On the Cusp: Brits Record Wet and Cold

Russ Steele

Set to be the fourth wettest summer since records began in 1727.

“Heating back on as record cold night ends wettest summer,” reads the headline in the Telegraph.

“The second wettest(summer)  in the UK since records began – and the wettest summer in 100 years,” says BBC news.

On same day Met Office reveals it’s been the wettest summer ever, temperatures plunged to almost record summer lows overnight, while other areas did reach record lows.

Bradford for example dropped to 2.8C last night, its lowest August temperature since 1908

Braemar is Scotland was the coldest, dropping to 28.22 F (-2.1C), followed by Aviemore near Loch Ness on -1.8C and -0.7C in north-east England.

There has only been one August night colder, August 21 1973, when Lagganlia in the Highlands suffered -4.5C

The Highlands, Aberdeenshire and Northumberland saw frost while most parts of the UK were close to freezing as most Britons shivered in their beds.

The wettest in a century

Data released by MeteoGroup showed that 14.25 inches (362mm) of rain fell in June, July and August so far, outstripping the previous worst period in 1912.

MeteoGroup forecaster Nick Prebble said this summer is set to be the fourth wettest since records began in 1727.

June 2012 was the wettest since 1860, had the least sunshine since 1909 and was the coldest since 1991.

H/T to Ice Age Now for the tip!


Why The Earth Is Cooling – CO2 Warming Is Only A Tenth Of What The Models Show!

ByP Gosselinon6. August 2012, presented here for your evaluation and discussion

By Ed Caryl

The Climate Team has always claimed that a doubling of CO2 would add 3.7 Watts/m2 to the global climate budget and thus this would fry us all. This fate is their religion’s version of Hell, except we will all suffer this rather than just the “sinners,” thus giving them leverage to force us to do their will. Many bloggers, and some others, notably even BEST, have pointed out that there are many locations that are cooling rather than warming. The warmists would have us believe that these cooling stations are just due to local phenomenon, such as albedo change, land use, site moves, or other changes, and that the warming stations are not due to UHI.

Last year, Willis Eschenbach took a look at Modtran. Modtran is a program that was initially developed by the US Air Force in the late 1980’s that does a line-by-line analysis of the IR spectrum transmitted by the atmosphere. An on-line version is available at the University of Chicago, here. Willis noted that none of the latitude selections would give a CO2 doubling figure higher than 3.2 Watts/m2. He didn’t notice that the default settings in the program include a setting for water vapor at a pressure setting of 1. Any water vapor in the spectrum will lower the CO2 doubling figure.

Here is the result of calculating the outbound long-wave radiation (OLR) or as it is labeled in Modtran, I out. The settings used were: CH4 – 1.8 pmm, Tropical Ozone 800 ppb, Strat. Ozone 1, Ground T offset – 15°C, hold water vapor – Relative Humidity, Water Vapor Scale – at 0, 10, 50, and 90 percent, Locality – 1976 U. S. Standard Atmosphere, No Clouds or Rain, Sensor altitude 100 km, Looking Down. These values were the best available to represent a global average. This produced the following table and chart for various CO2 and water vapor values.

Figure 1 is a chart of Modtran output for 0, 10, 50, and 90% humidity, and CO2 from 0 to 1000 ppm. The radiation (vertical) scale has been inverted so that increasing greenhouse warming is upward. Note that both CO2 and water vapor forcing are logarithmic; increasing amounts have decreasing effect.

With humidity set to zero, the doubling of CO2 figure actually goes to 4.7 W/m2. Any reasonable humidity value drops that number drastically. At 50% humidity, and our current CO2 value, we get a tiny 0.188 W/m2, far, far below the IPCC favored value. Of course humidity doesn’t stay constant. In the tropics, 90% is more typical. In that case, doubling CO2 gets us 0.125 W/m2. This is all before the additional factors of clouds and rain, which will drop the value even further, into the negative territory that Willis noticed here. The blue triangle in the chart and the blue value in the table are the current values with today’s CO2 and global average humidity.

Given the data, Modtran can compute the real outbound radiation over time. Thehumidity at 600 mbars and the Mauna Loa CO2 values were applied through Modtran to result in Figure 2. This is a “zoom in” on the blue triangle in figure 1, adding the time dimension. The 600 mbar level for humidity seemed a good compromise, as only one humidity figure could be entered.

Figure 2 is a chart of the outbound radiation increase since 1948. There has been a more than 1 Watt/m2 increase in outbound radiation in that interval, despite rising CO2.

