GWPF – Compiled comments on CLOUD results

Russ Steele

Cosmic ray particles don’t just cause cloud nucleation, they also shrink the fonts CERN uses on its graphics…CLICK for bigger image [Climate Realist]

CERN Finds “Significant” Cosmic Ray Cloud Effect

 Best known for its studies of the fundamental constituents of matter, the CERN particle-physics laboratory in Geneva is now also being used to study the climate. Researchers in the CLOUD collaboration have released the first results from their experiment designed to mimic conditions in the Earth’s atmosphere. By firing beams of particles from the lab’s Proton Synchrotron accelerator into a gas-filled chamber, they have discovered that cosmic rays could have a role to play in climate by enhancing the production of potentially cloud-seeding aerosols. —Physics World, 24 August 2011

If Henrik Svensmark is right, then we are going down the wrong path of taking all these expensive measures to cut carbon emissions; if he is right, we could carry on with carbon emissions as normal.–Terry Sloan, BBC News 3 April 2008

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CERN experiment confirms cosmic ray action

Russ Steele

We have all be waiting for the CERN Results, even though early experiments confirmed that Svensmark’s hypothesis had merit —  cosmic rays cause clouds to form. The wamers kept say wait for the CLOUD results. Well the results are in and cosmic rays cause clouds and clouds cool the earth.  Nigel Calder has the details at Calder’s Updates.

Long-anticipated results of the CLOUD experiment at CERN in Geneva appear in tomorrow’s issue of the journal Nature (25 August). The Director General of CERN stirred controversy last month, by saying that the CLOUD team’s report should be politically correct about climate change (see my 17 July post below). The implication was that they should on no account endorse the Danish heresy – Henrik Svensmark’s hypothesis that most of the global warming of the 20th Century can be explained by the reduction in cosmic rays due to livelier solar activity, resulting in less low cloud cover and warmer surface temperatures.

Willy-nilly the results speak for themselves, and it’s no wonder the Director General was fretful.

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Cheap energy is key to survival in a cooler world

Russ Steele

As the planet cools during the next grand minium, there will be long cold winters when citizens will need to warm their homes and shelters. Having access to low cost energy sources will be key to survival for many low income families.  It appears that the US has the necessary cheap energy resources, unless our political leader block the development and drilling of US unconventional oil and gas resources.

Amy Myers Jaffe writing in the Sept/Oct 2011 issue of Foreign Policy, Sept/Oct 2011 assess the current supply of fossil energy available to US consumers.

Geologists have long known that the Americas are home to plentiful hydrocarbons trapped in hard-to-reach offshore deposits, on-land shale rock, oil sands, and heavy oil formations. The U.S. endowment of unconventional oil is more than 2 trillion barrels, with another 2.4 trillion in Canada and 2 trillion-plus in South America — compared with conventional Middle Eastern and North African oil resources of 1.2 trillion. The problem was always how to unlock them economically.

But since the early 2000s, the energy industry has largely solved that problem. With the help of horizontal drilling and other innovations, shale gas production in the United States has skyrocketed from virtually nothing to 15 to 20 percent of the U.S. natural gas supply in less than a decade. By 2040, it could account for more than half of it. This tremendous change in volume has turned the conversation in the U.S. natural gas industry on its head; where Americans once fretted about meeting the country’s natural gas needs, they now worry about finding potential buyers for the country’s surplus.

Meanwhile, onshore oil production in the United States, condemned to predictions of inexorable decline by analysts for two decades, is about to stage an unexpected comeback. Oil production from shale rock, a technically complex process of squeezing hydrocarbons from sedimentary deposits, is just beginning. But analysts are predicting production of as much as 1.5 million barrels a day in the next few years from resources beneath the Great Plains and Texas alone — the equivalent of 8 percent of current U.S. oil consumption. The development raises the question of what else the U.S. energy industry might accomplish if prices remain high and technology continues to advance. Rising recovery rates from old wells, for example, could also stem previous declines. On top of all this, analysts expect an additional 1 to 2 million barrels a day from the Gulf of Mexico now that drilling is resuming. Peak oil? Not anytime soon.

 You can read the rest of the article here. Our local sustainability groups have focused on the threat of peak oil, while ignoring the possibility of cooling resulting from a grand minimum. Peak oil is a long way off, while we are on the cusp of The Next Grand Minimum.

NASA and a dip in Sea Level Rise

Russ Steele

Is this sea level rise?  NASA thinks that this is just a dip in the rise to higher sea level rise.  Why? What could have caused this sharp departure from the trend? It looks like the La Niña of 2011 is about to become the La Niña of 2012. Which, according to the NASA analysis should result in an additional drop in sea level, until the rain finds it’s way back to the sea. But, what if it is trapped in a snow pack some where?

More details here. Note where some of that extra rain fell as snow.

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Sun Acoustic Waves Allow Sunspot Predictions

Russ Steele

The early observers of the sun had limited technology to use in observing sun spots. Over the intervening years the technology has improved, allowing scientist to observe and track even smaller and smaller sun spots.  Some observers contend this increased use of technology has distorted the sunspot numbers, making comparison with the past sun spot cycles difficult. Now scientist have developed technology to predict the emergence of sun spots.

