A peer-reviewed paper published today in the Journal of Geophysical Research finds that reconstructions of total solar irradiance (TSI) show a significant increase since the Maunder minimum in the 1600's during the Little Ice Age and shows further increases over the 19th and 20th centuries.
The TSI is estimated to have increased 1.25 W/m2 since the Maunder minimum as shown in the first graph below. Use of the Stefan-Boltzmann equation indicates that a 1.25 W/m2 increase in solar activity could account for an approximate .44C global temperature increase [the HADCRU global warming from 1850 to 2000 is .55C].
A significant new finding is that portions of the more energetic ultraviolet region of the solar spectrum increased by almost 50% over the 400 years since the Maunder minimum.
This is highly significant because the UV portion of the solar spectrum is the most important for heating of the oceans due to the greatest penetration beyond the surface and highest energy levels. Solar UV is capable of penetrating the ocean to depths of several meters to cause ocean heating, whereas long wave infrared emission from "greenhouse gases" or the sun is only capable of penetrating the ocean surface a few microns with all energy lost to the phase change of evaporation with no net heating of the ocean. Solar UV irradiance also "exerts control over chemical and physical processes in the Earth's upper atmosphere" such as ozone levels.
JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 115, A12112, 11 PP., 2010
Reconstruction of solar spectral irradiance since the Maunder minimum
N. A. Krivova, L. E. A. Vieira, S. K. Solanki
Solar irradiance is the main external driver of the Earth's climate. Whereas the total solar irradiance is the main source of energy input into the climate system, solar UV irradiance exerts control over chemical and physical processes in the Earth's upper atmosphere. The time series of accurate irradiance measurements are, however, relatively short and limit the assessment of the solar contribution to the climate change.
Here we reconstruct solar total and spectral irradiance in the range 115–160,000 nm since 1610. The evolution of the solar photospheric magnetic flux, which is a central input to the model, is appraised from the historical record of the sunspot number using a simple but consistent physical model.
The model predicts an increase of 1.25 W/m2, or about 0.09%, in the 11-year averaged solar total irradiance since the Maunder minimum. Also, irradiance in individual spectral intervals has generally increased during the past four centuries, the magnitude of the trend being higher toward shorter wavelengths.
In particular, the 11-year averaged Ly-α irradiance has increased by almost 50%. An exception is the spectral interval between about 1500 and 2500 nm, where irradiance has slightly decreased (by about 0.02%).
SOURCE (See the original for links and graphics)
A Christmas Present From The New York Times
Not that they really wanted to be so generous, mind you…but in the printed (IHT) version of this long article about the Keelings and CO2 concentration measurements, somebody at the NYT decided to include this graph:
And so millions around the world will be able to see that temperatures have gone up and down in the past 400,000 years, with a characteristic shape (sharp increase with an even more marked peak, slow decline, then sharp increase again) that is currently being replicated (and the top temperatures of the past haven’t been reached yet). The usual reply is that in the past it’s been changes in the Earth’s orbit what drove the temperature changes: and yet, even if CO2 is the “culprit” this time there is evidently something in the Earth’s climate that:
* Keeps temperatures from going unimaginably high
* Counteracts the warming, whatever the CO2 concentrations
* Maintains temperatures on average as much colder than at present
In the medium and long run, humanity should be preparing for a cooler world. Preparation means of course adaptation, the one thing nobody wants to do.
Global Warming Died; Women, Children, AlGore Hardest Hit
by Ed Driscoll
2010 was “The Year ‘Global Warming’ Died,” according to Stacy McCain. I hope he’s right, but if he is, I’d say November of of 2009 certainly accelerated the long overdue enviro-euthanasia process. As Stacy notes:
Even the New York Times is forced to admit that the alarmists are fighting a losing battle:
"The Obama administration, which came into office pledging to limit emissions in the United States, scaled back its ambitions after climate and energy legislation died in the Senate this year.
Challengers have mounted a vigorous assault on the science of climate change. Polls indicate that the public has grown more doubtful about that science."
Science! Science! And if you disagree, you’re anti-Science!
We posted a couple of lengthy items earlier this week exploring how circular the enviro-left’s arguments have become, but Ann Althouse sums them up in a single sentence: "When everything is evidence of the thing you want to believe, it might be time to stop pretending you’re all about science."
And everything really is evidence of what they want to believe.
At the Belmont Club, Richard Fernandez reviews “Ice Age 6″ and gives it two frost-bitten thumbs up:
"Unseasonably cold weather in the UK has spurred speculation the earth may be entering a new Ice Age. This flies completely in the face of last decade’s strident warnings about Global Warming. “Piers Corbyn believes that the last three winters could be the harbinger of a mini ice age that could be upon us by 2035, and that it could start to be colder than at any time in the last 200 years. He goes on to speculate that a genuine ice age might then settle in, since an ice age is now cyclically overdue. Is he barmy?”
