Comments On “Easterbrook on the potential demise of sunspots”

See update under the heading of WHY WOULD GLOBAL TEMPERATURES DROP?

The following are my comments on the post Easterbrook on the potential demise of sunspotsat WattsUpWithThat.

MORE MISREPRESENTATIONS ABOUT THE PDO

Don J. Easterbrook wrote: “The evidence consisted of temperature data from isotope analyses in the Greenland ice cores, the past history of the PDO, alpine glacial fluctuations, and the abrupt Pacific SST flips from cool to warm in 1977 and from warm to cool in 1999. Projection of the PDO to 2040 forms an important part of this cooling prediction.”

Since the PDO does not represent the Sea Surface Temperature of the North Pacific, the prediction is flawed. Figure 1 is a graph of North Pacific SST anomalies, north of 20N, which is the area from which the PDO (the 1stPrinciple Component of the detrended SST anomalies of that area) is derived. There’s no flip “from warm to cool in 1999”. In reality, SST anomalies there appear to have peaked in 2004.

Figure 1

And Figure 2 is a graph of the SST anomalies for the North Pacific, all of it north of the equator. There’s no flip from “warm to cool in 1999” there either. Like the subset above, the SST anomalies of the North Pacific may have peaked in 2004.

Figure 2

THE TSI VERSUS TEMPERATURE COMPARISON GRAPH HAS MULTIPLE WRONGS

Figure 3 is Figure 4 from Don Easterbrook’s post. It compares an unspecified temperature dataset to a “modified” Hoyt and Schatten TSI reconstruction. There’s no description of how these modifications to the TSI reconstruction were made. The variations in Hoyt and Schatten TSI reconstruction were created to explain the changes in global temperature until the 1970s. AGW was then said to have been responsible for the rise in global temperatures since the 1970s. Further, the Hoyt and Schatten data is also obsolete. Recent reconstructions of TSI no longer include the variations in solar minimum. Refer to Figure 4. That’s three strikes for that graph: An unspecified Temperature dataset, an undocumented modification to a TSI dataset, and an obsolete TSI dataset.

Figure 3

##########################################

Figure 4

Source of data for Figure 4 is:

http://www.leif.org/research/TSI%20(Reconstructions).xls

THE UNUSUAL IPCC MODEL VS GLOBAL TEMPERATURE ANOMALY GRAPH

Figure 5 is Figure 5 from the Easterbrook post. It’s is a very, very unusual graph. It appears that the data before the 1997/98 El Niño has been smoothed with a multiyear filter, and after that, an unknown dataset smoothed with a 12-month filter has been spliced to it. It really appears contrived, especially the significant response to the 1998/99/00/01 La Niña.

Figure 5

Figure 6 is a comparison of the IPCC multi-model mean for global surface temperatures and Global HADCRUT surface temperature anomaly data. I’ve used HADCRUT because it has the lowest trend of the surface temperature datasets after the 1997/98 El Niño. The actual dip in global surface temperatures after the 1997/98 El Niño is nowhere close to as deep as the one shown in the Easterbrook graph.

Figure 6

Both of those datasets are readily available through the KNMI Climate Explorer:

http://climexp.knmi.nl/selectfield_obs.cgi?someone@somewhere

WHY WOULD GLOBAL TEMPERATURES DROP?

Don Easterbrook’s Figure 5 shows global temperatures dropping in the future. Why would they drop? We’re pretty close to solar minimum now. Is TSI expected to drop below the minimums of the last few solar cycles? I’ve never seen this discussed in any paper presented about the current solar minimum. Therefore, where do these expectations of decreased TSI come from?

UPDATE (June 18, 2011): Dr. Leif Svalgaard, Solar Physicist from Stanford University, confirmed my suspicions that there is no reason to expect Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) levels to drop below “normal” solar cycle minimums during the upcoming grand minimum. See Leif Svalgaard’s June 17, 2011 at 10:01 pm comment a WattsUpWithThat. That is, referring to Figure 7, there is no reason to expect that TSI during an extended solar minimum will drop lower than 1365.4-1365.5 watts/m^2. If that’s the case, why would temperatures drop as shown in Figure 5 from Easterbrook’s post?

Figure 7

CLOSING

Arguments about anthropogenic global warming cannot be won by misrepresenting the PDO, or by using outdated TSI data, or by creating unusual global temperature anomaly graphs that are obviously wrong to anyone familiar with the instrument temperature record.

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About Bob Tisdale

Research interest: the long-term aftereffects of El Niño and La Nina events on global sea surface temperature and ocean heat content. Author of the ebook Who Turned on the Heat? and regular contributor at WattsUpWithThat.
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59 Responses to Comments On “Easterbrook on the potential demise of sunspots”

  1. Taliesyn says:

    Bob,
    The papers presented this week at AAS indicate that the solar magnetic fields are not showing evidence for the beginnings of solar cycle 25 – which they should if it was going to start as normal. Such a decline in solar activity has not been observed before (in the modern science era), and this coupled with the weakness of solar cycle 24 may mean (I’m not saying this will necessarily come to pass) that we are entering a Dalton-like period of TSI. Could this impact climate. I am not going to whip anyone into a frenzy about it – because we won’t know until it happens. But perhaps we should be watching for it.

