Sunspots 2014: Two big surprises

Rare spotless day observed on July 18, 2014. Credit/spaceweather.com

Austin, August 16, 2014 – A rare spotless day on the sun on July 17-18, 2014 triggered public speculation that an already stunted Cycle 24 was nearly over. Such is not the case. Defying the odds for so late in a sunspot cycle, another solar sunspot maximum was set last month. Another one is coming this month.

In other major news, a long needed revision to the 400-year sunspot record was proposed. It’ll be the first change made to the sunspot record since it was first established by Rudolf Wolf back in 1849. The changes will affect long-term climate and other dependent scientific studies.

One effect of the proposal will be to reduce modern sunspot totals. That will wipe out the so-called “Modern Maximum” and make the current sunspot cycle, Cycle 24, the weakest in 200 years.

Cycle 24 solar sunspot progression

New solar maximum set in July. Credit/SILSO data, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Brussels

After four straight months of steep declines in monthly sunspot counts, July reversed the trend and increased slightly.

The Royal Observatory of Belgium released July’s average monthly sunspot count on August 1, 2014. Despite the mid-month spotless day, the sunspot number increased and it grew solar maximum again for the sixth straight month.

Cycle 24 still remains the weakest solar cycle in 100 years. It’s nowhere near NASA’s forecast smoothed peak. Data indicating weak sunspot activity over the next couple cycles remain strong.

Cycle 24’s new smoothed solar maximum peak inched up from 76.0 spots/day to 77.3 spots/day. With the increase in sunspot activity in July there will probably be two or three more months setting new sunspot maximums before the sun starts fading inexorably towards minimum.

When that change finally arrives, long-term indicators suggest the next sunspot cycle will be much weaker than this one. That could portend a general cooling trend for earth, if history serves as a guide to future behavior.

Extended periods of inactivity – like the Spörer, Maunder and Dalton minimums – were all accompanied by cooler earth temperatures. Conditions today mimic Cycles 3, 4 and 5 which marked the beginning of the Dalton Minimum.

Revising the 400-year sunspot record

First revision to sunspot record since 1849. Credit/”Revising the Sunspot Number”

The 400-year sunspot record is the longest continuously recorded daily measurement made in science. It’s used in many scientific disciplines, including climate science studies. It hasn’t been adjusted since Rudolf Wolf created it over 160 years ago.

Over the centuries errors have crept into the record, degrading its value for long-term studies. New data and discoveries now allow scientists to detect and correct errors. The first serious look back at the long-term record since Wolf in 1849 came without even a press release last month. It’s a modestly titled new paper called “Revising the Sunspot Number” by Frédéric Clette, et al., submitted for publication to the journal Solar and Stellar Astrophysics on July 11, 2014.

Some outcomes of the new paper include:

  • The so-called “Modern Maximum” disappears
  • Sunspot activity is steady over the last 250 years
  • Three detected “inhomogeneities” since 1880 are corrected
  • Cycle 24 will become the weakest in 200 years

The new paper describes the current state of understanding of the long term record. It isn’t a complete revision of the entire record, but a first level recalibration going back to 1749. The Royal Observatory of Belgium plans to release this and other revisions incrementally over time.

Solar physicist, Dr. Leif Svalgaard of Stanford University, organized a series of four workshops beginning in 2011 designed to review and revise the long term record. This new paper is the first fruit of that labor. Primarily, it removes “inhomogeneities” and brings the International Sunspot Number and newer Group Count record and solar magnetic history in sync.

Ultimately, Svalgaard seeks to extend the official record back to the early 1600s, before the Maunder Minimum. The paper outlines what needs to occur to make that happen.

For now the proposed revision stops at Wolf’s 1749 starting point.

Conclusions

The sun continues to confound observers. Albeit exceptionally weak, Cycle 24 continues to set solar maximums each month long after its forecast peak of activity should have passed.

Dr. Svalgaard’s landmark physics-based 2004 paper forecasting 75±8 for the Cycle 24 peak is spot on. Everyone else predicted higher numbers, some as high as 144. Back in 2004 he also said solar max would come in “~2011″. By 2009 NASA revised their forecast saying solar max would be in mid-2013. Both are wrong. It hasn’t arrive yet.

The newly proposed revisions to the sunspot record going back to 1749 will have some effect on global warming predictions. Exactly what that effect will be remains to be seen. Based on reduced solar activity, the smart money says the current 14-year “pause” in global warming will last for many more years to come, perhaps accompanied by some cooling.

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Posted on Aug 17, 2014, in astronomy, Climate, climate change, environment, news, Politics, science, solar cycle, solar physics, space, Sun, sunspot activity, sunspot report, sunspots. Bookmark the permalink. 85 Comments.

  1. Dr Svalgaard is out of touch when it comes to the historical climatic record and how it has related to solar activity. Has been proven wrong each and every time.

    The point going forward is the sun during year 2005 has switched from an active phase to an inactive phase thus predictions for future solar activity based on last century’s active sun going forward are meaningless.
    No one including the doctor forecasted the severe solar lull from 2008-2010 as an example .

    it is primary as well as secondary effects from solar activity that effect the climate. Watch the AP index going forward.

    • Dr. Svalgaard is a solar physicist. I don’t believe he has ever claimed to be a climatologist.

      All solar physicists, including Svalgaard, failed to predict the extended minimum between Cycle 23 and 24. You are right about that.

      I’m curious… what other ways has one of the world’s foremost solar physicists “been proven wrong each and every time”?

  2. SOLAR CLIMATE MECHANISMS AND CLIMATE PREDICTION

    MECHANISM ONE

    One solar climate mechanism/connection theory which has much merit in my opinion, is as follows:

    A BRIEF OVERVIEW. At times of low solar irradiance the amounts of sea ice in the Nordic Sea increase, this ice is then driven south due to the atmospheric circulation (also due to weak solar conditions) creating a more northerly air flow in this area.(-NAO) This sea ice then melts in the Sub Polar Atlantic, releasing fresh water into the sub- polar Atlantic waters, which in turn impedes the formation of NADW, which slows down the thermohaline circulation causing warm air not to be brought up from the lower latitudes as far north as previous while in lessening amounts.

    This perhaps can be one of the contributing solar/climate connection factors which brought about previous abrupt N.H. cool downs during the past.

    This makes much sense to me.

    NAO= NORTH ATLANTIC OSCILLATION
    NADW= NORTH ATLANTIC DEEP WATER

    To elaborate on the above, when the sun enters a prolonged solar minimum condition an overall reduction takes place in solar spectral irradiance, namely in UV light (wavelengths less then 400 nm). The shorter the wavelength, the MUCH greater the reduction.

    UV light reduction likely will cause ocean heat content and ocean surface temperatures to drop, due to the fact that UV light in the range of 280 nm-400nm penetrates the ocean surface to depths of 50-100 meters. A reduction in UV (ultra violet) light then should have a profound effect on the amount of energy entering the ocean surface waters from the sun extending down to 50-100 meters in depth, resulting in cooler ocean temperatures.

    This ties into what was said in the above in that if ocean waters in high latitudes such as the Nordic Sea, were to be subject to cooling the result would be much more sea ice which could impede the strength of the thermohaline circulation promoting substantial N.H. cooling.

