Svalgaard #7

Continues http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3052

326 Comments

  1. Posted Jun 7, 2008 at 8:23 PM | Permalink

    672 (Erl):

    Data for each level was sorted from highest to lowest using the function in XL. The graph shows the extremes at each pressure level within the entire period.

    It be nice if it did, but I see only one value [not the two implied by the "extremes"].
    Precision of expression is necessary in this business. So, again, what is it?

  2. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 7, 2008 at 9:53 PM | Permalink

    1 (Leif)

    Thanks for sticking with it Leif.

    Yes, despite my effort to be complete, its imprecise. However, the graph is correctly labelled. It shows the difference between the extremes, or in other words the ‘range’.

  3. Posted Jun 7, 2008 at 9:54 PM | Permalink

    Leif,

    If I’m not wrong, it seems to be the variability of tropospheric temperature from 0.82 atm layer to 0.3 atm layer. That is something like from 1500 m above sea level (asl) to some 12000 m asl.

  4. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 7, 2008 at 9:55 PM | Permalink

    Nasif
    The relationship between ripening temperature and flavour outcomes is very strong in grapes, strawberries and most temperature fruits. Citrus are no exception. Along with the acid the flavour is conserved. If the acid goes the fruit tastes flat. My contribution is to quantify the heat load that can do the damage and to point out that site selection tends to determine ripening date and hence heat load during ripening.

    Unfortunately very few growers are curious and careful enough, at a stage prior to commitment to a particular site, to be rational in these matters.

  5. cw
    Posted Jun 7, 2008 at 11:02 PM | Permalink

    Erl Happ,
    During a solar minimum with no sunspots, what would you predict would occur concerning El Ninos? Also, it’d be helpful for those of us following the debate (as best we can), if you could quickly summarize how the debate has evolved since the first thread. New ideas? Altered ideas? Anything agreed upon?

    Leif Svalgaard,
    What do you think of the cosmic ray theory and the theory that changes in UV radiation effects the chemestry of the ozone, which then effects zonal circulation and planetary waves, which can then alter oceanic circulations? Tim Patterson has done some interesting research on the UV/ocean connection; here’s his powerpoint from the ICCC: http://www.heartland.org/newyork08/PowerPoint/Monday/patterson.ppt.

    I’ve found this debate to be the most interesting ongoing climate thread on the web, and I hope it continues.

  6. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 7, 2008 at 11:46 PM | Permalink

    Just so people know what we are talking about here is the figure in question and the satellite images showing heating of moist air at 250mPa at mid latitudes.

    Basic proposition is that the atmosphere is heated by the sun in the critical area where cirrus cloud is formed over the warmest oceans in the tropics. The appearance and disappearance of this cloud is the driver for ENSO which is the main dynamic for Earth system warming and cooling. Corollary is that TSI variation over the whole of solar cycle is irrelevant as is CO2 concentration. The latter follows from the fact that air over the warmest oceans is largely cooled via latent heat emission, convection and decompression. In fact, come to think of it CO2 is mainly relevant over the 30% of the surface of the globe that is land, and then only to the extent that evaporation does not feed significant convection and decompression. OLR is more significant over the cool waters adjacent to Peru than in any other part of the globe apart from high mountains. The signature of OLR emission from Northern Hemisphere land masses in July to November can be seen in the stratosphere where ozone warms strongly. Ultimately the energy can only be lost via OLR but one should not fall into the trap of thinking that it is at as important at the surface and in the troposphere as some would like to maintain.

    What we should be focussing on is the .2% short term increase in irradiance that is the microstructure of the solar cycle. That is the bit that is related to temperature anomalies in the troposphere and ENSO. See full post for complete explanation.

    You can’t treat the Earth as a homogenous entity reacting to TSI. That’s nonsense. Geography is very important to the process by which the Earth absorbs and emits energy. What happens in the tropics is vital because radiation is most intense there and cloud cover least, except for that little bit of appearing and disappearing cirrus.

    Outside the tropics any energy surplus is a seasonal affair and what prevents the winters being very, very cold is the movement of warm waters from the tropics.

  7. John Andrews
    Posted Jun 8, 2008 at 6:00 PM | Permalink

    Steve, OLR means outgoing long-wave radiation. This needs to be in the list of acronyms. I finally found something with the definition.

  8. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 8, 2008 at 7:02 PM | Permalink

    7 (John)
    Sorry about that abbreviation. Yes, it is always best to have the long version first up. It’s something that I hate when I too and am expected to know and I don’t.

  9. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 9, 2008 at 7:17 AM | Permalink

    Highly related discussion proceeding at ‘March 2008 Radiosonde Data’ on this blog. #12 and 53,54, and 55.

  10. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 9, 2008 at 9:15 AM | Permalink

    5 (cw)
    Link appears to be dead. I will try to answer your question shortly. But in terms of New ideas? Yes. Altered ideas? Very much so. ‘Anything agreed upon?’ Not yet.

  11. Posted Jun 9, 2008 at 10:19 AM | Permalink

    2 (Erl): Suppose there was such a thing as global warming then the temperature at any level would have a trend upwards. Suppose [for the moment] that this was the only change in temperature, then the range would simply reflect the warming trend. If you have other changes, then the range would be oranges and apples and it would not be clear what the range means. So, before you try to correlate with short-term things, you have to remove the trend.

  12. See - owe to Rich
    Posted Jun 9, 2008 at 1:18 PM | Permalink

    While this thread is young, and dare I say it “quiet as the Sun”, I shall pitch in with a precis of the way I see things so far on the Svalgaard threads, which I have very much enjoyed reading.

    There are (at least) 5 things which have been going on.

    1. Leif has presented his “the solar output is much flatter than you thought it was”.

    2. Erl Happ has been trying to work out how solar variations can affect the climate, concentrating on the tropics and cloud formation and sea temperatures.

    3. There has been discussion on what drives solar activity, in particular the geometry of the solar centre around the system barycentre.

    4. There has been discussion (Archibald and I) on the affect of solar cycle lengths on climate.

    5. There has been discussion on predicting when the Cycle 23/24 minimum will occur.

    It feels to me almost as if Steve Mc has brought Leif here to keep control of crazy solar theorists. At that, Leif has done an admirable job, but only by revealing a rather deep conservatism against new ideas (it seems to take 10 sigmas to impress him where 3 will do for most others). Nevertheless, if engaged in the right way, as Erl has done, Leif has shown great care and patience.

    I have my own views on the 5 points.

    1. I accept this, mostly because it has been evident to me and others for quite a while that even the earlier estimates of changes in total solar output were not enough to explain global temperature changes in the period 1850-1950. Therefore, if the Sun is important, it’s not this first order effect, but some second order effect, most likely modulating albedo.

    2. I think Erl is looking at second order effects, but it feels like a work in progress for which I am content to await a short summary of conclusions. Some fascinating postings though, even though some of them do get refuted by the number of zeroes following Leif’s decimal point!

    3. As a statistician, I do like to see significance tests attempted against various claims. (Note the use of “attempted” :-)). Even so, some relationships from graphs seem very striking without statistics, and I find the solar-barycentre motion pictures quite compelling in relation to Grand Minima. But Leif doesn’t… Someone, give him some hard numerical proof… Or will the evolution of Cycle 24 turn out to be convincing enough?

    4. Here we have both diagrams and statistics in favour of this. But Leif does not believe that length is important, only overall size. Yet there could be all sorts of non-linear effects going on – what if climate response per month is like log(1+#sunspots)? Admittedly, I don’t know why that should be so, but – provided you don’t overfit – you should follow where the data leads you. And the best temperature correlations are obtained with cycle length, not size.

    5. I was impressed by Leif’s pointing out that David Archibald’s predictions of the next minimum were based on over-simplified averages, and how the variability of cycle evolutions makes it much harder to predict the present one. Even so, I have a sneaking feeling that David’s prediction (June 2009) will be closer than that of Leif/SORCE (March 2008 +/- 6 months IIRC). So I’m saying at least November 2008!

    I hope readers find these jottings interesting. I may have made some mistakes, and I may have ignored some very important sub-threads – please say.

    Thanks for the huge effort you’ve put in, Leif, and do your best to keep an open mind whilst retaining the ability to crank up some impressive analysis from time to time.

    Rich.

  13. Posted Jun 9, 2008 at 2:16 PM | Permalink

    12 (Rich): Thanks for the summary. I have a few comments on your points:
    1: I think you accept this for the wrong reason. My arguments were based only on solar data and their proxies [for which we know the physics or the mechanism]. If you include the temperature in this mix and then try to show how the temperature responds to solar variations, then you have a circular, and invalid, argument.
    2: The problem with Erl is that he has little appreciation for the relative sizes of things. Even as I show that the energy in microwaves are only a fraction like 0.000000[more zeroes]0000001 of the energy falling on the Earth, he ignores that and still talks about the troposphere being heated by microwaves. I have not figured out yet how to get this across.
    3: The problem with the barycenter idea is that the Sun feels no net forces: the gravitational forces are precisely canceled by the centrifugal forces [except for the tides that are negligible]. As with Earl, people barrel on regardless, so what can one say…
    4: The problem with the lengths is that the ‘length’ of a cycle as defined by the ‘lengthists’ is not a physical quantity. A cycle extends physically [as given by the various emissions] from several years before the statistical minimum to several years after the statistical minimum. This would not matter if these ‘extensions’ were always the same [would just add a constant to the 'length'], but there also vary [seemingly at random as far as I can tell] from cycle to cycle. This latter variation has not been studied in detail as we don’t have data as far back as the sunspot numbers themselves. And the ‘statistics’ is not overwhelming as the number of degrees of freedom is very small.
    5: David A doesn’t have a valid prediction of the minimum. I quote from one of his latest papers: “If Solar Cycle 23 is the same length as Solar Cycle 4, the solar cycle that preceded the Dalton Minimum, then solar minimum won’t be reached until November 2010, and we may not see sunspots from Solar Cycle 24 until November 2009.” This is not a prediction. My own prediction, BTW, based of the evolution of the ‘flatness’ of the Heliospheric Current Sheet is June 2008 [i.e. now], but as minimum is not the same for all solar quantities, my prediction is just indicative. The NASA/NOAA panel prediction has a range to reflect this.

    And on being conservative: almost all scientists are very conservative when it comes to accepting new ideas for the simple reason that ‘99% of all new ideas are wrong’. We might not accept a new idea right away, but that does not mean it is ruled out, only that it is on a list of back-burner ‘candidates’ that might be right, but have not proven themselves useful or fruitful yet. To even be on that list, the idea has to make physically sense and be energetically feasible. Statistics is no guide in this respect. It doesn’t matter if it is a 10-sigma effect if it requires the operation of a perpetuum mobile.

  14. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jun 9, 2008 at 3:35 PM | Permalink

    On a related note perhaps, if you sample your wall outlet 100 or 120 times a second on a regular basis — right when the wave crosses zero — you might think it’s okay to stick a metal butterknife in the socket. But you’ll certainly be surprised by what you didn’t know. A lot of things could be true, but in real life, unless you make sure your impressions and conclusions are true, you can make some pretty big errors in judgement working off your impressions and conclusions. Especiall if I’ve already told you you should have been sampling things 1/4 or 3/4 of a cycle later…..

  15. Hemst 101
    Posted Jun 9, 2008 at 3:52 PM | Permalink

    Leif

    I lurk in the background here but visit this thread at least 2X a day out of interest. I cannot comment on the science here because I am waaay out of my depth. I find your approach to the discussions re the rigor of the arguments refreshing as I do Steve Mc insistence on keeping to the point. However, I do find my contrasting your and Steve’s approach with the, what appears to me, laxity of the scientific scrutiny of the hypothesis (I hesitate to call it a theory) of Anthropogenic Global Warming. Am I way out of line thinking that?

  16. Posted Jun 9, 2008 at 4:25 PM | Permalink

    One of the biggest things I have gotten out of these threads is that there is a huge problem with proxy reconstructions in general. Leif, makes a convincing case that solar variation (11 year cycles) do not have a dramatic impact on climate change. Still some pick TSI reconstructions like Lean to “prove” points and others use “treemometers” to “prove” theirs.

    While the universe may be simple, climate is chaotic. Looking for obvious coorelations to “prove” a point is futile in that chaos.

    Leif is doing something that is very important IMO, he is taking a realistic stance on the quality of science needed to settle things.

    dallas

  17. Posted Jun 9, 2008 at 4:30 PM | Permalink

    15 (Hemst):

    I do find my contrasting your and Steve’s approach with the, what appears to me, laxity of the scientific scrutiny of the hypothesis (I hesitate to call it a theory) of Anthropogenic Global Warming.

    It is not clear to me that Steve and I have contrasting approaches to AGW. For both of us it seems that in so far GW has happened, we want to make sure that the data on which the conclusion is drawn has been handled correctly, before it even makes sense to discuss the ‘A’ in AGW. The same problem exists with the data on which long-term reconstructions of solar activity is based. The two datasets are linked by the possible influence [actual or assumed] of solar activity on climate, which is why I even on this blog.

  18. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jun 9, 2008 at 4:44 PM | Permalink

    17 Leif

    For both of us it seems that in so far GW has happened, we want to make sure that the data on which the conclusion is drawn has been handled correctly, before it even makes sense to discuss the ‘A’ in AGW.

    I agree. My take is that it seems you have issues with people blaming the sun whereas Steve has issues with updating and archiving and the like. But you’re both focused more on the reproducibility of the science, and the truth of what’s going on, than you are with some pet hypothesis about it you hold emotionally dear.

  19. Posted Jun 9, 2008 at 6:04 PM | Permalink

    # 13

    Leif, Erl, Sam,

    There is a hard work ahead to do for solar physicists and climatologists, given that it seems the previous knowledge is being obliterated by new discoveries, ideas or hypotheses. For example, many scientists have shown that GW is not due to GHG simply because GHG don’t generate energy, but absorb and transfer it. Leif has demonstrated in hypothesis that the solar irradiance has nothing to do with Earth’s climate, and has given place for looking for climate drivers in the Earth, not outside her.

    # 15

    Hemst 101,

    I’d call AGW an idea, instead a hypothesis. It’s all the opposed way a scientific hypothesis must run.

  20. Posted Jun 9, 2008 at 6:09 PM | Permalink

    # 18

    Sam,

    I agree. My take is that it seems you have issues with people blaming the sun whereas Steve has issues with updating and archiving and the like. But you’re both focused more on the reproducibility of the science, and the truth of what’s going on…

    Perhaps the candle that heats up the room is not a source of photons?

  21. Posted Jun 9, 2008 at 6:17 PM | Permalink

    A friend of mine sent to me a very interesting related NASA link with the Earth’s plasma torus. If we could monitor the density of the plasma hour by hour we would have a feasible explanation for many climate phenomena and the last global warming.

  22. David Archibald
    Posted Jun 9, 2008 at 6:39 PM | Permalink

    Re 13, as others are ascribing to me positions that I do not hold, I had better summarise things:

    1. When Bob Foster asked me to get involved in 2005, we knew that AGW was over-rated but did not know how. I said to Bob at the time that I didn’t think that climate is a random walk and that we should be able to predict it. The Sun would be the place to start.
    2. There were a range of predictions of solar cycle amplitude for Solar Cycle 24 at the time, equating to a range in climate response of 2 degrees. If the wavelet people like Clilverd were correct, then we would have two weak cycles in a row. What does that remind us of? The Dalton Minimum
    3. What was the Dalton Minimum preceded by? A very long Solar Cycle 4 that was 14 years long with an amplitude of 130.9 – very similar to that of Solar Cycle 23.
    4. So the first sign that we could be in for a repeat of the Dalton Minimum was if Solar Cycle 23 became very long. Hathaway found a correlation between length of a solar cycle and the amplitude of the following solar cycle – longer means weaker in the following cycle.
    5. This shows up in temperature records from Europe and the US. In the latter, the relationship is 0.7 degrees per year of solar cycle length. That in turn amounts to a 100 km shift in climatic conditions equator-ward per year of solar cycle length.
    6. Solar Cycle 22 was 9.6 years and we are already at 12 years on 23, so the temperature fall that is in the bag for Solar Cycle 24 is 2.4 multiplied by 0.7 which is 1.7 degrees C.
    7. We now have more data on the progression of Solar Cycles 23 and 24, and thus I am able to firm up on a June 2009 month of solar minimum. This will make the cooling 2.5 degrees.
    8. If the Sun controls climate, what controls the Sun? Fortunately I was able to help on a paper which is coming out later this year.
    9. I was able to make some other original contributions, including plotting the log CO2 effect graphically and plotting the Vostok interglacials on top of each to show when the current one is likely to end (right about now).

    Most of the science in climate is sorted now, and we can sit back and watch the train wreck of cold weather effects unfold. I have a feeling that AGW as a subject of interest is going to die off soonish. With that Senate bill not getting up, the AGW circus will lose momentum and they have become as hysterical as they could get. As the world cools and it becomes obvious that the Sun is causing it, solar matters will become of increasing interest. Solar physicists will have the prestige and position of the royal astronomers of old, but only those who haven’t blotted their copybook in the new regime. One industry being held back by AGW is coal to liquids (CTL). Once the AGW carcass stops twitching, the floodgates will open on the installation of CTL capacity. Even warmers like Sir David King can see it coming. By my calculations, the capital cost of CTL capacity to provide fuel for an ordinary vehicle is only $2,500. At the current oil price, the return on capital is of the order of 40%. Geared, it will be through the roof. The choke point on installation of CTL capacity will be the cryogenic oxygen plant, so snaffle up any idle plants that you can find.

  23. Posted Jun 9, 2008 at 6:40 PM | Permalink

    21 (Nasif): it pays to actually read the link carefully. It shows how thunderstorms might affect the ionosphere, i.e upwards, not how space weather might affect our weather and climate, i.e. downwards.

  24. Posted Jun 9, 2008 at 6:49 PM | Permalink

    22 (DavidA):

    7. We now have more data on the progression of Solar Cycles 23 and 24, and thus I am able to firm up on a June 2009 month of solar minimum.

    Please remind me how you make that prediction?

  25. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 9, 2008 at 8:09 PM | Permalink

    11 (Leif)

    A warming or a cooling trend will not affect the relationship whereby the greatest range is seen at the perimeter of the absorbtive medium (the atmosphere). Let’s model from simple to more complex.

    Let us consider a heat source (the sun) and a receptor (the Earth) the latter surrounded by a medium (gas of uniform density at all altitudes) capable of being energised to some small extent by some component of the radiation passing from source to receptor. Let us assume that returning energy from the Earth is not trapped at all by the medium during exit from the Earth system. Can we agree that the temperature of the medium will exhibit fluctuations as the energy from the source fluctuates? Can we further agree that if the property of the medium that enables it to absorb energy (e.g. oxygen or water vapour or ozone) is uniformly distributed throughout the medium the amplitude of these temperature fluctuations will be greater at the sunwards perimeter of the medium (if only because some of the energy the energy supply doing the heating is finite and exhaustible)?

    Can we further agree that the absolute temperatures at the perimeter of the medium will change as the source of warmth gives out more or less energy and the amplitude of the change in temperature at the perimeter of the medium will also change but the range will always be greatest at the perimeter.

    Can we further agree that if the gaseous component doing the absorbing (oxygen, water vapour or ozone) is not uniformly distributed throughout the medium the local temperature of the medium will exhibit the greatest fluctuation at the outer limit of the appearance of the absorber within the medium.

    Can we agree that if the density of the medium is less at greater elevations it will not affect the temperature range relationship already described?

    Can we agree that (in the real world) temperature relations in the lower troposphere where there is a high water vapour content will be much affected by processes like warming by surface contact, convection, release of latent heat of condensation and absorption of outgoing long wave radiation so that the warming signal from absorption of incoming energy will be swamped. Apart from that, the amount of water vapour is so much greater that the temperature effect from absorption of incoming energy will be much diluted. (In particular if some wave lengths are exhausted in the process. Think of UVC)

    Can we agree that at 200mb pressure the major influences on local temperature will be the relative presence of the absorber (water), the strength of the incoming energy input and the strength of the convective de-compressive effect from convection below together with possible absorption of long wave energy from below (in practice, less over the warmer oceans in the western Pacific than over the colder oceans in the East)?

    Can we agree that an overall cooling or warming trend will not affect things so as to change the relationship whereby the greatest fluctuation in temperature within the medium will be seen at its outer perimeter?

    The long and the short of it is that a variation in the range of temperature reflects flux in the energy supplied. A greater range at higher altitudes reflects proximity to source (the sun). If the range were greatest close to the surface of the Earth I would say that the energy responsible for the variation was that from the Earth, not the sun. Long term trends for warming or cooling will not reflect this relationship whereby the range is greatest closest to the source.

    Sink you fist into a mattress. Where is the greatest deflection seen?

  26. Posted Jun 9, 2008 at 8:21 PM | Permalink

    25 (Erl):

    Can we agree that an overall cooling or warming trend will not affect things so as to change the relationship whereby the greatest fluctuation in temperature within the medium will be seen at its outer perimeter?

    No, here is where you make an assumption that is not given, namely that the trend is the same at all altitudes. Since the range you compute will include the trend, unless you remove the trend, you cannot compare the different altitudes. All of the rest of your comment is just to dilute this essential point. So, remove the trend first. This should have taken you less time to do than to compose all that verbiage.

  27. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 9, 2008 at 8:26 PM | Permalink

    13 (Leif)

    2: The problem with Erl is that he has little appreciation for the relative sizes of things. Even as I show that the energy in microwaves are only a fraction like 0.000000[more zeroes]0000001 of the energy falling on the Earth, he ignores that and still talks about the troposphere being heated by microwaves. I have not figured out yet how to get this across.

    Leif, careful. It’s not the problem with Erl. It’s the problem with Erl’s proposition.

    If I say this: The problem with Leif is that he is unwilling to face the fact that the medium actually absorbs energy from the sun. If it were perfectly transparent both to incoming and outgoing energy there would be no variation in temperature within the medium at all. If it were energised only by outgoing energy it would show the greatest fluctuations in temperature close to the Earth in those locations where absorbers (water vapour and GHG) were present. That is not what is observed.

    Is the point obvious?

    And, we are not talking just microwaves here, just as we don’t simply talk of UVC when we talk about warming in the stratosphere. We also recognise that ozone absorbs UVA and UVB. We recognise that something in the troposphere also absorbs UVA and UVB. We recognise that 12.7 MHz radio flux represents a much wider range of frequencies capable of heating water.

    What makes water at 200mb so different to water in the oceans? We need less hard debating talk and a bit more co-operative endeavour.

  28. Hemst 101
    Posted Jun 9, 2008 at 8:38 PM | Permalink

    Lief

    Wow, I couldn’t believe how badly I expressed that until I read your reply. I think Sam saved my bacon. I wasn’t contrasting yours and Steve approaches. I think they are very much the same. I was trying to say how much constructive criticism goes on here and on Steve’s threads whereas you are crucified if you even question the AGW hypothesis other places (even on the BB) or in public. I’ll go back to lurking and learning now.

  29. Posted Jun 9, 2008 at 9:06 PM | Permalink

    27 (Erl): It is not a problem with Erl’s proposition. If Erl said that “2+2=5″ the problem would be with Erl. That proposition is false, and the problem is with the person positing an obviously false proposition.
    As I have already pointed out, even if you integrate over a wide band of frequencies the total energy in microwaves is still negligible.

    Since the density of the air decreases with height, the same amount of energy fluctuation will lead to a larger temperature fluctuation at the greater height, in much the same way the effect movement of a whip is largest at the thin tip rather than at the handle. So, first remove the trend, then calculate the temperature change, then compensate for decreasing density, then plot the energy content.

  30. Posted Jun 9, 2008 at 9:33 PM | Permalink

    27 (Erl):

    If it were perfectly transparent both to incoming and outgoing energy there would be no variation in temperature within the medium at all.

    The way it works even with perfect transparency is like this: Incoming gets to the surface which because it is not transparent heats up. The heat is transferred to the air by conduction [put your hand on a hot stove to feel how]. The heated air rises and expands [thus cools] thereby establishing an upward temperature gradient. This all works with perfectly transparent air. Any greenhouse gases like H20 and CO2 will add their effect depending on absorption and re-radiation.
    Erl, the problem with Erl is your lack of understanding of the basic physics ["the head in the sands stuff" as you once called it]. You said I was “unwilling to face the fact that …”. When it comes to science, ‘willingness’ is not an issue. The numbers, the physics, the mechanism, the energetics, etc are what counts and those can be communicated clearly and simply, step by step. If the numbers point in different directions, their significance can be quantified and discussed. Different interpretations may result from this, but general statements like ‘abundantly plain’ are not part of that standard toolkit.
    Normally, when I come across a statement like the one I quoted above, my ‘filter’ kicks in and the rest of the text is just tuned out. Here I’ll make an exception because I don’t think you actually meant what you said, but then, of course, what else didn’t you mean?

  31. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 9, 2008 at 9:43 PM | Permalink

    29 (Leif)

    Since the density of the air decreases with height, the same amount of energy fluctuation will lead to a larger temperature fluctuation at the greater height,

    Good, that much established, what’s the absorber at 200mb and what’s the energy source?

  32. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 9, 2008 at 9:48 PM | Permalink

    31 (Leif)

    Re 31:
    If the trend is a product of the fluctuation in temperature how do you remove the trend?

    Since temperatures have fallen since 1998 would you be happy to see a plot of the range of temperature at different altitudes since that time so as to establish that the amplitude of the fluctuation is greater the further one gets away from the Earth?

    All we need to establish that the fact that cirrus cloud can come and go at 200mb (as temperature changes at that level) is to establish that the temperature actually changes. The physics of water vapour variation with temperature is well understood. The temperature does in fact change. That is an immutable fact. As for the observational evidence that cirrus cloud disappears over the warm waters of the Maritime Continent during tropical heating events (contrary to expectation due to the fact that a warming ocean promotes humidification of the atmosphere and the uplift to get that moisture to 200mb) that also is in the bag. http://enso.larc.nasa.gov/data/fire3/publications/Wang.etal.JGR03.pdf

    Understanding the mechanism is up to the physicists. Let’s hope that they can get a better handle on it than they have with the supposed role of outgoing long wave radiation in changing the temperature of the atmosphere. Where, why and how much and what it means for surface temperatures are still unresolved questions!

    Lets face it. Our understanding of the processes is limited. That should not prevent us from taking advantage of our knowledge of relationships. It should not be a barrier to attributing the temperature change at 200mb to the sun.

  33. Posted Jun 9, 2008 at 10:03 PM | Permalink

    # 13

    Leif,

    21 (Nasif): it pays to actually read the link carefully. It shows how thunderstorms might affect the ionosphere, i.e upwards, not how space weather might affect our weather and climate, i.e. downwards.

    Oops! You’re right… I was a bit distracted… Mine was just the opposite interpretation. Heh!

  34. Posted Jun 9, 2008 at 11:10 PM | Permalink

    # 21

    David Archibald,

    8. If the Sun controls climate, what controls the Sun? Fortunately I was able to help on a paper which is coming out later this year.

