prove to be rather material since the time for that energy to be picked up (resurface whatever) could well depend where it is in the system.
A 3D world is very different to the 2D world so much beloved by climate scientists.

Jay Hope
Reply to  Stephen Wilde
September 23, 2015 3:28 pm

Yeah, he and Kelvin make a pretty pair. 🙂

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Stephen Wilde
September 23, 2015 6:01 pm

Better yet, he should wed Leif’s echo chamber, Pamela!

Pamela Gray
Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 24, 2015 7:22 am

What a silly comment. Go back to your playpen. You are like a young undisciplined child constantly interrupting adult talk.

Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 25, 2015 11:09 am

Careful, Pamela. You’ll be accused of being a Female Chauvanist Pig in a second…;-)
Seriously, Lady GG. Do you think that just maybe you could:
a) Back off on the ad hominem (literally!) and engage in civil discourse with all and sundry, especially on issues where you disagree with somebody? That’s when we need to be our most polite, not our most irrelevantly aggressive, sarcastic, and sexist. Where accusing somebody you’ve never met of being a MCP as a substitute for actual argumentation is both sexist and reveals far too much of your travails in life so far for comfort. Amazingly enough, humans can disagree without being CP’s.
Sometimes disagreements are honest, and about objective stuff, not gender, however much you may or may not have been abused on the basis of gender in the past. Heck, on the Internet you could even be a male disguised by a female handle, since I’m guessing that your name is not, in fact Gaiagaia and that you have not, in fact, been ennobled by royalty.
b) In this specific case, WE always puts the standard request in for data to support assertions of this or that that disagree with his observations or conclusions. Note well, the entire blog is fairly tolerant to exceptions to this rule, and there is no limit on the number of people who propose truly absurd theories and hypotheses and explanations or who state fond hopes and personal opinions as if they were known facts without any effort to even say “I think” or “In my opinion” to qualify them. But that is why Willis wants you to pony up properly linked data, not theory, model, or observational evidence that may or may not be relevant to the discussion at hand.
c) For what it is worth, I’m in precisely the same boat as Willis. One of the first papers on this that I read was Friis-Christensen (if I recall the spelling correctly) that apparently showed a slam-dunk causal connection between solar activity and climate, including the dip in the 1945-1970 range that CO2 did not explain. They asserted a really high correlation. It was very reasonable to conclude that it was correct. However, over years of looking at a lot more work, it became clear that a lot of their assertions simply did not hold up, even before learning of Lief’s work on sunspots (and I think you are being foolish if you don’t take that works seriously — I’ve read through it in detail and it is damned solid science in a way that FC was not, with three independent and highly accurate measures all in agreement as far as solar activity is concerned). I remain open minded — the coincidence of the Maunder minimum with the LIA is suggestive although not conclusive — but rest easy since we are supposedly going to enter another Maunder-like minimum by the next solar cycle and we can all find out the very best of ways instead of fruitlessly speculating without sound data.
Outside of that, I have read but am not yet convinced by the GCR connection. I have meditated on self-oscillation in chaotic systems and the possibilities (unproven) of some sort of phase locking to a weak signal. I have examined various data transforms for evidence of an 11 year signal or some sort of truly systematic correlation between temperature and solar state. However, we are doubly crippled in this because we do NOT have very accurate measurements of solar state back into the remote past, and our measurements or inferences of “global temperature” are a bit of a joke, IMO, before 1950, and a full-blown knee-slapper back in 1850. So it is very difficult to make any assertions at all that are more than speculative and so weighted with Bayesian Prior baggage as to be worthless as reliable statements of probable fact or predictive knowledge. In the end, I am like Willis — open minded but not convinced, and not about to be convinced by still more words. Show me the data with a clear, unambiguous signal.
After all, I can make up unprovable hypotheses too. My favorite one is that dark matter is inhomogeneously distributed in the galaxy, and because of its gravitational oddness and lack of strong interaction with ordinary matter it orbits, if at all, nearly independently of the galactic bands of stars. As the solar system moves around the galactic center, it therefore passes through these invisible bands of gravity-modulating “stuff”, which strongly interact with only one thing in the solar system — the core of Mr. Sun. Or Ms. Sun (to prove that I’m not a MCP:-) if you prefer. There they transiently affect core density, the efficiency of the fusion cycle, and — after a lag of hundreds of centuries — the energy output at the surface of the sun and its structure. It also causes transient changes in the orbital radius of the planets, pulling them smoothly into slightly expanded or contracted orbits outside of the usual progression of orbital resonance etc.
According to my unprovable hypothesis, the Ordovician-Silurian ice age was caused by precisely this — at a time when CO2 was over ten times higher than today. It was probably responsible for all of the ice ages over the Phanerozoic era, and explains why we cannot find any good proximate cause for those ice ages. We hit a gap in dark matter, the sun cools in 100,000 years or so, the Earth’s orbit gets a bit larger over the same interval, and glaciation starts and feeds back. So simple.
Now, if only we could see dark matter! But sadly, it is dark. So my theory cannot be disproven (yet, anyway) and it explains all of the observations (or none of them). Should we believe it?
Of course not. It isn’t that it could not be true. It could be true — that’s the scary thing. We act as if we know all of physics, but obviously we don’t. We don’t even have sound enough theories of dark matter to imagine a signal we could detect indirectly outside of the ice ages themselves, and since changes of the sort I propose would occur on secular timescales of hundreds of thousands of years, lagged, we could hardly expect to detect them in astronomical observations, especially if we weren’t looking for them, mixed in with ordinary stellar variability. It’s an invisible fairy theory, and hence not refutable or provable. It is like saying that the Ice Ages were God’s Will. Even if true, it is hardly useful.
d) So PLEASE. Show me the money. Not papers on ozone variation that MIGHT be correlated with god-knows-what, where the correlation MIGHT or might not be causality. I have yet to see a really convincing plot correlating solar activity with temperature, especially with the increasing temperature that might or might not be accurately portrayed by the contemporary anomaly models. There simply isn’t enough data, and the data that there is doesn’t have good enough error bars, and taking the data at face value and ignoring the error bars, there is not a compelling correlation or an explanation for the exceptions.
BTW, I suppose that I need to show my non-MCP credentials in order to converse with you on a civil basis as I do not hide my actual name or identity on this list and you can clearly see that I am Male and hence apparently to be despised by default (at least, if I disagree with you or criticize your style of argumentation so far). I’ve been married for 36 years to one woman who is a physician, smart as hell, who makes more money than I do. I’m not exactly stupid myself, and at the very least have a very good education and a knowledge and experience of physics, math, statistics and computational modelling that easily exceeds that of 99.99% of the human species. I leave it to you to estimate the probability of my being an MCP and still married and successfully employed in a physics department where I work with, over, and under, competent, smart women all the time, and teach classrooms full of the same. If you wish to make the allegation that I am one in lieu of an actual argument or response to the above, feel free, but personally I think it would be more edifying to address the issues at hand, not irrelevant gender inequality issues that are nothing but distracting baggage in this context.