    Adding to this theory is fairly strong evidence that a decrease in UV light will result in a more meridional atmospheric circulation (which should cause more clouds, precipitation and snow cover for the N.H.), due to changes in ozone distribution in a vertical/horizontal sense which would cause the temperature contrast between the polar areas of the stratosphere and lower latitude areas of the stratosphere to lesson, during prolonged solar minimum periods. Ultra Violet light being likely the most significant solar factor affecting ozone concentrations ,although not the only solar factor.

    This could then set up a more -NAO, (high pressure over Greenland) which would promote a more Northerly flow of air over the Nordic Sea, bringing the sea ice there further South.

    MECHANISM TWO

    A reduction of the solar wind during a prolonged solar minimum event would cause more galactic cosmic rays to enter the earth’s atmosphere which would promote more aerosol formation thus more cloud nucleation. The result more clouds higher albedo, cooler temperatures.

    Compounding this would be a weaker geo magnetic field which would allow more galactic cosmic ray penetration into the atmosphere , while perhaps causing excursions of the geo magnetic poles to occur in that they would be in more southern latitudes concentrating incoming galactic cosmic rays in these southern latitudes where more moisture would be available for the cosmic rays to work with, making for greater efficiency in the creation of clouds.

    MECHANISM THREE

    MILANKOVITCH CYCLES overall favor N.H. cooling and an increase in snow cover over N.H high latitudes during the N.H summers due to the fact that perihelion occurs during the N.H. winter (highly favorable for increase summer snow cover), obliquity is 23.44 degrees which is at least neutral for an increase summer N.H. snow cover, while eccentricity of the earth’s orbit is currently at 0.0167 which is still circular enough to favor reduced summertime solar insolation in the N.H. and thus promote more snow cover.

    In addition the present geographical arrangements of the oceans versus continents is very favorable for glaciation.

    MECHANISM FOUR

    High latitude major volcanic eruptions correlate to prolonged solar minimum periods which translates to stratospheric warming due to an increase in SO2 particles while promoting more lower troposphere cooling.

    One theory of many behind the solar/volcanic connection is that MUONS, a by product of galactic cosmic rays can affect the calderas of certain volcanoes by changing the chemical composition of the matter within the silica rich magma creating aerosols which increase pressure in the magma chamber and hence lead to an explosive eruption.

    Muon densities increase more in higher latitudes at times of weak solar magnetic activity, which is why volcanic activity in the higher latitudes will be affected more by this process.

    These four mechanisms make a strong case for a solar /climate connection in my opinion, and if the prolonged solar minimum meets the criteria I have mentioned going forward and the duration is long enough I expect global cooling to be quite substantial going forward.

    THE CRITERIA

    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 .15% 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.

  3. I think this article is in error when it states “•The so-called “Modern Maximum” disappears”,
    when Dr. Svalgaard has said ad infinitum that there is no “GRAND” maximum. I have heard him refer many times to the current solar epoch as the “modern maximum”, so it seems the author here got that part mixed up, not that it’s all that important what it is called. We do want to recognize that there is a 80-100 Wolf-Gleissberg quasi-periodic cycle that just ended in 08/09 at the last solar minimum, a cycle that has repeated three times in several hundred years. Solar activity is expected to be low for the remainder of SC24 and into SC25. I expect temperatures to drop from that lower solar activity, as it always has throughout history.

    • If this article is wrong, then it is because the new paper “Revising the sunspot number” is wrong. That is where that idea comes from. Cycle 19 still stands out on its own, though.

      The paper authors actually suggest that the definition of a grand maximum may have to be changed, but do not suggest what it should be. There is no disagreement that the ISN counts have been inflated since the 1940s or so, over the period of the “modern maximum”, and when it is synced with group counts and solar magnetic measurements then the modern maximum largely disappears.

      All that according to Frédéric Clette, et al.

  4. justsomeguy31167

    Leif is simply wrong….

  5. From page 71-72, http://www.leif.org/research/Revisiting-the-Sunspot-Number.pdf

    “Still, the vanishing upward trend over the last 250 years questions the existence of a modern “Grand Maximum” in the 20th century (Solanki et al. 2004, Abreu et al. 2008, Usoskin et al. 2012, 2014), which resulted primarily from the erroneous transition between Wolf and Wolfer in the Hoyt and Schatten GN time series. As this “Grand Maximum” concept rests on the occurrence of out-of-range amplitudes of the solar cycle, it is definitely contradicted by the re-calibrated and reconciled SN and GN series.

    Still, although the levels of activity were not exceptional except maybe for cycle 19, the particularly long sequence of strong cycles in the late 20th remains a noteworthy episode. Indeed, the 400-year sunspot record and one of its by products, the number of spotless days, show that such a tight sequence of 5 strong cycles over 6 successive cycles (from 17 to 22, except 20), which we can call the “Modern Maximum”, is still unique over at least the last four centuries. Given the inertia of natural systems exposed to the solar influences, like the Earth atmosphere-ocean system, this cycle clustering could still induce a peak in the external responses to solar activity, like the Earth climate. However, we conclude that the imprint of this Modern Maximum (e.g. Earth climate forcing) would essentially result from time-integration effects (system inertia), since exceptionally high amplitudes of the solar magnetic cycle cannot be invoked anymore. In this suggested revision, the estimated or modeled amplitude of the effects, including the response of the Earth environment, can be quite different, necessarily smaller, and should thus be re-assessed.

    The recalibrated series may thus indicate that a Grand Maximum needs to be redefined as a tight repetition/clustering of strong cycles over several decades, without requiring exceptionally high amplitudes for those cycles compared to other periods.”

    I was the first to congratulate Leif Svalgaard etal on WUWT last week for this monumental reconstruction task after he announced it and this paper, and I asked him for the reconstruction data, which he linked here: http://www.leif.org/research/Revised-Group-Numbers.xls

    And the results, from 1808-1908: 4,735 sunspots; and from 1908-2008: 6,197 sunspots – a 31% increase in solar activity in the last 100 years compared to the previous 100 year period (not including SC24).

    I’d call that a modern maximum!

    • Thanks for the spreadsheet link.

      I guess if you first ignore the purpose of the spreadsheet (plot revised group numbers), then ignore everything before 1808 by cherry picking your starting point in the Dalton Minimum, then it makes the case for a modern maximum in raw ISNs a lot easier.

      However, if you look at the spreadsheet for its intended purpose – plot of the revised 21-yr running group number average – and include all the data then you’ll see in the included group number graph there is no modern maximum.

      The interesting 2nd plot of Berkeley TAVG temperature anomalies over the same time frame, also plotted as a 21-year running average, shows anomalous global warming since 1975 appears unrelated to group sunspot activity.

      As the Church Lady from Saturday Night Live would say, “Isn’t that special?”

      • The cherry picking, as you claim it was, was done to include the last two 100 year periods so as to compare them, using complete solar cycles, through #23.

        Your comment that ends with “shows anomalous global warming since 1975 appears unrelated to group sunspot activity” indicates you haven’t factored in the cumulative effect from the thermal inertia from those most recent solar cycles, already referenced in my first comment, quoting again from page 71,

        “Indeed, the 400-year sunspot record and one of its by products, the number of spotless days, show that such a tight sequence of 5 strong cycles over 6 successive cycles (from 17 to 22, except 20), which we can call the “Modern Maximum”, is still unique over at least the last four centuries. Given the inertia of natural systems exposed to the solar influences, like the Earth atmosphere-ocean system, this cycle clustering could still induce a peak in the external responses to solar activity, like the Earth climate.”

