JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



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Climate Rage: We absolutely cannot have… a rational conversation!

This post bumped to the top so it doesn’t get lost under the newer post: Solar Model Part IV below.

In The Rage of the Climate Central Planners, Jeffrey Tucker describes something we’ve all experienced. That moment where the social atmosphere turns suddenly poisonous. Climate Rage!

Namecalling is a tool to stop debate. It works to keep the wandering minds in the square. But the flipside is that sooner or later the smallest crack, the tiniest doubt, elicts a bizarre over-the-top response and the mismatch reveals the game. How many passionate skeptics are created in the moment a fence-sitter realizes that those who say they love the environment will risk friendships and burn relationships in order NOT to discuss it? For surely there is only one possible interpretation of Climate Rage.

“They really can’t allow a debate, because they will certainly and absolutely and rightly lose.”

“When that is certain, the only way forward is to rage.”

Keep reading  →

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BIG NEWS part VI: Building a new solar climate model with the notch filter

The Solar Series: I BackgroundII: The notch filter  |  III: The delay  |  IV: A new solar force?  |  V: Modeling the escaping heat.  |  VI: The solar climate model (You are here)  |  VII — Hindcasting   | VIII — Predictions

Open Science live — The story so far: Dr David Evans is building the O-D notch-delay solar model. It’s a much simpler big-picture approach than Global Climate Coupled Models. They use an ambitious bottom-up system where the models add up every small aspect in every small cell of the Earth’s climate atmosphere and oceans and try to predict everything, but the trap is the errors — small errors in 10,000 calculations add up to big-mush. David’s approach is top-down. He looks at the whole system from the outside, and doesn’t try to understand or predict each individual part. It’s a way of starting at the start — to shed light on the big forces and processes that happen as energy arrives on Earth, gets reflected, or blended, and eventually changes the surface temperature. His model won’t tell us what happens to rainfall in Sudan in 2050, but it might do what current models don’t and that is predict the global temperature.

The important development here is to complete the path of the energy flow in the most brutally simple way from Sun –> Earth –> Space. We know the sun provides heat through TSI or Total Solar Irradiance. But this is almost constant — it produces heat for sure, but possibly not much of the variation in temperature on Earth that we are interested in. The discovery of the notch filter means some other force (yet to be specified) from the sun acts with a delay of probably 11 years. This delayed force turns out to cause a lot of the variation in temperature. But Earth is not going to immediately warm or cool with every change. Energy collects in all kinds of pools and buckets before it ends up warming the atmosphere. So the effects of both incoming paths — immediate solar and delayed solar — get combined and run through a “low pass” filter — which blends and smooths the bumps.

Having discovered the pattern in the way TSI is tranformed into temperature, David builds the model with the filters to produce the same “transfer function” as he found in empirical data. Hopefully the model will mimic the overall processes without needing to know the details of all the parts. In a sense all models have to do this at some level. No climate model tracks each molecule or follows each photon. Will it work?  It does a good job of hindcasting (and we’ll talk about that soon), but the real test will take a few years. Enjoy the quest to figure it out.

By the way, one of my favourite graphs is below — Figure 4 — some curves are intrinsically beautiful.  –  Jo

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Building a new solar climate model

Dr David Evans

Cite as Evans, David M.W. “The Notch-Delay Solar Theory”, sciencespeak.com/climate-nd-solar.html, 2014.

This is the last of the three posts in which we build the solar model. We assembled a notch filter, a delay filter, and a low pass filter in cascade in part III, in part IV we took a diversion to physically interpret the notch and the delay, and in part V we added the RATS multiplier to model the atmosphere on the yearly timescales of the TSI datasets.

In this post we  assemble these four elements in their correct order, and add the immediate path for the TSI changes that obviously warm the Earth directly. This will complete the model. We finish by examining the step response of the model.

The Order of the Filters

The notch-delay solar model so far is simply a computational path from TSI to (surface) temperature that contains a notch filter, a delay filter, a low pass filter, and the RATS multiplier (which is a trivial “filter” whose transfer function is a constant). There are no other filters we can discern from the empirical transfer function, or from elementary physical theory. So with no more to add, let’s put these four in order.

The transfer functions of these four filters, when multiplied together, form the empirical transfer function. The transfer function of two filters in cascade is the products of their two transfer functions, so these four filters must be in cascade (that is, the output of one is the input of the next). But multiplication is commutative, so the empirical transfer function does not indicate their order. For that we turn to physical reasoning.

The filter whose place is most obvious is the low pass filter. It models the Earth as a bucket of heat with unreflected TSI pouring in the top, and its output is the radiating temperature. We can now place the other filters around it.

In the flow of computation the RATS multiplier goes immediately after the low pass filter, because its input is the radiating temperature and its output is the surface temperature. We then have the computational path covered from the unreflected TSI all the way to the output of the entire model.

The notch and delay filters intrinsically go together and are inseparable, and it does not matter if they go notch-delay or delay-notch. The only place left for them to go is between the input to the entire model, namely the TSI, and the input to the low pass filter, which is the unreflected TSI.

Therefore the notch and delay filters are modulating the albedo of the Earth.

 

Figure 1: The notch and delay filters modulate the Earth’s albedo.

 

The Immediate Path

The development to date only shows the delayed path from TSI to surface temperature. But obviously any changes in TSI also cause direct and immediate changes in the unreflected TSI, by changing the incoming heat from the Sun, so there is also an immediate path from TSI to the input of the low pass filter. This immediate path must therefore be in parallel with the notch-delay path from TSI to unreflected TSI.

The Notch-Delay Solar Model

Putting it all together, here is the notch-delay solar model. If the recent global warming was associated almost entirely with solar radiation, and if it had no dependence on carbon dioxide, this is how it would work:

 

Figure 2: Schematic of the notch-delay solar model.

 

Note the parallel paths:

  • The immediate path is for TSI, and has no effect on albedo. This is the direct warming effect of extra TSI.
  • The delayed path is for force X, which is the same as TSI but delayed and notched. Force X affects the albedo.

 

The parameters for the model were found by fitting the model to the observed temperatures since 1610, when yearly TSI data became available, though focused mainly on the last 100 and 200 years. Composite TSI and composite temperature records were created out of the TSI and temperature records analyzed earlier. In forming the composites, the offset of each dataset was adjusted so that the average values for overlapping datasets are the same, datasets were faded in and out of a composite gradually rather than entering the average abruptly, and instrumental data was preferred over proxy data. The fitting process found the model parameters such that the model best reproduced the composite temperature from the composite TSI and best produced a transfer function like the empirical transfer function found earlier.

The most important parameter is the delay parameter, which was found to most likely be 11 years but definitely between 10 and 20 years. The break period of the low pass filter was found to most likely be 5 years, though the possible range is from 4 to 25 years because it might be hiding over to the low frequency side of the notch. (It is very unlikely to be more than about the five years that other researchers have found, but the fitting process held open the possibility.) The most likely set of parameters is called the “P25″ set of parameters. The values in P25 were rounded off to form the “P0″ set of parameters, which has been used to illustrate the transfer functions and step responses of the filters during this development.

Keep reading  →

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Lubos and a few misconceptions

In typical style skeptics love to criticize, it is our strength. Sadly, diplomacy, manners, courtesy — burned at the door on a moment’s notice. Sigh. After five years in this debate you’d think I’d know not to expect respect or goodwill from every fellow skeptic. Call me naive, I don’t expect them to agree with me, just to be polite.  If someone asks you for a review before they publish, would you congratulate them privately, ask questions, ignore the answers, ignore large parts of the paper, then later post those misunderstood points, without so much as a courtesy check first? Yes, I’m baffled too.

Hey Lubos, no hard feelings, but next time let us save you from posting unnecessary innuendo, irrelevant criticisms, and not-so-informed commentary. It only takes an email.

I groan. In a highly gregarious species, where power is clawed through high-order political games, schmoozing and collaboration, some skeptics still wonder why people who are bad with numbers but good with people, control the institutions, the publications and big budgets. The mystery of it all!

Anyhow, because it is out there (or was, I’ve reproduced it here)* and is being discussed, obviously we need to correct the errors. Lubos says he spent hours reading the paper but he doesn’t seem to be aware of several of the major points (hey, it’s a very long paper). Unfortunately, because Lubos thought we were suggesting something we weren’t, he concludes it’s all unlikely and bases quite a bit of his reasoning on this misconception. Here’s Lubos saying largely what we’ve said, but he thinks he’s explaining something new:

“Natural mechanisms on Earth just won’t produce a response function that happens to vanish exactly for the 11-year periodicity!”