Humidity has been decreasing in the upper atmosphere over the last 60 years. That offsets the rising CO2. We saw the cooling in the 70’s but increased solar radiation along with ocean cycles held off the cooling over the last 20 years. That period has now come to an end.

Mother Earth has an excellent thermostat system. Even if somehow average humidity should increase to 50% and CO2 goes to 1000 ppm, only about 2 Watts/m2 will be added. This is unlikely in the extreme, and would add a small fraction of a degree to warming. No one would notice.

My question is: Why have the professional “climatologists” not done the simple work that I did on a lazy Saturday afternoon with my laptop? They must know that water vapor nearly wipes out CO2 in warming the Earth, and that clouds and albedo do the rest. What’s their excuse for this massive “oversight”?


Link found between cold European winters and solar activity

23 August 2012

AGU Release No. 12-39
For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON—Scientists have long suspected that the Sun’s 11-year cycle influences climate of certain regions on Earth. Yet records of average, seasonal temperatures do not date back far enough to confirm any patterns. Now, armed with a unique proxy, an international team of researchers show that unusually cold winters in Central Europe are related to low solar activity — when sunspot numbers are minimal. The freezing of Germany’s largest river, the Rhine, is the key.

Although the Earth’s surface overall continues to warm, the new analysis has revealed a correlation between periods of low activity of the Sun and of some cooling — on a limited, regional scale in Central Europe, along the Rhine.

“The advantage with studying the Rhine is because it’s a very simple measurement,” said Frank Sirocko lead author of a paper on the study and professor of Sedimentology and Paleoclimatology at the Institute of Geosciences of Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. “Freezing is special in that it’s like an on-off mode. Either there is ice or there is no ice.”

From the early 19th through mid-20th centuries, riverboat men used the Rhine for cargo transport. And so docks along the river have annual records of when ice clogged the waterway and stymied shipping.  The scientists used these easily-accessible documents, as well as other additional historical accounts, to determine the number of freezing episodes since 1780.

Sirocko and his colleagues found that between 1780 and 1963, the Rhine froze in multiple places fourteen different times. The sheer size of the river means it takes extremely cold temperatures to freeze over making freezing episodes a good proxy for very cold winters in the region, Sirocko said.

Mapping the freezing episodes against the solar activity’s 11-year cycle — a cycle of the Sun’s varying magnetic strength and thus total radiation output — Sirocko and his colleagues determined that ten of the fourteen freezes occurred during years when the Sun had minimal sunspots. Using statistical methods, the scientists calculated that there is a 99 percent chance that extremely cold Central European winters and low solar activity are inherently linked.

“We provide, for the first time, statistically robust evidence that the succession of cold winters during the last 230 years in Central Europe has a common cause,” Sirocko said.

With the new paper, Sirocko and his colleagues have added to the research linking solar variability with climate, said Thomas Crowley, Director of the Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment, and Society, who was not involved with the study.

“There is some suspension of belief in this link,” Crowley said, “and this study tilts the argument more towards thinking there really is something to this link. If you have more statistical evidence to support this explanation, one is more likely to say it’s true.”

The study, conducted by researchers at Johannes Gutenberg and the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science in Zurich, Switzerland, is set to be published August 25 in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

When sunspot numbers are down, the Sun emits less ultraviolet radiation. Less radiation means less heating of Earth’s atmosphere, which sparks a change in the circulation patterns of the two lowest atmospheric levels, the troposphere and stratosphere. Such changes lead to climatic phenomena such as the North Atlantic Oscillation, a pattern of atmospheric pressure variations that influences wind patterns in the North Atlantic and weather behavior in regions in and around Europe.

“Due to this indirect effect, the solar cycle does not impact hemispherically averaged temperatures, but only leads to regional temperature anomalies,” said Stephan Pfahl, a co-author of the study who is now at the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science in Zurich.

The authors show that this change in atmospheric circulation leads to cooling in parts of Central Europe but warming in other European countries, such as Iceland. So, sunspots don’t necessarily cool the entire globe – their cooling effect is more localized, Sirocko said.

In fact, studies have suggested that the extremely cold European winters of 2010 and 2011 were the result of the North Atlantic Oscillation, which Sirocko and his team now link to the low solar activity during that time.

The 2010 and 2011 European winters were so cold that they resulted in record lows for the month of November in certain countries. Some who dispute the occurrence of anthropogenic climate change argue that this two-year period shows that Earth’s climate is not getting any warmer. But climate is a complex system, Sirocko said. And a short-term, localized dip in temperatures only temporarily masks the effects of a warming world.

