The state of Climate Science

Posted: January 6, 2014 by tallbloke in solar system dynamics

Latest output from R.J. Salvador’s solar variation model, now up to a 91% correlation with the sunspot record since 1749.

It’s new year and an appropriate time to pause and consider the state of climate science. 2013 saw the fanfare of a new IPCC report, AR5, and the output of working group one, on ‘the scientific basis’ for the CO2 driven climate theory. This now relies on expert opinion rather than any purportedly objective assessment of empirical evidence or theoretical output such as climate models. That is in itself a tacit admission that The ScienceTM is in trouble. This is mainly due to there being no consensus on the cause of the ‘pause’ or ‘hiatus’ in global warming.

I put those words in quotes because there is an assumption built into them, that warming will presently resume, taking the global average temperature to previously (Since the .advent of the thermometer record) unseen levels. To those committed to the CO2 driven climate theory, this is a given. To those who are aware of viable competing theories of climate, it’s by no means a done deal.

The veracity of the temperature record itself continues to exercise a number of investigators, who have found inconsistencies which trace to ‘adjustments’ made to the raw data by NCDC, the supplier of surface station data. Each new iteration of their product depresses older records and enhances newer ones, increasing the centennial trend ever upwards. Conversely, custodians of solar data have adjusted their estimates of centennial trends in solar output downwards over the last decade, making a solar explanation for global warming less viable, despite good correlations evident between temperature change and solar variation. Currently, due to the premature demise of the measurement platform, we have no highly accurate ongoing measurements of solar output at all.

The ScienceTM is now in a bit of a fix, because despite the large increase in airborne CO2, global temperatures have remained stubbornly level for more than a decade and a half. The usual fix for an aberration in the match between CO2 and temperature is the negative forcing of volcanic aerosols, but there have not been many big volcanic eruptions since Pinatubo in 1993 injecting particles into the stratosphere.

Some climate scientists, such as Kevin Trenberth, have used deductive logic (and some large initial assumptions) to reach the conclusion that the ‘missing heat’ must be hiding in the deep ocean, beyond the reach of our measuring systems. Several objections to this ad hoc hypothesis are yet to be resolved. For example: How does less energy accumulate in the 2000m of upper ocean it has to descend through than in the abyss below?

Another less obvious issue is this: If the ocean is storing energy generated by the hypothesised CO2 enhanced greenhouse effect on decadal timescales in the deep ocean, then it is also capable of storing energy derived from the Sun in the same way. The reason previously given for the Sun not being a likely candidate for the cause of global warming is the fact that the peak amplitudes of the solar cycles have been declining since the 1960’s. The point is that even though they declined, the Sun’s output was still above the long term average all the way to 2003, The rate of increase of sea level suddenly started to decline at around that time, indicating that oceanic thermal expansion and melt runoff has also declined since.

To those of us who think the role of CO2 in the late C20th has been overestimated and that of the Sun underestimated, the conclusion is obvious. Quieter Sun, less additional energy into the climate system, leading to a flattening of the temperature trend.

Which brings us to the competing theory I alluded to. One of the main arguments given for the CO2 hypothesis was that nothing else could explain the warming. But the Sun is now back in play as a potentially important climate variable. One of the reasons the mainstream climatologists had sought to exclude it was because of its unpredictability; you can’t make climate predictions with variables you can’t model. But this problem is now being overcome by new research in the field of Solar System Dynamics. The papers available for download in the special edition of Pattern Recognition in Physics I have contributed to cover a lot of the ground, and we’ll be featuring discussions of these papers over the coming weeks and months.

For those interested in doing some reading in advance of those posts, the papers are available via the link at the top of this previous post.

  1. Bob Weber says:

    Keep up the good work Tallbloke!

