Coming climate clouded but present panic pretty plain

Well, which is it?

Will it be a nightmare or not?

In comments, I cited a statement by Jim Renwick from a few months ago. He said:

I feel a kind of morbid fascination with this stuff. It’s a really fascinating science issue – and I’m really interested to find out what’s going to happen to the climate and how much ice is going to melt and what’s the temperature in 2020 going to be and all the rest of it. It’s intriguing, it’s my bread and butter but you know what I feel is – I look at this and say jeez we’re really doing this, we’re doing this experiment, we’re really playing this game with the Earth, we’re gambling with millions of lives and I sort of feel disgusted with myself that I find it interesting from a scientific point of view. It’s certainly interesting, but it’s more than interesting — it’s a very dangerous game we’re playing.

I was illustrating a comment that only a few climate scientists of the alarmist school venture to tell us we’re destroying the world. Most of them are more cautious, almost as though they’re setting up for the long-term defence that they were never really converts to that alarmist view of climate change they claim is the consensus.

The reader Simon said this:

Jim [James Renwick] would be one of the most knowledgeable people about climate in the country and he is openly admitting that we don’t know how it will turn out. People who think they can describe the climate with a simple set of equations are kidding themselves. An alternative popular skeptic meme is that because the climate is complex we will never understand it so we shouldn’t bother trying and just keep on doing what we are doing. I would argue the precautionary principle that we should be careful and hedge our bets. Humans are twiddling the knobs of a complex non-linear system and there may (or may not if there is some negative feedback loop) be consequences, particularly to less adaptable flora and fauna.

So it’s a fair point: Renwick’s admitting ignorance, not saying the science is settled.

Trouble is, it’s the kind of ignorance that appears to contain devastating knowledge, don’t you think? For he describes a “morbid” fascination with climate change (global warming!). He says: “Jeez,we’re really doing this,” as though it’s daring and dangerous. In fact he finishes by saying: “it’s a very dangerous game.”

So, he doesn’t know what will happen, yet he calls it a dangerous game as though he knows what could happen. Further, as though he wants people to believe in a dangerous outcome to this “experiment”.

He takes two large bites of this small cherry of ignorance, I think. If he doesn’t know, he shouldn’t talk about fearing some dangerous result. Because if he did know, he wouldn’t be saying that he doesn’t.

Finally, with so much evidence refuting the likelihood of disaster, why should our policymakers lean towards expense, disruption, self-denial and fear rather than confidence in the continued beneficence of our wonderful planet?

Views: 441

33 Thoughts on “Coming climate clouded but present panic pretty plain

  1. Andrew W on 04/10/2012 at 6:26 pm said:

    You seem confused RT, to make it easier for you, try thinking of it in terms of a game of Russian roulette. That IS a dangerous game, the out come of which is also uncertain.

    • Andy on 05/10/2012 at 7:08 am said:

      OK, so it’s like a game of Russian Roulette.
      This thing called modern industrial society that has enabled us to abolish slavery, have modern medicine, live longer and more prosperous lives that at any time in history has a 1 in 6 chance of killing us and/or the planet

      So what happens if we go back to the “good old days” before we started burning fossil fuels?
      How many barrels of the gun are loaded now?

    • Andrew W on 05/10/2012 at 10:45 am said:

      I think moving forward and developing energy sources more advanced than fossil fuels is a better option.

    • Andrew W,

      You seem confused RT, to make it easier for you, try thinking of it in terms of a game of Russian roulette. That IS a dangerous game, the outcome of which is also uncertain.

      I wonder what makes you think I’m confused? Is it because I’m asking questions? The usual reason for asking questions is ignorance, not confusion. I’m trying to ascertain the knowledge that lies behind Renwick’s (and, it seems, your) discernment of dangerous future changes to the climate. Because I strongly suspect there’s no knowledge, only imagination.

      You both, in the absence of evidence (to my knowledge), imagine fearful climatic effects in the future. Please describe what leads you to that view.

      Likening the climate situation to Russian roulette is certainly colourful, but there’s clear knowledge behind it: a bullet to the brain will be fatal. What similar knowledge lies behind Renwick’s (and your) statement that we’re “playing a dangerous game” with the climate?

      Also, bearing in mind that Simon acknowledged that Renwick was declaring ignorance of the outcome of the climate “experiment”: are you saying you know the outcome?

