Paul Vaughan: Comparing Sea Surface Temperature With Solar Data

Posted: November 16, 2012 by tallbloke in climate, data, Natural Variation, Ocean dynamics, solar system dynamics

Pual Vaughan has sent me an interesting plot indicating a strong relationship between SST and Solar Data, including curves derived from part of Leif Svalgaard’s homogenised SSN series and the current SIDC series. Hopefully he will be available for discussion.

On WUWT’s Isaac Held article by Alec Rawls, he adds a few notes:

Paul Vaughan says:
November 15, 2012 at 8:51 pm
1. Multidecadal Sea Level
2. Solar Cycle Deceleration — via:
(a) International Sunspot Numbers
(b) Ironed Sun Total Solar Irradiance (ISTSI) (Svalgaard)
3. Sea Surface Temperature
(a) Pacific Ocean
(b) Northern Hemisphere

  1. Doug Proctor says:

    Gee. Imagine that. What part of being outdoors on a sunny day don’t the warmists get about the sun warming the surface?

    Sunshine Hours need to be taken into account: the ground is more concerned with what solar energy reaches it than what is above it. Although global sunshine hours are not available with good precision and accuracy, if enough local records were used -AND THEN USED AS PROXIES for the global, I bet the solar connection would be clear.

    Not that I haven’t done it once …

  2. Paul Vaughan says:

    WUWT wasn’t the first place I shared that:

    But I have just volunteered some notes & graphs at WUWT:

    TB & Others: Have you carefully studied this? (Everyone please speak up on this.)

    Wyatt, M.G.; Kravtsov, S.; & Tsonis, A.A. (2011). Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and Northern Hemisphere’s climate variability. Climate Dynamics. doi: 10.1007/s00382-011-1071-8.

    I will also draw attention to a recent publication:

    Chambers, D.P.; Merrifield, M.A.; & Nerem, R.S. (2012). Is there a 60-year oscillation in global mean sea level? Geophysical Research Letters 39, L18607. doi:10.1029/2012GL052885.

    The authors correctly suspect circulatory (wind) integration.

    (According to vukcevic’s pressure-temperature storyline, it’s a 15 year North Atlantic “lag”, but it’s more accurate to describe it spatiotemporally as global 0-lag quadrature. The North Atlantic catches eyes – often leading to misinterpretation – because it’s susceptible to high amplitude modulation.)

  3. Paul Vaughan says:

    @Doug Proctor (November 16, 2012 at 3:32 pm)

    Narrow fixation on global averages is not the path to enlightenment.

    Exploration of aggregate constraints on temporal evolution of spatial gradient fields is the path clearly suggested by well-constrained earth orientation parameter data.

    Tim C’s synthesizer is the hammer that precisely pounds strictly-temporal temporally-stationary nails, but the hammer is neither designed for nor capable of pounding infinite nonstationary turbulent networks of spatiotemporally coupled oscillators.

    Moving forward, sensible parties will pay lucidly careful attention to spatiotemporal aggregation criteria.

    Marcia Wyatt is planning studies that will address the general spirit of your concerns, but not using the incorrect (global average) metric you suggest.


  4. tallbloke says:

    Wyatt, M.G.; Kravtsov, S.; & Tsonis, A.A. (2011). Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and Northern Hemisphere’s climate variability. Climate Dynamics. doi: 10.1007/s00382-011-1071-8.

    I haven’t found a freely available copy yet but Pielke Sr blogged it some time ago:

  5. tallbloke says:

    Paul Vaughan says:
    November 16, 2012 at 4:28 pm
    WUWT wasn’t the first place I shared that:

    Ah, quite so. I don’t always spot comments incoming at 4am. 🙂

  6. Paul, do you want eruptions volcanic data?
    Paul do you want insert other data ?


    Interesting camel humps


    It’s a dance …..a solar-terrestrial dance!

  7. vukcevic says:

    Michele Casati says:
    November 16, 2012 at 5:59 pm
    It’s a dance …..a solar-terrestrial dance!

    vukcevic says: November 16, 2012 at 2:28 am
    For the global temperature change you might say
    “It takes two to tango”
    Where the sun takes the lead and the Earth follows

  8. tallbloke says:

    Well the ‘climate shifts’ in ~1916 ~1940 ~1976 identified by the paper you highlighted are well represented in your solar findings Paul. I recommend the Pielke guest post by the authors to everyone here.