September 22, 2015 10:55 pm

I couldn’t get past the second time phase-locked was put in quotation marks, i.e. “phase-locked”. Why put it in quotes? It is a euphemism for something else or should all new concepts get quotation marks as if they are aliens from another dimension?
Oh, and why are we doing periodograms? Are we incapable of understanding Fourier Transforms or are we just trying to be cool?

Reply to  Dinostratus
September 25, 2015 11:34 am

To phase lock an oscillator, first it helps to have an oscillator. Sadly, we can’t find the oscillator. We have both too many and too few, as one might expect in a chaotic system. Oscillators exist in absolute abundance. Look at the gyres in the actual observed surface current distribution in the Gulf Stream, for example — turbulent rolls spinning off at all length scales, each of them with a not-too-sharp rotational period. Look at the related twists in atmospheric circulation. Look at the Monsoon. Look at the multidecadal oscillations (which sadly are not even close to sharply periodic, but which are structurally oscillations, sort of, anyway).
Now find one with the right period, one that matches e.g. the 11-ish year solar cycle. Not too easy to do. First, one could hardly be surprised at finding one, given so many to choose from, but at the larger/longer spatiotemporal scales, the periods we observe just don’t match up very well. ENSO is not an 11 year cycle — or even properly periodic. Neither is the SOI, the PDO, the AO, the NAO, the Monsoon cycle. Look at the thermohaline circulation (another place where a wide range of periods exist). None of the large periods AFAIK match up. Look at the temperature series. They just don’t have much signal at 11 years, however one looks for it (periodograms, FTs, wavelet transforms). 3-something years yes. 5 something years yes. I see those a lot. But 11 years — it isn’t just me, a LOT of people would like to find them, but they are elusive and not robust or convincing as a “cause” when one finds one.
The second problem is that we don’t really have a good theory of phase locking in chaotic systems. We do know that open fluid dynamcal systems (like a heated pan of water on a stove) will self-organize into e.g. convective rolls with a turnover period, and we do know that the structure and periods of rolls that emerge depend sensitively on boundary conditions, initial conditions, forcing, and more. Stir the pot and when they reform they can easily have a different structure with different periods, and it isn’t clear that the self-oscillations in the gyres are subject to phase locking in the usual sense of the term. Hence the quotes — the Earth’s climate is a lot more chaotic and complex than a heated pan of water, it has many quasiperiodic structures (many of them named!) that strongly modulate the dissipation of energy, it could be that some of those oscillators are resonant with and phase lock to weak oscillations in the primary driver (the sun) but we have damn all theory to predict or explain or even describe it if they do, and we cannot find much evidence of it happening when we look.
Personally, I think that the annual variation is uninteresting, so that FT like decompositions of climate are irrelevant for periods less than a year. I would like most of all to see convincing explanations for the multiannual oscillations first, and best — the first few peaks after a year in Willis’ periodogram above. I’ve seen very similar structure in decompositions of other climate measures in the past (mostly posted on this blog). They appear to be connected in some way with ENSO, perhaps acting as a sort of “explanation” for the pattern of long and short, weak and strong El Nino’s, but as Willis points out above, this could be coincidence as easily as causality. There is bound to be some structure in a FT of noisy data, but there is no assurance that the structure is meaningful.
The 5.5 year peak is actually suggestive of a solar cycle connection, as it corresponds roughly to \pi/2 in a 22 year cycle. That is indeed the time from peak to trough, trough back to peak again. But this is odd indeed from a causal point of view, as it suggests SSTs follow the extrema of the solar cycle, not their magnitude per se. However, it is not completely insane in a chaotic theory, where period doubling is a common signal of chaos. Then the question is: in a chaotic oscillation, can a primary oscillation phase lock to a weak signal and then double the period to move in and out of phase with the primary driver instead of slaving to it? Not exactly phase locking, obviously, but a sort of harmonic double resonance phenomenon that absolutely requires nonlinearity to happen.

Reply to  rgbatduke
September 25, 2015 6:16 pm

“To phase lock an oscillator, first it helps to have an oscillator.”
I didn’t read the paper but they should have a mathematical definition of phase locked that does not depend on the signal being broad-banded or not. If it satisfies the mathematical definition of phase locked then it is mathematically phase locked and defies the skepticism of a mouth breather like WIllis. Now to establish if it is physically phase locked requires some sort of arguments about mechanisms.
“There is bound to be some structure in a FT of noisy data, but there is no assurance that the structure is meaningful.”
You would enjoy CS Daw’s papers.
PS – “open fluid dynamcal systems” They don’t have to be open for the rest of your statements to be true. I say this because there are many systems which are closed or piecewise or quasi closed and still are dynamical. IIRC (and I may not) Lorenz system was closed.

Reply to  rgbatduke
September 26, 2015 12:22 pm

“The second use of FFT (the one almost always used today) is for the RESULT of computing an FFT of some time sequence.”
Not so. It was an algorithm. It is now an algorithm. It will always be just an algorithm. C-T is one of the algorithms, the fastest when one has 2*n number of data of a constant sampling rate.
An FFT is not the result of an FFT even if children use the term as such. This term is not fungible.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 25, 2015 6:16 pm

“how about you just ask, and leave out the sarcasm?”
Quiet. The adults are talking.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 25, 2015 6:20 pm

A periodogram is just a different way to demonstrate the results of a Fourier analysis.
So then plot 1/time and reverse the axis. There is a certain right of passage involved in understanding how data is plotted, good reasons for why the traditions persist and you’re not helping anyone, including yourself, by using training wheels.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 25, 2015 7:03 pm

Willis – quite true.
I have been doing DFT/FFT for 40 years – almost exclusively for sound/music where we work almost exclusively with frequency. About 3 weeks ago, inspired by one of your posts, I wrote an app note for my readers regarding plotting period, using a length-11 “toy” cycle as an example. It might help someone.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 26, 2015 2:36 am


Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 26, 2015 2:37 am

DFT…. music to my ears. A phrase someone with 40 years of experience would use. I’ve come to hate the phrase FFT because it makes it sound like the results are some how better than a FT. PhD’s will actually write “Here is the FFT” not even knowing that the FFT is actually the algorithm and not the data. I’m tempted to ask, “So which FFT algorithm did you use, Cooley Tukey?” but I don’t because it would just slow them down.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 26, 2015 2:52 am

“so why not just show it period-based to start with?”
Why has the traditional way to plot the data persisted over the years? What are the advantages?

