Scafetta on climate oscillations

by Judith Curry

David Hagen wrote on the Dempster thread:

There appears need for much more effort on grappling with both with major statistical issues involved (as highlighted by Dempster and Scafetta) as well as identifying natural causes that can have strong impacts on climate far beyond what is currently included in climate models (per Scafetta, and Svensmark).

As a case in point, lets examine one of Nicola Scafetta’s papers, which ties in with our previous threads on attribution of decadal variability.

Empirical evidence for a celestial origin of the climate oscillations and its implications

Nicola Scafetta

Abstract.  We investigate whether or not the decadal and multi-decadal climate oscillations have an astronomical origin. Several global surface temperature records since 1850 and records deduced from the orbits of the planets present very similar power spectra. Eleven frequencies with period between 5 and 100 years closely correspond in the two records. Among them, large climate oscillations with peak-to-trough amplitude of about 0.1 and 0.251C, and periods of about 20 and 60 years, respectively, are synchronized to the orbital periods of Jupiter and Saturn. Schwabe and Hale solar cycles are also visible in the temperature records. A 9.1-year cycle is synchronized to the Moon’s orbital cycles. A phenomenological model based on these astronomical cycles can be used to well reconstruct the temperature oscillations since 1850 and to make partial forecasts for the 21st century. It is found that at least 60% of the global warming observed since 1970 has been induced by the combined effect of the above natural climate oscillations. The partial forecast indicates that climate may stabilize or cool until 2030–2040. Possible physical mechanisms are qualitatively discussed with an emphasis on the phenomenon of collective synchronization of coupled oscillators.

Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 72 (2010) 951–970

Link to full version of the paper is [here].

Some text from the Conclusion:

Herein, we have found empirical evidences that the climate oscillations within the secular scale are very likely driven by astronomical cycles, too. Cycles with periods of 10–11, 12, 15, 20–22, 30 and 60 years are present in all major surface temperature records since 1850, and can be easily linked to the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn. The 11 and 22-year cycles are the well- known Schwabe and Hale solar cycles. Other faster cycles with periods between 5 and 10 years are in common between the temperature records and the astronomical cycles. Long-term lunar cycles induce a 9.1-year cycle in the temperature records and probably other cycles, including an 18.6-year cycle in some regions (McKinnell and Crawford, 2007). A quasi-60 year cycle has been found in numerous multi-secular climatic records, and it is even present in the traditional Chinese, Tibetan and Tamil calendars, which are arranged in major 60-year cycles.

The physical mechanisms that would explain this result are still unknown. Perhaps the four jovian planets modulate solar activity via gravitational and magnetic forces that cause tidal and angular momentum stresses on the Sun and its heliosphere. Then, a varying Sun modulates climate, which amplifies the effects of the solar input through several feedback mechanisms. This phenomenon is mostly regulated by Jupiter and Saturn, plus some important contribution from Neptune and Uranus, which modulate a bi-secular cycle with their 172 year synodic period. This interpretation is supported by the fact that the 11-year solar cycles and the solar flare occurrence appear synchronized to the tides generated on the Sun by Venus, Earth and Jupiter (Hung, 2007). Moreover, a 60-year cycle and other planetary cycles have been found in millennial solar records (Ogurtsov et al., 2002) and in the number of middle latitude auroras (Komitov, 2009).

Alternatively, the planets are directly influencing the Earth’s climate by modulating the orbital parameters of the Earth–Moon system and of the Earth. Orbital parameters can modulate the Earth’s angular momentum via gravitational tides and magnetic forces. Then, these orbital oscillations are amplified by the climate system through synchronization of its natural oscillators. This interpretation is supported by the fact that the temperature records contain a clear 9.1-year cycle, which is associated to some long-term lunar tidal cycles. However, the climatic influence of the Moon may be more subtle because several planetary cycles are also found in the Earth–Moon system.

The astronomical forcings may be modulating the length of the day (LOD). LOD presents a 60-year cycle that anticipates the 60-year temperature cycle (Klyashtorin, 2001; Klyashtorin and Lyubushin, 2007; Klyashtorin et al., 2009; Mazzarella, 2007, 2008; Sidorenkov and Wilson, 2009). A LOD change can drive the ocean oscillations by exerting some pressure on the ocean floor and by modifying the Coriolis’ forces. In particular, the large ocean oscillations such as the AMO and PDO oscillations are likely driven by astronomical oscillations.

From Scafetta’s comments on the Dempster thread:

The paper show that astronomical cycles match the temperature cycles with a probability of 96% and above, while current general circulation models such as the Giss ModelE would reproduce the same temperature cycles with a probability of just 16%.

Is the theory that I have proposed scientifically valid? Probably yes, because it is shown to be able to reproduce the global surface data patterns and has a chance to properly forecast climate oscillations much better than the Giss ModelE, for example. Thus, my theory matches the main requirement of the scientific method. The theory suggests that about 60% of the warming observed since 1970 is due to natural cycles, while the IPCC using GCMs claims that 100% of the post 1970 warming is anthropogenic. My theory reconstruct a cooling or momentarily temperature rest since 2002 as observed in the data, which the IPCC GCMs have all projected a significant warming which is not seen in the data, etc.

Is the theory that I have proposed (the climate is regulated by astronomical cycles) already explained by means of other established theories such the fundamental laws of mechanics, thermodynamics, chemistry and so on? No, it isn’t.  Does this mean that the proposed theory is not “scientific”? No, because, rigorously speaking, the scientific method does not require that a proposed theory must be explained by another theory. Future research may search for interconnections among scientific theories and consolidate or eventually debut a proposed theory.

Thus, I believe that the problem of physical uncertainty cannot be addressed by looking to some mysterious and magic statistical method. People simply need to apply the scientific method in the proper way. That is, if one does not understand yet the microphysics of a complex phenomenon (that is if analytical computer climate models are not satisfactory yet), he should look at the phenomenon as a whole and try to understand the information implicit in its dynamics by constructing and forecasting it first. The microphysics problem is addressed later.

From another message (not necessarily about this paper):

For example, once I had a sequence of data and I estimated its power spectrum. According to the usual statistical theories the amplitude of the spectrum peaks can be associated to a statistical confidence level. I found a set of peaks with an extremely low statistical confidence level and the statistical theory would imply that such peaks are indistinguishable from random noise, and therefore, not relevant. However, later I realized that those peaks had a clear dynamical meaning, thus it was not noise, but important signal.

The truth was that the statistical theory was based on axioms that did not agree with the dynamics of my physical signal.

So, statistics can be easily misapplied in natural science if one does not understand its framework. And this happens all the times.

Blogospheric reactions

At WUWT:

George Taylor, former Oregon State climatologist writes:

Nicola Scafetta has published the most decisive indictment of GCM’s I’ve ever read in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics. His analysis is purely phenomenological, but he claims that over half of the warming observed since 1975 can be tied to 20 and 60-year climate oscillations driven by the 12 and 30-year orbital periods of Jupiter and Saturn, through their gravitational influence on the Sun, which in turn modulates cosmic radiation.

If he’s correct, then all GCM’s are massively in error because they fail to show any of the observed oscillations.

There have been many articles over the years which indicated that there were 60-year cycles in the climate, but this is the first one I’ve seen which ties them to planetary orbits.

In the comments, Vukcevic writes:

Not much new there. In 2003 I wrote short article
http://xxx.lanl.gov/ftp/astro-ph/papers/0401/0401107.pdf
analysing Jupiter-Saturn vs. solar activity resonance. Scafetta’s mechanism of magnetic resonance is not new either, as many of readers may recall long and tedious arguments I had with Dr. Svalgaard on the subject. I wrote about the J-S effect, but do not think climate change is a direct response to it.
None of these offer a convincing mechanism, hence we have to look to the field anew.
Solar system, as the name implies is a ‘system’ and most of ‘grand events’ are rooted in that system, that has been known for long time, but on its own it does not move let alone resolve the climate debate.
Dr. Scafetta has to come up with some ‘down to Earth’ data that can be directly applied to what is recorded during last 350 or so years, if he is to make any impact on the climate lobby, otherwise his work will be dismissed and consigned to the realm of astrology.

Real Climate hasn’t discussed this paper, but discussed the previous Scafetta and West (2009) paper on solar influence, see also this follow on post.

I haven’t seen any other substantive analyses of this paper, have I missed anything?

JC’s comments/questions: 

The key result IMO is power spectrum shown in Fig 3.

Fig. 3 shows the power spectrum (Ghil et al., 2002) of the global surface temperature (monthly sampled). Two methods are adopted: the maximum entropy method (1000 poles) and the multi-taper method against the null hypothesis of red noise with three confidence levels. The figure shows strong peaks at 9, 20 and 60 years with a 99% confidence against red noise background. The graph also shows a clear annual cycle  and several other cycles with a 99% confidence. The harmonic signal Fisher (F) test gives a significance level larger than 99% and 95% for the 60 and 20 year cycles, respectively. The Blackman–Tukey correlogram produces a spectrum equivalent to that obtained with the maximum entropy method, but its peaks are less sharp and do not have a good resolution. In the following, the maximum entropy method is used because with a proper number of poles it better resolves the low frequency band of the spectrum and produces very sharp peaks (Priestly, 2001).

On the surface, this significance analysis (e.g. the results) doesn’t seem convincing, in particular the multi-taper analysis seems to be producing too many peaks with 99% confidence, especially given the short length of data record used?

The attribution of these peaks to astronomical cycles occurs based on the matching of the astronomical cycles to the spectral peaks, without any apparent physical mechanism relating them.   The amplitude of the spectral peaks does not seem consistent with the likely subtle effects of astronomical forcing.