  2. vukcevic says:

    Hi Mr. Tisdale
    I have some reservations about TSI reconstructions. Only good TSI data are those obtained by satellites since 1970, although 1950 + is OK.
    Reconstructions are in the main mixture of the McCracken heliospheric field data and sunspot number (SSN) + deducting some of the McCracken’s ‘DC bias’ (i.e. values below data’ variable threshold) all the way up to 1950.
    I think that Svalgaard’s lower limit is unrealistic (http://www.leif.org/research/Rudolf%20Wolf%20Was%20Right.pdf ). There is also Wang’s which is nearest to what is used by IPCC.
    In my forthcoming (if ever finished) article I am including some comments on TSI, based on the graphs (see the link below, some values are normalised to CET, since that is my primary concern).
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/TSI.pdf

  3. Steven Mosher says:

    Thanks Bob, when I saw the TSI reconstructions ( I’ve been looking at them on Lucia’s and playing with R ) and then looked at Easterbrooks work, I wondered what nonsense was affoot.

    Also figure 5 is a train wreck as you noted

  4. Mitch says:

    Hi Mr Tisdale,
    I am a heavy follower of your blog, and I enjoy your posts, however I’m curious as to why you presume that TSI changes are the only way the Sun can affect the Global Climate (Based on your Above Quote “Aren’t we near a Minimum Now”?). Sure TSI is one thing, but have you ever thought that perhaps its not changes from the Sun Directly, but Changes to the Climate System (Long Term) in Response to changes in the Sun, that have a potential long term effect? The Earth’s Temperature Shouldn’t (and Hasn’t) correlated to exact “trends” in the Solar Cycle, but more-so the overall state of the Activity vs relative equilibrium, (above or below relative median).

    Or elsewhere, Consideringed that the Sun’s Coronal Magnetic Field that has increased by a Factor of 2.3 over the Past Century (likely even more Since 1700), may be the root of change? Evidenced by the fact that TSI variations are too small to have a Major Effect, But alterations in Cloud Cover and Ozone in the Climate System due to direct and indirect Solar forcing can have a massive effect if the forcings persist to cause significant changes, thus altering the planets relative equilibrium?

    After all, we can see what happens in the Milancovitch Cycles, with alterations to almost 12 degreesC, and deciphering forcing and feedback is extremely important within Solar vs Climate Research.

    Thankyou
    Phil 🙂

  5. Bob Tisdale says:

    Mitch: My discussions in this post were directed at what was presented by Easterbrook in his post.

    Also, Leif Svalgaard made an appearance on the WUWT thread:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/06/17/easterbrook-on-the-potential-demise-of-sunspots/#comment-683254
    It would be best for your to ask Leif the questions you’ve asked here.

    Regards

  6. Dennis Hlinka says:

    Bob,

    I have nothing really much to say other than: “WOW – I am fully blown away by your honesty and integrity! ”

    I posted your link on WeatherBell along with some other comments if you are interested: http://www.weatherbell.com/weatherbell-press/beware-of-a-mini-ice-age/

    Dennis H.

  7. Bob Tisdale says:

    Dennis Hlinka: I’m not sure why you find this post so surprising. I’ve been posting about these subjects for years.

  8. Bob Tisdale says:

    vukcevic: Thanks for the link.

  9. Dennis Hlinka says:

    My surprise is that you could have just kept quite and let a fellow WUWT poster get away with his pure BS. Keeping quite is something I think people with less integrity, like Joe D’Aleo and his compadre Joe Bastardi would have done. In fact Joe D’Aleo posted Don Esterbrook’s posting in his ICECAP website with no comment. I complement you for standing up and reiterating the true facts and components of the issue. That’s all.

    Have a good day!

  10. Don says:

    As a lay person here is what I read Dr Easterbrook to say “IF in fact we enter a prolong solar minimum, as in prior extended solar minimums, world wide temeperatures wil drop.” Dr Easterbrook said clearly that we do not know the mechanism between sun spots and global climate however history clearly is on his side. You did not dispute at all the possible relationship between cosmic rays and cloud cover and the impact on global temperatures that he mentioned. You demonstrated no evidence that extended solar minimums and lower earth temperatures are only a coincidence.

    If you have such evidence please link to it and I will be happy to look at it..

  11. Bob Tisdale says:

    Don: My post was about specifically about the points that I raised. Easterbrook’s post failed because he provided a dubiously created illustration of Global Temperature anomalies in his Figure 5. His post failed because he misrepresented the Pacfic Decadal Oscillation (PDO). His post failed because he used an obsolete TSI reconstruction in his Figure 4, which disproves his statement, “What can we learn from this historic data? Clearly, a strong correlation exists between solar variation and temperature.” In other words, no correlation exists. His post fails because he modifoed a TSI reconstruction and did not identify how it was modified. His post fails because he did not identify the Global Temperature reconstruction dataset he compared with the obsolete TSI data.

