Archive for the ‘Cycles’ Category

Jennifer Marohasy has a new post “Revisionist Approach Destroys Information About Natural Cycles Embedded in Climate Data” where there is underlying interest for Talkshop readers. Mention of Ken Ring is perhaps not so good given a reputation for excessive claims, caveat emptor.

Her take is from an Australian perspective mentioning a Senator and the lead author is Australian.

Periodicities in mean sea-level fluctuations and climate change proxies: Lessons from the modelling for coastal management
R.G.V. Baker, , S.A. McGowan
BCSS, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia
Available online 12 July 2014

Elsevier so it is paywalled


Paul’Vaughan posted a link to this plot on the tail end of a long running thread which has dropped off the front page now, so I thought I’s give it prominence today. It’s a ‘food for thought’ starter – the main course will be served as and when Paul has time.


It’s all coming together. Both Paul and I have been working on the sunspot integral over the last several years. Back in 2009 I found that by subtracting the average sunspot number at which the ocean neither gains nor loses energy from the monthly value and summing the running total, I could make use of the sunspot integral as a proxy for ocean heat content (OHC).


Prolific solar-planetary scientist and long-time talkshop friend Nicola Scafetta has a new paper published in Physica A entitled ‘Global temperatures and sunspot numbers. Are they related? Yes, but non linearly. A reply to Gil-Alana et al. (2014)’ which comments on Gil-Alana et al 2014; a paper purporting to dismiss any correlation between solar activity and terrestrial surface temperature. Nicola gently points out the limitations of their methods and patiently explains how the astronomical-solar signal can be found in the data. Here is Figure 3 to whet your appetite:



Fig. 3. (A) Annually solved HadCRUT3 global surface temperature record [34] from 1850 to 2013. (B) Power spectrum density functions calculated using the MEM method (using M = N/2 = 82) and the MTM periodogram f (p) [35,36]: the calculations were made with the SSA–MTM Toolkit. Several spectral peaks (e.g.: at about 9.1, 10.4, 20 and 60 yr) are statistically significant above the 95% confidence level, and their solar, lunar and astronomical origin is explained in the literature (e.g.: Scafetta [10,32,33,25]).

Nicola also provides plots of several of the various solar and temperature related indices and techniques for representing them over a wide range of timescales which clearly demonstrate the plain fact of the close coherence between the activity of our host star which supplies all our energy, and the fluctuations of the lovely moderate temperatures we live in on the surface of our planet.


I found a book by Peter Hubers which uses Length of Day (LOD) variation as a case study in data analysis. It contains information which may be relevant to our ongoing investigation of the effects the spatio-temporal distribution of the planets may have on solar variation and terrestrial rotation and climatic variation.

Hubers cites a 1995 paper by Stephenson and Morrison and his own Hubers 2006 paper which reconstructs the long term variation and decadal in LOD from ancient and modern astronomical records of eclipses in the figure below, which I have annotated in red to show the inexact nature of the periodicity of the ‘cycle’.



The Moon is responsible for the secular +2.3ms/cy in LOD with the post glacial rebound responsible for approximately -0.6ms/cy




From Physorg, news of a new paper  which may shed light on the rapid warming at the end of the last ice age. The young scientists don’t mention Milankovitch cycles in this presser, but these are slow to change in comparison to the rapid deglaciation, so maybe their theory lends something to the story. It does lead me to wonder if the precession cycle might be involved with bringing the oceanic oscillations into synch though.

From Here you can see the original waveforms of the two different kick-drum samples. It's clear that they are drifting in and out of phase with each other. The resulting phase cancellation made it impossible to arrive at a consistent sound, so Mike had to edit them back into phase before processing.

Here you can see the original waveforms of the two different kick-drum samples. It’s clear that they are drifting in and out of phase with each other. The resulting phase cancellation made it impossible to arrive at a consistent sound, so Mike had to edit them back into phase before processing.

Synchronization of North Atlantic, North Pacific preceded abrupt warming, end of ice age

A newly published study by researchers at Oregon State University probed the geologic past to understand mechanisms of abrupt climate change. The study pinpoints the emergence of synchronized climate variability in the North Pacific Ocean and the North Atlantic Ocean a few hundred years before the rapid warming that took place at the end of the last ice age about 15,000 years ago.

