Archive for the ‘modelling’ Category

Earth and climate – an ongoing controversy

They could perhaps have taken more notice of this paper by Spencer and Braswell six years ago, which found that Earth’s atmosphere is more efficient at releasing energy to space than models used to forecast climate change have been programmed to “believe.”

As egg-on-face moments go, it was a double-yolker, writes Nigel Hawkes in The Sunday Times [restricted access].

Last week a group of climate scientists published a paper that admitted the estimates of global warming used for years to torture the world’s conscience and justify massive spending on non-carbon energy sources were, er, wrong. 

The admission was overdue acknowledgment of something that has been obvious for years.


As a long-time critic of climate alarmism, chemistry graduate Graham Stringer MP is not surprised by the latest cracks appearing in the facade of modern climate science, as the GWPF reports.

Al Gore, the U.S. politician and self-appointed champion of the green cause, famously declared that ‘the science is settled’ on climate change. It was a claim that revealed far more about the intolerance of the environmental movement than the reality of scientific inquiry.

Research should be founded on critical analysis of the evidence, not on wishful thinking or enforcement of a political ideology. Now the hollowness of Gore’s assertion is exposed again by a vital new report that shows how the apocalyptic predictions of the green lobby have been exaggerated.

In a study just published by the respected journal Nature Geoscience, a group of British academics reveals that the immediate threat from global warming is lower than previously thought, because the computer models used by climate change experts are flawed.


cagwComputer modelling used a decade ago to predict how quickly global average temperatures would rise may have forecast too much warming, a study has found.

Myles Allen, professor of geosystem science at the University of Oxford and one of the study’s authors told The Times: “We haven’t seen that rapid acceleration in warming after 2000 that we see in the models. We haven’t seen that in the observations.”


The El Niño of 1997-8

Another paper attempting to shed some light on the mysteries of long-term cyclical climate patterns is brought to our attention by the GWPF. The abstract looks fair but there are a few nods in the direction of ‘greenhouse gases’ later in the paper, in particular related to what they identify as millennial signals.

The identification of causal effects is a fundamental problem in climate change research. Here, a new perspective on climate change causality is presented using the central England temperature (CET) dataset, the longest instrumental temperature record, and a combination of slow feature analysis and wavelet analysis.

The driving forces of climate change were investigated and the results showed two independent degrees of freedom —a 3.36-year cycle and a 22.6-year cycle, which seem to be connected to the El Niño–Southern Oscillation cycle and the Hale sunspot cycle, respectively.

Moreover, these driving forces were modulated in amplitude by signals with millennial timescales.

The author notes that ‘while mainstream climate science is replete with published proxy temperature studies showing that temperatures have cycled up and down over the last 2,000 years – spiking during the Medieval Warm Period and then again recently to about 1980 as shown in Figure 12 – the official IPCC reconstructions (which underpin the Paris Accord) deny such cycles.’

We could add ‘and then says the science is settled’.
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After deconstructing 2,000-year old proxy-temperature series back to their most basic components, and then rebuilding them using the latest big data techniques, John Abbot and I show what global temperatures might have done in the absence of an industrial revolution, writes Jennifer Marohasy

The results from this novel technique, just published in GeoResJ [1], accord with climate sensitivity estimates from experimental spectroscopy but are at odds with output from General Circulation Models.    

According to mainstream climate science, most of the recent global warming is our fault – caused by human emissions of carbon dioxide.


Ned and Karl have finally got some big exposure to the general public for their paradigm shifting breakthrough in geo and astro-physics. World Net Daily front page stories are read by over a million people. This is a great step forward for recognition of their work.

Study blows Greenhouse Theory out of the water

7-9-2017 By Alex Newman for World Net Daily

BOZEMAN, Mont. – A new scientific paper contends the entire foundation of the man-made global-warming theory – the assumption that greenhouse gases warm the atmosphere by trapping heat – is wrong.

If confirmed, the study’s findings would crush the entire “climate change” movement to restrict CO2 emissions, the authors assert

Some experts contacted by WND criticized the paper, while others advised caution.

Still others suggested that the claimed discovery represents a massive leap forward in human understanding – a “new paradigm.”

The paper argues that concentrations of CO2 and other supposed “greenhouse gases” in the atmosphere have virtually no effect on the earth’s temperature.



Fig 1. Integration of solar data departing from long term average as a proxy for OHC

OK, this the last post before I go. This is a comment I made this morning over at Pierre Gosselin’s place.

To understand the effect of solar variation on a large heat capacity mass like Earth’s oceans, you have to integrate the solar data to get a reasonable proxy for ocean heat content. If you look at empirical comparisons of average sunspot number during periods when the ocean temperature is steady, you can derive a value of approximately 40 sunspots per month. This also happens to be the average sunspot number over the period of record from 1749 to today. Integrating the sunspot numbers as a running total departing from this average produces a reasonable proxy for OHC.

Calibrating the Steinhilber et al TSI reconstruction based on 10Be to the same baseline, we obtain a reconstruction which compares well to the Mann et al 2008 millennial temperature reconstruction, as seen in Fig1.