        Solar heating is both direct and indirect. The indirect solar part is the stored heat in the world ocean and land masses that does not cool off overnight, and hence “accumulates”.

        Continuing from page 71-72, “However, we conclude that the imprint of this Modern Maximum (e.g. Earth climate forcing) would essentially result from time-integration effects (system inertia), since exceptionally high amplitudes of the solar magnetic cycle cannot be invoked anymore.”

        Why do you insist on saying there wasn’t a modern maximum?

      • Bob, I think the notion of a modern grand maximum which provides a hand-waving mechanism for natural variability to explain all the global warming that occurred late last century is hard for AGW skeptics to give up.

        The situation is like that of AGW theorists who have a perfectly logical theoretical explanation for global warming using CO2. It sounds great, but doesn’t really work in the real world. The modern maximum concept sounds great to, but there still isn’t much physics behind it to explain the warming. That’s a problem even without Svalgaard.

        Then Svalgaard comes along and finds a discontinuous counting error when Waldmeier took over in 1947 and corrects for it, lowering the modern counts for the last 67 years. That, of course, further weakens the case for a modern maximum explanation for global warming.

        The main support for Svalgaard’s position is the corrected group number plot in his spreadsheet. That one clearly shows no modern maximum. Svalgaard went a step further to compare the revised group number to the Berkeley temperature anomaly over the same time frame. It shows warming continued after 1975 when group numbers flattened.

        Solar variability, I believe, plays a bigger roll in climate change on earth than the IPCC thinks. But how big that roll is remains unclear.

        I made a month-by-month graph comparing the most recent solar cycles, Cycle 22, 23 and 24 with Cycles 3, 4 and 5:

        http://www.pbase.com/azleader/image/157055043

        It compares the three cycles leading into the Dalton Minimum with the most recent three cycles, current to last month.

        It still uses the official SILSO ISN monthly counts (uncorrected). If Svalgaard corrected, the modern counts (in red) would be lower for all three cycles. The left side begins at sunspot minimum for both sets of data. Cycle 3, 4 and 5 led into the Dalton Minimum. Cycles 22, 23 and 24 appear they could be leading into another Dalton-like cool minimum, too.

        That would be consistent with other physical indicators of weaker cycles in the near future which have been known for years. This new graph just adds a little more support to that idea.

  6. More of the same and solar is not any where near my criteria for cooling effect, although overall solar activity has been quite low post 2005 despite this recent maximum of solar cycle 24 which is now in the process of ending. Once it ends solar conditions should approach my criteria over a long duration of time which should start global temperatures on the decline.

    What has taken place in year 2005 is a complete change from active to inactive solar activity.

    This change in my opinion will be more then enough to have another climatic impact just as is the case when one reviews historical climatic data.

    My challenge remains- Which is to show me the data which shows a prolonged solar minimum period being associated with a rising temperature trend or a prolonged maximum solar period being associated with a falling temperature trend.

    I find no such data and the same result is going to happen as this decade proceeds.
    Already solar activity is falling off and we are no where near the bottom of the solar cycle 24-solar cycle 25 minimum.

    I think the data (especially post 2005/prior to 2005 ) supports the view that the sun can be quite variable and this variability can happen over a short period of time as is the case in the first decade of this current century.

    Expect climate implications if this prolonged solar minimum keeps advancing going forward.

    The problem with so many postings is there is a lack of understanding of noise in the climate system, thresholds in the climate system ,lag times in the climate system and that the climate system is non linear and never in the same state.

    Therefore my point (which I have made many time previously) is DO NOT EXPECT an x change in the climate from given x changes in items that control the climate. This I have preached but with little fanfare.

    Why- look read below.

    The initial state of the global climate.
    a. how close or far away is the global climate to glacial conditions if in inter- glacial, or how close is the earth to inter- glacial conditions if in a glacial condition.
    b. climate was closer to the threshold level between glacial and inter- glacial 20,000 -10,000 years ago. This is why the climate was more unstable then. Example solar variability and all items would be able to pull the climate EASIER from one regime to another when the state of the climate was closer to the inter glacial/glacial dividing line, or threshold.

    The upshot being GIVEN solar variability IS NOT going to have the same given climatic impact.

    Solar variability and the associated primary and secondary effects. Lag times, degree of magnitude change and duration of those changes must be taken into account.

    Upshot being a given grand solar minimum period is not always going to have the same climatic impact.

    This is why solar/climate correlations are hard to come by UNLESS the state of solar activity goes from a very active state to a very prolonged quiet state which is what has happened during year 2005.

    So the nonsense that post Dalton no definitive solar /climate correlations exist just supports my notions of what I just expressed.

    Meanwhile, a quiet sun is correlated with a stronger more meridional jet stream pattern which should cause a greater persistence in Wx. patterns which I think is evident post 2005 for the most part.

    From Bob Weber. Correct the data does not lie. And now we are in a severe prolonged solar minimum.

    And the results, from 1808-1908: 4,735 sunspots; and from 1908-2008: 6,197 sunspots – a 31% increase in solar activity in the last 100 years compared to the previous 100 year period (not including SC24).

    I’d call that a modern maximum!

    :

  7. It sure is a modern maximum any way you cut it. Dr. Svalgaard’s understanding of earth’s climatic system and how it may or may not react to external stimuli leaves much to be desired.

    • It’s very difficult to summarily dismiss the research conclusions from one of the world’s leading solar physicists, especially when it is solidly backed with empirical data. See critique of Bob Weber’s conclusions above. It begins “Thanks for the spreadsheet link”.

  8. To the contrary it is very easy to dismiss his research conclusions as many have.

    The data he presents does not support any of his claims. I would say his data proves his claims to be false. he really has no clue when it comes to solar/climate connections.

    For example produce data which shows a global temperature trend increase during a prolonged solar minimum period. Or a global temperature drop during a prolonged active solar period.

    Show data which shows a more zonal atmospheric circulation index during a prolonged solar minimum period or vice versa..

    Show data which shows ocean heat content increasing and sea surface temperatures increasing during a prolonged solar minimum period or vice versa.

    The truth is no such data can be produced.

  9. From Bob Weber. Correct the data does not lie. And now we are in a severe prolonged solar minimum.

    And the results, from 1808-1908: 4,735 sunspots; and from 1908-2008: 6,197 sunspots – a 31% increase in solar activity in the last 100 years compared to the previous 100 year period (not including SC24).

    I’d call that a modern maximum!

    MY REPLY

    Exactly his own data shows a substancial increase in solar activity

    • This answer shows you either did not read nor did not understand my above Weber critique nor understand the Svalgaard spreadsheet. I’m just reporting what it says.

      Download and review Svalgaard’s graphs. They are here:

      http://www.leif.org/research/Revised-Group-Numbers.xls

      They clearly show what Svalgaard has been saying for years is true. There is no modern maximum and recent global warming is unrelated to solar group number activity.

      The data support it and the paper “Revising the Sunspot Number”, reflecting the assessment of the world’s top solar physicists, supports Svalgaard, too.

  10. THE CRITERIA

    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.

