Thursday, August 21, 2014


That pesky old sun

There has been a mini-flood in recent days of research reports that find the earth's climate to be influenced by solar variations -- something Warmists have always rejected.  I put up yesterday a report sourced out of Lund university in Sweden and I reproduce four more reports below.




Hundred-Year Period Of Increased Solar Activity Coming To An End

Article from Finland using American data

The space climate is undergoing an extremely interesting phase – a 100-year period of heightened solar activity is coming to an end.

The sun and weather are the favourite topics of discussion every summer. Kalevi Mursula, professor of space physics at the University of Oulu is interested in both but his interest goes beyond the atmosphere. Mursula studies space climate, including radiation and particles in our solar system.

At the moment, the space climate is undergoing an extremely interesting phase.

The engine of the space climate is the sun, which exerts is influence on its environment by emitting light and releasing solar wind, a stream of charged particles. Now a 100-year period of heightened solar activity is coming to an end.

Keeping tabs on solar activity is important.

Increased solar activity refers to strong solar winds and electromagnetic eruptions called solar storms. When coming into contact with the Earth’s atmosphere, these eruptions may disrupt the functioning of electric devices and communication networks.

Last week, Helsingin Sanomat reported physicist Dr. Pete Riley’s calculations indicating that the likelihood of a disruptive solar storm over the next decade is 12 per cent.

“All our data on space particles are from the period of heightened solar activity. It’ll be interesting to see how the decrease in the activity affects the space climate.”

The task is made easier by the large quantity of data available to scientists as solar radiation is being monitored on dozens of wavelengths across the electromagnetic spectrum.

Researchers also gather additional information by observing the particle concentration in the near-Earth space.

Observing the past

But the Academy of Finland’s Centre of Excellence, the Research on Solar Long-term Variability and Effects (ReSoLVE) team, led by Mursula, is not satisfied with the current state of knowledge.

The scientists at the centre want to find out what has occurred in the sun’s activity over the past 150 years.

“We have both direct and indirect observations on solar activity available to us. For example, the number of sunspots have been observed for a long time.”

Information dating even further back can be gathered from drillings on ice caps, which contain isotopes that make it possible to draw conclusions on earlier changes in solar activity. These isotopes indicate that the sun was exceptionally active during the 20th century but periods of even greater activity took place thousands of years ago.

The reason behind the fluctuation in solar activity is not yet known. One hypothesis is that these long solar cycles are caused by the gravity forces of the planets in the solar system.

However, the current knowledge does not support this hypothesis.

SOURCE





Solar cycles linked to climate pause, assist in coastal planning

Australian data

LONG-TERM  natural cycles linked to the sun could explain the pause in global average surface temperatures and offer a better guide for coastal planners to predict sea level rises, storm surges and natural disasters.

Publication of the findings in Ocean and Coastal Management follows a decade-long struggle for the lead author, Australian scientist Robert Baker from the University of New England, whose work has challenged the orthodox ­climate science view that carbon dioxide is the dominant factor in climate change.

Dr Baker, a former chair of the International Geographical Commission on Modelling Geographic Systems, said what had been a purely scientific debate on climate change until 2005 had become political. His latest paper with his PhD student faced a ­series of ­objections from scientists close to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change but was published after an 11-member peer review panel voted 8-3 to publish. An editorial that accompanied the paper said it was an “excellent ­example of how to approach these complex issues that are now vulnerable to often irrational and heated debate instead of the ­required proper scientific discussion”.

The Baker paper suggests a ­hybrid model that allows future climate change to be estimated with or without human influences. The authors said this would provide a better legal foundation for decision making. Problems with coastal planning in NSW, based on sea-level predictions from climate modelling, were cited in the international paper.

The paper accepts that if there is a human influence on climate change, then it could result in a threefold increase in one-in-100-year extreme coastal events. But it says, as the hiatus shows, human influence can be overtaken by long-term natural cycles, making predictions less certain. The combination of natural and human-induced change in a hybrid model of natural cycles and human influence suggested by Dr Baker produces a “planner’s ­dilemma” of determining whether extreme events are natural fluctuations or from anthropogenic warming.