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 26, 2015 10:05 am

Dinostratus wrote September 26, 2015 at 2:37 am:
“DFT…. music to my ears. A phrase someone with 40 years of experience would use. I’ve come to hate the phrase FFT because it makes it sound like the results are some how better than a FT. PhD’s will actually write “Here is the FFT” not even knowing that the FFT is actually the algorithm and not the data. I’m tempted to ask, “So which FFT algorithm did you use, Cooley Tukey?” but I don’t because it would just slow them down.”
The term “FFT” has TWO meanings. Technically it originally referred to a fast algorithm for computing the DFT, the DFT being a frequency-sampled DTFT (Discrete Time Fourier Transform). None of the three terms (or operations) FFT, DFT, or DTFT should ever be confused with the (integral-integral pair) FT. It is silly to suggest that a FFT would be “better than” a FT – unless you know nothing about either.
The second use of FFT (the one almost always used today) is for the RESULT of computing an FFT of some time sequence. If you have a time sequence x(n), the FFT of x(n) and the DFT of x(n) both refer to the EXACT SAME (output) sequence of frequency samples [ typically X(k) ].
The term “FFT” is almost never pronounced out as “Fast Fourier Transform”, and is interchangeable with “DFT” to be the output X(k). There is no reference to an algorithm. [In passing, remember that Cooley-Tukey get credit for one FFT algorithm but the FFT can be traced back to – ready – Gauss.]
I have elaborated on these issues here:
and suggested that FFT is the better choice of term (avoid DFT) because the terms DFT and DTFT are often confused.
Bernie Hutchins

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 26, 2015 12:28 pm

“In many, perhaps most fields where the Fourier Transform is used, you generally deal in frequency and not period.”
Simply not true but I’ll be charitable (because I know you’ll look foolish), provide one study that this is the case and your assertion is simply not good enough.
Maybe the fact that you simply do not know why people show FT’s is the reason you use Periodograms. Have you ever admitted that to yourself? That maybe you just don’t understand?

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 26, 2015 12:37 pm

“FFT can be traced back to – ready – Gauss”
Oh yes. I once had an applied mathematics professor who showed us how to do discreet Laplace transforms, very close to DFT’s, similar to how Gauss did his. He published his work in the 1930s. I bet he was one of those people who cried when they first saw Visicalc.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 26, 2015 12:46 pm

So I read your pdf. You define a LT over a boundary as opposed as from an initial time. I’ve never seen it as such. I don’t think that’s correct.
Bonus question. I see you’re in Ithaca. I was taunting Willis a few weeks ago and he mentioned how great some heat transfer guy at Duke was (funny). I mentioned the heat transfer work at Cornell and “that guy who died a few years ago” which was disrespectful. Who was that guy? He did pool boiling problems for the Navy, iirc.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 26, 2015 2:08 pm

Dinostratus wrote comments on Sept 26 at 12:37 pm and 12:46 pm, apparently to me. Three paragraphs total – and not one coherent thought. So I can’t help much. Here are my best efforts.
(1) “how to do discreet [sic] Laplace transforms, very close to DFT’s”
—That would be numerical integration.
(2) “some heat transfer guy at Duke was (funny).”
— Almost certainly Robert G. Brown
(3) “I mentioned the heat transfer work at Cornell and “that guy who died a few years ago” which was disrespectful. Who was that guy? He did pool boiling problems for the Navy, iirc.”
—Sadly – many have died. Not sure how many boiled pools!

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 26, 2015 6:33 pm

Bernie, pretty important comment here, “So I read your pdf. You define a LT over a boundary as opposed as from an initial time. I’ve never seen it as such. I don’t think that’s correct.”
Care to comment? If you can’t even properly define a LT then it kinda makes your work…. suspect.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 26, 2015 8:47 pm

Dinostratus said : September 26, 2015 at 6:33 pm
“Care to comment? If you can’t even properly define a LT then it kinda makes your work…. suspect.”
OH STOP IT! Grow up!
Have you never seen a two-sided LT.
And the LT is totally irrelevant to the FFT issue here.
I’m through with your games.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 27, 2015 3:48 am

No. I’ve never, ever, never seen a two sided LT. There is a fundamental reason a LT is found by integrating over the first moment of jw while a LT is found by integrating over s that has everything to do with the bounds of the integral.
At best I thought I was mistaken. Then again, maybe it was a typo and I wanted to give you an opportunity to correct it. I feared it was a conceptual error. Unfortunately, what I find is that it is a conceptual error. It’s kind of disappointing for me frankly. I get tired of WIllis’s self aggrandizing hand waving and was hoping for something different.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 27, 2015 3:53 am

…FT is found by integrating over the first moment of jw…

September 22, 2015 11:25 pm

Please give Willis, and everyone reading this blog, a break and just get the link to the data that he asks for!!! He’s not lazy – you are if you want to promote your favorite solar-climate study and not do the work to find or get the data – after all Willis will be doing the truly heavy lifting in trying to verify the paper.
If you are too lazy to get the data, then please save your precious energy and don’t post the link to the paper.
I can’t believe all the juvenile bitching about just complying with a simple and logical request…

Pamela Gray
Reply to  JG
September 23, 2015 5:37 pm

Apparently, male chauvinists are people who ask of other people to do some work for themselves.