    Perhaps interstellar cosmic rays or waves, nucleons and debris left by supernovas? We have some ideas.

  35. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 10, 2008 at 12:05 AM | Permalink

    30 (Leif)

    Normally, when I come across a statement like the one I quoted above, my ‘filter’ kicks in and the rest of the text is just tuned out. Here I’ll make an exception because I don’t think you actually meant what you said, but then, of course, what else didn’t you mean?

    My statement was: “If it were perfectly transparent both to incoming and outgoing energy there would be no variation in temperature within the medium at all.”

    And in talking ‘transparency’ I was thinking only radiant energy in the context of our discussion of which end of the medium would warm most. I am well aware of other means of energy transfer, but perhaps you hadn’t noticed.

    Back to the point. Do you have an answer for 31?

  36. Pofarmer
    Posted Jun 10, 2008 at 7:23 AM | Permalink

    What I’m trying to come to grips with, is that we have a solar scientist here arguing that the sun doesn’t effect our climate. I find that—-puzzling.

    Steve: Why? I interpret Leif as trying to work through over-simplistic ideas. I also think that he’s gotten waylaid here by too many people, who despite blog policies, try to advance their own theories of solar activity, as opposed to reviewing and discussing published literature, and he’s been far more patient with these things that I would be.

  37. kim
    Posted Jun 10, 2008 at 8:19 AM | Permalink

    Pof, he’s really not arguing that the sun doesn’t effect the climate; he’s claiming the mechanism is not yet demonstrated. Leif’s standards, in order to be persuaded, are awesome.
    ===========================================================================

  38. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jun 10, 2008 at 9:17 AM | Permalink

    The summary of the “blame the sun” game is: “Since the sun powers the weather, and therefore the climate, any change in climate must be due to the sun.” Then we get little blips, or seeming correlations, or some such, and this is presented as proof.

    It reminds me of running for the ice. “Well, look, this glacier is melting, so carbon dioxide must be making the air warmer.” “See those polar bears, they’re dying, we must halt our use of fossil fuels!”

    19 Nasif “I’d call AGW an idea, instead a hypothesis.”

    Yes! It’s an anti-hypothesis.

    20 Nasif “Perhaps the candle that heats up the room is not a source of photons?”

    Perhaps it’s just a source of heat or light. Or a cause of dangerous global warming! :D

    The heat of the match used to light the candle melts and vaporizes a small amount of fuel. Once vaporized, the fuel combines with oxygen in the atmosphere to form a flame. This flame provides sufficient heat to keep the candle burning via a self-sustaining chain of events: the heat of the flame melts the top of the mass of solid fuel, the liquified fuel then moves upward through the wick via capillary action, and the liquified fuel is then vaporized to burn within the candle’s flame.

    The burning of the fuel takes place in several distinct regions (as evidenced by the various colors that can be seen within the candle’s flame). Within the bluer regions, hydrogen is being separated from the fuel and burned to form water vapor. The brighter, hotter, yellower part of the flame is the remaining carbon being oxidized to form carbon dioxide.

    As the mass of solid fuel is melted and consumed, the candle grows shorter. Portions of the wick that are not evaporating the liquid fuel are consumed in the flame, limiting the exposed length of the wick and keeping the temperature and rate of fuel consumption even. Some wicks require manual trimming with scissors or a wick trimmer for even burning.

  39. Posted Jun 10, 2008 at 9:38 AM | Permalink

    Steve,

    Steve: Why? I interpret Leif as trying to work through over-simplistic ideas. I also think that he’s gotten waylaid here by too many people, who despite blog policies, try to advance their own theories of solar activity, as opposed to reviewing and discussing published literature, and he’s been far more patient with these things that I would be.

    Agree… We must examine published literature from all perspectives and viewpoints; consequently, sometimes one fails forwarding own hypotheses or ideas. However, sometimes own hypotheses could verify the published theory or assessment. I have examined Leif’s work from my viewpoint and have found that he’s right in some points, but not in all issues. Nobody has examined the amplitude of the irradiance. All databases on the intensity of energy contain three basic characteristics: longitude, frequency and amplitude. We have to examine the three parts so we can verify or falsify a theory or, at least, one portion of that theory.

    I’ve found that taking into account the amplitude of the intensity of solar irradiance the correlation is clear. For example, if we have a change in Solar Irradiance from 1364.5 Wm^-2 to 1364.7 Wm^-2 and compare it with the next change which is from 1364.7 to 1368.5 Wm^-2, we would find a difference between the two shifts. We must to obtain a cipher as a baseline for knowing what the amplitude of the change is. For this case, we could take the median in the whole database, or simply take the standard value which, as Leif has explained, is movable. Hence, we prefer to obtain the median from the whole database for calculating the amplitude of the change. The median in Leif’s database is 1365.91695 Wm^-2 and the median from Lean’s database is 1365.7323 Wm^-2. The discrepancy is obvious because Lean’s database comprehends a larger period than Leif’s database. We should examine amplitude of change, and I have found there is a correlation between the amplitude of ∆SI and the amplitude of ∆T.

    If I’m wrong, just tell me. I’m not fixed to my own ideas, but I need a feasible explanation which demonstrates that I am wrong. Nevertheless, nobody wish to be engaged in the issue; perhaps it is one of my multiple “nonsensical” quotes. ;)

  40. Pofarmer
    Posted Jun 10, 2008 at 9:42 AM | Permalink

    Steve: Why? I interpret Leif as trying to work through over-simplistic ideas. I also think that he’s gotten waylaid here by too many people, who despite blog policies, try to advance their own theories of solar activity, as opposed to reviewing and discussing published literature, and he’s been far more patient with these things that I would be.

    That may be, I haven’t waded through all the thousands of comments in the Svalgard threads. What I do know, is that the Sun is the main energy source for our planet. It seems that before we accept trace gases in the 400 PPM range for changes in climate, we ought to look pretty closely at the main driver of that climate. We know the sun changes state, has cycles, etc, etc. We surely don’t understand them all, but, I think it’s kind of premature to dismiss the sun, and possibly other solar bodies, as effecting our climate. Now, I don’t think Leif is trying to necessarily totally exclude the sun’s influence, but I do think his skepticism is kind of high.

    he’s claiming the mechanism is not yet demonstrated.

    O.K.

    I can get that. I don’t know that the mechanism is particularly important, as long as we can agree that the energy from the sun fluctuates and influences our climate. If your point of reference is that this is impossible unless somebody nails down the exact mechanism, then we are gonna be down the CO2 sequestration rabbit hole pretty far before somebody figures it out, and it’s gonna be a little too late.

  41. Posted Jun 10, 2008 at 9:45 AM | Permalink

    # 40

    Me,

    Correction:

    Nevertheless, nobody wish to be engaged in the issue;

    It should have said:

    Nevertheless, nobody

    seems to wish being engaged

    in the issue…

  42. Jeff A
    Posted Jun 10, 2008 at 10:38 AM | Permalink

    What I’m trying to come to grips with, is that we have a solar scientist here arguing that the sun doesn’t effect our climate. I find that—-puzzling.

    Has he actually said that? Or has he said that minor variations in TSI do not appear sufficient to cause measurable fluctuations in climate? Big difference.

    Personally I think small fluctuations can have an effect, but it’s just a gut feeling, not a scientific hypothesis.

  43. Bill F
    Posted Jun 10, 2008 at 1:04 PM | Permalink

    1 (Leif):

    Can I ask you for an opinion in amongst all the heated discussions? It seems there are more and more people coming out of the woodwork to suggest that something very unusual is going on with the lack of cycle 24 sunspots and the length of cycle 23. Given what you have seen so far, how is the cycle transition going with regards to your prediction and besides sunspot numbers, how are the other signs of the minimum you have cited elsewhere progressing? I believe you once said over at Solarcycle24 that there were other things that could be used to measure the minumum besides just sunspot numbers. How is the cycle transition going according to those measures?

    What I am getting at is how would we know we are at minimum if cycle 24 ends up being a very small cycle? The typical point of changeover between two cycles occurs at some point between where one cycle ends and another begins. If both cycles are the same size, then that point should be somewhere just past the mid point between the end of one and beginning of the other (assuming the old cycle ramps down slower than the new cycle ramps up). But what if the new cycle is very small, and doesn’t ramp up quickly? Then the point where the new cycle spots are more numerous than the old cycle is pushed further down the rampdown curve of the old cycle, making it seem longer than it really is. Assumably if you were basing the cycle minimum only on sunspots, you would see a delayed minimum to a later point between the start and end points, but the other signs might come sooner…or would they not?

    I guess what I am asking is do you see any reason to buy into the idea that cycle 24 has already started in earnest and the low sunspot numbers aren’t a sign of a delayed minimum…but instead a sign of a very low 24 to come? I know that technically 24 has started (in January)…but is it as atypical as others are making it sound for it to take this long to start ramping up? If 24 were a larger cycle and ramping up faster, nobody would be talking about the length of cycle 23, since we would already be past the minimum. So is a “long cycle” really long in itself? Or is it a function of the cycle that follows it being slow to begin that makes some appear long? Is there some way to measure the “total sunspot” energy or something that would be a measure of the cumulative strength of a cycle instead of just looking at peak number and time from minimum to minimum? Does such an index exist already? And if so, wouldn’t it be a better thing to compare climate changes to than peak intensity or sycle length?

    Sorry, lots of questions…feel free to only answer the ones that appeal to you.

  44. Posted Jun 10, 2008 at 1:41 PM | Permalink

    # 44

    Bill F,

    I’m not Leif, but I have an answer for one from your questions:

    Is there some way to measure the “total sunspot” energy or something that would be a measure of the cumulative strength of a cycle instead of just looking at peak number and time from minimum to minimum?

    Yes, there is a way for measuring the annual cumulative strength of the fossil energy incoming from the Sun, iron stained grains. I was taught the method during my stay in the university. Unfortunately, now they take those methods as if they were not bound strongly to the scientific observation (of course they are), simply because those methods do not fit within the framework of their ideas.

  45. See - owe to Rich
    Posted Jun 10, 2008 at 3:12 PM | Permalink

    44 (Bill F)

    Given that solar minimum is defined as being when the smoothed sum of old cycle spots and new cycle spots, it is obvious that its timing is highly dependent on the ramp up of the new cycle. Even so, Leif has pointed to longer cycles (I think 21) which were then followed by quite big cycles.

    Perhaps your question should be, ignoring Cycle 24 spots is Cycle 23 decaying in the usual way? If cycle 24 spots had started a couple of years earlier, we wouldn’t even be talking about the current rate of Cycle 23 spots, because they would be vastly outnumbered.

    I’ll leave Leif to paint a more accurate picture of this.

    Rich.

  46. Bill F
    Posted Jun 10, 2008 at 4:46 PM | Permalink

    46 (Rich): I think you put it fairly accurately. What I am really trying to get at is whether it is the ramp down of 23 taking longer than usual or the delay in the ramp up of 24 that is causing the minimum to fall later than initially predicted? If other signs typically associated with minimum have already taken place, it would signal to me that it is the ramp up of 24 that is causing the delayed minimum…which I assume would suggest that maybe 24 would end up smaller than predicted?

  47. kim
    Posted Jun 10, 2008 at 4:52 PM | Permalink

    44 (Bill F) See Pete’s graph in comment #454 on the Svalgaard #2 thread.
    ==========================================

  48. David Archibald
    Posted Jun 10, 2008 at 5:38 PM | Permalink

    Re 24, Dr Svalgaard, of course you would want to know my solar minimum prediction methodology. The NASA solar prediction panel had failed miserably in predicting month of minimum, and no doubt you are all thrashing about in search of something that works. Let’s start with the basics. The normal 11 year cycle is due to the partial overlapping of individual events that are about 16 years long. The weak cycles tend to be late developers. In some cases, the month of solar minimum has come two years after the first sunspots of the new cycle. If that applied to Solar Cycle 24, the month of minimum could be January 2010. That is the theoretical background. For practical application, take a good, long look at Jan Janssens’ graph and estimate the most likely point at which the lines will intersect and then pull back a couple of months. Before you protest, remember that your methodology has not worked to date. For your March 2008 prediction to work, there will have to be an explosion of activity of Solar Cycle 24 to get sufficient ramp up. Rather, the weakness of the IMF suggests that the Sun is entering a deep sleep. Go to your sleep, good, gentle Sun, and cool the fevered worrying of the warmers.

  49. Pofarmer
    Posted Jun 10, 2008 at 7:03 PM | Permalink

    Yes, there is a way for measuring the annual cumulative strength of the fossil energy incoming from the Sun, iron stained grains.

    I’d really like to hear a little more about that.

  50. Posted Jun 10, 2008 at 11:17 PM | Permalink

    # 50

    Pofarmer,

    Science Magazine.

  51. Posted Jun 11, 2008 at 1:12 AM | Permalink

    The roughly 30% increase in the incidence of solar storms over the last 150 years indicated by this graph from NOAA data demonstrates a lot of extra energy leaving the sun.

    The extra U/V would interact with ozone in earth’s atmosphere to create heat wouldn’t it?

    Could that amount of extra energy cause a general warming of objects in the solar system? Even those with little or no atmosphere?

  52. kuhnkat
    Posted Jun 11, 2008 at 1:47 AM | Permalink

    Since 20080603 the solar flux has been under 67 with a low of 64.9. The last time it was at 70 was 20080518.

    http://www.dxlc.com/solar/indices.html

    Does anyone have any comments about this level of activity??

    I started reading about solar output recently and have little idea how normal or abnormal this might be.

    Could this be the actual minimum finally?? Any chance of it going lower?? etc, etc, etc

  53. Bill F
    Posted Jun 11, 2008 at 9:23 AM | Permalink

    53 (Kuhnkat): As I understand it, the theoretical “floor” in 10.7 cm flux is about 64.7. So at 65-66, there is limited room for it to go lower. On the other hand, it could stay here for a while too.

  54. Posted Jun 11, 2008 at 9:55 AM | Permalink

    # 39

    Sam,

    19 Nasif “I’d call AGW an idea, instead a hypothesis.”

    Yes! It’s an anti-hypothesis.

    LOL! You’re always so assertive. :)

    20 Nasif “Perhaps the candle that heats up the room is not a source of photons?”

    Perhaps it’s just a source of heat or light. Or a cause of dangerous global warming

    Don’t give’em ideas… Heh! :)

  55. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jun 11, 2008 at 11:20 AM | Permalink

    Nasif #55 Not always so assertive! :) I just thought anti-hypothesis was funny. :) But don’t worry about giving anyone any ideas — Everything is due to dangerous global warming!!!! :D

    Convective gravity waves are a wonderful thing. As is mixing more rapidly horizontally than vertically. As is the relationship between the antecedent and the consequent.

    ————————-

    David #49 “cool the fevered worrying of the warmers”

    Yeah, .7 trend over 130 years offset from a 14 +/- 2.5 ensemble of models. Whole lot to worry about there of course!

    ————————-

    #52 Stroller “The extra U/V would interact with ozone in earth’s atmosphere to create heat wouldn’t it?”

    Indeed, but how does one quantify when and how O2 is split to O and then forms with other O2 to make O3? It’s not like triatomic allotropes of oxygen are in short supply….. Makes me wonder, do the models take Rossby waves, Brewer-Dobson circulation and quasi-Biennial Oscillation into account? I’d guess in some way, but how well?

    ————————

    Some cartoons and stuff about ozone at NASA Advanced Supercomputing

  56. Jim Arndt
    Posted Jun 11, 2008 at 1:26 PM | Permalink

    52 (Stroller)

    I tried to make that point to Leif but he said there is no effect. I sighted some papers but to no avail. These papers clearly show the solar flare, wind and CME interact with the troposphere. CME maybe causing cloud nuclei not to form and thus lower albedo. As we are seeing now the lower solar activity and very few and weak flares and CMEs are allowing the clouds to form and raise albedo.
    link for CME

    http://cosray.phys.uoa.gr/SEE2007/Presentations_files/Session%20C/see2007_cme_gopalswamy.pdf

  57. kuhnkat
    Posted Jun 11, 2008 at 8:17 PM | Permalink

    54 (Bill F)

    Thank you.

  58. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 11, 2008 at 10:37 PM | Permalink

    This looks like something that must be taken into account.

    http://www.omatumr.com/abstracts2007/20071202_Manuel_and_Ratcliffe.pdf

  59. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 12, 2008 at 4:37 PM | Permalink

    There is a nice factual summary of global temperature trends that puts May 2008 into perspective at http://global-warming.accuweather.com/2008/06/comparing_global_temperature_a.html

    My comment:

    Great summary of the data. The Hovmoller at the end shows just how important the tropics is in terms of the warmth picked up by the ocean and transferred to high latitudes in the Northern hemisphere. It should start people thinking about the disappearance of cirrus cloud over the warmest tropical waters when we get a tropical warming event. What the diagram can not show is that this is just as important in the Atlantic as the Pacific. How climatologists can continue to maintain that tropical warming events are the result of ‘an internal oscillation of the climate system’ escapes me. For the entire tropics to warm up in the way we see it happening here there has to be a change in albedo. Looks to me as if they simply can not face the question…..what changes the albedo in the tropics? What’s the block?

    It is not always polite to ask the obvious question: Hey, why does this room smell so bad? Might offend the ecclesiastical hierachy. Copernicus and Galileo were well aware of this. Galileo was less cautious.

  60. Posted Jun 12, 2008 at 5:35 PM | Permalink

    36 (Erl): If you meant what you said, then your statement is false, and the filter kicks in. About 31: “what’s the absorber at 200mb and what’s the energy source?”: there is no absorber, the energy is the heat convecting up from the surface. Any variation of that will [because of the smaller density] have a larger temperature variation at height.

    All: I’ve been moving [from Texas to California] so have been ‘away from the office’ for a few days.

    Re Steve’s remark: I have indeed been rather patient, but there is, of course, a limit in the end to that.

    The transition from cycle 23 to cycle 24 is not so unusual. And we are still seeing cycle 23 spots [there is one right now, BTW].

    DavidA: as I thought, you are making an extrapolation, not a prediction. I just wanted to establish that with your own words.

    41 (pof):

    I don’t know that the mechanism is particularly important, as long as we can agree that the energy from the sun fluctuates and influences our climate.

    Why should we a priori agree on that? [except for the trivial case that the fluctuations are large enough to influence the climate]. With the current size of the fluctuations the influence might well be undetectable and IMHO has not been sufficiently demonstrated]. It is all a question of sizes. I have said this too many times: for there to be an influence, the climate system must be hypersensitive to the minutest solar fluctuations, and I came to this blog to find out. Unfortunately, very little serious discussion has come of this and I’m no closer to an answer. Instead, I spend thousands of postings commenting on everybody and his brother’s pet theories or worse.

    59 (Erl): the paper you cite scores high on my crankometer.

  61. kim
    Posted Jun 12, 2008 at 6:26 PM | Permalink

    61 (Leif) Aren’t the correlations too compelling to be co-incidence? That leaves causal connection. Don’t we have TSI 0.3 W/m-2 less now than the baseline of historic TSI, with a cooling globe? Don’t phase shifts and feedbacks have the potential for amplifying the effect of the sun? I grant you, the mechanism isn’t settled. But what else can it be but varying albedo?
    ============================================================

  62. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 12, 2008 at 6:52 PM | Permalink

    61 (Leif)
    Glad to see your crankometer still works. If your patience is not exhausted please run it over what follows.

    Leif,

    You have asked me to take out the long term trend in the temperature data before I assert that the range of fluctuation increases with altitude. I agree, the long term trend for cooling in the stratosphere affects the range of temperature there just as the increasing trend at the surface affects the range there. What follows is in part a response to that request. I am looking at data within the space of a year. The data comes from http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat-trop/

    I want to compare 1997 at the start of the RSS satellite record with 2007 and the first five months of 2008. The average monthly anomalies in the TLT (tropical lower troposphere over ocean) are: 1979 (0.02°C), 2007 (0.03°C) and first five months of 2008 (-0.56°C). So, in terms of this particular statistic the years 1979 and 2007 are about on a par and 2008 is much cooler.

    B lying partly in the troposphere and partly in the stratosphere is the region of strong cooling via convective uplift. Temperature is less than -70°C. This has its greatest vertical extent in Southern Hemisphere summer when the ocean is most exposed to direct solar radiation and convection is greatest. The tropopause lies at the coldest point at 100hPa or 15Km up and there is no evidence of change in height over the period. Since November of 2007 the tropopause has been cooler than in 2007 and a lot cooler than in 1979. The actual temperature over the first four months of 2007 has been colder than minus 80°C. It’s a pity the artist ran out of colours but this presentation has 5° C change per contour.

    A is a region of relatively volatile temperature due to the presence of strong absorbers of UV i.e. oxygen and ozone and also aerosols. The volatility increases with elevation. The volatility identified by the location A occurred in the middle of Southern Hemisphere summer (irradiation peaks) at a time when sunspots are few and far between. This sort of volatility occurs elsewhere in the record. It seems that stratospheric temperatures strongly reflect solar activity at the minimum and also sometimes at the maximum.

    The region labelled D experiences a temperature peak in March and September when the coupling of the solar wind with the Earths magnetosphere is strongest. However, this effect, so obvious in 2007 and 2008 is less apparent in March 1979, a year of strong sunspot activity near solar maximum. It is apparent in September of 1979. Is there another possible explanation for this equinoctial peak? If the link is real how does the mechanism work?

    The upper stratosphere is coolest in July when irradiance is at minimum and the coupling with the magnetosphere is weak. The upper stratosphere is cooler at 1hPa or 45km in 2008 than in 2007 or 1979. I have previously noted a record low temperature at 150hPa in March 2008.

    C shows the extent of the usual contraction in the white zone. The lack of collapse to the extent that occurred in 1979 possibly reflects warmth stored in the oceans, evaporation and the strength of convective forces that may be responsible for the vertical extent of this zone. One notes that convection here causes cooling. The depth to which the effect is seen is probably worthy of investigation. It may extend down to the 250hPa level in which case it will be most associated with cloudy areas and heavy convection. During El Nino events that means that convectional cooling will be greatest about the date line rather than over the hot pool of the Indian Ocean or the maritime Continent.

    The line at E, relating to a temperature of -15°C at the March equinox is highest in 2008 reflecting cooling of the atmospheric column at solar minimum.

    The 250mPa level where I have pointed to temperature anomalies that relate to cirrus cloud density over the hot pool of the warmest oceans is at an elevation of about 9km over the 10°N to 10°S latitude band covered by the GDAS presentation. Temperatures are about minus 40°C and 9km is a little over half way to the tropopause. If 90% of the atmosphere is within 10km of the surface it is already quite thin at 250mPa level. Heat acquisition from below other than via excitation by outgoing long wave radiation must be limited by lack of absorbers. Whatever the absorber and whatever the source of the warmth, any change in temperature is likely to have a big effect on relative humidity and cloud cover. It is known that cloud density diminishes at all levels over the warm pool in El Nino events. It is known that the temperature change at 250mPa is strongly related to the atmosphere over the warmest waters. As noted above, the zone of highest convectional activity is not here but about the date line and further East. That is where cloud cover increases during El Nino events. We have no studies of the Atlantic or the Indian Oceans to elucidate what the pattern of atmospheric change is there, but we know that the warming we describe as ‘El Nino’ is general.

    Is it fair to say that solar activity affects temperatures in the tropical atmosphere from the tropopause upwards and that the magnitude of this fluctuation increases with elevation?

  63. Pofarmer
    Posted Jun 12, 2008 at 7:32 PM | Permalink

    I have said this too many times: for there to be an influence, the climate system must be hypersensitive to the minutest solar fluctuations, and I came to this blog to find out. Unfortunately, very little serious discussion has come of this and I’m no closer to an answer.

    I really don’t think that’s what this blogs about. So, instead of being hypersensitve to the suns ray, you think it might be hypersensitve to a gas at around 380PPM that is well within it’s historical range??? Even a change of fractions of a percentage point in the output of our star is huge amounts of energy. There’s only one thing that supplies energy to this planet. One thing, and it’s output varies in several areas. I have a hard time believing it isn’t the main driver of our climate. Perhaps we are sitting on more of a knife edge than we know with regards to the sun, or, more specifically, with regards to the interaction of the sun and our atmosphere.

  64. Posted Jun 12, 2008 at 7:42 PM | Permalink

    63 (Erl):

    Is it fair to say that solar activity affects temperatures in the tropical atmosphere from the tropopause upwards and that the magnitude of this fluctuation increases with elevation?

    It is not ‘fair’ to say. It is so. The examples you show do not establish this. Simple and well-understood physics does. The temperature fluctuations eventually reach hundreds of degrees in the thermosphere. One small quibble: the warming is very small at the troposphere and only really kicks in at twice the altitude. And, the emphasis on the ‘tropical’ atmosphere is misplaced. This happens at everywhere the Sun shines. Now, we have gone over this many times and there is no problem with this, so why keep bringing it up?

  65. Posted Jun 12, 2008 at 7:53 PM | Permalink

    66 (Leif): troposphere –> tropopause.
    And I forgot to comment on the semiannual variation: it is quite messy and the two peaks [March and September] are often quite unequal.

    64 (pof): what has 380 ppm to do with the Sun’s influence? I would classify your comment as off topic. And I did not make any judgment on the hypersensitivity. For the zillionth time: If you want to maintain that the sun is driving the climate you have to accept and promote hypersensitivity, because changes in the Sun’s output are really very small. And that raises the question of the cause of such hypersensitivity and that is the question I ask. And it is VERY pertinent to this blog, because if we don’t know how much of climate change is due to the Sun it is hard to gauge what is due to man.

  66. Posted Jun 12, 2008 at 8:06 PM | Permalink

    62 (kim):

    But what else can it be but varying albedo?

    No doubt the albedo is important, but what has that to do with the gravitational jerks the supernova core of the Sun is subjected to on its journey through the Galaxy?

  67. Posted Jun 12, 2008 at 8:17 PM | Permalink

    If you want to maintain that the sun is driving the climate you have to accept and promote hypersensitivity, because changes in the Sun’s output are really very small. And that raises the question of the cause of such hypersensitivity and that is the question I ask. And it is VERY pertinent to this blog, because if we don’t know how much of climate change is due to the Sun it is hard to gauge what is due to man.

    Hi Leif

    I have been cogitating over some of the discussions here and have the following thoughts.

    We do know for a fact that the solar cycle does have some influence on the atmosphere that is measurable. We know for an absolute fact that the atmosphere expands during a solar cycle peak due to the effects of increasing drag on satellites. At the 375 km of the space station density can vary by as much as 3x. That is a known. Since the atmosphere has a constant amount of material making it up, it is clear that T is increasing at some point in the atmosphere for V to increase.

    You and I have also discussed that our state of knowledge about the solar/terrestrial interface is no where near as well understood as we would like. There is some tantalizing information from Ulysses of a stronger magnetic coupling between the Sun and the Earth that is not taken into account in any radiative coupling model.