If there is some sort of amplifying feedback at work, is there any reason to think  that the phase of the forcing would be reflected in the phase of the response in this complex nonlinear chaotic climate system?

How would one go about either falsifying Scafetta’s hypothesis, or garnering further support for it?

325 responses to “Scafetta on climate oscillations

  1. In the Dempster thread, Scafetta makes a distinction between a model derived from existing theory (like a GCM) and a phenomenological theory that can later lead to mechanistic explanation. This is a critical point. I refer to a model like a GCM as a “calculation tool”. Even if you think all your equations are basic physics, the implementation of the physics at the scale of huge grid boxes, with discrete layers, etc. leads to various assumptions, simplifications, discretizations, homogenizations of phenomena and processes that are complex at all scales. Different ways of handling all this lead to different dynamics and outcomes. It is known that highly resolved models give different results, for example (they can’t be used for 100 yr simulations). Earlier models used flux adjustments, but even today the land surface is simplified, various kludges are used (free water appears on ice cap ice at a certain date, clouds are handled in a certain way, etc) and the result is that the model is no longer pure theory but is a tool which can only be “useful” and no correct or incorrect. But the usefulness of the tool must be assessed and that assessment presented honestly. The claim that it is “pure physics” is a claim that the software does not need to be tested. There are few physical systems that are so simple (and many of these only in the lab) that basic physics equations can be used as is to get an answer. When heterogeneity becomes large, one often must abandon the pure physics and develop phenomenological models at the appropriate scale. An example is earthquakes. The physics of breakage of pure substances in the lab is not so complex, but in the real earth the complexity (which is not visible) prevents direct application of this physics, and only crude computations are at present possible, and few predictions. All of this is to not even account for further problems due to numerical drift, programming errors, input data uncertainty (ie in forcings), and internal instability of a chaotic system (discussed here). So a GCM is NOT a theory and just because it has some equations in it based on theory does not make it automatically valid.

    • “If there is some sort of amplifying feedback at work, is there any reason to think that the phase of the forcing would be reflected in the phase of the response in this complex nonlinear chaotic climate system?”

      If we look at this graph in wikipedia:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Resonance.PNG

      It appears that the gain due to resonance can in theory approach infinity, when the exciting frequency matches the natural frequency and the phase difference is zero. This is significantly greater than might be expected from H2O feedback due to CO2 warming.

      As wikipedia says: “Resonance occurs widely in nature”. Objects resonance at different frequencies. Those that by chance are in phase with a forcing frequency will be amplified, while those that are not will not. The oceans and atmosheric current exhibit oscillating behavior.

      There is nothing to prevent these oscillations from being amplied by the orbital mechanics of the solar system. The planets and sun have energy/particle fields that modulate with regular frequencies on earth. As has been noted, resonance can significantly amplify these forces.

  2. Guillermo Gefaell

    Prof. Boris Komitov has thoroughly studied the relationship between Sun and Climate, in several of his papers here:
    http://www.astro.bas.bg/~komitov/abstract.htm
    The third part of the series on Sun-Climate relationship can be found here:
    http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1007/1007.2099.pdf

  3. Inigo Owen Jones (1 December 1872 – 14 November 1954) was a meteorologist who predicted long range Australian rainfall from the orbits of the large outer planets.

    ‘Jones studied the variation in sunspot cycles that had been discovered by Edouard Bruckner, and came to the conclusion that anomalies were caused by the interaction of the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. This became the basis of his long-range weather forecasts, although he never claimed to be able to make day-to-day predictions. Although Jones failed to have his methods recognised as soundly based by any substantial body of accredited scientific opinion, he was widely recognised for his successes, especially by farmers.’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inigo_Owen_Jones

    Much of the variability of Australian rainfall on decadal scales comes from the Interdecadal Oscillation (IPO) – indeed much of variability in global climate comes from this source as a result of cloud changes driven by SST and from changes in blocking patterns in the atmosphere. To have a solar connection to decadal climate variability there needs to be a connection to the IPO.

    One potential cause of Pacific Ocean variability is shown by Lockwood et al (2010). ‘During the descent into the recent exceptionally low solar minimum, observations have revealed a larger change in solar UV emissions than seen at the same phase of previous solar cycles. This is particularly true at wavelengths responsible for stratospheric ozone production and heating. This implies that ‘top-down’ solar modulation could be a larger factor in long-term tropospheric change than previously believed, many climate models allowing only for the ‘bottom-up’ effect of the less-variable visible and infrared solar emissions. We present evidence for long-term drift in solar UV irradiance, which is not found in its commonly used proxies.’

    Judith Lean (2008) commented that ‘ongoing studies are beginning to decipher the empirical Sun-climate connections as a combination of responses to direct solar heating of the surface and lower atmosphere, and indirect heating via solar UV irradiance impacts on the ozone layer and middle atmospheric, with subsequent communication to the surface and climate. The associated physical pathways appear to involve the modulation of existing dynamical and circulation atmosphere-ocean couplings, including the ENSO and the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation. Comparisons of the empirical results with model simulations suggest that models are deficient in accounting for these pathways.’

    Lockwood, M., Bell, C., Woollings, T., Harrison, R., Gray. L. and Haigh, J. (2010), Top-down solar modulation of climate: evidence for centennial-scale change, Environ. Res. Lett. 5 (July-September 2010) 034008 doi:10.1088/1748-9326/5/3/034008

    Lean, J., (2008) How Variable Is the Sun, and What Are the Links Between This Variability and Climate?, Search and Discovery Article #110055

    ‘These `top-down’ mechanisms would be effective alongside `bottom-up’ solar heating of the sea surface and the dynamically coupled air–sea interactions. Although differentiating between the effects of variations in the two will often be difficult, recent studies indicate that they are additive, producing amplified SST, precipitation and cloud responses, for example in the tropical Pacific, even for relatively small solar forcing changes.’ http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/5/3/034008/fulltext

    The warming and cooling of ozone in the middle and upper atmosphere translates into changes in sea level pressure as measured in the Southern Annular Mode index. Low pressure and the polar anti-cyclone is restrained to the the polar region – the ocean current through Drake’s Passage between the Antarctic Peninsula and South America intensifies. High pressure and storms and cold polar water are pushed into lower latitudes. This is a source of rainfall variability in South Africa, South America, New Zealand and southern Australia.

    Here is an SST anomaly thermally enhanced satellite image from December last year.

    http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2011/anomnight.4.7.2011.gif

    You can see the PDO in the north Pacific and La Nina in full swing in the central Pacific. You can also see the potential for cold water being pushed up from the Southern Ocean and onto the western coast of South America in the area of the Humboldt Current. The region of the Humboldt Current is the most biologically productive area on Earth because the cold southern water is joined there by upwelling frigid water. The upwelling (or not) in turn determines the thermal evolution of ENSO. ENSO is many things but starts in upwelling – or not – in the eastern Pacific.

    There is a direct physical link between UV and the SAM in the ozone layer of the middle atmosphere – and thus in storm tracks spinning of the Southern Ocean, pooling cold water off the western coast of South America and diluting the warm surface layer that suppresses upwelling in the eastern Pacific.

    • Dr. David L. Hagen

      Judith
      “How would one go about either falsifying Scafetta’s hypothesis, or garnering further support for it? ”

      1) If climate cycles are dominated by natural solar/planetary/cosmic cycles affecting clouds, rather than anthropogenic/CO2/feedback, then:
      1.1) Scafetta’s power spectra should be observable in other long term climate cloud related records,
      1.1.1) Precipitation records
      1.1.2) Runoff records for major rivers.
      1.1.3) Grain price records
      1.1.4) Ocean Oscillations
      PDO, ENSO etc
      1.1.5) Winds/Earth’s Length Of Day
      1.1.6) Tropical to polar temperature differences
      1.1.7) Pressure
      1.1.8) Glaciers
      1.1.9) Arctic ice extent

      1.2) Scafetta’s power spectra should NOT be observed in:
      1.2.1) CO2 records
      1.2.2) Evaporation records

      2) Svensmark’s cosmoclimatology parallels Scafetta’s by predicting cosmic rays impacting clouds. Other periodic causes of cosmic ray variations should show up in Scafetta’s power spectra.
      2.1) Galactic cosmic rays variations due to solar system’s passing through galactic spiral arms.

      3) Milankovich analysis and related variations should show up in Scafetta’s power spectra or in similar analyses.
      3.1) Ice ages / glaciation
      D. Kkoutsoyiannis et al. show such evidence out to 3000 ky.
      3.2) Radioisotope concentrations – C14, Be10 etc.
      3.3) Supernova impacting climate

      4) Hindcasting/forecasting should correlate with Scafetta’s solar planetary cycles but NOT with CO2 or fossil fuel use.
      4.1) Temperatures – dominant cosmic/solar driven PDO temperature cycle
      4.2) Sea level
      4.3) Precipitation & all of the above etc.

      5) The Hurst Kolgomorov analyses of precipitation, hydrology, glaciation should similarly show correlations to Scafetta’s power spectra. See D. Kkoutsoyiannis et al. etc.

      6) With a cosmic/planetary cause, climate variations should also be modulated/moved by variations in/movement of Earth’s magnetic field, and thus of Earth’s internal flow dynamics.

      7) Statistics: Thorough statistical analyses will systematically show higher correlation Scafetta/Svensmark etc. attribution of solar/planetary/cosmic causes with lower correlation to CO2 & fossil fuels.

      8) Phase lead/lag analysis
      8.1) Solar/planetary/cosmic should show leading/causation for precipitation, runoff etc.,
      8.2) CO2 concentration will lag due to the ocean’s thermal inertia with average CO2 being tied to ocean temperatures.
      8.3) H2O will show some correlation to ocean temperature, some to clouds and winds.

