NASA finally gets it: Solar Variation has “significant effect on terrestrial climate”

Posted: January 9, 2013 by tallbloke in climate, cosmic rays, Energy, Solar physics, solar system dynamics

My thanks to Dr Michele Casati, who alerts us to this new NASA article in suggestions. At last, official recognition of what we have been saying here for the last three years. Unless the IPCC take due note, their AR% report will be a dead letter before publication:

nasa-rays

Solar Variability and Terrestrial Climate
Jan. 8, 2013: 

In the galactic scheme of things, the Sun is a remarkably constant star. While some stars exhibit dramatic pulsations, wildly yo-yoing in size and brightness, and sometimes even exploding, the luminosity of our own sun varies a measly 0.1% over the course of the 11-year solar cycle.

There is, however, a dawning realization among researchers that even these apparently tiny variations can have a significant effect on terrestrial climate. A new report issued by the National Research Council (NRC), “The Effects of Solar Variability on Earth’s Climate,” lays out some of the surprisingly complex ways that solar activity can make itself felt on our planet.

Understanding the sun-climate connection requires a breadth of expertise in fields such as plasma physics, solar activity, atmospheric chemistry and fluid dynamics, energetic particle physics, and even terrestrial history. No single researcher has the full range of knowledge required to solve the problem. To make progress, the NRC had to assemble dozens of experts from many fields at a single workshop. The report summarizes their combined efforts to frame the problem in a truly multi-disciplinary context.

One of the participants, Greg Kopp of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, pointed out that while the variations in luminosity over the 11-year solar cycle amount to only a tenth of a percent of the sun’s total output, such a small fraction is still important. “Even typical short term variations of 0.1% in incident irradiance exceed all other energy sources (such as natural radioactivity in Earth’s core) combined,” he says.

Of particular importance is the sun’s extreme ultraviolet (EUV) radiation, which peaks during the years around solar maximum. Within the relatively narrow band of EUV wavelengths, the sun’s output varies not by a minuscule 0.1%, but by whopping factors of 10 or more. This can strongly affect the chemistry and thermal structure of the upper atmosphere.

Several researchers discussed how changes in the upper atmosphere can trickle down to Earth’s surface. There are many “top-down” pathways for the sun’s influence. For instance, Charles Jackman of the Goddard Space Flight Center described how nitrogen oxides (NOx) created by solar energetic particles and cosmic rays in the stratosphere could reduce ozone levels by a few percent. Because ozone absorbs UV radiation, less ozone means that more UV rays from the sun would reach Earth’s surface.

Isaac Held of NOAA took this one step further. He described how loss of ozone in the stratosphere could alter the dynamics of the atmosphere below it. “The cooling of the polar stratosphere associated with loss of ozone increases the horizontal temperature gradient near the tropopause,” he explains. “This alters the flux of angular momentum by mid-latitude eddies. [Angular momentum is important because] the angular momentum budget of the troposphere controls the surface westerlies.” In other words, solar activity felt in the upper atmosphere can, through a complicated series of influences, push surface storm tracks off course.

Many of the mechanisms proposed at the workshop had a Rube Goldberg-like quality. They relied on multi-step interactions between multiples layers of atmosphere and ocean, some relying on chemistry to get their work done, others leaning on thermodynamics or fluid physics. But just because something is complicated doesn’t mean it’s not real.

Indeed, Gerald Meehl of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) presented persuasive evidence that solar variability is leaving an imprint on climate, especially in the Pacific. According to the report, when researchers look at sea surface temperature data during sunspot peak years, the tropical Pacific shows a pronounced La Nina-like pattern, with a cooling of almost 1o C in the equatorial eastern Pacific. In addition, “there are signs of enhanced precipitation in the Pacific ITCZ (Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone ) and SPCZ (South Pacific Convergence Zone) as well as above-normal sea-level pressure in the mid-latitude North and South Pacific,” correlated with peaks in the sunspot cycle.