  2. Richard C (NZ) on 04/10/2012 at 8:27 pm said:

    James Renwick’s perspective is the IPCC view but a responsible risk analysis looks at all the alternatives, Repeating a comment from an earlier thread (sorry everyone but it seems appropriate in view of the above repetition), there are at least 2 empirical models based on natural cycles that adequately mimic the last century or so and better than the IPCC models. But the validation of any of those models is the test of time. Right now we have a choice for the next decade:

    1. Warmer – IPCC (except one AR5 ensemble model run), currently invalid.

    2. No change – Scafetta and one IPCC AR5 model run, currently valid.

    3. Cooler – Pangburn, currently invalid

    Given the Temperature/PDO+AMO+Sunspot Integral correlation is 0.96, PDO and sunspots are in cool phases and the polynomial trend of HadSST2 is now in a cooling phase, Dan Pangburn’s model is looking like challenging Scafetta’s.

    But why – as Renwick does – base attitudes and emotions on the invalid scenarios of the IPCC?

  3. Nick on 04/10/2012 at 9:15 pm said:

    Hi Richard C,
    Why don’t you see if you can count how many fudge factors Pangburn had to add to his blog published and non-peer reviewed analysis to make it match observations.

    Here’s one to get you started “The proportionality constant, X, was adjusted to 6.52E-9 to get the net energy from 1700 to about 1940 to have a fairly level trend”

    Next you could ask yourself where the magnitude, period and shape of his “ESST anomaly” came from. Could it be that he just invented it to make his prediction fit the data?

    • Richard C (NZ) on 05/10/2012 at 7:46 am said:

      You’re completely missing the warming vs no change vs cooling alternatives Nick.

      Right now there’s NOTHING in the metrics to indicate a change from the present regime (modeled by Scafetta) to warming. There is EVERYTHING (including an impending solar grand minimum) to indicate a cooling regime is on the way.

      I’m currently embroiled in a to-and-fro at Hot Topic (#7 post) where I’ve put the case (supported by the literature) that the Gleissberg cycle explains not only the recent ocean heat accumulation but also SST and modulation of El Nino frequency. They deny it of course but CO2 cannot compete with this from a PhD paper by Yafang Zhong 2005, ‘Coupled Response of Global Climate to Solar Cycle Forcing’:-

      “The appreciable role of solar forcing is most clear in upper 450-meter ocean heat content in case of Gleissberg cycle. The correlation between Gleissberg cycle and HC450 is high up to .6, in other word, 36% of total variance is attributable to solar forcing. This fairly high correlation is a hint for a plausible role of slow solar variations in ocean-atmosphere coupled system.”

      Followed by:-


      Shahinaz M. Yousef

      From the abstract:-

      “The Solar Wolf-Gleissberg cycle stimulate solar forcing on terrestrial phenomena’s as evident from the pattern of Global temperature (both air and ocean temperatures). Solar Wolf- Gleissberg periodicity is marked in a wide range of terrestrial evidences since millions of years and is still at work. It is found that climatic fluctuations are induced at the turning points of such cycles.”

      Fig 13: a) Eleven yr. running means of the annual sunspot number (i.e Wolf-Gleissberg cycle) and mean global mean sea surface temperature shown as departures from the 1951-80) average in units of 0.01k (lower light curve). Heavy curves are least squares 7th degree polynomial fits to the data. b) Same as (a) for the three major basins ( after Reid 2000).
      Note the striking control of the solar Wolf- Gleissberg cycle on SST of major oceans as well as global mean SST.

      I challenge you Nick, to produce a correlation of the anthropogenic component of DLR to any climate metric you choose e.g. SAT, mid/upper troposphere AT, SST, OHC, PDO, AMO, ENSO etc that betters Zhong’s Gleissburg cycle/OHC450 correlation of 0.6 or an SAT/PDO+AMO+Sunspot Integral correlation of 0.96.

      These correlations support the cooling alternative for the next decade. The meaningless SAT/CO2 concentration correlation is only 0.4 – 0.44 but concentration alone is useless unless corroborated by empirical observations of DLR. That hasn’t turned out so well (Francis and Hunter, Gero and Turner) but feel free to come up with something yourself

    • Andy on 05/10/2012 at 8:30 am said:

      You are a glutten for punishment Richard, back at HT again.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 05/10/2012 at 10:08 am said:

      Just wanted to see if Gareth could back up his hand waving “most likely” SIE attribution but nothing forthcoming.