    We also know, based upon recent discoveries of muti-terawatt electrical couplings between the ionosphere and the troposphere. This “vertical lightning” and its influence has been virtually unexplored as to its possible influence on climate. As far as I know, no one has looked at the GRO BATSE data to see if the soft gamma ray bursts recorded in the atmosphere correlate to any variation in the ionosphere during the course of a solar cycle. Hopefully there will be some research on this during the GLAST mission that just launched yesterday. That might be a good topic to propose as GLAST should be able to see these atmospheric gamma ray bursts and in a weak point in the cycle (GRO was active during the peak of cycle 22, a strong cycle) and compare them. That would provide a direct linkage to the strength of storms on the Earth.

    So, I would take issue with your statements about the minor variability of the solar cycle not effecting the Earth. While I do agree that radiatively in the visible band that a few watts/m2 may not seem to be much, but there are influences none the less.

    Also, according to the IPCC the total global warming potential since 1958 is no more than 2 watts/m2 and this is used as evidence that we must change our entire civilization in order to combat. So, something is amiss in that contention if your contention of minor variability is also the case. I do understand that a sustained 2w/m2 is different than solar cycle variable 2 w/m2 but if so, a weak cycle should still provide some climate impact, that is if the IPCC’s contention about CO2 is also correct.

  68. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 12, 2008 at 8:40 PM | Permalink

    66 (Leif)

    And, the emphasis on the ‘tropical’ atmosphere is misplaced.

    The data relates to the tropical atmosphere 10°N to 10°S. I was being careful not to generalise on the basis of a small, albeit critical, sample. Precision.

    No dramas then about a temperature effect from the coupling of the solar wind with the magnetosphere at the equinoxes? Any idea as to how this could produce substantial warming centred on an altitude of 1hPa or 45km? To what depth do you expect the impact will be felt? Did you notice the bump in late January 2008 that runs between the tropopause and the full extent of the atmosphere shown?

    If we are chasing sensitivity we will see it at the level of the cirrus cloud, the major factor in the albedo of the tropics. Small changes in temperature or spatial area affected could be very influential. Perhaps you are closer to a result than you think?

  69. Posted Jun 12, 2008 at 9:16 PM | Permalink

    70 (Erl): In my answer I rashly assumed that you were talking about the thermosphere where indeed solar activity is important. In re-reading your post I realize that you were referring to the middle and lower stratosphere. Mea culpa.
    The Semi-annual Oscillation (SAO) and Quasi-biennial Oscillation (QBO) in the stratosphere are produced mainly by dynamical processes, which are associated with the zonal circulation that dominates at, and is confined to, equatorial latitudes. And so is NOT solar activity related. You can learn more about those processes in http://www.ann-geophys.net/24/2131/2006/angeo-24-2131-2006.pdf
    I quote from the paper: “At low latitudes, the zonal mean zonal winds of the SAO peak in the upper stratosphere near 50 km with velocities of about 30 m/s, eastward during equinox and westward around solstice. These winds are equatorially trapped planetary waves (i.e., eastward propagating Kelvin waves and westward propagating Rossby gravity waves) that provide the wave forcing through critical level absorption and radiative damping. Plumb (1977), Plumb and Bell (1982) and Dunkerton (1985a), and others, further elucidated the properties of this mechanism. With the Sun crossing the equator twice a year, a semi-annual oscillation is generated through momentum advection from the summer to the winter hemisphere. The magnitude of this oscillation is small compared with observations (e.g., Meyer, 1970; Hamilton, 1986), and the theory for the QBO by Lindzen and Holton was therefore extended to also explain the SAO in the stratosphere (e.g., Dunkerton, 1979; Hamilton, 1986, Hitchman and Leovy, 1986). The planetary waves that are postulated to drive the equatorial oscillations in the stratosphere are largely dissipated there, and therefore cannot significantly affect the dynamics of the upper mesosphere. Lindzen (1981) had shown that in this region of the atmosphere, at higher altitudes, small-scale gravity waves (GW) can cause the seasonal variations of the zonal circulation to reverse; and Dunkerton (1982a) proposed this mechanism to explain the observed SAO above 70 km. Hitchman and Leovy (1986) provide a good discussion of the dynamical processes that generate the SAO in the stratosphere and mesosphere. They also discussed specifically the important role of the gravity-wave-driven meridional circulation.”
    I’m sorry I jumped too early, and hope that the above paper will set you straight.

  70. Posted Jun 12, 2008 at 9:32 PM | Permalink

    68 (cba): about the electrical connections between troposphere and ionosphere see #21 and my reply in #33.

    a weak cycle should still provide some climate impact, that is if the IPCC’s contention about CO2 is also correct

    and that is what is clouding this whole debate. The Sun’s influence does not and should not have anything to do with IPCC’s contentions and with CO2.

  71. Posted Jun 12, 2008 at 9:45 PM | Permalink

    68 (cba):

    There is some tantalizing information from Ulysses of a stronger magnetic coupling between the Sun and the Earth that is not taken into account in any radiative coupling model.

    I don’t know what you are referring to. Can you provide me with a reference [not pay-walled] or explain to the unwashed masses what tantalizes you?

  72. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Jun 12, 2008 at 10:06 PM | Permalink

    I don’t know what you are referring to. Can you provide me with a reference [not pay-walled] or explain to the unwashed masses what tantalizes you?

    Leif

    way back about three Svalgaards ago, I pointed you to some papers on the subject, that you said that you would wait until they were free as you did not like buying papers. The intriguing part is that there is a coupling which provides some observational evidence of a non radiative coupling between the sun and the Earth. Since the earth’s core is a magnetorestrictive material (nickel/iron), there could be an energy transfer mechanism here. Just interesting at this point as I have not paid for the paper either to get the details.

    Also, from your 23, circuits flow in both directions. I am interested in this and GRO and GLAST provide an observational basis for examining the phenomenon and any possible relationship to the solar cycle.

    Remember that for us physics kids we must provide a means for testing a hypothesis for it to be science.
    :)

  73. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Jun 12, 2008 at 10:11 PM | Permalink

    Leif

    Also, on CO2, I am not attempting to make a linkage between CO2 and solar influence with the statement, just looking at the statement regarding the magnitude of the influence that you have so forcefully argued. The statement by you that 2 watts per square meter solar varability cannot influence climate, if absolutely true, by implication indicates that the 2 watts per square meter CO2 influence also cannot influence climate.

  74. cba
    Posted Jun 12, 2008 at 10:26 PM | Permalink

    72 (Leif):

    68 wasn’t me. Dennis is definitely someone else

  75. Posted Jun 12, 2008 at 10:40 PM | Permalink

    75 (cba,Dennis): sorry for my confusion. Tired after a long day of moving from TX to CA.

  76. Posted Jun 12, 2008 at 10:51 PM | Permalink

    74 (Dennis): the solar variability is more like 1 W/m2 and is cyclic. I’m NOT saying [how often must I say it] that solar variability does not influence the climate. I’m saying that since solar activity does not seem to have increased steadily since 1700 by more than 0.5 W/m2, the temperature cannot have increased much either, unless the climate sensitivity to solar changes is much higher than people thought a decade ago. So, the solar change is smaller than the IPCC value.
    Do you have an abstract for the Ulysses paper?

  77. kim
    Posted Jun 12, 2008 at 10:51 PM | Permalink

    67 (Leif) Wow, galactic barycentrism. Now you’ll get me started.
    =======================================

  78. Posted Jun 12, 2008 at 11:18 PM | Permalink

    67 (kim): soem posts were censured and snipped, so the numbering is a few off. To get started on the funny stuff click on the link at #59.

  79. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 4:21 AM | Permalink

    As time goes on, I find myself hypothesizing more and more that the Maunder Minimum was less about an absence of sunspots than it was about our inability back then to note tiny sunspots that MAY be a hallmark of Minimums. The very fact that we had relatively crude instruments and few viewing sites between 1645-1715 should lead anyone to pause before making catagorical statements about the Maunder Minimum. Since proxies show we DID have solar cycles during these “spotless” periods, it would be presumptuous to assume that we were indeed “spotless”.

    As for climate impact of a Minimum, I could accept the opinion that the Maunder Mimimum was not a slam dunk cause or major cause of the LIA if alternative hypothesis of the cause were presented. The 0.1/0.2C numbers being promoted as due to TSI are simply straight derivations of energy loss due to fluctuations in the TSI during a Mimimum versus normal cycles. IF that is the case, then proponents of these numbers are absolutely correct. My issue with that is that it assumes that link to be correct and the only possible link to our climate via the sun. There is strong evidence that Earth climate has in the past swung wildly back and forth (>2C from normal). If Hathaway is correct, even a blank sun as seen during the MM would only be capable of producing a 0.5C change in our climate. So, what is causing these amplified effects as seen during the LIA, MWP, and others further back in time??
    The whole Svalgaard discussion on CA is supposedly due to Leif’s attempt to devine another causal link between the sun and Earth that may account for these amplified effects. After 4,000 comments here, is he any closer to a more enlightened opinion?? I certainly would like to know his thoughts after all this time talking about it. A summation if you will.

    Tom

  80. Pete
    Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 5:21 AM | Permalink

    80 (Tucker)

    NASA already gave an explanation of the LIA, and modelled it successfully:

    THE SUN’S CHILLY IMPACT ON EARTH

    Actually, one of the crucial points is hidden a little over in the right sidebar, “A lag time of arguably 10-30 years allowed for the climate system to be affected by an increased ozone layer that altered the heating of the oceans.”

  81. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 9:16 AM | Permalink

    # 81

    Pete,

    From NASA’s article:

    “The period of low solar activity in the middle ages led to atmospheric changes that seem to have brought on the Little Ice Age. However, we need to keep in mind that variations in solar output have had far less impact on the Earth’s recent climate than human actions,” Shindell said. “The biggest catalyst for climate change today are greenhouse gases,” he added.

    Oooh! Yes! The Sun can cause an Ice Age and important atmospheric changes (read it “climate changes”) but we have to forget that the Sun is the culprit of the current climate changes because the Sun is… weaker now than in past?

  82. Pete
    Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 9:30 AM | Permalink

    82(Nasif):

    This is because Natural forcings can Cool, but they cannot Warm. This is well known accepted mainstream science now – as also verified with the AMO expected to Cool over the next 30 years, but it never did Warm in the past 30 years. ;-)

    ….and then I awoke from my Nightmare, and the World was alright again. :-)

    Anyway, according to Leif the Sun was neither Weaker or Stronger Now than in the past – so it’s all wrong anyway!

  83. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 9:44 AM | Permalink

    81 (Pete): What thee NASA link said was that IF the Sun was dimmer, THEN the LIA would follow. They did not explain the LIA. So we have a circular argument: we want the Sun to be the culprit, so by positing that it was, we find [surprise] that it was.

  84. kim
    Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 9:51 AM | Permalink

    84 (Leif) Surely those large, sparse, exclusively southern hemisphere spots have some meaning.
    =======================================================

  85. kim
    Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 9:53 AM | Permalink

    84 (Leif) And how about the TSI presently 0.3 W/m-s below the historical base from your own research?
    =================================

  86. Jim Arndt
    Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 10:05 AM | Permalink

    61, (Leif)

    Welcome to California. I’m in the OC nice here with the onshore breeze.

  87. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 10:22 AM | Permalink

    Тем кто будет читать, чтобы строить, Проблема полета при помощи реактивных аппаратов: межпланетные полеты

    Ahem.

    A few .5 watts per square meter here, an anomaly trend fluctuating around in a 5 band from 14 over a few decades there, some mutual gravitational perturbations, a bit of an argument of periapsis; 2 pounds of flour, a half pound of sugar, and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt. And of course, a residual velocity of zero, sprinkled with powered sugar and cinnamon, and baked at the square root of 2gr.

    The question is, besides how bad the cake above would be, is what’s the punishment for being convicted of breaking Kepler’s laws of planetary motion?

  88. jae
    Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 10:51 AM | Permalink

    68, Dennis:

    So, I would take issue with your statements about the minor variability of the solar cycle not effecting the Earth. While I do agree that radiatively in the visible band that a few watts/m2 may not seem to be much, but there are influences none the less

    I can’t keep up with this prolific thread. Has everyone abandoned the possible GCR links?

  89. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 11:28 AM | Permalink

    # 90

    Jae,

    I haven’t:

  90. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 11:35 AM | Permalink

    # 91

    Me,

    Small changes (no more than 1.3 eV m s^-1) in human terms, but huge effects in cosmic terms.

  91. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 12:18 PM | Permalink

    86 (kim): there are four current TSI-series and they disagree. The sad truth is that we don’t know to an accuracy of 5 W/m2 what TSI is.

  92. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

    85 (kim): those kind of sunspots are quite normal at the end of a cycle, so the meaning I’ll attach to them is that cycle 23 is a run-of-the-mill normal cycle.

  93. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 12:36 PM | Permalink

    90 (Nasif): in#81 Pete said:

    Actually, one of the crucial points is hidden a little over in the right sidebar, “A lag time of arguably 10-30 years allowed for the climate system to be affected by an increased ozone layer that altered the heating of the oceans.”

    Your graph shows no delay between GCRs and Temperature. Go fight that one out first. My point is that proponents of strong solar influence cannot agree on what causes what and when [not to speak about how] and that therefore their case has not been made. If the delay of ~20 years is crucial what does that do to your interpretation of your graph? Maybe you’ll say that your graph [with one month resolution] shows weather and not climate, but then you all have to agree on what we are supposed to look at: day-by-day changes, months, years, decades.

  94. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 12:50 PM | Permalink

    One question we could ask.

    If you were to add or remove 10 W/m2 to the energy coming into the Earth’s atmosphere, what overall, end of the day, short story effect would it have on the energy levels?

    Or even better, could we even recognize the 10 W/m2 in the first place or even tell what the energy levels were? Or what that would equate to, given how we sample the temperature now?

    Unresolved issues with the assessment of multidecadal global land surface temperature trends

    This paper documents various unresolved issues in using surface temperature trends as a metric for assessing global and regional climate change. A series of examples ranging from errors caused by temperature measurements at a monitoring station to the undocumented biases in the regionally and globally averaged time series are provided. The issues are poorly understood or documented and relate to micrometeorological impacts due to warm bias in nighttime minimum temperatures, poor siting of the instrumentation, effect of winds as well as surface atmospheric water vapor content on temperature trends, the quantification of uncertainties in the homogenization of surface temperature data, and the influence of land use/land cover (LULC) change on surface temperature trends. Because of the issues presented in this paper related to the analysis of multidecadal surface temperature we recommend that greater, more complete documentation and quantification of these issues be required for all observation stations that are intended to be used in such assessments. This is necessary for confidence in the actual observations of surface temperature variability and long-term trends.

  95. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 12:53 PM | Permalink

    Speaking of space though

    The Cassini spacecraft observes a gathering of three moons near the rings of Saturn.

    Largest in the scene, Mimas (397 kilometers, or 247 miles across) sits on the side of the rings nearer to Cassini. Oblong Epimetheus (116 kilometers, or 72 miles across) lies on the distant side of the narrow F ring. Less obvious is tiny Daphnis (7 kilometers, or 4.3 miles across), which is made easier to spot by the waves it creates in the edges of the narrow Keeler Gap. Daphnis appears directly below the eastern limb of Mimas.

    This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about a degree above the ringplane.

    The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Oct. 3, 2007. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.6 million kilometers (1 million miles) from Mimas. Image scale is 10 kilometers (6 miles) per pixel.

    The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

    For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/home/index.cfm. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org.

    Image Credit:
    NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

  96. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 1:14 PM | Permalink

    80 (Tucker):

    The whole Svalgaard discussion on CA is supposedly due to Leif’s attempt to divine another causal link between the sun and Earth that may account for these amplified effects. After 4,000 comments here, is he any closer to a more enlightened opinion?? I certainly would like to know his thoughts after all this time talking about it. A summation if you will.

    About twenty years ago it was realized that TSI had a solar cycle variation [it took a cycle and a half of observations to establish that]. It was also realized that that variation was small [0.1%], actually too small to account for the larger climate trends [LIA, MWP, ...]. Because the spacecraft measured TSI could be rather successfully modeled using just the sunspot number as input [and some semi-empirical assumptions about the relative contributions from the other elements that make up TSI, faculae, etc] the possibility of reconstructing TSI back in time as long as we have sunspot records naturally arose and several groups offered such reconstructions. Because the solar cycle variation of TSI is too small to account for the LIA [etc] a background variation of TSI was postulated in order to get a TSI that varied enough to explain LIA [note the circular argument here]. Different people had different ideas about what the cause of this background variation might be, but that was seen as a plus [one idea confirming the other - although in my opinion that is not a valid line of argument]. So, with a suitable background [Hoyt & Schatten, early Lean, Bard, ...] enough variation was introduced to make the problem go away.
    What has happened since is that the various reasons and mechanisms for producing a varying background have fallen by the wayside, and there is good observational evidence that there is no background variation. This basically reduces the solar forcing so much that the climate models are in trouble and don’t fit anymore. Hence it is no wonder that people don’t want to hear this.
    One way out of this dilemma is that the climate is hypersensitive to even the very tiny variations that might be allowed within the ‘error bars’ of an unchanging Sun, so that the solar forcing is restored. I’m a solar physicists, no ‘climate scientists’, so when I realized the situation I began to look for advice and expertise. I have made contributions to several blogs, consulted with [in person] several of the people involved in the climate debate, and examined the vast [but mostly crappy] literature on the subject. In the process I have been exposed to various abuse and ad-hom attacks that seem to be part of what goes for debate these days. Not to speak about the plethora of pet theories and crackpot schemes that somehow seem to appeal to people. I have tried to deal with this in a mature fashion but as Schiller remarked: M d D k G s v.
    It is a bit sad that after 4000 posts, absolutely no progress has been made [IMHO]. So what is one to do? Take my ball and go home?

  97. Jim Arndt
    Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 1:38 PM | Permalink

    92, (Leif)

    86 (kim): there are four current TSI-series and they disagree. The sad truth is that we don’t know to an accuracy of 5 W/m2 what TSI is.

    If this is the state of things what is your honest approach to get a better data set?

  98. Bob B
    Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 1:48 PM | Permalink

    #97, Leif please don;t take your ball and go home. Previous to your blog I was convinced reading other blogs and papers of a clear link between Sunspots and climate. Now I am proud to say I am a Skeptic of that link and am awaiting to see more convincing data. BTW I am also a rabid CO2 skeptic as well.

  99. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 1:59 PM | Permalink

    Leis auf den Zehen kommt’s geschlichen, Die Stille liebt es und die Nacht; Mit schnellen Füssen ist’s entwichen, Wo des Verräters Auge wacht.

    #97 Leif “So what is one to do? Take my ball and go home?”

    I’d say realize that human nature often makes one look for answers where none exist, or suggest certain possibilites for an answer far too strongly based upon the available data? Opinion trampling logic? Swooning from sunspots? :D

    But what we could do is go back to the start of this all with your first comments in the first thread:

    The Scafetta & West paper(s) assume that there is some solar variability. There are indications that such variability is significantly smaller than even recent reconstructions. I’m presenting a poster at AGU [by coincidence just next to Scafetta] that argues that solar variability has been overestimated:

    So, if there is ‘solar activity’ or TSI forcing, the sensitivity of the climate system to this must be much greater than generally assumed. A simpler hypothesis is that there is no solar effects on the timescale of decades or centuries.

    We haven’t proven or disproven anything, perhaps, but the “simpler hypotheis” seems to be standing up….

    I categorize solar like I do carbon dioxide and a number of other things; if the anomaly reflects energy levels, the most simple answer is my idea of a “technology <—> population cycle” (TPC) that leads to all else.

    And the weather? It’s just what it is. It’s dominated by the sun providing the energy, the surface providing the “reflection” of heat, and water vapor and the sun powering the wind and temperature gradients et al that just do what they do around some narrow band. That the current upright walking animals seem to have been enjoying over the last 7,000 years or so, and that now number 7 billion due to that TPC.

    You came here looking for a demonstration that TSI was a large driver. You haven’t found that, probably because you’re correct; it’s not.

    Hope you’re enjoying things out in Cali, I wish I was there, even if it’s SoCal! :)

  100. cba
    Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 2:03 PM | Permalink

    95 (Sam):

    what effect does 10w/m^2 variation have? – Take a look at how hot it was in 1998 when albedo dropped by about that amount for a year or so from the highest values before and after. 1998 was a really hot year, probably not the hottest on record but relatively speaking – rather hot.

    97 (Leif):

    Bummer!

    Quite a few things have been brought out here that have affected my thoughts. One is a higher sensitivity to solar variations and the realization that power forcings aren’t actually created equal in effect. It has brought in the expectations that solar variability is not affecting the climate so much by brute raw w/m^2 insolation but is probably more by the spectral makeup of the variation and non radiant portions and where these wind up in the atmosphere and how it’s affected. Whether this is merely hiding in the cracks and crannys of the rubble or whether the answers lies there, I don’t know – but it’s places left to explore. Additional contributions have been the insight or awareness into just how long term variable albedo effects really are and that is virtually just an alter ego of solar insolation, producing the same sort of effects one might expect from solar variation. This still brings up the possible mystery of how the sun is affecting climate (if it is) either by cosmic ray modulation on cloud cover or a myriad of other factors.

    Maybe it’s time to just take stock and create a bluesky punch list of all possibilities and proceed to eliminate one at a time, stockpiling the ones not possible to rule out, and just apply deductive reasoning to eliminate the options. That seems to be what some have tried, only for others to discover, they ignored the main one(s).

    After all, it’s a concept that has been believed for centuries that the sun’s variations affect the climate. It’s complex enough to have remained ellusive for that whole time. It would seem it can’t be straight forward enough to just be sitting on the table staring at us. It’s also possible it might be very multifaceted as well.

    The one thing that appears apparent is that pure power variation isn’t going to cut it – as long as solar variability shows to be minimal. That path seems rather well travelled and seems to lead nowhere.

  101. Raven
    Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 2:09 PM | Permalink

    #97 (Leif)

    It is a bit sad that after 4000 posts, absolutely no progress has been made [IMHO]. So what is one to do? Take my ball and go home?

    Well, you have likely convinced a lot of skeptics that most solar-climate theories are exercises in wiggle matching which provide no compelling insight into the probable causal link between the sun and climate. That said, knowing what we don’t know is an important step.

    Personally, I think the next 5-10 years will be very interesting for solar-climate enthusiasts because the climate response as SC24 ramps up will tell us a lot. Many people have been making predictions that will be either falsified or validated. Now a correct prediction does not prove that it was anything more than a lucky guess but it will provide direct for future research.

    In the meantime, I can only hope that the ‘science is settled’ crowd does not succeed in its quest to cut off everyone’s access to reasonably priced electricity and the standard of living that it provides….

  102. jae
    Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 2:37 PM | Permalink

    92, Leif:

    86 (kim): there are four current TSI-series and they disagree. The sad truth is that we don’t know to an accuracy of 5 W/m2 what TSI is.

    Hmm, does this mean you can have a 5 W/m^2 variation and not know it happened?

  103. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 2:40 PM | Permalink

    Leif

    For what it is worth, this has stimulated a lot of thought. I agree with you that the magnitude of changes in a solar cycle is small in relation to to the total output of the sun. However, I do know from observational science that the atmosphere does expand during a solar cycle and that during a strong cycle such as cycle 21 that expansion is greater. This is just a fact, well known, therefore what remains is to look at that known difference and then look for other ones. I may end up proposing for a GLAST guest investigator program to look at GLAST and GRO data to look at the atmospheric gamma ray bursts to look for that correlation between them and the solar cycle. You made a statement that the energy is only upwards but that is not what an electrical circuit is, there has to be a return path as well to complete that circuit. It is also well known that the ionosphere becomes more charged during a solar cycle peak so there are influences here. Whether they are strong enough to effect climate will be left to the data that results.

    It does seem that it will lead to some interesting science though!

  104. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 2:51 PM | Permalink

    cba #101

    “what effect does 10w/m^2 variation have? – Take a look at how hot it was in 1998 when albedo dropped by about that amount for a year or so from the highest values before and after. 1998 was a really hot year, probably not the hottest on record but relatively speaking – rather hot. “

    You mean the GISTEMP anomaly being at .57 over the globe in 1998? Versys .56 in 2002 and .62 in 2005 and .54 in 2006 and .57 in 2007 and .35 so far this year?

    I’m saying it’s relativly impossible to qualify, much less quantify, some movement around ~.6 recently as far as air 1 meter above the ground and some various depth into the water. Compared to a model ensemble with a mean of 14. .1 or 1 or 10 or 100 w/m^2.

    Well, maybe not 100! :)

  105. cba
    Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 3:06 PM | Permalink

    well, one can never tell what the giss historical temperature trend is going to do. I thought back then, it suggested that ’98 was hot globally – like here. I suppose the usually trends for historic data are to decline with time, so I wouldn’t be suprised to see that 1998’s mean temperature continues to decline over time.

  106. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 3:31 PM | Permalink

    104 (Dennis): Agree that the upper atmosphere [thermosphere] expands with increasing activity. I was involved with Skylab back in the 70s and the atmosphere just came up from below and braked the spacecraft so it fell out of the sky before its time. But I don’t see that having much to do with the climate warming [in the lowest atmosphere].
    And there is something called the “Global Circuit” driven by a ~100kV potential difference between the ground and the ionosphere, maintained by thunderstorms.

  107. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 3:36 PM | Permalink

    106 cba “well, one can never tell what the giss historical temperature trend is going to do.”

    Indeed. If it’s 45 F in the morning, it might reach 100 F by the afternoon, also.

    So plenty to worry about over the globe at 1 F over the base period versus 1.2 or .8

    Must be sunspots, sun cycles, TSI, and the like causing these types of things.

  108. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 3:40 PM | Permalink

    103 (jae):

    does this mean you can have a 5 W/m^2 variation and not know it happened?

    yes and no. The values from a given instrument are good to a small fraction of a Watt, but the different instruments differ by more than 5 W/m2. This would not be so bad if there were no data gaps where there is no spacecraft data. But there are and we have a problem ‘stitching’ together data from several time series. Also, there is controversy about how the different instrument ‘age’ over time: outside the atmosphere is a very harsh environment. Some spacecraft had two identical instruments for backup. This was a bad idea as they might age together the same way; better would be two different instrument with different ageing characteristics. The bottom line is that we don’t know the absolute calibration and hence the long-term stability of TSI to better than 5 W/m2.

  109. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 3:58 PM | Permalink

    98 (JimA): We have now a very good satellite series (TIM on SORCE) which has a checkable calibration [observing many unvarying stars]. Data started in 2003, so we wait 30-60 years to build a reliable database [and to ensure some solar variation]. We’ll get the data, eventually.
    P.S. SORCE is 4.6 W/m2 lower than the various other ‘composite’ series. Nobody knows why.