    With all of those massive problems with the post, do you believe his claiming “exactly how solar variation are translated into climatic changes on Earth is not clear” helps the post? Do you think his introducing cosmic rays to the discussion counters all of the other problems? All cosmics rays and clouds have done is muddy the waters. Those other problems with his post exist. They don’t disappear.

  12. Daniel says:

    Easterbrook is a professor emeritus, not a professor as he describes himself.

  13. ray toster says:

    Bob you have destroyed Easterbrooks article, well done. What I would like to know; Why was it so cold in the Little Ice Age?

    There seems to be something missing in all this climate cleverness.

    Ray

  14. Paul Vaughan says:

    Bob, once again I applaud your efforts to straighten people out on what PDO is and what it is not. The intolerable PDO misunderstandings must be arrested & corrected.

    However, Svalgaard has seriously damaged his own credibility & trustworthiness by raising frivolous objections to LeMouel, Blanter, Shnirman, & Courtillot’s seminal 2010 paper.

    Best Regards.

  15. Brian H says:

    Dennis Hlinka says:
    June 17, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    My surprise is that you could have just kept quite and let a fellow WUWT poster get away with his pure BS. Keeping quite is something I think people with less integrity, like Joe D’Aleo and his compadre Joe Bastardi would have done. In fact Joe D’Aleo posted Don Esterbrook’s posting in his ICECAP website with no comment. I complement you for standing up and reiterating the true facts and components of the issue. That’s all.

    Have a good day!

    Couldn’t resist the temptation to toss slurs left and right, huh? Overall, your comment is quite offensive, as intended. It would be better if you kept quite quiet. And learned to spell “quiet”.

  16. Pingback: Easterbrook on the potential demise of sunspots ( Global Cooling ahead?)

  17. Bob Tisdale says:

    ray toster says: “What I would like to know; Why was it so cold in the Little Ice Age?”

    Volcanoes maybe?

    I normally don’t concern myself with temperatures before the instrument temperature record, and for the most part I limit myself to discussions during the satellite era. But the following is a graph of Sunspots that have been adjusted per Leif Svalgaard’s recent “Updating The Historical Sunspot Record”. See the discussion of Figure 16:
    http://www.leif.org/research/SOHO-23,%20Updating%20the%20Historical%20Sunspot%20Record.pdf
    That correction increases the sunspot numbers before 1945 by 20%. I had no idea what to do with the early Sunspot data, so I left it as is. Also included on the graph is the Mann Weighted Dust Veil Index(scaled), which is based on the Lamb Dust Veil Index, both of which are intended as a measure of the frequency and magnitude of explosive volcanic eruptions.

    The scaling of the DVI data (0.4) was solely to have the variation in both visible on the same graph. If you need to scale them for temperature response, here are links to sources:

    The Mann Weighted Dust Veil Index Data:
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/ei/ei_data/volcanic.dat
    Annual Sunspot Numbers from 1700 to 2009:
    ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/SOLAR_DATA/SUNSPOT_NUMBERS/INTERNATIONAL/yearly/YEARLY.PLT
    Early Sunspot Numbers, Incomplete from 1611 to 1715:
    ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/SOLAR_DATA/SUNSPOT_NUMBERS/ANCIENT_DATA/earlyssn.dat

  18. Lawrie Ayres says:

    Ray Toster,

    I am an interested bystander but like you would like to know the cause of the cooling in the Little Ice Age. I’m also struck by the seeming regularity of major climatic changes, Roman Warm, Dark ages, Medieval Warm, LIA, 20th Century warming etc. More than a flux in volcanic eruptions methinks. Unscientific no doubt but some observed that a history of landscape paintings may give clues to the prevailing climate. Apparently landscapes painted during the LIA had very cloudy skies and washed out colouring, what one would expect if it were cold and wet.

    Time alone will tell. I’m just hoping every climate related scientist observes the data and forgets the advocacy. In that way we will have an honest record.

  19. Espen says:

    Bob: About volcanoes: Just yesterday I discovered that stratospheric cooling is not the evidence of AGW which it usually is “marketed” as. There simply is no downward trend: Instead the cooling appeared in two marked steps after the El Chichon and Pinatubo eruptions, which first caused a strong warming and then abrupt cooling (because as the stratosphere cleaned up, ozone was destroyed).

    So I’m now wondering if the long time effect of big eruptions actually is one of tropospheric warming, because the ozone needs decades to rebound.

  20. Ninderthana says:

    Bob,

    It is important to say that the PDO represents and what it does not represent.

    The PDO is a specific long-term sea surface temperature pattern across the central and northern Pacific. During a positive PDO, the North West pacific is cooler than normal while the equatorial eastern pacific is warmer than normal. During a negative PDO, the reverse is true.

    http://ffden-2.phys.uaf.edu/645fall2003_web.dir/Jason_Amundson/enso.htm

    Modern world temperature records show that when world temperatures are warming, the PDO is mostly positive, and when world temperatures are cooling, the PDO is mostly negative. This is where the confusion
    occurs, with some people equating the sign of the PDO with geographically averaged seas surface temperatures in the northern Pacific.