  9. tallbloke says:

    Index Profile of the Stadium Wave:

    Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) – a monopolar pattern of sea-surface-temperature (SST) anomalies in theNorth Atlantic Ocean.
    Atmospheric-Mass Transfer anomalies (AT) – characterizing direction of dominant wind patterns over the Eurasian continent.
    North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) – reflecting atmospheric-mass distribution between subpolar and subtropical latitudes over theNorth Atlanticbasin.
    NINO3.4 – a proxy for El Nino behavior in the tropical Pacific Ocean.
    North Pacific Oscillation (NPO) – the Pacific analogue for theAtlantic’s NAO.
    Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) – an SST pattern in the North Pacific Ocean.
    Aleutian Low Pressure Index (ALPI) – a measure of intensity of the Aleutian Low over the Pacific Ocean mid-latitudes.
    Northern Hemisphere Temperature (NHT) – anomalies of temperature across the Northern Hemisphere.

    The “Stadium Wave”:

    -AMO → (7 years) → +AT → (2 years) → +NAO → (5 years) → +NINO3.4 → (3 years) → +NPO/PDO → (3 years) → +ALPI → (8 years) → +NHT → (4 years) → +AMO → (7 years) → -AT → (2 years) → -NAO → (5 years) → -NINO3.4 → (3 years) → -NPO/-PDO → (3 years) → -ALPI → (8 years) → -NHT → (4 years) → -AMO


    Swanson K, Tsonis AA (2009) Has the climate recently shifted? Geophys Res Lett 36. doi:10.1029/2008GL037022.

    Tsonis AA, Swanson K, Kravtsov S (2007) A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts. Geophys Res Lett 34: L13705. doi:10.1029/2007GL030288

  10. Paul Vaughan says:

    TB: Words are a grossly inefficient (if not thoroughly inadequate) means of conveying WKT2011’s core findings. I’ve written to Marcia Wyatt to see if she can approve presentation of (a) some of the key figures or maybe (b) a copy of a preprint. I think Stephen Wilde in particular could benefit from a careful reading of the paper (and some of Tsonis’ earlier work). WKT2011 addresses key elements still missing from Wilde’s evolving narrative. Many readers will immediately notice how WKT’s work matches Bob Tisdale’s, with one key exception — Atlantic vs. Pacific emphasis — that I believe will fade into a global view with future refinement (to be consistent with insights from earth orientation parameters, rather than unwisely begging challenge highlighting neglect of conservation of angular momentum).

    Earth has an exponentially damped cumulative memory of past equator-pole gradients. The spacing of terrestrial equator-pole waves on multidecadal timescales is a function of solar cycle frequency changes.

    The sun drives climate and climate drives earth orientation & magnetic field instabilities. Spatiotemporal pattern of hydrospheric pressure modulates flows in concentric earth shells, including the fluid shell between the crust & core.

    “Apart from all other reasons, the parameters of the geoid depend on the distribution of water over the planetary surface.” — Nikolay Sidorenkov

    The multivariate climate attractor is projected onto a single (rotation) axis by the solid earth. Length of Day (LOD) is well-constrained by conservation of angular momentum.

    In cross-ENSO aggregate (from daily LOD or alternatively from daily AAM) here is how the midlatitude westerlies deviate from gaussian decadal climatology:

    (That plot can be refined further – if/when I can find time.)

    The pitch of the helix compresses & stretches as the solar cycle changes length. A very simple calculation using complex wavelets summarizes (from sunspot numbers) multidecadal wave stretching:



    (slow animation of preceding pair)

    Compare with:

    In brief: We’re looking at a simple solar-pace-modulated equator-pole heat & water pump. Spatiotemporal chaos at interannual timescales is universally constrained (centrally limited) in aggregate.

    Seeing the multidecadal forest for the interannual trees …
    It’s just (a) solar-pace-driven circulatory integration with (b) a bit of nonlinearity during recent decades due to the passing of an arctic water-phase threshold and (c) a very mild secular trend.

    Climate’s destabilizing the orientation of the magnetic field by redistributing hydrospheric pressure on the crust, impacting subcrustal flow pattern. The root mechanism is semi-annual thermal wind.

    Here’s some recommended background reading:

    Dickey, J.O.; Marcus, S.L.; & Chin, T.M. (2007). Thermal wind forcing & atmospheric angular momentum: Origin of the Earth’s delayed response to ENSO. Geophysical Research Letters 34, 7.