The study suggests that the combined warming of the two oceans may have provided the tipping point for abrupt warming and rapid melting of the northern ice sheets.

“If we really do cross such a boundary in the future, we should probably take a long-term perspective and realize that change will become the new normal. It may be a wild ride.”

Results of the study, which was funded by the National Science Foundation, appear this week in Science.


Physorg has a story on a new reconstruction of volcanic activity from ice cores in Antarctica. It’s fairly strong on boilerplate but there is an interesting kicker near the end of the article:

A team of scientists led by Michael Sigl and Joe McConnell of Nevada’s Desert Research Institute (DRI) has completed the most accurate and precise reconstruction to date of historic volcanic sulfate emissions in the Southern Hemisphere.

“Both observations and model results show that not all eruptions lead to the same spatial pattern of sulfate deposition,” said Matthew Toohey from the German institute GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel. He added, “Spatial variability in sulfate deposition means that the accuracy of volcanic sulfate reconstructions depends strongly on having a sufficient number of ice core records from as many different regions of Antarctica as possible.”


Image courtesy of Printers Inc. They have prints on sale. Click for more info


I love the Nora Batty style wrinkled stockings on the demure waitress. :)

I got the snap below the break in Otley. It was a reet grand day out, marred only by the local favourite crashing 500m short of the finish line in Harrogate, or ‘Arrergut’ as it’s pronounced round ‘ere.




David Archibald’s prediction for global average temperature 2014-2025

David Archibald’s post at has stirred some interesting debate here at the talkshop. David predicts an imminent and steep drop in regional temperatures as a result of the slowdown in solar activity seen since the descent of solar cycle 23 in 2003. It’s not the first time he has made such predictions. As Nick Stokes pointed out in discussion, Archibald told the Australian senate committee in 2009 that temperature was about to go down at a scary 0.2C per annum. It didn’t happen. But David says it’s different this time, because a decade has passed since solar cycle 23 dropped towards a long minimum, followed by the weak cycle 24 we are currently in. The decadal lag is implied by David Evan’s new hypothesis which identifies a ‘notch filter’ which points to a cycle-long lag between changes in solar activity and the effect becoming visible in the terrestrial response. David goes on to predict that due to Penn and Livingstone’s prediction of a very low sunspot number in cycle 25, we are headed for drastic cooling.

There are several points on which I disagree with David’s analysis, and I’ll cover them below the break.


Thanks to commenter ‘psc3113′ for finding the concluding part of HC Russells’ paper on a lunar 19 year cycle in drought records, taken from The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 – 1939)  Saturday 4 July 1896. At the conclusion of the article, the probably cause of the 19 year cycle identified is elucidated.

Periodicity of Good and Bad Seasons
(Continued from last Week.)

Hurricanes Come in Droughts.
I should like it to be clearly understood that I do not mean ordinary hurricanes, which are as much parts of ordinary weather conditions in some parts of the world as our southerly winds are here. What I mean are extraordinary hurricanes, those that come at long intervals to terrify mankind by their power for destruction. These are connected with droughts, and, therefore should be discussed here. I had long since observed that the connection between the two was obvious enough sometimes, and during the past year I was reminded of it very often by the frequent reports of heavy gales met with by ships coming to this port, indicating great atmospheric energy. Then on the 3rd January, 1803, came the hurricane over the Tongan group of islands, and not one of the vessels in the harbour rode out the storm; every one of them was wrecked in the harbour before morning, and the wind was of such exceptional violence that after it was over the islands looked as if they had been bombarded.

Then I turned to storms on this coast, some of which were of terrible violence. And as I write, the 28th ‘May, we have the report of a terrible cyclone in America, by which three of the States, Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana were damaged and the city of St. Louis wrecked. and 1300 people killed by falling buildings, and damage to property caused to the extent, estimated, of twenty million dollars; another fragment of the present D drought.


From Ian Wilson’s Astro-Climate Connection blog:


The Moon’s orbit is tilted by approximately five degrees compared to the Earth-Sun plane. The net affect of this is that the strength of Lunar-tides at a given latitude on the Earth’s surface vary in strength over a cycle of 18.6 years. This 18.6 year Draconic cycle is also clearly evident in the small changes that take place in the rate of rotation of the Earth.