The BBC breathlessly reports a MET-office reported temperature of 34.5C at Heathrow yesterday, but what does the actual data say?




More than a year after “Part II” of a guest post from Talkshop contributor ‘Galloping Camel’ on the Moon’s equatorial temperature here is “Part III”.  Peter actually sent this to Tim Channon last year, but Tim became to ill to deal with it and forgot to throw it my way. In current discussion of Ned and Karl’s new paper, the issue of planetary surface temperature variation due to speed of rotation arose. Ned thinks it makes no difference. Peter’s model says it does, so now is a good time for discussion, as this impacts theoretical estimates for the temperature of ‘Earth with no atmosphere’.

Modeling the Moon

It has been claimed that the GHE (Greenhouse Effect) is 33 Kelvin because the Earth’s average temperature is 288 K compared to a temperature of 255 K assumed for an “Airless Earth”.  The Diviner LRO showed that the Moon’s average temperature is 197.3 K which makes one wonder how an estimate based on impeccable mathematics could be so wrong?   Vasavada et al. published a paper in 2012 that mentioned a one-dimensional model of the Moon’s regolith.  As I was unable to obtain details of this model I attempted to replicate it using Quickfield, a powerful FEA (Finite Element Analysis) program.  Results obtained using my model were published here.



Back in late 2011, the Talkshop splashed the story on a ‘Unified Theory of Climate’  developed by PhD physicists Ned Nikolov and Karl Zeller. They set out to show that the ‘greenhouse effect’ is not a phenomenon arising out of the absorption and reemission of outgoing long-wave radiation by the atmosphere (as thought for 190 years), but is a form of compression heating controlled by solar radiation and the total atmospheric pressure at the Earth’s surface. Pressure is in turn a product of the gas mass contained in a column of air above a unit surface area, and the planet’s gravitational effect on that mass.

It’s been a long and treacherous road involving many revisions and refinements of the original study. On several occasions the manuscript was rejected unread, but Ned and Karl have finally got their greatly improved and expanded paper published. This latest version is a tour de force strengthened by the rigors of criticism from an army of peer reviewers at several journals along the way.

Using dimensional analysis (a classical technique for inferring physically meaningful relationships from measured data), they show that the long-term global equilibrium surface temperature of bodies in the solar system as diverse as Venus, the Moon, Earth, Mars, Titan and Triton can accurately be described using only two predictors: the mean distance from the Sun and the total atmospheric surface pressure. This type of cross-planetary analysis using vetted NASA observations has not been conducted by any other authors. It represents the first and only attempt in the history of climate science to assess Earth’s surface temperature in the context of a cosmic physical continuum defined by actual planetary-scale observations. The result is a new insight that planetary climates are independent of the infrared optical depth of their atmospheres arising from their composition, and that the long-wave ‘back radiation’ is actually a product of the atmospheric thermal effect rather than a cause for it.



Exoplanets up to 90 times closer to their star than Earth is to the Sun.

Excellent – we outlined this ‘resonance chain’ (as they have now dubbed it) in an earlier post here at the Talkshop [see ‘Talkshop note’ in the linked post for details].

When NASA announced its discovery of the TRAPPIST-1 system back in February it caused quite a stir, and with good reason says

Three of its seven Earth-sized planets lay in the star’s habitable zone, meaning they may harbour suitable conditions for life.

But one of the major puzzles from the original research describing the system was that it seemed to be unstable.

“If you simulate the system, the planets start crashing into one another in less than a million years,” says Dan Tamayo, a postdoc at U of T Scarborough’s Centre for Planetary Science.


Despite Saturday’s so-called “March for Science,” the almost simultaneous release of a Second Edition of a Research Report showing the exact opposite of what some of the marchers claim to be the conclusions of climate science, has brought home the Orwellian reality that the marchers have gotten their claims concerning what the science says exactly backwards, as Alan Carlin explains.

The Climate March website says their forces of “The Resistance” won’t tolerate institutions that try to “skew, ignore, misuse or interfere with science.”

If the marchers really support science, they should be supporting climate skeptics, not the climate alarmists. How Orwellian can you get? The science is clear.

Carving at Göbekli Tepe

The alleged event appears to pre-date the Göbekli Tepe site itself by at least 1,500 years, which seems at odds with the idea that the carvings were intended as observations of it.

Ancient stone carvings confirm that a comet struck the Earth around 11,000BC, a devastating event which wiped out woolly mammoths and sparked the rise of civilisations, says the Daily Telegraph.

Experts at the University of Edinburgh analysed mysterious symbols carved onto stone pillars at Göbekli Tepe in southern Turkey, to find out if they could be linked to constellations. The markings suggest that a swarm of comet fragments hit Earth at the exact same time that a mini-ice age struck, changing the entire course of human history. 

Scientists have speculated for decades that a comet could be behind the sudden fall in temperature during a period known as the Younger Dryas.

Image credit: NASA

Basing all government climate research funding on one narrow theory was never a smart policy.