    Click to access 2007GL030846.pdf

    Sidorenkov, N.S.; Lutsenko, O.V.; Bryazgin, N.N.; Aleksandrov, E.I.; & Zakharov, V.G. (2005). Variation of the mass of the ice sheet of Antarctica and instability of the Earth’s rotation. Russian Meteorology and Hydrology 8, 1-8.

    Ryskin, G. (2009). Secular variation of the Earth’s magnetic field: induced by the ocean flow? New Journal of Physics 11(6), 063015. doi: 10.1088/1367-2630/11/6/063015.
    Note: I recommend that Ryskin read Sidorenkov et al. (2005). I include Ryskin (2009) in this reading list primarily because (a) it’s provocative and (b) it doesn’t shy away from confronting strictly untenable modeling paradigms based on Halley (1692).

    Dickey, J.O.; & Keppenne, C.L. (1997). Interannual length-of-day variations and the ENSO phenomenon: insights via singular spectral analysis.

    Click to access 97-1286.pdf

    Dickey, J.O.; Marcus, S.L.; & de Viron, O. (2003). Coherent interannual & decadal variations in the atmosphere-ocean system. Geophysical Research Letters 30(11), 1573.

    Click to access 02-3203.pdf

    Sidorenkov, N.S. (2005). Physics of the Earth’s rotation instabilities. Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions 24(5), 425-439.

    Click to access 425-439.pdf

    TB is eminently wise striving to keep cordial discussion wide open, because the cost of doing otherwise is social intractability, a path our society needs to avoid.

  11. Paul Vaughan says:

    @Michele Casati (November 16, 2012 at 5:59 pm)

    Have you looked at IVI2?

  12. Paul Vaughan says:

    I’m now able to access this:

    Wyatt, M.G.; Kravtsov, S.; & Tsonis, A.A. (2011). Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and Northern Hemisphere’s climate variability. Climate Dynamics 38, 929-949. doi: 10.1007/s00382-011-1071-8.

    Click to access fulltext.pdf

    Pictures are worth many thousand words.

    Here’s what I consider core content of the paper:
    1. Table 1 on pp.931-932 — summarizes variable definitions.
    2. Figure 2 on p.935 — illustrates multidecadal waves in index space.
    3. Figure 5 on p.937 — illustrates multidecadal waves in index space for additional variables.
    4. Figure 4 on p.936 (along with sequence listed in middle of right column on p.939) — multivariate index-space multidecadal wave summary. Figure 4 provides a concise, elegant summary of Figures 2 & 5, but my experience presenting color contour plots is that there are always some visualization-challenged members of the audience who can’t read color contour plots without seeing a few sample slices — a need that can be satisfied in this case by Figures 2 & 5. Keep vigilantly in mind that the wave presented is a wave IN INDEX SPACE. This is important. Take care to avoid misinterpretation of the potentially misleading term “stadium wave”, which is more accurately described as a multidecadal wave in climate index space.
    5. Figure 8 on p.939 — illustrates well-known interannual coherence of Pacific indices. Recall (from earlier studies) that the North Pacific is a pivoting synchronization hub.
    6. Figure 9. on p.940.

    Is everyone able to access the article?

    Here’s another page worthy of attention:

    “Global Mean Sea Level Reconstruction since 1700 by Jevrejeva et al, 2008”

    The light green line here ( ) is a summary of featured data.

    Readers who have understood Wyatt, Kravtsov, & Tsonis (2011) will realize the direction of at least one easy avenue towards deeper exploration using data from the PSMSL tide gauge network ( ).


  13. tallbloke says:

    Worked for me thanks Paul. Got to sleep – more tomorrow.

  14. Paul Vaughan says:

    Glad to hear it TB.

    Easing communications further …

    There’s an HTML version of Wyatt, Kravtsov, & Tsonis (2011):

    It’s easy to shortcut directly to the tables & figures I listed by exploiting anchors.


    Table 1 — append “#Tab1” — i.e.:

    Figure 4 — append “#Fig4” — i.e.:

    Alternative: Figure images (without figure captions) are accessible by changing the figure number in this link:

    The whole multivariate multidecadal terrestrial climate wave is synchronized with solar cycle deceleration …and ironing TSI flat has NO effect on this.

    Best Regards.

  15. “The sun drives climate and climate drives earth orientation & magnetic field instabilities. ”

    Is this the mechanism for my observations? See my web page for the paper.

