Shocker: solar physicists interested in solar physics

Um. sorry folks, don’t blame me, blame Eli. ’twas the now-aged lagomorph who attempted to interest me in the good old days of sci.env when we were all young and bushy-tailed. And indeed that thread does make for interesting reading: the present-day switch to blogs doesn’t encourage that style of discussion any more.

Anyway, what prompted this post (is this incestuous enough for you yet?) was TB’s witty rejoinder that “Clearly Eli hasn’t kept up with recent developments in the literature at JASTP, Elsevier and elsewhere. Well, what fun, I could but follow, and discover that

My thanks to Nicola Scafetta for pointing out this page of the most downloaded articles at science publishing house Elsevier’s title ‘Journal of Atmospheric and Solar Terrestrial Physics. Our Solar-Planetary Theory is gaining traction. It asserts that the Sun is a more significant climate driver than human emitted trace gases and aerosols and…

…so on. You get the idea. But JASTP is for the solar folk. Mostly, I think, for the respectable ones; but even they are hard-pressed not to try to make their stuff “relevant” to GW, no matter how hard that is. You can read the JASTP statement-of-purpose and it is

The Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics is an international journal concerned with the inter-disciplinary science of the Sun-Earth connection, defined very broadly.

So given that the whole purpose of the journal is sun-earth connections its not terribly surprising that’s what the papers are about.

And to all you who say, correctly, stop wasting time on shooting fish-in-a-barrel I say Yes, you’re right, and I’m about to read More about Fears of Climate Change.

48 thoughts on “Shocker: solar physicists interested in solar physics”

  1. Many thanks for the plug William. Have you read NASA’s latest article on the Sun-Earth connection yet?

    Lots of new science to enjoy in the space age.

    Given the hiatus in the warming trend (looking more like a sine wave with an underlying trend since at least 1850 all the time), it only seems sensible to explore the possibilities for where we spend our research money. Spread the love a little.

    [You need to read the update to the sky fairies post -W]


  2. JB: The Sun’s activity was well above the long term average all the way from 1935 to 2003. Although the peak ampliudes fell a little after 1960, the minima were brief, and the oceans integrated the overall extra input and increased in temperature.

    Given the thermal inertia of the ocean, you need to integrate the sunspot number to see its effect on ocean heat content. When you multiply the integrated sunspot – TSI quantity by the factor determined in Nir Shaviv’s JGR paper on using the oceans as a calorimeter, you get a curve. If you combine that curve with the detrended AMO and the ENSO proxy (SOI) and a reasonable value for LnCo2 , you get the curve below, which matches HADsst3 to an R^2 value of 0.873 for *monthly* data. You can ignore the projection for now. It would take too long to explain.


  3. Well, it gives a break from the mathturbation of the co2 curve non-correlation with temperature change at least. My model tuning finds equal contributions from Sun, Co2, and ocean oscillations. It seems like a reasonable starting point for a respectful conversation – though not with Guthrie, obviously.


  4. From

    Global temperature evolution 1979–2010
    Grant Foster and Stefan Rahmstorf
    Environ. Res. Lett. 6 044022 doi:10.1088/1748-9326/6/4/044022


    we see that the trend established in the late 20th century continues in the 21st:
    in agreement with “Ranking of years, hottest to coldest”

    and “Decadal average global temperatures (NOAA/NCDC)”

    Click to access 30-year-heat-wave-graph.pdf


  5. I’m suspicious of any attempt to pitch science that links to wattsupwiththat: it’s a site that sees any apparent paradox in science as a reason to ridicule science and scientists, rather than a motivation to look for an explanation, as though the real world must be simple to be true. It’s an anti-science attitude that surely anybody with any experience of science would recognise as false and back away from. When scientists pitch to Watts, it seems to me a pretty sure sign they know they have nothing but are just looking for an audience. I seem to remember Scafetta’s earlier work was taken seriously, but he seems to have gone off into cranky astrological explanation for global warming.


  6. Donald: JASTP isn’t in the business of publishing astrology. Its true that the question of the underlying mechanism accounting for the correlative relationship between planetary motion and solar variation is not yet settled. There are several untested but potentially viable mechanisms in play at the moment.

    Scafetta published one of them in a paper at JASTP last year:
    ‘Does the Sun work as a nuclear fusion amplifier of planetary tidal forcing? A proposal for a physical mechanism based on the mass-luminosity relation’

    Click to access ATP3610.pdf

    Some elucidation here:


  7. Sorry, Rog- my crank-ometre is swinging to the right. The fact that he’s pitching it to Watts means I have to switch to the logarithmic scale.