    NOTE 2- LATEST RESEARCH SUGGEST THE FOLLOWING:

    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.

    This is what is needed which not occurred since the Dalton Minimum until post 2005 to have a significant cooling solar impact.

    All solar activity from the Dalton to year 2005 supported rising global temperatures due to the solar activity. Only since 2005 has this changed.

    • I believe your stats are correct.

      I further agree with you that mainstream science underestimates the effect of solar variability on earth’s climate.

      I believe the effects of solar variability are only now beginning to be understood. We are at the level of understanding of being able to surmise and pose fruitful research questions.

      Heck, when I studied astronomy and physics at the Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona I was taught that TSI never changed and would remain unchanged for billions of years. The study of solar variability is an infant science.

      In those days TSI was called the “Solar Constant” because it was believed it never varied. Now we know it does vary. It is only in the last three decades or so that we’ve discovered our sun is a variable star.

      It’s no wonder mainstream science underestimates the effect of the sun on our changing climate.

  11. correction solar irradiance off by .15% not .015%

  12. It is going to be interesting going forward. I will say this if prolonged solar minimum conditions exist going forward and the global temperature trend stays the same or rises I will admit to being wrong.

    • The earmarks of a prolonged minimum don’t look quite as strong as they did in 2011, but a prolonged period of relative inactivity will probably still happen.

      For example, the general decline in solar umbral magnetism that back in 2011 looked to drop below 1500 Gauss by 2023 or so now looks like it has leveled off and will not get anywhere close to 1500, the point sunspots can’t form.

      The alarmists have a point suggesting a stair step growth in warming pushed by El Ninos whose corresponding La Ninas don’t cool things back down again and just keep things steady, like is happening now.

      Should the next couple cycles mimic the Dalton there could be close to 0.5 degrees C of cooling and still be consistent with AGW theory. The Dalton cooled the earth about 1 degree C, so anything less than 1 degree this time around allows alarmists to argue that human-caused global warming is preventing it from cooling more. Then they can say global warming will return again in another stair step in 20 years or so.

  13. You make so excellent points. Great discussion we have all had here. Nice graphs very informative.

  14. Curiousity has lead me to make a comparison of the new group sunspot numbers http://www.leif.org/research/Revised-Group-Numbers.xls to the established international sunspot number, Ri {http://sidc.oma.be/silso/datafiles using ‘Yearly mean total sunspot number [1700 - now]‘}.

    Using the same method that I had used earlier for the same years on both data sets, I compared the total numbers of sunspots in post-1975 years to the 200 years pre-1975, and discovered a surprising result, given all the hype: the GSN reconstruction makes no discernable difference over the SIDC number post-1975 as pertaining to the solar cause of global warming. The results:

    The fraction of the sum of sunspots 1975-now to the sum of sunspots from 1775-1974 from both datasets yields the exact same proportion for each, amazingly, 25.8%.

    The fraction of the sum of sunspots 1975-now to the sum of sunspots from 1775-now from both datasets yields the exact same proportion for each, amazingly, 20.5%.

    The average annual GSN 1975-now is 29.2% higher than the average annual GSN 1775-1974, and the average annual SIDC SSN (Ri) 1975-now is 29.6% higher than the average annual Ri 1775-1874, a minor difference of 0.4%. (The Ri value for 2014.5 was estimated at 64.)

    The GSN makes no real difference to any solar influence determinations wrt global warming 1975-now. None. We’ve seen some grandstanding here lately that somehow the modern maximum has been wiped away by the new GSN. Nope. The new GSN does not disprove one iota the solar cause of global warming.

    The new GSN perfectly reinforces the evidence from the SIDC numbers that the sun was significantly more active during the global warming years post-1975 than the preceding 200 years all the way back to the founding of the USA.

    • You think a lot like I do. You are an anal stickler for details, just like me. That makes it all the more remarkable that you and I can look at EXACTLY the same two datasets and come to such different conclusions.

      I believe the difference is that I interpret Svalgaard’s spreadsheet for its intended purpose related to GSN and you think it is more closely related to ISN. ISN, I think, is included in the spreadsheet only for illustrative purposes.

  15. Excellent and Leif has an agenda in my opinion and I do not take anything he says seriously. I think the guy is full of himself and not in reality to be honest.

    Also I have pointed out if you take the Dalton Solar Minimum(1790-1830) the 1890-1910 quiet solar period and the very quiet solar period post 2005-present and compare it to other time periods within that time period one will find quite a bit of solar variability.
    This is at the heart of the matter how much did the sun vary by over the past 200 some odd years, not what the solar average was over some x long period of time which is meaningless and not of importance.

    • I agree that Svalgaard has an agenda. His agenda is unbiased truth when it comes to solar physics. Svalgaard clearly does not support AGW theory, but does not support the idea that the sun brought about all the global warming of the last half century either.

      Despite what some might think, Svalgaard is one of the preeminent solar physicists of our time. His understanding of solar dynamics is, refreshingly, purely physics based. That is how he was able to predict Cycle 24’s paltry solar max way back in 2004 when literally everyone else forecast a very high solar max.

      He is vilified in some quarters today only because he has challenged cherished orthodoxy that is inconsistent with the idea of a grand maximum explanation for global warming. Imho, Svalgaard is not limited by preconceived notions.

  16. The 1975-now portion of the new GSN record had a yearly average of 68.2, 26.2% higher on average compared to 54.1 for the 226 years from 1749 to 1975. Compared to the entire 266-year new GSN series average, the 1975-now annual average, which is 56.2, is 21.3% higher than the whole record annual average (21.3% higher annual average SSN for 40 years).

    If we’re really serious about understanding if and when sunspot activity had anything to do with global warming, we ought to start evaluating from the time when the running average annual SSN is the highest (going back from now), which is 68.9, 1936-now. The previous 187 years to 1936, 1749-1935, had an average of 50.8, a difference of 18.1, making the 1936-now annual average 35.6% higher.

    If we’re really, really serious, we have to acknowledge that solar cycle #24 played no part in the modern maximum and certainly not global warming, as warming ended at least over a decade ago. We should just as easily write off solar cycle #23 after it’s peak in 2002 from having much influence over global warming either.

    That brings us to view a 68-year period from 1936 to 2003 as defining the Modern Maximum, when the average annual sunspot number (GSN) was 73.5, 22.7 higher, or 44.7% higher, than the prior 187-year average of 50.8.

    A 44.7% higher sunspot count for 68 years! That’s pretty “grand” in my book!

    • Hmmm… following your lead…
      Averaging yearly GSN from 1759 to 1792 inclusive gives 77.2 which is 52% higher than the 187-year average and therefore ‘pretty grander’ in your book.

      That one must be the 18th century ‘grander’ grand maximum. The Berkeley global temperature profile shows that time period had below average temperatures.

      What does that tell you? If your answer is that I cherry picked my data then I respond, “I rest my case regarding your data range selections”.
      ———————–
      You might still be missing the point of the spreadsheet.

      Svalgaard’s target data appears to be the 21-year GSN smoothed average that levels out the sunspot record in order to show underlying long term trends. That plot is the one showing no modern maximum. Svalgaard then compares it to the Berkeley global temperature profile which shows no solar correlation to the temperature rise in the last half of last century.

      That is not to say there is no link between solar variability and climate. There definitely is. What Svalgaard’s data appears to be saying is that there wasn’t enough solar variability to explain the late century observed temperature rise.