Leo Smith
September 22, 2015 11:58 pm

Bullshit Baffles Brains

William Astley
September 23, 2015 1:06 am

Solar wind bursts
You write article after article about the sun and appear to have never investigated how the sun changes and how the sun affects planetary climate (i.e. it appears you are not interested in the sun or how the sun modulates planetary climate and have not read papers about the subject and thought about the subject. It appears you like to write biased articles on the solar modulation of planetary cloud cover for what ever reason.). We need someone how has done the research to explain what is currently happening to the sun and how that change will affect planetary climate. I volunteer as soon as there is significant cooling.
If you look at the graph at this site Ap (blue line at the bottom of the graph, Ap is a measurement of the disturbance of the earth’s geomagnetic field by solar wind bursts) you will see that the start of the current El Niño correlates with the sudden increase in solar wind bursts.
You will also see that Ap is currently the highest measured in the solar cycle while the number of sunspots is the lowest.
Solar wind bursts cause the planet to warm by creating a space charge differential in the ionosphere which in turn causes current flow a high latitude regions of the planet to the equator. The return path for the current is in the ocean. This process is called electroscavenging.
The solar wind burst effect lasts from 2 to 5 days, so a large number of small solar wind bursts has more climatic effect than a single solar wind burst.
The solar wind bursts are primary caused by coronal holes, not by sunspots.
What causes coronal holes to appear on the sun where, when, how many times, the shape of the coronal hole, the area of the coronal hole, and strength of the coronal hole is not known and does not correlate with the number of sun spots or the time in the period of the sunspot.
Coronal holes rotational speed matches that of the core of the sun, rather than the ‘surface’ of the sun. The surface rotational speed of the sun decreases by 40% comparing the equator of the sun to high latitude regions of the sun. Sunspots which float on the surface of the sun, rotate at the same speed as the surface of the sun. Coronal holes do not. This observational fact supports the assertion that what is causing coronal holes to appear is something deep within the sun rather than convection zone of the sun.
Sunspots and coronal holes both affect the strength the strength and extent of the solar heliosphere which is the name for the tenuous gas and pieces of the magnetic field that are thrown off the sun. The heliosphere extends well past the orbit of Pluto.
The solar heliosphere block GCR (galactic cosmic rays, mostly high speed protons). So when the solar heliosphere is strong the pieces of magnetic field in the solar heliosphere block GCR so there are less GCR striking the earth.
The increased GCR will cause the planet to cool at high latitude regions, if there are not solar wind bursts to remove the cloud forming ions. GCR will only cause the planet to cool at high latitude regions as the earth’s magnetic field in lower latitudes blocks the GCR.
Note the difference in the regions of the planet that are affected by solar wind bursts and solar heliosphere’s modulation of the amount of GCR that strikes the earth. Electroscavenging both high latitude regions and the equator while solar heliosphere only high latitude regions. This comment is true as long as the geomagnetic field is not strongly tilted or is in an excursion.
Geomagnetic specialists in the last 10 years have found the earth’s geomagnetic field tilt abruptly changes and the earth’s geomagnetic field strength abruptly changes (factor of 5 to 10).
The change in the tilt of the geomagnetic field cause the regions where GCR affects the earth’s climate to move to lower latitudes which causes cooling.
During the very, very, large geomagnetic excursion there are suddenly multiple magnetic poles on the surface of the earth. This fact and the fact that the geomagnetic field drops in strength by factor of 5 to 10 causes the planet to cool. We are currently experiencing what appears to be abrupt start to a geomagnetic field excursion. The earth’s geomagnetic field strength started dropping in strength at 5% per decade in the mid 1990s where for the last 150 years it has been dropping at in strength at 5% per century. Why this so is not known. This is a paradox as the maximum drop in field strength that a change in the liquid flow in the core can cause is 5% per century as there is a back emf generated in the liquid core that resists very, very fast field changes and there is no known internal mechanism that can causes massive abrupt flow of magma in the liquid core of the planet to suddenly start in the 1990s.
By physical constraints on the problem the sudden abrupt change to the geomagnetic field must have been causes by a sudden change in charge on the surface of the earth. By the a process of elimination there is only one object in our solar system that could possibly cyclically cause sudden charge differences which is the sun. The observational fact that we are currently experience a drop in the geomagnetic field strength that is ten times faster than possible for a core based change in the earth, provides support for the assertion that the sun and hence other stars are significantly different that the standard model. Paradoxes change or invalidate theories.

Once again about global warming and solar activity
By K. Georgieva, C. Bianchi and B. Kirov
Solar activity, together with human activity, is considered a possible factor for the global warming observed in the last century. However, in the last decades solar activity has remained more or less constant while surface air temperature has continued to increase, which is interpreted as an evidence that in this period human activity is the main factor for global warming. We show that the index commonly used for quantifying long-term changes in solar activity, the sunspot number, accounts for only one part of solar activity and using this index leads to the underestimation of the role of solar activity in the global warming in the recent decades. A more suitable index is the geomagnetic activity which reflects all solar activity, and it is highly correlated to global temperature variations in the whole period for which we have data
In Figure 6 the long-term variations in global temperature are compared to the long-term variations in geomagnetic activity as expressed by the ak-index (Nevanlinna and Kataja 2003). The correlation between the two quantities is 0.85 with p<0.01 for the whole period studied. It could therefore be concluded that both the decreasing correlation between sunspot number and geomagnetic activity, and the deviation of the global temperature long-term trend from solar activity as expressed by sunspot index are due to the increased number of high-speed streams of solar wind on the declining phase and in the minimum of sunspot cycle in the last decades


The role of the global electric circuit in solar and internal forcing of clouds and climate
The solar wind affects the galactic cosmic ray flux, the precipitation of relativistic electrons, and the ionospheric potential distribution in the polar cap, and each of these modulates the ionosphere-earth current density. On the basis of the current density-cloud hypothesis the variations in the current density change the charge status of aerosols that affect the ice production rate and hence the cloud microphysics and climate [e.g., Tinsley and Dean, 1991; Tinsley, 2000]. The underlying mechanism is that charged aerosols are more effective than neutral aerosols as ice nuclei (i.e., electrofreezing) and that the enhanced collections of charged evaporation nuclei by supercooled droplets enhance the production of ice by contact ice nucleation (i.e., electroscavenging). Both electrofreezing and electroscavenging involve an increase in ice production with increasing current density [e.g, Tinsley and Dean, 1991; Tinsley, 2000]. The current density-cloud hypothesis appears to explain solar cycle effects on winter storm dynamics as well as the day to-day changes of Wilcox and Roberts Effects [e.g., Tinsley, 2000]. Kniveton and Todd [2001] found evidence of a statistically strong relationship between cosmic ray flux, precipitation and precipitation efficiency over ocean surfaces at midlatitudes to high latitudes, and they pointed out that their results are broadly consistent with the current density-cloud hypothesis.
C) Satellite measurement of planetary cloud cover that confirms planetary cloud cover is modulated by GCR and solar wind bursts
Mechanism where Changes in Solar Activity Affects Planetary Cloud Cover
1) Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR)
Increases in the suns large scale magnetic field and increased solar wind reduces the magnitude of GCR that strike the earth’s atmosphere. Satellite data shows that there is 99.5% correlation of GCR level and low level cloud cover 1974 to 1993.
2) Increase in the Global Electric Circuit
Starting around 1993, GCR and low level cloud cover no longer correlate. (There is a linear reduction in cloud cover.) The linear reduction in cloud cover does correlate with an increase in high latitude solar coronal holes, particularly at the end of to the solar cycle, which cause high speed solar winds. The high speed solar winds cause a potential difference between earth and the ionosphere. The increase in potential difference removes cloud forming ions from the atmosphere through the process “electro scavenging”. Satellite data (See attached link to Palle’s paper) that confirms that there has been a reduction in cloud cover over the oceans (There is a lack of cloud forming ions over the oceans. There are more ions over the continents due to natural radioactivity of the continental crust that is not shielded from the atmosphere by water.)
As evidence for a cloud—cosmic ray connection has emerged, interest has risen in the various physical
mechanisms whereby ionization by cosmic rays could influence cloud formation. In parallel with the analysis
of observational data by Svensmark and Friis-Christensen (1997), Marsh and Svensmark (2000) and Palle´
and Butler (2000), others, including Tinsley (1996), Yu (2002) and Bazilevskaya et al. (2000), have developed the physical understanding of how ionization by cosmic rays may influence the formation of clouds. Two processes that have recently received attention by Tinsley and Yu (2003) are the IMN process and the electroscavenging process.


Atmospheric Ionization and Clouds as Links Between Solar Activity and Climate

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 23, 2015 8:42 am

The problem is that you provide no evidence to back that claim up. No temperature records, no cross-correlation analysis, no backup for the idea that “solar wind bursts” are able to “remove the cloud forming ions”. Instead you just put it out there and expect me to believe it … and the website you cite doesn’t even mention “solar wind bursts”, so I have to assume you made that up and there is no scientific definition of a “solar wind burst”. The website also contains lots of pretty pictures, but I can’t find data on “solar wind bursts” there anywhere.

