Soon et. al. paper: A review of Holocene solar-linked climatic variation on centennial to millennial timescales

Posted: May 18, 2014 by tchannon in methodology, paleo

Figure 1

“A review of Holocene solar-linked climatic variation on centennial to millennial timescales: Physical processes, interpretative frameworks and  a new multiple cross-wavelet transform algorithm”
Willie Soon, Victor M. Velasco Herrera, Kandasamy Selvaraj, Rita Traversi, Ilya Usoskin, Chen-Tung Arthur Chen, Jiann-Yuh Lou, Shuh-Ji Kao, Robert M. Carter, Valery Pipin, Mirko Severi, Silvia Becagli”


This is a review work introducing a new proxy, nitrate, and fancy wavelet methods. It discusses the 1400 .. 1800 year “cycle” but sits on the wall on whether these are one and the same.

h/t to Paul Vaughan on Suggestions

Post by Tim

  1. Paul Vaughan says:

    This may seem unrelated, but TalkShoppers know the pervasiveness of interconnectivity better than most:

    Mohino, E.; Janicot, S.; & Bader, J. (2011). Sahel rainfall and decadal to multi-decadal sea surface temperature variability. Climate Dynamics 37(3-4), 419-440.

    (Alert: IPO & AMO differ fundamentally.)

  2. NikFromNYC says:

    Item 8 of Figure 1 is the sea surface temperature (SST):

    It shows about 0.5 °C cooling over the last 10K years, and warming before that.

    Recent SST variation seems to show a recent spike of 0.4 °C in only a few decades:

    Conclusion: “This paper on first glance is certainly unhelpful to the skeptical cause and therefore should not have been published without splicing of the instrumental record onto the end to form a hockey stick.”


  3. Paul Vaughan says:

    Last year Bob Tisdale drew attention to a paper suggesting a de Vries / ENSO relationship:

    Click to access emilegeay12b.pdf

    Recall Bill Illis’ comment.

    Misinterpretation of cosmogenic isotope records is a problem. Circulation is a factor. (It’s not independent of QBO alignments with the terrestrial year. The mainstream appears to need a schooling on SST EOF interpretation.)

  4. oldbrew says:

    Keeling & Whorf’s proposed 1800-year oceanic cycle is fairly well-known.

    ‘A well defined 1,800-year tidal cycle is associated with gradually shifting lunar declination from one episode of maximum tidal forcing on the centennial time-scale to the next.’

    The ‘1400-year’ cycle sounds more like this one: origin ‘far from clear’.

    ‘A Pervasive 1470-Year Climate Cycle in North Atlantic Glacials and Interglacials: A Product of Internal or External Forcing?’ – Gerard Bond

    Bond comments: ‘External processes, such as solar forcing and harmonics of the orbital periodicities cannot be ruled out, but are, at least presently, difficult to test.’

  5. tchannon says:

    oldbrew, the purpose of review or conglomeration papers is often putting a general case and includes mentioning what are problems, no conclusion. I think these are useful.

  6. oldbrew says:

    The opening words of the paper Paul Vaughan linked to:
    ‘One of the largest uncertainties in global climate projections…’

    One of the authors is Michael E. Mann 😉

  7. oldbrew says:

    TC: this paper is probably worth mentioning too.

    ‘A History of Solar Activity over Millennia’ by I.G. Usoskin
    (Willie Soon gets a mention)

  8. Paul Vaughan says:

    The beat of ~180 (by now I think we can assume almost everyone is well-aware of this from Keeling & Whorf) & ~205 is ~1470. That’s pretty simple. But naive mainstream interpretation appears oblivious to QBO/year alignments. Maybe it’s time for a little clarification: I’m not talking about QBO/year beats. I’m talking about alignments where both have the same phase.

    The next thing for Soon & associates to do is generalize the multivariate cross-wavelet method across the rest of (4-dimensional) wavelet parameter space. Here I should clarify that when I use the term “wavelet”, I do not apply it according to overly-narrow definitions. The definition of wavelet I use includes both windowed & unwindowed Fourier (and all variations on these) as special cases. I refer to a far more general class of time-frequency transforms that do not place artificial, arbitrary restrictions on the partitioning of Heisenberg uncertainty. As far as what the tools will be able to do when fully extended: We haven’t even seen the tip of the iceberg yet. A lot of methodological work needs to be done and then a lot of overly-narrow mainstream misconceptions will need to be wiped out.

