The Dendro CRU: Barking up the wrong tree

Posted: November 24, 2011 by tallbloke in climate, Ocean dynamics, solar system dynamics

In email 3673 of the Climategate II files Phil Jones says:

Re: AW: Re: geomagnetic field and climate
> Jacopo,
> I’m not suggesting fraud, just that Bard/Delaygue weren’t able to reproduce
> what Courtillot et al claimed to have done.
> Courtillot et al may be considered high profile scientists, but this is
> in a non-climate field. The issue here is that they are not fully
>aware of all the literature in the climate field. They are very  selective of
>the papers they cite and the journal EPSL isn’t considered mainstream in
>the climate field. They tend to publish in what I would refer to as the
>non-climate literature. In this respect the editors have a harder time
>knowing they are getting access to the best climate reviewers.

> To get another (may be similar) view to mine, I’d contact Thomas
> Stocker in Bern.
> Thomas like me was involved in the 2007 IPCC Report.
> These papers weren’t considered for the IPCC as they were after the
> deadline of mid-summer 2007. I doubt they would have been referred to,
> as they are not in mainstream climate journals.
> The IPCC 2007 WG1 Report is the most authoritative document you
> can read on the subject. There is no dispute (see Ch 9) in the IPCC
> WG1 2007 that solar output changes explain some of the temperature
> increase in the first half of the 20th century. Why I was pointing out
> the Lockwood/Frohlich paper is that it shows natural forcing
> (the sun and volcanoes) should have caused a cooling since the 1960s.
> Lockwood/Frohlich realise this, but Courtillot et al don’t seem to.
> As we have to invoke the positive effect of greenhouse gases
>and the negative effect of sulphate aerosols to explain recent warming, you
>can only ignore sulphate aerosols (as it is small) earlier in the 20th century.
> So the sun can’t explain all the increase as greenhouse gases were going
> up then as well (albeit less so).
> When I say invoking above I mean giving best estimates of past forcing to
> climate model simulations of the 20th century.
> Cheers
> Phil


Palm -> Face

Where to start?  I think for now I’ll leave aside the issues concerning peer review and barriers to cross discipliniary co-operation around climate science and discuss Phil Jones Woeful lack of understanding of how solar energy is stored in Earth’s climate system.

 natural forcing 
(the sun and volcanoes) should have caused a cooling since the 1960s

This is  (deliberate?) ignorance in all it’s naked glory. Has it really not occurred to Phil Jones and the CRU team that although the peak amplitudes of the solar cycles declined after 1958 the cycles were still well above the long term average since records began?

If I start heating a pan of water at gas mark 6, does it start cooling down if I reduce the flame to gas mark 5?

The ocean has a very very big heat capacity. If Kevin trenberth believes the lack of warming of the last decade is due to the missing co2 heat being hidden in the ocean deep, why can’t Phil Jones consider the possibility that the ocean retains solar energy on multi-decadal timescales??

I refer Phil Jones Claus Frolich and Mike Lockwood to the post I made 18 months ago:

  1. Joe Lalonde says:

    Salt in the oceans changed.
    Yet these scientists did not bother to link this to the differences in solar penetration and precipitation changes.

    Click to access curryetal_nature2003.pdf

    Velocity has a great deal to do with circulation.

    Click to access world-calculations.pdf

    Click to access world-calculations-2.pdf

    90% of the world fresh water travels to the upper latitudes
    Water vapor never crosses the equator.
    The angle of the planet also contributes to the difficulty of going against a faster velocity.

  2. tallbloke says:

    Joe, thanks for providing some links to provide background to your ideas. Have you considered the relative power of centrifugal force compared to the other physical processes which affect the position of salt ions in the water column?

    Ive bookmarked the Curry et al paper for a read – thanks.

  3. Joe Lalonde says:


    Thanks sincerely!
    Centrifugal force is a very interesting in changing speeds.
    Apply this to other planets such as Venus and due to the LACK of centrifugal force, the gravity is heavier.
    This is using forward momentum of our solar system as the basis of gravity as a major driver but not totally the cause of gravity.

  4. Joe Lalonde says:

    When comparing the velocity mapping to the heavier salt concentrations…
    The velocity only drops about 100km/hr to the 20 degree latitude. After that it starts to drop sharply and THAT is where the heavier salt concentrations are located.
    Is it the circulation?
    More than likely.

  5. M.A.Vukcevic says:

    Listen to Hathaway on sunspots, ‘no Grand Maximum, global warming etc.
    (Long interview recorded on 22/11/11 Hathaway’s voice @4 min in, @ 20 min out)

  6. Roger Andrews says:

    Hi TB:

    The question of solar heat retention in the ocean is where I came in on this blog, so I thought it might be appropriate to link to some of the graphs I posted earlier that show evidence for a solar-SST link.