Willis says which of course is not quite true. I have along with others have provided Willis with much evidence to support a solar/climate relationship. What is more correct is Willis does not view the evidence as convincing which is his opinion nothing more nothing less.
On the other hand those of us who believe in a solar/climate connection think the evidence Willis has presented to counteract our evidence in our opinion is also not convincing.
My answer is let us see what the global temperature response will be to this prolonged solar minimum event that is currently taking place . Maybe this will clear up matters.

William Astley
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 23, 2015 10:13 am

I provided a link to two peer reviewed papers (Tinsley’s paper is a review paper which includes multiple references to other peer reviewed papers) in my quote which supports exactly what I said,
I have more papers I can quote but you appear to not be interested in doing science. What you are doing is trying to show off or attempting to entertain as opposed to try to solve a holistic problem. You appear to have done no research into the problem. You declined to look at the graph of Ap. Solar wind bursts are causing the warming.
Did you miss this paper? Do you need new glasses?

Once again about global warming and solar activity
By K. Georgieva, C. Bianchi and B. Kirov
Solar activity, together with human activity, is considered a possible factor for the global warming observed in the last century. However, in the last decades solar activity has remained more or less constant while surface air temperature has continued to increase, which is interpreted as an evidence that in this period human activity is the main factor for global warming. We show that the index commonly used for quantifying long-term changes in solar activity, the sunspot number, accounts for only one part of solar activity and using this index leads to the underestimation of the role of solar activity in the global warming in the recent decades. A more suitable index is the geomagnetic activity which reflects all solar activity, and it is highly correlated to global temperature variations in the whole period for which we have data
In Figure 6 the long-term variations in global temperature are compared to the long-term variations in geomagnetic activity as expressed by the ak-index (Nevanlinna and Kataja 2003). The correlation between the two quantities is 0.85 with p<0.01 for the whole period studied. It could therefore be concluded that both the decreasing correlation between sunspot number and geomagnetic activity, and the deviation of the global temperature long-term trend from solar activity as expressed by sunspot index are due to the increased number of high-speed streams of solar wind on the declining phase and in the minimum of sunspot cycle in the last decades

Where you aware that planetary cover decreased during the warming period of the last 20 years? The amount of warming due to the decrease in planetary cover is sufficient to explain all in the last 20 years.
Science requires the ability to compose hypotheses. Note hypotheses is plural, not singular. Have you heard the comment the scientific problems are solved by ‘scientific’ imagination?
The hypothesis have certain logical characteristics and features.
The problem which we are trying to solve is what causes the planet to cyclically warm and cool in the past?
Note the past cyclical warming and cooling is in the same latitudes as recently warmed. Is it possible that the warming in the last 150 years is primarily due to natural causes, rather than the increase in atmospheric CO2.
Greenland ice temperature, last 11,000 years determined from ice core analysis, Richard Alley’s paper. William: As this graph indicates the Greenland Ice data shows that have been 9 warming and cooling periods in the last 11,000 years.

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

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 23, 2015 12:32 pm

William Astley September 23, 2015 at 10:13 am
You’ve been told multiple times on here that your plot of Alley’s data is incorrect but still you keep trotting it out! Clearly it is you who is not willing to do real science.

Steve (Paris)
September 23, 2015 2:19 am

Can I just chip in and say NoTricksZone makes a valuable contribution to the debate and provides useful colour on the state of play in Germany, the heart of climate darkness. That Willis and others may take issue with a positing from time to time should not take away from that.

September 23, 2015 3:05 am

Hi, my first post here (I think) so please be gentle. From what I can gather from the debate here is it a fair statement Willis that you fail to find any robust data that implies any signature of the solar cycles’ 11 year period in the climate record BUT// you accept that there are longer term solar variations that are a (possibly direct) cause of a change in climate say over 100’s of years, the Maunder minimum being an example….Are these fair statements?

Reply to  Marco
September 23, 2015 3:31 am

Apologies Willis, Scrub the second part about Maunder, just found your 2014 guest post (for some reason it didn’t appear from the search engine when I typed maunder minimum but did when I typed “Maunder”) on Maunder and Dalton Sunspot Minima.

September 23, 2015 3:16 am

This paper reminds me of the interesting phenomena that occurs when you have two clocks ticking away within earshot (esp. at night when you can’t get to sleep).
For a while, the clocks are happily clicking in sync – then they seem to quickly drift apart and seem almost random for a while, then they “phase lock” again and seem to click in sync for a while, before they again drift apart.

Jaime Jessop
September 23, 2015 3:41 am

You seem to be restricting your investigation to direct effects at the surface due to the 11 year solar cycle?
“So … if you think that something associated with the sunspot cycle (TSI, EUV, solar wind, GCRs, heliomagnetic field, pick your poison) is having an effect down here at the surface of the earth where we live, and you think you have the scientific paper that conclusively demonstrates it, then you are welcome to send me TWO LINKS:”
Whereas in actual fact, many studies link longer solar cycles with changes in the stratosphere which can and do affect climate at lower levels. But even assuming I’m wrong about this restriction, if somebody were to send you ANY paper and data which purported to find a link or a mechanism whereby solar activity affects climate over decadal/multidecadal/centennial time scales, you would still not guarantee to publish a formal rebuttal:
” I won’t guarantee to write about whatever paper it is, but I will write about it if the data and the analysis stands up.”
Thus, you will publicly affirm any paper which your own analysis confirms is valid . . . . . but all those which you do not confirm as valid, but which you do not formally, publicly debunk, we are still supposed to assume therefore that they are invalid?

Jaime Jessop
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 23, 2015 12:48 pm

Hmmm, not really sure I did misunderstand you, but anyway, best of luck going through all those papers and accompanying data and throwing out the ‘garbage’.
I suspect you will not find the evidence which you suspect you will not find but for reasons contrary to those which I suspect you will attribute your lack of success to in that regard!

Jaime Jessop
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 24, 2015 1:12 am

Wow, extremely touchy, aggressive and insulting to boot. I could respond in kind but that would achieve very little. You just continue with your ideologically-driven “good, honest, transparent, out-in-the-open science” crusade against an entire area of scientific research linking solar activity with climate change. I do wonder why you aggressively and insultingly blog about your triumphs on WUWT rather than taking your findings to the appropriate people – the authors and the publishers of the papers you so merrily and so thoroughly ‘debunk’, in order that their ‘garbage’ can be taken out of circulation.