The paper shows, from scientific analysis of a large number of data sets, that previous fluctuations are periodic and likely to repeat, which has previously been ignored in climate models. According to the paper, the new model was able to simulate a number of climate features . This included greater heat uptake in the oceans to explain the present temperature “pause”; regional effects whereby global warming impacts were not evenly spread ; and planetary, lunar and solar cycles being embedded within the chaotic fluctuations in short-term mean sea-level data. Historic cycles could be predicted to repeat, except with the addition of anthropogenic warming, where the impact could be magnified.

The IPCC’s latest report said the “pause” was due to natural variation and ocean warming. Climate scientists say they expect warming to resume in the near future.

SOURCE





Chinese study shows solar influence on climate

Research from China published in a peer reviewed Chinese language journal claims that there is a strong correlation between solar output and the warming of the Earth and implies that the climate models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) may have "underestimated" the impact of natural factors on climate change.

The recent study claims to demonstrate the existence of significant resonance cycles and high correlations between solar activity and the Earth's averaged surface temperature during centuries, according to an accompanying press release. The press release also claims that a peer reviewer of this paper stated "this work provides a possible explanation for the global warming".

This is a controversial claim and flies in the face of evidence presented by the IPCC and accepted by many climate scientists that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) have been the main factor driving up global temperatures in the industrial age.

The press release states: "climate models of IPCC seem to underestimate the impact of natural factors on the climate change, while overstate that of human activities". It adds that the study "implies that the "modern maximum" of solar activity agrees well with the recent global warming of the Earth. A significant correlation between them can be found".

The research by Dr. Zhao Xinhua and Dr. Feng Xueshang from Chinese state space weather laboratory is published in the peer reviewed journal Chinese Science Bulletin. The paper is written in Chinese with an English language abstract.

In their English language abstract (see below) the authors state: “During the past 100 years, solar activities display a clear increasing tendency that corresponds to the global warming of the Earth (including land and ocean) very well. Particularly, the ocean temperature has a slightly higher correlation to solar activity than the land temperature. All these demonstrate that solar activity has a non-negligible forcing on the temperature change of the Earth on the time scale of centuries.”

This research goes to the heart of the issue of the importance of the sun in climate change and also the issue of the so called sensitivity of the climate to changes in atmospheric CO2 levels. The implication of the research is that the sensitivity of the climate to increases in CO2 is less than that assumed in IPCC model forecasts and therefore that the sun plays a far greater role in influencing climate change than previously acknowledged.

The IPCC's AR5 science report published in September 2013 states: "Nonetheless, there is a high confidence that 21st century solar forcing will be much smaller than the projected increased forcing due to GHGs."

A recent study demonstrates the existence of significant resonance cycles and high correlations between solar activity and the Earth's averaged surface temperature during centuries. This provides a new clue to reveal the phenomenon of global warming in recent years.

Their work, entitled "Periodicities of solar activity and the surface temperature variation of the Earth and their correlations" was published in CHINESE SCIENCE BULLETIN (In Chinese) 2014 No.14 with the co-corresponding authors of Dr. Zhao Xinhua and Dr. Feng Xueshang from State key laboratory of space weather, CSSAR/NSSC, Chinese Academy of Sciences. It adopts the wavelet analysis technique and cross correlation method to investigate the periodicities of solar activity and the Earth's temperature as well as their correlations during the past centuries.

Global warming is one of the hottest and most debatable issues at present. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claimed that the release of the anthropogenic greenhouse gases contributed to 90% or even higher of the observed increase in the global average temperature in the past 50 years. However, the debate on the causes of the global warming never stops. Research shows that the current warming does not exceed the natural fluctuations of climate. The climate models of IPCC seem to underestimate the impact of natural factors on the climate change, while overstate that of human activities. Solar activity is an important ingredient of natural driving forces of climate. Therefore, it is valuable to investigate the influence of solar variability on the Earth's climate change on long time scales.

This innovative study combines the measured data with those reconstructed to disclose the periodicities of solar activity during centuries and their correlations with the Earth's temperature. The obtained results demonstrate that solar activity and the Earth's temperature have significant resonance cycles, and the Earth's temperature has periodic variations similar to those of solar activity (Figure 1).

This study also implies that the "modern maximum" of solar activity agrees well with the recent global warming of the Earth. A significant correlation between them can be found (Figure 2).

As pointed out by a peer reviewer, "this work provides a possible explanation for the global warming".

