Smallest Sunspot Cycle in 80 Years, and ENSO is Headed South

Russ Steele

NASA’s David Hatherway has published his latest Sunspot Number Prediction:

The current prediction for Sunspot Cycle 24 gives a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 99 in February of 2013. We are currently about three years into Cycle 24. Increased activity in the last few months has raised the predicted maximum and moved it earlier in 2013. The current predicted size still make this the smallest sunspot cycle in over 80 years.

More details here.

Steve Goddard, has published the five year running mean for the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) 

 As you can see it is heading south.  The question is, are these two events related and what does it mean for future climate change. We know from history that lower solar cycles bought cooler temperatures on the earth. Only now are we beginning to explore the ocean temperature relationship to sunspot cycles, and long term climate change. It is clearly more than changes in CO2 levels predicted by NASA’s James Hansen.  The ENSO is going south, while the CO2 levels are still headed north.  They are not related.


Fuel Prices with Regression Lines Starting in 2012.

I have updated the fuel prices, shortened the data to 1 June 2010 and added a regression line to see the over all trends.

Note the jump in gas prices in Sept 2012 that never went a way. I have been unable to find a good reason for the jump. While gas prices continue to decline, the disparity between CA and US continues.  While gas prices are declining, diesel prices are essentially flat.  Reader comment on the gas price disparity are most welcome.

You comments are most welcome. Please post your comments here.

Do Not Doubt that Mother Nature Controls our Climate

Russ Steele

Robert Felix has a very interesting post at IceAgeNow.

Methane fountains more than one-half-mile across erupt from Arctic Ocean

While surveying off the coast of eastern Siberia, a Russian research vessel made a terrifying discovery – hundreds, probably thousands, of huge plumes of methane bubbles rising to the surface from the seabed.

‘We found more than 100 fountains, some more than a kilometre across,’ said Dr Igor Semiletov, of the Far Eastern branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. ‘These are methane fields on a scale not seen before. The emissions went directly into the atmosphere.’

Melting ‘permafrost’ beneath the Arctic seabed has apparently led to huge releases of methane, which scientists fear could lead to extremely rapid climate change.

The East Siberian Arctic Shelf is shallow, 50 meters or less, which means it has been alternately submerged or above water as sea levels rose and fell throughout Earth’s history.

During Earth’s coldest periods, it is a frozen arctic coastal plain, and does not release methane. But as sea levels rise, it is inundated with comparatively warmer seawater.

In deep water, methane gas oxidizes into carbon dioxide before it reaches the surface. But in the shallow East Siberian Arctic Shelf the methane  doesn’t have enough time to oxidize, allowing more of it to escape into the atmosphere.

Methane is considered to be a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Read the rest HERE, where you will discover that Methane degassing has occurred many times before mankind existed, and, unfortunately, it can be correlated with mass extinctions.  Details in Professor Ian Plimer’s authoritative 504-page geology book, Heaven and Earth.

The November AMO index goes negative, first time since 1996

Russ Steele

At Watts Up With That,  Anthony Watts has a report from Joe D’Aleo who reports via email that the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation AMO Index has gone negative for this past month, see the graph below:


This is the first time the November value has been negative since about 1996. It appears the down cycle has started. This portends a cooler period, especially winters.

You can read the rest here:  The November AMO index goes negative, first time since 1996 | Watts Up With That?.

More Evidence (Again) It’s The Sun

Russ Steele

The evidence that the sun is the major driver in climate change keeps growing. Here is an article by P Gosselin, at The NoTricks Blog.

Roman climate driver.

A reader brings our attention to a paper published by the Quaternary Science Reviews, authored by Liang Chen, Karin A.F. Zonneveld, and Gerard J.M. Versteegh of the University of Bremen: Short term climate variability during “Roman Classical Period” in the eastern Mediterranean.

This one is about a temperature reconstruction from Southern Italy going back 2000 years. The abstract states:

Climatic and environmental reconstructions based on a dinoflagelate cyst record from a well dated site in the Gulf of Taranto located at the distal end of the Po-river discharge plume have been established with high temporal resolution in order to obtain insight into potential forcing of short-term climatic and oceanographic variability in the southern Italian region during the “Roman Classical Period” (60 BC – AD 200).

So how much does the reconstruction say us humans and our CO2 emissions have warmed the planet since the Roman days? Here’s what the abstract concludes (emphasis added):

The dinoflagellate cyst association indicates that local sea surface temperatures which in this region are strongly linked to local air temperatures were slightly higher than today. We reconstruct that sea surface temperatures have been relatively high and stable between 60 BCeAD 90 and show a decreasing trend after AD 90.”

It was warmer back then!  Gee, did greenhouse gases cause the warming during the time of the Romans? What could it have been, we all wonder? Stop wracking your brains, the answer is:

Fluctuations in temperature and river discharge rates have a strong cyclic character with main cyclicities of 7 – 8 and 11 years.”

11 years? Now why does this number sound familiar? Could it have anything to do with a certain solar cycle that is very well known (at least outside of the IPCC)? The abstract continues:

We argue that these cycles are related to variations of the North Atlantic Oscillation climate mode. A strong correlation is observed with global variation in delta14C anomalies suggesting that solar variability might be one of the major forcings of the regional climate. Apart from cyclic climate variability we observed a good correlation between non-cyclic temperature drops and global volcanic activity indicating that the latter forms an additional major forcing factor of the southern Italian climate during the Roman Classical Period.”

Yet another reconstruction showing the sun at work. Today, however, the sun doesn’t do anything. At least that’s what the experts at the IPCC would like to have us believe.

via More Evidence (Again) It’s The Sun.

In history a quiet sun has produces cooler temperature on this planet. Long term lack of sun spots produced the Maunder Minimum and the Dalton Minimum.  The article is more evidence that we should continue to watch the sun.

“Amplitudes, Rates, Periodicities And Causes Of Temperature Variations In The Past 2485 Years And Future Trends Over The Central-Eastern Tibetan Plateau”

Russ Steele

This is from a paper published in a China Science Bulletin:

Abstract with my highlights:

Amplitudes, rates, periodicities, causes and future trends of temperature variations based on tree rings for the past 2485 years on the central-eastern Tibetan Plateau were analyzed. The results showed that extreme climatic events on the Plateau, such as the Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age and 20th Century Warming appeared synchronously with those in other places worldwide. The largest amplitude and rate of temperature change occurred during the Eastern Jin Event 343–425 AD, and not in the late 20th century. There were significant cycles of 1324 a, 800 a, 199 a, 110 a and 2–3 a in the 2485-year temperature series. The 1324 a, 800 a, 199 a and 110 a cycles are associated with solar activity, which greatly affects the Earth surface temperature. The long-term trends >1000 a of temperature were controlled by the millennium-scale cycle, and amplitudes were dominated by multi-century cycles. Moreover, cold intervals corresponded to sunspot minimums. The prediction indicated that the temperature will decrease in the future until to 2068 AD and then increase again.

While the forecast may be speculation, climate history has been a better predictor that climate models.

via New Paper “Amplitudes, Rates, Periodicities And Causes Of Temperature Variations In The Past 2485 Years And Future Trends Over The Central-Eastern Tibetan Plateau” By Liu Et Al 2011 | Climate Science: Roger Pielke Sr..