      Current data looks like we may be dropping into a Dalton-like minimum. If so, that variable drop will likely be enough to produce measurable climate effects like happened in the early 1800s.

  17. I agree that Svalgaard has an agenda. His agenda is unbiased truth when it comes to solar physics. Svalgaard clearly does not support AGW theory, but does not support the idea that the sun brought about all the global warming of the last half century either.

    MY REPLY

    He is wrong about why global warming took place the last half of last century. In addition he is in denial of the historical solar/climate relationship data (which is not made up)which shows no global temperature trend rises during any prolonged solar minimum events and vice versa.

    In addition he will dismiss any theory that suggest a solar/climate relationship and is latest endeavor is to try to diminish the Maunder Minimum.

    • With no disrespect to you, I have to go with Svalgaard on this one, especially since his comparison graphs between the 21-year smoothed GSN number and the Berkeley temperature profile is so very, very clear.

      I’m no expert, but my reading of Svalgaard’s published materials does not suggest to me that he is in denial of a solar/climate connection. It suggests quite the opposite. What he discounts is that solar variability is the primarily driver of late 20th century global warming and it appears, based on data alone, that he is right about that.

  18. THE HOCKEY SCHTICK: Analysis: Solar activity & ocean …

    hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/…/analysis-solar-activity-ocean-cycles.html

    •Cached

    Jul 14, 2014 – Analysis: Solar activity & ocean cycles are the 2 primary drivers of climate, not CO2 … The correlation of CO2 alone to global temperature is poor at only 44%, not … The coefficients of determination are a measure of how accurately the …. the calculated trajectory vertically on the graph, without changing

    I think Leif has had his day.

    • I think the both of us will have long-since had our day and be long forgotten when Leif’s work will still be teaching the rest of the world about solar physics.

    • I saw this paper. Keep in mind it’s conclusions are based on the existing ISN numbers with the built-in, now-infamous 1947 Waldmeier inflation factor. When that is corrected I’m guessing the late century correlation to global warming will be weakened by 20% or so, perhaps even enough to make it go away.

  19. AZLEADER-

    YOU are missing the point. There WAS a Modern Maximum. After a very long 187 year period with an average GSN of 50.8, the next 68 years exhibited an increase of 44.7% to an average of 73.5. That was one large, extended step change!

    As for the Dalton minimum:

    After 1791, for 36 years, the GSN averaged 27.9, right through the Dalton minimum. If we compare those high-low periods to the Modern Maximum, we see that during the 11 years after the culmination of the Modern Maximum in 2003, the GSN has averaged 40.6, still 45.5% higher than the 36-year Dalton minimum period annual average.

    We have a ways to go to reach the depths of the Dalton minimum, but as SC24 winds down and if SC25 is also weak, or even weaker, we could reach Dalton-minimum average solar conditions, and from that, we will probably also experience a significant temperature dropoff.

    In less than a decade, there was a -1.9C change during the Dalton minimum, 1802 to 1810 (using http://berkeleyearth.lbl.gov/auto/Global/Complete_TAVG_complete.txt). SSN=0 for 1810.

    The 68-years from 1936 to 2003 defined the Modern Maximum, when the average annual sunspot number (GSN) was 73.5, 22.7 higher, or 44.7% higher, than the prior 187-year average of 50.8.

    The 1936-2003 Modern Maximum annual average GSN was 30.8% higher than the 266-year GSN annual average. “Grand” or not, it was an extended period of significantly higher solar activity.

    • I don’t decide facts; I just report them. You decide what they mean. Thanks again for the spreadsheet link. I learned a lot from it and added it to my solar data collection.

  20. You are very welcome. It was an interesting study and exchange azleader! All the best.

    • As they say on X-files, “The truth is out there!”. In the next cycle or so perhaps the whole conversation will be shifted to global cooling concerns and the negative effects of that after it’s brought on by solar inactivity.

  21. Bob the data can’t be any clearer . Leif and others will ignore data that does not further their positions. What Leif has to say is essentially nonsense.

  22. When that is corrected I’m guessing the late century correlation to global warming will be weakened by 20% or so, perhaps even enough to make it go away.

    My Reply

    Nothing of the sort. Solar activity was well ABOVE threshold values late last century to support global warming regardless if one believes it was a modern solar maximum or not.

    I had listed my solar criteria for cooling in an earlier post. Solar activity late last century was well above that criteria thus warming not cooling. Post 2005 that has changed so expect cooling going forward.

    When one contrast solar activity during the Dalton and the period 2005- present with that of the period 1950-2000 one will see a big difference in solar activity. It is as clear as it could be and the temperatures have corresponded accordingly.

    Lag times have to be appreciated. It is not instant.

    • No one has claim to solar science omniscience or even access to those who have it. I wish I had it. Unfortunately, anyone can easily be as wrong as anyone else. That’s a problem for me, a supposed science journalist, tasked with clarifying the truth for everyone else.

      All I can do is muddle along the best I can and let the chips fall where they may. I promise to continue doing that until I am no longer able.

      Another article of mine in the works is a prediction that we are headed into a weak Dalton minimum over the next two solar cycles or so. It’s data-based on a single graph I put together and so is open to justified criticism.

      Oh well, as I said, I will just keep muddling along. :)

  23. This has still been a great exchange. Look forward to more in the future.

  24. One last point is solar activity in order to accomplish a significant climate change has to do two things. First of vary enough to meet threshold criteria and stay at that threshold criteria for a sufficient duration of time. If not accomplish solar/climate connections will be obscure not to mention climate always moves in a jig saw fashion. It is the rend that matters.

    The trend in temperatures from 1700-1800 was up from the Maunder Minimum. The trend in temperature during the Dalton was down from the 1700-1800 period of time. .

  25. I was in a rush. The sentence was it is the trend that matters.

  26. Salvatore & Bob, you may be curious to follow my conversation with Leif at WUWT beginning here..
    David A says:
    August 23, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    • Don’t know about them, but I was curious and followed the conversation…

      I think it started off badly and went downhill from there because you asked Svalgaard to do a series of calculations outside his formal area of expertise (solar physics) and, perhaps unintentionally, it appeared to be in the hopes it might support your viewpoint and discount his. Then you went on to define a set of tasks he could and should do.

      According to you, Svalgaard should be able to calculate “the total excess energy which entered the oceans” and be “able to calculate cloud cover, both volume and latitude” for two sets of 4 solar cycle time frames that you don’t even identify. It’s not trivial and may not even be possible.

      If you want to use that as a conversation starter then the burden rests with you to do that work, not him. It’s unreasonable to ask him to do your work for you.

      A marvel about Svalgaard is he is a top research physicist, yet still finds time to answer novice questions put to him by a general audience. Not many scientists will do that.

      • David A, in this instance I agree with azleader. But that doesn’t mean you didn’t necessarily have a good point. Work out the details as best you can and go from there. Sometimes it takes several attempts to get something right, including explaining your findings.

  27. AZ, I think you misunderstand. Leif stated a certainty that Solar variation does not influence climate, no ifs or ands or buts. As you say, this is outside his area. I simply pointed out what we would need to know to make that determination. The facts is, we do not have the data..