The solar cycle signals are so strong in the Pacific, that Meehl and colleagues have begun to wonder if something in the Pacific climate system is acting to amplify them. “One of the mysteries regarding Earth’s climate system … is how the relatively small fluctuations of the 11-year solar cycle can produce the magnitude of the observed climate signals in the tropical Pacific.” Using supercomputer models of climate, they show that not only “top-down” but also “bottom-up” mechanisms involving atmosphere-ocean interactions are required to amplify solar forcing at the surface of the Pacific.

Read the rest of the article here:
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2013/08jan_sunclimate/

Comments
  1. Stephen Wilde says:

    This is getting very close to the narrative set out in my New Climate Model:

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=6482

    “A New Climate Model – First Review ”

    and I went into the likely mechanisms here:

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=6645

    “How The Sun Could Control Earth’s Temperature”

    Whatever defects may be found it seems that my work might well have been a lot closer to the truth than that from any of the climate professionals.

  2. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Using supercomputer models of climate, they show that not only “top-down” but also “bottom-up” mechanisms involving atmosphere-ocean interactions are required to amplify solar forcing at the surface of the Pacific. ”

    Been saying just that for several years.

    “If there is indeed a solar effect on climate, it is manifested by changes in general circulation rather than in a direct temperature signal.”

    Ditto

    “The NRC report suggests, however, that the influence of solar variability is more regional than global. ”

    Ditto.

    The bit they fail to get as yet is that those circulation changes alter global cloudiness to alter the amount of solar energy able to enter the oceans which skews ENSO towards El Nino or La Nina for an effect on global tropospheric temperatures until the solar changes fade away again.

    It would have been nice to have had some attribution given the overlap with my earlier work and the similarity of the language used.

  3. oldbrew says:

    They might want to take another look at this 1999 paper:

    A Doubling of the Sun’s Coronal Magnetic Field during the Last 100 Years

    http://www.wdc.rl.ac.uk/wdcc1/papers/nature.html

  4. Stephen Wilde says:

    Yes oldbrew, the cloud cover issue is very important as per that link.

    However I think the changes in cloud cover are a result of changing the degree of zonality or meridionality for the jet stream tracks rather than from the Svensmark idea about cosmic rays providing more cloud condensation nuclei.

    There might be some overlap though.

    At present I can’t see how cosmic rays or Magnetic Field changes could directly affect circulation but Magnetic Field changes could help indirectly by directing charged particles that react with ozone in at the poles to alter the pole to equator tropopause height gradient and so the intensity of the polar vortices.

  5. Bob Tisdale says:

    A couple of comments: First, this appears to be notes from a workshop, not a paper. It also appears to be old news, since the workshop was held in 2011.

    This sentence looks strangely familiar: “According to the report, when researchers look at sea surface temperature data during sunspot peak years, the tropical Pacific shows a pronounced La Nina-like pattern, with a cooling of almost 1 [deg] C in the equatorial eastern Pacific.”

    They appear to be using “pattern” as in spatial pattern, not pattern in time. But, in addition to a cooling in the eastern equatorial Pacific, how else are they defining La Niña-like pattern? There’s no mention of enhanced Walker circulation or stronger trade winds that one would associate with a La Niña-like pattern. Lots of ambiguities. The press release (on a year and a half year old workshop) is lacking.

    They also do not say that the opposite holds true—that there is a pronounced El Niño-like pattern during solar minimums.

  6. Paul Vaughan says:

    It’s simple:
    Solar variation modulates terrestrial temperature GRADIENTS …and hence circulatory morphology.

    What’s crucially missing:
    sound data exploration & careful interpretation

  7. Paul Vaughan says:

    “The solar cycle signals are so strong in the Pacific, that Meehl and colleagues have begun to wonder if something in the Pacific climate system is acting to amplify them.”

    It’s simpler than that. It’s just the integral of circulation.

