Monday, June 30, 2014

Maybe There Is Something You Don't Know

Splendid food fights have broken out at the Weasel's, Willard Tony's and Jo Nova's about Junior Rocket Scientist David Evans New Notch Delay Solar Theory.  Eli will let David summarize this

We assume the system from solar radiation (TSI) to surface temperature is linear and invariant, so we use sinusoids and frequencies to do the analysis. The TSI peaks every 11 years or so, yet there is no detected corresponding peak in the temperature, which is unexpected. This implies there is a natural notch filter that filters out the 11-year hum from the Sun
The Weasel summarizes the conclusion 
Roll on BIG NEWS part IV: A huge leap understanding the mysterious 11 year solar delay. These people are not shy about their headlines (yes, I have pointed them to the terrible example of AW’s paper but it just bounced off. I’m not sure how they’re going to cope when this all falls apart. Will they quietly forget it, like AW and his paper? Will it become part of their background mythology? But I digress). Although its putatively a “physical mechanism” its an unknown physical mechanism, so its called “force X” (from Outer Space). For some odd reason, its 11 years delayed, or something, please don’t accuse me of reading all the details, and “Force X has ten to twenty times more influence on temperatures on Earth than changes in the direct heating effect of TSI (a result we will show later)”. Um, that was a surprise. I was expecting “force X” to have about the same, but opposite, amplitutde; therefore cancelling out the solar forcing. Something that had 20 times the amplitude, but an 11 year cycle, would produce an obvious and visible effect. At this point, either what they are saying, or my own poor understanding, is clearly lacking; so I’ll leave you to read their stuff and make up your own minds.
There is a splendid to and fro at WT's between Monckton of Benchley and Leif Svalgaard about whether or not Jr. Rocket Scientist David Evans used a reasonable total solar insolation data set to regress against or Fourier transform or whatever.  Perhaps with more time this might be excerpted and published as a Kindle edition.

But, and to repeat himself one more time, you bunnies out there know that a but is coming, the whole thing, theory, spittle, braying, chest pounding and all is besides the point.

Simply put it is well known why surface temperature records show no dependence on the solar cycle, the answer being ozone and oxygen and other scattering.  It turns out that almost all of the variability in the solar spectrum is below 300 nm, and none of that makes it below the ozone layer.  Let Guy Brasseur tell you why
Variation in the amount of solar energy intercepted by the earth has affected past climate, specifically over long timescales. Changes generated by periodic modifications in the orbital parameters of the earth have probably triggered the successive transitions between ice ages and warmer periods with time periods of typically 100,000 years.

Variations in the radiative energy emitted by the sun associated with the 11-year solar cycle directly affect the upper atmosphere but not substantially the lower atmosphere and the Earth surface. Small indirect influences propagating from the middle and lower atmosphere are, however, possible.

Thus, even though the sun could generate tiny periodic fluctuations in the surface temperature and in the atmospheric dynamics, it cannot generate the persistent temperature trend that has been observed since the preindustrial area. The best explanation is therefore that the observed long-term trend in temperature results from the increasing atmospheric abundance of greenhouse gases. This explanation is based on well-established and experimentally verified physical concepts.
Basically TSI, or more accurately changes in the UV component of TSI,  drives huge changes in the upper (above 100 km) atmosphere such as the poor thin thing is.  There are observable, but not obvious without some work on the data sets, changes in the stratosphere driven by oxygen and ozone absorption and and dissociation.  But there is little to nothing in the troposphere, and what miniscule change on the 11 year cycle is observed in the troposphere is indirect, driven by stratospheric changes.

Someolderbunnies may remember when the point about UV variability became the flavor of the day amongst the denial set.  Force X, like Chemical X is not to be used without caution.  If Eli may distort  a phrase, denial repeats itself first as ignorance and then as farce.


William M. Connolley said...

Ah, you're right, I have been forgetting things. I'd half confused in my mind the idea that the solar variation has changes outside the visible, with the idea that there was *more* available. But indeed, its the other way round.

I'm glad someone remembers this stuff.

Fernando Leanme said...

I'm teased by changes in the Sun's magnetic field altering the cosmic ray as well as particle fluxes. I don't think it has a large impact, but we don't have a good handle on the relationship between the state of the heliosphere, what lies outside its boundary, and the earth's climate.