    First is my reconstruction of your integrated SSN number vs. HadSST2:

    Second is the same plot vs. corrected HadSST2, i.e. with the bogus 1940 shift correction removed. It looks a lot better:

    Third is the remarkable cyclicity we see when we subtract unadjusted (ICOADS) SST from the GISS “meteorological station only” series:

    Fourth is the equally remarkable correlation between this cyclicity and detrended Lean solar:

    Fifth is the excellent fit we get to ICOADS SST using Tim C’s solar cycles:

    And sixth is the truly remarkable match between ICOADS SST and relative sea lever rise (which suggests that thermal expansion, not ice melt, is the dominant control on SLR)

    Of course, none of these examples prove anything by themselves, but when taken together they make it difficult to escape the conclusion that old man sun is the dominant control on SSTs (and presumably OHC) even if we might not completely understand the mechanisms involved.

    Which brings us to the question of why Phil Jones thinks otherwise. Well, one obvious reason is that he has to – if CO2 didn’t cause the warming then he’s out of a job. But another is that he’s using the “official” HadSST2 series (as do you), and you don’t see these correlations when you use HadSST2. But as noted above HadSST2 is unquestionably wrong, and while I can’t guarantee that the ICOADS series I use is right it’s hard to see how the results shown above could all be artifacts of bad data.

  7. Stephen Wilde says:

    “It is true that, as the alarmists say, since 1961 the average level of TSI has been approximately level if one averages out the peaks and troughs from solar cycles 19 through to 23.

    However, those solar cycles show substantially higher levels of TSI than have ever previously occurred in the historical record.

    Because of the height of the TSI level one cannot simply ignore it as the IPCC and the modellers have done.

    The critical issue is that having achieved such high levels of TSI by 1961 the sun was already producing more heat than was required to maintain a stable Earth temperature. On that basis alone the theory of AGW cannot be sustained and should now die.

    Throughout the period 1961 to about 2001, there was a steady cumulative net warming effect from the sun. The fact that the TSI was, on average, level during that period is entirely irrelevant and misleading.”

    from here:

    “The Death Blow To Anthropogenic Global Warming”

    June 4th 2008

  8. tallbloke says:

    Excellent contributions gentlemen, thank you both. It’s about time the climate mandarins in the royal society took a stroll up the corridors of power to whisper gently in the ears of our spurious leaders that THE GAME IS UP. 🙂

  9. Stephen Wilde says:

    Strange, first attempt didn’t show up on my computer. Feel free to delete the duplicate post and this one.

  10. tallbloke says:

    Stephen, for some odd reason unknown to me, you first attempt dropped in the spam bin. Mind you, things have been busy here the last couple of days, so maybe the wordpress spambot is tired and making errors…

  11. tallbloke says:

    Vuk, thanks for the podcast link, I like listening to Hathaway.

  12. Stephen Wilde says:

    “even if we might not completely understand the mechanisms involved. ”

    I’m pretty sure that I do.

    An active sun alters the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere especially at the poles so that the polar air masses shrink horizontally whilst the polar vortex intensifies vertically and the jets become more zonal. That results in less global cloudiness and more solar energy into the oceans. El Nino becomes stronger relative to La Nina and the troposphere warms.

    A less active sun does the opposite.

    Fits the observations perfectly.

  13. Verity Jones says:

    This is appalling:

    On Feb 6, 2008 8:21 AM, Phil Jones wrote: [to Jim Hansen]

    > Jim,
    I see you’re down for a meeting in London tomorrow and Friday.
    I have been having something of a run in with a French scientist called
    Vincent Courtillot. He is making Edouard Bard’s life awful in French.
    If you’re there on the Friday when Vincent is talking then tell him he’s
    just completely wrong. He will likely say the climate isn’t warming and
    even if it was it has little to do with greenhouse gases. So shouldn’t
    be difficult!!
    I’m lecturing here in Norwich to students so can’t make it to London.
    If you’re not there on the Friday,just make sure one or two reasonable
    scientists are aware that they have invited a bit of rogue!


  14. tchannon says:

    Earth temperature is largely due to

    • Orbital distance
    • Gravity
    • Atmospheric mass
    • On top of which is very likely 1/f noise

    Historically the effect of a pairing of two of those items is completely unknown in planet history: surface air pressure. It so happens a paper on just that is due from Nature but seems to be delayed.

    I suspect air pressure was higher long ago and is the likely explanation for the “faint sun paradox”, which has various explanations, none of which work, usually involving hand flapping over greenhouse gases except it doesn’t work. Air pressure is the key.

    It’s worth bearing in mind one of the AGW underpinnings. This erroneously assumes carbon formed unoxidised (which I doubt). This would cause a higher air pressure, which reduces as biological activity consumes the carbon dioxide turning it into rock. We really know diddle about the early solar system, lots of theories but zero controlled experimental confirmation, like so much else in science today. (the reverse process is the demon of agw but is so far removed from rationality… they have the chicken and egg wrong (and I know where it went wrong))

    Steven Wilde mentions shorter term air pressure but I’m not sure the change is the same thing I am talking about, which is larger. That said, vapour pressure will play a part.

    This also fits with the probably correctly identified defect in GCM, to me amusing as a long time user of in essence finite element, are less than 3D.