  8. Paul Vaughan says:

    Aside from the funny “if”, lights are slowly starting to go on:

    “When Earth’s radiative balance is altered, as in the case of a chance in solar cycle forcing, not all locations are affected equally.”

    “If there is indeed a solar effect on climate, it is manifested by changes in general circulation rather than in a direct temperature signal.”

    Gradients between locations drive flow.

    Wake up call: There’s no need to speculate about this. We have earth orientation data — well-constrained by universal laws (large numbers & conservation of angular momentum) — that PROVE this beyond all shadow of doubt.

    http://i49.tinypic.com/2jg5tvr.png (solar semi-annual)
    http://i50.tinypic.com/11he49z.png (lunisolar annual)

    …So it should be no surprise to see the integral:

    At semi-annual timescale, it’s just thermal wind and at multidecadal timescales it’s just planetary wave meridionality vs. zonality.

    At the macroscopic scale, it’s dead simple.


    “Variations in Earth’s magnetic field and atmospheric circulation can affect the deposition of radioisotopes far more than actual solar activity.”

    Once again, what’s needed here is better interpretation. Don’t try to say what the data should represent; just accept them for what they actually represent. The data tell a story of solar-modulated terrestrial circulatory morphology. Don’t try to wish them to be a proxy of something else. Accept them for what they are.

  9. Stephen Wilde says:

    Paul Vaughan said:

    “at multidecadal timescales it’s just planetary wave meridionality vs. zonality.”

    Do you mean jet stream meridionality vs zonality ?

  10. Roger Andrews says:

    A hundred years ago Alfred Wegener cut up a map with a pair of scissors and found that the east coast of South America dovetailed almost perfectly with the west coast of Africa, shape, geology and all. But when he presented his theory of Continental Drift he promptly got ostracized by the scientific community because everyone knew there was no way the continents could possibly move around like that.

    And if anyone had suggested at the time that the movement was caused by a thing called plate tectonics they would promptly have been ostracized too, if not committed to an asylum.

    So I find it encouraging that science is slowly beginning to accept that the sun does have a major influence on the Earth’s climate and look for causative mechanisms rather than just mindlessly parrotting the AGW line.

    And while I’m here allow me to set the record straight on the relationship between sunspot cycles and ENSO events, as defined by the Niño3.4 index. Here are El Niños (pink stripes)

    And here are La Niñas (blue stripes)


    [Reply] I speet on your uninformative pink and bleu stripy pyjamas.
    ;)

  11. Roger Andrews says:

    Well at least you used a “p” and not an “h” :-)

  12. Stephen Wilde says:
    January 9, 2013 at 10:40 am
    but Magnetic Field changes could help indirectly by directing charged particles that react with ozone in at the poles to alter the pole to equator tropopause height gradient and so the intensity of the polar vortices.

    Climate Change and the Earth’s Magnetic Poles,
    A Possible Connection

    http://www.akk.me.uk/Climate_Change.htm

  13. Stephen Wilde says:

    Thanks Adrian but that seems to relate to movement of the poles themselves rather than variations in solar effects at the poles.

  14. Paul Vaughan says:

    @Stephen Wilde (January 9, 2013 at 2:31 pm)

    In particular, Eurasia–Pacific and North America–Atlantic long wave (Rossby) deflectors:

    In layman’s terms, sure, it’s the jet stream “average”.

    The important point to recognize is that thermal wind is NOT a controversial mechanism.

    It’s also important to recognize that clouds follow ENSO, not the solar cycle …and that the total column ozone that follows clouds is in the troposphere, not the stratosphere. This certainly doesn’t mean ENSO is unrelated to the sun, but it does mean some narratives need tweaking to be brought into line with observation.

    If I can find some time I’ll work up a brief example highlighting amplitude coherence of semi-annual Southern Ocean Antarctic Circumpolar temperature gradients, sea level pressure, & zonal winds. It’s a beautiful story.