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Actually, we have a pretty good fix on extra-solar particle fluxes--they're about a factor of 3 higher than what we measure inside the heliosphere. And I'm afraid the CLOUD experiment pretty much torpedoed this as a significant forcing for climate.

Jon said...

"Since DE actually made, to his credit, a short-term definite/testable prediction..."

Did he? I visited one of their recent articles and read something prediction-like but with a decade to run before the prediction could be evaluated and details of data sets, etc. lamentably unspecified. Has DE since then filled in the details to produce something clearer?


Let us hasten to nominate David Evans for an honor more deserved than coveted:

The Heartland Awards

rab said...

It's a good time to re-read Baez's crackpot index of 1998. Note especially point #25. Coincidence? You be the judge.


Kevin O'Neill said...

As I have posted in the comments at Stoat's, I have received apologies for having a commented snipped at WUWT from both dbstealey and AW himself.

AW also informs me that he now has proof of who produced the 'Battle of the Graphs' image - though he did not tell who it was.

J Bowers said...

Ooh, look, controversy: a marketing ploy and a sales pitch. If Willis Eschenbach wants the remaining Evans secrets, he may have to wait to buy the book IMHO. Even if fatally wrong at least the sales will roll in, slam dunk. Hook. Line. Sinker. Just another day in the Deniaverse.

J Bowers said...

LOL. You couldn't make it up.

"Public speaking
Joanne Nova and Dr David Evans speak on science, climate,... [drumroll]... and money and gold."

Science Speak. Newspeak. Doublespeak. Doubleplus good.

"[Winston Smith] set to work to exercise himself in crimestop. He
presented himself with propositions - "the Party says the earth is flat", "the party says that ice is heavier than water" - and trained himself in not seeing or not understanding the arguments that contradicted them. It was not easy. It needed great powers of reasoning and improvisation. The arithmetical problems raised, for instance, by such a statement as "two and two make five" were beyond his intellectual grasp. It needed also a sort of athleticism of mind, an ability at one moment to make the most delicate use of logic and at the next to be unconscious of the crudest logical errors. Stupidity was as necessary as intelligence, and as difficult to attain."

I blame increased CO2 for the stupid.

John Mashey said...

J Bowers:
I almost missed clicking on that, and would have missed Rocket scientist for hire.

Anonymous said...

Even if you sum all the variation below300nm, it still amounts to only about 0.195W/m^2, or 1/6 of the variation above (1.2W/m^2) what NASA calls "TSI"(mostly visible and IR)

willard said...

Thanks to J Bowers, I now know that gold (the only honest money) will hit 3,800 USD by 2015, according to Jo's hubby:

Just as I was despairing of K...

Now I have hope.

Thanks, bunnies.

dhogaza said...

He published that prediction in 2012.

Gonna start happening any time now!

He and JNova are married. I wonder what their pillow talk is like?128

dhogaza said...

He published that in May 2012.

So far he's not doing so well.

Anonymous said...

Eli claims
"almost all of the variability in the solar spectrum is below 300 nm, and none of that makes it below the ozone layer. "

Eli needs to "correct" (red-line) that because it is just WRONG (according to NASA. Perhaps Eli has heard of them?

Here's what they (NASA) say under the table:

"We can easily see from the table that the Total Solar Irradiance (TSI*) is the main contributor of energy to Earth. We are fortunate that visible and IR light, which contribute the majority of energy to Earth, exhibit the smallest relative variation. But, although TSI varies by only a fraction of a percent, it has the greatest magnitude of change (~1.2 W/m2). This may be enough to cause observable changes at Earth."

*NASA refers to TSI as "mostly Visible & Infrared" with deposition altitude listed as "surface". They are talking specifically about photons with wavelength > 300 nm

J Bowers said...

@ John Mashey
Either David Evans refers to himself as the royal 'We', or Jo Nova/Codling/Evans/Whoever brushed up on her maths quite a bit.