  9. This we posted under the HALE CYCLE TOPIC, on this site. I brought it over to here(i hope that is okay) because this is very relevant to this article and perhaps more insights will be forthcoming on the discusion we have been having as follows:

    Salvatore Del Prete says:

    May 17, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Weather Cycles ,OB ,anyone

    How close to a minimum phase are each of these solar cycles? How important are each of these cycles as a climate driver? Scale 0 =weak, 10= strong climate driver

    SOLAR CYCLE year minimum expected climate driver strengh

    11year Schwabbe

    22 year Hale

    33 year Schwabbe Triplet

    88 year Gleissberg

    179 year Jose

    210 year Suess-de-Vries

    1000 year Eddy

    2300 year Hallstatt

    oldbrew says:

    May 17, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    SDP: nobody can be certain they have the ultimate answers of course.

    But some comments: Piers Corbyn who is very knowledgeable prefers the 22-year (22.1?) period to the 11 year because it’s a full magnetic cycle i.e. one N-S and one S-N (in a nutshell, there’s more to it than that).

    179-year is a planetary cycle: 9 Jupiter-Saturn returning those two to the same position.
    There may be a corresponding solar effect.

    The de Vries cycle shows up in many studies but no precise explanation exists.
    Hallstatt seems to be linked to a half-cycle of the major planets – full cycle = just over 4627 years.

    Much of this is covered in the PRP papers too.

    weathercycles says:

    May 18, 2014 at 11:04 am

    OB said
    “Btw I haven’t ‘found’ it, it’s known as the Jose cycle.
    I didn’t say you found it. I said
    This is good OB. Because you have found the START DATE of a major cycle.

    1793 and 1615 .
    Commencement of solar hibernation . ( point where a number of cycles constructively align to produce a strong solar minimum event and global cooling)

    What l think many won’t stomach, is that the lag in global temperature change from solar downturn in 1793 and 1615 were instantaneous. There was no lag..
    From my observations. When a number of cycles overlay to amplify. Both pos or neg,, the temp change is instantaneous
    The global warming period from 1900 -2000 is a good example of that
    De Vries up phase (1900-2000) + (1970- 2000 AMO/scwabbe triplet) up phase = increased temperature gradient upward.

    weathercycles says:

    May 18, 2014 at 11:12 am

    SDP asked
    “How close to a minimum phase are each of these solar cycles? How important are each of these cycles as a climate driver? Scale 0 =weak, 10= strong climate driver”

    Qian and Lu 2010 have mapped 4 cycles


    If you look at the time period around 2000 , they identify 4 cycles peaking at their maximum.
    These cycles are in the range of
    Hale ~22 yr , schwabbe triplets ~66yr, 116 yr ( ?) and the De Vries ~ 200

    All 4 going down
    This is how l interpret their cycle frequency map
    Their next minimum will be at 1/2 their full cycle length ,or one phase .In this case all these 4 cycle going down
    Hale = 2002 + 11 = 2013 minimum
    Scwabbe triplet = 1998 + 33 yr = ~ 2031 minimum ( AMO negative phase .. global cooling trend)
    116 cycle? Not named .. = 1994 + 58 = 2052 minimum
    DeVries = 1998 + 100 yr = 2098 minimum
    Now keep in mind that the schwabbe triplet cycle on its way up again from 2031 which would
    temper the amplitude of the others still going down
    Also tempering the cooli ng is another larger cycle curently going up which reached minimum back in 1700 Maunder period.
    This will also temper the cooling trend

    As for which is the stronger of the climate drivers
    Looking at the modern temperature record. There are 2 obvious significant global temperature cycles
    The AMO ~ 60-66 yr ( schwabbe triplet). Peaked max in 1998 according to Qian
    and a longer cycle of the de Vries length that is clearly evident in All the 200 yr downturns ( as John Casey in his letter to Obama has written) as global temp’ drops like the dalton, sporer, maunder minimums
    The warm phase of the de Vries = 1900-2000 warming