      He avoids the challenge like the plague:-

      Gareth October 5, 2012 at 10:36 am

      “Sorry mate, you don’t get to issue challenges based on your worldview”

      Not sure why he finds my “worldview” to be a criteria for rejecting the challenge (same as for Nick above) but I’m guessing it’s because it doesn’t conform to his. I would have thought that empirical observation was a valid worldview but apparently not at Hot Topic.

    • Andy on 05/10/2012 at 10:18 am said:

      Never mind, the guys have got a new “troll” too deal with and provide their expertise in guiding him/her through the Skeptical Science

      I sometimes wonder if I turned my computer off and came back in 2 years if anything will have changed.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 05/10/2012 at 12:21 pm said:

      I wonder how Gareth is reconciling this:-

      So what do am I looking out for in 2012?

      * More extreme weather events, with a pattern shift if ENSO changes phase.
      * Possible new global temperature record, if El Niño arrives early enough in the year.

      With this:-

      El Nino does fade negative for a while sometimes then goes back so he might get another chance. He quotes a Jan. 19, 2012 NASA press release at SciBlogs:-

      Hansen said he expects record-breaking global average temperature in the next two to three years because solar activity is on the upswing and the next El Niño will increase tropical Pacific temperatures. The warmest years on record were 2005 and 2010, in a virtual tie.

      “It’s always dangerous to make predictions about El Niño, but it’s safe to say we’ll see one in the next three years,” Hansen said. “It won’t take a very strong El Niño to push temperatures above 2010.”

      Hmmm, solar activity looks to have peaked:-

      NINO3.4 is completely out of whack with the ’87, ’98, ’07 and ’10 El Nino events that started with a LaNina:-

      August UAH anomaly was nothing startling:-

      What could possibly go wrong?

    • Andy – I endorse that:

      “I sometimes wonder if I turned my computer off and came back in 2 years”

      Go for it.

    • Andy on 05/10/2012 at 4:11 pm said:

      I love you too. Ken.

    • Oh yuk!!!

      I am off for a long shower.

    • Andy on 05/10/2012 at 11:12 pm said:

      You are confused.
      I am not Jimmy Savile

    • Richard C (NZ) on 08/10/2012 at 9:39 am said:

      Gareth Renowden’s fall-back (my emphasis):-

      Gareth October 5, 2012 at 10:36 am

      Sorry mate, you don’t get to issue challenges based on your worldview. Your real challenge, as Rob suggests, is to persuade me/us/the world that you have good reason why we should ignore the overwhelming balance of evidence and 150 years of scientific endeavour and do nothing about climate change. For a man with your internet research skills, that should be a doddle. Just remember you have to persuade the experts through the peer-reviewed literature, not just Treadgold, Dedekind and Scrace.

      Do let me know when you’ve done that.

      John O’Sullivan (my emphasis):-

      PSI researchers [50+ now] like Latour are no lightweights in this debate as Roy Spencer learned to his cost. Dr. Latour is renowned in the field of thermodynamics having worked on the NASA Apollo space mission before embarking on a stellar career as a chemical process control systems engineer to the international oil and chemical process industry. Professor Spencer on his blog addresses the “33 degrees” number and admits he first “became aware of its significance” from reading Professor Richard Lindzen’s 1990 paper, ‘Some Coolness Regarding Global Warming.’ So persuaded is Spencer of it’s validity that he goes on to claim the Hansen junk number offers a “ real-world observed “radiative-convective equilibrium” case.” Thus, both Lindzen and Spencer are completely fooled by Hansen.

      PSI researchers, proving to be the more adept numbers analysts, say a better explanation of our atmosphere’s temperature gradient is adiabatic pressure rather than any supposed GHE – this fact also applies to most planetary bodies in our solar system. So now it’s demonstrated the “33 degrees” claim is bogus what other hard and fast numbers exist to prove of the GHE? Well, none actually. All climatologists have left are hand waving assertions that “greenhouse gases” trap or delay the exit of energy from the atmosphere. Some even claim energy gets “back radiated” adding additional heat to the system. But no tests, no observations, no experiments in our atmosphere have adduced any verifiable numbers for those claims. It is all a matter of unproven belief.