  15. Stephen Wilde says:

    Paul Vaughan said:

    “It’s also important to recognize that clouds follow ENSO, not the solar cycle …”

    I think they follow both in competition with each other but the effect through a single solar cycle is not clear due to the ‘noise’ from chaotic variability.

  16. Paul Vaughan says:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/28/dana-nuccitellis-holiday-trick-for-sobering-up-quick-put-a-little-less-rum-in-your-egg-nog/#comment-1184979

    =
    Bill Illis says:
    December 28, 2012 at 6:48 pm
    As Mosher says above, the (non-existent) cloud cover datasets don’t match the CGR data.

    On the other hand, it would be nice if we has an actual cloud cover dataset. There is only fake climate model data and Hansen’s ISCCP data which noone believes.
    =

    It’s a grey area since our observing systems totally suck.

    …But this equator-pole gradient & midlatitude zonal flow business is black & white (well-constrained by laws of conservation of angular momentum & large numbers):

    …so the choice is to argue on something grey or on something black & white. I’ll go with the slam-dunk, grand-slam superiority of the latter. I suspect many prefer the tangibility of clouds – despite greyness – for layman-oriented narratives. I see the appeal & the temptation. Probably the discussion is richer for including both perspectives.

  17. Paul Vaughan says:

    Follow up …

    Southern Ocean Antarctic Circumpolar Semi-Annual Oscillation

    400 & 500 refer to pressure levels
    SLP = Sea Level Pressure
    T = Temperature
    minus sign signifies subtraction (i.e. contrast of 2 latitudes to estimate spatial gradient)
    Data: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries1.pl

    Pictures are worth many thousand words.

    Lesson: Thermal wind isn’t something that can be sensibly ignored.

    More commentary another day. Meanwhile, if anyone wants some background reading references, please feel welcome to ask now.

    Regards.

  18. tallbloke says:

    Hi Paul,
    yes please, point us to a few papers.
    I assume T400 and T500 pressure levels are in millibar?

  19. Paul Vaughan says:

    Yes TB:
    1 hPa = 1 mb


    I really like this one:

    Chen, G.; Qian, C.; Zhang, C. (2012). New insights into annual and semiannual cycles of sea level pressure. Monthly Weather Review 140, 1347-1355.

    http://home.fau.edu/czhang3/web/2012ChenZhang_MWR.pdf

    It can be extended by an order of magnitude using multi-extent quaternion wavelets (demands very serious funding – including for hardware, software development, & team of capable programmers).


    Some Background

    van Loon interview:

    http://coast.gkss.de/staff/storch/Media/interviews/vanloon.pdf

    Meehl, G.A.; Hurrell, J.W.; & van Loon, H. (1998). A modulation of the mechanism of the semiannual oscillation in the southern hemisphere. Tellus 50A, 442-450.

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/publications/meehl_hurrell_vanloon_1998.pdf

    Hurrell, J.W.; & van Loon, H. (1994). A modulation of the atmospheric annual cycle in the southern hemisphere. Tellus 46A, 325-338.

    http://www.tellusa.net/index.php/tellusa/article/viewFile/15482/17351

    van Loon, H. (1967). The half-yearly oscillations in middle and high southern latitudes and the coreless winter. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 24, 472-486.

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/1520-0469(1967)024%3C0472%3ATHYOIM%3E2.0.CO%3B2


    SAO Intro-Level Notes …

    Marika Holland = Judy Curry’s former M.Sc. & Ph.D. student …

    Raphael, M.N.; & Holland, M.M. (2006). Twentieth century simulation of the southern hemisphere climate in coupled models. Part 1: large scale circulation variability. Climate Dynamics 26, 217-228. doi:10.1007/s00382-005-0082-8.