    The details of how the atmosphere actually adjusts is still a work in progress, I still don’t understand enough.

    I might have written too much. Not really ready.

  15. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Stephen Wilde mentions shorter term air pressure but I’m not sure the change is the same thing I am talking about, which is larger. That said, vapour pressure will play a part.”

    Short term redistribution of surface air pressure makes the fine adjustments to energy flow through the system by altering the size position and intensity of the permanent climate zones.

    Long term it is total global atmospheric pressure that sets the energy value of the latent heat of vapourisation and so the energy cost of a given amount of evaporation. That is what controls the total system energy content (mostly in the oceans) because it sets the rate of energy loss per unit of evaporation.

    I’ve submitted a guest post to rog which covers this aspect in the context of the entire climate system and which I hope rog will post shortly.

    It also covers the way the atmosphere adjusts to achieve a stable system energy content in the face of all significant forcings.

    The faint sun paradox can be resolved by positing a change in the speed or volume of the water cycle since then. Shifting and redistributing the climate zones would achieve the necessary adjustment in the flow of energy through the system.

  16. tchannon says:

    Don’t think there is a conflict.

  17. tchannon says:

    Some light relief and yes TB gets mentioned,

  18. Joe Lalonde says:


    I could probably write a book just on centrifugal force because it is a very large area of study.
    There are many types of centrifugal force with many characteristics to each type.
    Another process is…
    Angles of strength to weaknesses, etc.
    For instance at 90 degrees to the rotating flat plane is the maximum strength. A planet has multiple planes due to the different velocities and different angles of curved surface. Changing the angles makes centrifugal force extremely weak.

    Our planet and solar system have very interesting coincidences that you would not normally notice until someone points them out.
    What is the size of our planets core? Interesting coincidence is that it is also the areas of the highest electrical activity such as thunder storms.
    The rotation of planets. Only the first two planets have a very different rotational velocity. The rest of the planets are withing one day no matter the size or density.

    If people did not think differently from one another, we would loose that ability to explore different avenues. Our biggest problem is communicating out what is in our minds to one another.

  19. Dean Brooks says:

    Thanks to tchannon for linking to my ‘Pot Lid’ paper above.

    For whatever it is worth, the faint early sun paradox is easily explained using the argument in my paper. I considered adding a section to spell this aspect out, but decided the paper was plenty long and controversial already.

    Adding water vapor to the atmosphere causes a massive rise in temps in the upper troposphere. This is Meteorology 101, the fall in lapse rate from 9.9 C/km to a global average of 6.5 C/km. Such a rise in temps ought to cause a similarly large downward shift in density, cooling the sea level air. Again, it’s very basic stuff, the ideal gas law plus gravity.

    The atmosphere doesn’t do this in the IPCC-approved GCM’s because they are hydrostatically constrained. Large upward or downward shifts in air density can’t happen. This means that all the GCM’s show water vapor feedback as positive when it is actually negative.

    Now, for what it is worth, a strong negative feedback of this kind also makes the faint early sun paradox much less paradoxical. With negative feedback you have very low overall climate sensitivity to changes in solar input flux. A 30 percent drop in flux becomes a relatively small drop in temperature, and we avoid “snowball Earth” conditions.

    I don’t mean to derail the original discussion. But the point seems relevant to the discussion of Phil Jones and his understanding (or lack thereof) of solar forcing.

  20. Otter says:

    Question! If I may:

    If I recall rightly, the sun took a fair-sized drop in geomagnetic activitiy, late in 2005.

    The thought struck me only moments ago… could there be any correllation between geomagnetic activity, and the flipping of the PDO to cold phase? I’m just wondering if ocean mechanics have a delayed response to such changes.

    Sorry if the question is badly worded, doing this on the fly.

  21. tallbloke says:

    Hi otter, good Q.

    in my experience, whenever you ask oceanographers tricky questions, you get as many different answers as there are oceanographers.

    Seawater contains a lot of metallic ions: sodium particularly. How the varying salinity (and it varies a lot) affects the conductivity and flows i don’t know. The nature and power of the electrical interaction of the ocean with the Earth’s magnetic field is an interesting and poorly understood area. I suggest you google around and report back.

  22. tchannon says:

    Good question Otter.

    I think there are distinct modal changes in a number of different things but none of this is clearly understood nor even clearly the case.

    I suspect the answer is no. Reason: geomagnetic activity is one of the longest datasets, if not very accurate. I am unaware of a similar change similarly coherent with past PDO phase change. Sadly you will have to return in hundreds of years to get the answers.

  23. P.G. Sharrow says:

    @Tallbloke; Speaking of “Q”.
    In electronic circuits the “Q” is the coupling between circuits and is the factor that controls signal or energy transferred between circuits. The higher the “Q” the better the coupling. The earth’s magnetic field has been dropping and the sun’s field has been dropping, the “Q” has been reduced, less coupling, a reduction of energy transferred within the coupling field is the result.
    Now which chicken laid which egg? 😎 pg