  21. Greg B. says:

    Bob,

    As a comparative newcomer to the AGW debate, I was interested in your comments concerning the Easterbrook paper at WUWT. In particular, I was a little concerned regarding your question as to why global temperatures would drop in the future.

    It would appear that the intensity of the current La Nina would point to such a possibility. Furthermore, as Easterbrook has noted, there is increasing evidence of a strong correlation between waning sunspot activity and increased cloud cover (Svensmark’s position). If there is a prolonged period of increased cloud cover, then there is a strong possibility that we will see both land-based and oceanic temperatures start to drop (due to increased albedo). Indeed, as Easterbrook has pointed out, the current solar cycle (SC24) is very weak – the third in a row to exhibit progressive weakening.

    It is interesting to note that temperatures across Canada and the northern half of the USA are in general, below the 30-year means. Indeed, even daytime temperatures at six of eight airport weather stations across the Hawaiian islands are also exhibiting increased ‘cooling’ (despite heading towards the summer solstice). The nightime temperatures are yet to exhibit the same trend – being bolstered by increased nocturnal cloud cover.

    Something is going on … and I think it would be premature to say that temperatures won’t continue to drop if the sunspot activity labors or disappeears for any length of time.

    Greg B.

  22. Bob Tisdale says:

    Espen says: “So I’m now wondering if the long time effect of big eruptions actually is one of tropospheric warming, because the ozone needs decades to rebound.”

    Your outside my areas of study. Have you given a look at Alan Robock’s papers?
    http://climate.envsci.rutgers.edu/robock/robock_volpapers.html

  23. Bob Tisdale says:

    Ninderthana says: “The PDO is a specific long-term sea surface temperature pattern across the central and northern Pacific. During a positive PDO, the North West pacific is cooler than normal while the equatorial eastern pacific is warmer than normal. During a negative PDO, the reverse is true.”

    The PDO represents the leading PC of the SST anomalies of the North Pacific north of 20N, not the equatorial or tropical Pacific The reason the eastern tropical Pacific is warmer at that time you discuss is because ENSO drives the PDO.

    You continued, “Modern world temperature records show that when world temperatures are warming, the PDO is mostly positive, and when world temperatures are cooling, the PDO is mostly negative. This is where the confusion occurs, with some people equating the sign of the PDO with geographically averaged seas surface temperatures in the northern Pacific.”

    Agreed. That’s why I wrote the posts about what the PDO represents and what it doesn’t represent.
    https://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2009/04/27/misunderstandings-about-the-pdo-%e2%80%93-revised/
    And:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2010/09/introduction-to-enso-amo-and-pdo-part-3.html

    Regards

  24. Bob Tisdale says:

    Greg B.: I recall seeing notes this year that the cosmic ray/cloud researchers would be presenting the results of their experiments shortly, but I also recall reading something similar a few years ago. When that research is done and the evidence is presented, that would be the time to discuss it. Right now, we’d both be speculating.

  25. Paul Vaughan says:

    Ninderthana, you are correct about the orthogonality over the latter half of the record (which can be seen by looking at the integral of PDO), but we cannot forget the dramatic phase reversal ~1923 pointed out by Yndestad (that coincides with the phase reversal of the terrestrial polar motion envelope, which I now suspect was not caused by a reversal of Chandler wobble phase, but rather by something else on which I am presently working during severely limited free time). The preceding highlights the need for complex treatment (as in complex numbers, not complicated – actually quite simple once understood) rather than the linear one ridiculously (can’t be overstated enough) assumed by PCA.

    Another huge problem with PDO, which Bob has depicted with maps in the past, is the ambiguity of the spatial pattern for readings near 0; the correspondence is many-to-one. It actually might be quite interesting (& efficiently educational) if Bob finds time to organize a blog article depicting dozens of dramatically-differing North Pacific SST patterns giving PDO~=0.


    Bob, the sunspot numbers adjustment has NO impact on solar cycle phase and hence NO impact on solar cycle deceleration. Too much focus on amplitude & not enough on phase in online climate discussions. Lots of people trying hard to keep the masses focused on red herrings — and a sinfully shameful number of otherwise-intelligent people completely ignorant of the simple implications of LeMouel, Blanter, Shnirman, & Courtillot (2010).


    Svalgaard failed for nearly 2 years of hyperactive commenting to provide the physics needed to understand patterns shared (whether causally or coincidentally) by solar & terrestrial systems. Piers Corbyn succeeded in 1 succinct e-mail. Ian Wilson reinforced Corbyn’s lesson by sharing one unpublished (to my knowledge) article. LeMouel, Blanter, Shnirman, & Courtillot (2010) provided the hammer blow that drove the nail home.


    It’s good to see that a few are starting to clue in to missing essential ingredients for sensible discussion — for example, see the comments of “Thierry” here:
    1. http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/06/16/roy-martin-milankovitch-cycles-and-ice-age-timings/#comment-6915
    2. http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/06/16/roy-martin-milankovitch-cycles-and-ice-age-timings/#comment-6927


    Best Regards.