      9) Cosmic ray/cloud vs CO2 influence on clouds/temperature vs elevation.
      9.1) The differing impacts of cosmic rays on clouds vs CO2 on radiation will impact atmospheric temperature differently with elevation. These differences should show solar/planetary/cosmic modulation on clouds differently from CO2 variations.

      WJR Alexander developed similar correlations and predictions based on the 22 year Hale solar cycles on precipitation/runoff based on his exhaustive compilation of Southern African records.

      Alexander et al. similarly model solar causes for the correlation of precipitation/runoff with the 22 year Hale cycle.
      Linkages between solar activity, climate predictability and water resource development*
      W J R Alexander, F Bailey, D B Bredenkamp, A van der Merwe and N Willemse
      Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering • Volume 49 Number 2 June 2007 pp 32-44
      https://www.up.ac.za/dspace/bitstream/2263/5326/1/Alexander_Linkages(2007).pdf

      Development of a multi-year climate prediction model
      WJR Alexander
      ISSN 0378-4738 = Water SA Vol. 31 No. 2 April 2005 pp 209-218
      http://www.ajol.info/index.php/wsa/article/view/5204/12761 or http://www.wrc.org.za

      Y. Markonis, D. Kkoutsoyiannis and N. Mamassis (www.itia.ntua.gr)
      Orbital climate theory and Hurst-Kolmogorov dynamics
      11th International Meeting on Statistical Climatology, Edinburgh, Scotland, 12-16 July 2010, Session 10: Long term memory

      Orbital climate theory (Milankovitch cycles) is used to explain glaciations’ creation and termination. The variations in earth’s orbit affect the amount of insolation the planet is receiving in each hemisphere. . . .The Hurst-Kolmogorov dynamics, also known as long-term persistence, has been detected in paleo-climate reconstructions, dating back to 3,000 ky. . . .The residual time series, desciribing the 54-64% of natural variations can be described as an HK (Hurst-kolgomorov) process. This is not white noise.

      Manuel & Radcliffe address similar solar cycles
      Fingerprints of a Local Supernova, Oliver Manuel & Hilton Radcliffe, Space Exploration Research, Eds. J. H. Denis, P.D. Aldridge, Ch 7. ISBN: 978-1-60692-264-4
      http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0905/0905.0684.pdf

      There appears to be increasing evidence for such solar/planetary/cosmic/magnetic causes driving climate more than CO2.
      Chief Hydrologist
      Thanks for the ref to Inigo Owen Jones’ work.

    • I believe strongly that henceforth the whole number eight should be represented by a smart aleck yellow gremlin with sunglasses.

    • Dr. David L. Hagen

      10) Future Testing Scafetta’s model
      Solar modulation of climate is the key issue lacking in conventional global climate models.
      10.1) Modeling galactic cosmic rays/solar cycles influence on clouds in reduced climate models.
      10.2) Modeling the impact of galactic cosmic rays/solar cycles on clouds in GCMs.

      e.g. Develop a cloud model varying with galactic cosmic rays/solar/planetary cycles, combine Essenhigh’s thermodynamic model of the atmosphere (1 adjustable parameter), with a Line By Line radiation model (LBL) such as Ferenc Miskolczi, with a basic tropics to polar region thermodynamic heat engine model of the atmosphere assuming maximizing entropy production. Those should reproduce create the essence of Scafetta’s projections with basic physics using very few adjustable parameters.

      PS Tom, I second the motion. Now, if I could just remember that ’till the next time I type 8)!

    • Craig Loehle

      Excellent analysis of how to test a theory, instead of just hand-waving.

    • David L. Hagen

      Scafetta’s work is complemented by evidence of orbital and solar cycles in hydrological records. e.g.,

      Oscillatory modes of extended Nile River records (A.D.
      622–1922)
      D. Kondrashov, Y. Feliks, and M. Ghil
      GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, 2005, DOI:10.1029/,

      Our analysis reveals several statistically significant features of the records: a nonlinear, data-adaptive trend that includes a 256-yr cycle, a quasi-quadriennial (4.2-yr) and a quasi-biennial (2.2-yr) mode, as well as additional periodicities of 64, 19, 12 and, most strikingly, 7 years. The quasi-quadriennial and quasibiennial modes support the long-established connection between the Nile River discharge and the El-Ni˜no/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon in the Indo-Pacific Ocean. The longest periods might be of astronomical origin. The 7-yr periodicity, possibly related to the biblical cycle of lean and fat years, seems to be due to North-Atlantic influences.

      Is solar variability reflected in the Nile River?
      Ruzmaikin, Alexander; Feynman, Joan; Yung, Yuk L.
      JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 111, D21114, doi:10.1029/2006JD007462, 2006
      http://trs-new.jpl.nasa.gov/dspace/bitstream/2014/40231/1/06-1989.pdf

      . . .water level of the Nile collected in 622–1470 A.D . . .We identify two characteristic timescales in the records that may be linked to solar variability: a period of about 88 years and one exceeding 200 years. We show that these timescales are present in the number of auroras reported per decade in the Northern Hemisphere at the same time. The 11-year cycle is seen in the Nile’s high-water level variations, but it is damped in the low-water anomalies. We suggest a possible physical link between solar variability and the low-frequency variations of the Nile water level. This link involves the influence of solar variability on the atmospheric Northern Annual Mode and on its North Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean patterns that affect the rainfall over the sources of the Nile in eastern equatorial Africa. . . .
      The Nile records have been previously examined by various spectral methods [Hameed, 1984; De Putter et al., 1998; Kondrashov et al., 2005]. Specific periodicities, such as 7, 12, 19, 64, 76, 256 years were reported

      Orbital climate theory and Hurst-Kolmogorov dynamics abstract
      http://itia.ntua.gr/getfile/998/3/documents/2010IMSC_MilankHurstKolmogPrSM.pdf

      Gray et al. provide an extensive discussion addressing TSI, cosmic rays etc.
      Gray, L. J., et al. (2010), Solar influences on climate, Rev. Geophys., 48, RG4001, doi:10.1029/2009RG000282.

      There are also clear indications of cycles longer than the 11 year SC, e.g., the Gleissberg cycle (80–90 years) with variable amplitudes. The cosmogenic radionuclides confirm the existence of these and other longer periodicities (e.g., 208 year DeVries or Suess cycle, 2300 year Hallstatt cycle, and others) and also the present relatively high level of solar activity, although there is some controversy as to how unusually high it really is [Muscheler et al., 2007; Usoskin et al., 2004; Steinhilber et al., 2008].

      Breaker & Ruzmaikin possibly see the 105 year solar Gleissberg cycle in sea level.
      The 154-year record of sea level at San Francisco: extracting the long-term trend, recent changes, and other tidbits
      Laurence C. Breaker • Alexander Ruzmaikin
      Clim Dyn (2011) 36:545–559 DOI 10.1007/s00382-010-0865-4

      The 9th IMF component, i.e., mode 9, reveals an oscillation with a period of approximately 105 years. When modes 9 and 10 are combined, we observe that since about 1980, the rate of increase in sea level has steadily decreased and so this change may be due to the influence of the 105-year oscillation or mode 9. Although not conclusive, the origin of this oscillation may be related to the Gleissberg sunspot modulation cycle which has a period that approaches 100 years.

    • Long range forecasting based on oscillations is far more likely to be accurate (and approved by the field of scientific forecasting) than are complex computer models.

  4. “If there is some sort of amplifying feedback at work, is there any reason to think that the phase of the forcing would be reflected in the phase of the response in this complex nonlinear chaotic climate system?”

    Any portion of the climate system that has a natural frequency can resonate with in-phased forcings, leading to amplification.

    Thus, forcings such as the sun and planets which are cyclical will tend to amplify any climate process on earth with a matching frequency or some harmonic.

    On the other hand, forcing such as CO2 and land use, which are not cyclical, have no mechanism to induce amplification through resonance.

    Wikipedia is well worth a read. Here is one quote “Resonance occurs widely in nature”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resonance

    • “Any portion of the climate system that has a natural frequency can resonate with in-phased forcings, leading to amplification.”

      Here we’re discussing non-linear oscillators, so the concept of natural frequency is incorrect. It’s important that nonlinear oscillators will lock-in (synchronize) over a fairly wide range off off the natural oscillation period – this is frequency pulling. They do the same thing with harmonics. The forcing don’t have to be “in-phase” – synchronization will eventually occur.

  5. Alexander Harvey

    Judith:

    “The key result IMO is power spectrum shown in Fig 3.”

    I think you are right to be sceptical.

    First the red noise:

    By red people commonly mean the resultant having passed whte noise through a low pass filter with atenuation of 1/f amplitude (1/f^2 power) i.e. AR(1) noise.

    Below the critical frequency the spectum is essentially flat (white) above the critical frequency the power spectrum declines as 1/f^2. The critical frequency is the 1/2 power point.

    From eyeballing the 1/2 power point of the “red” noise with respect to the zero frequency occurs at or higher than 1 cycle/yr. So the whole plot is essential in the pass band of the low pass filter e.g. the noise is essentially white, characterising it as red is misleading. Hence it would be misleading to use it to determine significance relative to red noise when it is in effect white noise. Although it is AR(1) noise at these long periods (hence large numbers of times steps) the the autocorrelation at these lags is little different to zero i.e. not autocorrelated.

    Secondly the use of MEM with 1000 poles is a bit worrying if this is monthly data e.g. less than 2000 data points.