    A longer cycle is evident on the picture l posted, which seems to overlay, which is longer . It had its Minimum at the Maunder and suspect it is 1400-1500 yr cycle .
    Qian and lu have NOT overlayed this cycle.
    Generally longer cycles seem to have larger effect on climate. Especially when the overlaying effect is highly constructive or destructive.
    Look at the global temp cycle here
    You can see the schwabbe triplet cycle / AMO ~60 yr. Notice the up phase is steeper than the down phase
    Reason.. The De Vries is superimposed /overlayed on the up phase increasing the temperature gradient since 1900

    weathercycles says:

    May 18, 2014 at 11:25 am

    whoops forgot to attach a link to the schwabe triplet and De vries largely controlling the global temperature
    in our past 100 yrs.


    p.g.sharrow says:

    May 18, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    @weathercycles; Quite an essay that sums up a valid picture of climate changes. As a farmer that has observed weather for well over 60 years I can attest to the observations for that period.
    Growing field crops require certain conditions. Warm and wet is good for farming and growing, Cool and wet makes farming difficult but growing is good. Cool and dry is good for farming but makes for poor growth. Warm and dry is the worse, especially for growing. We are entering cool and wet as the sun cools and the oceans give up their energy. This message must be widely disseminated. The people must be told that, like Joesph warning the pharaoh, the fat cows will be turning to lean. The great farm production increase of the last 20 years will soon be ending and a generation of poor production will begin as things cool and dry. This rollacoaster ride of the last 8,000 years is due for another downturn and the granaries are nearly empty. Poor time to be converting food to expensive fuels and making food production ever more difficult for farmers.

    This message must be spread throughout the internet as the “Lame Stream Media” and the “Powers that be” don’t want it known yet. Yeomen Farmers are not part of the collective and they still control most of the farm production. Corporate/Government controlled food production always means less food production, ALWAYS. A good way to gain total control of the population but a poor way to feed them. This always destroys the civilization and creates Dark Ages, ALWAYS. pg

    Salvatore Del Prete says:

    May 18, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    Thanks Weather Cycles.

  10. Something I did a few years back

    – Solar/Thermohaline Circulation/1470 year climate cycle connection – Southwest Weather, Inc. supports the theory that states the superposition of the DE VRIES – SUESS 210 year solar cycle, and the Gleissberg 87 year old solar cycle creates a solar variability every 1470 years, that impacts the fresh water concentrations put into the North Atlantic, which in turn either weakens or strengthens the Thermohaline Circulation. The effects, depending on the initial state of the climate; that being glacial or interglacial. Since we are currently in an interglacial period, we will examine the Solar/Thermohaline circulation possible connection for this initial state of the climate when solar activity is in a minimum state.


    The connection between the Thermohaline Circulation and the Solar Cycle is if solar activity should reach a certain level of activity, it could through a modulating effect of the atmospheric circulation, either amplify or reduce the amount of sea ice entering the subpolar North Atlantic. This would then change the fresh water concentration of the subpolar North Atlantic, leading to a change in the North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) production, which would either enhance or decrease the Thermohaline Circulation.


    If solar activity were to reach a certain minimum magnitude (every 1470 years), it could modulate the atmospheric circulation, resulting in a negative Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), which in turn would amplify the transport (due to a stronger northerly wind flow over the North Sea to the Sub Polar North Atlantic, in response to a negative NAO) of drift ice into the Sub Polar North Atlantic, causing the salinity concentrations and the temperature of the Sub Polar North Atlantic waters to decrease. (Density decreases overall despite colder water temperatures)

    This would cause a reduction in NADW formation, which would lead to a weakening of the Thermohaline Circulation. The result would be a further cooling in the higher latitudes, due to less northward transport of heat via the Thermohaline Circulation.

    This would then have a PROFOUND EFFECT on the temperatures of the Northern Hemisphere much MORE, then what the solar reduction in activity itself would suggest.

  11. Some real problems with all of these solar cycles are so many that in a sense this makes them less meaningful. A second problem is the uncertainty of the time of each solar cycle especially the longer ones which have a significant variation in length which again takes away from the attractiveness.

    That said solar cycles are there and do produce Maunder type minimums or maybe even more severe solar minimums.

    Still I say based on our present knowledge of solar cycles making a prediction as to how variable the sun may be is an educated guess at best. I think we are good enough to predict the general trend in the sun due to cycles but not the details of this trend as to how long say a given prolonged solar minimum may last and more importantly how deep it may be..