  26. Dennis Hlinka says:

    Brian H.: “Couldn’t resist the temptation to toss slurs left and right, huh?”

    Only if it is merited. Joe Bastardi, who goes out there into the public media (the Fox Business News program) presenting himself as a scientist with a credible background in extended weather forecasting and then submits a posting on his company’s web site linking to his appearance on TV touting his message that a new mini ice age is coming based on bogus PDO, sunspot minimum, and some unforeseeable volcano increase information that Bob has just fully discredited in this current blog posting. This is OK with you?

    His partner in crime, Joe D’Aleo appears to go along with this same message, otherwise he would have at least taken the time to comment about his scientific misgivings on his ICECAP site if he felt it was necessary, but he didn’t.

    Bob Tisdale is the only one (somewhat on that other side of the fence) that has stood up many times here (just take the time and read Bob’s comment on June 17 at 8:58 P.M. above) and for that I fully commend his speaking out. I will continue to fully criticize the garbage being spread out into the public domain by charlatans and carnival barkers represented by the two Joe’s who simply just want to misinform and confuse the public with junk science in order to satisfy their corporate sponsors while satisfying their self absorbing public egos.

    I am sorry that my comments offend you Brian, but having Joe B. and Joe D. spreading this level of false information out there into the public domain is quite (and I use the word quite correctly here) offensive to me as an atmospheric scientist.

    By the way thanks for filling in as my spell checker. I am still working very hard on overcoming my dyslexia after all these years.

    I will be quiet “for now” so I won’t possibly offend you anymore.

  27. Bob Tisdale says:

    Dennis Hlinka (June 18, 2011 at 3:35 pm): Please refrain from personal attacks. As a note, if I were Bastardi and D’Aleo and found you bad-mouthing me at other blogs, I wouldn’t have any qualms about banning you from the WeatherBell blog.

  28. Dennis Hlinka says:

    Bob,

    Thanks for the advice, but it wouldn’t be the first time for Joe D’Aleo to personally cut off my communications with or about him. So be it if he wants to again. My disdain for his hidden political agenda masked in pseudo science, what he stands for, and who he represents will not change no matter how many times he may cut me off.

    I know you don’t do it here Bob, and I am not pointing the fingers at anyone directly, but if I may ask, why is that type criticism condoned on a near daily basis in regards to the personal attacks I see regularly being directed at Charles Mann, Phil Jones and most other dominant climate scientists from the conservative bloggers on the WUWT site and others of a similar philosophy? By the way, the word charlatan is used quite frequently on WUWT, most recently in regards AMS members (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/06/16/on-the-hijacking-of-the-american-meteorological-society-ams/#more-41788). A big part of that personal attack on members of the AMS even comes directly from non other than Joe D’Aleo, who happens to feel personally slighted by the AMS and other scientific organizations that don’t agree with his brand of junk science. Why am I not allowed to consider his condemnation of the very organization he still uses to prop up his credentials as a personal attack on me as an AMS member?

    Can Charles Mann or Phil Jones or other climate scientist ban these people from their personal attacks on them? Why aren’t those personal attacks on a climate scientist considered offensive to any of you as well? Is it just deemed to be OK since the attack is directed at some type of authority figure that has a college education that is now disdained in our current society as an being elitist and therefore deserving of their criticism?

    The minute I incorporate a similar type of criticism on one of the leaders of a group of leaders that purposely misleads people with scientifically invalid reporting and public dissemination, I am automatically chastised by those same people (not you Bob) for being offensive when I call them or one of their leaders out for how they are irresponsibly spreading that obvious misinformation into the public forum.

    A double standard of allowing or not allowing such criticism appears to have been created, where it appears to be OK for one side to do it, but not OK for another, and is somehow tolerated and actually cheered on as a crowd pleaser when it is directed at the climate scientists and abruptly criticized and considered an inappropriate put down when it goes the other way. Why is that?

    All I am asking for is a little fairness in the criticism being lashed out in this back and forth bantering that we are having in this debate. Our future generations are depending on us from making the right decisions. The spreading of misinformation from particular groups posing as informed scientists keeps delaying us from making those critically necessary decisions in a timely and cost effective manner.

    Again thanks to Bob, at least some of that misinformation presently being pushed by Joe D. and others on his side of the debate has been fully discredited by you personally.

  29. timetochooseagain says:

    Bob, you ask why one would expect a significant cooling to occur as a result of a solar minimum. If a hypothetical minimum was an “ordinary” solar minimum in terms of duration, rather than a prolonged lull as in the Maunder, then one would not expect any more cooling than normally occurs. If however the minimum were prolonged, even if it were only to about the “normal” minimum level in terms of activity, the cooling effect of such would in fact be larger (how much I don’t know) than we observe with brief minima. The Earth system takes time to fully respond to a change in solar input (indeed to any “forcing”) and as such it never responds fully to the change from brief minima. Just as you often point out that the response of the climate to ENSO cannot be taken as just the near instantaneous response to ENSO linearly on temperature, so too one must account for the delayed response to solar and other forcings.