Sun Acoustic Waves Allow Sunspot PredictionsSunspots can be predicted 1-2 days in advance.The researchers got help from the Michelson Doppler Imager aboard NASAs Solar and Heliospheric Observatory satellite, known as SOHO. The craft spent 15 years making detailed observations of the sound waves within the sun. It was superseded in 2010 with the launch of NASAs Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite, which carries the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager.

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The Sun’s Impact on the US Breadbasket Temperatures?

Russ Steele

Joe D’Aleo finds strong evidence for the Sun’s role in the US winter weather at the  WeatherBell

We have noted that the sun plays a role in climate and weather in many ways. When the sun is more active near solar maxima, the sun is slightly brighter and irradiance increases – 0.1% on most recent cycles, more in cycle 23.

There is also up to 10% more UV radiation which produces ozone chemistry related warming in low and middle latitudes high up in the atmosphere that works it’s way down to the mid-troposhpere as shown in data by Karin Labitzke in numerous papers in recent decades and in models by Hansen’s star climate modeller, Drew Shindell. Geomagnetic storms can affect high latitude patterns and blocking.

Diffusion of galactic cosmic rays which play a role in low water cloudiness through ion mediated nucleation can produce less low cloudiness (the Svensmark effect).

You can read the whole article here, but this is the graphic that caught my attention. Note the winter cooling over the last decade and the biggest drop in temperatures were in America’s breadbasket.

Decadal winter temperatures in US

As the winters cool, the probability of late spring killing frost and early fall frosts increase, shortening the growing season.  I am working on a growing season base line, with a way to measure the progression of killing spring frosts into the growing season. Or, backing off giving farmers a longer growing season. Stay tuned, there is more to come on spring killing frosts.

La Niña returns

Russ Steele

Bob Tisdale reports in his Weekly ENSO Index Drops Below The La Niña Threshold at Watts Up With That.

NINO3.4 SST anomalies (a commonly used El Niño-Southern Oscillation Index) have dropped significantly below the -0.5 deg C threshold of a La Niña Event. They are presently at approximately -0.74 deg C.

NINO3.4 SST Anomalies


Weekly Global SST anomalies rose since the last mid-month update, but made a minor dip last week. Global SST anomalies usually lag NINO3.4 SST anomalies by a few months so the global SST anomalies should be nearing their seasonal peak for this year, before they start to respond to the depressed NINO3.4 SST anomalies. For the week centered on August 17, 2011, Global SST anomalies are +0.169 deg C. I’ve also included a shorter-term graph so that the most recent wiggles are visible.

via La Niña returns | Watts Up With That?.

La Niña has been a major factor in the drought in the Texas and the US South East and our large snow pack in the Sierra this last winter.  We may have another large snow pack and the droughts may continue. More on this latest weather event, when is is clear if the La Niña strengthens or if this reversal was temporary.

Follow the patterns and see the cycles – Part I

Russ Steele

The impact of sunspots on the earths climate has been observed by many scientists. One of the first significant observation was about 200 years ago when astronomer William Herschel observed a correlation between wheat prices and sunspots. When there were fewer sunspots, he noted that the climate turned colder and drier. When crop yields fell due to a cold dry climate, wheat prices rose. When the weather was warm and wet the crop yields increased, and the price of wheat dropped.  Observation of this pattern resulted in a more detailed examination of the sunspot cycle and the relationship to climate changes on the planet.

In future posts I will start tracking the price of winter wheat. As David Archibald noted, when the sunspots decline, the earth cools and becomes dryer, as a result the ability of grow winter wheat in Canada’s bread basket also declines. This decline will be reflected in the price of winter wheat over the next 20 to 30 years.   Archibald’s Speech is here.

In the mid-1970s I was stationed by the Air Force in Arizona near the Anasazi Indians cliff dwellings I was intrigued by their building and agricultural skills. The question kept coming up in discussions with my oldest daughter, who was developing an interest in archaeology, where did the cliff dwellers go and why did they leave? The Anasazi Indians mysteriously vacated the Four Corners Region around 1300 AD and vanished. However, the migration started much earlier.

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Tracking the impact of the Next Grand Minimum

Russ Steele

One of the main impacts of the next Great Minimum will be on agriculture. ‘The Maunder Minimum was a period from about 1645-1715,  a time when sunspots became extremely rare. It was also a period when the world experienced successive crop failures. has this to say about the Maunder Minimum and crop failures.

During one 30-year period within the Maunder Minimum astronomers observed only about 50 sunspots, as opposed to the thousands in modern times. The science is robust, and based on a systematic programme of observations conducted by the Observatoire de Paris. What is notable is that the Maunder Minimum coincided with the middle, and coldest part of, the so-called Little Ice Age, during which Europe and North America experienced bitterly cold winters.

During the Little Ice Age the northern hemisphere cooling was only “modest”, according to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, at less than 1° C. However, what may have been only ‘modest’ cooling on a hemispherical basis still had dramatic effects.

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