      Other thermodynamics experts are also hard at work dismantling the GHE. One recent debunk comes from Dr. Jinan Cao. Cao showed Hansen also misapplied the Stefan-Boltzmann equation. [5] Meanwhile, PSI researchers, Joseph E.Postma and Carl Brehmer are soon to add to such compelling work by publishing more damning evidence disproving the GHE.


      Disappointingly, even among their ranks of man-made global warming skeptics eminent climatologists such as Fred Singer, Dick Lindzen and Roy Spencer are loathe to address these developments. When apologists for junk science do speak out it is invariably to dismiss Latour and other PSI researchers as “cranks.” The diehards claim the GHE has 150 years of “solid science” backing them. But much of it is from the likes of Arrhenius, Fourier and Tyndall who are often misquoted. Pointedly, these Victorian theorists based their GHE beliefs on the discredited notion of “luminiferous aether” – which is exposed in a short history of radiation by Dr. Matthias Kleespies. [6]

      OK, PSI isn’t a body of what Gareth would regard as main-stream peer-reviewed literature but there will come a time when he will have to address the unfounded and fallacious basis of his “overwhelming balance of evidence” and “150 years of scientific endeavour” exposed by PSI.

      Nice graphic from John O’Sullivan’s article:-

      An orange (vector) – an apple (scalar) = a Hansen

    • Richard C (NZ) on 08/10/2012 at 10:08 am said:

      I might be able to lay claim to the origin of the Hansen unit.

      # Richard C NZ 2012-01-20 15:59

      I propose that rather than “whatchamacallits”, the units of the T-t sum be known as ‘Hansens’ (Hn).

      So T = 15C at surface minus radiant t = -18C = -33Hn

      This should avoid any confusion with actual temperature in degrees Celsius.

      Reply from Dr Latour,

      # Pierre R Latour 2012-02-06 15:26

      Richard C NZ 2012-01-20 15:59

      Your suggested name for the GHG 33C effect, Hansen’s (Hn), is a valid whatchamacallit.

  4. Alexander K on 05/10/2012 at 12:25 pm said:

    Richard, the individuals who wander over from HT to lob a few scientific bon mots at us about the coming hell of global warming have obviously never looked at the temps that mankind seems designed for; those design criteria certainly don’t include cold, not the extreme cold of ‘Snowball Earth’ but just cold enough to kill crops and to promote disease in a similar fashion to temps during the LIA. I have read a number of accounts of life in England during the LIA and a couple of degrees of extra warmth seems a wonderful alternative.
    Svensmark’s theories seem to fit data from empirical observations quite well and if he is correct, windmills and arguments about black-body radiation theory are not going to be of huge use to mankind.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 06/10/2012 at 7:33 pm said:

      Alexander re “I have read a number of accounts of life in England during the LIA”

      Andy invoked the specter of a Katia eruption about a week ago and that in combination with a PDO in cool phase and a very weak solar cycle is the scenario of this article under ‘Economics”:-

      ‘Triple Crown of global cooling could pose serious threat to humanity’

      I don’t think a populace fed a steady diet of “warming world” news and views has much conception of what that apposite scenario would entail. Snippets from that article are a indication:-

      During the Dalton Minimum, the abnormally cold weather destroyed crops in northern Europe, the northeastern United States and eastern Canada. Historian John D. Post called it “the last great subsistence crisis in the Western world.” The record cold intensified after the eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815, the largest volcanic eruption in more than 1,600 years.

      During the 70-year Maunder Minimum, astronomers at the time counted only a few dozen sunspots per year, thousands fewer than usual. As sunspots vanished, temperatures fell. The River Thames in London froze, sea ice was reported along the coasts of southeast England, and ice floes blocked many harbors. Agricultural production nose-dived as growing seasons became shorter, leading to lower crop yields, food shortages and famine.

      The Tambora eruption in 1815, the largest in 1,600 years, sent the earth’s climate into a deep freeze, triggering “the year without a summer.” Columnist Art Horn, writing in the Energy Tribune, describes the impact:

      “During early June of 1815, a foot of snow fell on Quebec City. In July and August, lake and river ice were observed as far south as Pennsylvania. Frost killed crops across New England with resulting famine. During the brutal winter of 1816/17, the temperature fell to -32 in New York City.”

      # # #

      That prospect I think, is a sobering contrast to Renwick’s “very dangerous game”.