  30. Bob Tisdale says:

    timetochooseagain: Wouldn’t your answer assume there is a TSI threshold, above which global surface temperatures will rise, and below which surface temperatures will drop? I’ve never heard of one.

  31. Espen says:

    Bob, thanks for the link! The relevance to your areas of study would be that variations in UV could have an effect on tropical SST (since UV penetrates the surface water much deeper than visible light).

  32. Dennis Hlinka says:

    Oops, my bad. Goes to show you what spending too many years in DC watching the Redskins will do to trick your brain in regards to performing a simple name recall of a climate expert that just happens to have the same last name as a football player. It is really hard to believe I did that, especially since I gave up on the Redskins a long time ago. I made the same error twice, which is even more embarrassing.

    I realized I made the mix-up on Michael Mann’s name right after I sent the posting, but I figured I would just wait and see just what kind of responses the obvious error would generate once people catch on to it through the evening. To my surprise nobody caught it or bothered to respond, which I can understand either way.

    Anyway, I had to laugh at myself for doing that and be upfront with it. I will never mix up those two names again, I hope!

    Have a good, scientifically factual day!

  33. timetochooseagain says:

    Bob-No, a threshold has nothing to do with it. It is merely a matter of activity decreasing relative to were it was at any given time, or increasing relative to were it was at a given time. Imagine that the sun were very briefly brighter by a slight amount. This should, all else being equal, induce a slight warming of the Earth, but not instantaneously, for a brief period of time. The briefness of this brightness increase would mean that by the time the sun were back to normal, the Earth may have responded only by a fraction of the amount it eventually would have, had the brightness increase been sustained. One can see this kind of amplitude damping in how the peaks and troughs of the seasonal cycle in sea surface temperatures are less (relatively) extreme compared to land surface cycles, and they are shifted a couple of months later, this is because it takes some time to really heat the ocean, much more so than land, and of course most of the Earth’s surface is covered by ocean. So the response of the system to perturbation is damped in time. The cooling in observed brief minima of solar cycles relative to the maxima should logically be less. The expectation I’m talking about here is pretty much just physics, it makes plenty of sense and there is no reason to think it is wrong.

    Like I said, however, how much of an effect I couldn’t say.

  34. Brent Buckner says:

    Bob Tisdale:
    Just a note that the CLOUD group aren’t the only ones at work on clouds and cosmic rays. There’s already published materials that folks may consider, e.g. Danish group in GRL

  35. Bob Tisdale says:

    timetochooseagain says: “Bob-No, a threshold has nothing to do with it. It is merely a matter of activity decreasing relative to were it was at any given time, or increasing relative to were it was at a given time.”

    But TSI during an upcoming grand minimum is not expected to drop below levels that occur during the normal solar cycle minimums. So global tempertures could only drop proportionately from the temperature assocuiated with where we are in the cycle now to the temperature associated with solar minimum.

  36. Bob Tisdale says:

    Brent Buckner: Thanks for the link.

  37. nevket240 says:

    Bob Tisdale says:

    June 20, 2011 at 6:20 am
    So global tempertures could only drop proportionately from the temperature assocuiated with where we are in the cycle now to the temperature associated with solar minimum. ))

    Yes. and that, if treated scientifically and communicated to society professionally will be the death knell of “catastrophic CO2 global warming.” The atmospheric temp will eventually match the “weakness” of the solar cycle giving us a baseline for how much influence the Sun has on the climate cycle.
    The “unprecedented” temps since 1850 is nothing more than an “unprecedented” amount of political activism and taxpayer cash.
    thanks Bob T
    regards

  38. timetochooseagain says:

    Bob-“So global tempertures could only drop proportionately from the temperature assocuiated with where we are in the cycle now to the temperature associated with solar minimum.” They could drop initially as far as that associated with a normal minimum. What I am saying is that if the minimum were sustained, as grand minimum would suggest, the system would have more time to move towards new equilibrium from lower solar activity, and would try to cool, if possible, to the level that would be associated with that activity if the activity did not start to increase immediately as it does during normal minima. This is true of other “forcings”as well. If one looks for example at the temperatures associated with night and day changes in insolation anywhere on the earth, there is a definite “floor” of zero insolation during all the night hours. But if one examines the diurnal temperature cycle, again anywhere, there is no long flat period of cooler temperatures, rather, the temperatures continue to decrease throughout the night as it goes on, until the insolation starts to rise again in the morning. Additonally, and this is very analogous, the cooling of nights relative to days is greater when the nights are longer, despite the fact that the forcing still has the same minimum, zero insolation.

  39. Geoff Sharp says:

    Is TSI expected to drop below the minimums of the last few solar cycles? I’ve never seen this discussed in any paper presented about the current solar minimum. Therefore, where do these expectations of decreased TSI come from?