Tom Curtis said...

anonymous, the sensor design for the SORCE/TIM instrument shows that it is designed to capture photons of all frequencies, including all UV frequencies. Consequently the 1.2 W/m^2 is the variation in the Total Solar Irradiance. The variation in the Solar Irradiance at greater than 300 nm wavelength is 1.05 W/m^2 based on the NASA table to which you link. That still represents 85% of all variation, but only a change in forcing of 0.18 W/m^2, or a transient temperature response of approximately 0.1 C over the solar cycle, ie, small enough to be lost in the noise. Consequently it turns out that nearly all the detectable variation in atmospheric temperatures from the solar cycle are the result in changes of the UV, and occur in the stratosphere or above even though most of the variation in radiance is above 300 nm.

Anonymous said...

The variation in the Solar Irradiance at greater than 300 nm wavelength is 1.05 W/m^2 based on the NASA table to which you link.

You're right, Tom,

I should have subtracted the 0.195 from the 1.2 to get the 1.05 W/m^2

But that does not change the fact that Eli's claim is still clearly WRONG (completely backwards, in fact)

"almost all of the variability in the solar spectrum is below 300 nm, and none of that makes it below the ozone layer. "

The correct statement would be the inverse "almost all of the variability in the solar spectrum is above 300 nm, and all of that makes it below the ozone layer. "

But I don't much expect Eli will correct it.

Anonymous said...

oops, should be 1.005

Pinko Punko said...

Anonymous, I don't get what you are on about. What is your definition of variability- it certainly is not deviation from some normal value. Because if it were, you would see that variability in some wavelengths is 1% of the usual values at those wavelengths, while at others, the variability is 30% of the normal values. Where is there more variability, 100 +/- 1, or 0.3 +/- 0.1?

Anonymous said...

Eli claimed "almost all of the variability in the solar spectrum is below 300 nm, and none of that makes it below the ozone layer. "

...and you believe by "variability" he was referring to "% of the usual values at those wavelengths"?


So, when El said "..and none of that [variability] makes it below the ozone layer" you think "that" was actually referring to "the % change from the usual energy at wavelengths < 300nm"?

Fine.Let's do the substitution

"..and none of [the % change from the usual energy at wavelengths < 300nm] makes it below the ozone layer"

None of [the % change] makes it below the ozone layer??

You believe that is what he meant?


That's just gibberish.

No, Eli was clearly referring to magnitude of change in a range (not % change in some range) when he said 'almost all of the variability in the solar spectrum"
Tim Curtis recognized as much above as well when he correctly pointed out I had made an error.

..and in fact, the vast majority of the variability ( 1W/m^2 out of 1.2)is at wavelengths > 300 nm (see the NASA link above)

Of course, Eli could easily have admitted he made an error, but instead he will let people propose nonsensical "interpretations" to avoid such an admission.

"None of [the % change] makes it below the ozone layer"

LOL. :)

Pinko Punko said...

But that isn't variable. You don't make sense.

Kevin O'Neill said...

anon - you were correct, but then had to overplay your hand.

In Eli's statement, "It turns out that almost all of the variability in the solar spectrum is below 300 nm, and none of that makes it below the ozone layer."

"none of that" is clearly referring to the radiation below 300 nm. In that he was correct and your interpretation is muddled at best.

You are correct that the larger magnitude changes are in the longer wavelengths, but even these are relatively small and are (IIRC) smaller than many year to year deviations. I believe that's why NASA says "*MAY* be enough to cause observable changes at Earth."

In other words, it's still not the sun.

Flakmeister said...

Yes, in Eli's statement there is some ambiguity in whether it applied to the solar variability or the variability in the actual climate forcing...

I only wish our skeptical friends could be so thorough in their readings of Tony Willard and his ilk....


I have always been under the impression the that 11 year cycle is smeared out into oblivion by the effective time constant of the ocean heat uptake process and the natural fluctuations like ENSO...

BBD said...

It's not the Schwabe cycle: (NASA/David Rind).

See also the NRC report: The Effects of Solar Variability on Earth’s Climate (2012), my emphasis:

The modulation of stratospheric temperatures [by UV] is clear from observations. Climate models also take this modulation as input and have demonstrated significant perturbations on tropospheric circulations. If borne out by future studies and shown to be of sufficient magnitude, this mechanism could be an important pathway in the Sun-climate connection, particularly in terms of regional impacts. However, it is important to realize that, unlike the bottom-up mechanism [TSI at surface], it can in itself contribute very little to global temperature variations.