    I will include some “tips” on using MEM I found here:

    http://www.mpi-hd.mpg.de/astrophysik/HEA/internal/Numerical_Recipes/f13-7.pdf

    “In practice, however, one usually wants to limit the order (or number of poles) of the MEM approximation to a few times the number of sharp spectral features that one desires it to fit. With this restricted number of poles, the method will smooth the spectrum somewhat, but this is often a desirable property. While exact values depend on the application, one might take M = 10 or 20 or 50 for N = 1000 or 10000.”

    They seem to be trying to resolve 11 peaks so perhaps M=50 would be good. Elsewhere I have seen a recommendation to try and stay below the square root of the number of data points e.g 40 ish.

    From the same source:

    “Also, with noisy input functions, if you choose too high an order, you will find spurious peaks galore! Some experts recommend the use of this algorithm in conjunction with more conservative methods, like periodograms, to help choose the correct model order, and to avoid getting too fooled by spurious spectral features.”

    Could this be a case of “spurious peaks galore!” and are we being fooled by “spurious spectral features”? Well if they would show us what it looks like with 40 or 50 poles perhaps we could judge, but they haven’t which leaves one to wonder why.

    The advice to show the periodogram is sound. Perhaps if it had been included the reader might be lead to suspect that there was little or nothing of note, just a lot of pink noise.

    I use the term pink advisedly, if many of these attribution studies were checked against a pink noise hypothesis they would be found wanting in significance. Against a pink hypothesis the PDO is nothing out of the ordinary.

    Fig 3 is key and I think does not demonstrate significance, that being the case it saves one from having to read the rest of the paper so a big thank you for the hint.

    Alex

  6. There is much more in Heaven and Earth than IPCC’s philosophy speaks of.

    All of it dilutive to the CO2 Message.

  7. The “requirement” to have a theory-derived explanation for phenomenologically observed correlations, up front, is clearly an abuse. Every theory starts with anecdotal and phenomenological observation, and cycles through a rapid series of guesses and wider or more intensive observation before a formal speculation or hypothesis emerges to be tested by the scientific community at large.

    The paper is very circumspect in labelling such speculations and guesses for what they are, but they do serve to indicate that there is something(s) worth exploration.

    And a WAG that hindcasts 60% of variance vs. a “consensus” hypothesis/theory that manages 16% deserves respect. The eating and proof of the pudding, of course, is in the eating and forecast of the next x years.

    • “The “requirement” to have a theory-derived explanation for phenomenologically observed correlations, up front, is clearly an abuse.”

      Newton’s law of gravity has no theory derived explanation. Yet it is extremely useful. Quite a bit more accurate than the best climate models at prediction.

      Newton works not because we understand why it works. Rather because it satisfies the observations and can provide accurate predictions. It thus has value.

      Human beings rarely work forward from first principles. Rather we make leaps of logic and when they deliver useful answers we go back and fill in the details with theory and rationalization.

    • The causal structure behind gravity was simple, though not understood, leading to a simple theory. Complex causal structures require complex theories to explain them, so this is a very different situation. I’m much more circumspect in using data derived theory to explain complex causal structure phenomenon.

      Having said that, if the analysis is correct, it cannot be ignored.

    • Harold,

      The solar system forward momentum of 300 km/sec is not included which would give the bug on the windshield effect and not generate any magnetics. Now the rotation of this planet and the trajectory rotation around the sun smooths out these effects.

  8. Judith

    I thought the Scafetta’s relationship between the movement of the sun relative to the center of mass of the solar system (CMSS) to the global mean temperature anomaly more convincing.

    Could we discuss that paper here?

    Here is the paper:

    http://bit.ly/e2v7lf

    • Girma,
      Greenfyre does not approve of you. You are a wicked dishonest denialist.
      I am doing my best to earn that same reputation with Greenfyre.
      Congratulations on a great job!

    • Martha has moved the following post of mine into a spam.

      As promised, this comment has been moved to Spam where it belongs.

      Ian Forrester

      Let the observed reality be our judge.

      For the record, here is the comparison of IPCC projections and my predictions for global mean temperature.

      http://bit.ly/cO94in

      IPCC:

      Year=>Temp (deg C)
      2005=>0.5
      2010=>0.6
      2015=>0.7
      2020=>0.8

      Orssengo:

      Year=>Temp (deg C)
      2005=>0.5
      2010=>0.4
      2015=>0.3
      2020=>0.2

      Let the observed reality be our judge.

      Cheers

    • Girma,

      I think cos plus straight line in temp is a big assumption about linear increase. If you do a similar thing on rate of temp increase you’ll find a constantly increasing rate of change , not a constant change.

      I posted some notes on WUWT before finding Scafetta 2010 had gone further with a similar approach. (search for “P. Solar” on the following)

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/08/solar-max-so-soon/#comment-656085

      Here’s the fitted of the 50 year LSQ slopes. cosine + linear model

      Here’s the reconstructed trendsbased on that simple empirical model of the Hadley/CRU data.

      This was a real back of envelop analysis so not to be regarded as predicitive model but it does seem to fit the whole temperature record better than 30 years worth of sophisticated super computer modelling.

      Your plot has a similar oscillation but I thing the assumption of linear rise is unjustified if you look at rate of change.

    • BTW, ignore the dumb error with period/2*pi instead of 2*pi/period. The actual fitted period from inverting that is 59.4 years.

    • Dr. David L. Hagen and Paul Vaughan:

      Thank you for the references to earlier studies and for your own analysis of the link between Earth’s changing climate and Earth’s heat source – the Sun.

      I noticed on Anthony Watts blog (WUWT) that Paul is receiving attacks from mainstream solar scientists supported by federal research grants, . . . an encouraging sign that he is indeed on the right track !

      Why do they bother?

      They are seriously afraid that the public might find out little NASA and the solar and space science communities actually know about Earth’s heat source – the Sun – and its influence on Earth’s constantly changing climate.

      They have good reason for concern. Their very plush livelihoods might be eliminated if the public knew that our government has been spending public funds – since the time of the first Apollo Mission to the Moon – to generate misinformation on:

      a.) The Sun’s origin [1]
      b.) The Sun’s composition [1]
      c.) The Sun’s source of energy [1,2]
      d.) The Sun’s influence on Earth’s climate [3]
      [Data from the 1969 Apollo Mission are cited in 1,2]

      While hiding or ignoring experimental evidence that the photosphere is nothing more than a glowing cloud of waste products (H and He) from the Sun’s central neutron star [1-3], . . .

      Waste products that engulf planet Earth and continue outward beyond the furtherest planet as the heliosphere,

      Some government scientists argue that the Sun’s present density (~1.4 g/cc) is evidence that the interior of the Sun is H and He, . . .

      While other government scientists (NASA’s Dr. Sten Odenwald) acknowledge that the photosphere is like a balloon that will eventually expand into a red giant star.

      A “red giant star is a star with a mass like our Sun that is in the last phase of its life. Hydrogen fusion reactions have become less efficient in the core region, and with gravitational collapse of the core, the fusion reactions now occur in a shell surrounding the core. This increases the luminosity of the star enormously (up to 1000 times the Sun) and it expands. The outer layers then cool to only 3000 K or so and you get a red star, but its size is now equal to the orbit of Mercury or Venus…or even the Earth!” [4]

      1. http://www.omatumr.com/lpsc.prn.pdf

      2. http://arxiv.org/pdf/1102.1499v1

      3. http://arxiv.org/pdf/0905.0704

      4. http://www.astronomycafe.net/qadir/q2958.html

  9. I started to look into this in 1982 and by 1990 started forecasting.
    http://research.aerology.com/original-november-1994-hypothesis/
    Had some calculation errors ^ and re did the forecast method in 1998
    http://research.aerology.com/aerology-analog-weather-forecasting-method/

    Now after three years of watching the maps generated I am re writing the software to compile the data to generate the maps to include Canada and a fourth 6558 day cycle starting ~1938 as = to 2011 analog which better agrees with the current slow solar cycle activity levels, and dryer southeastern USA, as opposed to the more active solar cycle years.

    Currently have maps through January 10th of 2014 on site, processed by the second method, will be upgrading my site asap when I am done downloading/extracting the Canadian data set, now (4488 of the 7800 records extracted as of today).

    Richard Holle

  10. The 45 year cycle of the step beaches in Hudson’s Bay appears to be 4x the solar cycle. Many other climate cycles found in other long term proxies beat frequencies between the planets orbital periods.

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=yRMgYc-8mTIC&pg=PA299&lpg=PA299&dq=step+beach+hudson's+bay&source=bl&ots=ODF8aEy8KH&sig=tCueop0R5JHjTDPgjyG-HEElyUM&hl=en&ei=1N2nTY7hA4S6sAPdwZj6DA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CCUQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q&f=false

  11. Interesting premise- it’s a bit too far out of my area of expertise though to make any really constructive comments.

  12. Mindboggling.

    People do realize that the sunspot cycles are often so vague and ill-defined as it takes years of study for experts to agree when one has ended and another begun, even at times remaining undecided, and even with modern observatories and methods, yes?

    That these cycles vary, apparently randomly, in period, thus being aperiodic, or even overlapping, and merely ergodic at best?

    That the gravitic influence of the largest planets on the Sun, due their great distance, is puny compared to the influence of the nearer bodies, according to the simple application of the inverse square law?

    That you’re coming off as astrologers?

    • It only seems so to you alchemists.

    • “That the gravitic influence of the largest planets on the Sun, due their great distance, is puny compared to the influence of the nearer bodies, according to the simple application of the inverse square law?”

      Here you’re assuming a mechanism based on gravity per se. Center of mass, of course, is linear. Magnetic effects can be linear or square law or somewhere in between, depends on the geometry.

    • Harold,

      The suns magnetic field does have and influence, but not on climate. It keeps a stable rotation in sequence with the suns rotation. The interaction of the magnetic field to a planet is circular and this in turn is graped circular by a stronger to weaker influence by distance. Like spinning a top with a stronger force of wind on one side to a weaker one on the other. Difference of intercity by distance.