I’m of the opinion that before getting into the complexity of numerical modelling, it’s wise to put considerable effort into trying to understand the physical processes at work in the climate system, and the origins of the energy flows that drive them. David Evans’ recent series of posts over at Jo Nova’s site have generated a lot of interesting discussion (despite being roundly ignored by Anthony Watts at WUWT), and I think we can shed some light on the ‘mysterious 11yr lag’ between solar input and climate response.


An interesting series of posts has appeared at Jo Nova’s site. Jo’s husband, David Evans has done some competent analysis work to unravel the observed ~11 yr ‘delay’ in terrestrial climatic response to solar input. Of interest is the obervation that the solar polar magnetic fields are in the process of weakeneing and changing sign near solar maximum. It is suspected that this is connected with the delay. Head on over to read the posts and comment there as well as here.

Figure 6: The amplitudes of the empirical transfer function when the data is restricted in the ways marked (that is, using a subset of the data used to find Figure 5). The black line and the gray zone are as in Figure 5.

BIG NEWS Part I: Historic development — New Solar climate model coming
BIG NEWS Part II: For the first time – a mysterious notch filter found in the climate
BIG NEWS Part III: The notch means a delay
BIG NEWS part IV: A huge leap understanding the mysterious 11 year solar delay

I have made a comment, reproduced below the break.



A very important topic indeed, thanks to Judith Curry for raising it.

Originally posted on Climate Etc.:

by Judith Curry

 . . . suggesting that Dansgaard-Oeschger events resulted from a combination of the effects of sea ice and ice shelves—structures that help define the margins of ice sheets—to account for both the rapid and the slower parts of the cycle.

View original 1,221 more words

Balancing act

Balancing act

A 2010 paper by University College London (UCL) reported:
‘Evidence from ice-core and marine records for the last glacial period and climate models has supported this bipolar seesaw process, but the extent to which its operation is affected by climate conditions and the hydrological cycle remains unclear. This new study, published in February’s Nature Geoscience, shows that the bipolar see-saw was a feature of the penultimate glacial period, but that its operation was also modified by the background climate state.’

Now a new paper on this topic has appeared.


Where next for sunspots? These magnetic phenomena may be dancing to a tune, but we’re still not sure what it is.

Originally posted on Inform The Pundits!:

NASA: April 16th, 2012 prominence

Another new solar sunspot record peak of 73.2 was set for Cycle 24 last month. It smashed the old 68.9 record peak set the previous month.

In a big surprise, it’s over six spots higher than the first sunspot peak set in early 2012 and will probably go up. A secondary peak that much above the first is almost unheard of.

The new sunspot peak is unusual for two conflicting reasons:

  1. The secondary peak is higher than the first
  2. Current physics suggests the solar cycle should be weakening

Conflicting signals coming from the sun muddles how it might affect earth’s future climate. A more active sun will have a warming effect. A less active sun, predicted by most solar physicists, will have a cooling effect.

The sun hasn’t decided what it wants to do yet.

The Royal Observatory of Belgium’s Solar Information Data Center (SIDC)…

View original 548 more words

From the Hockey Schtick, via the GWPF, news of a new paper supporting the Svensmark hypothesis:

10/04/14 The Hockey Schtick

cloudsA paper published today in Environmental Research Letters corroborates the Svensmark cosmic ray theory of climate, whereby tiny 0.1% changes in solar activity are amplified via the effect on cosmic rays and cloud formation, which in turn may control global temperatures.

The authors find cosmic ray variations due to changes over solar cycles may have as much as 10 times larger effect than previous studies have estimated. The paper also finds that a tiny 0.2C temperature increase increases the cosmic ray induced cloud condensation nuclei by around 50%, thus acting as a natural homeostatic mechanism. 


lollianus-mavortiusQuintus Flavius Maesius Egnatius Lollianus signo Mavortius (fl. 330 – 356) was a politician of the Roman Empire. Known as Roman consul Lolliano Mavorzio in the local dialect, an acephalous [headless] statue of Mavortius was discovered in Puteoli, then Pozzuoli (near Naples, Italy) in the C18th. He was Governor of Campania from 328 to 335, comes Orientis from 330 to 336, Proconsul of Africa from 334 to 337, Praefectus urbi of Rome in 342,Consul in 355 and Praetorian prefect of Italy for Constantius II between 355 and 356.