  5. Richard C (NZ) on 05/10/2012 at 3:42 pm said:

    From NZ Medical Journal via Proceedings of the New Zealand Grassland Association:-

    Greenhouses, hot water bottles, cycles and the future of New Zealand climate
    W.P. DE LANGE, 2009
    Department of Earth & Ocean Sciences, University of Waikato

    Future New Zealand climate [my emphasis]

    The IPCC developed a range of scenarios to estimate
    future concentrations of Greenhouse Gases, and these
    were used as the basis of projections of future climate.
    They are not forecasts in the same sense as weather
    forecasts, and therefore it is difficult to assess the
    significance of any particular projection. It is clear
    that all the scenarios used have overestimated the
    concentrations of the Greenhouse Gases considered
    for the first decade of this century, even though it is
    argued that the estimated emissions have exceeded the
    assumed emissions for some scenarios.
    Based on the projections, the IPCC considered the
    most likely rate of increase in global temperature this
    century to be 0.2° per decade, and the rate of sea level
    rise to be 4 cm per decade. The other projections of
    climate change vary widely between models and there
    is no consistent projection that can be applied to New
    Zealand. Hence, NIWA assume that until about 2050,
    climate change in New Zealand will be similar to that
    which occurred during the 20th century (i.e. dominated
    by natural climate variability), and any climate change
    associated with AGW will predominantly occur later.
    So far this century, the measured global air surface
    temperature and sea level are “rising” at a much lower
    rate than predicted (New Zealand has cooled by 0.2°C
    and sea level has fallen 3 cm).

    Alternatively, based on ocean-atmosphere
    interactions, it is possible to predict future climate,
    because the spiciness anomalies that contribute to
    climate change already exist in the oceans. Therefore,
    they can be measured and it is possible to predict their
    eventual re-emergence. The available data indicate that
    a negative PDO is established, and the AMO is also
    switching to a negative mode in the Atlantic Ocean. This
    has been contributing and will continue to contribute to
    global cooling for another 20-25 years. As the oceans
    cool, global sea levels should fall although continued
    retreat of glaciers will slow the drop.

    New Zealand will experience a climate consistent
    with a negative PDO, probably most like the pattern that
    existed between the mid 1890s and 1922 with relatively
    weak ENSO fluctuations. This will mean more intense
    rainfall events in some areas, particularly the upper
    North Island, increased frequency and magnitude
    of storm surges, and more frequent waterspouts and
    mesoscale storms. Drought frequency is likely to
    increase for most parts of the South Island. Snowfall is
    likely to increase in the North Island and eastern parts
    of the South Island, and decrease for the western side of
    the Southern Alps.

    After 2030, there should be a switch to a positive
    PDO. It is unclear whether this will result in warming.
    During the 20th century, increasing solar activity and
    decreasing low level clouds have contributed to an
    increase in ocean heat content. Since the solar maximum
    in Cycle 23, solar activity has decreased and ocean heat
    content has also been falling. Extrapolation of known
    solar cycles (particularly the Gleissberg and Seuss
    cycles) predicts solar activity will continue to decline
    this century. If this is correct, then global climate is
    moving towards another Little Ice Age.

    # # #

    Since 2009 OHC700 has risen again and OHC2000 has been rising continually. OHC700 seems to correlate with short-term solar activity:-

    The bigger picture is the Solanki et al 2004 solar activity index series that looks more like OHC2000. That series is here:-

    Then (among others), Helama et al 2010 concludes a 70 yr solar activity – climate lag:-

    Figure 1 below shows that the band-pass filtered (900-1100 years) millennial-scale variations of the sunspot number series and reconstructed tree-ring temperature series are very well correlated if one introduces a time lag of about 70 years. The statistical correlations between the two sun-climate variables change with time but become more significant during the last 2000 years with r = 0.796 and p = 0.0066. In contrast, the authors cannot demonstrate similar positive or significant correlations for the sun-climate variables for bi-millennial (band-pass filtering of 1150 to 3000 years) scale variations for the last two thousand years (late Holocene), but stronger correlations (with r = 0.877 and p = 0.0121) were shown to exist between sunspot activity and temperatures at high latitude Lapland for the Mid Holocene interval at the bi-millennial timescale (not shown).