“Climate is not ruled by one variable,” said Sirocko. “In fact, it has [at least] five or six variables. Carbon dioxide is certainly one, but solar activity is also one.”

Moreover, the researchers also point out that, despite Central Europe’s prospect to suffer colder winters every 11 years or so, the average temperature of those winters is increasing and has been for the past three decades. As one piece of evidence of that warming, the Rhine River has not frozen over since 1963. Sirocko said such warming results, in part, from climate change.

To establish a more complete record of past temperature dips, the researchers are looking to other proxies, such as the spread of disease and migratory habits.

“Disease can be transported by insects and rats, but during a strong freezing year that is not likely,” said Sirocko. “Also, Romans used the Rhine to defend against the Germanics, but as soon as the river froze people could move across it. The freezing of the Rhine is very important on historical timescales.”

It wasn’t, however, the Rhine that first got Sirocko to thinking about the connection between freezing rivers and sunspot activity. In fact, it was a 125-mile ice-skating race he attended over 20 years ago in the Netherlands that sparked the scientist’s idea.

“Skaters can only do this race every 10 or 11 years because that’s when the rivers freeze up,” Sirocko said. “I thought to myself, ‘There must be a reason for this,’ and it turns out there is.”


On the Cusp: Only Six Days of Summer in Sweden in 2012

Russ Steele

“Summer weather was miserable – now there’s proof,” says this article out of Sweden.

According to the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI), on only six days this summer did the temperature reach more than 25 degrees Celsius in Stockholm.

Last year, Stockholm had 28 days with summer weather, ie days with a minimum temperature of 25 degrees. This year, just six days met this definition – 4 days in July and two in August. Recent summers have not even come close to having as few summer days.

Gothenburg had only five summer days this year. Malmo had nine, about as few as last year.

There has also been an unusual amount of rain, says Lisa Frost, meteorologist at SMHI.

The month of June was the wettest ever recorded in Stockholm, where precipitation has been measured since 1786.

Between June 1 and August 19 Stockholm had 41 days of rain, meaning that it rained more than every other day.

Hinshult in eastern Smayland got 163 mm of rain on July 7, the fifth largest daily amount ever reported by an official Swedish station.

SMHI still maintains that this year’s summer was relatively normal, but keep in mind that weather authorities often smooth out temperature variations by including nighttime readings. Even with this smoothing, July’s average temperature in Stockholm stood at at 17.8 degrees, which is 2.9 degrees less than in July 2011.

See entire article:

H/T to Ice Age Now for the tip!

On the Cusp: August Oregon Freeze








It is only August 23rd, it is not even fall yet.

Climate Impact on the Maya

Russ Steele

The article is in the Alaska Native News:

TEMPE, Ariz. — A new analysis of complex interactions between humans and the environment preceding the 9th century collapse and abandonment of the Central Maya Lowlands in the Yucatán Peninsula points to a series of events — some natural, like climate change; some human-made, including large-scale landscape alterations and shifts in trade routes — that have lessons for contemporary decision-makers and sustainability scientists.

In their revised model of the collapse of the ancient Maya, social scientists B.L. “Billie” Turner and Jeremy “Jerry” A. Sabloff provide an up-to-date, human-environment systems theory in which they put together the degree of environmental and economic stress in the area that served as a trigger or tipping point for the Central Maya Lowlands.

The co-authors described the Classic Period of the Lowland Maya (CE 300-800) as a “highly complex civilization organized into networks of city-states,” in their perspective article published Aug. 21 in the online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The ancient Maya in this hilly and riverless region confronted long-term climatic aridification, experienced decadal to century-level or longer droughts amplified by the landscape changes that they made, including large-scale deforestation indicated in the paleoecological record.

Previous to the collapse, the Maya occupied the area for more than 2,000 years, noted the authors, “a time in which they developed a sophisticated understanding of their environment, built and sustained intensive production [and water] systems, and withstood at least two long-term episodes of aridity.”

They document the human-environment interactions that were severely stressed during the 9th century arid phase. “This environmental stress was complemented by a shift in commercial trade from across the peninsula to around it, which reduced the economy of the ruling elite to keep up the livelihood infrastructure to prevent the tipping point,” said Turner, a Distinguished Sustainability Scientist with the Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University.

Here is a graphic I have used many time before to give you some perspective.