We explained in this public post, the big paper, the FAQ, the small summary, and David wrote in personal email answers to him (April 11th), that we don’t think the delay and notching occurs on Earth. It doesn’t seem at all likely that the actual solar rays would take 8 minutes to arrive on Earth, then wait 11 years to warm the planet. The 11 year delayed effect is very odd – dare I say “mysterious?” (Perhaps I better not, lest it’s seen as “demagogy”, eh?)

Obviously the place to look for the notch and delay is on the Sun, where internal dynamics could easily produce an 11 year cycle, so easily, it already has. I don’t think Lubos realizes we are suggesting that the 11 year delay may have something to do with the timing of the 11 year solar magnetic flips? Perhaps it’s a coincidence the notching happens at the same time the sun’s magnetic field collapses and it flips its north and south pole. Perhaps it isn’t.  Surely it’s an idea worth raising?

Again, I am ready to believe that the Sun has a significant impact on the Earth’s climate. But it must be either something else than the TSI, or the effect must be such that all the wiggles shorter than 20 years or so must be universally suppressed.

The argument that it is “due” to TSI, and “it’s not a mechanism on Earth” are both strawman: “it must be something else than TSI” he says — well yes, exactly. We go out of our way to say TSI is “associated with” with temperature, but does not “cause” temperature.

As for the “wiggles”, the evidence shows that all the wiggles shorter than 20 years are not equally suppressed. That is the point. Lubos is  mixing up a low pass filter with the notch. The data most definitely does not suggest a low pass filter with a 20 year break point. (If it did, the lines in the graph Lubos reposted twice would be flat lines to 20 years, then bend down with a 45 degree decline to zero from there in the shorter frequencies.) The low pass filter appears weakly with about a 5 year break point. The low pass filter is a non-controversial idea — I don’t think many people would suggest that the Earth doesn’t smooth out the sun’s effects over at least a few years.

How about some manners?

For the sake of helping the skeptic world polish up on it’s key weakness, it’s time to discuss the forgotten topic of manners and communication. They matter in science. The truth may come out eventually anyway, but bad communication makes it slower, and bad manners risks burning off the independent valuable pool of volunteers who are providing a foil for the monopolistic bureaucratic influences of science. Strategically, it’s a win for skeptics to hold the torch on other skeptics, but a failure for them to waste time doing it on inaccurate and irrelevant points.

After five years of doing my genuine damnedest to improve science and advance human knowledge one tiny sliver at a time, I’m accustomed to being accused of blind faith or shallow marketing, but not from people who I thought shared the same goals.

Hence yes, lines like these (based on zero evidence) are disappointing. False motivations? Imputed intentions? Baseless accusations? We can do better.

There are climate skeptics who will endorse any claim or idea that goes against the “consensus”.

Obviously this does not apply (sometime I disagree with skeptics, sometimes I agree with the IPCC). Why say it?

David’s goal is to claim that the whole evolution of the global mean temperature – or a big portion of it, to say the least – and especially the 20th century global warming and its various intense episodes may be due to the Sun.

David’s goal is to learn more about what drives the climate, not to make false claims. Twice he dropped this project because the data didn’t seem to support the theory that there was a low pass filter (he went looking for the low pass filter, but eventually realized there was a notch obscuring it and the notch was the big deal). It’s what a scientist does. Let’s rise above the cheap shots.  We don’t need pop psychoanalysis based on bad guesses.

I think that many of you will agree that the marketing point used as the title on Jo’s blog

For the first time – a mysterious notch filter found in the climate

is pure demagogy.

So when is it accurate science communication, and when is it “marketing” for an undescribed purpose? No one knew what might drive the notch, (or even that a notch existed) so mysterious seems pretty accurate, likewise, no one has described it before — looks like a first.

C’mon Lubos. Haven’t the footsoldiers in this David and Goliath battle at least earned the right to basic respect (and the right of reply) instead of half-baked, clumsy character slurs? Are they people and researchers or  just dumb bloggers…

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Correcting Lubos’ Errors

by David Evans, 19 June 2014

Here we correct several errors of fact or misleading impressions about the notch-delay theory made by Lubos.

1. Changes in TSI Did Not Cause the Recent Global Warming

Lubos says “David’s goal is to claim that” … “a big portion of” the “evolution of the global mean temperature”, “especially the 20th century global warming”, may be “due to” TSI. This is incorrect.

We have explicitly stated what our aim is, and that the recent global warming is NOT principally “due to” TSI. To repeat:

  • Part II:The initial aim of this project is to answer this question: If the recent global warming was associated almost entirely with solar radiation, and had no dependence on CO2, what solar model would account for it?
  • Part III:We are building the solar model that would account for the recent global warming if it was associated almost entirely with solar radiation (notice that we didn’t say “caused”)”.
  • Part IV: We introduce the force deduced in the datasets, force X, as the main influence behind the recent global warming: “Force X has ten to twenty times more influence on temperatures on Earth than changes in the direct heating effect of TSI. “While the effects on temperature of the tiny changes in the immediate heating effects of TSI are too small to explain the recent global warming, those tiny changes are a leading indicator of force X.”

2. Transfer functions are always output divided by input, in the frequency domain

After needlessly introducing complications such as convolution and integrals, and performing some handwavy and essentially correct math, Lubos says, as if he had uncovered something:  “This frequency-based Evans response function is simply the ratio of the Fourier-transformed global mean temperature and the Fourier-transformed solar output!”   (By “response function” he means “transfer function”.)

That definition of a transfer function is not only standard, it is explicitly stated from first principles in the Part II: “A transfer function tells how a sinusoid in the input is transferred through the system to the output. We are only concerned with amplitudes (that is, not phases), so its value at a given frequency is simply the output amplitude at that frequency divided by the input amplitude at that frequency. Dividing the orange line in Figure 4 by the orange line in Figure 2, we arrive at the empirical transfer function shown in Figure 5.”

 3. There is no peak at 11 years in the temperature spectrum (i.e. there is a notch)

Lubos writes “What the near-vanishing of R~(f) for 1/f close to 11 years really means is that … the 11-year cycle isn’t present in the temperature data.

Just caught on Lubos? The main point in the first substantive post is that the temperature record does not contain detectable temperature peaks at 11 years, which would corresponding to the peaks of TSI every 11 years. This is unexpected, and is the discovery. Under the heading “Spot the big clue. There is no peak at 11 years!” we said “The TSI peaks every 11 years or so, yet there is no detected corresponding peak in the temperature, even using our new low noise optimal Fourier transform!”

4. The notch is the starting clue

Lubos says about the absence of an 11 year peak in the temperature datasets: “This is a problem – potentially a huge problem – for any theory that tries to present the solar output as the primary driver even at the decadal scale and faster scales. … It makes the solar theory of the climate much less likely, not more likely. Suggesting otherwise is a case of demagogy.”

Not at all. It is the vital clue that leads us to the delay (which is corroborated at least in part by several studies), and then to the conclusion that an indirect solar force that is not TSI is potentially responsible for most of the recent global warming. This is unfolding in the blog posts already posted, and was available to Lubos in the main paper.

5. Notching originates on the Sun, caused by the synchronicity between two solar forces

Joanne has mentioned that Lubos is attacking a strawman with his arguments about “natural mechanisms on Earth”. This is a major point. We said as much so in the post on interpreting the notch and delay: “As far as we know there is nothing on Earth with a memory spanning multiple years. But there is one climate actor with an 11 year clock—the Sun.” We then proposed force X, which like TSI originates in the Sun, and showed the peaks in TSI every 11 years (on average) always exactly coincide with troughs in force X, which we propose as the notching mechanism.

Curiously, in one of his emails to me Lubos asked about exactly these “unnatural” mechanisms on Earth: “Concerning the unnaturalness, are you religious – what I really mean, do you believe in Intelligent Design?” (10 April). I replied (11 April) “No, I don’t believe in Intelligent design, but in logic, data, and reading carefully :)  … The 11 year timing (or more likely, the solar cycle length) almost certainly originates in the sun, presumably as two signals given off by different parts of the sun and 180 degrees out of phase. See Fig. 31. Force X lags TSI by 180 degrees of the 22-year Hale cycle, presumably. Hence the timing and the notching.”

6. The predictions are due to the delay

Prediction due to ringing? No, force X lags TSI by 11 years, so knowing what the TSI did we can predict what force X will do several years in advance—not Fourier analysis, just physical principles. From the post on the physical interpretation of the notch and delay: “Because TSI indicates what force X will do in about 11 years, the TSI record is also a record of future force X.