Jaime Jessop
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 24, 2015 2:20 am

Before you launched into your foul-mouthed indignant and abusive tirade, you might have stopped to consider more carefully what i was questioning – and that which I was implying with my “pretty, flowery words”, points which you have not adequately responded to IMO. I was NOT questioning the scientific integrity of any work which you have done thus far; I was merely questioning the scope of that endeavour and whether it permitted you to claim that there is no scientific evidence for a solar link to climate change.
So let’s dispense with the pretty and flowery and I’ll ask you again: do you claim that there is no valid scientific evidence which demonstrates a solar influence upon climate over multi-decadal/centennial, even multi-centennial time scales? That being the case, I should be interested to know what external forcing of climate change you postulate in its place, or do you consider that randomised internal variability only has propelled climate variability throughout the Holocene? I’ll ask you again: what do you hope to prove/achieve by this current ‘gauntlet throwing exercise’ when you do not guarantee to formally, publicly debunk any paper which is thrown at you, when the conditions which you impose are likely to result in only a very small cross-section of papers from the scientific literature on solar/climate change correlations/mechanisms being presented to you?

Jaime Jessop
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 24, 2015 1:45 pm

OK Willis, so you are only saying that there is no “sign of the 11-year cycle in surface temperature datasets”. So your comment “Over at Pierre Gosselin’s site, NoTricksZone, he’s trumpeting the fact that there are a bunch of new papers showing a solar effect on the climate” was a bit off target really when not all (not even a majority) of those papers purport to show any effect on ‘climate’ during the 11 year cycle. The Chinese paper for instance says,
“A recent study demonstrates the existence of significant resonance cycles and high correlations between solar activity and the Earth’s averaged surface temperature during centuries.”
Clearly a longer period is involved. Who really cares that much whether the Sun does affect surface temperature over 11 years when climate is usually referenced by periods of at leat 30 years? That is the issue. Is there a solar signal in the surface datsets going back over 150 years? In the paleo records stretching back over centuries, milennia?

September 23, 2015 3:47 am

Some just make up their mind (Like most warmists).There was a guy over a Lucia’s “Phil” me thinks who insisted that NH ice was definitely melting and posted lengthy postings with citations ect about 7 years ago if I recall. I wonder where he is now? Just a note: each day without sun is -10C so if today 30C tomorrow 20C next day 10C next day -10C ect. The sun has no effect on climate… These non-solar people will simply “fade away” from blogging as did poor ol Phil and his ice. LOL

September 23, 2015 5:13 am

The interesting result isn’t in the paper, it is in your reanalysis of the data from the paper. The two peaks in the periodogram around 2.33, 3.33 and 5.5 years appear to be quite robust and show up in global temperature decompositions of many types (e.g. Fourier transforms, wavelets, periodograms). As you like to put it, this is visible to the Mark I eyeball as well as being fairly clearly responsible for a lot of the systematic “wiggle” in the various temperature series.
The interesting thing here is the that all of these frequencies seem related to ENSO’s not-quite-periodic behavior. ENSO’s period runs from 2 to 8 years, and lo, if we multiply out these numbers we find that 2.3*3.3 = 7.6 years. 2.3 * 5.5 = 12.7 years. 3.3*5.5 = 18 years. 2.3*3.3*5.5 = 42 years. Allowing for the fact that these numbers are not exact and the quasi-periodic self-resonances of the climate are broad and possibly variable, it suggests that the climate cycle (including ENSO) has heterodyning interference where certain periods can produce an unusually strong or weak ENSO because of addition or cancellations across these three (possibly primary) cycles. These intervals all tend to show up in the recent ENSO record.
Are they phased locked to solar phenomena in some way? Dunno. But one thing I do know is that they are bloody odd intervals (1/3 of a year progressive offsets?) and that there should be something we can identify as the “oscillators” in question — cycle times for currents, bobbles in the jet streams, whatever.

September 23, 2015 6:16 am

Yeah, Willis, this has become really tiresome. It’s a fact that the sun cycles vary a mere 1 W/m2 around the mean. So proponents are automatically supporting some “magic” feedback that blows that up to some arbitrarily large effect. Don’t they realize that’s the same thing the warmunators do w/CO2?

Pamela Gray
Reply to  beng135
September 23, 2015 5:50 pm

+10. Hell. Make it +100.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  beng135
September 23, 2015 5:58 pm

Except that there are demonstrable mechanisms which show how the so-called “amplification” works, but about which true believers like Willis refuse even to read, just like “climate change” advocates refusing to acknowledge skeptics.
Same, same.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 23, 2015 9:40 pm

Willis plain and simple for all to see.
Sad, really, because you are at the end of your meaningless existence, during which time you have contributed nothing, but only tried to hijack the observations of your betters.
‘Nuff said.

Reply to  beng135
September 24, 2015 9:01 am

Yeah. And don’t forget — that is 1 watt/m^2 out of an average of roughly 1370 (at the TOA) in a cycle that varies annually by 91 W/m^2 as the Earth traipses around its elliptical orbit, with a marginal effect that is further reduced by albedo and etc.
With that said, sure, chaotic self-organized systems can sometimes phase lock to weak driving signals if there is some sort of structural resonance in the dynamics to phase lock to. If there was some oceanic gyre that just happened to have an 11 year cycle, one could imagine some sort of resonant amplification of an effect. In a noisy dissipative system with no strong natural frequencies that match, though, it is certainly a lot more challenging to see how this would work.
So sure, it isn’t impossible. On the other hand, it is far, far from certain, and the onus of proof is very much on anyone who would assert otherwise.
Myself, I maintain a cheerfully open (but skeptical) mind. You want to make me believe? Show me proof that goes beyond possible accident or numerology. Propose a mechanism that actually sounds plausible. Time will always tell, as more, better, data rolls in. In the meantime, I think we all remain blissfully ignorant about the way the climate really works, what is important and what is not. After all, it has a fair number of moving parts…

September 23, 2015 8:21 am

Willis you can not attack my theory with your approach to the data you use to try to spin it in favor of your thinking because my theory is specific with a specific outcome. In other words my theory has no BS or excuses it is either going to be correct or wrong. That keeps you from be able to prove it is wrong.
What is unfortunate however, is if the global temperatures decline while the sun is in this prolonged solar minimum state and the solar criteria meets what I have called for, you will probably still not admit that I was correct or even that I might be correct.
At that time your take on the climate along with AGW theory should both be on their way of being obsolete or if not obsolete will be diminished to a large degree.
That time should be here before this decade ends in my opinion.
Maybe you will prove me wrong and come on board, but I doubt it.
If on the other hand the global temperature response should be steady or rise in response to this prolonged solar minimum event ,I would unlike yourself admit to being wrong.
That being the important difference which is I am open minded enough to know if I am wrong I am wrong, and at that point if it should come I will face the reality.
In contrast AGW enthusiast for sure and you Willis (?),with your take on the climate(which is wrong in my opinion in some aspects) I do not believe will come around.

Pamela Gray
Reply to  Salvatore Del Prete
September 23, 2015 5:53 pm

Sal, give it up! I am so tired of pointing out that just because two things happen at the same time, does not in any way point to a cause and effect!!!! So no, you will not be proven right or wrong. But I am beginning to contemplate stubborn (and I am being overly nice).

