JoNova

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


Handbooks

The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper


Advertising

micropace


GoldNerds

The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



Archives

Books

Spotless Sun again. Even a little ice age won’t slow the Man-Made Climate Monster

Spotless Sun June 29th, 2016  | Spaceweather.com  | SDO/HMI

The Sun is spotless again. I hasn’t been this inactive for a hundred years. This week there are a spate of news stories about a little ice age coming — even from the uber warmista Potsdam Institute.

Looks like a spot of bother for the people feeding off the carbon reduction gravy train? Not so.  I predict they will mutate the argument, and with a completely straight face — the effect of carbon dioxide will turn out to be “more complicated”, scientists will rediscover that the  molecule emits infra red too — and now  rather than just simple warming,  it will be responsible for  “transforming regional patterns”, “shifting layers” and “wandering jet streams”. It will turn out the sun controls the climate but CO2 amplifies the solar effects. It’s bad, bad, bad — still causing storms, floods, rain on the weekends, rotting reefs and reckless fish.

Predicting discoveries is easy — just ask  what establishment scientists would need to discover to keep their fame, status and salary package.

The Quiet Sun: “Winter is Coming”

A meteorologist at Vencore Weather, Paul Dorian, has stated that the sun has gone completely [...]

New Science 25: Seven possible ways the sun could change our cloud cover

Earth and the solar wind.  | Credit: NASA/GSFC

There’s a nuclear fusion reactor in the neighborhood that weighs 300,000 times more than Earth. It’s eight minutes away at the speed of light, has 99.8% of the mass of the solar system, and surrounds us with changing magnetic and electric fields while it rains down charged particles. Some years the Sun throws ten times as much extreme-UV our way as it does in other years. Virtually none of this is included in mainstream climate models.

The constant wind of charged particles blows at a million miles an hour — the flow waves and wiggles, shifting direction. The speed of the solar wind correlates with sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic. The solar magnetic field reaches right to the edge of the solar system, but despite that size, it turns itself completely upside down every 11 years. Reconnecting magnetic field lines cause explosions in space, and we have barely started to collect data on this. During the magnetic cycle the sun changes color, though the changes are invisible to us. The spectrum rolls from more UV to [...]

The Solar Wind may be changing the surface temperature of the North Atlantic

Could it be the missing key? The solar wind blasts charged particles, electrons, stuff, towards Earth at 500 km a second  — that’s one to two million miles per hour. It speeds up, slows down and shifts in direction as it travels past the Earth and has its own magnetic field. The wind speed varies from 300 km per second up to 800 and the impact on Earth changes with our magnetic field and our seasons. You might think this kind of monster flow might have some effect on our climate. But modern climate models are 95% certain that none of this matters. Only crazy people would think that a electrons flying past at a million miles per hour could “do something” to our stratosphere, or ozone, or cloud cover.

Curiously, a recent study shows that when the solar wind is fastest, the North Atlantic is coldest on the surface. The NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) appears to correlate. The effect is strongest in the northern winter months. Notably the modern expert climate models fail to predict any of the cycles within our major ocean basins. How immature is our understanding of space weather?

Could changes in the solar wind be [...]

New Science 24: Is that one new Solar force, or two? The Force-ND Hypothesis

Is Force X two different forces? The Sun could influence Earths climate through magnetic fields, solar particle flows, or spectral changes. | Image: ESA

There are two key clues, almost contradicting each other, which we must solve to figure out what Force X is. How do we explain that mysterious pattern — the little spike of extra sunlight each sunspot cycle doesn’t warm the Earth as it arrives — and it should. Instead, the warming appears greatly amplified 11 years later (or one sunspot cycle later). What’s going on? Logically the sunlight itself is not the direct cause, but only a signal, a leading indicator of something else going on — perhaps the solar wind, the magnetic fluxes, or the changes in the UV-Infra Red spectrum. Any one of these (or all of them) or maddeningly, even something else, could be influencing cloud cover on Earth — and some action on clouds is by far the most likely mechanism to amplify the solar effect. They blanket 60% of Earth, and small changes make large differences. We live on a Water-Planet. So having looked at the reasons for Force X, we now split it into two different forces (N and [...]

New Science 23: Four mysteries and The Force-X Hypothesis

What is Force x? The Sun could influence Earths climate through magnetic fields, solar particle flows, or spectral changes. | Image: ESA

What’s going on with the Sun?

In the last post in the climate research series we described David’s major finding that changes in total sunlight lead Earth’s temperature by one sunspot cycle. But what’s going on with the Sun — what is the mechanism? In this post David lays out four puzzling clues about solar influence on our global temperature, then puts forward a hypothesis. What force (or forces) are required to resolve all these odd points?

To recap: Both his Fourier analysis and many independent papers suggest there is a delay between total solar irradiation (TSI) and global temperature. David reasoned that the delay is a true delay, not just a smoothing effect while increased heat propagates around the planet. Because the timing is so tied to solar cycles, the trigger for the delay must start on the Sun, not on the Earth. This is not just a case of our oceans slowly absorbing the extra energy from the Sun — and there simply isn’t enough, in any case. Something quite different [...]

New Science 22: Solar TSI leads Earth’s temperature with an 11 year delay

We’re launching headlong back into the New Science series with a major post

Lots of things will fall into place — as befits a potential paradigm step forward. For decades, people have been looking to see if the Sun controlled our climate but the message was perplexingly muddy. In the long run, solar activity appears linked to surface temperatures on Earth.  (Solar activity was at a record high during the second half of the 20th century when temperatures were also high.) But when we look closely, firstly the solar peaks don’t exactly coincide with the surface temperature peaks, and secondly, the extra energy supplied during the solar peaks is far too small to do much warming. So how could changes in surface temperature be due to the Sun?

