It’s The Evidence, Stupid!

Willis Eschenbach on another quest for the facts makes for some interesting reading, there may not be a 11 year solar cycle evident in the earths climate record. Any ideas, on what causes climate cycles if it is not the sun?

Watts Up With That?

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I hear a lot of folks give the following explanation for the vagaries of the climate, viz:

thumb its the sunIt’s the sun, stupid.

And in fact, when I first started looking at the climate I thought the very same thing. How could it not be the sun, I reasoned, since obviously that’s what heats the planet.

Unfortunately, the dang facts got in the way again …

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Dial M for Maunder

I have been writing about cooling since 2006, when I wrote a short paper on cooling cycles. Details HERE.  See the discussion below. We are in the Next Grand Minimum camp as the sun spots decline.

Watts Up With That?

maunder-sunspot-activityGuest essay by David Archibald

The Maunder Minimum was not completely devoid of sunspots, as shown by the following graphic using data from SIDC. Will global warming be attenuated due to our current low solar activity?

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Review: The West Without Water (Edited)

I was in Mendocino at the Gallery Bookshop when I spotted The West Without Water by B. Lynn Ingram and Francis Malamud-Roam on a shelf reserved for environmental books, one of the larger categories in this excellent book shop in liberal land on the coast. According to the book flap information on Amazon:

The West Without Water documents the tumultuous climate of the American west over twenty millennia, with tales of past droughts and deluges and predictions about the impacts of future climate change on water resources. Looking at the region’s current water crisis from the perspective of its climate history, the authors ask the central question of what is “normal” climate for the West, and whether the relatively benign climate of the past century will continue into the future.

The West without Water merges climate and paleoclimate research from a wide variety of sources as it introduces readers to key discoveries in cracking the secrets of the region’s climatic past. It demonstrates that extended droughts and catastrophic floods have plagued the West with regularity over the past two millennia and recounts the most disastrous flood in the history of California and the West, which occurred in 1861–62. The authors show that, while the West may have temporarily buffered itself from such harsh climatic swings by creating artificial environments and human landscapes, our modern civilization may be ill-prepared for the future climate changes that are predicted to beset the region. They warn that it is time to face the realities of the past and prepare for a future in which fresh water may be less reliable.

This is a very interesting book that provided some climate history that I was unfamiliar, with especially the 1861-62 flood in the Central Valley. I thought is was just in Sacramento, but it was the whole valley,  filled like a bathtub 10 feet deep. Records spanning the last 2000 years indicate these huge floods happened once or twice per century. We may be close to a major flood event in the near future, according to the cyclical record.  These flood events were more prevalent during cold periods, like the Little Ice Age. And, we are on the cusp of the next grand minimum, an extended cooling period according to leading solar scientists. 

Continue reading

Sun Flatlining Into Grand Minimum, Says Solar Physicist

Details in Forbes:

With each passing season, the weather seems stranger and more extreme.

Who can argue with a sudden outbreak of the “polar vortex” phenomenon; unprecedented winter drought in California; and summer temperatures so torrid Down Under that even play at the Australian Open was briefly halted?

Is any of this connected to the sun’s drastically diminished recent sunspot cycles?

Weather isn’t climate, but circumstantial evidence indicates our sun may be entering a grand minimum of sunspot activity, not unlike the Maunder Minimum that some climatologists think caused record low winter temperatures in Northern Europe during the latter half of the 17th century.

“My opinion is that we are heading into a Maunder Minimum,” said Mark Giampapa, a solar physicist at the National Solar Observatory (NSO) in Tucson, Arizona. “I’m seeing a continuation in the decline of the sunspots’ mean magnetic field strengths and a weakening of the polar magnetic fields and subsurface flows.”

o o o

“If we’re entering a Maunder Minimum, it could persist until the 2080s,” said Giampapa, who points out that if such a minimum’s primary effect is cooling, it could wreak havoc by curtailing agricultural growing seasons which, for instance, could lead to lower wheat production in breadbasket economies.

But Giampapa says it could also mean a global excursion from the mean, resulting in local climate extremes in terms of both anomalous temperatures and precipitation.

Could a Maunder Minimum mitigate a warming climate?

Not likely, says Hathaway.

Although the rise of global temperatures seen in “the last decade or so seems to have currently leveled off,” says Hathaway, he notes that even a Maunder Minimum would still not be enough to counter the warming effects of anthropogenic climate change.

If anything, a Maunder Minimum may simply make existing weather and short term climate even more unusual and difficult to predict.