Abstract

Based on the well-calibrated systematic measurements of sunspot numbers, the reconstructed data of the total solar irradiance (TSI), and the observed anomalies of the Earth’s averaged surface temperature (global, ocean, land), this paper investigates the periodicities of both solar activity and the Earth’s temperature variation as well as their correlations on the time scale of centuries using the wavelet and cross correlation analysis techniques. The main results are as follows. (1) Solar activities (including sunspot number and TSI) have four major periodic components higher than the 95% significance level of white noise during the period of interest, i.e. 11-year period, 50-year period, 100-year period, and 200-year period. The global temperature anomalies of the Earth have only one major periodic component of 64.3-year period, which is close to the 50-year cycle of solar activity. (2) Significant resonant periodicities between solar activity and the Earth’s temperature are focused on the 22- and 50-year period. (3) Correlations between solar activity and the surface temperature of the Earth on the long time scales are higher than those on the short time scales. As far as the sunspot number is concerned, its correlation coefficients to the Earth temperature are 0.31-0.35 on the yearly scale, 0.58-0.70 on the 11-year running mean scale, and 0.64-0.78 on the 22-year running mean scale. TSI has stronger correlations to the Earth temperature than sunspot number. (4) During the past 100 years, solar activities display a clear increasing tendency that corresponds to the global warming of the Earth (including land and ocean) very well. Particularly, the ocean temperature has a slightly higher correlation to solar activity than the land temperature. All these demonstrate that solar activity has a non-negligible forcing on the temperature change of the Earth on the time scale of centuries.

Periodicities of solar activity and the surface temperature variation of the Earth and their correlations by ZHAO X H, FENG X S.Chin Sci Bull (Chin Ver), 2014, 59: 1284, doi: 10.1360/972013-1089

SOURCE





Astronomy journal reports solar influence on climate

Report by an international team

Research published in an astronomy journal suggests that high solar output seen in the second half of the last century was a once in 3,000 year event.

This astronomical finding based on a careful analysis of sunspot activity has clear implications for climate science as the so called “grand maximum” in solar output identified by the researchers and observed between 1950 and 2009 co-incided with the rapid warming of global surface temperatures seen during the second half of the 20th century.

The international team of space scientists from Finland, France, Switzerland and Russia who authored the paper, “Evidence for distinct modes of solar activity” which appeared in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, do not explicitly link their results to climate science.

They state that the sun has several modes of activity and oscillates between periods of higher and lower output. “The distribution of solar activity is clearly bi-modal, implying the existence of distinct modes of activity. The main regular activity mode corresponds to moderate activity that varies in a relatively narrow band between sunspot numbers ≈ 20 and 67. The existence of a separate Grand minimum mode with reduced solar activity, which cannot be explained by random fluctuations of the regular mode, is confirmed at a high confidence level,” they state.

There is an indication that the Grand maximum seen between 1950 and 2009 also corresponds to a separate mode of activity, they state, “but the low statistics does not allow us to firmly conclude on this, yet”. The low statistics they refer to are because the solar output seen during this period was only observed once during the 3,000 or so years covered by the study.
The research was based on analysis of carbon-14 and magnetic evidence contained in sediments and rocks to reconstruct solar activity over a 3,000 year period.

The implications of this result are controversial as they appear to fly in the face of evidence presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and accepted by many climate scientists that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) have been the main factor driving up global temperatures in the industrial age and that the sun has played a minor role.

This finding that the period of most intense global warming has coincided with an unprecedented peak in recorded solar output will add pressure onto the IPCC to look again at the interconnection between the sun and the climate.

Abstract

Aims. The Sun shows strong variability in its magnetic activity, from Grand minima to Grand maxima, but the nature of the variability is not fully understood, mostly because of the insufficient length of the directly observed solar activity records and of uncertainties related to long-term reconstructions. Here we present a new adjustment-free reconstruction of solar activity over three millennia and study its different modes.

Methods. We present a new adjustment-free, physical reconstruction of solar activity over the past three millennia, using the latest verified carbon cycle, 14C production, and archeomagnetic field models. This great improvement allowed us to study different modes of solar activity at an unprecedented level of details.

Results. The distribution of solar activity is clearly bi-modal, implying the existence of distinct modes of activity. The main regular activity mode corresponds to moderate activity that varies in a relatively narrow band between sunspot numbers 20 and 67. The existence of a separate Grand minimum mode with reduced solar activity, which cannot be explained by random fluctuations of the regular mode, is confirmed at a high confidence level. The possible existence of a separate Grand maximum mode is also suggested, but the statistics is too low to reach a confident conclusion.