  110. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 4:05 PM | Permalink

    110 Leif “P.S. SORCE is 4.6 W/m2 lower than the various other ‘composite’ series. Nobody knows why.”

    Solar flares!
    :D

  111. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 4:30 PM | Permalink

    111 (Sam): no

  112. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 4:48 PM | Permalink

    # 94

    Leif,

    Actually, my graph shows a delay of 12 to 14 months; however, the delay does not represent a delayed response of weather to ICR, but the time that nucleons take to reach the Earth (26-400 Km s^1). You know that the momentum of nucleons depends on the strength and speed of solar wind, thus some marks in my graph could be happened later or earlier if NASA’s measurements of the strength and velocity of the solar wind are not as precise as one could expect. I’m getting a conclusion from this thread, and it is that we don’t know for sure what is happening with the climate on each body with atmosphere in our planetary system. Perhaps we have advanced eves when trying to explain a cyclical phenomenon, although many at this face of the world take advantage of the situation to assure their descendants’ survival throughout a million generations to the front.

  113. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 4:50 PM | Permalink

    112 Leif “no”
    :)

  114. kim
    Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 4:56 PM | Permalink

    97 (Leif) It’s only the second inning. I’m just getting warmed up.
    =====================================

  115. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 5:08 PM | Permalink

    113 (Nasif):

    the time that nucleons take to reach the Earth (26-400 Km s^1)

    from where?

  116. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 5:15 PM | Permalink

    # 110 and # 111

    Leif and Sam,

    P.S. SORCE is 4.6 W/m2 lower than the various other ‘composite’ series. Nobody knows why.

    Indeed, the ICR nucleons could be the main cause among a multiplicity of causes. Remember that the satellite for solar radiation and climate experiment carries the Total Irradiance Monitor and the x-UV Photometer System which could fail if calibration from Earth is flawed by infinitesimal fluctuations of the energy load hitting on the instruments. It has happened to other satellites.

  117. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 5:47 PM | Permalink

    # 116

    Leif,

    From the Termination Shock.

  118. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 5:57 PM | Permalink

    118 (Nasif): you have this backwards. The solar wind takes [at 400 km/s] about a year to reach the Termination Shock at ~100 AU from the Sun. The cosmic rays move almost at the speed of light and travel from the Shock to the Earth in a matter of days [not straight line, gyration around magnetic field lines, etc]. The modulation takes place over the whole heliosphere, not just at the Shock.

  119. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 6:11 PM | Permalink

    # 119

    Leif,

    Yes, you’re right with respect to photons or radiant energy. I’m talking about nucleons (H+ and He++), which do not travel at the speed of light, but at supersonic speeds aid by the solar wind. Slow particles with a high energy density (hot particles) are not deflected, but overcome upstream the solar wind; they cool down and then reaccelerate until reaching supersonic speeds going into the solar system. The solar wind decelerates and debilitates at the bow shock, where it collides with the interstellar wind.

  120. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 6:20 PM | Permalink

    # 120

    Me,

    The speed of nucleons depends on the solar wind power and speed; if the power and speed of the solar wind are high, then the speed of nucleons will be propelled up into pulsating waves which break the geomagnetic bow shock an penetrates the Earth’s atmosphere.

  121. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 6:31 PM | Permalink

    Returning to the interstellar pick-up ions, they have an interesting fate. After entering the heliosphere initially as neutral atoms, being ionized, and then picked up, they are carried out to the termination shock. There, a small percentage are accelerated to cosmic ray energies and then propagate back into the inner heliosphere where they are observed as “anomalous cosmic rays.” This process has recently been confirmed by the observervation on AMPTE and Ulysses that anomalous cosmic rays are, indeed, singly ionized.

    Reference: W. I. Axford and S. T. Suess. The Heliosphere. EOS. December 1994.

  122. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 6:34 PM | Permalink

    120 (Nasif): You still have things mixed up. Galactic cosmic rays [which presumably are what you plotted - although you called the 'interstellar' cosmic rays] are H+ and H++ ions and do travel nearly at the speed of light. These are the particles measured at Earth by neutron monitors and are what is generally called ‘cosmic rays’ and are what Svensmark and company have in mind.
    Now, there is an additional component of cosmic rays called ‘anomalous’ cosmic rays that are created by the process you described. The flux of these is small and their energy [because they don't travel near the speed of light] is much smaller compared to the ‘ordinary’ cosmic rays. It would not seem reasonable to ascribe sun-climate connection to them and not to the dominant ‘ordinary’ cosmic rays.

  123. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 6:35 PM | Permalink

    70 (Leif) In relation to my diagram at #63 what is the SAO and the QBO supposed to be responsible for?

  124. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 6:40 PM | Permalink

    # 122

    This graph pictures those anomalies caused only by Helium nucleons. I have another graph with the impact of Hydrogen nucleons, but Steve McIntyre doesn’t want us to post own theories:

  125. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 6:46 PM | Permalink

    124 (Erl): the SAO [semiannual oscillation] results in higher temperatures at the equinoxes at 35-70 km. See Figure 1 in the paper cited. So, as I already said, the semiannual temperature maximum are not due to solar activity but to internal dynamic processes. Just like El Nino. I was wrong in agreeing that they were due to solar activity because I thought you were talking about the thermosphere [like Dennis]. When I discovered my confusion, I quickly responded setting things straight.

  126. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 6:50 PM | Permalink

    # 123

    Leif,

    Nope… Nucleons cannot travel at speeds near the speed of light. Please notice that I’m talking about slow particles with high energy densities, and these particles cannot travel at speeds near the speed of light, but only at supersonic speeds.

  127. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 6:54 PM | Permalink

    125 (Nasif): where is the 13 month delay? The wiggles to the extent you can find some match-up don’t show such a delay. That is: If I look at a wiggle I don’t see a similar wiggle 13 months before [or after].

  128. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 6:55 PM | Permalink

    nucleon: A constituent of the nucleus; that is, a proton or a neutron.

  129. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 6:59 PM | Permalink

    129 (Nasif): and? there are no neutrons in interstellar space [a free neutron decays in about 15 minutes]. The He++ you referred to [wrongly, because they are singly ionized He+] are not nucleons.

  130. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 7:03 PM | Permalink

    127 (Nasif):

    slow particles with high energy densities

    The high energy of cosmic rays comes from their fast speed. Nasif, please, this step by step elucidation is not helpful or useful with respect to the theme of the blog.

  131. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 7:04 PM | Permalink

    # 128

    Leif,

    I’m trying to tune the formula with the solar wind power and speed in the corresponding dates so the calculation of traveling-time of nucleons is correct.

  132. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 7:08 PM | Permalink

    132 (Nasif): good luck !

  133. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 7:08 PM | Permalink

    # 131

    Leif,

    Sorry for the step by step explanation; please consider that English is not my native language and I have to spend time looking for the proper words. My reference to nucleons comes from NASA, and the next references:

    E. C. Stone et all. Voyager Explores the Termination Shock Region and the Heliosheat Beyond. Science; Vol. 309, pages 2017 – 2020. 23. September 2005.

    D. A. Gurnett and W. S. Kurth. Electron Plasma Oscillations Upstream of the Solar Wind Termination shock. Science; Vol. 309, pages 2025 – 2027. 23. September 2005.

    R. B. Decker et all. Voyager 1 in the Foreshock, Termination Shock, and Heliosheat. Science; Vol. 309, pp 2020-2024. 23 September, 2005.

  134. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 7:13 PM | Permalink

    # 131

    Leif,

    this step by step elucidation is not helpful or useful with respect to the theme of the blog.

    Thanks for your patience. I think it is very important given that the ICR slows down and weakens the solar wind, and this thread is on solar energy, the plausible causes of its fluctuations and the influence on Earth’s climate, isn’t it? We’re not into an isolated and closed system.

  135. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 7:19 PM | Permalink

    135 (Nasif):

    ICR slows down and weakens the solar wind

    The solar wind is slowed down at the termination shock 100 times further away from the Sun than the Earth is, but this has no effect on the solar wind at the distance at the Earth, so cannot influence the climate via that mechanism, therefore is a dead-end.

  136. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 7:29 PM | Permalink

    # 136

    Leif,

    And that’s exactly the point… As solar wind power and speed are strong at 1 AU, the nucleons are accelerated and penetrate the geomagnetic field through the cracks caused by the solar wind.

  137. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 7:29 PM | Permalink

    136 (Leif): a better term for ‘anomalous’ cosmic rays [ACRs] is ‘pickup ions’. What happens is that neutral nuclei from the interstellar medium blowing across the solar system becomes ionized by the solar wind. Once charged, the particles are trapped by the wind and transported out away from the sun until they hit the termination shock where they can become accelerated and deflected and some can flow back into the solar system where they are called anomalous because
    1: they are only lacking one electron while true cosmic rays are bare nuclei lacking all electrons [for protons this makes no difference]
    2: they are moving slower [not near speed of light]
    3: they are a lot less energetic [because they are slower]
    So, while fascinating, the ACRs are unlike in the extreme to influence the Earth’s climate.

  138. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 7:36 PM | Permalink

    Things are driven by the energy contained by the particles and the cracks in the geomagnetic field, not by the speed, although the speed of the nucleons is useful for knowing the time they take to hit the Earth’s atmosphere. Isn’t important the correlation found? I’m not saying you’re wrong, but that I’m right.

  139. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 7:40 PM | Permalink

    137 (Nasif): This is not how it works. There are no ‘cracks’ in the geomagnetic field although some silly press-releases from NASA have said so. The ‘power and strength’ of the solar wind at 1 AU is irrelevant, the ACRs have already been accelerated. Only the most energetic cosmic rays [the ones moving near lightspeed] can penetrate the upper atmosphere. So the ACRs are not candidates for a solar connection.

  140. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 7:42 PM | Permalink

    139 (Nasif): the “energy contained by the particles” they have by virtue of their speed. Anyway, it is time for my patience on this particular subject to run out.

  141. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 8:26 PM | Permalink

    # 141

    Leif,

    And I have to leave for dining. There are three motions in a particle. I suppose we’re talking about a horizontal displacement of the particle and its vibratory motion. The first one is exerted by the impulse of the solar wind, which means a transfer of energy from the plasma to the nucleons, and the second one is the inner energy (Q) of the particles which is determined by their kinetic and potential energy.

    I’m considering slow particles with high energy density. It’s fairly comprehensible if we resort to the mechanics of particles: ∆t (ρEt δV) = δW + δQ; where ρEt is the density of the total inner energy per unit mass, internal plus kinetic plus potential, δW is the work done by forces exerted by external systems in the universe in the interval of time ∆t at the material volume’s boundary of the particle, and δQ is the heat added to the particle in its boundary.

  142. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 9:11 PM | Permalink

    # 140

    Leif,

    Only the most energetic cosmic rays [the ones moving near lightspeed] can penetrate the upper atmosphere. So the ACRs are not candidates for a solar connection.

    From your assertion we could think that only photons, muons and electrons can penetrate the upper atmosphere; consequently, slow protons and neutrons with high density of energy cannot penetrate the upper atmosphere. Did I understand you correctly? ;)

  143. Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 10:14 PM | Permalink

    Cracks in geomagnetic field and penetration of the slow motion high energy particles into the upper atmosphere cracks any hypothesis against the theory on solar driving of Earth’s climate.

  144. Pofarmer
    Posted Jun 13, 2008 at 11:19 PM | Permalink

    The earthobservatory paper on the Mauder minimum and the LIA seem to lay down all the mechanics, then say, “But that can’t happen now because of man’s influence.”

    O.K. We may get to find out. In fact, aren’t we already finding that out when the climate folks are talking about a hiatus from global warming? The thing about these Ice ages is, you are only talking about global temperature changes of a fraction of a degree, if you can beleive the models.

    “Global average temperature changes are small, approximately .5 to .7 degrees Fahrenheit (0.3-0.4C), but regional temperature changes are quite large.”

    So, we really aren’t looking for huge variations anyway.

    The whole thing is kinda silly, when you get right down to it. If it weren’t for groups pushing politics for personal benefit based on scientific theories where the mechanisms are not all known, and the data is suspect, it might be laughable, or livable. Unfortunately, there are folks that don’t mind sacrificing economies for this stuff.

    I keep hearing this “It can’t happen now?” line on economic cycles all the time for a whole host of reasons, then the cycle happens anyway, for the same basic reasons they always happen. We’ll see if betting against solar cycles is a good idea.

  145. Richard Hill
    Posted Jun 14, 2008 at 3:49 AM | Permalink

    Some many postings ago, Dr Svalgaard mused about the huge
    variation in CO2 swings from year to year.
    esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends
    annual mean growth rate Mauna Loa

    1997 1.93
    1998 3.00
    1999 0.88
    2000 1.73

    assuming they might represent the biospheres response to some
    variable, has anyone tried matching this data set to a
    solar, cosmic ray or other data?
    I cannot recall any follow up comments to the original question by LS.

  146. Basil
    Posted Jun 14, 2008 at 4:26 AM | Permalink

    #146 Richard Hill

    Annual variation in the growth rate of C02 tracks closely with annual variation in temperature, lagging by a few months. You can see the correlation with temperature in the data you posted, with 1998 being an El Nino year, and then temps plummeting the following year.

    So come up with an explanation for ENSO, or other temperature oscillations, and you’ll have your explanation for the variation in the growth rate of CO2 around a longer term trend.

  147. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 14, 2008 at 5:51 AM | Permalink

    101 (cba)

    Assessing the big picture after 1001 posts and none the wiser.

    The one thing that appears apparent is that pure power variation isn’t going to cut it – as long as solar variability shows to be minimal. That path seems rather well travelled and seems to lead nowhere.

    I’ll second that.

    solar variability is not affecting the climate so much by brute raw w/m^2 insolation but is probably more by the spectral makeup of the variation and non radiant portions and where these wind up in the atmosphere and how it’s affected.

    And I agree with this too. I want to pick that non radiant bit up right away.

  148. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 14, 2008 at 6:33 AM | Permalink

    126 (Leif)
    Referring to the April and October maxima in the diagram at 63.

    The SAO [semiannual oscillation] results in higher temperatures at the equinoxes at 35-70 km.

    The Semi-annual Oscillation (SAO) and Quasi-biennial Oscillation (QBO) These winds are equatorially trapped planetary waves (i.e., eastward propagating Kelvin waves and westward propagating Rossby gravity waves) that provide the wave forcing through critical level absorption and radiative damping.

    My reality-meter says no.

    Nothing moves without being sucked, pushed, displaced, blown up, bombarded or magnetically reconnected. I am up to the back teeth with internal oscillations, ENSO, PDO’s, NAO’s and the like swinging back and forth despite gravity and friction. Nothing heats up without the application of energy.

    Meteorological science seems to be founded on the notion that the atmosphere is not materially affected by external inputs. I won’t buy this.

  149. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 14, 2008 at 8:19 AM | Permalink


    The Hovmoller diagrams are obtained from http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/map/time_plot/
    They are for the longitude 90W-120W taking in the area known as the Maritime continent, the greatest centre of ocean warmth, evaporation and convection at the Equator. This is the one of the main areas generating humidity and cloud during a La Nina. So these diagrams show a slice of about one twelfth of the globe running from Pole to Pole.

    The markings on each diagram are derived from the pattern that is expressed at 10mb (30km) which is about mid point in the Stratosphere. They are intended to make it easy to relate temperature patterns in one diagram with another. The plotting facility does not go any higher. The Equinoxes are marked as is the period where the high latitudes warm strongly. I want to trace the origins of those equinoctial peaks at 1hPa in the diagram at #63. If the reproduction is good enough you should see temperature anomalies following the arrows in the bottom two diagrams.

    My question is: Why are the highest temperatures in the Stratosphere over the Arctic and Antarctic rather than the tropics? The highest temperatures occur over Antarctica despite the fact that, at the surface, it is always much cooler than the Arctic.

    Is not the equinoctial warming at and above 30hPa traceable to the same force that warms the atmosphere above the poles and would it not be expected that at 1mb (45km), well clear of tropical convection, that same force would produce peaks at the equinoxes at the Equator? Those peaks were impressive in the diagrams at #63 .

    Has this got anything to do with the ionosphere, the solar wind and aurora? If so, does the influence extend into the tropsophere and by what means? Is there a link with heating at 250mb and cirrus cloud in the tropics?

  150. Posted Jun 14, 2008 at 8:26 AM | Permalink

    149 (Erl):

    Meteorological science seems to be founded on the notion that the atmosphere is not materially affected by external inputs. I won’t buy this.

    The variations that concern people in their daily lives: cyclones, tornadoes, rainstorms, etc, all happen without direct external input [various crackpot theories notwithstanding - see over at Hurricane 2008]. You don’t buy that either? I could add El Nino etc to the list, but let’s do this a step at a time.

  151. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 14, 2008 at 8:46 AM | Permalink

    151 (Leif)
    I am an optimist. I think that we have made great strides in the satellite age and more will come quite soon. No, please don’t add ENSO. That an internal ‘oscillation oscillation’ could somehow be responsible for the addition of 0.8°C to average global temperatures in the space of a year boggles the mind! If that’s the case I am going to have to reconsider my attitude to the tooth fairy.

  152. rex
    Posted Jun 14, 2008 at 8:54 AM | Permalink

    Leif# If the sun went out tomorrow do you think storms (actually weather) etc would continue?

  153. D. Patterson
    Posted Jun 14, 2008 at 10:18 AM | Permalink

    152 rex says:

    June 14th, 2008 at 8:54 am
    Leif# If the sun went out tomorrow do you think storms (actually weather) etc would continue?

    If the Sun “went out tomorrow” because the internal thermonuclear reactions suddenly ceased, the gravitational collapse of the Sun would result in a nova that would vaporise the entire surface of the Earth, sending the vaporised atmosphere, hydrosphere, and part of the lithospere into the outer reaches of the Solar System as a cloud of gas and debris; or a supernova which would vaporise the entire Earth. In any case, there would no longer be an Earth atmosphere in which stormy weather could occur.

    Fortunately, the Sun has too small of a mass to produce a supernova, unless some commentators are right about a supernova occuring as the Sun becomes a white dwarf star in about the next 5 billion years. In any case, the nova or helium flash/es resulting from the Sun transitioning into a red giant star as the thermonuclear reactions shift from dwindling supplies of hydrogen to helium will vaporise the surface of the Earth sometime in the next 1 billion years or so. As the Sun swells to around 100 times its present size, the Earth will either be swallowed and disintegrated inside the Sun like Mecury and Venus, or the Earth will much less likely become burnt and reduced in size to its rocky and iron essentials much like Venus is today. About the only chance there is for life to survive on the Earth after the Sun becomes a Red Giant in the next billion years is the unlikely possibility of Earth’s orbit substantially increasing in size due to a 20 percent loss of Solar mass or human engineering with the use of gravitational perturbations of Earth’s orbit by a guided asteroid.

    If life were to survive these events with Earth at a more distant orbit from the Sun, the Earth would be a snowball with life taking shelter around whatever natural geothermal and artificial sources of energy which may continue to exist. Long before the Earth’s escape from the expanding Red Giant Sun into a more distant orbit, the hotter Sun and desertification of the Earth would result in a severe decrease in carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere and a resulting collapse of photosynthesis in plant life. The collapse of the plant kingdom would result in a catastrophic collapse of the animal kingdom. The resultant catastrophic changes to the suvivability of life on the Earth will radically change the chemistry of the Earth’s atmosphere long before the helium flash and nova denudes the planet and the post-nova vestigial atmosphere precipitates and collapses to the ground as the Earth enters a permanent deep freeze.

  154. D. Patterson
    Posted Jun 14, 2008 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

    150 Leif Svalgaard says:

    June 14th, 2008 at 8:26 am
    [....]
    The variations that concern people in their daily lives: cyclones, tornadoes, rainstorms, etc, all happen without direct external input [various crackpot theories notwithstanding - see over at Hurricane 2008]. You don’t buy that either? I could add El Nino etc to the list, but let’s do this a step at a time.

    I must observe the statement “all happen without direct external input [various crackpot theories notwithstanding - see over at Hurricane 2008] is patent nonsense. Even the brief and minor disturbances caused by the passage of a Solar eclipse can readly be seen to generate immediate local changes in winds and other weather. I guarantee the usage of some kind of shield in space to eclipse the Solar light falling on the Atlantic Ocean in the locale of a developing hurricane would promptly rob it of the energy needed to sustain its continued buildup and result in the dissipation of the weather system. Likewise with tornadoes, robbing the sunlight in the weather systems guiding the jetstreams will redirect their courses and energies in a way that eliminates the energy potentials required to spawn and sustain a tornado. Tornadoes typically occur in special mid-latitude regions because of the direct inputs of energy to the planetary regions which mix in the mid-latitudes in ways that are special to the mid-latitudes. Shut off the direct energy inputs to the atmosphere, and you’ll shut off the sources of energy that sustain the jet streams and cyclones which spawn the tornadoes. Yes, the Sun’s outputs of energy may appear to be relatively invariant, but the Earth’s reception of those Solar energies is subject to considerable variations in aspect, physical characteristics, chemical characteristics, and reactions. Removal of direct Solar energy inputs will always result in direct and immediate changes to common weather phenomenon in addition to any perturbations of climate cycles, regional and planetary.

  155. Posted Jun 14, 2008 at 11:08 AM | Permalink

    # 154

    D. Patterson,

    I like your optimism. :)

    The resultant catastrophic changes to the suvivability of life on the Earth will radically change the chemistry of the Earth’s atmosphere long before the helium flash and nova denudes the planet and the post-nova vestigial atmosphere precipitates and collapses to the ground as the Earth enters a permanent deep freeze.

    But Earth will enter a highly energized cosmic cloud that will warm it up and restore its atmosphere which will be rich again in CO2. The water on Earth will be present in its three phases, and the dormant seeds under the perpetual frost will flourish again and Earth will be a green planet without people… ;)

  156. D. Patterson
    Posted Jun 14, 2008 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

    156 Nasif Nahle says:

    June 14th, 2008 at 11:08 am
    [....]
    But Earth will enter a highly energized cosmic cloud that will warm it up and restore its atmosphere which will be rich again in CO2. The water on Earth will be present in its three phases, and the dormant seeds under the perpetual frost will flourish again and Earth will be a green planet without people…

    (Smile) I wouldn’t be too sure about that, Nasif. We’ve known for decades that Ceres would have more usable land surface than the present continents of the Earth if you mine out large multi-level subsurface galleries inside Ceres. With ceilings greater in height than a few thousand feet, they would appear to have natural blues skies when filled with Earth-like atmospheres. With human populations on Ceres and other large asteroidal or dwarf planets, the attractions of Earth would be irresistable.

  157. Posted Jun 14, 2008 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

    # 157

    D. Patterson,

    I wouldn’t be too sure about that, Nasif.

    Me either… OT: Definitely, Earth is an enviable planet, with or without greens. It’s in a privileged position near the main powerful source of energy in the planetary neighborhood: not too far from it as to not respond to limited changes of the nuclear activity of the star, but not too close either as being scorched by its father the Sun. I wonder what would happen with life in the meantime of the process of extinction of our star. I remember an author saying that small changes in stressed DNA could derive in the production of proteins that would act like antifreeze cell liquids, similar to the proteins of psychrophiles.

  158. D. Patterson
    Posted Jun 14, 2008 at 1:24 PM | Permalink

    158 Nasif Nahle says:

    June 14th, 2008 at 12:44 pm
    [...]OT: Definitely, Earth is an enviable planet, with or without greens. It’s in a privileged position near the main powerful source of energy in the planetary neighborhood: not too far from it as to not respond to limited changes of the nuclear activity of the star, but not too close either as being scorched by its father the Sun. I wonder what would happen with life in the meantime of the process of extinction of our star. I remember an author saying that small changes in stressed DNA could derive in the production of proteins that would act like antifreeze cell liquids, similar to the proteins of psychrophiles.

    I don’t believe this line of inquiry is off topic at all. On the contrary, I suspect this line of inquiry goes directly to the heart of Leif’s quest for the cause/s of Earth’s range of climactic variability. Life created the present chemical composition of Earth’s atmosphere from the very different composition in Earth’s earliest beginnings. If anything can leverage increased variability from whatever more limited variability existed and exists in the inorganic processes governing Earth’s environment, it is Life and its efforts to adapt its environment to better suit its requirements for survival. There is a considerable reservoir of chemical energy stored in the Earth’s biosphere which inorganic and organic processes can and do exploit at varying rates over time. The total amount of planetary inertial energy, gravitational energy, chemical energy, and other energies when summed would make a very interesting comparison to the energy received from insolation.

    P.S. Congratulations to the folks who succeeded in sprouting the extinct date palm seed.

  159. Posted Jun 14, 2008 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

    # 159

    D. Patterson,

    It could be. I read yesterday an article in Science related to the discovery of desert sands that consumes carbon dioxide in the same proportion than temperate forests do it. I don’t like Gaia texts, but unquestionably the response of Earth to living beings activity and vice versa is undeniable. When Li Yan submitted the issue to lab environs and sterilized some kilograms of desert sand and measured the rate of sequestering carbon dioxide he found that it was the same than the rate under natural conditions. A simple abiotic sink of carbon dioxide.

    The problem is that desert sand does not emit oxygen back to the atmosphere, as a temperate forest does, but it sucks tons of carbon dioxide. If it not was for the warming of Earth, the oceans either liberate carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and plants would suffer from shortage of prime material to survive. This inevitably remits us to the serious consideration on the cyclical nature of periodic climate changes and global warming.

    Thus it is logical that scientists hypothesize first in a connection between the solar activity and Earth’s climate. However, Leif is odiously correct in his appreciation about no correlation between sunspots and climate change, although he has not an idea about the whole issue; unless he’s pretending for making us to think a little more about the subject.

  160. Posted Jun 14, 2008 at 2:57 PM | Permalink

    # 159

    D. Patterson,

    P.S. Congratulations to the folks who succeeded in sprouting the extinct date palm seed.

    The “Tree of Life”. A plant embryo sleeping during 2000 years sprouted in a laboratory in California, with all those characteristics which made of the date palm a highly appreciated remedy. I’d like to make my tomatoes to tolerate exceeded levels of humidity and high temperatures. When cloudiness helps us with temperatures, the humidity abates the resistance of the plant against fungi and virus. Sometimes the solar flux is not so constant and continued as we could expect… wait a minute… why the radiometers accuse significant anomalies in the incident radiation on my tomatoes even under clear skies?

  161. Posted Jun 14, 2008 at 3:09 PM | Permalink

    Here the link to the resurrection of the date palm Methuselah.

  162. D. Patterson
    Posted Jun 14, 2008 at 3:37 PM | Permalink

    160 Nasif Nahle says:

    June 14th, 2008 at 2:24 pm
    [....]
    Thus it is logical that scientists hypothesize first in a connection between the solar activity and Earth’s climate. However, Leif is odiously correct in his appreciation about no correlation between sunspots and climate change, although he has not an idea about the whole issue; unless he’s pretending for making us to think a little more about the subject.

