Archive for the ‘Natural Variation’ Category


………….A good attempt to try and see through the fog of the ‘climate wars.’

Originally posted on Climate Etc.:

by Judith Curry

This past week, there have been several essays and one debate that provide some good perspectives on what we don’t know about climate change, and whether we should be alarmed.

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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.


There is a new open access paper published in Environmental Research Letters by Yannick Peings and Gudrun Magnusdottir entitled ‘Forcing of the wintertime atmospheric circulation by the multidecadal fluctuations of the North Atlantic ocean’. It’s another blow to the ‘bad winter weather is caused by us wicked humans’ doom mongers such as Met Office chief scientist Julia Slingo. 

Click for larger image

Click for larger image


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.


My thanks to Tony Thomas for giving the talkshop the exclusive of his take on this breaking news item:

Gergis findings re-surface – the Hockey Stick lives!

By Tony Thomas 31-03-2014

josh-gergisHello again Hockey Stick, goodbye global Medieval Warming Period.

These are the conclusions of a multi-proxy 1000-year climate reconstruction published today (March 31) in Nature Climate Change, by Dr Raphael Neukom of the Oeschger Centre at the University of Bern, and Dr Joelle Gergis of the University of Melbourne.

Dr  Neukom   summed up for a University of Melbourne press release:

The study showed the ‘Medieval Warm Period’, as identified in some European chronicles, was a regional phenomenon. 

During the same period, temperatures in the Southern Hemisphere were only average. Our study revealed it was not a common climate event that many people have previously assumed.

The paper claims that in 99.7 percent of the results, the warmest decade of the millennium occurred after 1970.

The press release says,“And surprisingly, only twice over the entire past millennium have both hemispheres simultaneously shown extreme temperatures.

One of these occasions was a global cold period in the 17th century; the other was the current warming phase”.”[1]


level_playing_fieldTwitter climate debate warrior ‘Ima Disbelievin‘ sent me this short article which is worth a post. It’s a followup to the Tony Thomas article a week or so back which covered the story about the American Physical Society APS reworking their position statement on climate change and global warming.

In the American Physical Science’s transcript of discussions relating to their upcoming revision of their position statement on Anthropogenic Climate Change, Dr. Collins states:

So, we build climate models. We assume when we construct those models that the net energy balance of the planet was identically zero or effectively zero at the start of industrialization.


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.


This is a major new paper published in the March issue of prestigious journal ‘Solar Physics’ by solar-planetary theorists Ken McCracken, Jurg Beer and Friedhelm Steinhilber, which makes a newer and more extensive analysis of planetary motion in relation to the Carbon 14 and Beryllium 10 Glactic cosmic ray proxies than the 2400 yr Hallstat cycle study we looked at yesterday. The paper has been in the works a long time (submitted in July 2012), achieving final acceptance in late February this year. I can’t make the whole paper available due to copyright restrictions, but the abstract gives a clue as to the content. I’ve added one of the figures up to help convey some of the more important results. I’ve also appended the bibliography, as this isn’t part of the paper’s main text, it’s great to see Geoff Sharp and Ian Wilson getting citations. We can discuss other parts of their paper in comments. Boy is Martin Rasmussen going to look stupid in the future, by axing PRP for publishing our solar-planetary special edition.



Here we have  two fine scientists who have written an excellent and easily readable paper, well supported by the evidence they cite.

2400-year cycle in atmospheric radiocarbon concentration: bispectrum of 14C data over the last 8000 years
S. S. Vasiliev and V. A. Dergachev

Received: 5 September 2000 – Revised: 6 August 2001 – Accepted: 21 August 2001