    “Helama et al. (2010) suggest that the statistical correlations for the sun and temperature series on millennial timescales depicted in Figure 1 are probably realistic and physically meaningful, especially if one takes into account the time lag of 60-80 years. They explain that the probable scenario for explaining this relationship would be that solar activity could have driven the advection of cold surface waters southward and eastward in the subpolar North Atlantic and that cold water perturbation may ultimately influence the production of the North Atlantic deep water down to the depth of 2000 meters. This whole chain of processes would probably need to include a time delay for actions within the high Arctic to propagate further south to affect the formation and working of the famous North Atlantic oceanic flywheel known as the North Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. It should also be noted that such physical time delays, although in a shorter time range of 5 to 30 years, have been pointed out to be necessary for a physical connection between changes in the Sun and climatic conditions around Europe and North and tropical Atlantic regions by Eichler et al. (2009) and Soon (2009).”

  6. Nick on 05/10/2012 at 7:59 pm said:

    Hi Richard C,
    You seem to think I have missed the point but I am just responding to something you have presented several times in support of your claims. Do you seriously consider Pangburn’s work to be valid science?

    • Richard C (NZ) on 06/10/2012 at 8:08 am said:

      To recap, I said:-

      “…the validation of any of those models is the test of time”


      “3. Cooler – Pangburn, currently invalid” [See that Nick? “currently invalid”]


      “Given the Temperature/PDO+AMO+Sunspot Integral correlation is 0.96, PDO and sunspots are in cool phases and the polynomial trend of HadSST2 is now in a cooling phase, Dan Pangburn’s model is looking like challenging Scafetta’s”


      Only time will tell if Dan has come up with a verification of natural climate change (Net energy/sunspot numbers/ESST) that has predictive capability (fudge factors ‘n all). If the climate does in fact turn to a cooler regime, THEN the validity issue will be difficult to refute.

      Time has found out the IPCC models and Scafetta will face the test eventually. However, the zig-zag nature of the temperature progression that Dan’s model exhibits has been identified all over (Scafetta’s is similar), see:-

      The Sixty-Year Climate Cycle

      Add to that the fact that solar forcing controls OHC and SST but CO2 does not and natural climate change has all the verification needed to challenge the IPCC view (currently invalid except for one model run).

    • Richard C (NZ) on 06/10/2012 at 8:42 am said:

      More projections using cycles (Dan Pangburn’s is quasi 60 year cycle) along with CO2-centric:-

      * IPCC – CO2 based models, compares TAR (2001) and AR4 (2007)
      * James Hansen – CO2 based models (1988)
      * Nicola Scafetta – based on astronomical harmonic model (2011)
      * Don Easterbrook – based on multi-decadal oscillations (2001)
      * Syun-Ichi Akasofu – based on multi-decadal oscillations (2008)
      * Patrick Michaels – straight-line regression on last 30 years (2008)
      * Joe the Actuary – sine-wave regression on HadCRUT data (2009)
      * Alan Cheetham – based on visual recurrent cycles from HadCRUT data (2009)

    • Richard C (NZ) on 06/10/2012 at 9:38 am said:

      Theodore Landscheidt:-

      “Analysis of the sun’s varying activity in the last two millennia indicates that contrary to the IPCC’s speculation about man-made global warming as high as 5.8°C within the next hundred years, a long period of cool climate with its coldest phase around 2030 is to be expected. It is shown that minima in the secular Gleissberg cycle of solar activity, coinciding with periods of cool climate on Earth, are consistently linked to an 83-year cycle in the change of the rotary force driving the sun’s oscillatory motion about the centre of mass of the solar system. As the future course of this cycle and its amplitudes can be computed, it can be seen that the Gleissberg minimum around 2030 and another one around 2200 will be of the Maunder minimum type accompanied by severe cooling on Earth. This forecast should prove ‘skilful’ as other long-range forecasts of climate phenomena, based on cycles in the sun’s orbital motion, have turned out correct, as for instance the prediction of the last three El Niños years before the respective event.”