    • jupiter is 5 times further than the earth from the sun, and 500 times the mass of the earth. by the inverse square law its gravitational pull on the sun is 500/(5*5) = 20 times greater than the earth.

    • ferd berple

      A finely cherry-picked observation. Let me clarify. The gravitic influence of two of the largest planets on the sun is puny compared to the influence of the three inner planets, and only Jupiter has stronger gravitic influence than Venus, with Earth about on par to Saturn.

      Based on the mass over the square of the mean distances from the Sun, the order of gravitic influence on the sun by the planets (and relative influence compared to Earth) is: Jupiter(12), Venus (1.6), Saturn(1), Earth(1), Mercury(0.4), Mars(0.5×10^-1), Uranus(0.4×10^-1), Neptune(0.2*10^-1).*

      So, sure, there’s some chance that Jupiter is doing something to the Sun on a large enough scale to matter, and that in turn might have some observable impact on Earth, except that careful repeated verifiable experiments from the dawn of time have been at best inconclusive, or have smashed to bits such discredited notions as the gravitic or magnetic influence by the planets via Platonic Solids, the Cathode Ray Tube Analogy, Zodiacal influence, and little green men on the weather of Earth.

      For Chief Hydrologist to superstitiously cite a crackpot farmer without proposing mechanism, verifiable data, or statistical analyses indicates he’s likely doing it to pull our legs so he can laugh up his sleeve at us all later.

      I think it’s noble as peach jelly that folks are seriously inquiring into these possibilities, but they do cast the whole ‘cosmic influences’ subject into a dubious light and reminds us that even the most valid of observations and proposed mechanisms of that subject need to be examined with the harshest skeptical requirements.

      *No way this table will survive the cut and paste, but it contains all the numbers I used.

      Work them out for yourself.

      Planet Distance (AU) Mass(Earth) Distance (Mercury) Mass(Mercury) Distance^2 Mass/Distance^2
      Jupiter 5.203 317.8 1 1 1 1
      Venus 0.723 0.815 0.138958293 0.002564506 0.019309407 0.132811222
      Saturn 9.529 95.3 1.831443398 0.299874135 3.35418492 0.089402982
      Earth 1 1 0.19219681 0.003146633 0.036939614 0.085183162
      Mercury 0.387 0.055 0.074380165 0.000173065 0.005532409 0.031282
      Mars 1.524 0.107 0.292907938 0.00033669 0.08579506 0.003924349
      Uranus 19.19 14.6 3.688256775 0.045940843 13.60323804 0.003377199
      Neptune 30.06 17.23 5.777436095 0.054216488 33.37876783 0.001624281

    • The effect is clearly not gravitational. I will quote some kiddy science from Wikepedia for you Bart.

      The solar cycle, or the solar magnetic activity cycle, is a periodic change in the amount of irradiation from the sun that is experienced on Earth. It has a period of about 10.7 years, and is one component of solar variation, the other being aperiodic fluctuations. Solar variation causes changes in space weather and to some degree weather on Earth. The cycle is observed by counting the frequency and placement of sunspots visible on the Sun. Powered by a hydromagnetic dynamo process, driven by the inductive action of internal solar flows, the solar cycle:

      Structures the Sun’s atmosphere, corona and wind;
      Modulates the solar irradiance;
      Modulates the flux of short-wavelength solar radiation, from ultraviolet to X-ray;
      Modulates the occurrence frequency of flares, coronal mass ejections, and other geoeffective solar eruptive phenomena;
      Indirectly modulates the flux of high-energy galactic cosmic rays entering the solar system.

      The Heliosphere or solar system magnetosphere is modulated by the interactions of the planets – which is in itself chaotic.

      There are other changes – the quasi 22 year magnetic reversal which is most intriguing as well as longer drifts in magnetism UV as in the Lockwooed et al paper. I did reference and provide plausible – indeed simple and obvious connections – to the most significant source of climate variability on the planet.

      Here is some more Wikepedia – just so I am clear on certain troubling aspects.

      ‘Deliberate flaming, as opposed to flaming as a result of emotional discussions, is carried out by individuals known as flamers, who are specifically motivated to incite flaming. These users specialize in flaming and target specific aspects of a controversial conversation, and are usually more subtle than their counterparts. Their counterparts are known as trolls who are less “professional” and write obvious and blunt remarks to incite a flame war, as opposed to the more subtle, yet precise flamers.’

    • Chief

      It’s well known that acid and open flame are a troll’s greatest vulnerabilities.

      Planets and magnetism have no apparent influence on trolls, either directly or through significant impact on the gross properties of acids or flames.

      (Btw Chief, congratulations on improving your moderation-dodging techniques. You say nice-sounding things that leave no doubt about your actual meaning, and still don’t put our hostess to any additional moderation work. Well done. You deserve a marmite-covered cookie.)

      I don’t deny important influences on weather and on climate from solar weather.

      It would be ludicrous to claim there aren’t important connections between planets and solar weather.

      However, as you point out, there is chaos in this system.

      So your 10.7 +/- 3.1 year sunspot cycles, your 21.8 +/- 5.7 year magnetic reversal cycle, your dozen or so interacting unsynchronized planetary bodies, the crossing of the galactic plane every 60 million-ish years, cosmic bursts, dark matter swarms and diverse solar activities of longer duration, add up to nothing predictable, mere randomness and noice, and all of it out of our control.

      With sufficient analyses it’s possible you +/-AGW types who care whether the temperature somewhere in the troposphere goes up or down and by how much, or busybodyishly care whether someone else holds such a position however little it affects you personally might separate an AGW signal from all that noise.

      Bully for you if you do. Well done. From my brief reading of the literature, it seems the process of separating signal from noise is quite far along, and the odds that there is no AGW signal is small.

      All of that not my issue.

      Earth’s climate is a hornet nest within the solar climate hornet nest, and CO2E is a sharp, growing, oscillating, stick being swung violently with all the force our governments and fossil industries can manage out of zealotry and ignorance.

      My issue is taking the stick out of the hands of those childish individuals who have proven too irresponsible to be trusted not to run around with pointed sticks.

    • I am peeved that my meagre attempts at humour are repeated back to me 7 times – so I gave decided to eschew levity for the time being.

      You distract from a serious thread – for which I have a perspective that has evolved over a long period of study. What causes the quasi 50 year cycles in hydrology in my backyard? I have very little doubt that solar UV is implicated.

      Mind you in large part the thread transforms (at night when I am not looking – damn this human weakness) into a venue for the climate warriors to strut their stuff. Disco on steroids for nerds and, as Martha says, where did all the girls go? One side insisting that heat is skulking around in the oceans ready to jump out and bite our bums. One side insisting on that other supreme argumentam ad ignorantiam. Do you see bite marks on my bum? No, really, do you? All done in idiomatic science – a tour de force for the obsessively tendentious.

      The crack about crackpot farmers was uncalled for. Many sincere, well meaning and pony tailed types – much like yourself Bart – have been touring the outback promising calamity of the drought and destruction type – bitter dust for meat and dried vine for drink. The typical response has been – ‘naw mate – it’s just cycles’. Après le déluge – the pony tails have retreated to a day spa on the Gold Coast hinterland to refine the argument de vente. The crack about my nom de plume is misplaced – it was after all taken in honour of Cecil Terwilliger. The crack about over long sermons is probably apt.

      We natural philosophy types – you and I Bart – know that there no such things as cycles but rather the almost infinite phase space of the Dragon Kings. There are crab generals and shrimp soldiers – but not hornets of any kind as they got waterlogged in the deluge. The Dragon Kings may indeed rain terror on our bums – but where is there shelter from that storm?

      Your problem is in trying to sell a mixed metaphor which is difficult at the best of times – and this is a best of times worst of times scenario. There is a 96% probability of the world cooling for a decade or 3 at least while the great atmospheric experiment continues. Confused? No one said it was simple.

      But there is a promise, a glimpse, a dream of a bright future emerging form the dark pall of our times. The best way to move forward is with multiple paths and multiple 0bjectives. You’ve heard all the sermonising about ending world hunger, reducing tropospheric ozone and black carbon and inventing an upgrade for the pointed stick technology. In principle – multiple paths are addressed in the Hartwell Paper.

      There is a saying in my country Bart. ‘The only reason angels can fly is that they take themselves so lightly.’ We would all do well to remember this and bring peace after the climate wars. As quickly as possible because it is all such tedious nonsense.

    • Chief

      Remarkable how much alike we are.

      No doubt we share zodiacal signs in the Greek, Chinese, New and Persian astrological systems, and some numerological signifiers too.

      The tedium of nonsense is why I long ago semi-retired my interest in AGW, founding my principles in the still young field of Chaos Theory, the unproven-but-intuitively-obvious credo that smaller external perturbations would upset an ergodic pattern less than larger ones, and the observation that CO2E qualifies as the largest perturbation of climate under human control.

      All of this is trivial and sufficient.

      It took much longer to grapple with the demon Economics, which all but lobotomized me of finer arithmetic and hard science skills before I was able to sufficiently understand how the stuff works and determine that there really are manageable methods to undo the rampant CO2E we practice as nations, in no small part because the most rampant of the CO2E practices are artificially promoted.

      Being Australian, you have much less of this artificial promotion going on around you than an American. America is pretty much king of the heap of social corporatism, treating industry as a form of charity to the public purse and passing ludicrously communistic measures to enrich the few at the expense of the many on the slim and false pretext that that’s what capitalism is really all about.

      It isn’t.