Being a well travelled man who had probably conversed with the scribes of   the Serapeum, had made many naked eye observations of the heavens, and taking a strong interest in the subject himself, he encouraged the senatorial writer Julius Firmicus Maternus to write an astrological essay, the Matheseos libri VIII. It is among the last extensive handbooks of a “scientific” astrology that circulated in the West before the appearance of Arabic texts in the 12th century. According to Firmicus Maternus, the system of horoscopic astrology was given early on to an Egyptian pharaoh named Nechepso and his priest Petosiris. The Hermetic texts were also put together during this period.


This is a repost of an article by Richard Merrick  published on the website. This is highly relevant to the research Stuart ‘Oldbrew’ and I have been doing to try to define the mechanism by which sufficient energy is being passed between planets and the Sun to account for the observations we have been making in our Why Phi? series:

Harmonic Formation
By Richard Merrick

How do harmonics form?

As waves reflect and resonate inside a container or cavity, they cross one another. As they cross, they exchange energy at specific locations called ‘damping wells.’ In quantum mechanics this is explained by Landau-Zener theory (1932).

Known as Landau damping, waves that pass through one another mostly transparently, avoiding a direct collision, are called ‘avoided crossings.’ In such cases, energy is exchanged in a ‘parameter zone’ where one wave pushes against another, creating a kind of spinning well or vortex action. Like a kind of switch, energy is passed ‘adiabatically’ (without heat loss) across the damping well in a kind of torque action.



We can think of the damping well as a kind of low-pressure zone much like those in our atmosphere that create storms, hurricanes and tornados. The surrounding pressure differential causes an implosion toward the center of the low-pressure zone, forming a vortex.


wpid-PRP-Censured.jpgOver the last five years there’s been a revival of an old hypothesis which suggests that the motion of the planets around the Sun modulates its output, and that variation in the Sun’s output affects the Earth’s weather and in the longer term, shifts in regional and global climate. This revival has been most visible here in the blogosphere, where ideas can be kicked around with less professional reputational risk, and a faster exchange and development of concepts and narratives can take place. There has also been a steady trickle of papers published in the scientific literature relevant to the theory, and these have been championed and denigrated by bloggers on both sides of the issue.

Naturally, in the overheated atmosphere of the climate debate, the second part of the idea is especially controversial, with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change telling us that human emitted ‘greenhouse gases’ are the primary driver of global warming since the middle of the last century. They also say the Sun’s variation has very little effect on climate change. An IPCC author recently took exception to our special edition on the theory and got the journal we published it in axed. The first part of the idea is controversial too, as the received wisdom from most mainstream solar physicists is that the planets are too small and too far from the Sun for their motion to affect it. They are sure that the Sun runs an internal ‘dynamo’ (Babcock & Leighton) and ‘chronometer’ (Dicke) which accounts for the observations of its cyclic variations that have been made over the centuries.


H/T to Gerry Pease for alerting me to this paper from last year by Steinhilber and Beer which lays out a solar prediction from their analysis of their reconstruction of solar activity from proxy data.

Prediction of solar activity for the next 500 years
Friedhelm Steinhilber1 and Jürg Beer1
Received 18 May 2012; revised 18 February 2013; accepted 2 March 2013.

Recently, a new low-noise record of solar activity has been reconstructed for the past 9400 years by combining two 10Be records from Greenland and Antarctica with 14C fromtree rings [Steinhilber et al., 2012]. This record confirms earlier results, namely, that the Sun has varied with distinct periodicities in the past. We present a prediction of mean solar magnetic activity averaged over 22 years for the next 500 years mainly based on the spectral information derived from the solar activity record of the past. Assuming that the Sun will continue to vary with the same periodicities for the next centuries, we extract the spectral information from the past and apply it to two different methods to predict the future of solar magnetic activity.