    Really that, plus possible mechanisms were my only point. There are many mechanism conceivable where solar variation could have far more impact then the simple watts per M sq calculation. I was pointing out that Leif is premature to assume they do not exist. Leif is brilliant in his field. But he will not give an inch on a subject outside his field. The other point is my teeter totter analogy. No one mechanism is going to dominate or be consistent. However many reputable PHD scientist have published literature showing correlations to solar activity. You do not dismiss correlation, when the subject is poorly understood..

    Also Leif got the null hypothesis incorrect, stating that Solar variation has no influence on climate. Natural variation is the null, and Solar is definitively a part of that, even within the IPCC.

    He demands data, which he himself cannot produce. He then asserts the lack of data to be proof of his assertion. It is a logical fallacy of circular reasoning.

    BTW, great blog and very constructive communication.

    Cheers
    David A

  28. David A – you have realized one of the confounding mysteries of the universe! I do agree with the last comments you made, except I think we do have the data to prove the solar influence over weather and climate.

    • Thanks Bob, although I am not certain what confounding mystery I have realized. It sounds important and profound however. (-;

      I am not certain we can prove this yet, but there is certainly reasonable evidence within the scientific literature.

      BTW az, I did clarify exactly what cycles I was referring to in a later comment.

    • I investigated one of Svalgaard’s comments on something you (Bob) said that I thought surely Svalgaard was wrong about, or at least overstated.

      Regarding the temperature drop during the Dalton Minimum Svalgaard curtly replied to you saying:
      “The low temperatures 1810-1820 were mostly due to volcanoes.”

      Fortunately, Svalgaard’s revised GSN spreadsheet also contains annual temperature anomalies from the Berkeley TAVG temperature database covering that same time frame:

      http://www.leif.org/research/Revised-Group-Numbers.xls

      There were two major stratospheric eruptions in 1809 and 1815 – one at Tambora, the other undocumented:

      http://www.sdstate.edu/chem/faculty/jihong-cole-dai/upload/Cole-DaiGRL2009.pdf

      Looking at the TAVG data I see that a full -1.6 of the Dalton drop (that’s most of it) occurred in 1809, the same year as the first eruption. The effect lasted several years. After some recovery it fell again to -1.2 in 1815 and 1816 (the year without summer) after Tambora. There are other unattributed falls back to -1.2 in 1819 and 1835.

      Looks to me like Svalgaard’s comment is accurate. The Cole-Dai et. al. paper and the TAVG dataset together back him up.

      • In discussing solar climate connections you will find many potential affects theorized by reputable scientists. I find Svalgaard’s outright dismissal somewhat arrogant.

        I wish to highlight an earlier comment I made…”Climate is influenced by dozens of natural factors, which are like dozens of teeter-totters lined up, where down on the right = cooling, and down on the left = warming. They are moving on different cycles. Some cycle consistently at a set rate, other vary significantly. This is why no one factor will have the perfect correlation some demand. Indeed, sometimes any one factor will likely show zero or negative predicted affect. Other times several factors synchronize, such as both the PDO and AMO being in the same warming phase with an active Sun. Weather, as well as climate, is chaotic.

        However certain physics principals are invariable such as David’s law. (-; “Only two things can affect the energy content of a system in a radiative balance; either a change in the input, or a change in the residence time of some aspect of energy within the system.” (Two PHD WUWT guest authors, Ira Glickstein and Dr. Brown, accepted this law.)

        The earth’s system is defined as the oceans, land, and atmosphere.

        ALL non-input change theories on climate are a manifestation of the affect of “residence time.” For instance, the GHE is based on increasing the residence time of certain WL of LWIR energy via redirecting exiting LWIR energy back into the system, while input remains constant, thus more total energy is within the system. The greater the increase in residence time of the energy, the greater the potential energy accumulation

        Clouds are capable of both increasing the residence time of some LWIR radiation from the surface, and decreasing the residence time of SW insolation from the Sun. The net affect is dependent on both the amount of energy affected, and the residence time of the energy affected, which is dependent on both the WL of the energy, and the materials said energy encounters.

        It is true that 100 watts per sq. M of SWR, has the same energy as 100 watts per sq. M of LWIR, however their affect on earth’s energy balance can be dramatically different. In this sense, not all watts are equal.

        For instance lets us say 100 watts of LWIR back radiation strikes the ocean surface. That energy then accelerates evaporation where said energy is lifted to altitude, and then condenses, liberating some of that energy to radiate to space. Now lets us assume the same 100 watts per sq M strikes the ocean, but this time it is composed of SWR, penetrating up to 800 ‘ deep. Some of that energy may stay with in the ocean for 800 years. The SWR has far more long term energy, and even warming potential then the LWIR.

        Now let us consider how the material encountered manifests according to “David’s Law”. Taking the same 100 watts per sq M of SWR, and let us say it strikes a cloud. The residence time of this is very short, as the reflected SWR leaves earth at light speed. The same SWR energy, sans clouds, again strikes the ocean, much of that energy staying within the earth’s system for years, some for decades, some for centuries.

        So in truth all climate theories depend on this law, and the positive or negative affect on earth’s energy budget and long term warming or cooling affect, is a simple mathematical expression of residence time. A traffic analogy helps in understanding this. Cars symbolize packets of energy…

        Take a 120 mile long highway. (This is the earth’s system; land, oceans and atmosphere.) Input into the system is 10 cars per hour. (This is insolation) Each car is on the highway for 120 minutes, or two hours. (This is residence time) After two hours of input there are twenty cars on the highway. This is the total energy within the system.
        Ten cars input per hour, twenty cars within the system, ten cars exit per hour; the system is in a radiative balance.

        Now let us increase the residence time of each car from two hours, to twenty hours. After twenty hours the system will now contain 200 hundred cars, instead of ten. The system will have ten times the energy it formerly had before again establishing a radiative balance at 200 cars. This 1000 percent increase was achieved with zero change in input.

        Knowing the residence time is the difficult part. Assuming a small change in very long residence time energy cannot affect the climate is , in my view, simple minded.

        Cheers
        David A

      • Interesting speculations, but speculations nonetheless.

        In the abstract of the newest paper, “Revising the Sunspot Number”, speaking of differences between the ISN and GSN it says:
        “Unfortunately, those two series do not match by various aspects, inducing confusions and contradictions when used in crucial contemporary studies of the solar dynamo or of the solar forcing on the Earth climate.”

        Earth’s climate is mentioned 5 times in the paper, none suggesting there is no solar-climate connection. It does suggest that conclusions drawn from known defects in the uncorrected 400-yr record should be re-assessed.

      • True that, in the paper. However in conversation the paper’s author several times, without equivocating in the least, states that solar variation has no influence on climate. In addition numerous papers are not dependent on sun spot counts.

        As to “interesting speculation” well yes much is speculative because the residence time affect of much is unknown. but the principal is very exact. A million sort wave photons entering the ocean depth, may have a five or six magnitude greater impact on earth’s energy budget, then the same million short wave photons reflecting back to space from a high altitude white cloud.

      • No doubt, the amount, opacity and altitude of various suspended aerosols at different wavelengths have a direct effect on earth’s temperature.

  29. Leif has no conception of solar/climate relationships. His knowledge of the earth’s climate system is poor to say the least.
    In addition there is much evidence of solar/volcanic relationships which Leif disregards.

    I will send some data on this.