Conclusions. The Sun is shown to operate in distinct modes – a main general mode, a Grand minimum mode corresponding to an inactive Sun, and a possible Grand maximum mode corresponding to an unusually active Sun. These results provide important constraints for both dynamo models of Sun-like stars and investigations of possible solar influence on Earth’s climate.

Evidence for distinct modes of solar activity by I. G. Usoskin, G. Hulot, Y. Gallet, R. Roth, A. Licht, F. Joos, G. A. Kovaltsov, E. Th├ębaultand A. Khokhlov published inAstronomy and Astrophysics A&A Volume 562, February 2014 DOI dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201423391

SOURCE




Climate change a symbolic battle against an unpleasant, toxic way of life

The rural simplicity idealized by Hitler still guides Greens

I suspect most readers of my column do not religiously read The Atlantic. I don’t either. But I have people — readers who alert me to news and information I might not see otherwise. Though the Atlantic has gained recent notoriety for the interview with Hilary Clinton, in which she says: “Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle,” there is more to it. With so much focus on the Clinton quote, it would be easy to overlook an article within the September issue: How to Talk About Climate Change So People Will Listen.

While I don’t think the author of the nine-page article, Charles C. Mann, ever really offers the answers the title posits, and is seven pages in before he even attempts to advise the reader on the premise, he does offer some noteworthy insights.

Mann is obviously a believer in anthropogenic (or man-made) climate change. Much of his essay is spent deriding the left for its unrestrained rhetoric that it uses to “scare Americans into action.”  He says: “the chatter itself, I would argue, has done its share to stall progress.”

Within his argument is some history and context that is illustrative for those who see climate change as cyclical — something natural that has happened before and will happen again, rather than something that is new, scary, and human-caused. Those of us who believe the climate changes, but that human activity is, certainly, not the primary driver, struggle to understand the cult-like following of alarmists like Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org (“A group that seeks to create a mass movement against climate change”) — who Mann spends several paragraphs criticizing.

While I doubt that this is Mann’s intent, a careful reader will realize that today’s climate hysteria has less to do with the climate and more to do with control and economic change.

Mann starts his history lesson with Paul Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb — whom I wrote about in June. Mann calls Ehrlich’s book “a foundational text in the environmental movement” — yet, he points out that Ehrlich’s “predictions didn’t pan out.” Instead of discrediting Ehrlich, his work, somehow, gave birth to what Mann calls “environmental politics.” Continuing, Mann asserts that Earth Day “became an opportunity to denounce capitalist greed.”

Using acid rain as an example, Mann points out: “environmentalists meanwhile found out the problems were less dire than they had claimed” and that “Today, most scientists have concluded that the effects of acid rain were overstated to begin with.”

Because I follow the politics of energy policy, I found this point Mann makes most interesting: “Environmental issues became ways for politicians to signal their clan identity to supporters.” He observes: “As symbols, the ideas couldn’t be compromised.” And, he states: “climate change is perfect for symbolic battle.” He calls carbon dioxide “a side effect of modernity.”

Addressing the charts and graphs that so frequently accompany the climate change hyperbole, Mann says: “In the history of our species, has any human heart ever been profoundly stirred by a graph? Some other approach, proselytizers have recognized, is needed.”

When he gets to McKibben, Mann accuses him of stoking concern “Ehrlich-style.” Mann explains: “The only solution to our ecological woes, McKibben argues, is to live simpler, more local, less resource-intensive existences” — which McKibben believes “will have the happy side effect of turning a lot of unpleasant multinational corporations to ash.” He concludes his section on McKibben with this: “McKibbenites see carbon dioxide as an emblem of a toxic way of life.”

In response to McKibben’s model, Mann cites French philosopher Pascal Bruckner, who argues: “people react with suspicion, skepticism, and sighing apathy — the opposite of the reaction McKibbenites hope to evoke.” Bruckner, according to Mann, likens ecologism to “moral blackmail” as it attempts to “force humanity into a puritanical straitjacket of rural simplicity.” “Ecologism” according to Mann/Bruckner, “employs …bludgeons to compel people to accept modes of existence they would otherwise reject.”

Elsewhere, Mann acknowledges: “Nobody seems to have much appetite for giving up the perks of an industrial civilization” that Mann calls a “boon to humankind,” for which he credits “cheap energy from fossil fuels.” He says: “an unprecedented three-century wave of prosperity” was “driven by the explosive energy of coal, oil and natural gas.”