    Many natural mechanisms have been proposed for climate change during the past millennia, however, none of these appears to have accounted for the change in global temperature seen over the second half of the last century. As such the rise in temperature has been attributed to man made mechanisms. Analysis of the movement of the Earth’s magnetic poles over the last 105 years demonstrates strong correlations between the position of the north magnetic, and geomagnetic poles, and both northern hemisphere and global temperatures. Although these correlations are surprising, a statistical analysis shows there is a less than one percent chance they are random, but it is not clear how movements of the poles affect climate. Links between changes in the Earth’s magnetic field and climate change, have been proposed previously although the exact mechanism is disputed. These include: The Earth’s magnetic field affects the energy transfer rates from the solar wind to the Earth’s atmosphere which in turn affects the North Atlantic Oscillation. Movement of the poles changes the geographic distribution of galactic and solar cosmic rays, moving them to particularly climate sensitive areas. Changes in distribution of ultraviolet rays resulting from the movement of the magnetic field, may result in increases in the death rates of carbon sinking oceanic plant life such as phytoplankton.

  16. Greg Goodman says:

    look at the Jevrejeva papers. He is one of the more awake climate sceintists who looks at rate of change when investigating in rate of change instead of trying to guess it from a time series.

    He also does some kind of wavelet analysis that is interesting.

    Here is a graph from one of his papers. I’ve added the red dots at the mid points of each cycle to better gauge the long term tendancy.

    It appears the accelerations stopped around 1970.

    This analysis was done on data that stopped in 2002 and the is some “in-filling” of later data that is documented to take with a pinch of salt.

    [Reply] Greg, more explanation of this graph required.

  17. Greg Goodman says:

    I would also say be very careful in comparing anything to SST. The original data has severe issues and the corrections, while often helpful are highly speculative and sometime are detrimental.

    I’ll have more detail on this soon but be warned, spurious warming injected 1920-1930 , suspect attenuation of pre-1900 cooling.

    Also I have dropped PDO , suggest using N. Pacific >20N directly. PDO is some odd principal component thing which smooths out long term trends. I spotted one rapid change in NP temps followed by three short cycles and the first one got almost totally removed.

    I don’t think anyone knows what the spectral effects of all this PC jiggery-pokery is so I would avoid it in this kind of work.

    Equally AMO is “detrended” Kaplan ( which had adopted an unspecified amount of the Folland and Parker “corrections” applied to hadSST3). Big doubts on the validity of some of those “bias corrections” leads to doubt about where to start and finish the assessment of “trend”.

    I’m currently looking at correcting the corrections by looking at other climate records like Cyclone energy.

    Note that I removed 0.1 K in 1925 as a quick hack, otherwise the rest of the AMO record runs too high. None of these “bias corrections” have been objectively validated, they are rough, first order approximate guesses (educated guesses if you like).

    If you have not seen it already, have a look at my initial dig into Hadley adjustments. Some good discussion with J.Kennedy of Met Office in comments. Search for his name or mine since there’s a lot of comments.

    If you start comparing this to solar or anything else you could lead yourself astray in any number of ways.

  18. Paul Vaughan says:

    Adrian Kerton (November 17, 2012 at 11:05 am) asked:
    “Is this the mechanism for my observations?”

    Adrian, thanks for stopping by. And thanks for sharing your work some time ago:

    Kerton, A. (2008). Climate change and the Earth’s magnetic poles, a possible connection.

    Click to access E-E_Clr_Abstracts.pdf

    Had I not seen your work, vukcevic’s, Courtillot’s, & Dickey’s, it might have taken a lot longer to realize the superiority of Sidorenkov’s counsel:

    “Apart from all other reasons, the parameters of the geoid depend on the distribution of water over the planetary surface.” — Nikolay Sidorenkov

    I encourage everyone to take an independent look at the data Adrian illustrates:

    My answer to Adrian’s question:
    Yes, I believe so.

    I have empirical reason to believe something similar is happening at interannual timescales, but that story will have to wait for another day …

    Best Regards!

  19. @ Paul Vaughan say
    November 17, 2012 at 1:06 am
    Have you looked at IVI2?

    Yes paul

  20. Paul Vaughan says:

    Greg Goodman — a.k.a. P. Solar — (November 17, 2012 at 11:17 am) wrote:
    “look at the Jevrejeva papers. He is one of the more awake […] sceintists […]”
    “He also does some kind of wavelet analysis that is interesting.”

    I linked to her work above.
    I agree: It’s quite valuable.