    http://www.geog.ucla.edu/faculty/raphael/files/cdyn-raph-holl.pdf

    =
    The ability of five, global coupled climate models to simulate important atmospheric circulation characteristics in the Southern Hemisphere for the period 1960–1999 is assessed. [...] the semi-annual oscillation (SAO) [...] The models simulate a SAO
    which differs spatially from the observed over the Pacific and Indian oceans. The amplitudes are too high over the southern ocean and too low over the midlatitudes. These differences are attributed to a circumpolar trough which is too deep and extends too far north, and to the inability of the models to simulate the middle to high latitude temperature gradient.
    =
    =
    3 The semi-annual oscillation

    The SAO is an important characteristic of the SH circulation explaining more than 50% of the variability in the SLP. Apparent through the depth of the southern extra-tropical atmosphere, it is manifested by the variation in intensity and position of the Antarctic circumpolar trough (CPT). The CPT contracts, deepens and moves south in March and September and expands, weakens and moves north in June and December. These twice-yearly fluctuations in the CPT are accompanied by similar fluctuations of the tropospheric temperature gradients, geopotential heights, SLP and winds at middle and high latitudes in the SH. The net result is a semiannual exchange of mass between the Antarctic and midlatitudes so that air moves from north to south twice a year and back (van Loon 1991). While the focus of this research has been on the atmospheric manifestation of the SAO, it has been found in the ocean currents of the extratropics (Large and van Loon 1989) and in the ocean wind stress at the same latitudes (Trenberth et al. 1990).

    The SAO is thought to arise from a difference in the cooling and heating rates at latitudes near 50S and 65S where the annual temperature ranges are similar. van Loon (1967) showed that at 50S, cooling in autumn is rapid compared to warming in spring while the reverse is true at 65S. This results in a twice-yearly increase of the temperature gradient (and baroclinicity) between the middle and high latitudes. He related the difference in cooling rates to the heat storage of the upper ocean near 50S. Heat storage in the ocean delays the summer temperature maximum and winter minimum at latitudes near 50S while near (over) Antarctica there is no welldefined winter minimum. Instead temperatures drop rapidly at first in autumn and then decrease more gradually into early spring before rapidly rising into summer. See for example Fig. 3 in Meehl (1991). Using modelling studies, Meehl (1991) provided some evidence to support the idea that ocean heat storage and the annual cycle of sea surface temperature (SST) at 50S were critical to the amplitude and phase of the SAO. Additionally, Simmonds and Walland (1998) suggest that low-frequency variability in the SAO depends on the ocean–atmosphere coupling at middle and high latitudes.

    The SAO can vary in amplitude, that is, be weaker than other harmonics in individual years but is always identifiable because its phase is consistent (van Loon and Rogers 1984). The latter is why it dominates the long term mean in SLP and wind. However, the SAO changed after the late 1970s when the second peak of the harmonic remained strong into November instead of weakening after September. Concurrently, the CPT was deeper in the 1980s than in the decades before. The changes in the SAO have been related to rise in low latitude SSTs, breakdown of the polar stratospheric vortex and a change in the temperature gradient between 50S and 65S. (Hurrell and van Loon 1994; Meehl et al. 1998; Thompson and Solomon 2002). In our evaluation we examine the characteristics of the simulated SAO using the second harmonic of SLP and the zonally averaged surface air temperature and SLP.
    =

    Walland, D.; & Simmonds, I. (1999). Baroclinicity, meridional temperature gradients, and the southern semiannual oscillation. Journal of Climate 12, 3376-3382.

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/1520-0442(1999)012%3C3376%3ABMTGAT%3E2.0.CO%3B2

    =
    There has long been a conundrum in our understanding of the semiannual oscillation in surface pressure at high southern latitudes. The phenomenon is thought to be derived from the half-yearly wave in meridional temperature gradient. This can be traced back to the different phasing of the annual cycle of temperature over the Antarctic continent and over the midlatitude oceans. However, while the greatest meridional temperature gradients exist during the Southern Hemisphere autumn with a secondary maximum in spring, the lowest pressures are found in spring with the secondary maximum of the half-yearly wave in autumn. [...]
    [...] the meridional temperature gradient determines the seasonal evolution of the SAO in baroclinicity, but the static stability modulates the amplitudes of the twice-annual maxima. In spring when the static stability is low, there is a larger baroclinic response for a given horizontal temperature gradient. In autumn, however, even though the horizontal temperature gradients are larger, the higher static stability ensures that the baroclinic response is weaker. Thus we see a smaller anomaly in surface pressure.
    =


    Solar system perspective?