Conclusion

It was the world’s sloppiest reading job. I asked for feedback when I first emailed it to him (“I’d really appreciate some feedback, especially if you disagree with or are uncomfortable with some aspects.”). But instead of sorting this out by email, he goes silent then writes a careless blog post that misrepresents the model. Unhelpful.

—————–

*Lubos took the post down. I told him that was unnecessary, I asked him to repost it. I’m reposting it here.

PS: Sadly Lubos has not coped well with this post. He refuses to correct his obvious mistakes, or quote me directly.  My emails to him were polite and logical (read them in full here). I’ve asked him for an apology. Credit to him for publishing my comment on his blog. I remain baffled otherwise.

 

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BIG NEWS Part V: Escaping heat. The Three pipes theory and the RATS multiplier

The Solar Series: I Background   |  II: The notch filter  |  III: The delay  |  IV: A new solar force?  |  V: Modeling the escaping heat (You are here).  |  VI: The solar climate model   |  VII — Hindcasting   | VIII — Predictions

David Evans has analyzed the black box system that is effectively  “Sunlight In, Temperature Out”, and found a notch, a delay, and a low pass filter. The problem then is to work out their order and to fill in any other bits needed by the model. This post then, doesn’t have big blockbuster moments (sorry), but these points need to be said.

Energy leaves Earth through a range of electromagnetic frequencies, but the bulk of them can be grouped into three main “pipes”. Radiation either comes directly off the land, oceans, ice and what-not on the ground, or it leaves via the atmosphere. Up in the air, carbon dioxide and water molecules do most of the work sending emissions of infra red to outer space.  In the atmosphere, the radiating “surface” is a virtual concept and is effectively at different heights for different greenhouse gases. This is all non-controversial stuff, but a little difficult to see in your head. The three pipes are from the ground, from CO2 and from H2O.

There are three main “pipes”  for heat to escape from Earth. A “pipe” is a group of electromagnetic frequencies which are radiated directly to space from the same emissions layer.

The next problem is that people have measured surface temperature (which is fair enough), and this is what the solar model is aiming to model. But it’s not the same temperature as the temperature of the complex “surface” that is radiating to space. The two layers are tied together in a sense. If the ground surface warms, the radiating surface will warm but not by quite as much. That means any model needs to understand the relationship between changes in the temperature of the radiating layers and the temperature on the ground (and on the seven seas). I’m sorry for anyone looking for a dog-fight here, but the multiplier in the Solar Model is boringly almost the same as the standard one used by mainstream climate scientists. We call it the RATS multiplier (Radiative Amplification To Surface) and its value is about 2.

Basically if it warms by 1 degree on the surface the RATS multiplier tells us it has warmed by about 0.5 degrees on the radiating “surface”. There were times when we thought it would be different, but it did indeed end up being about the same as the mainstream estimates.  This is non-controversial stuff, but it’s important, and we’ll be referring back to the RATS multiplier and more importantly to the Three Pipes.   – Jo

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Modeling the Atmosphere

by Dr David Evans, 18 June 2014

Cite as Evans, David M.W. “The Notch-Delay Solar Theory”, sciencespeak.com/climate-nd-solar.html, 2014.

This post is the second of the three posts in which we build the solar model. We already assembled a notch filter, a delay filter, and a low pass filter in cascade in part III, and in part IV we took a diversion to physically interpret the notch and the delay.

The  output of the low pass filter is the record of  changes in the effective temperature at which the Earth radiates to space, the “radiating temperature”. We then consider how the model will compute the changes in surface temperature from the changes in radiating temperature. It turns out to require just a very simple model of the atmosphere.

Three Pipes

The output of the low pass filter is the temperature of the surface of the Earth that radiates directly to space. This “radiating surface” is a virtual surface, consisting of different physical surfaces at different electromagnetic frequencies of radiation.

At the electromagnetic frequencies that are absorbed and emitted by carbon dioxide, the surface of the Earth is at the “one optical depth” of the carbon dioxide, where an observer from space is looking through sufficient carbon dioxide that they cannot “see” below that layer, on average. The carbon dioxide emissions layer is about 8 km up in the atmosphere at the tropics. It is effectively where all emissions from Earth direct to space at the carbon dioxide frequencies occur, because, on average, emissions below this layer are absorbed by the carbon dioxide (space cannot see those emitting carbon dioxide molecules, so they cannot see space).

The electromagnetic frequencies of the “atmospheric window” are those that pass through the atmosphere unimpeded. At these frequencies, emissions direct to space come from the surface of the Earth.

At the emissions and absorption frequencies of water vapor (which is the main greenhouse gas), the emissions layer is on average about 10 km up in the atmosphere at the tropics.

There are also other emissions layers for other greenhouse gases, but in this simple analysis we’ll ignore them because their effect is small.

Nearly all the heat lost by Earth goes through one of these three “pipes” to space, a “pipe” being a group of electromagnetic frequencies with the same emissions layer. The amount of energy flowing to space through each pipe increases with the temperature of its emission layer.

The “radiating temperature” of the Earth is the effective temperature of the radiating surface, and is simply the temperature as computed by the Stefan-Boltzmann equation for the emissions given off by the Earth. The temperature changes of the radiating surface are some sort of weighted  average of the temperatures changes of the main three emissions layers.

 

Figure 1: The “radiating surface” is the virtual surface that radiates directly to space. It consists of different physical layers at different electromagnetic frequencies. The climate system is like a vessel containing heat, with three pipes through which heat can escape to space. Not to scale.

The RATS (Radiative Amplification To Surface) Multiplier

The low pass filter computes the changes in the radiating temperature, that is, the temperature changes that determine how much heat is radiated to space. But the output of the solar model is not this temperature, but the temperature at the surface. So how can the model compute the changes in surface temperature from the changes in radiating temperature?

Changes in the temperature of the radiating surface are basically transmitted down through the atmosphere to the surface. At the frequencies of the atmospheric window the radiating surface is also the surface of the Earth so no transmission is required, but at the carbon dioxide and water vapor frequencies the transmission is literally down through the atmosphere.

Keep reading  →

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When is your Green Charity too big? When it loses $5m currency trading

  • We need a Big News break for a day or so. Part V coming soon. Discussion is animated. — Jo

Financial speculation on currency sees Greenpeace lose €3.8m

[BlueandGreen] Campaign group Greenpeace lost €3.8m (£3m, or $5.5m AUD) after an employee took a gamble on the currency market in 2013, it has been revealed.

The employee responsible for losing the money took a gamble on the euro remaining weak against other currencies. However, the euro strengthened later in the year, resulting in the losses.

Greenpeace, save whales, trees, and help financial houses too. Who knew?

That $5m you were thinking of donating? Don’t bother, it wouldn’t have made any difference anyhow:

No Greenpeace campaign would suffer as a result of the loss, which would  be absorbed by reducing expenses such as infrastructure over the next two to three years.

I don’t think this is quite the message Greenpeace meant to send.

Big-Green has truly become the Big-Business they pretend to oppose. Greenpeace has a total annual budget of around €300 million. It’s so big, it has to trade currencies, make property investments, and deal with “infrastructure”.

h/t Tim Blair    See also the  Sydney Morning Herald and The Guardian.

 

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BIG NEWS part IV: A huge leap understanding the mysterious 11 year solar delay

The Solar Series: I Background   |  II: The notch filter  |  III: The delay  |  IV: A new solar force? (You are here) V: Modeling the escaping heat.  |  VI: The solar climate model   |  VII — Hindcasting   | VIII — Predictions

Implacably, the discovery of a notch suggests a delay of anything from 10 to 20 years but most likely 11 years. (Don’t miss the delay post — two very big important concepts out in two posts). The big mystery is what could cause such a long delay in the correlation of solar radiation with temperatures on Earth?

David and I spent months wondering “what on Earth” could drive it. There were many possibilities though none of them seemed to be able to respond with the right timing: A resonant slop in ocean circulation could absorb extra energy, but it was difficult to see how the timing would be so tight with solar peaks. Likewise changes in ice or land cover. Then there are lunar cycles of 9 – 18 years, potentially generating atmospheric standing waves, but they were not synchronous with the sun.