    On Hadley data (which I’ve not used here):

    I share some of your technical concerns about Hadley adjustments, but given my overall circumstances it’s neither practical nor tactical to drain precious time & resources on protracted, severely-narrowly-focused committee tie-ups. I suggest we not overplay such unaesthetic issues that do almost nothing to advance our understanding of natural variations. As long as older & raw versions of datasets remain transparently easily-accessible to the general public via plain-text webpages, we don’t necessarily have to get aggressively political over the corruption & vandalism. The practical & tactical thing to do is be aware of what’s going on without getting sucked into the resource-draining committee tie-ups. Suggestion: Enough of this peripheral distraction for now…

    On PDO:

    From a practical point of view, PDO actually works quite well even though it might not be absolutely perfect. It let’s us know when the Pacific western boundary currents (WBC) are lighting up.

    Strong reassurance:
    There are other metrics that indicate variations in WBC spin-up.

    Bob Tisdale illustrates a painfully simple one:

    Commenter lgl often shares provocatively interesting graphs. This is as good an opportunity as any to remind readers of the following:

    lgl PDO magnetic declination links:

    Google search for “” turns up:
    1. lgl (November 13, 2008 at 10:50 am)
    2. lgl (December 17, 2008 at 11:27 am)
    3. lgl (December 1, 2009 at 2:54 pm)

    Compare with illustrations I’ve shared above ( + = (slow animation of preceding pair) ) and note quarter-cycle spacing in Wyatt’s multidecadal multivariate index-space wave ( ).

    Thanks lgl.

    Greg, thanks for pointing to Jevrejeva’s sea level work at WUWT a few weeks back. I was familiar with several other articles she has coauthored with Moore & Grinsted, but I had not yet looked in much detail at their sea level work. I see from one of their more recent papers that they have impressive affiliations with Chinese research institutes. That has me quite curious … (details another day…)


  21. Paul Vaughan says:

    @Michele Casati (November 17, 2012 at 1:35 pm)

    And MSI?

  22. Entropic man says:

    Greg Goodman

    “It appears the accelerations stopped around 1970.”

    Are you justified in assuming that the current cycle has peaked?

    Looking at the Jevrejeva rate graph, the black line peaks occur at approximately 80 year intervals. The last peak occured around 1950, so the next peak should be due sometime around 2030.

    Looking at 1795,1875 and 1940, all three peaks show a flatter shoulder partway through the increasing part of the cycle. The flattening you see as a peak may be another shoulder, in which case your assumption that the rate has slackened would not be justified because your last red dot would be set below the midpoint for the current cycle.
    If you superimposed any one of the previous three cycles onto the late 20th century data, the projected midpoint would be in line with the previous ones, suggesting that the acceleration will continue at its previous rate.

  23. Greg Goodman says:

    “Are you justified in assuming that the current cycle has peaked? ”

    Good point, there may be the possibility of a little more rise but not much. But you are failing to note the deminishing magnitude of the oscillations. This is seen in a lot of climate parameters not just MSL.

    Also the rising slope of the current peak is a lot less that the others. Definite regime change happening. Cut and paste of even the last cycle would not be justified.

    I really would like to see this analysis brought up to date now there is another 10y of data.

  24. Greg Goodman says:

    Paul says: ” I suggest we not overplay such unaesthetic issues that do almost nothing to advance our understanding of natural variations. As long as older & raw versions of datasets remain transparently easily-accessible to the general public via plain-text webpages, we don’t necessarily have to get aggressively political over the corruption & vandalism. ”

    Well, sadly the vandalism is political and both aggressive and pervasive.

    My aim was to draw attention to the problem because Hadley datasets are often referred to as the “gold standard”. It’s good that the original ICOADS data is still available but people need to be aware of that and the processing issues . Most people have not even heard of ICOADS.

    I’m currently looking again at the effects, this time using lagged autocorrelation:

    30m gaussian filtered rate of change of SST.

    Now I’m not certain that this is an objective assessment but it looks very worrying. A very clear 25y cycle gets dumped on and converted into being a 60y cycle.

    North Atlantic is less dramatic:

    but is interesting when comparing ACE to AMO:

    There’s an upset somewhere between 1910 and 1930 that I have fixed with a 0.1K hack here, c.f. 95y lag; also an oddity 1960-1970 this matches 55y lag in the correlation plot.

    Even the most basic 10.4y cycle gets notably broadened to the point of seeing its peak shifted.

    That all this is supposed to be removing “biases” in the data becomes very questionable.

    During my previous look at this on Curry’s blog, I was simply detailing how speculative the so-called corrections were rather than saying whether they were right or not.

    The autocorrelation approach is making me serious doubt that they are, but this needs more reflection before drawing any firm conclusions.