    Kuroda, T.; Medvedev, A.S.; Hartogh, P.; & Takahashi, M. (2008). Semiannual oscillations in the atmosphere of Mars. Geophysical Researh Letters 35, L23202. doi:10.1029/2008GL036061.


    Tim Ball quotes van Loon & Labitzke while speculating about a solar ENSO driver:

    http://drtimball.com/2012/what-causes-el-nino-la-nina-ipcc-doesnt-know-but-builds-models-and-makes-projections-anyway/

    Ball’s speculation isn’t consistent with observation in a straightforward, simple, & linear manner, but there is turbulent coherence between interannual solar wind, ENSO, LOD, VEI, & other interannual terrestrial phenomena, so let’s accept the stimulation to think more carefully about globally-constrained spatiotemporal chaos (in laymans terms: chaos in a box). The trick will be to identify a well-constrained global metric (as I’ve done for the solar-terrestrial weave). This is an interesting puzzle. If someone can crack it, immediate radical paradigm shift will be absolutely inevitable, no matter the ferocity of attempted resistance.

    Best Regards.

  20. Ulric Lyons says:

    “According to the report, when researchers look at sea surface temperature data during sunspot peak years, the tropical Pacific shows a pronounced La Nina-like pattern, with a cooling of almost 1 [deg] C in the equatorial eastern Pacific.”

    That is not true for 1969 and 1979, at those maximum’s there were El Nino conditions, as the solar wind was slower: http://snag.gy/UtqpX.jpg

    And still no mention of Joule heating of the atmosphere by the solar wind…

  21. [...] warming" isn't anywhere near what that their dodgy models predicted it would be. And also with NASA's recent admission that solar variation has a much more significant on terrestrial climate than it has hitherto been [...]

  22. [...] isn’t anywhere near what that their dodgy models predicted it would be. And also with NASA’s recent admission that solar variation has a much more significant on terrestrial climate than it has hitherto been [...]

  23. Scute says:

    NASA is starting it’s ATTREX programme tomorrow (14th January 2013). It might explain why they put out the piece above on their news page on the 8th, the day before I received this in my NASA email feed:

    Jan. 09, 2013

    Steve Cole
    Headquarters, Washington
    202-358-0918
    stephen.e.cole@nasa.gov

    Ruth Dasso Marlaire
    Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
    650-604-4709
    ruth.marlaire@nasa.gov

    RELEASE: 13-013

    NASA CHASES CLIMATE CHANGE CLUES INTO THE STRATOSPHERE

    WASHINGTON — Starting this month, NASA will send a remotely piloted
    research aircraft as high as 65,000 feet over the tropical Pacific
    Ocean to probe unexplored regions of the upper atmosphere for answers
    to how a warming climate is changing Earth.

    The first flights of the Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment
    (ATTREX), a multi-year airborne science campaign with a heavily
    instrumented Global Hawk aircraft, will take off from and be operated
    by NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in
    California. The Global Hawk is able to make 30-hour flights.

    Water vapor and ozone in the stratosphere can have a large impact on
    Earth’s climate. The processes that drive the rise and fall of these
    compounds, especially water vapor, are not well understood. This
    limits scientists’ ability to predict how these changes will
    influence global climate in the future. ATTREX will study moisture
    and chemical composition in the upper regions of the troposphere, the
    lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere. The tropopause layer between the
    troposphere and stratosphere, 8 miles to 11 miles above Earth’s
    surface, is the point where water vapor, ozone and other gases enter
    the stratosphere.