      Capitalism in a fair market produces a voting system for freely expressing individual tastes and allocating scarce resources to each by the most efficient means to grow future prosperity.

      Does the marketplace you see in America do that?

    • I stand corrected by Pekka’s excellent insight about fourth powers.

      Which explains to me something about the tides and the sun I had always wondered but never ventured to question aloud. (Shows the silliness of not asking a question about math that doesn’t add up.)

      Venus (3.0), Mercury (2.5), Earth (1.0), Jupiter (4.3×10^1), Mars (2.0×10^-2), Earth’s Moon (1.2×10^-2), Saturn (1.2×10^-1), Uranus(1.1×10^-4), Neptune (2.1×10^-5)

      If we believed in significant gravity effects of the planets on the solar climate, which most of us seem adequately skeptical about.

      The period of such effects would be mainly influenced by Venus and Mercury, and would be quite tiny.

      The problem with magnetic effects being credited to the large planets, even if we forgot to check the data, is the simple idea that these effects somehow propagate more powerfully with distance.

      I mean, how magnetic are the big girls, really?

      The magnetopause distance of the four big planets is about 2-4 times that of Earth, which puts them and us in the same order of magnitude. If the relationship to distance from the Sun were linear, we’d still be the rock solid champion of the solar system for influence on the solar climate, and Mercury would also totally still kick their scrawny buttocks as nearest to the Sun, too.

      So again, I have to snort derisively at the farmer from the outback and his four big planets hypothesis.

  13. Well, as far as theories of the climate goes this one is pretty thin.
    First off it explains a metric that really isnt a very good metric of the climate.
    A combination of sea surface temperatures and air temperatures. And it explains that meaningless metric, which we know to be inaccurate, with incredible skill. Further we know that record is itself the result of a great amount of processing and smoothing. But never mind all that. A good theory of the climate will explain more than the “average global temperature” which is really just a marketing number that folks have used. A good model will explain and predict, OHC, precipitation, and sea level rise, temps in the troposphere, and many other things. Scaffetta’s, “model” of course doesnt do this and cant do it because it’s not a physical model. Without a mechanism that changes positions into watts, you dont have a model. You’ve got fun with numbers.
    And, finally, since we beat Jones and Mann about for failing to post code and data, I’ll ask for pointers to the site where the code and data behind the paper is posted. fair is fair.

    • Steven

      If it’s not straying (too far) off-topic, I wanted to link your comment here to one you made on the “Dempster” thread. There you wrote

      GCM are ab inito models, derived from first principles or physical laws. So, for example, you ask me to predict how fast a given car will take to run around a race track? I dont go out and start by collecting A bunch of data and derive a model from that data. I start with physics.
      The first cut at the model will be crude. The car will be a point mass. The track will be flat. The model will make predictions. They will be wrong…

      In your example of model construction, it’s easy to keep sending a car round a track so to test your model’s predictions against the real world. However, I’m unclear what the equivalent of sending a car around a track is for a GCM? On the various threads about modelling here (and, indeed, elsewhere), the bottom line for a number of posters is that the only way to establish the worth of a model is by testing its predictions again and again against the real world.

      For example, Ted Carmichael writes

      A model that cannot predict is a useless model, in my opinion. It goes against the fundamental purpose of modeling. Even models that purport to explain do so in order to aid prediction.

      So I’m curious to know if you think that there are ways of credibly testing GCMs by having them make sufficient predictions about the future real world?

    • steven mosher

      There are two tests for a model.

      1. it explains what we have already observed.
      2. predicts what we have not seen.

      We should note that if a model cant do #1 very well, it’s chances
      of succeeding at #2 are slight.

      So, first off, one wants to see Scaffetta’s model do paleo reconstructions.
      Nobody thinks about that. If he gave us his code we could run his model backwards and see how well it hindcasted the LIA or the MWP or ice ages.

      With GCMs, The biggest challenge is #2. One problem is a failure to specify in advance the requirements for validation.

      There is also the following perspective, we really don’t need #2 to take action. I’ll give you the following example.

      I build a model for predicting the height of Tsunami’s from physical principles. I test my model against past tsunami data. My model performs ok in hindcast and is able to get project the height within a
      couple of meters.

      Now, you are building in an area that has suffered Tsunami’s in the past.
      My model predicts various heights of tsunami depending upon the strength of the quake, duration, tide levels, blah blah.
      It’s a wide set of projections. You cant test the model in prediction mode until you actually suffer a disaster. But you still have a best understanding of what can possibly happen.

      do you use the model to set building codes? of course.

      The point is this. there is a difference between the certainty we require to accept something as scientific truth, and the understanding we require to set a policy. Policy can be set by our “best understanding” When we do not know with scientific certainty that does not ENTAIL that we should ignore our best understanding. That makes the perfect the enemy of the good enough. However, since we don’t have scientific certainty that would argue for a process where the vote of science is not given any undeserved priority. We shouldnt pretend we have certainty when we only have a good, thinly tested, understanding.

    • There are two tests for a model.

      1. it explains what we have already observed.
      2. predicts what we have not seen.

      The problem is, there’s probably a more-or-less infinite number of possible models which can satisfy 1, but only a handful which can satisfy 2.

    • steven mosher

      You are welcomed to try your hand at #1.

      1. Start from physical principles, this is not a data fitting proposition.
      2. Your units have to be correct. For example, if you see the sun as a forcing agent, then it better be in watts.

      Now if you are just talking about fitting a function to data, then yes many functions can fit say temperature data. But you have to fit 3D spatial field evolving over time, and there should be solid tests for sub phenomena too, like how you model reacts to volcanoes.

      But go ahead. That whatever data you like from the start of time to 1980. Fit a model. Then I will ask you what that model predicts for 1980 to present. And we wont just look at temperature at the surface. I’ll ask how it would predict the response to a large volcano, ask about clouds, about SST, about sea surface salinity, ask about temp in troposphere, radiation at the TOA, dirurnal range, frequency of oceanic cycles, blah blah blah.
      To do all that your going to need a physics based model. Not a curve fit.

    • Surely if the models were all based on physical principles, which are all precisely known and implemented, we would only need one model – indeed only one model would be correct?
      How many models do we have?
      And for each model we have, how many more possible ones are there?

      I’m not trying to be obtuse, but I seriously question the proposition that there’s any more than one true test for a model, and that is: “2. predicts what we have not seen.”

    • William Newman

      Typically there is an infinite number of possible models (truly infinite, with no cautious “more-or-less” qualifier needed) which can satisfy 1. Indeed, typically there is also an infinite number of models which can satisfy 2. (One set is a subset of the other, but that’s no obstacle to both sets being infinite.) Thus if we want to use a dataset to select just one model, typically we need some criterion to determine which of the many models consistent with the dataset is preferred. One (family of) approach(es) to this problem is MDL, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minimum_description_length , which is roughly a systematization of Occam’s Razor.

      Besides providing a selection criterion, MDL can also be used to calculate various quality-of-fit measures, which can sometimes let us conclude with some precision that a hindcast fit is so good that we can safely ignore the possibility that it’s a nonsense model which has been aggressively overfit to historical data. Unfortunately for any enthusiasm on my part about Scafetta’s results, I don’t think that our less than two centuries of noisy temperature data will let us ignore that possibility for Scafetta’s results. (Using 60-year periodicity as a significant component part of one’s explanation of 160 years of noisy data without any very good reason that such periodicity should have a high prior probability? Skeptical…)

    • A helpful reply.

      With GCMs, The biggest challenge is #2. One problem is a failure to specify in advance the requirements for validation.

      Let’s say that for a given emissions budget over 10/15/20 years, we want a GCM to be able to predict with reasonable accuracy what the global average temp increase would be in 10/15/20 years. It’s an obvious point, but we can’t wait 10/15/20 years to validate the model because, if piling vast quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere is a problem, we need to act robustly starting sooner than in 10/15/20 years time.

      But if we don’t have validated models, how do we know if we have a serious problem? Is (part of) your answer that the models hindcast reasonably well and, even though they diverge in terms of future prediction, they all indicate that a large and rapid rise in global average temperature is eminently possible if we keep piling gases into the atmosphere. Given that such a rise may well be double plus ungood, the outputs of unvalidated models give us reason to act because they give us our “best understanding” in the time we have available to initiate policy decisions.

    • “they give us our “best understanding” in the time we have available to initiate policy decisions”

      And how much time is that? How was it determined?

    • Wrong. You are forgetting the cost part of it. Lets assume today the top seismological agency in the US says there is going to be a 9.5 earthquake in your city within the next 1 year. And further assume that this is based on their novel earthquake models of a serious subduction zone close to your city which has produced earthquakes in the past at fairly regular intervals. Apparently this is true of my city. But the only problem is that the accuracy or lack thereof of their models is unknown since no one has actually verified that their earthquake models have any predictive ability at all. However you could see that your city has had past earthquakes at fairly regular intervals. Given that, if they say you have to move out of your city today, would you do it, if it cost you your job, and all the money invested in your home and any other property you own in that area, leaving you with significant debt? You would want to know that the hitherto unproven ability to predict earthquakes has indeed changed with this new model, before you paid such a high price causing major upheaval in your life.

    • Shiv

      (1) We know that carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide trap heat (2) we know we’re chucking these gases into the atmosphere at ever increasing rates (3) the climate models we’ve constructed based on our best understanding of climate are able to hindcast past climate (reasonably) well (4) all the climate models suggest that if we keep chucking gases into the atmosphere at a rate of knots things will warm quite quickly and substantially (5) these models have not been validated (6) validating the models would take 10/20/50 years (7) if the non-validated models are to be believed, there is not time to validate them before taking serious action on climate change as rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions need to begin much sooner than in 10/20/50 years time.