Given that marine life can produce aerosol particles or carbonyl sulphide, we wondered if blue green algae or phytoplankton were the key. I particularly liked the idea that life on Earth would evolve to try to take advantage of the little extra energy arriving at regular intervals. But it’s unlikely, though not impossible, that microbiology would act after an 11 year delay. They could respond in weeks or months — but that type of response would not produce “a notch” in the transfer function. I spent most of 2013 spotting tantalizing 8 – 12 year cycles in papers on everything from arctic tundra to jet streams. All of which were interesting, but none of which would sit quietly for 10 years and then spring to life.

In the end, the answer was so prosaic, so beautiful –  of course, the only possibility for a delay so perfectly timed with solar cycles was within the sun itself. Have we been fooled by a language slip? “Peak” solar activity doesn’t mean a “peak” in magnetic  activity, actually it’s the other way around.

Think about the timing: At the peak of the sunspot cycle, while the sun is producing its maximum solar irradiation, it turns out that the Sun’s magnetic field is collapsing through its weakest moment. (Marvel at Figure 1 below.) The solar radiation only varies a little through the cycle, but the dynamo of the solar magnetic field is undergoing profound changes — flipping in polarity from North to South or back again. This causes the notch.

We don’t know exactly how this collapsing magnetic field reduces the effect of solar radiation on Earth. One obvious candidate is Svensmark’s cosmic ray hypothesis. He theorized that during the months of the weakest magnetic field the Earth loses its shield against cosmic rays, seeding clouds. But the mystery force might be electrical, or work through UV, or be something else entirely. Nonetheless, it was a leap to finally connect so many studies.

(This was a memorable “aha” moment  — We did enjoy!.) –  Jo

 

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Physical Interpretation of the Notch and Delay

Dr David Evans, 17 June 2014

Cite as Evans, David M.W. “The Notch-Delay Solar Theory”, sciencespeak.com/climate-nd-solar.html, 2014.

 [Logically this post belongs a little later in the series, but some people seem so interested in the physical interpretation of the notch and the delay that we’ll jump forward in the story a little for a bit. So please excuse me for dragging a couple of things in from left field while I explain this, but I am under editor’s orders.]

The notch was observed in the data, and the delay was inferred from the notch. But what are the physical explanations for the notch and the delay?

The biggest clue lies in the delay, which we’ll take here to be the most likely value of about 11 years, though it could be as low as 10 years or as high as 20 years in the curve fitting.

The delay in the solar model says that today’s temperatures are more influenced by the level of solar radiation 11 years ago than by the level either 5 or 25 years ago. So something to do with climate has a memory of 11 years; the delay is not simply due to a dissipative element, like a store of heat in the ocean that declines at a certain rate.

(The heat store of the oceans is almost certainly the main element in the low pass filter, which is a dissipative element with a time constant, but that is quite separate from the delay. If a dissipative element dominated the response to TSI then today’s temperatures would be more influenced by the TSI of 5 years ago than of 11 years ago, but it’s the other way around.)

As far as we know there is nothing on Earth with a memory spanning multiple years. But there is one climate actor with an 11 year clock—the Sun.

The Sun’s sunspot cycle has an average length of 11 years, although it varies from 8 to 14 years. The Sun’s full cycle is actually 22 years long on average, consisting of two consecutive sunspot cycles, one with the Sun’s magnetic field in each orientation.

Also, the notching suggests that there is a countervailing force that counteracts the TSI peaks in the global surface temperature. This countervailing force would have to synchronized to the TSI peaks. While it might be a force that reacts to the onset of a TSI peak, a simpler explanation is that it originates on the Sun like the TSI and is thus synchronized to the TSI. *

We will soon deduce from the solar model that the notch and the delay work by affecting the albedo of the Earth (the fraction of solar radiation that is reflected straight back out to space by clouds, snow, ice etc. without warming the Earth, about 30%). We will also find by looking at the proportional changes in solar radiation and albedo that over the last few decades that the effect on temperature of albedo modulation has been at least six times greater than the immediate heating effect of variation in solar radiation. So it appears the notch and delay are associated with a powerful indirect solar influence that modulates the Earth’s albedo.

It is important not to prejudge what this influence is, so let us call this influence “force X” for now. Therefore the existence of “force X” is formally proposed:

  1. If force X is larger, the Earth gets warmer.
  2. Changes in force X lag behind changes in solar radiation by the delay, which is most likely half of the full solar cycle, or 180°—force X and TSI are in anti-cycle. The delay is the time between peaks in sunspots, which averages 11 years but varies from 8 to 14 years.
  3. Force X affects the Earth’s temperature by changing its albedo.
  4. Force X increases when the Sun’s magnetic field is stronger, and is weakest when the Sun’s magnetic field is reversing its polarity.

This last property is because peaks in solar radiation and sunspots coincide with reversals in the Sun’s magnetic field, as shown in Figure 1.

The Sun’s magnetic field reverses polarity every sunspot cycle, about every 11 years, and it occurs just as the TSI and the number of sunspots are peaking. In the reversal, the Sun’s north pole gets swapped with its south pole, so the magnitudes of some aspects of the solar magnetic field go briefly to zero, and presumably all aspects of the various solar magnetic fluxes are at a minimum. For example, the magnitude of the solar polar magnetic shown in Figure 1 field drops to zero before rebounding as the polar field reverses polarity.

This synchronicity of peaks in solar radiation with troughs in force X accounts for the observed notching. Just as the TSI peaks the warming from force X is at a minimum, so the peak in the direct warming effect of TSI is counteracted by the trough in warming from force X. Presumably the combined influence of the peak in TSI and the trough in force X is less than the precision of the temperature record.

(By the way, it was Joanne who noticed the synchronicity of TSI peaks with magnetic field reversals and made the connection to the notch and delay.)

 

Figure 1: When sunspot activity peaks, solar radiation is at a maximum but the solar magnetic field is at its weakest because it is reversing polarity. (This figure merely illustrates the timing; the solar polar field is but one aspect of the Sun’s magnetic field, and it is not proposed that this is force X.)

 

Although we can deduce its presence in the datasets, at this stage it is not known what force X is. We cannot measure some signal on an antenna pointed somewhere and say “that is force X”. Conversely, nearly every measured variable has been compared to temperature, so if someone was measuring force X they probably would have noticed by now.

The obvious candidate for force X is some aspect of the solar magnetic field that is responsible for deflecting cosmic rays so that they do not hit the Earth as often as they would otherwise. More cosmic rays hitting the Earth may create more microscopic cloud nuclei, which form more clouds, which reflect more solar radiation back into space, lowering the unreflected TSI entering the climate system and thus cooling the Earth’s surface. When the appropriate component of the solar magnetic field is stronger, it warms the Earth by protecting it from cooling cosmic rays. Thus, a solar magnetic field could modulate the albedo of Earth. When solar radiation peaks, force X is momentarily weak and the cosmic ray shields are down.

It is possible that force X is not related to cosmic rays. For instance force X might be electric and modulate the ozone in the Earth’s stratosphere, or otherwise affect the Earth’s atmosphere by some electrical connection. Solar magnetic fields are known to directly influence weather near the Earth’s poles, and may influence mid-latitudes via the global atmospheric electric circuit (Lam et al 2013). Or there may be solar influences which are not explainable yet (e.g. Sober 2010). Or it might be that solar UV modulates algae or plankton which in turn modulate albedo (Watts, 2014). Yoshimura in 1996 found that the TSI leads some index of the solar magnetic field by 10.3 years, and posited that the Sun could affect the Earth’s climate “through two channels”.

Or it might be more than one of the above.

While the effects on temperature of the tiny changes in the immediate heating effects of TSI are too small to explain the recent global warming, those tiny changes are a leading indicator of force X. Tremors in the near-constant level of solar radiation foretell what force X will do in 11 years’ time. Because TSI indicates what force X will do in about 11 years, the TSI record is also a record of future force X.

 

Figure 2: Symbolic diagram of the Sun’s influence. The Sun influences Earthly temperature by two forces, solar radiation and force X, where changes in the former lead the latter by half a full solar (Hale) cycle. The influence of force X on changes in Earthly temperatures is about 10 to 20 times the influences of changes in the solar radiation.

 

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). TSI no doubt has vastly more energy than force X, but the changes in TSI are proportionally very small. Indeed, the level of TSI was thought to be constant until satellites were able to measure it more closely and found minor variations, and it used to be called “the solar constant”.

Force X affects the albedo of Earth, affecting how much solar radiation gets reflected straight back out to space. Force X is like a tap, a small force controlling the much larger flow of solar radiation into the Earth’s climate system.

Keep reading  →

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Unthreaded again

Look just because some people want to talk about something other than the new solar theory….