“True,” says Dan Sutter, professor of economics with the Manuel Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University, and who has taught environmental economics and energy economics and done extensive research on extreme weather, as well as the political economy of environmental policy. Sutter told me: “The underlying change that enabled the industrial revolution was the emergence of economic freedom and a market economy. The essence of the market economy is decentralized decision making, and this has led to the harnessing of energy to the benefit of humankind.”

Sutter continued: “Stabilizing atmospheric carbon dioxide at something close to current levels (or lower) will require centralized control over the allocation of energy, meaning centralized control over the economy. Thinking about the distant future is difficult, but energy central planning will bring a halt to the market forces that have produced the first significant improvement in human standards of living in thousands of years.”

So, while Mann concedes that cheap energy from fossil fuels “has been an extraordinary boon to humankind;” and that previous crises — Ehrlich and acid rain, for example — “didn’t pan out,” “have been less dire,” or have been “overstated;” and that environmental issues have become political; and that today’s climate crusaders are clinging to a “symbolic battle” with the ultimate goal of “asking nations to revamp the base of their own prosperity,” though “nobody seems to have much appetite for giving up the perks of industrial civilization,” Mann is still searching for a way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal.

The answer, Mann posits, is “retrofitting 7,000 industrial facilities” — coal-fueled power plants. For what? For a crisis that is “overstated” like those before it and turns out to be “less dire,” we should allow the “symbolic battle” of the climate crusaders to remove that which has been “an extraordinary boon to humankind?”

Toward the end of his tome, Mann states: “the environment has become a proxy for a tribal battle.” He doesn’t state what the tribes are, but from the preceding pages, it is clear that he means the left and the right; the Democrats and the Republicans; those who want to turn corporations to ash, denounce capitalist greed, and force humanity into a straitjacket of rural simplicity and those who understand that the industrial revolution, the market economy, and “cheap energy from fossil fuels” have been “an extraordinary boon to humankind.”

Yes, Mann is correct. “The environment has become a proxy for a tribal battle.” But, as Mann points out, the climate alarmists scare tactics aren’t working — only 20 percent of likely U.S. voters believe the scientific debate about global warming is over. He believes it is because they “don’t know how to talk about climate change.” I believe people are smarter than he gives them credit for. They have heard the “chatter.” They’ve seen, that like Erlich, the “predictions didn’t pan out.”

The “political back-and-forth has become less productive,” which is why we see a switching of sides. Democrats, like Senator Joe Manchin (D-VA), are defending coal. “Full-throated green-energy champions,” like Mark Udall, are supporting fracking. At risk of alienating environmental groups, those who just two years ago voted to restrict oil-and-gas exports, like Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), are now voting to speed up the government’s reviews of applications to export natural gas, which the Wall Street Journal calls: “a move long sought by energy companies.”

What would cause this shift in the tribal battle? The answer, I believe, is simple: no one wants to be in the losing tribe. As Mann unwittingly makes the case for, alarmist claims are met with “suspicion, skepticism, and sighing apathy” — and those are not the battle cries of a winner.

SOURCE




New Study: Increase In Reported UK Flooding Due To Population Growth, Not Global Warming

A rise in the number of reported floods in the UK over the past 129 years can mainly be explained by increased exposure, resulting from urban expansion and population growth, according to new research by the University of Southampton.

In one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind, scientists have discovered that although the number of reported floods has gone up during the 20th and 21st Century, this trend disappears when the figures are adjusted to reflect population growth and increased building numbers over the same period.

Published in the journal Hydrological Sciences, the study looks at data sets from 1884 to 2013 and found an upward trend in reported flooding, with flood events appearing more frequently towards the end of the 20th century, peaking in 2012 when annual rainfall was the second highest in over 100 years.

The rise in UK flood reports over the 20th Century coincides with population growth from 38.2 million to 59.1 million and a tripling in the number of houses, from 7.7 million to 24.8 million.

“As a result there were more properties exposed to flooding and more people to report flooding,” says lead author Andrew Stevens. “A higher exposure to flooding will result in more reported flood events and larger potential damages.”

The study found significant variation between decades in both the raw and adjusted data, with the years between 1908 -1934, 1977 – 1988 and 1998 – 2013 featuring a relatively high numbers of reported floods.

SOURCE

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