    The CO2 warmists are clearly insane. They’ve tried repeatedly to get us to “submit to their authority” without providing clear evidence, or cogent cause-effect relationships, or any sign of having a “theory” that has been reduced to a practical science that can produce verifiable predictions. They don’t follow the scientific method. They expect us to believe them in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. They have been at that for more than two decades and still can’t produce anything of value.

    What is the very definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. They’d be taken seriously if they could come up with verifiable results. They can’t, and they never will, because their “science” is faulty, based on the wrong premises. They are INSANE.

    The rest of the freedom-loving humanity don’t have to listen to them or follow their dictates any more. The sun is showing them who’s boss right now, today:

    From my post this morning at

    “Electric space weather: “FLARES LIKELY TODAY: Giant sunspot AR1944 has a ‘beta-gamma-delta’ magnetic field that harbors energy for potent Earth-directed eruptions.” – “A minor S1 level radiation storm remains in progress following an increase in Earth directed proton levels. Unfortunately for us sky watchers, the bright coronal mass ejection (CME) it generated is likely directed away from our planet.” SSN=225, SFI=218 – [“FORTUNATELY” would have been a better choice of words considering…] Further, the largest and quickest spikes I have ever seen in ACE LE Electrons (a double spike) and ACE HE Protons – – AR1944, when it rolls into position and if it fires off a flare towards us, look for atmospheric brightening, a delayed warm blast from the tropics, an another planetary wave induced SSW, and the polar vortex to deliver another wave of bone-chilling killer cold – all Electric/Magnetic Weather Effects.”

  2. Jerry Lundry says:

    The cause of the “hiatus” might not be clear but it is certainly not unexpected for those of us who are familiar with temperature cycles. In this case, the so-called thirty-year cycle apparently related to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation is the reason for anticipating not only a hiatus, but a temperature drop. That cycle can be seen in the USHCNv2 temperatures, with a minimum in about 1912-1914, a maximum in 1942-1944, a minimum in 1974-1976, a maximum in 2003-2004, and the current downward trend toward another minimum in about 20 years (2033-2035?). (I think of this as a sixty-year cycle, thirty years cooling followed by thirty years of warming.) The USHCNv2 data set also shows a generally rising trend over the entire period 1895 to present. This is consistent with the 1,400-year cycle that had a maximum around 1000-1100 and a minimum in about 1700-1800. That cycle suggests a peak temperature in around 2400-2500, comingled of course with the temperature effects of the “thirty-year cycle.”

    At any rate, the “hiatus” is not surprising, except possibly to those who are engaged solely in comuter modeling to forecast temperature trends.

    Jerry Lundry

  3. Joe Lalonde says:


    Is not rain and snow fresh water?
    The salinity changes of the last 3 decades indicate saltier at the equatorial regions and fresher in the rest…Blamed on “Global Warming”.

  4. oldbrew says:

    Expect to see the deluded fans of warmist climate science trying to pull the drawbridge up even further, in vain attempts to fend off the perceived ‘barbarians’ aka supporters of common sense and serious scientific effort.

    The writing is on the wall for self-serving UN-sponsored propaganda.

  5. mitigatedsceptic says:

    CAGW has been falsified by observation. The tragedy is that millions of people are to suffer energy poverty as a result of politicians leaping on to this bandwagon. Time to cut off funding to Climate Science and let normal science resume work.

  6. Roger Andrews says:

    The current state of climate science becomes readily explicable when we consider what would happen if the IPCC ever admitted that it really couldn’t detect an anthropogenic signal in the temperature records.

  7. Euan Mearns says:

    Rog, C4 news last night quite happily blaming extreme cold in N America on climate change – which is of course true. Got a fresh copy of 1984 for Christmas, must make time to read it (again). This post based around work of Clive Best, discussing impact of orbital cycles and Bond cycles on climate the last 5 million years.

    The Ice Man Cometh

  8. tallbloke says:

    Euan: “blaming extreme cold in N America on climate change – which is of course true.”