A few researchers noted an esoteric correlation of long solar cycles with lower temperatures in the next solar cycle, but mostly those papers were left on the shelf, ignored. Dr David Evans’ notch-delay solar delay theory can explain this odd pattern.

To unravel the connections David took a new approach which cleared out the dead-end complexity of the current climate research. Instead of trying to predict everything from a bottom [...]

New Science 21: The mysterious Notch in the Sun-Earth relationship — the dog that didn’t bark

The notch in the Sun-Earth relationship is the dog that didn’t bark — the clue that was there all along, telling us something about the way the Sun influences Earth’s climate. There is a flicker of extra energy coming in at the peak of every solar cycle — roughly every 11 years. It’s only a small peak, but there is no warming on Earth at all — it’s like the energy that vanished. A good skeptic would be saying but, the increase in energy is so small, how could we find it among the noise? And the answer is that Fourier maths is so good at doing this that it is used every day to find the GPS signals which (as David details below) are so much smaller than the noise that they are much harder to find than this signal from the Sun.

Thousands of engineers know about and use Fourier maths and notch filters, but due to a strange one-sided bureaucratic funding model, none of those thousands of experts have applied that knowledge, which is so well adapted to feedback systems to the Sun Earth energy flows. David has used an input-output “black box” method to find [...]

New Science 12: How do we model the thermal inertia of the Earth?

Basic models take a top down approach, focusing on gross input and output rather than all the details within the system (which is mainly left to the feedbacks parameter). This makes them very different to the GCMs, which attempt to add up the climate from the bottom up and predict based on adding up grids and guesstimates of clouds, humidity, ice, etc.

The energy coming in to the Earth is called absorbed solar radiation (ASR). It varies significantly. The Earth will absorb the peaks and troughs of this to a certain extent. If we step back and look at the big picture, the question is how many years does it take for a step up in incoming energy to spread its way through the climate system, vanish into the top layer of the ocean, come back out and be released to space. To some extent that extra energy gets absorbed for a while before being released. David analyzed this system from the outside, graphing it like a low pass filter in electronics. (How much “noise” of spikes and troughs in ASR is being smoothed out by the Earth’s climate?)

In a [...]

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 [...]

BIG NEWS IX: The Solar Model!

Dr David Evans, 8 July 2014, David Evans’ Notch-Delay Solar Theory and Model Home

At the introduction to this series of blog posts, we said we’d release the spreadsheet containing all the data, model, and calculations. All in one file for Microsoft Excel. Thanks for your patience.

The model, data, code and calculations are here: Climate.xlsm (20Mb).

Containing 44 datasets, 33 sheets, 90+graphs, and 15,000 lines of code

New Here? See this summary of posts. Evans looked at TSI (total solar irradiance) and Earths temperature, and discovered a mysterious notch filter. That implies some kind of solar effect occurs with an 11 year delay – or one solar cycle after the TSI. He built a model. See the hindcasts, and the prediction of imminent cooling. See the replies to critics.- Jo

(Click to download the Climate.xlsm file. 20Mb)

Why Excel?

I chose to do all the work for this project, right from the beginning, in a single Microsoft Excel spreadsheet for pc. It’s not the fanciest or the fastest, but an Excel spreadsheet is the most ubiquitous, and one of the friendliest programming environments as well. It runs on most computers—any Windows [...]

More strange adventures in TSI data: the miracle of 900 fabricated, fraudulent days

Funny things happen on the Internet sometimes. Rather spectacular claims were made that 900 days of data “were fabricated”. This claim was described as not just speculation, but “a demonstrable fact”, and worse, the crime was apparently even “admitted to” by the man himself! Except that none of it was real, and three tiny misunderstood dots were not fabricated, not data, and not important. Welcome to a Bermuda-Triangle-moment in blog-land, where facts vanish,  ships full of  misquotes appear from nowhere, and ghosts-of-malcontent and misunderstanding roam freely. This post here is to slay the last loose ghosts, lest anybody think they might still have life in them, or indeed, think they ever did.

Usually a live debate is a brilliant way for spectators to learn. But in that particular science thread, the main lesson is not science but manners. Common courtesy may seem a quaint anachronism, but without it, logic and reason die on the sword of uninformed passion. A simple polite email and an open mind could have saved the world from a cloud of nonsense.

Thanks to the many valiant souls who fought for common sense.

It’s rare in a complex [...]

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 [...]

Are transfer functions meaningless (the “white noise” point)? Beware your assumptions!

Some people are claiming that the transfer function is meaningless because you could use white noise instead of temperature data and get the same notch. It’s true, you could. But the argument is itself a surprisingly banal fallacy. It looks seductive, but it’s like saying that it is meaningless to add 3 oranges to 3 oranges because you could add 3 oranges to 3 apples and you’d still get six!

It is trivially obvious that the transfer function will find a relationship between entirely unrelated time series, as any mathematical tool will when it’s misapplied. The question that matters — as with any mathematical tool — is has it been misapplied? What matters is whether the base assumption is valid, and whether the results will be a useful answer to the question you’ve asked. If the assumption is that apples and oranges are both pieces of fruit, and the question you ask is “how many pieces of fruit do we have”, then it is useful to add apples and oranges. But if you are trying to compare changes in fruit consumption, adding the two is mindless. So let’s look at the assumptions and the question being asked.

Assumptions first

Two [...]

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 [...]