Reply to  Salvatore Del Prete
September 24, 2015 9:30 am

I personally will cheerfully re-examine the issue if global temperatures significantly cool in the coming solar minimum. So will many people. I hope you will be equally cheerful in discarding your hypothesis in the event that the Earth refuses to cooperate and either warms or remains neutral (or really even if it only weakly cools) in the coming years.
At the same time, bear in mind that (as Pamela pointed out) even if it cools or strongly cools, it doesn’t mean that your theory is correct, only that the GCMs are even wronger than wrong, where they are already pretty wrong. In that case, it won’t mean that CO2 is not a greenhouse gas and doesn’t produce warming, either. It will only mean that the range of temperature modulation available to CO2 at its current concentration is lower than most people think (where at least some people, e.g. Lindzen and Choi, think it is pretty small and I’ve read serious papers that suggest that certain evidence from soundings suggest that it is even smaller than L&C think it is), lower than the range of natural variation.
Note well, that as a chaotic nonlinear system with strong internal feedbacks and an enormous cyclic reservoir, the Earth doesn’t actually require any reason at all to suddenly warm or cool. As in one could lock everything — solar input, CO2 concentration, pollution, aerosols, etc — to single fixed values and run the climate forward at full resolution for a hundred years starting from precisely given initial conditions separated by no more than the beating of butterfly wings here and there and you’d still end up with a rather enormous range of possible outcomes. I’m pretty sure some of those outcomes would show strong cooling. Runs like that happen even in the GCMs that on average show strong warming! At that point, everything is a matter of probabilities — looking for “a cause” as if there is such a thing becomes a bit of a joke.
I rather expect that this is the joke Mother Nature is playing on us. Humans are reductionists. We can’t imagine four whole dimensions without getting a headache. Trying to cope with a system with ten to a high power number of dimensions and the vast permutation of possible dynamical trajectories therein is something we cannot to do. We invented God and Satan for precisely the same reason. Who can praise or blame the butterfly? Who can accept that we have no control, no ability to predict, no ability to prevent, no real ability to even imagine?
Microscopic physics is nicely predictable. Causes are clear and easily enough understood. But more is different. Long before one reaches planetary complexity we get things like me. And not even I can predict which keys I’m going to strike next, what my next thoughts or words or actions will be, because I’m partially governed by a vast, vast pool of effective entropy that can reroute my “will” in the blink of an involuntary eye.
It’s like this. When I used to go fishing, sometimes he’d catch fish at his end of the boat and I would catch nothing at my end, fishing for the same fish with the same bait and casting into the same place. His explanation? I “wasn’t holding my mouth right”.
I have friends who have accused me of being the reason Duke lost the NCAA championship back in 1979 in the final game. I watched the game with family members (including UNC fans) instead of the same friends I watched every other game with. This was enough to influence the game.
In a couple of minutes, I’m going to get up, scratch a bit, and go into work. If I scratch three times, the world will continue to warm. If I scratch twice and cough, it will remain “paused” or even cool a tiny bit for the next decade. However, if I blow my nose and then discover I’m too late to even scratch at all, the world will plunge into rapid cooling, which will persist as long as I hold my mouth right and avoid watching championship games with UNC fans.
It’s like that. Out of every moment, there are future trajectories that solve the equations of motion for the Universe that pack into and fork out of a tight little bundle grounded at every little spatiotemporal volume, probably all the way down to the Planck scale. Those trajectories are probably fractally distributed and intertwined. Perhaps there is some significant probability distribution that favors one generic bundle of possible future climate states over some other, perhaps not — it might even be remarkably uniform with only the illusion of some simple linear causal relationship, sometimes. But even if this is statistically true, this isn’t like statistical mechanics where the most probable thing is somehow homogeneous and capable of producing a thermodynamic average state that is indistinguishable macroscopically from all other most probable states. This is chaotic statistics — anything could happen and nothing is so unlikely as to be forbidden outside of egregious failures of the first or second laws.
I’ll try to remember not to scratch, but YOU remember that if it cools, I predicted it — heck, I “caused” it! — and gave you a perfectly plausible reason. Just like I made Duke lose, way back in 1979.

Reply to  rgbatduke
September 24, 2015 9:45 am

I know close enough to nothing about the climate that it might as well be nothing. But I do know one thing: no one has ever quantified the fraction of global warming that is supposed to be AGW.
If they still can’t measure what they insist must be there, then it’s just too tiny to worry about.

September 23, 2015 8:44 am

Not understanding your beef at all. The Sun is very obviously the primary driver of climate. The dirt-simple observation that day / night variation in insolation can cause changes of 40 – 50 deg F ought to be your first clue. There is good correlation between solar behavior and climate variation, which you seem to demonstrate with your figures above, and then proceed to dispute it. The most recent study by German climate scientists Horst-Joachim Lüdecke, Dr. Alexander Hempelmann and Carl Otto Weiss clearly show that global cooling is the bigger concern. They are very critical of the IPCC for continuing to push CO2 as more of a climate driver than the sun. You are on the wrong side of this issue!

September 23, 2015 9:00 am

If Kurt you are referring to me I am 100% convinced that it is the sun unless data should show otherwise which so far is not the case. Look at my post SEP. 22 , 4:10PM.

Peter Sable
September 23, 2015 9:53 am

Wow, all this arguing and ZERO people have actually dealt with Willis’s request for two links: Paper and Data.
I mean an expert is offering to do work for FREE for your gain in knowledge and all you can do is complain about very simple, realistic requirements. If you’d ever gone data spelunking yourself you’d really find that getting the data is at least half the work, plus or minus 100%…. which is a terrible indictment of the current scientific publishing process.
The rudeness shocks me. It really is terrible human behavior to look this gift horse in the mouth.
Willis, this is really great analysis, you hit it out of the ballpark again. I’ll peruse the 18 papers and find the one that looks the most compelling and has data, based on my experience and training in signal processing. It might take a day or two to complete. The answer might well be “none of the above” though…
Please do share the source code though. I think I need to learn “R”, the packages are mostly better than Octave. I’ll be happy to share ports of some of my Octave/Matlab analysis libraries to “R” with you in return. The endpoint extension defaults (zero padding) in Octave, Matlab, and “R” are just wrong for what we are doing here (low frequency signal analysis), and that’s mostly what I try to fix.
best regards,

Reply to  Peter Sable
September 23, 2015 10:07 am

Peter you are not being objective and there are two sides to this issue despite what Willis tries to convey.
Time will tell.

Peter Sable
Reply to  Salvatore Del Prete
September 23, 2015 10:36 am

Peter you are not being objective and there are two sides to this issue despite what Willis tries to convey.