    Studies have shown even small changes in stratospheric humidity may
    have significant climate impacts. Predictions of stratospheric
    humidity changes are uncertain because of gaps in the understanding
    of the physical processes occurring in the tropical tropopause layer.
    ATTREX will use the Global Hawk to carry instruments to sample this
    layer near the equator off the coast of Central America.

    “The ATTREX payload will provide unprecedented measurements of the
    tropical tropopause,” said Eric Jensen, ATTREX principal investigator
    at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. “This is our
    first opportunity to sample the tropopause region during winter in
    the northern hemisphere when it is coldest and extremely dry air
    enters the stratosphere.”

    Led by Jensen and project manager Dave Jordan of Ames, ATTREX
    scientists installed 11 instruments in the Global Hawk. The
    instruments include remote sensors for measuring clouds, trace gases
    and temperatures above and below the aircraft, as well as instruments
    to measure water vapor, cloud properties, meteorological conditions,
    radiation fields and numerous trace gases around the aircraft.
    Engineering test flights conducted in 2011 ensured the aircraft and
    instruments operated well at the very cold temperatures encountered
    at high altitudes in the tropics, which can reach minus 115 degrees
    Fahrenheit.

    Six science flights are planned between Jan. 16 and March 15. The
    ATTREX team also is planning remote deployments to Guam and Australia
    in 2014. Scientists hope to use the acquired data to improve global
    model predictions of stratospheric humidity and composition.
    The ATTREX team consists of investigators from Ames and three other
    NASA facilities; the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., Goddard
    Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and Jet Propulsion Laboratory
    in Pasadena, Calif. The team also includes investigators from the
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Center for
    Atmospheric Research, academia, and private industry.

    ATTREX is one of the first investigations in NASA’s new Venture-class
    series of low- to moderate-cost projects. The Earth Venture missions
    are part of NASA’s Earth System Science Pathfinder Program managed by
    Langley. These small, targeted science investigations complement
    NASA’s larger science research satellite missions.

    ATTREX is one of several active science missions that will be featured
    during a NASA Airborne Science Mission media day at Dryden on Jan.
    25. Reporters interested in attending should submit requests for
    credentials to Dryden’s Public Affairs Office by Jan. 11, either by
    email at DrydenPAO@nasa.gov or by telephone at 661-276-3449. Media
    representatives wishing to participate must be U.S. citizens or
    permanent resident aliens on assignment from a verifiable media
    organization. No substitutions of non-credentialed personnel will be
    allowed.

    For more information about the ATTREX mission, visit:

    http://espo.nasa.gov/missions/attrex

    A digital ATTREX press kit is available at:

    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/events/2013/attrex.html

    -end-

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  24. [...] isn’t anywhere near what that their dodgy models predicted it would be. And also with NASA’s recent admission that solar variation has a much more significant on terrestrial climate than it has hitherto been [...]

  25. [...] underlying mechanisms. Especially now that important institutions such as NASA are admitting that solar variation has a much larger effect on the variability of the Earth’s climates than has been appreciated [...]

  26. mamapajamas says:

    Actually, it doesn’t take all that much book-learnin’ to figure out that solar variations can cause changes in the climate on earth. All you have to do is imagine the sun in an active period, throwing billions and billions of tons of superheated matter out into space. It’s enough to cause problems with satellites, light up the Northern or Southern Lights (depending on which way the planet is tilted at the time)… and maybe, just maybe, throw a curve into weather forecasts.

    Doesn’t take much imagination at all. The Old Farmer’s Almanac has been making long-term weather predictions based upon solar activity (and in recent years, adding in histories of local climate behavior during certain solar activity sequences for each region) for centuries. Considering that the US Weather Bureau can’t track weather more than a week in advance, the OFA’s got a pretty good success record. ;)

  27. […] this reverse ferret by one of Britain's leading climate scientists, for instance. NASA thinks that global warning may partly be the fault of the sun. (Note to Lefties: that's the large, yellow orb in the sky, not the Rupert Murdoch-owned […]