    I must strongly disagree with anyone, Leif or otherwise, who would conclude there is “no correlation between sunspots and climate change” from our present state of knowledge. I can agree that it currently appears to be unlikely that the energy inputs from the electromagnetic frequencies most often studied are capable of supplying the energies needed to explain the long-term extremes of climate variability without the contributions of other major factors. But, any qualification limiting the question to the electromagnetic spectrum typically researched or otherwise is also likely to be asking the wrong and very incomplete question when seeking the correct answer/s. We already have fair warning that the Universe operates with an often exceedingly complex set of relationships. It should be no surprise, therefore, if and when it should be discovered in the future that significant changes in Sunspot activity can exert even more significant influence upon the Earth’s climates in very unexpected ways.

    For example, imagine a hypothetical scenario where gigatons of microscopic sealife was somehow peculiarly sensitive to changes in Solar radiation occurring during varying Sunspot activity. In such a scenario the effects upon the sealife changes atmospheric and hydrospheric chemistry while modulating seawater temperatures. Predatory lifeforms become affected and change the rate at which calcium carbonate is taken from the seawater or redoposited in the seawater, again changing chemistries in unforseen and unmeasured ways. Along with the other changes, the changes in color of the seawater add a cumulative change to the Earth’s albedo in electromagnetic frequencies not well observed or understood in their effects. While researchers may be looking for a changed albedo effect with the exit of the EM energies, the researchers may be looking in the wrong place when the change in albedo has an effect only within a different range of frequencies important to events in the lower and/or upper atmospheres.

    In other words, there is a lot more to evaluate and understand about the Earth’s processes and systems before we can say we have enough knowledge and understanding of that knowledge to conclude Sunspots do not affect the variability of the Earth’s climates. The correct answer is to say we know something is causing the variability in the Earth’s climates, but we also just don’t know whether or not Sunspots have a significant influence upon the variability of the Earth’s climates by means which may not yet be discovered or understood.

  163. D. Patterson
    Posted Jun 14, 2008 at 6:12 PM | Permalink

    Nasif Nahle says:

    June 14th, 2008 at 2:57 pm
    [....]wait a minute… why the radiometers accuse significant anomalies in the incident radiation on my tomatoes even under clear skies?

    Significant anomolies greater than the Solar variability during the same Sunspot cycle, hhhmmmm? Now how do you suppose that could be possible, eh???

    Wiley Coyote taps the ACME mercury thermometer and peers into the clear blue Arizona sky…shrugs shoulders.

    Roadrunner sets boulder in motion off the edge of the cliff. Boulder’s shadow grows larger over Wiley Coyote as he scratches head in wonderment over the darkness shading the spot on the ground where he is standing.

    Roadrunner atop cliff holds sign that says, “Sky condition may be more variable than it appears with first observation”….

  164. Posted Jun 14, 2008 at 7:13 PM | Permalink

    # 163

    D. Patterson,

    In other words, there is a lot more to evaluate and understand about the Earth’s processes and systems before we can say we have enough knowledge and understanding of that knowledge to conclude Sunspots do not affect the variability of the Earth’s climates.

    I agree; we cannot dismiss something that is related with the output of solar energy. That’s why I looked for into the amplitude of changes and after the asymmetry coefficient of those changes. If one looks on the baseline and the peaks and troughs we wouldn’t find significant fluctuations which could be compared with the fluctuations of the troposphere temperature (Tt); however, if one compares the amplitudes of the TSI with the fluctuations of Tt, one finds the correlation.

    The key resides in comparing apples with apples. The fluctuations of the Tt actually are amplitudes of change, not absolute temperatures; consequently, we must compare amplitudes with amplitudes, asymmetries with asymmetries. Sometimes, we see that the response from the terrestrial climate is not immediate, which is what Leif expects from our comparisons; but we cannot forget that the Earth’s climate is a complex system that delays of accelerates the effects, so we have to smooth the database. When we considered decadal amplitudes and decadal asymmetries, the correlation is evident. We made it on a decadal basis because we have not complete data for the last 2000 years, which would be a comprehensible period of time that could be used for finding more precise correlations. You see, Leif says that the data on TSI is not accurate for years before 1939.

    Then I agree with you on this issue.

  165. Posted Jun 14, 2008 at 7:37 PM | Permalink

    # 164

    D. Patterson,

    Poor coyote… Hah! I have to admit that I always sympathized with Wiley Coyote; I hate the roadrunner.

    I think the problem with clear skies is that there are not unlimited clear skies. As you have said, there are unknown variables, or at least yet-unseen variables that affect the load of incident energy on Earth’s surface. I have pondered about the idea that the same density of the atmospheric water vapor could obstruct the way of the solar energy in towards the Earth’s floor. Small unseen changes in the density of water vapor in the los stratosphere can absorb a considerable load of shortwave solar IR. I know that carbon dioxide cannot do this because it absorbs an infinitesimal amount of shortwave solar IR, so I cannot include it as an important cause of the different measures of incident solar radiation, and water vapor can easily do this.

    Another factor on which I have thought is on Rossby waves. I think that Rossby waves are determined by not-yet measured fluctuations of the gravity field. Consequently, if the oscillations of the gravity field are chaotic, the Rosbby waves would be chaotic and the flux or power of energy hitting the surface would also be chaotic. You know, gravity fields are not uniform because of tiding phenomena, although those changes are also so tiny, that we have not instruments for measuring it; besides, we are immersed in a gravity field, and it is not “easy to measure changes in the surface if we are in the core”. However, it’s not more than a hypothesis.

  166. Posted Jun 14, 2008 at 7:47 PM | Permalink

    # 165

    D. Patterson,

    Oops! I forgot to say that I’m making comparisons between deviations from median and deviations from average. I am able to say that there is a strong correlation between TSI database and Tt database. The problem was that we were comparing absolute quantities versus the so called “anomalies”, which actually are amplitudes.

  167. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 14, 2008 at 9:00 PM | Permalink

    151 (Leif)
    Now that we have dealt with the broad philosophical generalities, courtesy of Nasif and D Patterson, let us please get back to the specifics. My question is: Why are the highest temperatures in the Stratosphere experienced over the Arctic and Antarctic rather than the tropics? Is this not due to the same processes that create the aurora? I am talking UVC, ionization, existence of free electrons in common with neutrals and the ability of the solar wind to impact the temperature and therefore the energetics in this part of the atmosphere.

    The temperature variation within the Hovmollers, Between January 2003 and May 2008, as judged in terms of the difference between maximum and minimum on the colour scale, at each pressure level, is:

    Surface: 144°K
    850hPa (1km): 90°K (Note abrupt atmospheric damping of surface temperature variation).
    700 hPa (2.3km): 90°K
    600hPa (2.6km) :90°K
    500 hPa (4km): 80°K (Getting out of the range of the opaque cloud and into the relatively free radiative zone)
    400 hPa (6km) : 72°K
    300hPa (8km) : 54°K Evidence perhaps of relatively free loss of energy by radiation.
    250hPa (9km): 54°k

    200hPa (11km) :72°K (The transition to Arctic temperatures being warmer than tropics starts at this level. The increase in the temperature differential is most likely due to heating from above. This is just short of the zone of obvious intense cooling at the equator due to convectional uplift that begins at about 140hPa or 12.5km. But there are no sharp boundaries in the behavior of gases and this area will be affected by convectional cooling in Southern Hemisphere summer when the sun is over the ocean and it warms. Ocean reaches peak temperature late April. So, any positive temperature anomalies at this level (and indeed 250hPa level) will be significant in terms of the effect on cirrus cloud and albedo.

    150 hPa (12.5km) :72°K

    Lets note here that we are still in the troposphere in the tropics (15km) but well into the stratosphere at mid latitudes (tropopause at 10km) and comprehensively so at high latitudes (no tropopause). The temperature in the tropics at this level has a lot to do with atmospheric heaving from below and consequent heat loss by decompression.

    70hPa (17km) : 72°K Range (Well into the convectional cooling zone in the tropics with marked cooling obvious between November and July but just above the tropical Tropopause at 15km so some of this range is due to stratospheric warming over high latitudes. Air over Antarctica reaches 235°K at this level as against 232°K at the 150hPa level. So, it looks like the start of the Thermo sphere in this particular zone! (Joking of course but I don’t want to experience the bums rush (sadly, so often experienced) when I start talking about correlations between the aa index and temperatures at 30hPa over the tropics.)

    50hPa (20K): 90°K range. 240°K is common over Antarctica in February so it is even warmer than at lower levels. The effect of convective cooling is seasonal and shows marked variations. This is the end of the white zone of convectional cooling in the tropics shown in the figure at #63.

    30hPa (23km): Range 72°K Slight seasonal effect from convective cooling in the tropics is still apparent but the reduction in the overall range of temperature probably represents the demise of this effect. A tracery of the force that is heating the polar regions is also clearly apparent in the tropics. This was the point of the arrows in my diagrams. Clearly, this is still an interaction zone where forces from above and below have a tug of war in determining the outcome. This is an important point given what I have to say next about the relationship between the aa index of geomagnetic activity and temperatures at this level.

  168. Posted Jun 14, 2008 at 9:38 PM | Permalink

    # 168

    Erl,

    My question is: Why are the highest temperatures in the Stratosphere experienced over the Arctic and Antarctic rather than the tropics?

    Coincidentally, that’s the zone where “silly” A. B. Meinel, “silly” ESA scientists and Herold Frey et al said the deviated slow high energized protons enter the Earth’s atmosphere. There is another entering zone above tropics, but the most active zone is above Arctic.

    I took part in your dialogue with Leif because I consider that this information could be connected with your observations.

  169. Posted Jun 15, 2008 at 12:24 AM | Permalink

    155 (Patterson):

    I guarantee the usage of some kind of shield in space to eclipse the Solar light falling on the Atlantic Ocean in the locale of a developing hurricane would promptly rob it of the energy needed to sustain its continued buildup and result in the dissipation of the weather system.

    it is nice to learn that the falling of night instantly turns off any developing hurricane and squashes tornadoes…

    168 (Erl):

    Is this not due to the same processes that create the aurora? I am talking UVC, ionization, existence of free electrons in common with neutrals and the ability of the solar wind to impact the temperature and therefore the energetics in this part of the atmosphere.

    The things you mention do not create the aurora. The aurora is created by particles [some coming from the Earth's ionosphere] that are momentarily stored in the so-called tail of the magnetosphere. The storage is supported by the magnetic field. When either the field configuration is disturbed [it flaps around a lot] or the particle load gets too great the particles ‘snap’ back and are precipitated into to polar ionosphere. That creates the corona. The solar wind does not impact the temperature in the ordinary sense because the solar wind is so tenuous [5 protons per cc]. The ‘energetics’ is determined by dissipation of electric currents and by precipitation of particles.

    (Nasif):

    “silly” A. B. Meinel, “silly” ESA scientists and Herold Frey et al said the deviated slow high energized protons enter the Earth’s atmosphere.

    Meinel’s article has this title:
    “Evidence for the Entry into the Upper Atmosphere of High-speed Protons”

    And all these particles are not cosmic rays which were the topic under discussion. Of course, particles have access to the Earth. Not through ‘cracks’. What happens is that the interplanetary magnetic field and the Earth’s magnetic field can ‘reconnect’ and become one, so that at particle spiraling happily around an interplanetary field lines all the sudden [without 'knowing it'] would be spiraling around a geomagnetic field line and thereby gain access. None of the articles [not the press releases] you mentioned say anything about ‘cracks’. The silliness originates with the press people trying to make this process understandable to the masses.

    ALL: it amazes me that people that are intelligent enough to push a mouse and click can entertain the notion that I was talking about turning to Sun off. The Sun is the provider of almost all the energy into the Earth-system. The point is that the response of that system is very much controlled by internal dynamics. The heating is uneven because the Earth is round and rotates. This causes shearing flows of the heated ‘fluids’ [air and water]. The flows have boundaries and instabilities always develop along such boundaries. These instabilities result in traveling waves that interact with each other. A similar phenomenon occurs in boiling water. The bubbles and the roiling are not controlled directly by the hot stove but by internal processes in the water mediated by gravity. Boiling water on the Earth and on the Internal Space Station behave very differently even if the heating elements are identical.

    (Erl): to say “I don’t buy it” is [possibly healthy] scientific skepticism. to say “I won’t buy it” is not.

    163 (Patterson):

    The correct answer is to say we know something is causing the variability in the Earth’s climates, but we also just don’t know whether or not Sunspots have a significant influence upon the variability of the Earth’s climates by means which may not yet be discovered or understood.

    No, this is incorrect. We know that it has not been sufficiently established or shown that sunspots have a significant influence. If they had a significant influence we would have noticed that long ago and the whole discussion would be moot. The issue hangs on the word ‘significant’. I take that word to mean ‘to such a degree that it would be clear and obvious and wouldn’t need debate’. Anything else would be insignificant. Even if there were a real sunspot influence but it was so subtle that only sophisticated statistical analysis would bring it out, then that real and present sunspot influence would not be ‘significant’.

    ALL: The level of scientific erudition and even basic physical understanding shown by several commenters has lately been embarrassingly low. I suggest it is time to limit further embarrassment.

  170. Posted Jun 15, 2008 at 12:30 AM | Permalink

    170 (Leif): That creates the corona. aurora, of course.

  171. Posted Jun 15, 2008 at 1:22 AM | Permalink

    Erl and Nasif: you are still pushing your own pet theories too much. Erl, write up what you think your theory is [and try to limit it to about 10 pages - any longer and most people won't read it]. Submit the paper to a respectable journal for review. Then let’s discuss what the reviewers have to say. We have gone around long enough on this blog.

  172. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 15, 2008 at 2:44 AM | Permalink

    170 (Leif)
    Have you no comment as to the cause of extreme temperatures in the mid Stratosphere over high latitudes? I don’t pretend to have an understanding of the physics involved? Do you? We have a clear case here of atmospheric heating unrelated to surface temperature. We know that the stratosphere directly absorbs solar energy and here we see this manifesting at 150hPa, below the level of the tropical tropopause. The effect is seen first over the poles and as we go higher it manifests closer and closer to the Equator. If we can see it happening at 12.5 km outside the tropics it is perhaps influencing temperatures at that same level within the tropics. If it is not due to factors associated with the solar wind it may very well be due to energy imparted by short wave radiation. If the heating is episodic it will affect cloud density. If that is the case it is the amplifier you say you have been looking for.

    One very influential force for cooling in the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere is that due to atmospheric heaving due to latent heat release over warm oceans in the tropics. The temperature record of the atmosphere over the tropics will conceal the stratospheric heating effect, except outside that convection zone. So, it manifests first of all over high latitudes.

    This is just observation and logic.

    So, choose your devil.

  173. TheDude
    Posted Jun 15, 2008 at 3:31 AM | Permalink

    Leif, “Even if there were a real sunspot influence but it was so subtle that only sophisticated statistical analysis would bring it out, then that real and present sunspot influence would not be ‘significant’.”

    The temperature differences at stake in the current climate debate are very subtle. The matter is, after all, an attempt to explain a .7C rise in temperatures in about 100 years. Geologically speaking it is a tiny blip. Far from finding some grand cause for ice ages or grand maximums what we are looking for are indeed subtle influences on climate for the scale of the current dispute.

    If we were to use sophisticated statistical analysis that found a subtle sunspot forcing large enough to account for the current blip of data (even if not a grand cause of climate change) it would be extremely significant for human affairs concerning climate policy.

  174. kim
    Posted Jun 15, 2008 at 5:22 AM | Permalink

    170 (Leif) What do you think of the weakening solar polar magnetic field noted by Ulysses?
    ===========================================

  175. Posted Jun 15, 2008 at 7:55 AM | Permalink

    173 (Erl): Stratospheric Warmings are observed regularly. An especially interesting event in the Southern Hemisphere is discussed here: http://www.aero.jussieu.fr/~sparc/News20/20_Baldwin.html
    If you google “stratospheric warming” you’ll find more on such warmings.

    175 (kim): Our paper http://www.leif.org/research/Cycle%2024%20Smallest%20100%20years.pdf on predicting solar cycle 24 ends with these words:

    With weaker polar fields, the interplanetary magnetic fields that the Ulysses space probe will measure during its next polar passes in 2007–2008 are therefore expected to be significantly lower than during the 1994–1995 polar passes

    so this has indeed come to pass. No surprises there; everything going according to plan.

    174 (Dude): 0.7C is already ruled out because the temperature does not follow solar activity Sun to that amount. An effect ten times smaller cannot be ruled out [some people talk about 0.1C solar cycle effect], but that is below the threshold of worrying about. But, please, no politics here.

  176. kim
    Posted Jun 15, 2008 at 8:04 AM | Permalink

    176 (Leif) Thanks. Anthony Watts just posted about this so you might get a chance to explicate the meaning of this for Cycle 24.

    On your first Sunday in your new home.
    ======================

  177. kim
    Posted Jun 15, 2008 at 8:13 AM | Permalink

    Ah, so these polar magnetic forces vary a lot from maximum to minimum, and they do correlate with sunspots, which correlate with global temperature. Hmmm.
    ===========================

  178. Posted Jun 15, 2008 at 8:39 AM | Permalink

    178 (kim): yes, except on the temperature correlation. And I’m on my way to http://geomag.usgs.gov/workshop.php where I’m a keynote speaker. Look at the abstract posted there [in Scientific program]

  179. kim
    Posted Jun 15, 2008 at 8:45 AM | Permalink

    179 (Leif) Oh, yeah. That small detail. Bon voyage, and thanks, Pop.
    =========================================

  180. Posted Jun 15, 2008 at 10:28 AM | Permalink

    # 170

    Leif,

    Two paragraphs from your post:

    Meinel’s article has this title: “Evidence for the Entry into the Upper Atmosphere of High-speed Protons”

    I had wrote in my post # 120: “…but at supersonic speeds aid by the solar wind. Slow particles with a high energy density (hot particles) are not deflected, but overcome upstream the solar wind; they cool down and then reaccelerate until reaching supersonic speeds going into the solar system. The solar wind decelerates and debilitates at the bow shock, where it collides with the interstellar wind.”

    You wrote:

    The point is that the response of that system is very much controlled by internal dynamics.

    And I wrote in my post # 166: “As you have said, there are unknown variables, or at least yet-unseen variables that affect the load of incident energy on Earth’s surface. I have pondered about the idea that the same density of the atmospheric water vapor could obstruct the way of the solar energy in towards the Earth’s floor. Small unseen changes in the density of water vapor in the los stratosphere can absorb a considerable load of shortwave solar IR. I know that carbon dioxide cannot do this because it absorbs an infinitesimal amount of shortwave solar IR, so I cannot include it as an important cause of the different measures of incident solar radiation, and water vapor can easily do this.”

    Thus, if one of my hypos. is a “pet theory”, yours also is a “pet theory” because both you and I are talking about internal variables. The difference is that I’m expressing my ideas on the issue, while you’re not. I have to make it clear: Mine is not a “theory”, but a “hypothesis”, and perhaps it is not even a “hypothesis” but a simple “silly pet idea” based on “basic physics”.

  181. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 15, 2008 at 10:50 AM | Permalink

    Nasif and Erl, you’ve had your say. I’d appreciate it if, as Leif requested, you gave things a rest for a while.

  182. Posted Jun 15, 2008 at 12:30 PM | Permalink

    Steve,

    Understood and written down. :)

  183. kim
    Posted Jun 15, 2008 at 2:35 PM | Permalink

    182 (Steve) I don’t think there will be a point like Leif desires, when the obviousness of turned over sediments stikes. I think Erl has the heat engine that is the earth marvelously described, but the specific solar mechanism still eludes, because of the complexity of the interaction and because of a plethora of unknowns, still. You’ve got a lot written up already Erl; just submit it. When I listen to Nasif I think of a Van der Graaff generator, bounded but seemingly chaotic, capable of perturbation by the smallest of stimuli. Why don’t you both write something together?
    =================================

  184. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 15, 2008 at 5:05 PM | Permalink

    182 (Kim) I suspect that the answer to the question that so puzzled me yesterday as to why high latitudes are warmer than low latitudes at 150mb lies in the top left hovmoller at #150. The extent of convection in the tropics between about 25°N and 25°S won’t allow it. The direct heating effect of short wave radiation is swamped by heaving of the atmospheric column due to latent heat release. There will be no difference in density so the force is there, but it is swamped. This effect can be seen operating in extremis at the height of the 1997-8 El Nino in southern hemisphere summer when the signature of long wave radiation heating ozone in the stratosphere simply disappeared. By contrast that signature is always very much apparent in Northern hemisphere summer. So, logically the effect of UV flux on the lower atmosphere (as to where, one can take ones guide from high latitudes) will be more apparent at a point when the tropical ocean is cool, like now.

    ‘Sudden stratospheric warmings’ will have an effect in the tropics even though their effect on temperature tends to be swamped by other dynamics and the effect will vary with altitude. So, no need to invoke solar wind effects in this case.

    Steve, Leif: I hear what you say.

  185. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jun 16, 2008 at 10:49 AM | Permalink

    174 TheDude “an attempt to explain a .7C rise in temperatures in about 100 years.”

    Actually a .7 difference in the anomaly linear trend line top and bottom over 130 years. I’m not convinced ever that there’s a global temperature, much less if that reflects it.

    But if we say the departure from 14 is indeed temperature, I agree with Leif, if it’s not obvious, it’s not significant. If it is .001 or .01 (or even what I consider far too large .1) it’s nothing. Heck, the resolution on the original anomaly data is 1, only whole numbers are used for min and max.

  186. Posted Jun 16, 2008 at 11:30 AM | Permalink

    # 186

    Sam,

    But if we say the departure from 14 is indeed temperature, I agree with Leif, if it’s not obvious, it’s not significant. If it is .001 or .01 (or even what I consider far too large .1) it’s nothing. Heck, the resolution on the original anomaly data is 1, only whole numbers are used for min and max.

    Even if evidence says the contrary? And here.

  187. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jun 16, 2008 at 1:09 PM | Permalink

    #187 Nasif; Well I could say there’s probably other papers showing the opposite, but instead I’ll just say that they probably don’t think we’re within the margin of error, and I do.

  188. Posted Jun 17, 2008 at 10:29 AM | Permalink

    # 54 Bill F

    The latest NOAA prediction numbers (which come closer to Leif’s every revision) indicate that the 10.7 flux will go as low as 60 by the minimum of the cycle.

  189. Posted Jun 17, 2008 at 5:08 PM | Permalink

    189 (Dennis): The NOAA f10.7 graph is an error produced by mistake. By the bureaucratic rules of NOAA they are not allowed to change their prediction after the fact. It is now a ‘product’ so the error cannot be corrected. The minimum f10.7 should have been 63.5 or so.

  190. Posted Jun 17, 2008 at 5:14 PM | Permalink

    190 (Leif):
    Here is the email exchange with NOAA on the F10.7 flux error:
    “Hi Doug,
    http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SolarCycle/f10.gif is clearly in error:
    1) f10.7 should not go down to 60 at minimum
    2) the maximum value [even for the high prediction] is clearly lower than that for cycle 23.
    Can we not have the graph corrected?
    —— reply —–
    Doug.Biesecker@noaa.gov to leif:
    Leif,
    Yes, the f10.7 should not go down to 60. Our forecast minimum limit is 65 [me: not 63.5 as I quoted]. However, this requires a change in a product and I’m not ready to take that task on at this time. Changing products within the NWS can be a very time consuming, difficult task. For starters, we need some good analysis to show us definitively how to treat very small SSN data. However, if one were to complain about a product to the proper authorities, one might be able to prompt action. You’ll find a feedback form on our website.”

    so there it sits.

  191. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Jun 17, 2008 at 6:30 PM | Permalink

    #191 Leif

    The graph is derived from their detailed monthly estimates, all of which for the low range prediction, have 10.7 cm numbers below 62.

    http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/weekly/Predict_low.txt

    I go with your predictions but this is far more than an error in the graphing.

  192. Posted Jun 17, 2008 at 6:52 PM | Permalink

    192 (Dennis): What can I say? Maybe they are monkeying with the data after all. I can just refer to the email exchange. The graph is in error. Check the graph for the official prediction [the middle one] and for the high one.

  193. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Jun 18, 2008 at 9:25 AM | Permalink

    Leif

    Well, follow the link that I provided and see for yourself. That is from the official NOAA site. I understand what you are talking about for the minimum on the 10.7 but if you look at their trendlines in the text document you will see that the low prediction, the one closest to your own, has several months of 60.0 as their predicted minimum value. I understand where your number is coming from as well and it looks like we are going to be testing those lows possibly this month, unless we pick up a few more CY24 spots soon, the ones so far have been quite paltry.

    A what if here: If we get another three months along and we get to the end of your + range for the minimum, how would you revise your prediction. It is my understanding that the lowest number in the soup of numbers is a cycle with a peak at 43, which is obviously really weak. How is your opinion changing, if at all, as we progress through 2008.

  194. Posted Jun 18, 2008 at 9:26 AM | Permalink

    # 195

    Even the temperature of the false vacuum would have been positive, something around 10^-37 K.

  195. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 18, 2008 at 6:50 PM | Permalink

    New: A robust correlation between growth rate and amplitude of solar cycles: consequences for prediction methods

    http://eprintweb.org/S/article/astro-ph/0806.2833

  196. Posted Jun 18, 2008 at 7:19 PM | Permalink

    Erl,

    Someone here is lurking . I thought I was the first one on thinking about amplitudes of TSI and climate of Earth. I will never post here anything about my theories.

  197. kim
    Posted Jun 18, 2008 at 8:05 PM | Permalink

    197 (Nasif Nahle) Is it great minds running in the same channels, or is it larceny? You have precedence online. I understand your dismay.
    ===================================================

  198. nevket240
    Posted Jun 19, 2008 at 4:59 AM | Permalink

    Leif:
    some light reading to help you plan your investment portfolio.http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article5131.html

    regards.

  199. nevket240
    Posted Jun 19, 2008 at 5:01 AM | Permalink

    http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article5131.html

    see if this one works. it’s been one of those days!!

  200. Bob KC
    Posted Jun 19, 2008 at 11:11 AM | Permalink

    I haven’t read the paper (just the abstract), but this was an interesting study/idea. The authors looked at the effects of the Southern Hemisphere Magnetic Anomaly on cloud formation. They concluded:

    The geomagnetic modulation of cloud effects in the net radiative flux in the atmosphere in the SHMA is, therefore, unambiguously due to GCRs and/or highly energetic solar proton particles effects.

    Has this been discussed here?

    p.s. Leif – I also want to add my thanks to you for your perseverance and straightforward but polite attitude in these threads. I haven’t been able to keep up (or understand) as much as I would like, but when I have it has been educational and informative. I’m sure there are a lot of other lurkers out there who would say the same.

  201. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jun 19, 2008 at 11:47 AM | Permalink

    Leif #191 (and in general) Doug at NOAA “Yes, the f10.7 should not go down to 60. Our forecast minimum limit is 65″

    We have to remember nobody is infallible, and mistakes happen all the time. Sometimes it’s difficult for them to get corrected, but sometimes a nudge in the right direction comes along.