Ongoing discussion of the role of solar variations in the early 20th century has given rise to the unfounded conjecture that the observed increase in temperature in the last half century could also be due to changes in TSI rather than to anthropogenic influences. The IPCC Fourth Assessment and the recent National Research Council report on climate choices agree that there is no substantive scientific evidence that solar variability is the cause of climate change in the last 50 years. However, the mechanisms by which solar variations can affect climate over longer timescales remain an open area of research.

Somebody's confecting again.

Anonymous said...



Why do you suppose Eli won't simply admit he was wrong?

Why won't some others here admit it?

Why has this blog turned into a place where pointing out obvious errors in science inevitably gets turned into debating the meaning of "is' and other word games?

And where if you do point out such errors, people immediately think you have some kind of ulterior motive? denying the reality and seriousness of AGW.

This blog really has gone right down the toilet in my opinion.

bill said...

This blog really has gone right down the toilet in my opinion.

Whoever the hell you are.

Brian said...

To get back into Anon's good graces, an ambiguous statement in the OP has to be read in a way that makes it wrong and then acknowledged as such.

This despite the fact that it makes no difference to the actual point of the post which AFAICT our esteemed Anon doesn't dispute: any variation in TSI at the surface is swamped by the total energy, while the larger percentage change in energy absorbed at the stratosphere does show up in measurements. Therefore no Force X.

Keep your eye on the ball....

Anonymous said...

Anonymous is correct in noting that Eli needs to insert a correction for that part of the post.

The change in total forcing from the solar cycle is greatest in the > 300nm regime.

Eli would know that the shift in the blackbody radiation curve is to shorter wavelengths and is particularly large in a relative sense for very high frequencies. But a shift of 0.1% in the > 300nm is much greater magnitude than the 1% increase in UV, 10% increase in x-ray etc.

Rib Smokin' Bunny

J Bowers said...

"This blog really has gone right down the toilet in my opinion."

So stop coming here. That'd take it out of the toilet in one easy step.

Kevin O'Neill said...

anon - the next person on the internets to admit they were wrong will be the first :)

I don't know. Sometimes it's the approach. A friendly question can sometimes elicit the desired/correct answer. E.g., "Hey, I'm on your side, but I think this is unclear/misleading/incorrect - or have I missed something?"

But the defensive, herd-mentality response is common and difficult to dislodge.

Anonymous said...

If anyone here cares, Mr. Watt'sUp closed the Evans-TSI thread a couple of hours back. Before I could take another poke at our favourite Lord, dammit. Oh well, with the Heartland coming up next week, I am confident that our favourite Lord will manage to mouth a few 97% bombs I can toss back.

Anonymous said...

What a brown-noser Brian is, bending over backwards to excuse Eli's errors.

Brownnosing undoubtedly served Brian well in law school and will serve him even better someday in Congress.

Hank Roberts said...

"almost all of the variability in the solar spectrum is below 300 nm, and none of that makes it below the ozone layer."

"... nearly all the detectable variation in atmospheric temperatures from the solar cycle are the result in changes of the UV, and occur in the stratosphere or above ...."

"The modulation of stratospheric temperatures [by UV] .... can in itself contribute very little to global temperature variations."

----- all quoted from above -----

They're all saying the same thing. Duh.

Words are approximations. I knew what Eli meant the first time.

"Below" -- it can mean shorter wavelengths, or it could mean lower in the atmosphere.

If you know the physics you'll understand the English.

Sure, give me any reasonably long sentence in English and I can probably find three or four or five ways to misread it. Ambiguity is a pitfall of language. There are always ways you can find to misinterpret plain English.

Lookit this:

Solar Physics
August 2014, Volume 289, Issue 8, pp 2891-2906
A Reconstruction of Ultraviolet Spectral Irradiance During the Maunder Minimum

Guess what? UV doesn't drop out during minima either.

"... We also reconstruct ultraviolet spectra for May 2008 and March 2009, spanning the extended phase of low activity separating Cycles 23 and 24. Our results suggest that despite the unusually long temporal extent of this activity minimum, the ultraviolet emission still remained slightly higher than during the Maunder Minimum, due to the lingering presence of decay products from active regions having emerged in the late descending phase of Cycle 23."