    There is a new paper that backs up the so called obsolete Hoyt and Schatten TSI reconstruction and also challenges the Svalgaard solar floor theory. Multiple components of TSI are displayed showing a similar trend to H&S with varying amplitudes. If this paper is found to be correct an apology to Dr. Easterbrook may be in order?

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S136468260800117X
    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/1102/1102.4763v1.pdf

    The temperature reconstruction used in Easterbrook’s graph looks similar to Moberg 2005.
    http://theinconvenientskeptic.com/2011/04/2000-years-of-rate-of-temperature-change/

    You may have your own personal views on the PDO but Dr. Easterbrook is merely using the accepted PDO values.

  40. Bob Tisdale says:

    Geoff Sharp: I just said goodbye to your nonsense at the WUWT Easterbrook thread.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/06/17/easterbrook-on-the-potential-demise-of-sunspots/#comment-687278
    I do realize that the goodbye to you has been delayed in moderation, but, I have to ask, why do you insist on prolonging this discussion? Your arguments rely on your own misunderstandings, on claims that are not supported by data, on misdirection, and on outright fabrication.

    You wrote: “The temperature reconstruction used in Easterbrook’s graph looks similar to Moberg 2005.”

    It’s not. Here’s a copy of the comparison graph of Moberg et al 2005 Northern Hemisphere Surface Temperature and the obsolete Hoyt and Schatten TSI reconstruction used in the Easterbrook graph. There are no similarities. I linked at copy of this graph for you on the Easterbrook thread at WUWT:

    You wrote: “You may have your own personal views on the PDO but Dr. Easterbrook is merely using the accepted PDO values.”

    My views about the PDO are based on data. Dr. Easterbrooks views on the PDO are based on his misunderstandings, as are yours.

    Last, have you noticed that Easterbrook never responded to my comments about his post at WUWT? It’s been about a week. You on the other hand, based on you unwillingness to accept what is presented by data, will argue, apparently for the sake of highlighting your own failings.

    Starting about here on the Easterbrook thread…
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/06/17/easterbrook-on-the-potential-demise-of-sunspots/#comment-684522
    …you have done nothing but destroy your own credibility with those who have bothered to read your nonsense.

  41. Geoff Sharp says:

    I think you have dug yourself a hole with your criticism of Easterbrook and are now unable to retract. We might leave it there to reduce your suffering.

  42. Bob Tisdale says:

    Geoff Sharp, as I noted at WUWT, I have no way to moderate comments at WUWT, but I do have that ability here at my blog. Your repeated baseless comments here will be deleted.

    Have a nice day.

  43. Bob Tisdale says:

    Geoff Sharp: Thank you for allowing me to tag your June 23, 2011 at 11:45 am as spam. It will allow me to discover if all of your future comments will be treated as spam.

    And contrary to what you wrote, I have not make unfounded statements about you. YOU do have the weakest arguments of any climate skeptic I have encountered to date.

  44. thepoodlebites says:

    ray toster says: “What I would like to know; Why was it so cold in the Little Ice Age?”
    Volcanoes maybe?

    I posted to SkS about volcanoes and the Little Ice Age (LIA), “what volcanic eruptions occurred during the Little Ice Age that could explain the temperature drop (1400-1800)? Tambora (1815) and Krakatoa (1883) but these occurred after we were coming out of the Little Ice Age. There’s Kuwae (1452) and Huaynaputina (1600), but neither was as strong as Tambora and Huaynaputina was a Southern Hemsiphere eruption, Peru.” No replies, nothing but the sound of crickets.

    I read an interesting article in Scientific American, March 2011, “A Shifting Band of Rain.” There’s a good reconstruction of the Northern Hemisphere temperature anomaly during the Little Ice Age, about -1.0 C cooler than present. Here’s an interesting observation from the article, “when solar energy reaching the top of the atmosphere decreased by just two tenths of a percent for about 100 years, the ITCZ migrated south toward the equator by 500 kilometers.” Maybe there’s a connection between an extended solar minimum and changes in ocean currents.

    SkS likes to push (Feulner & Rahmstorf 2010), “On the effect of a new grand minimum of solar activity on the future climate on Earth”, but it’s five pages of circular reasoning, assumes the conclusions in the premises, a minimal response to reduced solar irradiance (0.025 C), an enhanced response to CO2 doubling of 3.4 C (from A. Levermann, private communication, 2010). Plug these assumptions into the CLIMBER-3a model, and the model results support the assumptions.