Piers Corbyn is about as “barmy” as Time Magazine when it predicted in 1974 that another Ice Age was right around the corner:
"Telltale signs are everywhere —from the unexpected persistence and thickness of pack ice in the waters around Iceland to the southward migration of a warmth-loving creature like the armadillo from the Midwest.Since the 1940s the mean global temperature has dropped about 2.7° F. Although that figure is at best an estimate, it is supported by other convincing data. When Climatologist George J. Kukla of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory and his wife Helena analyzed satellite weather data for the Northern Hemisphere, they found that the area of the ice and snow cover had suddenly increased by 12% in 1971 and the increase has persisted ever since. Areas of Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic, for example, were once totally free of any snow in summer; now they are covered year round."
The same tone of impending doom; the same portentous omens; the same catastrophic language was used not long ago — but to warn about a new Ice Age. Today the same tenor is being used to caution against Global Warming. How did the “science” turn 180 degrees around in that time? How could the data have suddenly done an about-face? Who knows?
What is common across the decades was the assertion that weather is generating a political crisis which forces governments to act.
We reviewed a number of those headlines then and now, in our “Hide the Decline” edition of Silicon Graffiti last year. Tune in here if you missed it.
And speaking of movies, as I mentioned back in March, a lot of Hollywood’s recent global warming doomfests are going to be remembered as updated versions of Reefer Madness to the next generation of movie fans. Today’s global warming fear-mongering is tomorrow’s late-night camp TV.
Global Cooling Puts Green Jobs On Ice
With much of Europe buried under six-foot snow drifts, businesses and consumers aren't in the mood to spend big dollars on technologies that will make their lives even colder
Talk about an inconvenient truth. The record winter blasting across Europe is freezing demand for products that are supposed to lower heat emissions, reduce energy use, and "save" the earth.
The big chill is also causing U.S. jobs cooked up through millions of dollars in federal swindle-us spending to disappear like snowmen in spring.
Case in point: Solar cell manufacturer SpectraWatt, an Intel spinoff that opened earlier this year in East Fishkill, New York, with the help of lots of scratch from the public coffers. At the ribbon cutting, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority president Francis Murray called SpectraWatt "a testament to the growing momentum of New York's clean energy economy."
U.S. labor secretary Hilda Solis noted that, "Green jobs pay ten to twenty percent more and will be home grown and not outsourced." And there was Marisa Lago, CEO of Empire State Development, who said the solar industry is "perhaps the fastest growing high technology industry in the world today."
That was nine months ago (or less than a year in geological time). On Tuesday, SpectraWatt filed a WARN notice with the New York State Department of Labor indicating it's closing the East Fishkill plant and is letting go its staff of 117 workers. The layoffs start in March. "Reason for Dislocation: Economic," said the notice, which employers must file in the event of substantial headcount reductions.
The notice should also have said SpectraWatt's troubles are "climatological." The deep freeze affecting Germany—one of SpectraWatt's biggest markets--and other parts of Europe and the world has businesses and consumers questioning the whole notion of global warming and suddenly there isn't as much interest in pricey photovoltaic cells as there was less than a year ago.
"The market conditions are difficult," said SpectraWatt VP David O'Connor, in an interview with The Poughkeepsie Journal, "due to seasonality issues in the industry with respect to what's happening in Germany and in general due to both weather and incentives." O'Connor noted that the German government has quietly reduced the incentives it gives to businesses to go solar by 25%.
Not surprisingly, U.S. taxpayers—even in Blue states like New York--are getting sick of watching Obamacrats throw billions of dollars down the drain in an effort to create a whole new industry whose very existence is based on a theory of global warming that many researchers dismiss as junk science that's been propped up with phony baloney data.
"Our government, backed by environmental groups and others with a financial interest, are arm twisting folks into buying products and technology that aren't yet ready for the masses," said one reader from Poughkeepsie, hardly a Tea Party hotbed. "That's why you see all these tax credits and rebates for electric cars and such to force sales for these items that most of us don't want."
It's more than ironic that a publicly funded company that set up shop to build earth-friendly products to offset global warming has fallen victim to record low temperatures in its biggest market.
But it may not be too late: Eco-bloviator Al Gore could single handedly save the green jobs industry by blowing out a few more metric tons of hot air during his next book tour. C'mon Al, the workers of East Fishkill are waiting for you to exhale.
Why did the Met Office forecast a "mild winter"?
Asks Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, as he introduces his readers to a man who got it right
Do you remember? They said it would be mild and damp, and between one degree and one and a half degrees warmer than average. Well, I am now 46 and that means I have seen more winters than most people on this planet, and I can tell you that this one is a corker.
Never mind the record low attained in Northern Ireland this weekend. I can't remember a time when so much snow has lain so thickly on the ground, and we haven't even reached Christmas. And this is the third tough winter in a row. Is it really true that no one saw this coming?
Actually, they did. Allow me to introduce readers to Piers Corbyn, meteorologist and brother of my old chum, bearded leftie MP Jeremy. Piers Corbyn works in an undistinguished office in Borough High Street. He has no telescope or supercomputer. Armed only with a laptop, huge quantities of publicly available data and a first-class degree in astrophysics, he gets it right again and again.