    Well yes, except of course C4 want the public to think ‘climate change’ is synonymous with ‘anthropogenic climate change’

  9. Euan Mearns says:

    Yes, and before long climate scientists will want the public to believe they are expert on all sorts of climate change. Around New Year one of your commenters was talking about cosmic rays and polar vortex – keen to learn more about that…. If you’ve not seen it, I quite like this paper from Hadley MET
    Solar forcing of winter climate variability in the Northern Hemisphere
    Sarah Ineson1*, Adam A. Scaife1, Jeff R. Knight1, James C. Manners1, Nick J. Dunstone1, Lesley J. Gray2 and Joanna D. Haigh3

  10. Ian Wilson says:

    Some interesting commensurablities at:


    25/T(J) + 7/T(S) = 19 ( 5/T(E) – 3/T(V))

    where (Source NASA Fact sheets)

    T(J) = sidereal orbital period Jupiter = 11.8617755(6) yrs
    T(S) = sidereal orbital period of Saturn = 29.4566(3) yrs
    T(E) = sidereal orbital period of the Earth = 1.000000 yrs
    T(V) = sidereal orbital period of Venus = 0.615187 yrs

    Also, an interesting point in time:

    January 9th 2014

    Venus, Earth and Jupiter aligned on the same side of the Sun
    and Saturn at quadrature

  11. Paul Vaughan says:

    On the last page of a new article I put forth a (very specific) challenge to climate modelers.

    Sun-Climate 101: Solar-Terrestrial Primer [PDF]

    Sun-Climate 101 outlines law-constrained geometric foundations of solar-governed “internal” (a counterproductive misnomer) spatiotemporal redistribution (stirring) of terrestrial heat & water at a fixed, constant level of multidecadal solar activity.
    Those with sufficiently deep understanding will recognize this as a 4-dimensional geometric proof.
    See particularly item #5 on page 3, which underscores stirring & accumulation even with a fixed, constant level of multidecadal solar activity due to shifts & persistence of (large scale) terrestrial circulation that are an inevitable consequence of solar frequency shift.
    It’s trivial and it’s geometrically proven.
    The attractor (central limit) would be the same whether scrambled by white noise, spatiotemporal chaos, &/or lunisolar oscillations (the latter of which stand out clearly in observations).
    The utility of these fundamentals extends beyond generalizing the role of stellar frequency in planetary aggregate-circulation to assessing the vision, competence, functional numeracy, honesty, & relevance of climate discussion agents, including those abusing authority.

  12. Gerry says:

    Thanks Paul. Your Solar-Terrestrial Primer is an eye-opening compendium. IMHO It provides a rigorous link of solar-terrestrial causalities to necessarily resulting long term correlations. In that sense it is a powerful demonstration of how causation demands (and always provides) correlation. Correlation is not causation, except when correlation is shown to exist as a necessary result of causation. Warmists should (but won’t) take note.

    -Gerry Pease

  13. oldbrew says:

    Miles Mathis discusses here how a recent Nobel prize winner echoed his criticisms of the power of science journals.

    Also comments on general fakery in science teaching, pointing the finger at physics in particular.

    Quote: ‘Physics imploded decades ago and is now a completely fake field, based on nothing but smoke and mirrors.’

    Sounding a bit like so-called mainstream climate science?

    Not averse to calling for student strikes and general science revolution either. What’s not to like?

  14. Paul Vaughan says:

    Gerry, alarmists are taking note but also:

    a) administratively stalling by unjustifiably demanding unnecessary formal framing. (There are no acceptable grounds for this rejected demand.)

    b) striving to downplay (% variance) by deflecting attention from sea surface temperature (SST) records to (contested) air temperature records.


  15. Nevertheless, the Precautionary Principle requires that we act AS IF climate change were anthropogenic – partly because there are many positive benefits as side-effects

  16. tallbloke says:

    Not when the number of excess winter deaths doubles in 4 years, due in large part to fuel poverty.