It’s such a trivial effort to put Willis on the spot and make him do the work he promised. Why not just do it?
You’ve put hours and hours of work into quoting endless pages of unfalsifiable stuff here. Basic communications principle: Keep It Simple. You aren’t doing that, you are attempting to win an argument in your own fashion. It’s a waste of time.
I’m not going to continue this thread, I’m busy putting together a spreadsheet with these columns:
“Paper Number” “Press Release” “Paywall Copy” “Free Copy” “Data”
And the cell contents will be empty or hyperlinks. The table will speak for itself. I suspect there will be lots of empty cells.

Gloria Swansong
Reply to  Peter Sable
September 23, 2015 10:22 am

Willis is no kind of expert.

Reply to  Gloria Swansong
September 23, 2015 10:44 am

Willis ,has an opinion some agree some do not.

Reply to  Peter Sable
September 23, 2015 3:30 pm

Too funny
“The endpoint extension defaults (zero padding) in Octave, Matlab, and “R” are just wrong for what we are doing here (low frequency signal analysis), and that’s mostly what I try to fix.”
Depends which package you are talking about in R

September 23, 2015 10:09 am

The rudeness shocks me. It really is terrible human behavior to look this gift horse in the mouth
Peter you are ridiculous. I did not notice your above comment. Ridiculous and all the other contributions are garbage?

September 23, 2015 10:45 am

My money is on the sun causing these very small global temperature fluctuations over the past 10,000 years that everyone seems so concerned about. I have a feeling the end of the Modern Maximum will really start to show up in the temperature data beginning late 2016.

Gloria Swansong
Reply to  RWturner
September 23, 2015 10:54 am

IMO, variation in solar activities, modulation of irradiance by orbital mechanics, affecting insolation, oceanic circulation driven by insolation and feedback effects such as albedo explain well observed decadal, centennial, millennial, myriadal, hundreds of thousands of years and longer term climatic fluctuations. At the longer time scales, continental arrangements driven by plate tectonics is also important.
CO2 is mainly an effect, not a cause of climate change, far from being the major control knob.

Pamela Gray
Reply to  Gloria Swansong
September 26, 2015 6:28 am

Gloria, quite a bit of your list has undergone fairly extensive research. Of the published research, a lot of it will be immensely poorly done without regard to measures of robustness (a familiar result on both sides of the debate). Error bars are often missing or are themselves filtered to remove outliers. Statistical maneuvers often outstrip necessary steps to deal with degrees of freedom, resulting in making an elephant wriggle its tail.
That said, you have touched on an important paradigm. Our Earth’s oceanic/atmospheric/topographic teleconnected interplay results in a wickedly complex and wide-ranging intrinsic chaotic system all by itself. Add to that finding the effects of comparative sprinkles added or taken back sourced from external variations, would be like finding a single needle not in a haystack but in the highly variable globby ocean, or floating through our immense swirling unmixed atmosphere.

Reply to  RWturner
September 23, 2015 11:11 am

And I think there are myriad possible mechanisms for which it to do so. At least all of us here can agree on the fact that Earth Climate variability is far from settled science.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  RWturner
September 23, 2015 6:15 pm

The sun obviously controls climate. I’m reminded of mid-20th century geologists who refused to accept the obvious fact that continents move (despite glaringly apparent fit of South America with Africa and abundant fossil evidence) because no one had proposed a plausible mechanism, or late 19th century physicists who couldn’t accept the age of the earth as determined by geologists for lack of an explanation, and of early 19th century biologists who couldn’t embrace “transmutation” (evolution) for lack of same.
But it’s even worse with the solar d#niers, since science does know some if not all of the mechanisms by which apparently small changes in solar parameters work large changes in planetary climates.

Pamela Gray
Reply to  RWturner
September 26, 2015 6:56 am

Let me try to add reality to your statement. The Sun obviously is the source of our general climate. At issue is whether or not the very small regular variations in solar output can overcome Earth’s own intrinsic and quite large chaotic variations (something that thermodynamic experts would be quite familiar with) to push those chaotic variations against their natural chaotic patterns and to indeed drive them here and there in a more regular pattern. Your statement would lead anyone to conclude that if there were an amplification device that responded to solar sourced regular variations, the response here on the ground to that amplified driver would also be less chaotic.
So what is the best way to see if regular extrinsic low energetic variations can significantly affect highly energetic and chaotic intrinsic variations?
To feet on the ground flora and fauna, observation after observation after observation demonstrates they are stuck in and must respond or die in a chaotic system, not a regulated one. To feet on the ground measures in the oceans and atmosphere, here too it seems the chaotic random walk remains in charge.
In other words, the signal you look for in earthly systems cannot be found in direct large or fine tuned observations and measures. It seems silly then that the hunt continues for an invisible signal. In terms of gold standard research methods, the solar variation effects search fails the first and most important step: observations made here on Earth through several solar cycles.

William Astley
September 23, 2015 11:08 am

In reply to:
Salvatore Del Prete September 23, 2015 at 8:42 am
Did you miss this paper which provides data to support exactly what I said in my above comments?
Geomagnetic field ‘activity’ is caused by solar wind bursts. The geomagnetic does not abruptly change for no reason. Geomagnetic field changes can be used to determine the frequency of the solar wind bursts.
Note it is the frequency of the solar wind bursts that is important. The solar wind affect on planetary cloud cover only lasts for 3 to 5 days. So a single large solar wind burst only affects the planet for 3 to 5 days. The persistent coronal holes produce a series of solar wind bursts. Coronal holes is the cause of the warming in the last 30 years.
The planet gets colder when there are less solar wind bursts in a period and gets warmer when there are more solar wind bursts.
When the solar wind bursts stop (i.e. When the coronal holes move to high latitude regions on the sun or disappear, the earth will abruptly cool, as GCR is the highest it has ever been (in the age of space measurements), for this period in a solar cycle.

Once again about global warming and solar activity
We show that the index commonly used for quantifying long-term changes in solar activity, the sunspot number, accounts for only one part of solar activity and using this index leads to the underestimation of the role of solar activity in the global warming in the recent decades. A more suitable index is the geomagnetic activity which reflects all solar activity, and it is highly correlated to global temperature variations in the whole period for which we have data.
The real terrestrial impact of the different solar drivers depends not only on the average geo-effectiveness of a single event but also on the number of events. Figure 5 presents the yearly number of CHs, CMEs and MCs in the period 1992-2002. On the descending phase of the sunspot cycle, the greatest part of high speed solar wind streams a affecting the Earth comes from coronal holes (Figure 5), in this period their speed is higher than the speed of the solar wind originating from other regions, and their geoeffectiveness is the highest. Therefore, when speaking about the influence of solar activity on the Earth, we cannot neglect the contribution of the solar wind originating from coronal holes. However, these open magnetic field regions are not connected in any way to sunspots, so their contribution is totally neglected when we use the sunspot number as a measure of solar activity.

Reply to  William Astley
September 23, 2015 11:17 am

Thanks, and I think our views will turn out to be correct before this decade ends.

Reply to  William Astley
September 23, 2015 5:00 pm

Willis correlates sunspots with a passion.

Peter Sable