  8. Just to reiterate, as it appears to have been missed:

    David B. Benson


    Global temperature evolution 1979–2010
    Grant Foster and Stefan Rahmstorf
    Environ. Res. Lett. 6 044022 doi:10.1088/1748-9326/6/4/044022


    we see that the trend established in the late 20th century continues in the 21st:
    in agreement with “Ranking of years, hottest to coldest”

    and “Decadal average global temperatures (NOAA/NCDC)”


  9. DB & JB: From the second link: If theNASA GISS temperature product shows a continuous trend through to the present from the late C20th, why is James hansen it’s producer, now saying:

    “The five-year mean global temperature has been flat for the last decade, which we interpret as a combination of natural variability and a slow down in the growth rate of net climate forcing.” ?

    Click to access 20130115_Temperature2012.pdf


  10. Donald: Nicola Scafetta doesn’t decide what Anthony Watts prints. In any case, neither of them are ‘cranks’ as you so picturesquely describe. If your prejudice prevents you from reading new and interesting science, that’s your loss, not theirs, or mine.


  11. “If theNASA GISS temperature product shows a continuous trend through to the present from the late C20th, why is James hansen it’s producer, now saying…”

    Well the answer to that was in the update.

    Keep an open mind, Rog, but don’t let your brain fall out. 😉


  12. DB &JB: Regarding the first link: I’m broadly in agreement with Frank Lansner’s analysis here
    The main thrust of which is to point out that the paper takes no account of the thermal inertia of the ocean, and the persistence of accumulated energy. This is unphysical.

    [Once upon a time I would have had the patience to read that in detail. But as my quick scan and your one-sentence summary agree (the chief objection is persistence of accumulated energy) then I think I’ve seen enough to know its missed the point. F+R are trying to separate out the temperature time series into components. They are trying to remove some “noise” from the long-term trend. Which is why they remove El Nino. There’s nothing magic about that, though: its a subjective choice, and it affects the stats (your resultant series has fewer d.o.f.). But if you pick useful things to remove, the loss of noise compensates, and you get a better estimate. That’s what they’ve done. To complain that its unphysical misses the point. To complain that they haven’t taken out other series they could have also misses the point -W]


  13. Hi William. I think Lansners key point is that in ‘removing El Nino’ F&R don’t actually remove all the increase in energy near the surface which persists for some years after the spike has subsided. So it’s not so much that it’s unphysical in the sense of ‘no longer corresponding to the historic record’. It’s unphysical in the sense that it doesn’t achieve what they say it achieves and so invalidates their derived conclusions.

    [No – you’ve missed the point again. All they’ve done is time series analysis. There isn’t really any physics in it (other than as a vague guide to things to remove. So complaining it is unphysical is irrelevant -W]


  14. W: All they’ve done is time series analysis.

    They’ve chopped lumps off the time series

    [No, they haven’t. That’s not a permissible way to accurately describe what they’ve done -W]

    and in effect said said:
    “look, we took out a major natural variability factor and we still get a strongly rising trend, so it must be all due to the co2 effect”

    [They haven’t done that, either. Have you read their paper? I haven’t, but even having not read it I know they haven’t done that -W]

    Lansners fig9 shows the lumps they missed by just removing the short term spike.

    W: There isn’t really any physics in it.

    On that we can agree.

    [I don’t think you’re being serious. If you already know there is no physics, intrinsically, in the method, why complain about its non-physicality, and raise physics-based objections? You’re not making any sense -W]


  15. re: Scafetta
    Those unfamiliar with his work might gain calibration by looking at this 76-page 2009 presentation, an extensive set of information for a 1-hour <a href=""video.
    in whichhe describes importantt new findings.

    Among other things, he relies strongly on a graph often considered here, as in Adoration of the Lamb, but in addition, on p.62, he brings to the attention of the EPA, the ideas of Rhodes Fairbridge and Theodor Landscheidt.

    [What an awful lot of graphs. It all has a bit of a thrown-together look. He’s either a John Mitchell, or an amateur. Use of TL suggests the latter -W]

    He ends (p.68) with a clear view:
    ‘A cooling is expected until 2030 – 2040 because of a 60 year cycle.’


  16. William: Agreed that in the time series analysis phase of the paper it’s not a physics problem as such, more an accounting error.