Prominent scientists operating outside the scientific consensus on climate change urged Congress on Wednesday to fund “red teams” to investigate “natural” causes of global warming and challenge the findings of the United Nations’ climate science panel.

The suggestion for a counter-investigative science force – or red team approach – was presented in prepared testimony by scientists known for questioning the influence of human activity on global warming.

It comes at a time when President Donald Trump and other members of the administration have expressed doubt about the accepted science of climate change, and are considering drastic cuts to federal funding for scientific research.

Quiet sun [image credit: NASA]

Solar variation influencing climate is suddenly plausible, say researchers. Who knew? Well, nearly everyone except climate modellers. Although they still mutter about human influence, the reality of the solar slowdown is starting to bite it seems. If as they suggest ‘A weaker sun could reduce temperatures by half a degree’ what might they expect from a ‘stronger sun’?

For the first time, model calculations show a plausible way that fluctuations in solar activity could have a tangible impact on the climate, reports

Studies funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation expect human-induced global warming to tail off slightly over the next few decades. A weaker sun could reduce temperatures by half a degree.

Despite confessing to being ‘baffled by clouds’, climate science and its media followers are still prone to assertions like ‘as the world warms’ – as though it’s bound to do so indefinitely.

Though we see them every day, clouds remain such a mystery to scientists that they are inhibiting climate change predictions. But a new atlas could be a game changer, thinks DW.COM.

Nothing beats a lazy afternoon sitting on the grass and watching the clouds roll by. These white fluffy friends can feel like a constant and comforting presence in life. And since the dawn of air travel, as folk singer Joni Mitchell once sang, we’ve looked at clouds from both sides now.

But as Mitchell cautioned, somewhow we still don’t know clouds at all. Her words were true in 1969, and they are still true today.


Once the El Niño crutch is kicked away, what have climate models got left in terms of warming apart from ‘the pause’? Not a lot, according to this analysis.

El Ninos can be used to make computer climate models look better than they are, for a short time at least, says Dr. David Whitehouse.

The message one is trying to get across when communicating science can depend much on what one doesn’t say. Leaving something vital out can make all the difference and when it’s done it can make scientists look like politicians, although not sophisticated ones.

As an example of what I mean consider the El Niño phenomenon – a short-term oceanographic weather event. The El Niño can be used to make computer climate models look better than they are, for a short time at least.


With sadness, I’m sharing the news that my Talkshop co-blogger Tim Channon passed away on Friday. Tim had been bravely battling with cancer for some time, and was still upbeat and lively-minded when I spoke with him last week. Since then unfortunately, medical complications set in.

Tim was one of a kind. A humorous, thoughtful and technically brilliant individual. His contribution to our understanding of cyclic phenomena through the analysis software he wrote propelled me into my own research. His patient recording of weather data and survey of UK weather stations demonstrate the depth of interest and passion he had for bringing facts to bear on the climate debate. His dedication, skill and good natured rebukes against uninformed speculation and bad theory puts him in the Pantheon of great sceptical thinkers and scientists.

Tim will be missed and remembered.



Tropical beach

Tropical beach

Can the tropics ever get too hot for life on Earth, or not? That’s the question posed by this research. As the report notes: ‘these theories are controversial’.

New research findings show that as the world warmed millions of years ago, conditions in the tropics may have made it so hot some organisms couldn’t survive, reports

Longstanding theories dating to the 1980s suggest that as the rest of the earth warms, the tropical temperatures would be strictly limited, or regulated by an internal ‘thermostat.’

These theories are controversial, but the debate is of great importance because the tropics and subtropics comprise half of the earth’s surface area, greater than half of the earth’s biodiversity, as well as over half the earth’s human population.

But new geological and climate-based research indicates the tropics may have reached a temperature 56 million years ago that was, indeed, too hot for living organisms to survive in parts of the tropics.

A bust of George Ellery Hale at Palomar Observatory [image credit: Visitor 7 / Wikipedia]

A bust of George Ellery Hale at Palomar Observatory [image credit: Visitor 7 / Wikipedia]

This is an extended re-write of the earlier post on this topic. The purpose is to explain the Jose cycle chart shown below (in blue).
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The Hale cycle is the time taken for solar magnetic polarity to return to its initial state (i.e. two ~11-year cycles: one north, one south), so the two reversals of polarity take around 22 years.

Estimates of mean solar (Hale) cycle length:
‘Finally, we recover a 22.14-year cycle of the solar dynamo in the framework of a reduced zero-dimensional a-s dynamo model.’ – Stefani et al.

N. Scafetta re JEV: The 22.14 yr period is very close to the ~22 yr Hale solar magnetic cycle

I. Wilson (2012)
A Planetary Spin-Orbit Coupling Model for Solar Activity
Hence, the basic unit of change in the Sun’s rotation rate (i.e. an increase followed by a decrease) is 2 x 11.07 years = 22.14 years. This is essentially equal to the mean length of the Hale magnetic sunspot cycle of the Sun which is 22.1 +/- 2.0 yrs).

The aim here is to link the Hale cycle to the planetary movements of Jupiter and Saturn.