    Bob KC #201 “unambiguously due to GCRs and/or highly energetic solar proton particles effects” and Nasif # 195 “something around 10^-37 K.” and #197 “Someone here is lurking”

    Well, there’s always some tiny number lurking here and there of course.
    :D

  202. Posted Jun 19, 2008 at 8:14 PM | Permalink

    Folks, I’ve been away for a few days and also moving to CA, so have not had time to follow up. Dennis: Whatever the f10.7 forecast is, the real f10.7 doesn’t fall below about 63.5. And I know for a fact that the NOAA formula for converting SSN to f10.7 flux is wrong. I’ll look into it, but Doug’s reply kinda is discouraging because no matter what I find they won’t correct their error.

  203. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Jun 19, 2008 at 11:00 PM | Permalink

    203 Leif

    Yea so far your record is pretty good and I have been checking up on your lately with some of your compatriots in the field.
    :)

    We hit 64.9 tonight, the lowest I have seen it in a very long time and that was with an active spot (not very big but…). Looks like C-23 is in its very last gasps now, and it is going to be VERY interesting now to see how 24 picks up from here.

  204. EW
    Posted Jun 20, 2008 at 4:54 AM | Permalink

    #201 (Bob KC)

    Here’s more about the Vieira’s article you linked with some Figs.

  205. Posted Jun 20, 2008 at 7:09 AM | Permalink

    204 (Dennis):
    The number to use is the ‘adjusted’ number. The ‘observed’ number is ‘contaminated’ by the varying solar distance:
    fluxdate fluxtime fluxjulian fluxcarrington fluxobsflux fluxadjflux fluxursi
    ———- ———- ———— ————– ———– ———– ———-
    20080619 200000 2454637.322 2071.373 0064.9 0067.0 0060.3
    So the ‘real’ number [what the Sun puts out] was 67.0 not 64.9.

  206. Posted Jun 20, 2008 at 7:15 AM | Permalink

    204 (Dennis):

    the lowest I have seen it in a very long time

    20080608 170000 2454626.197 2070.965 0064.8 0066.8 0060.1
    11 days ago…

  207. Posted Jun 20, 2008 at 9:56 AM | Permalink

    206 Leif

    Thanks for that: So we should see some really low numbers around July 3 (amphelion) if there is no activity? Also, I am intrigued by the lack of follow on C-24 spots, which if I interpret your numbers for your prediction correctly would seem to be the case.

  208. Posted Jun 20, 2008 at 10:53 AM | Permalink

    208 (Dennis): yes we should, but, remember, those really low numbers are not the Sun going low, just the Earth moving a bit away. The ‘adjusted’ numbers should go down to 65.

  209. Bob KC
    Posted Jun 20, 2008 at 11:45 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for the link, EW. I don’t know about the validity of their hypothesis, but it looks interesting and original.

  210. Posted Jun 21, 2008 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

    Finally, the reviewed article has been published. I think Svalgaard’s reconstruction of TSI is highly valuable; however, I think it doesn’t demonstrate discrepancies between SI and Variability of Temperature. I’d thank any comments on the article:

    Amplitude of Solar Irradiance

  211. Posted Jun 21, 2008 at 6:42 PM | Permalink

    Erl: with reference to our discussion of water vapor etc, this post may be of interest:

    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/06/21/a-window-on-water-vapor-and-planetary-temperature-part-2/

  212. Posted Jun 21, 2008 at 9:47 PM | Permalink

    Leif

    Dumb question but can you point me to the source equations for the 10.7 flux numbers? I have done the irradiance numbers for the blackbody curve in watts/m2 and have a fair understanding of TSI but have not investigated the 10.7 number.

  213. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 22, 2008 at 5:09 AM | Permalink

    212 (Leif)
    Thanks for that advice. It helps greatly. The figure above (incorporating part of the Anthony Watts post) shows moisture levels near the surface relating them to the solar cycle and to global temperature anomalies. Global anomalies follow closely low latitude anomalies.

    Confirmed is the notion that when you heat up the ocean, the air heats up and will hold more water vapour (El Nino). But, when the resulting cloud cover gets to the point where temperatures begin to fall, it does so via a cycle of precipitation involving increased cloud density, drying out the atmosphere again (La Nina).

    In due course, when the atmosphere becomes drier and less cloudy the stratosphere heats up again, a period of positive correlations between sunspot activity and temperature in the stratosphere occurs. So temperatures rise again and atmospheric moisture levels increase. At peak temperature the balance tips and correlation between sunspot activity and temperature turns negative again. Cooling sets in and so on, in a monotonous cycle of wetting and drying.

    Temperatures between the surface and 30hPa rise and fall in unison. Somewhere in the atmospheric column below the tropopause there is a layer of air that reacts to solar radiation in the same fashion as the stratosphere at 30hPa reacts to UV. I am suggesting it is worth looking at the 250hPa level where meteorologists routinely scan for changes in velocity potential anomalies, indicators of enhanced or suppressed convection. In this respect see the animation at: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/index.primjo.html

    Anthony Watts shows that there has been little increase in moisture in the atmosphere between the near surface layer and 300hPa (8km) but a marked increase at that level in the period 1980 to 1990, peak years for the two large solar cycles 21 and 22. One of the solar cycle signals in hovmoller diagrams is an increase in precipitable moisture up to solar maximum and a fall thereafter. The zone of anomalous warming that can be seen at 250hPa is over the warmest oceans where moisture levels are likely to be highest. It is this zone that seems to be implicated in the coming and going of the cirrus cloud. In the Pacific during an El Nino the zone of convection shifts eastwards to the date line leaving the west completely exposed to solar radiation.

    One little mystery that is worth clearing up: It is plain that increased cloud cover in the troposphere will cause surface temperatures to fall but why should temperatures fall at 30hPa (23km), in the stratosphere, at the same time. The answer lies in convection driven by release of latent heat from precipitation. The whole atmospheric column between 25°N and 25°S Lat. lifts and cools via decompression. This affects temperatures right up to 50hPa as seen in #150. Hence the correlation between sunspot activity and 30hPa temperatures swings rhythmically between positive and negative, clearly marking the high and low points of surface temperature fluctuation with great precision.

    Leif your reference was very helpful. I am sorry if this comes across as pushing a barrow.

    Water vapour is not a feedback amplifying a greenhouse gas phenomenon. It is the Earths refrigerant gas and thermostat all rolled up into one. ENSO is not an internal oscillation. Sure, its an oscillation, but driven by the interaction between the sun and the Earth system.

  214. kim
    Posted Jun 22, 2008 at 6:43 AM | Permalink

    214 (Erl) Doesn’t this all fit in with Miscolczi’s hypothesis of a ‘saturated greenhouse effect’?
    ===============================================

  215. Posted Jun 22, 2008 at 6:52 AM | Permalink

    214 (Erl):

    Temperatures between the surface and 30hPa rise and fall in unison.

    Do you mean ‘temperatures at the surface and 30hPa” ?

  216. Posted Jun 22, 2008 at 7:10 AM | Permalink

    213 (Dennis):

    Dumb question but can you point me to the source equations for the 10.7 flux numbers?

    I don’t know what you mean by ‘source equations”.
    The f10.7 cm radio flux comes from two main sources: gyroresonance emission and free-free emission. The latter is basically the same mechanism that forms the visible and soft X-ray continuum – i.e. bremsstrahlung. The former involves the magnetic field, and is why f10.7 reflects magnetic activity as well as it does.

  217. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 22, 2008 at 8:51 AM | Permalink

    216 (Leif)
    All levels between the surface and 30hPa appear to move in unison with the amplitude of the swing increasing from the surface upwards. Of course the largest jump in amplitude is above the tropopause (100hPa = 15km). Of interest is the fact that the convectional decompressive cooling at the tropopause (warming oceans, greater low level atmospheric moisture and precipitation)is echoed above the tropopause with increasing amplification. So, part of the amplitude of the swing above the tropopause is due to the periodic cooling from below rather than simply the flux of UV. I suggest that outgoing long wave is less important in the mix of cooling mechanisms at lower levels than pre 1976 and that it is emitted on balance from higher up where the impediment for it’s emission is much less due to the lower level of water vapour at altitude.

  218. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 22, 2008 at 9:01 AM | Permalink

    215 (Kim)
    Tell me about Miscolczi’s hypothesis and I will see whether I agree with you.

    216 (Leif)
    Correction: Looks as if the amplitude of the swing is a little greater at 200hPa than it is at 150hPa. I would put money on the proposition that it is greater at 250hPa than at 200hPa.

  219. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 22, 2008 at 9:07 AM | Permalink

    Missing image from 214, spruced up for presentation.

  220. kim
    Posted Jun 22, 2008 at 9:47 AM | Permalink

    219 (Erl) Ken Gregory’s precis of Miscolczi’s ‘Greenhouse Effect in Semi-Transparent Planetary Atmospheres’ is available at icecap.us
    ===============================

  221. Posted Jun 22, 2008 at 9:58 AM | Permalink

    # 220

    Erl,

    To try to correlate the number of sunspots with the temperature variability is useless. The number of sunspots is an absolute value, whereas the temperature variability is a deviation from average. The key resides in the amplitude of the flux of solar radiation (please, see the last graph in the article. The correlation coefficients indicate clearly the response of the tropospheric temperature to the intensity of the solar radiation; some times the feedback is positive (Q = 1) and some times it is negative (Q = -1) because of more evaporation from the oceans (more clouds).

  222. Posted Jun 22, 2008 at 10:05 AM | Permalink

    220 (Erl): Please, enough wiggle matching for now. As I see it, the correlations have not been substantiated and the plots are not convincing or even suggestive.

  223. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 22, 2008 at 10:15 AM | Permalink

    #223. Erl, I agree with Leif. Wiggle-matching is not a statistical technique that I endorse. Again, I would like you to restrict your posts to comments on published literature, rather than presenting your own theories.

    Erl, I’d also appreciate it if you’d post links to images rather than the images themselves for a while. You’re posting a lot of images and the site is being knocked over more frequently than desirable and reducing image bandwidth would help.

  224. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 22, 2008 at 10:17 AM | Permalink

    DAvid Stockwell discusses Miscolzi and I urge interested readers to discuss this topic at his blog as it is not an issue that I’m in a position to moderate.

  225. Posted Jun 22, 2008 at 10:19 AM | Permalink

    # 223

    Leif,

    That’s because you have not read our article. We are comparing pears with pears and the correlations exist. :)
    Something odd is that some peaks and troughs plotted from your reconstruction are the opposite with respect to Lean’s reconstruction. That doesn’t mean that the correlation does not exist, but that some times the coefficient from your reconstruction is negative when the feedback from Lean’s reconstruction is positive and vice versa.

  226. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 22, 2008 at 10:20 AM | Permalink

    219 (Kim)
    Re Miscolczi’s ideas. I know nothing about models or how they set the parameters. What I suspect is that during a warming cycle evaporation lags temperature and relative humidity falls. But, we should really be looking at the change in the relative proportions of the tropics that behave in very different ways. The warm pool has less cloud and it gets warmer again because the radiation is more intense as albedo falls. In the Pacific the cloud shifts to the date line and it is away from the Maritime continent and there are very few islands there to promote numerous centres of convection. So the area of convection is probably more restricted. So, more of the ocean as a whole is getting more radiation.

    In this scenario I don’t think the warming effect of a supposed greenhouse influence is material at all. A very minor player with just a bit part. Bigger forces are at work.

    I mentioned OLR shifting to a higher level as convection takes over a greater role in cooling at low altitudes. I would posit a gradually diminishing greenhouse effect over the last 30 years as the zone for outgoing long wave shifts to higher levels in the atmosphere. OLR has a signal in the stratosphere because it heats ozone. But in January there is no signal in the stratosphere because the southern hemisphere is mainly ocean which cools via convection and general atmospheric heaving. It is in July that the OLR signal shows up in the stratosphere. Similarly, in a big El Nino the stratosphere is cooled by convectional uplift and it shows no OLR signal in the stratosphere at the height of the warming. What have we been having? Lots of El Ninos.

    You want a greenhouse effect. W have it now. A saturated atmosphere, lots of cloud, lots of precipitation. Its La Nina and we have a big greenhouse effect due to the water vapour and maximal cooling. As I said just a bit player with hardly even a walk on part.

  227. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 22, 2008 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

    223 (Leif)
    To which correlations do you refer? If I can obtain the data for atmospheric moisture levels I can oblige.

  228. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 22, 2008 at 10:29 AM | Permalink

    222 (Nasif)
    Try it and you will see that there is no difference at all whether you use anomalies or absolute figures.

  229. Carl
    Posted Jun 22, 2008 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

    Erl (220): I’m not seeing the positive correlation between sunspot activity and specific humidity. Are you still talking about the short, abrupt changes in sunspot activity as causing the changes in relative humidity, or are you suggesting that over the entire course of each of the rises in relative humidity, there is a positive correlation with sunspots. Because in some of the warming events, I see the former idea, though not in all of them.

  230. kim
    Posted Jun 22, 2008 at 10:45 AM | Permalink

    227 (Erl) You say “What I suspect is that during a warming cycle, evaporation lags temperature and relative humidity falls”. Doesn’t that match Anthony’s data and Miscolczi’s theory?
    ==========================================

  231. Posted Jun 22, 2008 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

    228 (Erl):

    To which correlations do you refer?

    To any and all of your plots involving sunspot numbers [as in #220], f10.7, aa, etc. I know you dearly want a connection between solar activity and atmospheric parameters [below the stratosphere], but you have not shown any and neither has anybody else [despite the multitude of such claims - many conflicting].

  232. kim
    Posted Jun 22, 2008 at 11:08 AM | Permalink

    227 (Erl) Maybe an ‘Iris and Checkerboard’ concept. Sorry, Steve, I try not to, but there’s a dibbuk.
    =====================================================

  233. Posted Jun 22, 2008 at 12:02 PM | Permalink

    # 229

    Erl,

    I’ll try it.

    # 232

    Leif,

    Negative Q doesn’t mean there is not correlation, but a that the response is inversely proportional. Zero Q would mean there is not correlation; however, zero Qs are absent in both reconstructions, yours and Lean’s, which means that the correlation exists.

  234. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 22, 2008 at 5:33 PM | Permalink

    230(Carl)

    I’m not seeing the positive correlation between sunspot activity and specific humidity. Are you still talking about the short, abrupt changes in sunspot activity as causing the changes in relative humidity, or are you suggesting that over the entire course of each of the rises in relative humidity, there is a positive correlation with sunspots. Because in some of the warming events, I see the former idea, though not in all of them.

    Sorry Carl, the sunspot data was in there simply as a reference point. Heating and cooling events are part of the furniture and they occur at different times within each solar cycle, except perhaps for the one that occurs fairly regularly at the start of the cycle, itself very variable in size. No relationships were implied between sunspots and temperature or sunspots and humidity in the diagram now posted at 220.

    What I was trying to point out was that absolute atmospheric moisture content falls during the cooling from an El Nino type peak and that this will (logically I hope) be associated with increased cloud cover. Clouds and rain and atmospheric drying all go together. So, the diagram simply confirms the point that La Nina cooling is associated with atmospheric drying and increased cloud cover. When I talk about drying I am not talking about relative humidity but absolute humidity which is what is shown in the lower of the two figures.

    I separately and independently assert that positive and negative correlations between sunspot activity and temperatures at 30hPa are predictive of temperature at 850hPa. The turning points in the correlation at the upper level mark the turning points in temperature at the lower level. This is new material unlikely to be shown here, because it is an exercise in the examination of strange and unexplainable co-incidences. When you are hit by a bus crossing a road ignore it. It is unlikely to happen again. However, the coincidences I am talking about are consistent and the evidence from almost 60 years of radiosonde data indicates that they can be relied upon absolutely. However, not at solar minimum, if there are no sunspots around. Then, it seems that other factors become influential. As to mechanisms, this is not the time to theorize.

  235. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 22, 2008 at 5:38 PM | Permalink

    227 (Kim)
    I will have a good look and get back to you. Time to go pruning.

  236. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 23, 2008 at 1:31 AM | Permalink

    232 (Leif)
    I think there is a fair bit of misunderstanding associated with the fact that I modified an old graph that showed tropical temperature anomalies (and also it had the sunspot cycle marked on it) to relate to absolute moisture levels in the atmosphere. I should have taken the sunspots out because people somehow thought (despite the text) that I was suggesting an association between temperature or moisture levels and sunspots. That was not the case. I was focusing on the association between heating events and absolute moisture levels in the atmosphere and what that means for cloud cover. Sorry for the confusion. Frequently I will have sunspots in a diagram by way of reference(like a date)so that I can see at a glance which cycle is associated with the phenomena under study. Post 220 was not about sunspot associations per-se. The sunspot wiggles were irrelevant to the argument.

  237. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 23, 2008 at 2:36 AM | Permalink

    231 (Kim) Re the falling average atmospheric relative humidity between 700mb and 300mb over the period between 1948 and 2004. This probably reflects an atmosphere with wider temperature swings. We have had many very warm El Nino periods especially since 1976. The diagram at Icecap shows that the largest reduction in relative humidity is at the uppermost levels. Looking at the diagrams at #218 (here) there has been a net cooling at all levels above 200hPa. Periodic severe cooling at 300hPa (or anywhere) would tend to dry that level out so far as the average relative humidity is concerned. In warming events the supply of moisture can not keep up.

    Despite a fall in average relative humidity the absolute level of moisture in the atmosphere has increased, especially at lower levels where temperatures have increased most, as shown in the Anthony Watts post that Leif referred to in #212. In the layers that have cooled the absolute level will have fallen.

    Increasing moisture content at lower levels will not promote an enhanced greenhouse effect because the bulk of the heat exchange at low level is accomplished without involvement of Outgoing Long Wave Radiation. Heat exchange at lower levels is actually accomplished by contact, evaporation and convection. As the importance of convection has grown due to the warming ocean, the level at which OLR becomes important has moved upwards. Ultimately, all heat must be re-radiated. If it was 5km in the past it may be 6km now. This has not stopped the upper layers cooling. The cooling trend is established at about 8km. The cooling above this level is due to increased convection. The lower atmosphere warming is due to a warming ocean. It gets its warmth from the sun. Forget the greenhouse effect. It’s a furphy.

    I suggest that we must look elsewhere for a reason for this increasing temperature trend. I wonder where?

  238. Posted Jun 23, 2008 at 12:02 PM | Permalink

    # 238

    Erl

    I suggest that we must look elsewhere for a reason for this increasing temperature trend. I wonder where?

    Honestly, I think we must not look for more reasons for temperature variability. It’s quite obvious the source is cosmic radiation. Components on Earth only intensify, weaken, advance or delay the effects, but the main driver of climate of Earth is that giant central candle at one AU from Earth. The outcry of AGWists is that the Intensity of Solar Irradiance (ISI) has diminished whereas temperature atmospheric has increased; that is false, the atmospheric temperature has also diminished. Earth is neither an isolated, nor a closed thermodynamic system.

  239. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Jun 23, 2008 at 2:56 PM | Permalink

    Leif,

    On Unthreaded #35, (see here for example) cba and I are discussing his from scratch line-by-line atmospheric radiation transfer model. He has used it to calculate total emission at 120 km and shows an increase in OLR of about 36 W/m2 compared to 70 km. For a variety of reasons I think his model is flawed in the 70 to 120 km region, and particularly the region above 100 km or so where the ‘temperature’ increases again, i.e. the thermosphere. One of my contentions is that there is insufficient solar energy absorption in this region of the atmosphere to support emission of that magnitude, by orders of magnitude. If this is not too far off topic, would you please comment. Thanks.

  240. Posted Jun 23, 2008 at 5:16 PM | Permalink

    240 (Dewitt): I have not been following that debate and have not played with modtran and stuff so my input may be limited. The solar wind, currents, particles, etc that heat the ionosphere is typically 25 GigaWatt on average for the ‘hemisphere’. Most of that is within a circle of radius ~4000 km [some 40 degrees] centered on the pole. The area of that is ~5*10^13 m2, so the wattage per square meter would be a low 25*10^9/5^10^13 = 0.0005 W/m2. Not much. Now, during magnetic storms that increases by more than an order of magnitude, but storms are relatively rare and do not add much to the average [the 25 GW includes the storms].

  241. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Jun 23, 2008 at 5:29 PM | Permalink

    Leif (#241),

    Thanks. That’s exactly the information I wanted.

  242. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jun 24, 2008 at 9:10 AM | Permalink

    So, an NCEP reanalysis of specific humidity up to 300 mb with a .4 range over 60 years. I’d say, who cares if the wiggles match or not!
    :)

  243. Posted Jun 24, 2008 at 2:00 PM | Permalink

    Sam, excuse my ignorance… What’s NCEP? :)

  244. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jun 24, 2008 at 2:18 PM | Permalink

    National Centers for Environmental Prediction, part of the National Weather Service under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is part of the United States Department of Commerce.
    :)

    And actually, the NWS does have a Space Weather Prediction Center. That’s a link to info on cycle 23.

  245. Posted Jun 24, 2008 at 3:38 PM | Permalink

    # 245

    Thank you Sam. :)

  246. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 24, 2008 at 5:36 PM | Permalink

    243 (Sam)
    With reference to the moisture levels in the atmosphere:
    You are dead right. It’s very small. But critical nonetheless.

    The discussion relates to an Anthony Watts post at http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/06/21/a-window-on-water-vapor-and-planetary-temperature-part-2/ coming from Barry Hearn at Junk Science.
    The main point of the presentation is that atmospheric moisture content varies up to 5% only in the layers of the atmosphere below 1km in elevation. Above that point the variation is much less until an elevation of 300hPa or 8km where the temperature is about minus 30°C and the absolute moisture content is currently one forty fifth of that at the surface having fallen to that level from a position where it was about one thirty fifth off that near the surface in 1950. So, we have lost about 15% of the moisture that we had high up in the atmosphere in 1950. Looking at the diagram at #218 you can see that temperatures at 300hPa are highly volatile and currently very low (March 2008). I would expect that cirrus cloud over the tropics is at historic highs at this point in time.

    From my point of view there are a couple of fairly mundane things to note.
    1. The fact that there is a close correspondence between temperature and absolute water content should give us confidence that the measurement of both atmospheric temperature and water vapour content is reasonably accurate. This is no mean feat when the variation is so small. My rough and ready way to indicate this was to line up the wiggles.
    2. When temperature falls the atmosphere sheds water. It gets cloudy. I think that this tells us something of interest about the way the climate system works namely that when it gets cloudy the temperature falls. When the skies are clear the temperature rises. This point seems to be lost on many theorists who promote other explanations for the change in temperature at the surface.
    3. The water vapour cycle is very tightly bound to the atmosphere below 1 kilometer in elevation.

    So, I say to those who imagine that the temperature variation must relate to the luminosity of the sun or to the heat trapping properties of water vapour when the atmospheric water vapour content is amplified by increases in temperature due to trace gas content…… I say LOOK AGAIN.

    The globe gains energy in the tropics. Episodes of tropical warming of which El Nino is the Pacific manifestation are characterized by a fall in cloud cover, a reduction in albedo, an increase in sea surface temperature and an increase in the absolute level of moisture in the atmosphere. Cooling episodes are characterized by moisture shedding, release of latent heat of condensation causing convection which raises the whole atmospheric column right up to the 25km level and beyond, shedding heat by decompression and facilitating the unobstructed loss of energy via long wave radiation, the only form that can travel in space.

    A couple of things to consider at this point. Temperatures in the stratosphere are driven by:
    1. UV light, sunspots, plages, flares
    2. An annual cycle whereby irradiance increases by 7% In January over July.
    3. Periodic heaving causing marked cooling throughout the whole atmospheric column during surface cooling events.

    AND from the point of view of the greenhouse that we live in:
    1. The increase in moisture content is at a low level where there is very little outgoing long wave radiation as part of the heat exchange process.
    2. The increase in moisture content is accompanied by a loss of albedo causing a marked increase in sea surface temperatures and evaporation.
    3. This type of warming is a just a temporary affair related to a fluctuation in the water cycle. But if it occurs in January it adds greatly to ocean temperature and affects temperatures in the northern hemisphere, particularly in winter. It has the capacity to raise and lower global temperatures.

    So, looking at the matter analytically the coming and going of the cirrus cloud at the 300 hPa level (through to the 100hPa level) the main feature of the Earths albedo in the tropics is very probably a key dynamic in the warming and cooling process. Is the warming and cooling at this elevation (and therefore at the surface where the temperature variation is just a damped version of the high altitude variation) related to the fluctuation in ultraviolet emission by the sun?

    Answering this question is not easy because of the multiple factors driving temperature in the tropical stratosphere. But that is where I am headed.

  247. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jun 25, 2008 at 8:44 AM | Permalink

    Nasif #246: You’re welcome!

    Erl #247: There is a lot going on, that’s for sure. It’s certainly not just a single cause with a single effect, much less anything that does something once and stops! :)

  248. stroller
    Posted Jun 25, 2008 at 8:58 AM | Permalink

    #247 (Erl)
    Great post, thanks. Not sure if it of any help. but a few studies linking river flow and flood/drought cycles and solar activity cycles have been pointed up in our unthreaded discussion by Jim Arnt and lgl.

    Missisipi:
    A Regression Model for Annual Streamflow in the Upper Mississippi River Basin Based on Solar Irradiance
    By Charles A. Perry

    http://ks.water.usgs.gov/Kansas/pubs/reports/paclim99.html

    The fundamental conclusion of this paper is that short-term changes in total solar irradiance from the Sun may have an effect on the short-term regional climate of North America through global oceanic and atmospheric processes. Annual solar-irradiance variations may create warm and cool ocean water anomalies in the tropical Pacific Ocean, which can affect streamflow in the Mississippi 5 years later through induced position of ridges and troughs in the jet stream.

    Nile:

    http://tinyurl.com/6zrvkm

    Does the Nile reflect solar variability?

    ——————————————————————————–
    Alexander Ruzmaikin a1, Joan Feynman a1 and Yuk Yung a2

    Analysis of auroral data contemporaneous with the Nile data shows peaks at 88 years and about 200 years. This suggests a physical link between solar variability and the low-frequency variations of the Nile water level. The link involves the influence of solar variability on the North Annual Mode of atmospheric variability and its North Atlantic and Indian Oceans patterns that affect rainfall over Eastren Equatorial Africa where the Nile originates.

  249. Posted Jun 25, 2008 at 9:15 AM | Permalink

    247,249 (Erl,Stroller):
    Erl said:

    So, I say to those who imagine that the temperature variation must relate to the luminosity of the sun or to the heat trapping properties of water vapour when the atmospheric water vapour content is amplified by increases in temperature due to trace gas content…… I say LOOK AGAIN.

    Stroller cited:

    The fundamental conclusion of this paper is [...] solar-irradiance variations may create warm and cool ocean water anomalies in the tropical Pacific Ocean

    To me, these two are contradictory as typical for claims of solar influence.

  250. Pete
    Posted Jun 25, 2008 at 9:23 AM | Permalink

    249 (Stroller)

    NASA reported on this last year, but I never did find the paper it was based upon. Now I know via you link, but it is ring fenced :-( Science should be FREE!