    This is why I have come up with specific solar criteria to predict what kind of a climate impact solar variability may or may not have. I am however not forecasting if this criteria is going to be reached , only that given our present knowledge and present solar indications(especially post 2005) that the criteria for solar variability that I think is needed to have a significant impact on the climate has a real chance of being met during this present prolonged solar minimum period.

    I also think it is not just solar cycles that drive solar variability but internal forces on the sun itself also probably play a role. Hence predicting EXACTLY what kind of solar variability we may have going forward is not an easy task.


    Solar Flux avg. sub 90

    Solar Wind avg. sub 350 km/sec

    AP index avg. sub 5.0

    Cosmic ray counts north of 6500 counts per minute

    Total Solar Irradiance off .015% or more

    EUV light average 0-105 nm sub 100 units (or off 100% or more) and longer UV light emissions around 300 nm off by several percent.

    IMF around 4.0 nt or lower.

    The above solar parameter averages following several years of sub solar activity in general which commenced in year 2005..

    IF , these average solar parameters are the rule going forward for the remainder of this decade expect global average temperatures to fall by -.5C, with the largest global temperature declines occurring over the high latitudes of N.H. land areas.

    The decline in temperatures should begin to take place within six months after the ending of the maximum of solar cycle 24.

    NOTE 1- What mainstream science is missing in my opinion is two fold, in that solar variability is greater than thought, and that the climate system of the earth is more sensitive to that solar variability.


    A. Ozone concentrations in the lower and middle stratosphere are in phase with the solar cycle, while in anti phase with the solar cycle in the upper stratosphere.

    B. Certain bands of UV light are more important to ozone production then others.

    C. UV light bands are in phase with the solar cycle with much more variability, in contrast to visible light and near infrared (NIR) bands which are in anti phase with the solar cycle with much LESS variability.

    © 2014 Southwest Weather, Inc.

  13. I also think it is not just solar cycles that drive solar variability but internal forces on the sun itself also probably play a role. Hence predicting EXACTLY what kind of solar variability we may have going forward is not an easy task.

    One last point is many sun like stars exhibit Maunder type minimums which gives rise that something internally must be going on with these sun like stars. I doubt if it can all be solely contributed to cycles due to solar system dynamics for all these many stars.

    I just don’t think it is simple..

  14. Then again I think the position of the planets relative to the sun exert forces which influence solar variability.

    It is frustrating.

  15. oldbrew says:

    What price cosmic magnetism?

    ‘The present upgrades of existing instruments and several radio astronomy projects have defined cosmic magnetism as one of their key science projects’

  16. According to solar cycle strength the period from 1890-1910 should have been the least active period of solar activity since the Maunder Minimum, unless the 1450 year solar cycle and the 116 year solar cycle off set the shorter cycles minimum levels around that time frame.

    The chart (which Weather Cycles sent) shows clearly the 194 year solar cycle and the 62.5 year solar cycle both to be PEAKING at the time of the Dalton Solar Minimum, while around 1900 these same cycles were at or near minimum levels, yet the Dalton Solar Minimum was less active then the period 1890-1910.


    I conclude that in addition to solar cycles ,solar internal dynamics probably play a role in solar variability. Evidence of this is the sudden drop in solar activity during the year 2005. The sun suddenly shifted gears that year. It was not solar cycles per say that caused this in my opinion, although they may have contributed. In addition many other sun like stars exhibit Maunder Minimum Periods.

    The longer solar cycles in my opinion being to slow to change over a period of LESS then 100 years to contribute in such a way which would result in the Dalton Solar Minimum being less active then the solar period 1890-1910.

    NOTE: Why if longer solar cycles (presently in an upswing) were the cause of the solar quiet period from 1890-1910 to be LESS severe then the Dalton Solar Minimum are these same longer solar cycles (which are still on an upswing) NOT going to have the same effects going forward?

    Apparently the thinking is they are NOT going to have the same effects since many solar predictions are for Dalton Solar conditions or even quieter solar conditions to return over the next 20 to 30 years.

    This solar cycle theory just does not hold up to the degree some are trying to convey in my opinion. Something else is affecting the sun besides just solar system dynamics..

  17. Gail Combs says:

    oldbrew says: @ May 18, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    ….‘A History of Solar Activity over Millennia’ by I.G. Usoskin
    (Willie Soon gets a mention)
    So does Leif Svalgaard (pg 8 and 9)