Note that Hathaway is a NASA Marshall Space Flight Center employee. The official position of NASA is that humans are responsible for global warming even though the science is not settled. Natural variability exceeds the 1.5F degree contribution of CO2. The climate models used by NASA have been proven to be seriously flawed. I would take Hathaway comments with some skepticism, he needs to protect his job.

I will have more on the Climate in California during the last Grand Minimum in a future post.

Antarctic Sea Ice At Record Levels

Is the expansion of global ice an indicator of we are on the cusp of major cooling?

Watts Up With That?

From The Australian, 12 May 2014
Graham Lloyd
Antarctic sea ice has expanded to record levels for April, increasing by more than 110,000sq km a day last month to nine million square kilometres.

In from the cold.

The National Snow and Ice Data Centre said the rapid expansion had continued into May and the seasonal cover was now bigger than the record “by a significant margin’’.
“This exceeds the past record for the satellite era by about 320,000sq km, which was set in April 2008,’’ the centre said.

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Will the solar doldrums of the coming decades lead to cooling? A look at the latest scientific publications

By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt

(Translated/edited by NoTricksZone)

Seldom has the sun been as strong as we have seen it over the last 5 decades. Is it just a coincidence that the largest warming of the last 500 years occurred during this phase?

Just a few years ago the tide changed when the sun ended its hyperactive phase. Few people had anticipated this, and so it was a surprise for many. Solar physicist Leif Svalgaard of California’s Stanford University expressed it as follows at the American Geophysical Union last December:

“None of us alive have ever seen such a weak cycle. So we will learn something.”

And so science commenced to consider and think about what all this could lead to. The latest works on the subject include Qian et al. 2014 (“Secular changes in the thermosphere and ionosphere between two quiet Sun periods“), Zhao et al. 2014 (Modulation of galactic cosmic rays during the unusual solar minimum between cycles 23 and 24) and McCracken & Beer 2014 (Comparison of the extended solar minimum of 2006–2009 with the Spoerer, Maunder, and Dalton Grand Minima in solar activity in the past).

After a number of studies it has become clearer: It’s only the beginning! It is expected that the sun will continue becoming quieter over the coming decades. This has pretty much become the consensus among solar physicists. The latest studies on the subject come from Roth & Joos 2013, who assume a decline in solar activity to normal levels will occur during the 21st century. Salvador 2013 goes further and anticipates a solar minimum for the coming 30-100 years. Read the original abstract:

Using many features of Ian Wilson’s Tidal Torque theory, a mathematical model of the sunspot cycle has been created that reproduces changing sunspot cycle lengths and has an 85% correlation with the sunspot numbers from 1749 to 2013. The model makes a reasonable representation of the sunspot cycle for the past 1000 yr, placing all the solar minimums in their right time periods. More importantly, I believe the model can be used to forecast future solar cycles quantitatively for 30 yr and directionally for 100 yr. The forecast is for a solar minimum and quiet Sun for the next 30 to 100 yr. The model is a slowly changing chaotic system with patterns that are never repeated in exactly the same way. Inferences as to the causes of the sunspot cycle patterns can be made by looking at the model’s terms and relating them to aspects of the Tidal Torque theory and, possibly, Jovian magnetic field interactions.

– See more at:

New paper finds .8C global cooling during Dalton Minimum

A paper published today in Climate of the Past finds the low solar activity during the Dalton Minimum from 1780-1840 had a significant effect on climate and ocean heat content. According to the authors, “Global and hemispheric mean surface temperatures show a significant dependence on solar irradiance at λ [wavelengths] > 250 nm” and “Reduction of irradiance at λ [wavelengths] > 250 nm leads to a significant (up to 2%) decrease in the ocean heat content (OHC) between 0 and 300 meters in depth, whereas the changes in irradiance at λ [wavelengths] < 250 nm or in energetic particles have virtually no effect.”

The paper shows a ~16 x 10^22 Joule decrease in global ocean heat content from 0 to 100 meters during the Dalton Minimum, which by way of comparison is 3 times larger than the 5 x 10^22 Joule increase in global ocean heat content 0-100 meters over the past 55 years [Levitus et al 2012, figure 2]. The paper also shows a global surface temperature decrease of ~0.8C during the Dalton Minimum, by way of comparison about the same as the 0.7 – 0.8C global warming since the Little Ice Age ended in ~1850.

While many climate scientists claim small changes in solar activity cannot affect climate, this paper and many others demonstrate that these changes do significantly affect ocean heat content and surface temperature to similar or greater magnitudes as found during the 20th century.

More Detail at Hockey Schtick