    He had his day and will be proven to wrong on all of his solar /climate non connections going forward. The evidence keeps mounting along with the data. He is in a state of denial.

  30. http://spaceandscience.net/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/ssrcresearchreport1-2010geophysicalevents.pdf

    I maintain there is a solar/volcanic connection and is part of my reasons as to why/how solar influences the climate.

  31. Unfortunately for Leif there are many studies and much historical data that show a volcano /solar correlation which he so conveniently forgets to mention because it does not fit in with his delusional opinion that there are no solar/climate relationships.

    In addition if one compares average sunspot counts during the Dalton Minimum and the period 2005-present in contrast to the 20th century one will see that yes there indeed the sun shows much variability.

    • Heck, just a few comments earlier I pointed out where Svalgaard blamed most of the cooling in the Dalton on volcanoes saying “The low temperatures 1810-1820 were mostly due to volcanoes.” I followed up on that remark because I thought it was wrong.

  32. SOLAR CLIMATE MECHANISMS AND CLIMATE PREDICTION

    MECHANISM ONE

    One solar climate mechanism/connection theory which has much merit in my opinion, is as follows:

    A BRIEF OVERVIEW. At times of low solar irradiance the amounts of sea ice in the Nordic Sea increase, this ice is then driven south due to the atmospheric circulation (also due to weak solar conditions) creating a more northerly air flow in this area.(-NAO) This sea ice then melts in the Sub Polar Atlantic, releasing fresh water into the sub- polar Atlantic waters, which in turn impedes the formation of NADW, which slows down the thermohaline circulation causing warm air not to be brought up from the lower latitudes as far north as previous while in lessening amounts.

    This perhaps can be one of the contributing solar/climate connection factors which brought about previous abrupt N.H. cool downs during the past.

    This makes much sense to me.

    NAO= NORTH ATLANTIC OSCILLATION
    NADW= NORTH ATLANTIC DEEP WATER

    To elaborate on the above, when the sun enters a prolonged solar minimum condition an overall reduction takes place in solar spectral irradiance, namely in UV light (wavelengths less then 400 nm). The shorter the wavelength, the MUCH greater the reduction.

    UV light reduction likely will cause ocean heat content and ocean surface temperatures to drop, due to the fact that UV light in the range of 280 nm-400nm penetrates the ocean surface to depths of 50-100 meters. A reduction in UV (ultra violet) light then should have a profound effect on the amount of energy entering the ocean surface waters from the sun extending down to 50-100 meters in depth, resulting in cooler ocean temperatures.

    This ties into what was said in the above in that if ocean waters in high latitudes such as the Nordic Sea, were to be subject to cooling the result would be much more sea ice which could impede the strength of the thermohaline circulation promoting substantial N.H. cooling.

    Adding to this theory is fairly strong evidence that a decrease in UV light will result in a more meridional atmospheric circulation (which should cause more clouds, precipitation and snow cover for the N.H.), due to changes in ozone distribution in a vertical/horizontal sense which would cause the temperature contrast between the polar areas of the stratosphere and lower latitude areas of the stratosphere to lesson, during prolonged solar minimum periods. Ultra Violet light being likely the most significant solar factor affecting ozone concentrations ,although not the only solar factor.

    This could then set up a more -NAO, (high pressure over Greenland) which would promote a more Northerly flow of air over the Nordic Sea, bringing the sea ice there further South.

    MECHANISM TWO

    A reduction of the solar wind during a prolonged solar minimum event would cause more galactic cosmic rays to enter the earth’s atmosphere which would promote more aerosol formation thus more cloud nucleation. The result more clouds higher albedo, cooler temperatures.

    Compounding this would be a weaker geo magnetic field which would allow more galactic cosmic ray penetration into the atmosphere , while perhaps causing excursions of the geo magnetic poles to occur in that they would be in more southern latitudes concentrating incoming galactic cosmic rays in these southern latitudes where more moisture would be available for the cosmic rays to work with, making for greater efficiency in the creation of clouds.

    MECHANISM THREE

    MILANKOVITCH CYCLES overall favor N.H. cooling and an increase in snow cover over N.H high latitudes during the N.H summers due to the fact that perihelion occurs during the N.H. winter (highly favorable for increase summer snow cover), obliquity is 23.44 degrees which is at least neutral for an increase summer N.H. snow cover, while eccentricity of the earth’s orbit is currently at 0.0167 which is still circular enough to favor reduced summertime solar insolation in the N.H. and thus promote more snow cover.

    In addition the present geographical arrangements of the oceans versus continents is very favorable for glaciation.

    MECHANISM FOUR

    High latitude major volcanic eruptions correlate to prolonged solar minimum periods which translates to stratospheric warming due to an increase in SO2 particles while promoting more lower troposphere cooling.

    One theory of many behind the solar/volcanic connection is that MUONS, a by product of galactic cosmic rays can affect the calderas of certain volcanoes by changing the chemical composition of the matter within the silica rich magma creating aerosols which increase pressure in the magma chamber and hence lead to an explosive eruption.

    Muon densities increase more in higher latitudes at times of weak solar magnetic activity, which is why volcanic activity in the higher latitudes will be affected more by this process.

    These four mechanisms make a strong case for a solar /climate connection in my opinion, and if the prolonged solar minimum meets the criteria I have mentioned going forward and the duration is long enough I expect global cooling to be quite substantial going forward.

    All of which Leif disregards with out any data to back his positions up. He is a relic of the past and that is being polite.

  33. From Geoffry Sharp one of many who think Leif has no clue.

    Layman’s Sunspot Count critic Leif Svalgaard continues to compare SC24 with SC14, but so far SC24 is not looking anything like SC14. The extreme peaks and troughs are NOT occurring as he prescribes which is especially clear when comparing SC24 with the counting methods of earlier periods…Svalgaard uses the unscientific method of smoothing to compare cycles which hides the important detail. The LSC removes the post 1945 22% Waldmeier factor that Svalgaard accepts and also adjusts for the increased speck ratio we experience during grand minimum type cycles. This increased speck ratio also gives us the flawed Livingston and Penn results as they measure every small spot.

    Daily Update:

    Seven sunspot groups are recorded with the overall sunspot area increasing. Solar max grinds along….

    A new Usoskin et al paper backing up the GSN along with another paper where Svalgaard and Clette fail dismally.

    My prediction for the 2014/15 Northern Hemisphere winter is posted.

    New papers from Lockwood will severely challenge Svalgaard, Livingston & Penn along with WUWT. These papers are not getting a look in or mention on WUWT.

    A new paper by McCracken, Beer & Steinhilber is published in Solar Physics which aligns itself very strongly with my theory and paper on solar grand minima. The AMP event or barycentric anomaly being the major differentiators from other planetary theories. Anthony Watts has already refused to review this new paper along with mine.

    I am ramping up the twitter & facebook feeds that will include solar and climate news/graphs etc…click on the follow button near the top of this page or the

    • Cycle 24 is looking more and more like Cycle 5:

    • Cycle 14 and Cycle 24 were a good match up until about month 57 when they started to diverge:

      Btw, the “unscientific method of smoothing” Svalgaard uses isn’t something he made up. It is the universally accepted method of viewing, evaluating and comparing sunspot cycles by the scientific community. The highest smoothed sunspot number in a cycle defines solar maximum. The lowest smoothed number defines solar minimum.

