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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Notching up open review improvements – a correction to Part III

Flagging an update (coming) to Big News Part III

Score 1 for open science review, thanks to Bernie Hutchins, an electrical engineer who diligently asked the right questions about something that bothered him regarding the notching effect. We’re grateful. This will improve the model. On the downside, it means we’re slightly less certain of the delay (darn) — the notch doesn’t guarantee a delay as we had previously thought. But there is independent evidence suggesting temperatures on Earth follow solar activity with a one cycle delay — the lag seen in studies like Archibald, Friis-Christainsen and Usoskin is still a lag.

What does it mean? The step-response graph (figure 2 in Part III or figure 4 in Part IV) will change, and needs to be redone. The reason for assuming there is a delay, and building it into the model, rests now on the independent studies, and not on the notch. The new step change will need to be built into the model, and in a few weeks we’ll know how the predictions or hindcasting change. David feels reasonably sure it won’t make much difference to the broad picture, because a step-response something like figure 4, Part IV, explains global warming [...]

The Solar Model finds a big fall in TSI data that few seem to know about

Leif Svalgaard claims “TSI has not fallen since 2003″. It’s technically true in a sense, but demonstrably false when discussing 11 year smoothed trends (which is written on the graph he was criticizing). Willis Eschenbach sadly was carried along. This post is in response to an overheated thread at WUWT. Both men owe David Evans an apology.

The fuss is over the big fall in TSI.  Leif Svalgaard said it was “almost fraudulent” that we claimed there was a fall in TSI since 2003 since there wasn’t a fall in this dataset. He says: “There is no such drop.” I say, look at the graph below, it’s even in your own data.  Svalgaard provided the link to his TSI set, and we’ve included that line in the graph below. It’s the light-purple line. (Has he paid attention for the last ten years?)

In his rush to call it “totally wrong” and to declare “the model is already falsified” he didn’t notice we were talking about a trend in 11 year smoothed TSI, and the fall is evident in whole cycles (but takes some wisdom to find in daily or monthly data). I guess that’s a mistake that could happen to [...]

BIG NEWS VIII: New solar theory predicts imminent global cooling

To recap — using an optimal Fourier Transform, David Evans discovered a form of notch filter operating between changes in sunlight and temperatures on Earth. This means there must be a delay — probably around 11 years. This not only fitted with the length of the solar dynamo cycle, but also with previous independent work suggesting a lag of ten years or a correlation with the solar activity of the previous cycle. The synopsis then is that solar irradiance (TSI) is a leading indicator of some other effect coming from the Sun after a delay of 11 years or so.

The discovery of this delay is a major clue about the direction of our future climate.  The flickers in sunlight run a whole sunspot cycle ahead of some other force from the sun. Knowing that solar irradiance dropped suddenly from 2003 onwards tells us the rough timing of the fall in temperature that’s coming (just add a solar cycle length). What it doesn’t tell us is the amplitude — the size of the fall. That’s where the model may (or may not) tell us what we want to know. That test is coming, and very soon. This is an unusual [...]

BIG NEWS Part VII — Hindcasting with the Solar Model

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

All models are wrong, some are useful. That’s how all modelers speak (except perhaps some climate scientists).

The barriers to making a good climate model are many. The data is short, noisy, adjusted, and many factors are simultaneously at work, some not well described yet. Climate modeling is in its infancy, yet billions of dollars rests on the assumption that CO2 will cause catastrophic warming and the evidence that most recent warming was due to CO2 comes entirely out of models. It’s important to focus on the pea:

“No climate model that has used natural forcing only has reproduced the observed global mean warming trend” (IPCC 2007)

It is a crucial plank that modelers say “we can’t explain the current warming without CO2″. Current climate models assume that changes in solar radiation have a small immediate effect and [...]

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

The Solar Series: I Background |  II: 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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]