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BIG NEWS Part III: The notch means a delay

The Solar Series: I Background  |  II: The notch filter  |  III: The delay (you are here)  |  IV: A new solar force?  |  V: Modeling the escaping heat.  |  VI: The solar climate model   |  VII — Hindcasting   | VIII — Predictions

UPDATE: July 21 Thanks to Bernie Hutchins, David found a problem with the code, which means the notch no longer guarantees a delay. The delay still likely exists (see the other evidence in the references below) but this post, particularly figure 2 needs correction and updating. – Jo

Strap yourself in. The Notch in the Earth’s response to incoming solar energy means that every 11 years  (roughly) the solar energy peaks, and at the same time the climate’s response to the extra energy changes. What on Earth is going on?

The thing about notch filters that is hard for anyone who isn’t an electrical engineer to understand is that it appears to start working before “the event” it is filtering out. This is obvious in the step response graph. That’s Figure 2 – which shows what happens where there is a sudden step up in solar radiation (the brown line). The blue line shows the temperature response, which paradoxically starts to “rise” before the step up even occurs. This makes no sense, of course. Electronic engineers know that a [non-causal] notch filter always means a delay. Something triggers the filter before the event begins and the notch filter responds after a delay.

By mathematical inference David shows that there must be a delay. Later, by fitting the solar model to the measured temperatures, the delay is found to most likely be around 11 years (but is definitely between 10 and 20 years).

There is some empirical support for this from Lockwood and Froehlich’s paper, and also from Usokin, Archibald, Solheim, Soon, and Moffa-Sanchez.

The solar model also has a low pass filter, as well as the notch-delay combo. All the little flickering short rises and falls in solar radiation would not show up in Earth’s temperature. A low pass filter blends or smooths these short term cycles as the energy is absorbed by systems like the oceans. Only longer sustained changes in radiation make a difference, as heat either accumulates or dissipates over longer periods. The transfer function suggests (loosely) that changes lasting less than about 3 years make less and less impact on temperatures.  — Jo

Building the Model Part 1: Deducing the Delay

Dr David Evans, 16 June 2014

Cite as Evans, David M.W. “The Notch-Delay Solar Theory”, sciencespeak.com/climate-nd-solar.html, 2014.

We are building the solar model that would account for the recent global warming if it was associated almost entirely with solar radiation (notice that we didn’t say “caused”), and had no dependence on carbon dioxide. Here we assemble the first three parts of the model, a notch filter, a delay filter, and a low pass filter.

1          The Notch

In the previous post on exploring the data, we found that the most prominent feature in the empirical transfer function was the notch, which filters out the 11-year “hum” from the Sun.

The notch is a very curious fact. Solar radiation warms the Earth, providing nearly all the heat as incoming radiation—visible light, UV, infrared, and so on. So we’d expect the extra radiation from the Sun every 11 years to produce corresponding peaks in temperature here on Earth. Yet it doesn’t.

We have chosen to investigate what happens if the recent global warming was associated almost entirely with changes in solar radiation and has no dependence on carbon dioxide — the “solar assumption”. Obviously the solar assumption cannot be entirely true, and it is later discarded in the development of the solar model. It is only needed for finding the approximate parameters for the model, and it does not ultimately impact on whether the model is appropriate or not. This parallels the original development of the carbon dioxide theory, which temporarily assumed that carbon dioxide caused almost all of the global warming since 1800 — the “carbon dioxide assumption” — in order that the parameters of the carbon dioxide model could be found by curve-fitting it to the measured temperatures.

Using the solar assumption we curve-fitted a notch model to the measured temperatures, to find the approximate size and shape of the natural notch filter. It is more instructive to show the notch filter we eventually found by curve fitting the entire solar model (which contains a notch filter) to the measured temperatures, because that way we can build up the model’s transfer function piece by piece so that it matches the empirical transfer function. (The two notch filters are basically similar except for a different overall amplitude multiplier, that is, a vertical shift in the transfer function diagram.)

 

Figure 1: The transfer function of the notch filter in the solar model. Uses the P0 set of parameter values for the solar model, which are the rounded off versions of the parameters later determined to best fit the observed temperatures.

 

Ok, it’s notch shaped, and the notch is at 11 years, as we’d expect. (We are only concerned with the amplitudes, because we cannot adequately detect the phases of the sinusoids in the climate datasets.)

But what is much more interesting becomes apparent when the notch filter is portrayed in the time domain, as the step response. The step response of a system is what the output does when the input instantaneously steps up by one unit.

 

Figure 2: The step response of the notch filter in the solar model, corresponding to the transfer function in Figure 1. It is non-causal, that is, the response starts before the stimulus!

 

Notice that the step response starts several years before the step-up, which violates causality — it is impossible. In our universe, a response can only come after the corresponding stimulus. The non-causality of the step response of the notch filter in Figure 2 is not a fluke: in any electronic notch filter without an accompanying delay, the step response is blatantly non-causal. Notch filters by themselves are intrinsically non-causal.

2          The Delay

How we know there is a delay

When engineers design a filter whose transfer response has the desired shape of amplitude, but which is non-causal and therefore impossible, they simply include a delay with the filter. Adding a delay does not change the amplitude of the transfer function of the filter, it only changes the phase of the transfer function. The delay shifts the entire amplitude part of the step response  to the right in diagrams such as Figure 2, without changing its shape, as if the time axis were replaced with a new time axis.

For example, the step response of the combination of the notch filter in Figure 2 and a 7 year delay is the blue line in Figure 2 shifted 7 years to the right. Just imagine sliding the blue line 7 years to the right — the dagger of the notch would move from year 0 to year 7.  (Notice this would almost but not quite make the response causal, because the response would almost be zero before the stimulus begins. A delay of about 8 or 9 years would be sufficient to make it causal and therefore possible.)

Keep reading  →

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BIG NEWS Part II: For the first time – a mysterious notch filter found in the climate

The Solar Series: I Background   |  II: The notch filter (you are here)  |  III: The delay  |  IV: A new solar force?  |  V: Modeling the escaping heat.  |  VI: The solar climate model   |  VII — Hindcasting   | VIII — Predictions

This is the first of many posts. It is primarily about the entirely new discovery of a notch filter, which electrical engineers will immediately recognize, but few others will know. Notch filters are used in electronics to filter out a hum or noise. You will have some at home, but everyone seems to have missed the largest notch filter running on the planet.

This post is also about the broad outline of the new solar model. It’s a O-D (zero-dimensional) model. Its strength lies in its simplicity — it’s a top down approach. That solves a lot of problems the larger ambitious GCMs create — they are a bottom up approach, and effectively drown in the noise and uncertainty. This model does not even attempt to predict regional or seasonal effects at this stage. First things first — we need to figure out the main drivers of the global climate.

Here David explains why sinusoids are such powerful tools. Some of the most important graphs here are in frequencies — that’s where we non-EE’s (Electrical Engineers) will have to concentrate. Pay attention to the logarithmic scale on the bottom. 1,000 year cycles are on the left, and 1 year cycles are on the right.

There is a lot to cover. As you read, good skeptics will be thinking of criticisms and questioning assumptions. That’s all excellent, please bear in mind we have asked many of these at length already (like, is it fair to assume linearity?) and this is a short introductory article. There is a lot to discuss. We assume, but only temporarily, that the Sun’s radiation might be associated with all the warming (note I didn’t say “cause”). This assumption is used for the investigation and then dropped and tested. It parallels what CO2 driven models do — they assumed CO2 caused all the warming. They just got stuck on the “testing” step. Also, David used Fourier analysis to investigate the datasets and find the filters,  then used those filters he discovered to build a model. This two stage approach means skeptics may spot red flags that are relevant to one stage, but made irrelevant by the second stage. I’m flagging this at the start in the hope that we generate more constructive criticism.

No time? — skip to Figure 5 and 6 for the most important action! Look at the spike down at 11 years. See how it happens in all the datasets. (Figure 6 was the moment when Bob Carter sat up dead straight in his chair).

– Jo

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Discovering the Notch

by Dr David Evans, 15 June 2014

Cite as Evans, David M.W. “The Notch-Delay Solar Theory”, sciencespeak.com/climate-nd-solar.html, 2014.

The carbon dioxide theory is clearly inadequate, as readers here know only all too well. So we wondered if the changes in the Sun might be causing some of the recent global warming. That is, the global warming over the last few decades, maybe back to 1800 or so.