Monitoring Times: A Quest to Find the Disappearing Sunspots

Russ Steele

My article on the disappearing sunspots has been published in the September issue of Monitoring Times. Ham radio operators and radio spectrum monitors depend on an active sun to ionize the upper atmosphere to enable long range communications. When the sun goes quiet and there are fewer sun spots, there is less ionization, and the opportunity for long distance listening and long distance radio transmissions are also diminished. My article covers the possible disappearance of all sunspots between 2017 and 2022.

You will soon be able to click HERE and down load the September Issue, or pick up a copy up at Barnes and Noble in Roseville, my only know newsstand source of Monitoring Times.

On the Cusp? Nebraska Weather (Updated)

Russ Steele

According to the National Weather Service in Hastings, the low temperature at Central Nebraska Regional Airport in Grand Island was 45 degrees Friday morning. This tied the previous record of 45 degrees set in 1943. This was the coolest low temperature on any August day since a reading of 45 degrees on Aug. 30, 2009, the NWS reported.

The coolest August low temperature on record for Grand Island is 38 degrees on Aug. 24, 1928.

Ellen and I with our four daughters lived in Nebraska for five years in the late 1970s.  We used to joke about the weather, Spring was 2 weeks in May. Fall was 2 weeks in October. The rest of the time it was summer or winter.  The wind blew constantly, both summer and winter.

It has been a long time ago, but I do not remember any really cool sumer days when we were living in Nebraska in the late 1970s.

Here are some other low temperatures in a region that was setting heat records just a few week ago.

Update (08-19-12)

Here is the weekend results:

Climate Follows The Sun’s UV Groove To Grand Minimums

Russ Steele

Doug L. Hoffman, writing at The Resilient Earth has an interesting post on how changes in the Sun’s UV radiation can impact the climate here on earth, with links to known grand minimums. Here is Doug’s introduction:

That large changes in solar radiation can affect Earth’s climate is widely accepted. However, the hypothesis of solar-induced centennial to decadal climate changes, which suggests feedback mechanisms in the climate system amplifying even small solar variations, has not found acceptance among orthodox climate scientists. The climate change clique would rather place their money on greenhouse gasses—human generated CO2 in particular. It is true that satellite-based measurements of total solar irradiance show that mean variations during solar cycles do not exceed 0.2 W m−2 (~ 0.1% of the Sun’s energy output). It has also been noted that relatively large variations of 5–8% in the ultraviolet (UV) frequencies can occur, though how this could change global climate remained a puzzlement—but perhaps no longer. From studying a significant climate shift 2,800 years ago, a group of scientists have concluded that large changes in solar UV radiation can, indeed, affect climate by inducing atmospheric changes.

His money paragraph for grand minimum watchers:

Here is recent research by two independent groups of investigators that have suggested plausible mechanisms for variation in the Sun’s ultraviolet radiation to affect climate. This should surprise no one who is aware of the Maunder Minimum and the corresponding Little Ice Age—a time of advancing mountain glaciers in the Alps, failed crops and cold weather around the world. It is generally agreed that there were three temperature minima, occurring around 1650, 1770, and 1850. Each minima separated by slight warming intervals. These periods coincide closely with times of solar inactivity, with some of the worst weather occurring squarely during the Maunder Minimum.

Doug’s  concluding paragraph:

Let me emphasize the research paper’s central conclusion: “changes in atmospheric circulation amplified the solar signal and caused abrupt climate change.” In other words, small changes in the Sun’s output can and have driven rapid climate change in the recent past. Too bad for the warmists, because science has shown that Earth’s climate does groove to the Sun’s UV tune. No CO2 emissions need apply.

I recommend reading the full post HERE, with some attention to his discussion on he impact that the Arctic Oscillation and North Atlantic Oscillation have on the position of the Jet Stream, which is having an impact on our current hot summer in the US and the past cold winter in Europe. The question is what will be our US winter be?



Watts Up With That?

Guest post by David Archibald

My papers and those of Jan-Erik Solheim et al predict a significant cooling over Solar Cycle 24 relative to Solar Cycle 23. Solheim’s model predicts that Solar Cycle 24, for the northern hemisphere, will be 0.9º C cooler than Solar Cycle 23. It hasn’t cooled yet and we are three and a half years into the current cycle. The longer the temperature stays where it is, the more cooling has to come over the rest of the cycle for the predicted average reduction to occur.

So when will it cool? As Nir Shaviv and others have noted, the biggest calorimeter on the plant is the oceans. My work on sea level response to solar activity (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/03/quantifying-sea-level-fall/) found that the breakover between sea level rise and sea level fall is a sunspot amplitude of 40:


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