Back in November, when the Met Office was still doing its "mild winter" schtick, Corbyn said it would be the coldest for 100 years. Indeed, it was back in May that he first predicted a snowy December, and he put his own money on a white Christmas about a month before the Met Office made any such forecast. He said that the Met Office would be wrong about last year's mythical "barbecue summer", and he was vindicated. He was closer to the truth about last winter, too.
He seems to get it right about 85 per cent of the time and serious business people - notably in farming - are starting to invest in his forecasts. In the eyes of many punters, he puts the taxpayer-funded Met Office to shame. How on earth does he do it? He studies the Sun.
He looks at the flow of particles from the Sun, and how they interact with the upper atmosphere, especially air currents such as the jet stream, and he looks at how the Moon and other factors influence those streaming particles.
He takes a snapshot of what the Sun is doing at any given moment, and then he looks back at the record to see when it last did something similar. Then he checks what the weather was like on Earth at the time - and he makes a prophecy.
I have not a clue whether his methods are sound or not. But when so many of his forecasts seem to come true, and when he seems to be so consistently ahead of the Met Office, I feel I want to know more. Piers Corbyn believes that the last three winters could be the harbinger of a mini ice age that could be upon us by 2035, and that it could start to be colder than at any time in the last 200 years. He goes on to speculate that a genuine ice age might then settle in, since an ice age is now cyclically overdue.
Is he barmy? Of course he may be just a fluke-artist. It may be just luck that he has apparently predicted recent weather patterns more accurately than government-sponsored scientists. Nothing he says, to my mind, disproves the view of the overwhelming majority of scientists, that our species is putting so much extra CO2 into the atmosphere that we must expect global warming.
The question is whether anthropogenic global warming is the exclusive or dominant fact that determines our climate, or whether Corbyn is also right to insist on the role of the Sun. Is it possible that everything we do is dwarfed by the moods of the star that gives life to the world? The Sun is incomparably vaster and more powerful than any work of man. We are forged from a few clods of solar dust. The Sun powers every plant and form of life, and one day the Sun will turn into a red giant and engulf us all. Then it will burn out. Then it will get very nippy indeed.
Eco-bulbs 'a health hazard for babies and pregnant women due to mercury inside'
Energy-saving light bulbs were at the centre of a fresh health scare last night after researchers claimed they can release potentially harmful amounts of mercury if broken.
Levels of toxic vapour around smashed eco-bulbs were up to 20 times higher than the safe guideline limit for an indoor area, the study said. It added that broken bulbs posed a potential health risk to pregnant women, babies and small children.
The concerns surround ‘compact fluorescent lamps’ (CFLs), the most common type of eco-bulb in Britain, which are mini-versions of the strip lights found in offices.
The European Union is phasing out the traditional ‘incandescent bulbs’ used for more than 120 years and is forcing people to switch to low-energy alternatives to meet its climate change targets.
A CFL uses a fifth of the energy of a conventional bulb and can save £7 a year in bills. However, critics complain that CFLs’ light is harsh and flickery. Medical charities say they can trigger epileptic fits, migraines and skin rashes and have called for an ‘opt out’ for vulnerable people.
Incandescent bulbs do not contain mercury, along with other variants of energy-saving lights, such as LEDs and halogen bulbs. The study, for Germany’s Federal Environment Agency, tested a ‘worst case’ scenario using two CFLs, one containing 2 milligrams of mercury and the other 5 milligrams. Neither lamp had a protective casing and both were broken when hot.
Scientists at the Fraunhofer Wilhelm Klauditz Institute found that they released around 7 micrograms (there are 1,000 micrograms in a milligram) per cubic metre of air. The official guideline limit is 0.35 micrograms per cubic metre.
Federal Environment Agency president Jochen Flasbarth said: ‘The presence of mercury is the downside to energy-saving lamps. We need a lamp technology that can prevent mercury pollution soon. ‘The positive and necessary energy savings of up to 80 per cent as compared with light bulbs must go hand in hand with a safe product that poses no risks to health.’
During tests the German government agency’s researchers were alarmed to discover that some bulbs had no protective cover and broke when hot. High levels of mercury were measured at floor level up to five hours after the bulbs failed. A spokesman for the agency said: ‘Children and expectant mothers should keep away from burst energy-saving lamps. ‘For children’s rooms and other areas at higher risk of lamp breakage, we recommend the use of energy-saving lamps that are protected against breakage.’
However, the UK Government insisted the CFL bulbs were safe – and that the risk from a one-off exposure was minimal. The Health Protection Agency says a broken CFL is unlikely to cause health problems. However, it advises people to ventilate a room where a light has smashed and evacuate it for 15 minutes.
Householders are also advised to wear protective gloves while wiping the area of the break with a damp cloth and picking up fragments of glass. The cloth and glass should be placed in a plastic bag and sealed. CFLs are not supposed to be put in the dustbin, whether broken or intact, but taken as hazardous waste to a recycling centre.
A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: ‘The mercury contained in low-energy bulbs does not pose a health risk to anyone immediately exposed, should one be broken.’
Friends of the Earth said the switch to low-energy bulbs would reduce exposure to mercury from coal-fired power stations.
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