Solar radiation and temperature

The best and most obvious solar datasets are those for total solar irradiance (TSI), or the total energy from the sun at all electromagnetic frequencies — mainly visible light, but also UV and some infrared. These datasets estimate the total energy from the Sun falling upon the plane that is at the average distance of the Earth from the Sun (1 AU, or astronomical unit). This TSI data is thus deseasonalized, so it cannot tell us anything about what is happening on time scales of less than a year or at frequencies greater than one cycle per year (this will become important later). TSI is measured in Watts per square meter (W/m2).

The temperature we are most interested in is the one for our immediate environment, the “global average surface air temperature”, namely air temperatures at or near the surface averaged across the entire planet. When we use “temperature” without qualification in these posts, we mean this temperature. “Global warming” is the rise in this temperature.

The initial aim of this project is to answer this question: If the recent global warming was associated almost entirely with solar radiation, and had no dependence on CO2, what solar model would account for it?

Let’s build that solar model

We are envisaging some sort of black box, whose input is TSI and whose output is temperature.

The climate system is approximately linear for small perturbations such as have occurred since the end of the last ice age. It is common in climate modeling to assume that the climate system is linear. The climate system is also “invariant”, which just means that its properties do not change significantly with time. So we assume that the climate system is linear and invariant, at least for the last few hundred years (and presumably as far back as the end of the last ice age).

The way to analyze a linear and invariant system is with sinusoids (aka sine waves). A sinusoid has a frequency, an amplitude, and a phase. Sinusoids are special for linear invariant systems, because:

  • If the input is a sinusoid, then the output is a sinusoid at the same frequency.
  • At each frequency, the ratio of output to input amplitudes and the difference between the output and input phases are always the same.
  • Behavior at one frequency is unaffected by what is occurring at other frequencies.

Lots of systems are linear and invariant, such as free space for electromagnetic fluctuations, which is why sinusoids and Fourier analysis are so ubiquitous in our analysis of the universe. While Fourier analysis can also be used for mere curve fitting, its true significance and power is that sinusoids are eigenfunctions of all linear invariant systems.

So let’s analyze the TSI and temperature datasets in the frequency domain. That is, we will recast them as sums of sinusoids.*

Keep reading  →

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Weekend Unthreaded

More action coming very soon, in the meantime, a space for all the things that are not the solar model…

(UPDATE: It’s posted!)

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BIG NEWS Part I: Historic development — New Solar climate model coming

Behind the scenes a major advance has been quietly churning. It is something I have barely even hinted at. (Oh how I wanted to!)You may have noticed my other half Dr David Evans has been quiet — it’s not because he’s moved out of the climate debate, instead a strange combination of factors has pulled him full time into climate research. Things have been very busy here. He’s discovered something extraordinary, and like all real science, it’s been a roller-coaster where the theory appeared to collapse, and we nearly gave up, but then a new insight would turn out to be more valuable than the version that went before. Other times it all seemed so obvious in hindsight we wondered why no one had done this before. But the answer is that there is a very unusual combination of factors at work — how many people have Ivy League experience in Fourier maths, and electrical circuits and have worked as a professional  modeler, software developer, and have an interest in the finer details and theory of the climate debate? Who of the people with this background would also be prepared to spend months working unpaid to investigate a non-CO2 climate theory?

Dr David Evans is an electrical engineer and mathematician, who earned six university degrees over ten years, including a PhD from Stanford University in electrical engineering (digital signal processing): PhD. (E.E), M.S. (E.E.), M.S. (Stats) [at Stanford], B.E. (Hons, University Medal), M.A. (Applied Math), B.Sc.[University of Sydney]. His specialty is in Fourier analysis and signal processing. He trained with Professor Ronald Bracewell late of Stanford University.

David has worked in the climate industry, consulting full-time for the Australian Greenhouse Office from 1999 to 2005, and part-time for the Department of Climate Change from 2008 to 2010. He was the lead modeler analyzing the carbon in Australia’s biosphere for Kyoto accounting purposes, and developed the world-leading carbon accounting model FullCAM that Australia uses in the land use change and forestry sector.

For the last 18 months David pursued an idea, and developed something the climate debate has needed, but failed to do achieve after 30 years, despite billions of dollars in funding. He’s taken sophisticated silicon-chip maths and applied it to the climate system — analyzing the system as a black box to discover the filters and parts. He has built a working O-D model with 15,000 lines of code. In order to develop the model he had to produce a more advanced method of Fourier analysis (which on its own is an achievement and will be useful in many other fields). We’ll be releasing the results of this independent work over the next week amongst other posts. Make no mistake, this is not like anything I have seen or read about. It fits, like all good science does, into a coherent theory that matches the data and connects many other papers. The jigsaw is coming together.

Over the last six months we’ve been quietly circulating this work amongst scientists we admire and seeking feedback. We want more, and open science is the only way to go. I will boldly predict that many papers will spring from this work and its implications, but for the moment we see no reason to wait for two unpaid reviewers and an editor (with little knowledge of the details) to delay or prevaricate on its release.

Historically this is how real science is done, one well-trained passionate researcher pursues a creative idea that breaks the current paradigm, then sets the theory free for everyone to test and review. This work — should it stand the test of time — will be held up as an example of where independent research can succeed over the grand failure of expensive government funded and bureaucratically-driven science.

I’ll be announcing the releases through facebook, twitter and via emails — so please update your details or register for emails if you are not already. Know that I’m the only one who sends emails the register, I do not sell emails nor send spam. I have not been using the list for the last six months but will start as we release these most important articles I’ve ever published.

As they say, bring your popcorn. Get ready to concentrate. : -)

The Solar Series:

 I Background (You are here)  II: The notch filter  |  III: The delay IV: A new solar force?  |

V: Modeling the escaping heat.  |  VI: The solar climate model VII — Hindcasting VIII — Predictions |

 

The Project—An Introduction

Guest post by Dr David Evans, 14 June 2014

Cite as Evans, David M.W. “The Notch-Delay Solar Theory”, sciencespeak.com/climate-nd-solar.html, 2014

We’ve been working on this for a year and a half, gradually building up the pieces bit by bit, gradually filling in a picture that is now almost complete. We’ve been bursting to tell the world about it for months, but always noting it would be better if developed and tested before it went public. (How long is a piece of string?)  The big danger is that an inadequately explained or prepared alternative explanation of how the climate works will not be given proper consideration, and thereafter will be ignored as “debunked”. There is never a perfect time, but we’ve reached the point where the theory will be tested and developed better by open review. It’s time to set it free…We will be serializing the project as a series of posts, one every day or two. The broad outline of the project, without revealing the major ingredients just yet, is as follows.

We explore some climate datasets and find something interesting, which provides a clue to building up a solar model. We think we have deduced the nature of the indirect solar force that largely influences temperature here on Earth. We get a physical model with physical interpretations (that is, not just curve fitting), working models, and decent fit to observed data.

Both the CO2 model and the new solar model are viable explanations of the global warming of the last century. Any linear mix (e.g. 60% CO2, 40% solar) also fits the observed temperatures. On the performance of the models over the last century, we cannot tell which is correct. However, over the next decade the models predict dramatically different things: the CO2 model of course predicts warming, while the solar model predicts a sharp fall in temperature very soon.

We don’t have to wait to determine whether it is the CO2 or solar model that is more correct. The answer lies in the changes in the height of the water vapor emissions layer, because the influences of CO2 and the indirect solar force are different. From this we are able to determine the cause of global warming and the maximum extent to which the recent global warming was due to CO2. We also clear up a few theoretical befuddlements about the influence of CO2 that may have caused warmists to overestimate the potency of rising CO2.

The fans of the CO2 dominant models are not going to be happy. It seems the climate is an 80-20 sort of thing, where there is a dominant influence responsible for 80% of climate change and a tail of 20% of other factors. It turns out that the CO2 concentration is not the 80% factor, but in the 20% tail. An indirect solar influence seems to be the main factor.

All the data, model, and computations are in a single Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. It runs on any pc with Excel 2007 or later; it runs at least partly (and maybe fully) on any Mac with Office 2011 or later. This is completely open science—every bit of data and every computation is open for inspection. We will be releasing this towards the end of the series of blog posts.

There is a big paper with all of the above in rigorous detail. It runs to about 170 pages. There is some groundwork to discuss before it is all released. This should produce a more productive discussion.