  34. What the co2 driven global warming advocates don’t discuss is that if the ocean has started eating global warming since the trade winds changed during the negative phase of the ocean’s ~60 year multi-decadal cycles, they also emitted excess energy during their positive phase from 1975-2005. The implication is that the oceans are capable of storing energy on long timescales, and releasing it on long timescales too. And they store a lot of energy. The top two metres alone contain as much energy as the entire atmosphere above.

    We know that the oceans keep the air temperature up over night as the release some of the energy the Sun poured into them during the day. We also know that there is a lag of a couple of months between the longest day of the year and the peak in surface air temperatures near coasts. This is thermal inertia and heat capacity at work. On longer timescales, we have recently confirmed that runs of El Nino events which release a lot of energy from the oceans are initiated on the falling side of the solar cycle, never on the upswing.

    So we can go a stretch further and combine what we know. When solar activity falls, energy comes out of the ocean, not just over the period of the decline of a single 11 year solar cycle, but if the Sun stays low in activity terms, for many years. An integration of the sunspot number shows us that the ocean heat content rose all the way from 1934 to 2003. This is the real cause of ‘global warming’. A lot of excess energy is still retained in the upper ocean. We can expect the effect of a couple of low solar cycles to be softened by a proportion of that excess heat returning to space via the atmosphere warming it on the way.

    In developing my understanding of the Earth’s systems, I developed a couple of very simple models to help me fathom the way the surface temperature stays fairly constant as the solar cycles wax and wane. Back in 2009, by analysing the data, I found that the global average sea surface temperature, the SST, stays fairly constant when the Sun is averaging around 40 sunspots per month. By calculating the running total departing from this figure in a simple integration I found that combined with the ~60 oceanic cycles (also solar influenced), I could reproduce the temperature history of the last 150 years quite accurately. By adding in a nominal forcing for co2 (or an allowance for the infamous ‘adjustments’ to the data), I was able to get a match to monthly data which has a Pearson R^2 value of 0.9.

    The above is part of an article ROG TALKBLOKE wrote from his web-site talkblokes talkshop.

    Another point of view. Another study showing solar/climate relationships. This is from the web-site talkblokes talkshop a web-site in 100% disagreement with Leif.

    My final post for now.

  35. Also Leif got the null hypothesis incorrect, stating that Solar variation has no influence on climate. Natural variation is the null, and Solar is definitively a part of that, even within the IPCC.

    He demands data, which he himself cannot produce. He then asserts the lack of data to be proof of his assertion. It is a logical fallacy of circular reasoning.

    BTW, great blog and very constructive communication.

    Cheers

    My reply – That sums him up. Again soon to be a relic of the past.

    • Nothing in science can ever be proved correct. The best that can ever be done is to prove a null hypothesis incorrect.

      For example, suppose you suspect there is a relationship between increases in solar sunspot activity and increases in earth’s global temperature. That cannot be proved. The best you can do is fail to prove that there isn’t a connection, usually through establishing a 95% (two standard deviation) probability that the null hypothesis is wrong.

      If Svalgaard says that solar variation (sunspot activity) has no influence on climate (global temperature) then he is correctly stating a null hypothesis. The null hypothesis is always assumed correct. It’s the default assumption until researchers repeatedly fail to prove it. That is how the game of science is played.

      Scientists like Svalgaard aren’t required to do anything. The burden of proof lies with scientists who make claims, such as a sunspot-temperature link. They must fail to prove the null hypothesis.

      Therefore, Svalgaard (or any other scientist) doesn’t have to produce data, but can rightfully demand data from those who make claims.

    • Some valid points I think. But when the data is lacking, and it is, and changes do occur in climate, and the accepted null is natural change, because climate change always has occurred, yes, one must find a means of observation to establish said data.

      However, this does not mean that one unequivocally states, “Solar variation has no affect on climate” ,because that in itself is stating a certainty in a world of unknowns, and is unscientific. The null hypothesis for a known event, is never a negative.

      The scientific position is “we do not know”, especially when the data is lacking. or beyond our capacity to determine. I simply pointed out to L.S., that without answers to certain questions, we do not know. I only demanded the data, which does not exist, because of his unequivocal assertion , which is not scientific.

      Currently even the IPCC accepts some solar influence on climate. This is because there are correlations to solar activity, and plus one watt per sq M of change for years, is a lot of energy over the entire planet. It is not a question of does solar variation affect climate, but how much.

      I stated earlier, “In addition numerous papers are not dependent on sun spots.” I meant they are not dependent on the changes to sun spots proposed in this paper.” The reason is that even small changes in TSI, are accompanied by much larger swings in disparate solar W/L.
      This is very significant, and takes us right back to “David’s Law.”

      • When the data is lacking, the null hypothesis MUST be assumed to be true. No exceptions.

        There is support for disproving the null hypothesis (That is: There is no solar activity/climate link) but it is weak and nowhere approaching the 2 standard deviation confidence level anyplace that I’m aware of.

      • I do not accept that as the null. Indeed, it is very well accepted that there is solar variation influence. Only the degree is in question.

      • If you believe there is a link between solar activity and climate change (however you may chose to define that link) then you aren’t allowed to reject “There isn’t a link between solar activity and climate change” as the null hypothesis.

        Your job then becomes turning “very well accepted” into a two standard deviation (or more) statistical rejection of a null hypothesis. That’s the way science works.

        Changes on the sun, no doubt, can induce climate changes here on earth. And, as you said, “Only the degree is in question”.

        Specifically, the urgent issue before us is whether or not observed late 20th century solar activity is causally linked to late 20th century temperature rise and will a decrease in activity in the 21st century induce cooling. Anecdotal evidence suggests there is a relationship, but it hasn’t been rigorously established scientifically yet.

      • I could be wrong, but there is no null that solar change activity does not affect climate. The degree is accepted as unknown, but accepted. A years long one watt per sq. m increase unquestionably affects climate. This is not debated as far as I know. Regarding climate change the null is natural variation of multiple factors, many of which are poorly understood.

        That solar activity is the primary driver of the oceans energy and multi decadal cycles, is well accepted. The correlation between N.H. T, and the AMO is far better then any correlation between rising CO2 and GAT. https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/mean12.png

        Aspects of solar W/L which change the most in solar cycles, also penetrate into the oceans. This energy has a residence time which varies from hours, to centuries, and so accumulates for the entire residence time of disparate W/L.

  36. The trouble with Svalgaard is he is in the denial of data that has shown many of he solar/climate claims are valid.

    In addition this current prolonged solar minimum will put an end to all his commentary trying to show no solar/climate relationships.

    The sun drives the climate therefore any change in it will change the climate from one degree to another.

    • Everyone agrees that the sun is the ultimate driver of climate change and that solar variability plays a roll. The size and extent of the roll of solar variability is what is at issue.

    • If “the calculations show a huge effect from Pluto on the Sun” I’ll eat my Stetson!

      I noticed you didn’t show HOW you predicted every “relevant” sunspot other than through obscure alignments.

      Define what a “relevant” sunspot is for me – in quantitative terms – and if 5 out of 7 of the October predictions come true and I determine that your hit rate exceeds random chance, then I’ll believe you.

      You don’t even have to provide a physics-based explanation why the alignments work.

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