    NASA FEATURE

  251. stroller
    Posted Jun 25, 2008 at 10:04 AM | Permalink

    #250 (Leif)
    I know, but sometimes you need to check to see if the real correlating phenomena are being masked by someone’s assumption or loose language. It’s early days for this stuff, and imprecision and confusion abounds. It’s the hunt for the roebuck in the thicket…

    30% increase in incidence/magnitude of solar storms since 1870 as constructed from 10Be records
    15% increase in solar wind intensity over the same period – is it instrumental error or connected to the above?

    Magnetic connection between the solar magnetospere and Earth’s magnetosphere through the IMF. Could this be the conduit for extra energy flow into our climate systems?

  252. stroller
    Posted Jun 25, 2008 at 10:20 AM | Permalink

    #251 (Pete)
    Thanks for the link, it’s more informative than the abstract!
    In the context of Erl’s ideas, this passage is worth quoting here:

    The authors suggest that variations in the sun’s ultraviolet energy cause adjustments in a climate pattern called the Northern Annular Mode, which affects climate in the atmosphere of the Northern Hemisphere during the winter. At sea level, this mode becomes the North Atlantic Oscillation, a large-scale seesaw in atmospheric mass that affects how air circulates over the Atlantic Ocean. During periods of high solar activity, the North Atlantic Oscillation’s influence extends to the Indian Ocean. These adjustments may affect the distribution of air temperatures, which subsequently influence air circulation and rainfall at the Nile River’s sources in eastern equatorial Africa. When solar activity is high, conditions are drier, and when it is low, conditions are wetter.

  253. Posted Jun 25, 2008 at 10:24 AM | Permalink

    252 (Stroller):

    It’s early days for this stuff,

    No, these kinds of claims go back almost 400 years

  254. Posted Jun 25, 2008 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

    253 (Stroller):

    When solar activity is high, conditions are drier, and when it is low, conditions are wetter

    Note, how this contradicts Erl’s claim that the effects are not related to the overall level of solar activity on solar cycle time scale, but only to short-term wiggles. People that claim such solar influences should not only make a new claim, but must also explain why previous claims that do not fit their new one were failures of analysis, data, paradigm, what-have-you. This requirement is part of standard science. At the very least, these contradictory claims should be listed or mentioned. Id there are too many of them [e.g. hundreds] one might classify them into several types and mention an example of each type.

  255. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 25, 2008 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

    Leif, some queries if you could oblige, please and thank you.

    How good is the sunspot index as a proxy for the force that reverses the fall of temperature with altitude at the tropopause?

    How good is th aa index as a proxy for auroral activity over the poles?

    At what altitude might one expect a stratospheric heating effect over the Equator from the agency of the solar wind and geomagnetic influences and when and where is this heating effect most likely to be seen? Has anyone directly linked stratospheric waves to solar influences and if so which facets of solar activity are implicated?

  256. stroller
    Posted Jun 25, 2008 at 10:45 AM | Permalink

    #254 (Leif)
    With respect to sunspot numbers, yes. But there are newer data too, such as the solar storm index I posted a graph of at #52. I appreciate that quite rightly, you are not given to public speculation, and that there isn’t at present an accepted theory to explain the causation underlying apparent correlations. However, that is not a reason to ignore the data is it?

    And if we reach the point where we do find a viable mechanism for links between these other aspects of solar activity and climate, a study of their correlation with sunspot numbers will enable us to hindcast our new theory over those 400 years, albeit through a glass darkly.

  257. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 25, 2008 at 10:50 AM | Permalink

    25 (Leif)
    Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 70 (2008) 1046–1055
    The response in the Pacific to the sun’s decadal peaks and
    contrasts to cold events in the Southern Oscillation
    Harry van Loon, Gerald A. Meehl

    The authors compare the pattern of atmospheric characteristics in solar maximum years to the very similar pattern seen in La Nina years. It just so happens that a La Nina is a very common occurrence at solar maximum. Its the atmospheric de-watering response to the El Nino that marks the start of the solar cycle. Since the time between solar minimum and next solar maximum is about four years we can get in a good strong event of each type in that period of time.

    This is why it is so silly to expect a consistent difference between solar minimum (often characterized by La Nina) and solar maximum, often characterized by another La Nina. Move the sampling period a little to one side or another and you can get a different result entirely.

    The ENSO effect is much larger than the irradiance effect.

  258. Posted Jun 25, 2008 at 11:11 AM | Permalink

    256 (Erl):
    1) How good is the sunspot index as a proxy for the force that reverses the fall of temperature with altitude at the tropopause?
    It is not anything related to sunspots that ‘reverses’ the fall, so the reliability of the sunspot index is moot in this respect. Otherwise, the recent sunspot number [say since 1946] is a good proxy for UV, etc.
    2) How good is the aa index as a proxy for auroral activity over the poles?
    Since 1957 the aa-index is fairly good as a measure of geomagnetic/auroral activity [these things peak 2000 km from the pole - the pole is pretty calm]. There are better indices, but any effect of the kind you seek should also show up in the aa-index if it does in the others.
    3) At what altitude might one expect a stratospheric heating effect over the Equator from the agency of the solar wind and geomagnetic influences
    At no altitude over the equator. The SW/GA activity is at high latitudes. There is something called the ‘global circuit’ where tropical thunderstorms can influence the ionosphere. There are also effects from upward traveling ‘planetary waves’ that influence the upper stratosphere and [possibly] the ionosphere, but these are not correlated with SW/GA.

    The above answers are my best shot. You can surely find claims to the opposite somewhere on the Internet, and counter-claims, etc.

  259. Posted Jun 25, 2008 at 11:30 AM | Permalink

    258 (Erl):

    This is why it is so silly to expect a consistent difference between solar minimum (often characterized by La Nina) and solar maximum, often characterized by another La Nina. Move the sampling period a little to one side or another and you can get a different result entirely.

    No need to point out how silly these correlations are and how poor most of these papers are. This ‘debate’ has gone on for centuries now, with no end in sight. People really *want* to believe.

  260. Posted Jun 25, 2008 at 11:49 AM | Permalink

    252,257 (Stroller): the increases you are talking about are most likely ‘instrumental’. Take the number of SSCs. Before 1937 they were basically cataloged by one person (P.-N. Mayaud], after that by international cooperation. SSC are only really observed on the dayside, so with more observatories we increase the chance of seeing one. Note also that recently the number of SSCs has gone down. A more objective way of addressing the # of storms issue is to use the Dst index that measure the number and intensity of storms. The data goes back to 1905:

    The number roughly follows the sunspot number. The intensity does not [we didn't expect it to].

  261. Jim Arndt
    Posted Jun 25, 2008 at 12:03 PM | Permalink

    261, (Leif)

    Where is the data source for the Dst in your graphs? I have been looking into the possibility of the effect on clouds from these storms, which I have discussed with you already but need a good data source. Also where is the best source for the geomagnetic index and CME’s? Any help would be appreciated.

  262. Posted Jun 25, 2008 at 12:17 PM | Permalink

    259 (Leif): On point one, I have to be more specific: What stops the fall of T is that the stratosphere is stable against convection due to its inverted temperature profile. As long as the profile is inverted, it does not matter how much it is inverted, so the amount of heating at 50 km due to Ozone, UV, etc doesn’t really matter as long as it is enough to invert the profile.

  263. Posted Jun 25, 2008 at 12:27 PM | Permalink

    262 (JimA): Jeffrey Love and myself [independently] have recalculated Dst so there is the source. This work is in the process of being published. We have given talks at AGU on this. Here is first Jeffrey’s: http://www.leif.org/research/AGU%20Spring%202007%20SH54B-03.pdf and here is mine: http://www.leif.org/research/AGU%20Fall%202005%20SA12A-04.pdf more infor is here: http://www.leif.org/research/Comment%20on%20Dst%20paper%20by%20K%20and%20M.pdf
    The data is not yet really available [mostly because we have not taken the trouble to make it so].
    The standard geomagnetic indices are all over the Internet [google ...]. List’s of CMEs can also be found. I don’t know of any ‘official’ list of CMEs. There are problems with the homogeneity of such lists: different spacecraft, different people, etc…

  264. Jim Arndt
    Posted Jun 25, 2008 at 1:21 PM | Permalink

    264 (Leif)

    Thank you I have bookmarked them. Do you have any preference for the CME lists?

  265. Posted Jun 25, 2008 at 2:30 PM | Permalink

    265 (JimA): CMEs, no I don’t have any preference. I have a philosophical problem with the notion of a CME as far as its impact on the Earth is concerned. The Dst index is a good measure of the impact of storms. Now, there are two kinds of storms: the one that are due to a CME [or a 'magnetic cloud'] and the ones that are due to what is called ‘co-rotating interaction regions – CIRs’ which have nothing to do with CMEs. As far as the Earth is concerned, it doesn’t matter which type a storm is, so why the interest in CMEs. There is a solar cycle difference in the occurrence rate of CMEs [high at solar max] and of CIRs [high during declining part of the cycle nearing minimum].

  266. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 25, 2008 at 6:47 PM | Permalink

    259 (Leif)

    On point one, I have to be more specific: What stops the fall of T is that the stratosphere is stable against convection due to its inverted temperature profile. As long as the profile is inverted, it does not matter how much it is inverted, so the amount of heating at 50 km due to Ozone, UV, etc doesn’t really matter as long as it is enough to invert the profile.

    Thanks for the clarification. That makes some sense but is not convincing against the evidence of the hovmoller diagrams in #150. The diagrams show cooling in the stratosphere in January most plainly seen at 50hPa.

    Just trying to sort it out in my own mind but this is perhaps what is happening: In SH summer the tropical tropopause at 100hPa regularly cools by as much as 5 degrees as compared to its temperature in July. All the temperature contours in the stratosphere shift upwards at the same time. This is good for a 5K fall at 30hPa. Global cloud cover increases by 3% in Southern Hemisphere summer and this must be accompanied by an increase in precipitation. So, there is an increase in albedo, and where that happens is probably worth knowing but is most probably entirely focussed on the Northern hemisphere where there is little ocean to keep the atmosphere warm.

    The 5K fall in temperature reinforces the point about precipitation.

    The lift in the temperature contours in the stratosphere (representing atmospheric cooling at a time when irradiance is 7% greater) is perhaps traceable to a seasonal increase in sea surface temperature as solar energy is diverted from warming the atmosphere (less radiating from land masses) to warming the ocean. Tropical ocean temperatures peak in April showing that despite the increase in albedo there is effective warming.

    Precipitation represents a process of accelerated heat shedding. Energy stored as water vapour is released as latent heat. This apparently manages to escape the atmosphere very freely as OLR (very little moisture above 1km to impose a greenhouse effect). If it did not, the temperature contours in the stratosphere would be depressed, moving closer to the surface of the Earth, representing heating. So, the temperature fall in the stratosphere is really not a question of atmospheric ‘heaving’ and convection but accelerated energy release from the atmosphere itself, an increase in albedo, reducing the heat input below cloud level and greater energy storage in the ocean. All these factors are involved in the cooling of the atmosphere in January. Taken together one sees that it is not so much the sun as the Earths response to the sun that conditions the temperature.

    Any contrary interpretations from meteorological lurkers would be appreciated.

    Re Sunspots as a proxy for UV. Am I correct if I say that UVC varies by a factor of about three times as much as sunspot number?

    What is your interpretation of the reason for the rise in temperature clearly in evidence from the 100hPa (15km level) that must be felt below this level to account for the inversion. There are no sharp boundaries in a gaseous system. Its a very responsive medium….hence the wind, as the medium moves from place to place.

    Can we attribute the inversion at 100hPa to the presence of ozone absorbing UVA, UVB and also OLR whereas the UVC that creates the ozone penetrates no lower than the region of peak ozone concentration at 30Km.

  267. Posted Jun 25, 2008 at 7:01 PM | Permalink

    267 (Erl):

    Re Sunspots as a proxy for UV. Am I correct if I say that UVC varies by a factor of about three times as much as sunspot number?

    No. You can only compare directly if the two quantities have the same units. You an talk about the relative variation dX/X. So you have to be a bit more specific. Lastly, the sunspot number is just an arbitrary index. What would make sense is to take the integrated UVC flux or alternatively the flux per nanometer wavelength interval. Then take that number for minimum solar activity [SSN = 0] call it UVmin and that same measure at solar max [e.g. SSN = 150] call it UVmax, then compute dUV = UVmax – UVmin and UVavg = (UVmin + UVmax)/2 and compute dUV/UVavg as the variation of UV, then similarly with the index [e.g. SSN] that you wish to compare with.

    Your interpretation of your diagram is for yourself.

  268. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 25, 2008 at 7:55 PM | Permalink

    268 (Leif)
    Re Sunspots and UV, What then is the flux per representative nanometer interval at solar maximum compared to solar minimum across recent cycles for UBA, UVB and UVC? Is this known? If the short term flux (a year or so or from month to month)in irradiance can be considered as 0.2% what is the short term flux in the UV?

    Your interpretation of your diagram is for yourself.

    The annual flux in temperature in the stratosphere is shown in #63. As we say here in Australia ‘There are no sheep stations hanging on the result’.

  269. Posted Jun 25, 2008 at 8:24 PM | Permalink

    269 (Erl): Yes, the variations are known and have been posted here and elsewhere several times. Google is also good to find this stuff. Depending on the wavelength the relative variations in UV can reach many per cent, but this is not really important as the absolute flux decreases quickly with wavelength, so the shorter the wavelength, the larger the relative variations but the smaller the actual number of Watts we get. I think we have over this ad nauseam.

  270. Posted Jun 25, 2008 at 8:30 PM | Permalink

    269 (Erl): There is a very strong 27-day variation in UV, so if UV is so important we would expect a clear 27-day signal in whatever the UV is supposed to control. In the higher atmosphere this 27-day variation is well observed, but I don’t see it demonstrated in the troposphere. If this could be done [to my fair satisfaction], I would be an instant convert.

  271. Carl W
    Posted Jun 25, 2008 at 9:59 PM | Permalink

    From Bob Tisdale’s blog, Climate Observations:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/06/solar-signal-in-east-equatorial-pacific.html

    I figured it was relevant.

  272. Posted Jun 25, 2008 at 10:24 PM | Permalink

    272 (Carl): Too much smoothing and shifting for my taste. If I’m correct that the SSN before 1947 is too low by 20% and before 1890 by another 20%, then the long-term curve doesn’t even fit.

  273. Posted Jun 26, 2008 at 12:33 AM | Permalink

    Title: The global atmospheric electric circuit and its effects on cloud microphysics
    Authors: Tinsley, B. A.
    Affiliation: Physics Department and Center for Space Sciences, WT15, University of Texas at Dallas, 800 W Campbell Road, Richardson, TX, 75080-3021, USA Tinsley@UTDallas.edu
    Publication: Reports on Progress in Physics, Volume 71, Issue 6, pp. 066801 (2008).
    DOI: 10.1088/0034-4885/71/6/066801
    Abstract
    This review is an overview of progress in understanding the theory and observation of the global atmospheric electric circuit, with the focus on its dc aspects, and its short and long term variability. The effects of the downward ionosphere-earth current density, Jz, on cloud microphysics, with its variability as an explanation for small observed changes in weather and climate, will also be reviewed. The global circuit shows responses to external as well as internal forcing. External forcing arises from changes in the distribution of conductivity due to changes in the cosmic ray flux and other energetic space particle fluxes, and at high magnetic latitudes from solar wind electric fields. Internal forcing arises from changes in the generators and changes in volcanic and anthropogenic aerosols in the troposphere and stratosphere. All these result in spatial and temporal variation in Jz.

    Variations in Jz affect the production of space charge in layer clouds, with the charges being transferred to droplets and aerosol particles. New observations and new analyses are consistent with non-negligible effects of the charges on the microphysics of such clouds. Observed effects are small, but of high statistical significance for cloud cover and precipitation changes, with resulting atmospheric temperature, pressure and dynamics changes. These effects are detectable on the day-to-day timescale for repeated Jz changes of order 10%, and are thus second order electrical effects. The implicit first order effects have not, as yet, been incorporated into basic cloud and aerosol physics. Long term (multidecadal through millennial) global circuit changes, due to solar activity modulating the galactic cosmic ray flux, are an order of magnitude greater at high latitudes and in the stratosphere, as can be inferred from geological cosmogenic isotope records. Proxies for climate change in the same stratified depositories show strong correlations of climate with the inferred global circuit variations.

    The theory for electrical effects on scavenging of aerosols in clouds is reviewed, with several microphysical processes having consequences for contact ice nucleation; effects on droplet size distributions; precipitation and cloud lifetimes. There are several pathways for resulting macroscopic cloud changes that affect atmospheric circulation; including enhanced ice production and precipitation from clouds in cyclonic storms, with latent heat release affecting cyclone vorticity; and cloud cover changes in layer clouds that affect the atmospheric radiation balance. These macroscopic consequences of global circuit variability affecting aerosols–cloud interactions provide explanations for the many observations of short term and long term changes in clouds and climate that correlate with measured or inferred Jz and cosmic ray flux changes due to external or internal forcing, and lead to predictions of additional effects.

  274. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 26, 2008 at 1:57 AM | Permalink

    271 (Leif)

    In the higher atmosphere this 27-day variation is well observed,

    What is the manifestation observed and at what level?

  275. Posted Jun 26, 2008 at 8:19 AM | Permalink

    275 (Erl): in the ionosphere and thermosphere.

  276. Posted Jun 26, 2008 at 12:12 PM | Permalink

    275 (Leif): Erl, One does not see papers anymore trying to show the 27-day period in the ionosphere or thermosphere, nor papers that try to show any other solar influence up there. This is because the solar influence there is accepted as a fact. You might see some papers that elaborate on some detail of this influence, like its long-term behavior, refinements of the physics, etc. This is normal, ongoing science. The hallmark of accepted fact is precisely this: a lack of papers trying to show that the phenomenon exists.

  277. Posted Jun 26, 2008 at 12:16 PM | Permalink

    # 256.

    Erl,

    Would you be so kind as to provide me a link to the databases of ENSO temperatures? I think I have a solution for this… conundrum. :)

  278. Posted Jun 26, 2008 at 12:33 PM | Permalink

    278 (Nasif): Maybe it is better to resolve this in private by email, then when you two have an agreed upon solution, maybe then come forward with your thoughts. Or, better, publish a paper on it and we’ll all discuss that.

  279. cba
    Posted Jun 26, 2008 at 2:59 PM | Permalink

    274 (Leif):

    Is that online in any form for free? Also, have you looked at any of the content beyond the abstract? Is it worth the read or is it another of your examples of a bad joke making it to print in a refereed journal?

  280. Posted Jun 26, 2008 at 4:57 PM | Permalink

    280 (cba): I don’t think it is for free anywhere. Although I can ask Brian Tinsley for a copy. I know Brian and he is a good man doing solid work. I don’t always agree with him, but that’s ok. And I should comment on papers that I refer to, mea maxima culpa. This one is worth a read. I’ll post a link to the copy he sends me.

  281. cba
    Posted Jun 26, 2008 at 5:34 PM | Permalink

    281(Leif):

    I half heard some stuff a number of months back – was in the same room awaiting another presentation. It was by either grad students or undergrads describing some research (from around that general area – UTA UTD – whatever). I never got the jist of it or reasons the research was even being done though. Essentially, I missed the whole presentation (and not the only one). The only thing I got was some sort of satellite Bz measurement near the poles or something like that.

    If it was the same project, I’m sorry I didn’t hear more of it.

  282. Pete
    Posted Jun 26, 2008 at 5:51 PM | Permalink

    280(cba) It’s below. Actually, the very first ‘hit’ when you Google the title! Always remember to do the Google!

    Tinsley

  283. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 26, 2008 at 6:19 PM | Permalink

    278 (Nasif)
    If we wish to explain a shift in global temperature it is better that we look at data for the globe as a whole rather than just the Pacific Ocean. The Indian Ocean has its own rhythm of temperature change as does the Atlantic. So I would suggest you have a look at the global data for the atmosphere and focus directly on the tropics where the energy flux into the ocean is determined. Surface data is sparse and suspect. So, I choose to look at atmospheric data from radiosondes that goes back to 1958. It is provided by the Hadley Centre in the UK. Google ‘HadAt2′. There is also the satellite data from RSS, interpreted at University of Alabama Huntsville and to get the latest I normally access via Junk Science that lists the sources for all sorts of data. Satellite data is calibrated against radiosonde data. Satellite data only goes back to 1979.

    If you want to focus on the Pacific, Google Southern Oscillation Index and pick up the data from the BOM. The ENSO index is a multivariate thing that is based on things other than air temperature and will lead you up some blind alleys, just like the SOI.

    The last period of strong cooling of global temperatures occurred during solar cycle 20 finishing in 1976. This was a weak solar cycle characterized by strong geomagnetic activity in the decline phase and a run of deep La Nina type cooling episodes. Temperatures at 30hPa are well correlated (about +0.6) with the aa index of geomagnetic activity and very poorly correlated with sunspot activity during this decline phase. When the sunspots disappear the sun keeps on bumping us about but via a mechanism that is as yet unimagined. I would show you a graph but at this stage it would need a lot of explanation. Temperatures at the 850hPa level (less than 1km) relate strongly to what happens at 30hPa (23km) which is as high as the HadAt2 radiosonde
    measurements go.

    Spend an hour at http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh?amsutemps+004 and another at http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat-trop/ to give yourself a bit of background.

  284. jae
    Posted Jun 27, 2008 at 3:55 PM | Permalink

    274,Leif: That Tinsley paper is absolutely fascinating! It ties together a LOT of variables that can affect cloudiness, including cosmic rays and sunspots. There have to be some important climate implications in all that…

  285. Posted Jun 27, 2008 at 5:35 PM | Permalink

    285 (jae): as I said, Brian is a good man and does good work.

  286. Posted Jun 27, 2008 at 6:30 PM | Permalink

    From Andrew (Unthreaded #35) #331:

    http://www.climateaudit.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=373

    Showing the observed [black] and modeled [22 models] tropical temperature trends.
    Note that a higher trends at ~300 mb is well modeled [although maybe poorly observed] without any mysterious external solar agent [UV, aa, solar wind, voodoo, etc]. It would seem that we can stop discussing [e.g. #6] what agent might be responsible as none seems to be needed.

  287. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 27, 2008 at 10:18 PM | Permalink

    Re PDO and ENSO and what drives what http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/06/common-misunderstanding-about-pdo.html

    287 (Leif)
    Is it just a coincidence that temperature anomalies at 200hPa have fallen so strongly since June 2007 and we have a long period of of very low sunspot activity? Would this not be connected to the level of cirrus cloud in the tropics? Would the level of cirrus cloud in the tropics not be connected with the decline in sea surface temperatures since then?

    Does it not disturb you that the observed trends in tropical temperatures are so much lower than what the models predict? Looks to me as if the discrepancy increases with altitude. Have these modelers actually got a grip on what drives temperature at any level?

    Are you stepping into the land of voodoo when you suggest that temperatures may be poorly observed?

    Seems to me that Andrew is basically on track when he says:

    One may also question the assumption that models are accurately reproducing the climate systems natural internal variability (that is, we might suggest that warming has arisen at least partly or mainly from an internally generated oscillation of the climate system).
    Interestingly, Graverson et al. (2008) argue that the vertical structure of Arctic summer warming matches the warming trends expected from the variability in the heat exchange between the low latitude and the high latitudes, rather than greenhouse warming.

    it has been suggested that the general tendency of models to produce large tropical tropospheric warming compared to surface warming (Douglass et al. 2007) can be used to illustrate that the greenhouse effect has caused only a third of the warming (owing to the relatively low warming rates so far observed,

    why do models get the wrong value? Actually, it should hardly be surprising. Climate sensitivity ultimately depends greatly on how water vapor and clouds react to warming, but models have never been good at simulating clouds.

    It is likely that this is the main error of models. But still, a really strong negative feedback appears necessary. One good candidate would be the “adaptive infrared iris” effect of Lindzen et al. (2001), further evidence for which has recently been found by Spencer et al. (2007). It is also worth noting that some attempts to assess climate feedback from observations may have a positive bias as a result of mixing cause and effect (Spencer and Braswell 2008).

  288. Posted Jun 27, 2008 at 11:09 PM | Permalink

    288 (Erl): It seems that my point was lost on you. So I give up.

  289. Posted Jun 27, 2008 at 11:12 PM | Permalink

    288 (Erl): so when Anthony says we might suggest that warming has arisen at least partly or mainly from an internally generated oscillation of the climate system) he is ‘basically on track’?

  290. Posted Jun 27, 2008 at 11:45 PM | Permalink

    288 (Erl):

    is it just a coincidence that temperature anomalies at 200hPa have fallen so strongly since June 2007 and we have a long period of of very low sunspot activity?

    Sunspot activity is low as it is at every solar minimum, e.g. also in the 1930s and 1950s, so yes, that is pure coincidence:

  291. Andrew
    Posted Jun 28, 2008 at 12:11 AM | Permalink

    288 (Erl): That’s surprising considering your previous disparaging comments on internal variability.

  292. Posted Jun 28, 2008 at 12:24 AM | Permalink

    292 (Andrew): First, sorry that I mistook you for Anthony. Second, maybe Erl has seen the light? Its never too late to admit being on a wrong track, so perhaps all our discussions here have had some positive effect…

  293. Andrew
    Posted Jun 28, 2008 at 12:36 AM | Permalink

    293 (Leif): Perhaps, but I suspect there is a reason for his carefully chosen qualifiers-he as his points of disagreement with me still, I think.

    BTW I had a post which gotten eaten by the spam filter-if Steve restores it (hopefully he will, I had some good stuff to say, IMHO), it may appear that I hadn’t noticed you apoligized for getting my name wrong, when in fact this before you did. :)

  294. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 28, 2008 at 2:42 AM | Permalink

    Leif, Andrew. You guys are obviously into some bear bating mischief. OK I will play the bear.

    Let’s see what you make of this. We have temperature anomalies on the left axis and sunspots on the right. Data is averaged over two months to make it easier to follow. We are back with solar cycle 19 and 20. What is causing the oscillation? Do you think it is internally generated? Notice how there is a big one at the start of the solar cycle, several nasty dips in solar cycle 20 and a falling away of the amplitude of the oscillation towards of the end of the rather long solar cycle 20. There is a declining temperature trend both at 200hPa and at the surface. Is that 200hPa temperature anomaly jumping or is it being pushed?

    Hint: There is actually a greenhouse effect associated with surface cooling. That’s all can say right now. Must go to a family gathering.