This has been a long circuitous personal journey. From originally being involved in Fourier research in Silicon Valley, I moved to the climate world with the assumption that CO2 was the major climate driver. I became aware the evidence was gradually reversing sometime after 2003, and by 2006 had become skeptical. Now, completing the circle, I’m bringing my original passion for Fourier research back to the climate. I’ve vowed to leave this debate on several occasions but part of the reason I keep being pulled back towards climate is because Joanne, who runs this blog, is my wife. Yes, a strange combination of factors are at work.

This project was funded almost entirely by us out of our family savings, with help from donations by readers of Joanne’s blog. (Again, thank you! Without your support and encouragement we wouldn’t have done this.) As well as being 18 months of very full time work, there were months of preparatory research, and years of learning and planning.

There are no conflicts of interest to declare. In particular we have no investments in fossil fuels, shorts on renewables, or any investments in the energy sector. There are no government grants or salaries to declare (unlike many supporters of the CO2 theory). We receive modest donations, occasional speaking fees and fees for writing articles, but no other income from climate activities.

Please visit the climate page of my website, at http://sciencespeak.com/climate.html. There is even a page there for the attacks and smears of the warmists. And now there is a page for the project, which includes links to all the articles on this blog with summaries: http://sciencespeak.com/climate-nd-solar.html.

You can help make more of this independent research, coding, and open source discovery possible with a donation through joannenova.com.au. It’s not a new way of funding scientific discovery; it’s the way most of the biggest advances in science have always been done, though not so much in this era of government funded science since WWII.

The world spends almost a billion dollars a day on mitigating CO2 emissions. This project potentially could help make those funds available for more productive uses.

 Monckton of Brenchley comments at #37

David Evans’ ground-breaking work is a devastating new approach to the climate question. I have been lucky enough to observe the development of this project, and am full of admiration for both Jo and David for their dedication to carrying out a breathtaking research project with no financial reward, simply because it so desperately needed to be done. Let this be the last nail in the coffin of climate extremism. I hope that, as a result of this work, David will be properly recognized by the Australian Government, which – unlike its unlamented predecessor – is open to the possibility that influences other than Man are the principal drivers of the climate. David’s work is heroic in its scale, formidable in its ingenuity, and – as far as a mere layman can judge – very likely to be broadly correct. One should not minimize the courage of David and Jo in persisting unrewarded for so long in what was and is a genuine search for the truth, starting not from any preconception but from that curiosity that is the mainspring of all true science. I wish this project well and congratulate its justifiably proud parents on its birth.

– Thank you Christopher– says Jo.

(Monckton stayed with us in March 2013 and was one of the first to see the developing model. We all got quite caught up in the excitement.)

Notch-delay solar project home page, including links to all the articles on this blog, with summaries.

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Curtin University sacred Mural vanishes — The Nobel that wasn’t, is gone

Remember how Curtin University, in Perth Australia, put up a sacred Nobel Wall? We had so much fun with it. The mural deified a climate saint — Prof Richard Warrick — one of the numberless thousands who helped the IPCC win a peace prize for generating no peace. It appears the University was embarrassed about people pointing out that the mural implied Prof Warrick had earned a Nobel Peace Prize while the Nobel committee said he hadn’t.

Curtin University not only changed the web pages, but the mural has been removed. I would have thought they might just change the wording, but the whole climate theme is gone. Possibly the University felt some pain being mocked for the religious overtones.

Call this a small win. Thanks to AndrewWA who alerted me in comments. It shows sometimes it is worth sending polite letters, getting those embarassing photographs and writing those blogs. This mural below has been replaced with another mural entirely (see below).

The former mural on Curtin Universities wall.

As for the web pages, the official Curtin page was corrected.  The bio page has evaporated? (I can’t see it at all, can you?)

From Feb 2014: “Warrick’s bio pages say that he is a “co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize” and that “he shared a Nobel Peace Prize with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and other selected IPCC authors in 2007.”

I was all so meaningless in the first place: a fuss about a scientist not-winning a non-science prize? As I wrote then:

Keep reading  →

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It’s climate apostasy again: Institute for Policy Studies terminates skeptic who cares about Africans more than climate modelers

Caleb Rossiter

No dissent over any point allowed. There shall be no other God than Carbon Reduction and the holy climate models!

The religious climate cult followers have shunned a long term member for the sin of saying the unthinkable. Caleb Rossiter, masters in Mathematics, was a fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies for 23 years until last month when he wrote  these heinous lines in the Wall St Journal:

“I started to suspect that the climate-change data were dubious a decade ago while teaching statistics. Computer models used by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to determine the cause of the six-tenths of one degree Fahrenheit rise in global temperature from 1980 to 2000 could not statistically separate fossil-fueled and natural trends.”

Furthermore, he out-greened the greens by actually caring about life expectancy of Africans.

His Wall Street Journal OpEd continued: “The left wants to stop industrialization—even if the hypothesis of catastrophic, man-made global warming is false.” He added: “Western policies seem more interested in carbon-dioxide levels than in life expectancy.”

“Each American accounts for 20 times the emissions of each African. We are not rationing our electricity. Why should Africa, which needs electricity for the sort of income-producing enterprises and infrastructure that help improve life expectancy? The average in Africa is 59 years—in America it’s 79,” he explained.

Keep reading  →

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Marc Morano on Canadian TV: Americans are jealous of Abbott and Harper

In an interview with Ezra Levant on Sun News Canada, Marc Morano (Climate Depot) says: ‘I am jealous of the leadership of Canada & Australia. It is so sad being in America’ – ‘The rest of the world is abandoning carbon pricing as the U.S. is jumping right in’

 It’s like two junior partners of the Anglosphere are rejecting the senior partner” — Ezra Levant

Watch Here. 

Marc Morano talks about the nations winding back their carbon schemes and “laughing at us”. “Germany is going to more coal. Spain is abandoning green jobs, Europe is showing a lot of sense in this”.

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Did Gillard and Milne leave a booby trap in the carbon legislation?

Apparently, on May 31, Australia’s targets for emissions cuts tripled overnight.Who knew? Answer: Christine Milne and Julia Gillard.

Australia was aiming for a 5% cut by 2020, but it’s now become a cut of 18% by 2020. The Clean Energy Act of 2011 set that savage goal as a default target that popped into existence if the current government had not jumped through some arbitrary hoop — in this case by setting an emissions cap.

Most likely this is a non-event — presumably the current government can wipe out the carbon legislation after July 1, which depends on Clive Palmer, a coal magnate. (UPDATE: Last night Palmer said he’ll repeal the carbon tax). But even so, I wonder if there is a sting in the cost? Are there contracts that are tied to the target, so that compensation for removing it automatically tripled as well?

And if the tripling of the target is meaningless, why would anyone advertise their deception in sneaking it in?

Could it be Milne and Gillard see themselves as Gods come to save us (damn those stupid voters!). Milne seems positively pleased she was able to trick Australians. The voters may have voted to remove the carbon tax but Gillard and Milne wouldn’t be stopped by the mere wishes of the people. The pair could have explained their “achievement” before the election couldn’t they? Instead, they saved it up til after it was triggered.

Greens leader Christine Milne said the measure was inserted in the act to insure against ”a government like this refusing to set a cap”.

How’s that for open and transparent government? Are we insuring against a government failure or a voter failure?

”It won’t have realised because it never put its mind to the detail,” Senator Milne said. ”By doing nothing more than we are already doing, we are getting to 18.8 [per cent] and if we put a bit of effort in, we can go even higher.”

It’s all so easy being a ruler. Just say the word and those emissions vanish. Pff!

But hey, if we have to cut emissions nearly 20% by 2020 we better start building those nuclear plants today. I’m sure Milne would be pleased…

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Australian BOM “neutral” adjustments increase minima trends up 60%

Billions of dollars, climate models, predictions, and hundreds of press releases depend on the BOM records of Australian temperatures. There were so many inconsistencies, inexplicable adjustments and errors that we put in a Senate request for the ANAO to audit the records. In response, to dodge the audit, the BOM dumped its HQ (“high quality”) dataset entirely, and established a new “best practise” ACORN dataset.

Independent volunteer auditors have been going through the ACORN records — thanks especially to Ken Stewart who is publishing his findings on his site as he works through the set. He’s analyzed 84 out of  104 sites, and finds that ACORN is just as bad as the HQ set. At Kenskingdom he shows that so far, the adjustments used to create the official Australian temperature record increase the warming trend by13% for maxima and a whopping 66% for minima. (Note the caveats in the conclusions below.)

The raw Australian data suggest the nation warmed by 0.6 °C over the last century. The BOM adjustments lift that to 1.05 °C.

