Rest in Peace Russell Steele



It is with a heavy heart that we share the news of Russ’s passing on January 3rd, 2020. He was at home and surrounded by all his loved ones when he went. His general level of health and post-surgical complications took him sooner than any of us could have expected.

Thank you, Russ’s Family

Climate Models Are Non-scientific Junk

This a bit off the topic of grand minimums but an important paper which could result in the reevaluation of the sun’s influence on climate.

Sierra Foothill Commentary

Propagation of Error and the Reliability of Global Air Temperature Projections

Patrick Frank

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University, Menlo Park, CA, United States

The reliability of general circulation climate model (GCM) global air temperature projections is evaluated for the first time, by way of propagation of model calibration error. An extensive series of demonstrations show that GCM air temperature projections are just linear extrapolations of fractional greenhouse gas (GHG) forcing. Linear projections are subject to linear propagation of error. A directly relevant GCM calibration metric is the annual average ±12.1% error in global annual average cloud fraction produced within CMIP5 climate models. This error is strongly pair-wise correlated across models, implying a source in deficient theory. The resulting long-wave cloud forcing (LWCF) error introduces an annual average ±4 Wm–2 uncertainty into the simulated tropospheric thermal energy flux. This annual ±4 Wm–2 simulation uncertainty is ±114 × larger than the…

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Next Grand Minimum Declining Temperatures


We just wrapped up summer without any long term periods of temperatures over 100 degrees. Yes, we had some 3-4 day periods.  Now it looks like September is going to be cooler than average. So, the question is how much cooling have we had?

One method is to calculate the Growing Degree Days.  What are the growing degree days?

Growing degree days (GDD) are a measure of heat accumulation used by horticulturists, gardeners, and farmers to predict plant and animal development rates such as the date that a flower will bloom, an insect will emerge from dormancy, or a crop will reach maturity. 

In the absence of extreme conditions such as unseasonal drought or disease, plants grow in a cumulative stepwise manner which is strongly influenced by the ambient temperature. In other words, GDD values provide a best case outlook as to plants’ pace to maturity. (wikipedia)

The Ice Age Farmer has developed an interactive method for calculating the GDD for every zip code in the US, comparing the difference from last year (2018).  The link is HERE.

GDD has decreased in Nevada City, CA to 78.44% of previous value (-21.56% drop) in 95959.

GDD has decreased in Grass Valley, CA to 81.16% of previous value (-18.84% drop) in 95945.

The greatest impact is in the grain, soybean, and corn growing belt in the Northern Hemisphere.  Here is a quick look at some Iowa Counties:

Screen Shot 2019-09-04 at 7.49.25 PM

Two California grape-growing counties:

Screen Shot 2019-09-04 at 7.53.16 PM

A long term reduction in GDD could result in crop failures and the expansion of global hunger. In this video the Ice Age Farmer discusses the impact of early fall frosts.

The Setup is like 1315

Guest Commentary by David Archibald at Watts Up With That

The area planted for corn and soybeans this season is well below historic averages. This was mostly due to waterlogged fields and flooding which precluded planting. The planting windows for corn and soybeans are now closed. The USDA crop progress reports provide weekly updates by state. For example this is the state of the corn crop in Indiana to Monday June 17:


Figure 1: Indiana corn crop progress to Monday June 17.

The emerged crop is one month behind where it was in 2018. Which means that maturity will be one month later at best, assuming that the rest of the summer isn’t abnormally cold.

Figure 2 shows that the same situation in soybeans in Indiana:


Figure 2: Indiana soybean crop progress to Monday June 17.

The current expectation is that the US corn crop will be down 30% on 2018 which will push the price to about $9.00 per bushel at harvest. What could make the situation a lot worse is an early frost. The Corn Belt did warm slightly over the last 100 years due to the high solar activity of the second half of the 20th century. This is shown by the cumulative growing degree days (GDD) of the first decade of the 20th century (blue lines) compared to the first decade of the 21st century (red lines) in Figure 3 for Whitestown, Indiana:


Figure 3: Cumulative GDD for Whitestown, Indiana

Normally, for the 21st century, the corn crop is in the ground by April 27 and the crop has reached maturity with 2,500 GDD well before the normal first frost date for Whitestown of October 10. The earliest recorded date for Whitestown is September 3. That was in 1908. If that is repeated in 2019 the crop will be only 80% through its growth cycle. Yield and quality will be well down and the total crop may be 50% or less of the 2018 level.