    • Richard C (NZ) on 06/10/2012 at 12:08 pm said:

      The Watts and Copeland Sinusoidal Solar-Lunar Model

      Basil Copeland and Anthony Watts


      Besides the shift in interest to discerning an anthropogenic influence on global climate,
      the lack of agreement on any kind of basic physical mechanism for a solar role in climate
      oscillations, combined with the apparent lack of consistency in the relation between solar
      cycles and terrestrial temperature trends perhaps has made this an uninviting area of
      research. The difficulty of attributing temperature change to solar influence has been
      thoroughly surveyed by Hoyt and Schatten [28]. In particular, there are numerous
      reports of sign reversals in the relationship between temperature and solar activity in the
      early 20th century, particularly after 1920 [28, pp 115-117]. More recently, Georgieva,
      Kirov, and Bianchi [29] surveyed comprehensively the evidence for sign reversal in the relationship between solar and terrestrial temperatures, and suggested that these sign
      reversals are related to a long term secular solar cycle with solar hemispheric
      asymmetry driving the sign reversals. Specifically, they argue that there is a double
      Gleissberg cycle in which during one half of the cycle the Southern solar hemisphere is
      more active, while during the other half of the cycle the Northern solar hemisphere is
      more active. They argue that this solar hemispheric asymmetry is correlated with long
      term terrestrial climate variations in atmospheric circulation patterns, with zonal
      circulation patterns dominating in the 19th and early 20th century, and meridional
      circulation patterns dominating thereafter (see also [30] and [31]).

      In our research, we pick up where Keeling and Whorf [13, 14] leave off, insofar as
      documenting decadal and bidecadal oscillations in globally averaged temperature trends
      is concerned, but revert to the explanation proposed by Bell [16] and others [3, 18], that
      these are likely the result of a combined lunisolar influence, and not simply the result of
      lunar nodal and tidal influences. We show that decadal and bidecadal oscillations in
      globally averaged temperature show patterns of alternating weak and strong warming
      rates, and that these underwent a phase change around 1920. Prior to that time, the
      lunar influence dominates, while after that time the solar influence dominates. While
      these show signs of being correlated with the broad secular variation in atmospheric
      circulation patterns over time, the persistent influence of the lunar nodal cycle, even
      when the solar cycle dominates the warming rate cycles, implicates oceanic influences
      on secular trends in terrestrial climate. Moreover, while analyzing the behavior of the
      secular solar cycle over the limited time frame for which we have reasonably reliable
      instrumental data for measuring globally averaged temperature should proceed with
      caution, if the patterns documented here persist, we may be on the cusp of a downward
      trend in the secular solar cycle in which solar activity will be lower than what has been
      experienced during the last four double sunspot cycles. These findings could influence
      our expectations for the future regarding climate change and the issue of anthropogenic
      versus natural variability in attributing climate change.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 06/10/2012 at 1:18 pm said:

      Watts and Copeland weren’t on-the-money by 2010 in their Figure 8 projection compared to HadCRUT3 but they’re back in-the-money 2012:-

      The W&C Sinusoidal Solar-Lunar model uses a band pass filter. Alternatively EMD could be used but predictive techniques are only just evolving. The following is a sample of work in that direction:-

      ‘Analysis of Temperature Change under Global Warming Impact using Empirical Mode Decomposition’

      Md. Khademul Islam Molla, Akimasa Sumi and M. Sayedur Rahman

      Quoting from Conclusions:-

      “The IMFs partitions the time series as a function of time-scale (frequency) in a statistically significant way. The residual series show that the data is overall fitted though a slight under-prediction of extreme values is occurred due to small underlying trends caused by El Nino or climate change. Some further statistical research would be needed to address these problems. The IMFs, each carrying its own time scales, could be used in statistical prediction of future climate scenarios. However, those climate predictions still remain as a challenge for future research”

      Further research here (paywalled):-

      ‘Prediction of climate nonstationary oscillation processes with empirical mode decomposition’

      T. Lee, T. B. M. J. Ouarda

      Long-term nonstationary oscillations (NSOs) are commonly observed in climatological data series such as global surface temperature anomalies (GSTA) and low-frequency climate oscillation indices. In this work, we present a stochastic model that captures NSOs within a given variable. The model employs a data-adaptive decomposition method named empirical mode decomposition (EMD). Irregular oscillatory processes in a given variable can be extracted into a finite number of intrinsic mode functions with the EMD approach. A unique data-adaptive algorithm is proposed in the present paper in order to study the future evolution of the NSO components extracted from EMD. To evaluate the model performance, the model is tested with the synthetic data set from Rössler attractor and with GSTA data. The results of the attractor show that the proposed approach provides a good characterization of the NSOs. For GSTA data, the last 30 observations are truncated and compared to the generated data. Then the model is used to predict the evolution of GSTA data over the next 50 years. The results of the case study confirm the power of the EMD approach and the proposed NSO resampling (NSOR) method as well as their potential for the study of climate variables.