The BOM wants the Australian public to think it is impartial, neutral and honest

Some adjustments are necessary. Perhaps these are, but the BOM does not explain on a station by station basis why they are justified. The BOM also claim their adjustments are neutral but a simple comparison with the raw records shows the adjustments themselves create a large part of the warming trend.

The first time around a bias in adjustments could have been inadvertent. But after critics pointed out the inexplicable bias, and the dataset was redone, the BOM issued a carefully crafted wording, that was too-clever-by-half.

For the old HQ set, the BOM said the adjustments were neutral. But contrary to what the head of the BOM said, Ken Stewart found they increased the trend by 40%.

Dr David Jones, Head of Climate Monitoring and Prediction, National Climate Centre, Bureau of Meteorology, stated clearly that the adjustments madea near zero impact on the all Australian temperature”.

For the new ACORN set, the official CAWCR Technical Report No. 04 carefully wordsmiths their position on adjustments so it is technically true, but misleading at the same time:

“There is an approximate balance between positive and negative adjustments for maximum temperature but a weak tendency towards a predominance of negative adjustments (54% compared with 46% positive) for minimum temperature.”

The number of positive versus negative adjustments is not what matters. What matters is the change to the trend. The size of the positive adjustments is a lot larger than the negative ones. It’s not balanced at all.

A few examples of  unexplained adjustments:

Ken Stewart has analyzed 83 ACORN sites of the total 104 sites.

Figure 4 shows my plot of annual mean minima for the same period (calculated as a straight average- the BOM graph is area averaged) for 83 sites ‘raw’ compared with Acorn.

Figure 4:

 

The average difference between raw and adjusted records shows a strange pattern (see Figure 5 below). Apparently the thermometers before 1971 were recording temperatures that were overestimating temperatures. Generally the better modern thermometers after that were underestimating the temperatures. What bad luck!

In addition, the urban population grew, cities retained heat, and airports got more traffic and larger tarmacs. It makes sense (if you are bonkers) that those thermometers near hotter bigger buildings and more bitumen would shift from a “warm bias” to a “cold bias” right? Really…

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It’s on: Abbott’s message to David Cameron “Join skeptics in Aust, Canada, NZ, and India”

The Australian PM wants Britain to join an anti-carbon pricing alliance with Canada, NZ and India

Tony Abbott, Australian PM, has been shaking hands with Stephen Harper, Canadian PM, saying “it’s like a family”. They are both skeptical of schemes that aim to change the weather through fake markets which don’t do much to reduce emissions, but do enrich financial houses, lawyers and bureaucrats. Harper has applauded Abbott before, now Abbott is returning the favor.

The message is aimed at David Cameron, British PM, who has been quite the friend of the greens — leaving a legacy of  “collectivist, bat killing, bird chomping, property-rights-destroying wind farms”, as James Delingpole would say.  But Cameron got savaged by the UKIP skeptics in the recent elections. Signing up with Obama won’t solve that headache.

Obama, meanwhile, is trying to swing momentum back to costly climate action with his aim to bypass congress and use an executive order to enforce a 30% cut in US emissions by 2030. He’s on his own. Even the Chinese are watering down expectations (see below). New Zealand abandoned Kyoto II and tied themselves to the lowest value carbon credits there are.

Sydney Morning Herald has the video

All five Commonwealth countries now have “centre-right”-leaning governments but it is Mr Abbott’s personal and philosophical closeness to Mr Harper that the Prime Minister regards as most important.

The combined front would attempt to counter recent moves by the Obama administration to lift the pace of climate change abatement via policies such as a carbon tax or state-based emissions trading. It is a calculated attempt to push back against what both leaders see as a left-liberal agenda in favour of higher taxes, unwise interventions to address global warming, and an unhealthy attitude of state intervention.

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Surprise, West Antarctic volcano melts ice

Who would have thought? Antarctic volcanoes are hot after all.  Having a volcano under an icesheet makes a difference, and some of the sea level rise blamed on CO2 is more likely to be because 1,000 °C lava is not far from sub-zero ice. Right now, according to scientist Dustin Schroeder and co,  it is as if the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctic is sitting on a “stovetop burner”.

Only last week I wondered if West Antarctic volcanoes had something to do with the Antarctic warming and pointed out this strange coincidence below where almost all the warming seems to occur over the volcanic area which is part of the hot “Pacific rim of fire”. I also wondered why some parts of the media don’t seem to mention the volcanoes. Wait and see if this story gets picked up. So far, Fox, and Business Insider have it.

“Using radar data from satellites in orbit, the researchers were able to figure out where these subglacial streams were too full to be explained by flow from upstream. The swollen streams revealed spots of unusually high melt, Schroeder said. Next, the researchers checked out the subglacial geology in the region and found that fast-melting spots were disproportionately clustered near confirmed West Antarctic volcanoes, suspected volcanoes or other presumed hotspots.

“There’s a pattern of hotspots,” Schroeder said. “One of them is next to Mount Takahe, which is a volcano that actually sticks out of the ice sheet.”… “It’s pretty hot by continental standards,” he said.” — Fox

West Antarctica is melting. East Antarctica is not really. Could it be CO2, or is it volcanoes?

Significance
Thwaites Glacier is one of the West Antarctica’s most prominent, rapidly evolving, and potentially unstable contributors to global sea level rise. Uncertainty in the amount and spatial pattern of geothermal flux and melting beneath this glacier is a major limitation in predicting its future behavior and sea level contribution. In this paper, a combination of radar sounding and subglacial water routing is used to show that large areas at the base of Thwaites Glacier are actively melting in response to geothermal flux consistent with rift-associated magma migration and volcanism. This supports the hypothesis that heterogeneous geothermal flux and local magmatic processes could be critical factors in determining the future behavior of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

The actual Watts of heat are not large: 0.1 W/m2, but applied to the base of the glacier, may create a lubricant layer of meltwater.

From the press release:

Major West Antarctic glacier melting from geothermal sources

Thwaites Glacier, the large, rapidly changing outlet of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, is not only being eroded by the ocean, it’s being melted from below by geothermal heat, researchers at the Institute for Geophysics at The University of Texas at Austin (UTIG) report in the current edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The findings significantly change the understanding of conditions beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet where accurate information has previously been unobtainable.

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Failure of Peer Review, meaningless statistical significance, needs fixing says Doctor & journal

Most of the results reported in peer reviewed literature in medicine are mere artefacts of poor methodology, despite being done to more exacting standards than climate studies. There are calls in the medical literature for all data to be made public and for higher P values to be required. (Yes please say skeptics everywhere). Miller and Young recommend that observational studies don’t be taken at all seriously until they are replicated at least once. That would have ruled out the original HockeyStick two times over.

Even the absolute best medical papers are wrong 20% of the time, but mere observational studies (like climate research) failed 80 – 100% of the time. These studies of papers demonstrate why anyone who waves the “Peer Review” red flag is in denial of the evidence — “Peer Review” is not part of the scientific method. It’s a form of argument from authority. A fallacy of reasoning is still a fallacy, no matter how many times it is repeated. Those who claim it is essential or rigorous are not scientists, no matter what their government-given title says.

 GEN, Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News, May 1, 2014, Point of View

Are Medical Articles True on Health, Disease?

Sadly, Not as Often as You Might Think

S. Stanley Young  |  Henry I. Miller, M.D

How many ways can a reported result fail?

Science works only when experiments are reproducible. If an experiment cannot be replicated, both the scientific enterprise and those who depend upon its results are in trouble. Driven by the realization that experiments surprisingly often do not replicate, the issue of claims in scientific papers is receiving increasing scrutiny. Given that biomedical research is one of the most important goals of the scientific enterprise, it is especially important to know how well the claims that result from clinical studies hold up.

Observational studies are mere “data mining” they say, while RCT (randomized controlled trials) are the gold standard.  Neither was producing very useful results but observational studies were especially poor. By its nature, most climate studies are observational.

Observational studies could be replicated 0% of the time.

Young and Karr1 found 12 articles in prominent journals in which 52 claims coming from observational studies were tested in randomized clinical trials. Many of the RCTs were quite large, and most were run in factorial designs, e.g., vitamin D and calcium individually and together, along with a placebo group. Remarkably, none of the claims replicated in the direction claimed in the observational studies; in five instances there was actually statistical significance in the opposite direction.

Ioannidis looked at highly cited (supposedly the most important papers) and found that RCT’s were replicated 67% of the time (which is still a 37% failure rate) but observational studies only replicated one time in 6 (16%).

He remarked that this was not good enough:

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