      Though it’s of concern that the models have not been validated, it’s by no means clear to me that the rational response in this situation is to say, “do nothing until the models have been validated”.

    • The models are clearly wrong and the planet is clearly cooling for a decade or 3 at least – if you haven’t realised that you are not reading the literature on decadal varibiality – here’s one – http://www.pnas.org/content/107/5/1833.full.

      They are clearly utterly misguided – the PDO indeed. The PDO is a persistent standing wave in the spatio-temporal chaotic system that is global climate.

      But the message is – there are natural variations that may overwhelm ‘global warming’ in coming decades.

      So what do you do with the great atmospheric experiment? The rational thing is to do many things – reduce black carbon and tropospheric ozone, conserve and restore ecosystems, ensure everyone has safe water and sanitation, health, education and good systems of corporate governance, increase food supplies by 3% a year for the rest of the century and expand energy supplies by a factor of about 7 in the same time – ideally hugely low cost and low carbon fusion engines – or something similar. Multiple paths and multiple objectives.

      Honestly – doesn’t that make sense? Abandon the climate wars and get on with pragmatic and technological solutions.

    • Chief;
      there is, bye-the-bye, an excellent candidate for said fusion engines at LPP.com, which may start coming onstream well before the decade is near it end.

      But I grieve for the consequent reduction of our crucial contribution to the ending of the CO2 famine. The flora brought in on themselves, of course, and we fauna are just beginning to do our bit to balance the scales!

    • typo: “near its end”.

    • typo #2: “brought it on themselves”.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      the planet is clearly cooling for a decade or 3 at least – if you haven’t realised that you are not reading the literature on decadal varibiality – here’s one – http://www.pnas.org/content/107/5/1833.full.

      Thanks for the link to the paper. Having glanced at it, I note (Fig 1) that, taking the PDO into account, the authors actually have the global mean temp rising over the next decade.

      The rational thing is to do many things – reduce black carbon and tropospheric ozone, conserve and restore ecosystems, ensure everyone has safe water and sanitation, health, education and good systems of corporate governance, increase food supplies by 3% a year for the rest of the century and expand energy supplies by a factor of about 7 in the same time – ideally hugely low cost and low carbon fusion engines – or something similar.

      Unless you plan to reduce black carbon by reducing the combustion of fossil fuels, your rational list of things to do does not including cutting emissions. Are you claiming that there is no problem with global greenhouse gas emissions continuing to increase year on year and that we should be content to allow “business as usual” emissions out to 2050 and beyond?

      Any chance you could give me a link to low carbon fusion engines as Google isn’t helping me out much?

    • I am not suggesting do nothing unti lthe models have been validated. Humans should do whatever they can to “go green” anyway, without emptying their bank accounts, Irrespevtive of whether human influence on climate is a dominant one or not, we have finite resources on the planet. Hence there is every reason to try and conserve energy and resources. Actually model validation wasnt the issue I was after anyway.

      My point is this: Even when we expect grave disasters like major earthquakes, with much more certainty about the occurrence, but not the timeframe, we dont immediately take drastic action that will cost us too much. Otherwise people in SF or LA or many other earthquake prone areas would have abandoned the city and gone elsewhere. This is despite the fact that people have no time to react to earthquakes, while they certainly have plenty of time to respond to sea level rise or significant temp increase in certain partsof the planet. To me major earthquake scenario in certain places like Japan or CA or Oregon coast is much more dire since these come without any warning and cause serious damange due to the unpredictability. But still people dongt vacate these places due to the costg of doing that. Hence global warming arguments need to acount for thes costs

    • Should we not just simply outlaw cars, or tax them sky high until someone invents an alternative? After all, cars kill and injure many more people that global warming. Why not have a cap and trade on cars? Cap the number of cars at 1990 levels and reduce them by 20% each year until they are eliminated.

      As a side benefit, reducing the number of cars will reduce CO2 production and help green the planet and fight global warming. It is a win-win for everyone.

      And why stop at cars? Semis are an even greater hazard and produce CO2 and black carbon. One of those hits you, instant pancake mix. They should be outlawed.

      Think of all the jobs we will create by doing this. Rather than carry freight around in semis, we can use the large number of unemployed as a result of the financial crisis to carry the goods on bicycles. Not only would this solve the unemployment problem it would significantly reduce foreign oil imports.

      And it would be a whole lot more pleasant for folks on bicycles if the roads weren’t clogged with cars and trucks. Think of all the time and fuel wasted currently as a result of traffic jams. By eliminating cars and trucks we will be saving all of that.

    • You remind me of the Milton F. response to being told ditch-diggers with spades were being used in an IMF LDC project rather than backhoes because it generated more jobs: “Then why don’t you make them use spoons?”

    • …and a bad theory of the climate cannot even explain the “average global temperature”. Theories such as used by the GCM’s.

      The continued dismissal by the climate community of this kind of correlation given the performance of their current GCM models is quite curious. Celestial mechanics affect the earth? That’s insane! We all know the tides are caused by anthropogenic forces, right? Oceans hold the vast majority of the heat as I understand.

      Many (most?) theories are explained in a top down fashion based on observation first. Is anyone working on a physical model that could translate this observation in a working model? One gets the impression that if it ain’t AGW caused, it ain’t gonna be funded.

    • “the impression that if it ain’t AGW caused, it ain’t gonna be funded.”
      What was your first clue?

  14. Judith,

    This theory is garbage by the physical evidence of 4.5 billion years.
    First the moon is moving further away from this planet. It does have periods of coming closer and going further. It disrupts the atmosphere by it’s bulk in creating tides on the planet surface but has no bearing in heat distribution.
    If this was a true pattern, then each point of temperature measurement on this planet would be effected every time the moon was closest or furthest.
    As for most of the other celestial bodies, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune all being different sizes and densities rotate within 1/2 day difference out of 4.5 billion years. The sun’s core is slightly ahead in this rotational times and through i’s magnetic field interaction in sequence with these planets. Mercury was too close at the forming of the planet for the suns magnetic field and Venus rotates backwards which indicates that it pealed off of the sun at creation. Pluto is getting beyond the suns rotational magnetic influence.
    So, these bodies do not influence this planets climate.

  15. Hmm, I’m never terribly impressed by people digging around for oscillations near to the length of the time series under analysis. It is unsurprising that Milankovic is invoked (since much of Milankovic theory is based on a similar approach).

    Carl Wunsch wrote quite a nice paper highlighting the problems of these approaches wrt Milankovitch forcings. See here.

    To be fair, Nicola has done a better job in many areas; the spectrum is plotted with a log x-scale (giving visually consistent confidence intervals, which do not seem to be plotted…). But I strongly *disagree* with the red noise hypothesis. Red noise is Markovian autocorrelation – AR(1) – and yet we see from longer time series that AR(1) is not a suitable candidate for describing natural variability in climatic time series.

    Carl Wunsch shows that ARMA(p,q) models with a very long time constant fit well to natural variability and as such would tend to swamp the “significant” low-frequency components if applied to this type of analysis. (These are still red noise, mind) Of course, I prefer Prof. K’s Hurst-Kolmogorov model (of the FARIMA / FGN type) by which the significance would, I expect, shrink back further still.

    Unfortunately, applying AR(1) methods to Hurst-Kolmogorov time series results in people seeing “significant” correlations and oscillations everywhere. Whether it be the mainstream adhering to CO2 or sceptics touting solar and orbital effects. When presented in the light of a more compelling model for natural variability, they all look very unconvincing indeed.

    • Craig Loehle

      A russion author last year or so showed that Milankovitch cycles predict the changes in ice volume, but the large lags make it not predict ice volume per se. (at home, no file cabinets to look it up).

    • Craig,

      I do agree that Milankovitch cycles do have an effect, and indeed this can be measurable (the orbital cycles are very visible in the recent Huybers hemispherical temperature reconstruction). But their importance is often overblown by people who want to minimise natural variability.

      The other issue that is often raised by advocates is that the spectral energy is spread from nonlinear dynamics of the climate system so they no longer sit at orbital frequencies (touching again on issues around chaos and causality). Of course, if this is the case, and the response decorrelates from the original cause, then deterministic predictability is lost unless you know the exact relationships. And if the relationships are chaotic, even knowing the exact relationships won’t help you make predictions.

      If that is the gist of the article, it would be very similar to my thoughts on the subject.

  16. What is certain, as Isaac Newton showed in 1678, is that the sun has an irregular motion about the barycenter of the solar system; one of the two foci of the solar system. This motion has an irregular period of about 178 years; the orbits of the planets are not sychronous. The sun can be as much as two solar diameters away from the barycenter. In this irregular motion, the sun does two “loop-the-loops“; i.e. it is occasionally in retrograde motion about the barycenter. The first of these `loop-the-loops“ is occurring at the present time. There are speculations that this irregular motion, particularly the retrograde motion about the barycenter, affects the solar magnetic effects.

  17. What Scafetta has observed (as have others) is:

    1) that climate history exhibits cyclical behavior.
    2) cyclical behavior is predictable, because it repeates.
    3) these cycles appear to correlate with planetary orbits.

    Lets consider these three items.

    First, does climate exhibit cyclical behavior? Yes, we are in a cycle of ice ages for example. We have daily and annual cycles. We have observed decadal and multi-decadal cycles. Many climate proxies show cyclical markers.

    Second, is cyclical behavior predictable? Yes, the repeating nature of cycles allows us to make predictions about future cycles based on past cycles. Almost everything in nature is cyclical, so it should not be surprising that climate was cyclical, as life relies upon climate for its existence.

    Third, do these cycles correlate with the planets? In this last point Scafetta is proposing a mechanism. Whether he has the correct mechanism does not alter the first two points.