    However, when we get to the conclusion, the faulty ENSO analysis lead to the faulty conclusion that:

    “Because the effects of ENSO are very short-term and that of solar variability very small (figure 7), none of these factors can be expected to exert a significant influence on the continuation of global warming over the coming decades.”

    They conflate the terrestrial effect of solar variability with the irradiance effect of TSI variability only in raw wattage heating terms, which is a grave error, as the science papers highlighted in the new NASA article linked above and those at the link you highlighted in your introduction indicate.

    John Mashey: Lots has been happening since the EPA presentation, you are behind the curve on this area of science. The recent paper by Abreu et al has also moved things forwards.


  17. What’s interesting is that denialists prefer matching curves in orbits and whatnot to the known real physical evidence of the greenhouse effect, CO2, feedback, cooling stratosphere etc.


  18. guthrie: Taking these in reverse order:

    The stratosphere stopped cooling around 1995 according to MET office and NOAA data.

    Water vapour feedback hasn’t happened to any measurable extent and is within the uncertainty of measuements.

    Click to access Paltridge-NCEP-vapor-2009.pdf

    I’d be very grateful if you could link to known real physical evidence of the CO2 greenhouse effect.


  19. The extra-tropical Northern Hemisphere temperature in the last two millennia: reconstructions of low-frequency variability
    B. Christiansen and F. C. Ljungqvist
    Clim. Past, 8, 765–786, 2012

    but to compare with

    one would need (1) tropical temperatures and (2) extra-tropical southern hemisphere temperatures. (Note there is often a ‘see-saw’ in effect between the temperatures of the two polar regions.)


  20. Insights from the past: the drivers of Australian climate variability over the last millennium

    Click to access coe2012.pdf

    is probably the best we currently have for the southern hemisphere. Skipping to the end, one sees that it is quite boring until about 1900 CE.


  21. David B: Will Venus do?

    No, because I can ‘prove’ that the surface temperature of Venus is due to the mass of its atmosphere just as Easily as you can ‘prove’ it is due to its opacity.

    [Bingo! I knew you were going to say that. People won’t (don’t) take you seriously while you’re talking nonsense like that -W]

    Given that Law Dome co2 only rose by ~8ppm while Lundquist and Christiansen show “a well defined Medieval Warm Period, with a peak warming ca. 950–1050 AD reaching 0.6 °C relative to the reference period 1880–1960 AD.” I’m unsure how you think this provides Guthrie’s “known real physical evidence of the (CO2) greenhouse effect”.

    Australia’s surface temperature record is … problematic.
    One example:


  22. Lets see if William censors wikipedia too… oh, wait a minute… 😉

    [You need to learn the difference between censorship, which is WUWT practices, and merely moving stuff. And no: our relations are not such that you’re welcome to make jokes -W]
    The atmosphere of Venus is much denser and hotter than that of Earth.
    Despite the harsh conditions on the surface, the atmospheric pressure and temperature at about 50 km to 65 km above the surface of the planet is nearly the same as that of the Earth,


  23. The temperature and pressure 65 km below the surface of the Earth is harsh, but that at the surface of the Earth is about the same


  24. Ye know, if it was the thickness of the atmosphere of venus that was responsible for the warmth, you could calculate how much energy there should be and what should happen to it all…

    Meanwhile here on earth, a similar line of thought surely leads us to expect that the Earth is picking up atmosphere from somewhere!


  25. Rog Tallbloke — Assuming you are ready to accept what is in Ray Pierrehumbert’s “Principles of Planetary Climate”, the northern hemisphere Medieval Warm Period (MWP) becomes interesting. First off, it is not clear that any proxies give that reliable a reading of temperature before about 1600 CE. Second, Lundquist and Christiansen give a more pronounced MWP than earleir studies. Third, the MWP does not show up in Australian proxies (but does in some Pategonian limnology work). This third point suggests the MWP might not have been that pronounced, globally.

    What we do not have is a corresponding record of the growth of methane. At least Ruddiman points out that increased rice production in Southeast Asia and South China would cause methane expression to increase.

    So setting aside the MWP for lack of sufficient data, consider the temperature records and CO2 concentrations from 1900 CE onwards. Now note that this correlation is functional via the work re-released in “The Warming Papers” and explained in Pierrehumbert’s text.

    However, I can only suggest you set aside your prejudices long enough to study those words…


  26. Eli Rabett
    “The temperature and pressure 65 km below the surface of the Earth is harsh, but that at the surface of the Earth is about the same”

    Perceptive Eli. In fact, the average lapse rate through the Earth’s troposphere doesn’t change profile dramatically as it heads on down below the surface. There’s a reason for that.