  45. Ecoeng says:

    Bob

    I think your naive faith in Svalgaard is misplaced. While he often proclaims (e.g. Svalgarrd and Cliver) that he is the progenitor/arbiter of a new consensus (do we need another) on the Sun there is a wealth of evidence that he is either wrong on TSI or (perhaps more likely) that TSI is not the whole story with respect to solar heating (contrary to what both IPCC and he contend) e.g.

    http://www.pages-igbp.org/download/docs/Steinhilber%20and%20Beer_2011-1%

    http://cc.oulu.fi/~usoskin/personal/Vaquero_ApJL_2011.pdf

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2010JA016220.shtml

    http://rocketscientistsjournal.com/2010/03/sgw.html

  46. Ecoeng says:

    Bob

    My apologies for mucking up the Steinhilber and Beer web reference (a wraparound problem). Here it is again:

    http://www.pages-igbp.org/download/docs/Steinhilber%20and%20Beer_2011-1%285-6%29.pdf

    Here is a another example reference (out of many) on the extreme variability in Holocene (including recent Holocene) climate:

    http://eprints.jcu.edu.au/1855/

    It would be my contention that Svalgaard has a lot to answer if he is saying (as he does) that TSI only varies over a very narrow range and that (as both he in blogs and IPCC in AR4 do) that TSI is the ‘whole story’ when it comes to solar-related climate forcing. I don’t believe he can ‘have it both ways’.

  47. Bob Tisdale says:

    Ecoeng says: “It would be my contention that Svalgaard has a lot to answer if he is saying (as he does) that TSI only varies over a very narrow range and that (as both he in blogs and IPCC in AR4 do) that TSI is the ‘whole story’ when it comes to solar-related climate forcing. I don’t believe he can ‘have it both ways’.”

    Is your assumption that global surface temperatures cannot vary without a change in forcing?

  48. Ecoeng says:

    No. There is clearly a great deal of ‘intra-system’ variation. However, as per the last reference supplied above, I would doubt that sea level variations of the order of +1.0 – +1.5 m and shifts of the order of 1 – 2 mm/year over elevation changes of that magnitude can result from internal variations in the absence of some sort of change in external forcing. Let’s face it – a sea level increase of 1.0 – 1.5 m is not going to result from a large volcanic eruption either, unless of course you are postulating large transient pulses in atmospheric CO2 (with little SO2) in the quite recent past (<3000 years)…..

  49. Paul Vaughan says:

    Bob, look what was posted June 24, 2011:

    “Is the PDO real or a skeptic invention?”
    http://icecap.us/
    PDF (which differs):
    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/THE_PDO%281%29.pdf

    I’ve also received e-mails from folks who are very upset with you for suggesting North Pacific SST & PDO are different things. Clearly the misconceptions are deeply entrenched.

  50. Bob Tisdale says:

    Ecoeng: The next few decades will be telling in many ways.

    Regards

  51. Bob Tisdale says:

    Paul Vaughan says: “I’ve also received e-mails from folks who are very upset with you for suggesting North Pacific SST & PDO are different things. Clearly the misconceptions are deeply entrenched.”

    And they probably believe the scale on the PDO graph is temperature

  52. Ecoeng says:

    Hi Bob

    Yes I agree – the next few decades will be the ‘make or break’ period for the whole AGW edifice I suspect. As I plan to retire in 5 – 7 years (being aged 62 but so far in good health, touch wood) I hope I last long enough to see how this all pans out (and retain enough brain cells to clearly know the difference 😉

    BTW, regarding Svalgaard and TSI etc., I incline towards a similar view to that of Dr. Jeff Glassman that it probably isn’t ‘all about TSI’ but it is more likely clouds control the climate in two ways – amplifying TSI variation, in a short term, positive feedback to the Sun through the burn-off mechanism but mitigating warming by a longer term, negative feedback response to surface temperature through the humidity released by evaporation from surface waters – maybe also amplified by Svensmarks Galactic Cosmic rays effect (hence tied to the heliospheric magnetic field strength). Mike Lockwood’s recent GRL paper on the much greater degree of variation of the heliospheric magnetic field than TSI (by two orders of magnitude) – with a lower base threshold than Svalgaard and Cliver assert, may be an important clue.

    The oceans participate, but have no such feedback response to control or regulate in competition with clouds. Cloud albedo is the most powerful feedback in the warm (interglacial) state of climate, and one which IPCC has singularly failed to model correctly.

    FYI, the latest work on global production by oceanic algae of dimethylsulfide (DMS; a powerful cloud nucleant) has increased the previous estimate of annual DMS production by 17% to total 28 Tg as sulfur – now in about a one third ratio to total anthropogenic sulfur emissions (largely concentrated in the Northern Hemisphere) but largely concentrated in the pristine Southern Ocean. Modeling suggests global DMS production, which is linearly related to atmospheric CO2 and SST (via algal respiration) could easily rise by as much as 150% by the end of the century. This trend will occur regardless of any continuation of the downward trend in global anthropogenic sulfur emissions and could well offset that.

    Gaia may surprise us yet.

    Regards
    Steve

  53. Paul Vaughan says:

    Bob, they’re also very upset with you for taking issue with Easterbrook, but my first 2 thoughts upon reading the WUWT Easterbrook article are EXACTLY what you’ve addressed in this post.

  54. Bob Tisdale says:

    Paul Vaughan, then they’ll be upset with yet another PDO post I’m working on now. Hmm. That sounds like a good title for it.

  55. Paul Vaughan says:

    Bob, I fully support HAMMERING THEM with “Yet Another PDO Post”. And I look forward to the sequels.

  56. “Comments On “Easterbrook on the potential demise of sunspots” | Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations” was indeed
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