The US will be able to feed itself but at much higher prices. Currently some 40% of the corn crop goes to ethanol production and this could be redirected to animal feed without too much trouble. But protein production would still be well down. Each 56 lb bushel of corn used in ethanol production results in 18 lbs of dried distillers grains (DDG) containing the protein. This is used as a feed supplement to pigs, chickens and cattle. Both pigs and chickens have a 25% conversion efficiency of vegetable protein to animal protein. The global warmers want us to adopt vegetarianism in order to save the planet. The public is going to get a taste of that future coming up soon. However animal fat is essential for infant neurological development and brain function so we can’t go completely vegetarian.

What is happening in the Corn Belt is a mini version of the transition from the Medieval Warm Period to the Little Ice Age. The population of Europe exploded in benign conditions of the Medieval Warm Period from 1000 AD to 1300 AD, reaching population levels that weren’t matched again until the 19th century. In fact parts of rural France have less population today than at the beginning of the 14th century.

The breakover from the Medieval Warm Period to the Little Ice Age in Europe had sustained periods of bad weather characterised by severe winters and rainy and cold summers. The Great Famine of 1315 – 1317 started with bad weather in the spring of 1315. Crop failures lasted through 1316 until the summer of 1317. The population decline over the two years is thought to be about 10%, associated with “extreme levels of crime, disease, mass death, cannibalism and infanticide.” These conditions may be less in the Mormons amongst us who are instructed to keep one year’s worth of food in stock.

The Modern Warm Period ended in 2006. Current solar activity is back to levels of the Little Ice Age. To paraphrase Santayana, those who don’t remember history are condemned to being surprised and unprepared when it repeats itself.

A large and increasing number of nations are feeding their population growth with imported grain. That is going to be become more expensive to continue, with or without an early frost in the Corn Belt. Global warming hysteria has been a consequence of very benign conditions for the OECD countries where it is concentrated. That angst will be supplanted by more basic concerns.

David Archibald is the author of American Gripen: The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare

I am going to create a Google Alert to track early frost reports. I will share the results.

On the Edge of Nowhere

By Russ Steele

It feels like being on the edge of nowhere with no internet connection at our campsite. When we made reservations last year one the things we checked was WiFi access at our chosen campsite. Now that we are there-there is no WiFi, we have to walk about 200 feet to get connected.

According to the Camp Host, a winter lighting storm struck the antenna destroying the antenna and feed cable, the router escaping damage. The only WiFi source is a router with no external antenna.

With limited access, comment moderation may be slow but will try to make contact once a day to check the comments, posting will be as time permits, as we are vacationing with friends.

Space Weather: Cosmic Rays Near Space Age High


COSMIC RAYS ARE NEARING A SPACE AGE HIGH: Ten years ago, NASA reported a “perfect storm of cosmic rays.” During the year 2009, radiation peppering Earth from deep space reached a 50-year high, registering levels never before seen during the Space Age.

It’s about to happen again.

Ground-based neutron monitors and high-altitude cosmic ray balloons are registering a new increase in cosmic rays. The Oulu neutron monitor in Finland, which has been making measurements since 1964, reports levels in April 2019 only percentage points below the Space Age maximum of 2009:

Source: The Sodankyla Geophysical Observatory in Oulu, Finland.

What’s going on? The answer is “Solar Minimum.” During the low phase of the 11-year solar cycle, the sun’s magnetic field and solar wind weaken. Cosmic rays find it easier to penetrate the inner solar system. In 2009, the sun experienced the deepest solar minimum in a century. Cosmic rays reaching Earth naturally surged.

Ten years later, solar minimum is back with renewed weakening of the sun’s magnetic field and the solar wind. Again, it’s a “perfect storm.” A panel of experts led by NOAA and NASA recently predicted that the current minimum would reach a nadir in late 2019 or 2020, likely matching the record-setting minimum of 2009. If they’re right, cosmic rays will continue to increase, with a new record possible in the near future.

Continue Reading HERE.

Do more cosmic rays result in more clouds?  How can this be measured?  Ideas?