      # # #

      Looking forward to seeing the results of that case study but unless the earth’s energy variations are incorporated in some way – as Dan Pangburn’s model does – they’ll be off on the wrong trajectory with everyone else.

  7. Nick on 05/10/2012 at 8:30 pm said:

    You also say you consider Scafetta’s analysis valid but my understanding is that it has no physical mechanism which puts it on a par with astrology. It also fails to hindcast past 1850 so it is not clear that this model is even successful by normal measures.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 06/10/2012 at 8:20 am said:

      “….you consider Scafetta’s analysis valid”

      If you’d been paying attention to my comments for weeks, you would know that I don’t think his analysis is valid (even though I thought it might some time ago) by way of the negative inflexion in HadSST2 that invalidates the underlying quadratic that Nicola uses and yes, I agree that it doesn’t hindcast past it’s start date. In other words, I’ve run a V&V of Scafetta’s model and discovered there’s a flaw in it’s predictive capability.

      However, right now (when it really matters), Scafetta’s model is only one of two mimicing absolute temperature and trajectory. That cannot continue for long though with SST trending down.

  8. Andy on 06/10/2012 at 8:04 am said:

    Off topic, slightly, but Ofgem in the UK are reporting that the lights may go out in three years time.

    • Andy on 06/10/2012 at 8:26 am said:

      When this happens, people will probably die.
      They will die as a direct result of climate change and energy policy.

      How’s that game of Russian Roulette looking now?

  9. Clarence on 07/10/2012 at 12:28 pm said:

    Simon says:

    “I would argue the precautionary principle that we should be careful and hedge our bets. Humans are twiddling the knobs of a complex non-linear system and there may (or may not if there is some negative feedback loop) be consequences”

    The precautionary principle means anything you want it to mean. But is is generally taken to promote a “least regrets” approach to climate change policy issues. That approach is well described in this week’s policy statement by Mitt Romney in the US:

    “I am not a scientist myself, but my best assessment of the data is that the world is getting warmer, that human activity contributes to that warming, and that policymakers should therefore consider the risk of negative consequences. However, there remains a lack of scientific consensus on the issue — on the extent of the warming, the extent of the human contribution, and the severity of the risk — and I believe we must support continued debate and investigation within the scientific community.

    Ultimately, the science is an input to the public policy decision; it does not dictate a particular policy response. President Obama has taken the view that if global warming is occurring, the American response must be to slash carbon dioxide emissions by imposing enormous costs on the U.S. economy. First he tried a massive cap-and-trade bill that would have devastated U.S. industry. When that approach was rejected by Congress, he declared his intention to pursue the same course on his own and proceeded through his EPA to impose rules that will bankrupt the coal industry.

    Nowhere along the way has the President indicated what actual results his approach would achieve — and with good reason. The reality is that the problem is called Global Warming, not America Warming. China long ago passed America as the leading emitter of greenhouse gases. Developed world emissions have leveled off while developing world emissions continue to grow rapidly, and developing nations have no interest in accepting economic constraints to change that dynamic. In this context, the primary effect of unilateral action by the U.S. to impose costs on its own emissions will be to shift industrial activity overseas to nations whose industrial processes are more emissions-intensive and less environmentally friendly. That result may make environmentalists feel better, but it will not better the environment.

    So I oppose steps like a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system that would handicap the American economy and drive manufacturing jobs away, all without actually addressing the underlying problem. Economic growth and technological innovation, not economy-suppressing regulation, is the key to environmental protection in the long run. So I believe we should pursue what I call a “No Regrets” policy — steps that will lead to lower emissions, but that will benefit America regardless of whether the risks of global warming materialize and regardless of whether other nations take effective action.

    For instance, I support robust government funding for research on efficient, low-emissions technologies that will maintain American leadership in emerging industries. And I believe the federal government must significantly streamline the regulatory framework for the deployment of new energy technologies, including a new wave of investment in nuclear power. These steps will strengthen American industry, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and produce the economically-attractive technologies that developing nations must have access to if they are to achieve the reductions in their own emissions that will be necessary to address what is a global issue.”

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