  27. guthrie: Meanwhile here on earth, a similar line of thought surely leads us to expect that the Earth is picking up atmosphere from somewhere!

    It’s volume increased while the Sun was more than averagely active in the second half of the C20th. It’s been shrinking again since 2003. I would suggest that people with sufficient smarts to apply the gas laws to the atmosphere should be able to draw some conclusions from that fact.


  28. Oh dear.
    Anyway, what is the difference in thermal conductivity between crustal and mantle rock, and the atmosphere?

    Besides, if the earths atmosphere shrank and warmed the planet when the sun is quiet, why don’t we see it getting warmer in the little ice age?


  29. Roger, where in your links does it discuss the *volume* of the earth’s atmosphere? I don’t see any references to that, but perhaps my eyes are deceiving me.

    Also, I am curious how the gas law (and which one?) shows that a change in parameter one (volume) alters parameter two (temperature) without knowing or assuming something about parameter three (pressure) and possibly even parameter four (n).

    Finally, I’d be interested to know how you determined the volume of the earth’s atmosphere. Where do you put the limit, and why?


  30. guthrie: “Anyway, what is the difference in thermal conductivity between crustal and mantle rock, and the atmosphere? ”

    A lot, unless you find water permeating them both. Which we do.

    ” if the earths atmosphere shrank and warmed the planet when the sun is quiet, why don’t we see it getting warmer in the little ice age?”

    Because the change in energy is coming from outside the Earth’s climate system. Maunder minimum – no sunspots seen for fifty years – atmosphere shrinks – increase in near surface density mitigates cooling though not completely.
    However, the Little Ice Age was much longer than the Maunder Minimum and the ~974 year cycle is a type of solar variability which has a different cyclical driver to the grand mimima such as Oort, Sporer, Maunder, Dalton, and the solar grand minimum starting around now.


  31. Marco, I’d like to discuss it with you, but William has made it clear he doesn’t want the matter discussed further here.

    [Absolutely. Any further discussion, I’ve provided a link to TB’s blog, feel free to discuss it there. Its not fair to poke him here. Any further comments on thi *will* be erased with no notice -W]


  32. Oh dear, I hadn’t realised the atmospheric cooling meme was so well developed, with all the hallmarks of von Daniken and such works.


  33. Freddy, what is the single most specific piece of evidence for evolution? Can’t come up with anything? Gee, then I guess you’ll be telling the world evolution is a crock, eh?

    Or how about continental drift? Another hoax played on you by them nasty libruls?

    Even the Master students in my lab know that most theories are not the result of any specific piece of evidence, but a collection of elements that in concert explain what is observed. With your supposed background, you should know that even better. So, why don’t you?


  34. Marco, why are unwilling to answer my simple question? I did not ask you on evolution.

    [Stop trolling. You know what to do if interested – read the IPCC report, starting with the SPM -W]


  35. W, you call somebody a troll who politely asks “what the single most specific piece of evidence for anthropogenic global warming is”?

    Can’t you give any more specfic answer than just saying: “read x”.

    The question is simple. So please answer it without evading. Thank you. And please stop offending me as a troll.

    [You’re trolling. As has already been demonstrated with the nice “evolution” reply.

    If you’re interested, then you know what you need to do if you want the facts – start with the IPCC report, SPM. Once you’ve got through that, you can try the executive summary. Then you can go on to read the chapter on attribution:

    But if you *are* interested, I have to wonder why you haven’t already found chapter 9 for yourself -W]


  36. William, I actually have to apologize, because I knew freddy would not be able to understand my example, despite the fact he has elsewhere claimed to have been a working scientist at a university, even supervising PhD students (who I feel, really, really sorry for!).


  37. Well, Freddy, is you consider the question is so simple, why not answer it yourself? Many of the pieces of evidence you can find in WG1, AR4, chapter 9.

    [I think its time to recognise that no-one has any more content to add to this particular issue -W]


  38. Marco, so you are unable to answer on your own, you relate only to somebody else. If I would have asked IPCC then I would NOT have asked YOU, but the IPCC directly.

    So I summarize that you are unable to answer a simple question personally and directly. Is this due to the fact that you don’t have an opinion on the matter questioned or that you don’t have the necessary knowledge to answer it or that you are simply unwilling to answer or anything else?

    [I see you failed to take my hint. Any content-free answer to this will be burrowed, as will any repeating of the same trolling by freddy -W]


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