  295. Posted Jun 28, 2008 at 7:56 AM | Permalink

    Paper showing the influence of the solar wind high-speed streams [generating geomagnetic activity]:

    JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL 113, A06307, doi:10.1029/2008JA013190, 2008
    Thermospheric density oscillations due to periodic solar wind high-speed streams
    Thayer, J. P., et al.
    Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA
    Abstract
    We report on periodic oscillations in thermosphere density, measured by the accelerometer on the CHAMP satellite during 2006, and relate these periodicities to oscillations observed in solar wind speed and Kp index. Common periodic oscillations at 4–5, 6–7, and 9–11 day periods are observed in the neutral density at 400 km in the 2006 data set, with the 7 day period being the predominant oscillation. Spectral analysis reveals that similar periodicities are present in both the solar wind and the planetary magnetic index Kp but not in the EUV solar flux proxy F 10.7. We suggest that the periodic oscillations observed in thermosphere density are a direct response to recurrent geomagnetic activity and associated high-speed streams in the solar wind. The lack of response in F 10.7 at the 7 day period enables storm effects on the thermosphere density to be isolated from solar flux effects. The Kp index for these events correspond to moderate levels of geomagnetic activity, and the resultant perturbations in thermosphere density are ±20–30% of background levels. Although these levels of perturbation are small compared to major magnetic storms, their much higher occurrence frequency and characteristic long recovery time may lead to a cumulative effect on the state of the thermosphere and ionosphere.

    The wind structure is clearly seen in this 27-day diagram of the magnetic polarity, showing four polarity sectors in each 27-day rotation [~7 = 27/4]:

    2006 01 17 2354 ++++++*X*XXXXX*++++++*X++++
    2006 02 13 2355 ++++++XXXXXX*XX+++++*XXX+++
    2006 03 12 2356 ++++++XXXXXXXX*++++++++++*+
    2006 04 08 2357 +++++*XXXXXX*+++++*X+++++*X
    2006 05 05 2358 *++++*XXXXXX++++++++*XXXXX+
    2006 06 01 2359 ++++*XXXXXXXX++++++++*+*XX+
    2006 06 28 2360 +++**+XXXXXX*+++*+++++++XX+
    2006 07 25 2361 +++++XXXXXXX+++++++*XXX++++
    2006 08 21 2362 ++++++XXXXX++++++++X*XXX*X*
    2006 09 17 2363 ++++++*XXXXXX+++++++XXXX+++
    2006 10 14 2364 +++++*XXXXXXX++++++++X*XXX*
    2006 11 10 2365 +++++*XXXXXX+++++++*XXXX**+
    2006 12 07 2366 ++XXXXXX***+++++++++++XXX*+
    + = Away polarity
    X = Toward polarity
    * = Mixed

  296. Posted Jun 28, 2008 at 8:15 AM | Permalink

    295 (Erl): You just don’t get it. You see a big one at the start of the solar cycle, several nasty dips in solar cycle 20 and a falling away of the amplitude of the oscillation towards of the end of the rather long solar cycle 20. If that was common to all solar cycles you would have something, but is is not. Look at the large amplitudes at the end of cycle 19. Solar activity 1961-1965 was very much like it was in 1973-1976. Random wiggle-matching is not fruitful.

  297. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 28, 2008 at 9:00 AM | Permalink

    287 (Leif)

    Note that a higher trends at ~300 mb is well modeled

    The day that I concede that there is truth embodied in the parameters of a model because it can come somewhere close to reproducing observed reality is yet to arrive. The critical levels for cirrus fluctuation are above 300hPa and there the models fall down badly. All but one predict warming at 150hPa where cooling is the reality. Where is the explanation of falling trends in the stratosphere? Where is the exploration of the reasons for short term fluctuation?

    289 (Leif) Don’t give up. I am not giving up on you, or Andrew.

    296 (Leif) Good to see that there are observations of substantial change in the density of neutrals from relatively minor perturbations in the solar wind, high occurrence frequency and substantial recovery times, albeit at a very high altitude. Can you conceive that these effects might be discovered wherever a reasonable population of non-neutrals exist to react to the same stimulus. Is it not conceivable that an effect might eventually be discovered in the stratosphere. Is not dissociated oxygen an example of such a charged particle?

    Hopefully, the next stage is to work out where the neutrals are moving to. If the change in density affects frictional forces on spacecraft it will also affect the intensity of solar radiation and the local rate of attenuation of UV by the atmosphere at particular latitudes and altitudes.

    Can you suggest why there appears to be this consistency of 4 polarity sectors in each rotation?

  298. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 28, 2008 at 9:45 AM | Permalink

    297 (Leif)
    Where have I suggested that every solar cycle is the same. Every one has a unique sunspot and geomagnetic signature. The interest in solar cycle 20 is that the tail is long and thin with little sunspot activity but marked geomagnetic activity. The story is yet to unfold.

    Do you see the oscillations? Each represents a depression at 200hPa and a following period of elevated temperature at 100hPa tending to fall again before the next 200hPa depression is initiated. This is not random matching of wiggles. Far from it. In each period the 100hPa movement is a slightly skewed mirror image of the movement at 200hPa. The tropical troposphere (100hPa 15km) is behaving oppositely to the 200hPa and the 850hPa levels which move in unison.

  299. Posted Jun 28, 2008 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

    299 (Erl): If every solar cycle is unique and has a completely different effect on the atmosphere then the normal scientific conclusion would be that solar cycles have nothing to do with the atmosphere. There is marked recurrent geomagnetic activity at the end of every sunspot cycle for well-understood reasons. As with anything, there are slight variations from cycle to cycle.

    in 298 your ask “where are the explanations for ….” Just because you don’t know where these are, does not mean that the Sun has caused them. Similar, that this or that or others move together or not, has nothing to do with solar activity unless you show that they do, which you have not. I’ll try once more [last time]: the larger anomalies at 300 hPa are how the atmosphere behaves even as expressed by the models [and somewhat less clearly by observations] and is NOT the signature of unmodelled external [solar or otherwise] influences. This does not mean that the models are good or correct just that no NEW causes need to be sought.

    The four sectors are a common phenomenon in the solar wind and is well understood. Magnetic fields can be formally described as superpositions of elementary magnetic ‘poles': dipoles, quadrupoles, octupoles, etc. The strength of these poles fall off with distance and the higher poles fall off much more rapidly, so at large enough distances only the lowest pole(s) remain. The lowest is the dipole, then the quadrupole, etc. At the distance from the Sun where the solar wind takes off, only the dipole and the quadrupoles have enough strength left to show up in the solar wind.

  300. Posted Jun 28, 2008 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

    298 (Erl):

    If the change in density affects frictional forces on spacecraft it will also affect the intensity of solar radiation and the local rate of attenuation of UV by the atmosphere at particular latitudes and altitudes.

    No. Can’t you read? The abstract said: “periodicities are present in both the solar wind and the planetary magnetic index Kp but not in the EUV solar flux proxy F 10.7″

  301. Posted Jun 28, 2008 at 10:53 AM | Permalink

    299 (Erl):

    This is not random matching of wiggles. Far from it.

    The random wiggle-matching comes in when you try to relate the wiggles to the ["yet to unfold"] solar influence. Solar activity has a lot to do in the upper atmosphere, but the solar wind, microwaves, etc do not heat the surface and since the troposphere is heated from below, therefore do not affect the climate in way that we have been able to measure and agree on. And if it is not measurable to the extent that we all can agree on it, the effect[s], if any, are not significant. Whatever meager observations we have of the albedo [caused by clouds, aerosols, etc] do not suggest any solar influence either.

  302. Posted Jun 28, 2008 at 11:28 AM | Permalink

    298 (Erl): You can see a movie of the magnetic polarity over the surface from where the solar wind takes off here: http://www.leif.org/research/WSO-SS.gif
    What the Earth will see is a cut near the equator (+/- 7 degrees up and down). Note the preponderance of one wave [dipole] and two waves [quadrupoles]. Near solar maximum the structure is confused and ill-defined as the solar polar regions change polarity. The number at the bottom is Carrington 27.3 day rotations. At the top you’ll see a ‘running’ calendar with months and years.

  303. jae
    Posted Jun 28, 2008 at 11:29 AM | Permalink

    Leif, 302:

    Whatever meager observations we have of the albedo [caused by clouds, aerosols, etc] do not suggest any solar influence either.

    ??. Based on my reading of most of the paper you linked in 274, I question this. It certainly “suggests” certain influences, if I am understanding it correctly. But he seems very careful not to state that outright, for some strange? reason.

  304. Posted Jun 28, 2008 at 3:09 PM | Permalink

    304 (jae): Here are Palle’s measurements [from Earthshine]:

    I’m not sure what they suggests as far as solar influence is concerned. My first impression is ‘none’.

  305. Posted Jun 29, 2008 at 12:02 AM | Permalink

    Dear Leif,

    I appreciate your efforts on explaining your theory. Some times, I have been annoying, but it has never been my intention exasperating other people. Perhaps many of us appear silly before your expert eyes; nevertheless you have been acting with patience with us. I did never say your theory or your reconstruction is wrong. I have tried only to examine it in deep and I found I am right. The fact that I am right does not mean that you are wrong, just that we were looking at the glittering thing when the real gold was those small dull things. You’re reconstruction is correct, and my assessment is correct, also.

    Best,

    Nasif Nahle

  306. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 29, 2008 at 2:30 AM | Permalink

    300 (Leif)

    I’ll try once more [last time]: the larger anomalies at 300 hPa are how the atmosphere behaves even as expressed by the models [and somewhat less clearly by observations] and is NOT the signature of unmodelled external [solar or otherwise] influences. This does not mean that the models are good or correct just that no NEW causes need to be sought.

    The diagram at 278 is labelled ‘tropical trends’. It has no relation to the amplitude of fluctuations of temperature at different levels of the atmosphere. How can you suggest that it invalidates the possibility of solar variation? The GCM’s predict atmospheric warming with the greatest warming at 250hPa to 300hPa. The problem for their proponents is that no such warming is observed.

    Because the models are obviously wrong a re-interpretation is necessary. New causes can not be ruled out.

    301 (Leif)

    No. Can’t you read? The abstract said: “periodicities are present in both the solar wind and the planetary magnetic index Kp but not in the EUV solar flux proxy F 10.7″

    Yes, I can read and do so carefully. I am not suggesting that the changes in EUV and F10.7 are driving changes in the solar wind or the density of neutrals. I am suggesting that the solar wind, in changing the density of neutrals, may impact the penetration of the atmosphere by UV, in other words the rate of attrition of energetic material in its descent through the atmosphere. Practically speaking one would see spikes of increased heating at greater depth where neutrals become less dense. Hypothetically, at the equinoxes when the coupling is greatest and when the flux in geomagnetic activity is strongest, one would see sudden warmings at unusual depth. How far, I don’t know but I can see sudden short term cooling in the stratosphere when sunspots disappear so I suggest that the effect may be something to bear in mind.

    302 (Leif)

    The random wiggle-matching comes in when you try to relate the wiggles to the [”yet to unfold”] solar influence.

    Give me a break. Don’t jump to conclusions. Just because I show the solar cycle I am not necessarily linking that to the atmospheric dynamics. First I want to discuss the atmospheric dynamics, later to assess the solar influence.

    303 (Leif)
    Great animation. If I understand correctly the wiggles in the magnetic polarity of the solar wind are charted even as they arise from the surface of the sun. There is a relatively simple symmetry about the solar equator at the sunspot minimum and increasing degrees of wave like disturbance towards solar maximum. The 7% of prime influence so far as the Earth is concerned is related to the angle of tilt of the suns axis of rotation. If the activity has a bias towards one solar hemisphere extra activity would be seen every six months. So, if the effect were persistent, March or September might be dominant. Generally large swings in polarity are experienced at solar maximum with diminishing swings towards the minimum. However, the pattern of activity in the decline varies considerably according to the aa index, with relatively heavy fluctuations late in SC 20 and 23 by comparison with others. Am I reading this correctly?

  307. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 29, 2008 at 7:33 AM | Permalink

    282-294 (Leif and Andrew)
    I want to address the question of natural variability and internal oscillations in the climate system.

    The figure at: http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg220/erlandlong/oscillations2.jpg illustrates an oscillation in temperatures at 200hPa and 100hPa whereby one is a mirror image of the other.

    Let’s put aside the question of why temperatures at 200hPa rise and fall and just analyse what happens when they do. I think it is called the hydrological cycle.

    Evaporation of water is the dominant heat transfer dynamic between the surface and 850hPa. Surfaces with little water get very hot. Those that have water remain relatively cool. The classic illustration is the warmest waters of the tropics, rarely varying very much from 30°C and also the equatorial rain forests. The heat removed is stored in the atmosphere just as it can be stored in the ocean. The release mechanism is condensation and precipitation.

    Stage 1
    When 200hPa temperatures fall:
    • There is an increase in high altitude cirrus increasing the Earths albedo in the tropics where albedo is near invisible cirrus. For current cloud distribution see http://www.die.net/earth/ and for atmospheric column precipitable moisture see http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/extreme/gfs/current/plan_water_000.png
    • Condensation occurs with release of latent heat. The atmosphere begins to void stored heat.
    • Resulting outgoing long wave radiation warms the tropopause at 100hPa where there is sufficient ozone as absorber to show a reaction. This warming of the tropopause begins almost as soon as the cooling is initiated at 200hPa. Warming is seen up to 30hPa (23km) the limit of the radiosonde data.

    Stage 2
    The near surface atmosphere up to 850hPa is limited to about 6g/kg of water. Precipitation can only remove so much, so the extent of cooling via increase in low level albedo is limited. Orographic and frontal influences are continually trying to wring the water out of the lower atmosphere. Continuation of cooling is dependent upon the presence of high altitude cirrus in the tropics.

    Stage 3
    If temperatures at 200hPa begin to increase, upper atmosphere albedo immediately decreases and cloud density is reduced in the lower layers as they are warmed. Precipitation then falls away and surface temperatures begin to increase. The ocean warms, evaporation increases and atmospheric moisture is gradually replaced.

    This cycle of cooling/drying and warming/wetting is shown in the figure at #220. There can be no doubt whatsoever of the link between moisture content and atmospheric temperature.

    TIMING
    The Earth has a natural cycle of cooling/drying and warming/wetting. It is a one year cycle. The cooling begins in August and reaches a minimum some five degrees lower in January. Global cloud cover then peaks at 3% more than in July. This is determined by the distribution of land and sea.

    It takes a powerful external force to disturb this natural rhythm? All that is required is a loss of albedo over the tropics in southern hemisphere summer and the tropical oceans will warm. Enough of this and we get this result: http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg220/erlandlong/Warmingto2006.jpg

    That should be described not as ‘global warming’ but as climate change for Western Europe and Siberia.

    Reverse the situation and we get this: http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg220/erlandlong/WarmingtoMay2008.jpg Notice the warming in Antarctica, normally, at times of marked tropical updraft, a victim of cold down drafts.

    And if the cooling events are long and deep as they were in solar cycle 20, both Western Europe and Siberia will get quite cold. Perhaps the Thames will freeze. Perhaps we will see a frost of the severity of 1956 that wiped out many vines in Bordeaux.

    Next post I look at correlations between 200hPa temperatures and sunspot activity. I am in no hurry. What I would like to emphasize at this stage is that the correlation between sunspots and atmospheric temperature at any level and in any place is much influenced by the tendency of warm air to be displaced, the annual cycle that is driven by the distribution of land and sea and the hydrological cycle with its periodic change in albedo and heat release. If there is a positive correlation between 200hPa temperatures and a solar parameter that is consistent across a large number of peaks this should be regarded as good evidence that the two are causally linked.

  308. Posted Jun 29, 2008 at 11:42 AM | Permalink

    307 (Erl): This is getting tedious. The trends in 287 show that the 250 hPa level has had more heating [larger trend] over the thirty years. Your diagram in #6 has a hump at 250 hPa, labeled “Microwave heating”. Granted that you crudely plot just the range [thereby throwing away most of the information], but I think you were trying to show that there was more heating at 250 by microwaves and UV. I will also admit that my interpretation of what you are saying is limited by your clarity or lack thereof.
    You next point shows a lack of elementary physical insight. Absorption is controlled by the total number of molecules, not by their density. Consider a long thin tube containing a dilute gas. Shine monocromatic light in at one end and measure what comes out the other. The difference is what has been absorbed. Now make the tube twice as long, but containing the same amount of gas, and repeat the measurement. The same amount will be absorbed even though the density is now only half. The upper atmosphere is like that, expand it and change its density, but as long as you don’t change the number of molecules, the same absorption will result.
    About wiggles: you have in the past matched with solar wiggles and seem to be headed there again. I’m okay with dropping the reference to wiggle-matching if you promise not to bring up the solar influence later.
    The 7% should be 7 degrees and is the tilt angle of the Sun’s axis. The explanation of the semiannual change you describe is called the ‘axial’ explanation and was first formulated by Cortie in 1912. The mechanism is responsible for a small part [~10% on average] of the semiannual variation of geomagnetic activity that is observed.
    308 (Erl):

    If there is a positive correlation between 200hPa temperatures and a solar parameter that is consistent across a large number of peaks this should be regarded as good evidence that the two are causally linked.

    Is 100 a large number? Suppose there are 400 peaks and that with some good will 100 can be made to match 100 solar wiggles. Is that good evidence? I would say no, as it leaves 300 not accounted for. It also depends on what constitute a ‘match’. That in turn depends of the auto-correlation function of the variables you are matching. Most solar and geophysical/atmospheric processes have what technically is called ‘high positive conservation’ meaning that high/low values are likely to be surrounded by other high/low values, meaning that successive data points are not independent. A good case in point is the sunspot number. Suppose we measure this number once a day [as is actually done], then in an average sunspot cycle we will have ~4000 data points. How many independent points are there? The, to many people, surprising answer is 20 [twenty]. For wiggle-matching, one can improve on this number, by, for instance, removing the trend and only consider variations shorter than a few weeks, say. But, whatever is done, some analysis must be executed to assess independence and significance of the matches. Many standard statistical techniques exist for this.

  309. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 29, 2008 at 6:55 PM | Permalink

    Andrew
    Please give us the source of the graph in 287. There appear to be four ‘observed trends’. What’s the explanation for this and why the variance between them?

    Leif, a trend for slight warming at 250hPa would seem to me to be entirely consistent with solar forcing given the rise in temperature in the tropical oceans since 1976 due to the increased frequency and duration of El Nino heating events, especially as the heating at that level will have a marked impact on cirrus density in the tropics and is very probably the source of ocean warming in the tropics.

    309 (Leif)

    You next point shows a lack of elementary physical insight.

    Abuse is unhelpful. Your picture of atmospheric density is different to mine. Mine takes into account the latitudinal variation in density due to the change in energy present in the system and the likely effect of the redistributive activity of geomagnetic process. In short, less molecules, not the same number.

    you crudely plot just the range [thereby throwing away most of the information],

    Crudity eh. The range will always be greater closer to the source of the heat variation (dependent of course on the presence of an absorber, and wherever we go in the atmosphere there seems to be no shortage). That’s the sun. Hence the larger variation at 250hPa than at 850hPa and that variation is greater in every wiggly instance. That was the point of the exercise.

    I must apologise for an error when I said that temperature moves in unison at every level. Plainly, the point of 208 is that short term variations above 200hPa (to a point in the stratosphere as yet undefined) are a mirror image of those at and below 200hPa. This is due to the increase in outgoing long wave radiation (and it’s trapping by ozone) as the atmosphere voids heat during a cooling/wetting phase. Between 200hPa and 100hPa I imagine is a wobbly transition zone.

    Leif, Your last paragraph in 309 reveals that you have missed the point of the analysis in 308, it seems, entirely. Is it my lack of prose clarity or your determination to obfuscate?

  310. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 29, 2008 at 7:05 PM | Permalink

    Erl, I’ve asked you repeatedly not to present personal theories here. If you must, use the BB.

  311. Posted Jun 29, 2008 at 7:07 PM | Permalink

    310(Erl):

    Abuse is unhelpful. Your picture of atmospheric density is different to mine. Mine takes into account the latitudinal variation in density due to the change in energy present in the system and the likely effect of the redistributive activity of geomagnetic process. In short, less molecules, not the same number.

    Pointing out the errors of your ways is not abuse. Tell me numerical details of how you take into account the things you mention and how you quantify the likely effects.

  312. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 29, 2008 at 7:12 PM | Permalink

    308 (me)
    I want to change this

    If there is a positive correlation between 200hPa temperatures and a solar parameter that is consistent across a large number of peaks this should be regarded as good evidence that the two are causally linked.

    to this:
    If there is a clear positive correlation between a solar parameter and temperature at 200hPa that appears in some, if not all instances we should see this as evidence of a link that is well worth further investigation. Correlation will prove nothing. It is the strength of the model and its explanatory power that is the vital element. If the model squares with our observations and ongoing experience it will have value. ‘Proof’ is impossible.

    In this respect,let me say that the ‘greenhouse model’ is patently at odds with the pattern of observed temperature change. Andrews diagram at 287 is just one of many illustrations of this point. The existing models do not perform.

  313. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 29, 2008 at 7:22 PM | Permalink

    For state of the art meteorology (and lots of great links) see Ed Berry at http://weatherclimatelink.blogspot.com/2008/06/return-of-usa-wicked-ridge-from-hell.html

    I quote from today’s update:
    Physically this means a return to a La-Nina base state and/or a re-enforcement of a stationary low AAM regime that has been present for at least the past year. Seasonal implications are still unclear. The point is that the atmosphere is orbiting in phase space around what may still be the “La-Nina attractor”.

    To me, meteorology is a bit like reading the lines on ones hand or watching the eddies in a running stream.

  314. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 29, 2008 at 7:28 PM | Permalink

    311 (Steve) How do I do that?

  315. Andrew
    Posted Jun 29, 2008 at 7:38 PM | Permalink

    310 (Erl): The paper with all the data used in that figure is Douglass at al. 2007:

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/DOUGLASPAPER.pdf

    The differences between the different data sets are probably due to different ways that different groups handle adjusting for inhomogenities etc.

  316. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 29, 2008 at 7:53 PM | Permalink

    312 (Leif)

    Pointing out the errors of your ways is not abuse. Tell me numerical details of how you take into account the things you mention and how you quantify the likely effects.

    There are ways and means to correct people and the manner win which you do it is all important. As for the numerical details I have none but there is observational evidence to support my proposition and I referred to it in terms of what happens at 70km when sunspots disappear. A reduction in density at 400 km was observed and that can occur due to inflation AND sideways movement. The atmosphere at the poles will contain more molecules in its total column than the atmosphere above the equator. We are talking of a force that can change the relationship in the energy present in these places. I think of Samson between the columns trying to bring down the temple. The roof fell in. So will UV light, providing a pulse of energy at a level normally unaffected.

  317. Posted Jun 29, 2008 at 8:09 PM | Permalink

    317 (Erl): please substantiate:

    A reduction in density at 400 km was observed and that can occur due to inflation AND sideways movement.

    what are the observations supporting this? or the theory?

  318. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 29, 2008 at 8:12 PM | Permalink

    309 (Leif)

    The 7% should be 7 degrees and is the tilt angle of the Sun’s axis. The explanation of the semiannual change you describe is called the ‘axial’ explanation and was first formulated by Cortie in 1912. The mechanism is responsible for a small part [~10% on average] of the semiannual variation of geomagnetic activity that is observed.

    Yes, I meant 7°. Would you mind briefly listing the other sources of the semi-annual variation. Does the coupling factor account for the rest? Can we agree that temperature variations at 2.5hPa as shown for a couple of early years at http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh?amsutemps show evidence of this effect by virtue of a displacement of the annual peak from January to March?

  319. Posted Jun 29, 2008 at 8:22 PM | Permalink

    319 (Erl): at http://www.leif.org/research/geoact.htm you’ll find more on the semiannual variation. Also at http://www.leif.org/research/The%20semiannual%20variation%20of%20great%20geomagnetic%20storms.pdf
    The link you gave returns an error.
    And you can in general not conclude anything from only a couple of years worth of data.

  320. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 29, 2008 at 8:24 PM | Permalink

    318 (Leif)
    At#296 the abstract says

    We report on periodic oscillations in thermosphere density, measured by the accelerometer on the CHAMP satellite during 2006, and relate these periodicities to oscillations observed in solar wind speed and Kp index.

    My understanding is that in the ionosphere movement of material (ionic and entrained neutrals) is due to magnetic polarity and reactions to change in magnetic fields is fast. Aurora provide evidence of energy and density increase, together with warming, above the poles. The material has to come from somewhere. I suggest that it is drawn from equatorial regions. The F layer can disappear above the equator.

  321. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 29, 2008 at 8:36 PM | Permalink

    319 (Leif)
    Unfortunately channel 14 was abolished. Try this http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh?amsutemps+004

    You will have to select for 2.5Mb and the early years. Radiosondes to not appear to go this far. Do you know of other sources? Agreed, more data is is vital.

  322. Posted Jun 29, 2008 at 8:38 PM | Permalink

    321 (Erl): The energy and the particles comes from the outer magnetosphere [and many of those in turn were mostly sucked up from the polar ionosphere]. When the atmosphere heats up due to this energy being injected it expands and the density at a given height [e.g. where a satellite is] increases because the atmosphere so to speaks comes up from below. No need to suggest anything. All these things are well-studied and well-known. A lot of military and commercial hardware depends on our knowledge of these things. The main point is that as far as we know, none of this has anything to due with climate change at the surface.

  323. Erl Happ
    Posted Jun 29, 2008 at 9:16 PM | Permalink

    323 (Leif)

    The main point is that as far as we know, none of this has anything to due with climate change at the surface.

    The problem lies in the phrase ‘as far as we know’. The speedy collapse of temperatures in the stratosphere when sunspots fail to appear is testimony to the importance of UV light in ionospheric and stratospheric processes. The collapse of the F layer shows that the ionic population is depleted when the solar wind impacts the magnetosphere. With it goes, to some extent, the neutrals. Hence, density change due to lateral movement. That will affect UV penetration. The atmosphere has no sharp boundaries. The impact of UV light, that is responsible for the temperature inversion at 100hPa in the tropics, must be felt below 100hPa for that inversion to manifest. The pressure difference between 200hPa and 100hPa is indicative of the difference in the density of material and the amount that separates these two levels. You don’t have to be Einstein, have a pHd in Physics or be a mathematical whiz to work this out.

  324. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 29, 2008 at 9:20 PM | Permalink

    #324. Erl, please take this to the bulletin board. I’m going to have start deleting posts otherwise.

  325. stroller
    Posted Jun 30, 2008 at 2:29 AM | Permalink

    Leif: Thankyou for the graph and information at #261
    Point of information please.
    I read in a book about magnetohydrodynamics that the ascending node of the solar equatorial plane crosses the ecliptic at a certain point, and that this “drifts” around 1 degree every 72 years.

    Does this mean the 7 degree tilt of the solar axis precesses at a steady rate to a complete cycle around every 25920 years? This figure is very close to being the same as the earth’s precessionary cycle. Are the two geometrically aligned in any way? i.e. do the tilts ‘point in the same direction? If so, what could be the cause of this? Some sort of magnetic coupling? Or the gravitation of a distant mass such as the galactic centre?

  326. Posted Jun 30, 2008 at 6:04 AM | Permalink

    330 (Stroller): I think the answer to all your questions there is “no”. The Earth’s precession is the result of [mostly] lunar tides of a non-spherical Earth. This process clearly does not apply to the Sun. And stars have been found to have axes and orbital planes pointing in every which direction. The Galactic center does seem not order these. The tidal forces to do this are much too small.

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