    If climate is cyclical then future climate is quasi-predictable once the cycles are mapped. We don’t need to know the mechanism to do this. For thousands of years we have been able to predict the motion of the planets and the eclipses of the sun and moon, without ANY understanding of the mechansim.

    In fact, by observation we were able to predict the motion of the planets, the eclipses of the sun and moon, with a totally incorrect understanding of how the solar system worked. We didn’t need to know the science behind the orbits before we learned to predict them. It was the other way around. First we learned to predict them, then we worked out the science.

    The more we learn about science, the more we realize that this is the nature of how science works. We learned to predict the flight of a canonball long before we worked out the science. We learned to predict the best time to plant crops long before we worked out the science. Every year new observations call into question old theories, requiring us to develop new theories.

  18. Judith: The exchange between Nicola Scafetta and Leif Svalgaard on the following thread at WUWT is worth a read: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/12/levy-walks-solar-flares-and-warming/

  19. What the climate models and the IPCC fail to account for is the implications of cyclical climate. A cyclical climate will not have a constant average temperature any more than the annual seasons have a constant temperature. The temperature is only meaningful if you know where you are in the cycle.

    Cyclical climate implies that temperature will naturally change, and until we have mapped out these cycles we cannot say if temperature change is natural or not.

    For example, average temperatures for the past 100+ plus years have shown a pattern of 30 years of warming followed by 30 years of cooling. Climate science has largely considered this a co-incidence, due to volcanoes and aerosols. However, this is the same argument that is made against Scafetta, that he is simply observing a coincidence.

    Is it? We know the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn coincide on a 60 year cycle. We don’t know why these would affect climate. Maybe it is gravity, maybe it is electro-magnetic, maybe something not yet considered.

    The problem for Scafetta and climate science in general is astrology. Whether we recognize it or not, there is a bias in science against considering the effects of the planets on climate because of the risk it will be associated with astrology and ridiculed as a result. This prejudice varies from country to country, and it not discussed, so it may not be known to some researchers.

    What is hard to ignore is that current temperatures appear to have leveled off, similar to what happened 60 years ago, similar to what happened 120 years ago. Climate science explains this current observation as aerosols from China and India. The problem is that these things cut both ways.

    You can always find something to explain observation. Human sacrifice likely came about by observation that when someone died, the crops did better. However, given that the natural world around us demonstrates cyclical behavior everywhere we look, it seems unreasonable to weight human behavior ahead of cyclical climate as an explanation for the observed 60 year cycle in temperatures.

    We now know that human sacrifices do not influence climate. Yet you would have likely been put to death for voicing such beliefs in the past. The fact that human sacrifice and climate have been occurred in many diverse cultures around the world suggests that it may be deeply seated in the human psychology.

    There is something about the human condition that makes us believe that our actions are changing the climate, and that by changing our behavior we can affect the climate. We recognize the earlier civilizations were deluded on this point, but somehow cannot consider that based on past history, the odds are very much that the same is true today.

  20. “What is certain, as Isaac Newton showed in 1678, is that the sun has an irregular motion about the barycenter of the solar system; one of the two foci of the solar system… The sun can be as much as two solar diameters away from the barycenter. In this irregular motion, the sun does two “loop-the-loops“”

    The 178 year climate cycle has been widely observed: Fairbridge and Saunders, 1987; Charvatova 1995; Windelius and Carlborg 1995. Like stirring the fire with a stick. This motion affects the mixing rate within the sun, increasing and decreasing the rate of energy production.

    Solar science still largely considers the sun to be self regulating. That the variability in the sun is a result of internal turbulence. The regularity of the solar cycle argues against this.

    Without a regulating mechanism, the solar cycle should drift through a much greater range than is observed. Why does the solar cycle not vary between 2 years or 200 years. Why is it confined to such a narrow range? Why does it show a beat frequency correlation with planetary orbits?

  21. An interesting study. I am not sure the conclusions are fully supported by the findings in this paper but it is certain that tidal forces from Jupiter and Saturn have a significant effect on every other celestial body in our solar system. Every planetary physicist will confirm this. As conclusions go, I am not sure IPCC AR4 conclusions are fully supported by their findings either. I see this as a first baby step in combining what we understand about radiative physics to what we do not yet understand about observed natural climate cycles.

  22. Reading this thread is defacto proof of confirmation bias at work.

    If things line up as the GCM’s predict (more rain!, less rain!) then the theory is simply assumed to be true and correct without further investigation.

    When an alternate theory based on celestial mechanics is proposed, even with better prediction skill, it is instantly attacked from every possible angle, including outright dismissal.

    This works in both directions of course, but people who think they are rational and even-handed on technical issues need to do some introspection.

    This model explains the dips in 1940, 1970, and 2000 much better than the GCM’s (aerosols, et. al.) IMO. It is more elegant. Doesn’t mean it’s right.

    Like AGW, it is a certainty that celestial mechanics have an effect on climate, it is a matter of how much. We might even get a consensus of climate scientists to agree to that statement, or not.

    • The Scafetta model doesn’t even try to be an alternative for CGM’s. Even if it is correct it tells only about one type of forcing, and nothing on further details of the climate. This would be a rather strong forcing as it’s supposed to be the origin for a major part of the temperature variations.

      CGM’s are models of the atmosphere (and oceans). As Craig Loehle wrote in the first comment of this thread, the CGM’s are not right or wrong. They describe certainly some features of the climate system, but not even nearly perfectly. They should be classified as useful or useless or as good or bad rather than right or wrong. If we wish to learn about climate, we need such models irrespectively of the level of correctness of the Scafetti model.

      The critique of the Scafetti model concerns the value that should be given to his empirical evidence for the model. As the model is not at all based on specific physical processes, its only justification is in the empirical evidence. That evidence has been attacked here as insufficient both by some skeptics and by some closer to the main line thinking.

    • Pekka

      I must disagree in a large part to the comment Loehle wrote in the first comment of this thread:
      “the GCM’s are not right or wrong. They describe certainly some features of the climate system, but not even nearly perfectly.”

      I am experienced in the development and use of modeling in the aerospace industry. When developing a model one generally defines what the model is expected to produce in terms of results. If it achieves the predicted outcomes within the predefined range of error, it is a good model, other wise it is not a good model. It is really that simple.

      In terms of GCM’s it would seem reasonable that a model should be expected to accurately predict (within the predefined margin or error) the temperature and rainfall in a certain number of predetermined areas. If it is able to do that then the model has been validated. If it is not able to do that it is an inaccurate or bad or wrong model. That is not to say that nothing can be learned from a bad model. These bad models can be used as a basis for developing better models, but until the can produce accurate predictions; they are in fact wrong, or bad models.

    • Rob

      In fairness to Craig Loehle, he does emphasize that models must be “tested” and “assessed”. You say that a model

      should be expected to accurately predict (within the predefined margin or error) the temperature and rainfall in a certain number of predetermined areas.

      But aren’t we (largely) interested in temperature and rainfall years/decades into the future? Given the timescales involved, is there, in your view, any way that a model can be meaningfully validated?

    • Richie- yes a model can be meaningfully validated, but it will take time. The margin of error would reasonably be larger as the model makes forecasts longer into the future.

      IMO, one of the problems associated with GCM’s is that users/politicians want “instant gratification” (a model that works now). Unfortunately GCM, unlike models used in my industry can not be simulated easily because there are so many unknown variables and you can not build a facility to test these conditions in an accelerated environment.

      One of the other longer term concerns I’d have in this area is that a good model might not remain good. Over a span of decades the factors could easily evolve, and require “tweaking” of the model, but you would not be able to validate that you “tweaked” it correctly for many more years. Eventually I’d guess that we will get pretty good GCM’s, but I would guess we will not have them for over 25 years.

    • The climate models have been developed as tools of research and their development has itself been research supported by the modeling work. That work is justified, if it advances knowledge about processes relevant for understanding climate. Often the models describe well enough only some specific features, but that may be valuable enough.

      As with all climate science the problems are not so much in the science itself or in the way it’s being done. The problems are in, how the results of climate science are used. Some climate scientists have certainly contributed to the misleading use of the science, but most of the misuse is done by non-scientists.

    • Pekka

      I am not saying that all the work on climate models is unjustified. I am also not saying that the GCMs developed so far have no value. I would however suggest you take extreme care when you think about two of your comments:
      1. “often the models describe well enough only some specific features, but that may be valuable enough.”
      2. “As with all climate science the problems are not so much in the science itself or in the way it’s being done. The problems are in, how the results of climate science are used.”

      If a model “describes well enough some specific features” but is unsuccessful in providing accurately predicting other outputs, you need to be very careful of concluding that the output you think is correct is actually a reliable forecast. I believe this is especially true for highly complex systems.

      If I understand your #2 point correctly, I do not agree. I believe the problem in accurately forecasting future climate/weather is that there are a vast number of different variables affecting the outcomes and climate science does not yet understand all the variables and has an even poorer understanding of the relative impacts of each of the variables in relationship to each other.

      If unlimited funds were available, would I like to see continued funding to produce better GCM’s? YES. In the US today, do I believe that the funding of climate science needs to be cut given that we are spending over 30% more than we are earning in revenues and this will result in a massive reduction in other more critical services? YES

    • Craig Loehle

      You are quoting Pekka, not me. I was addressing the claim that the models are “right” in some absolute sense because they are “just physics” (as Michael Schlesinger claimed when I debated him)–but they are not, for reasons I gave. As far as how good or bad a model is, that depends on your purpose.

    • I wonder if CAGW/AGW supporters ever made comments like “the models are not predictive” and “the models are not right or wrong,” before the evidence accumulated that the models have been wrong on their predictions/projections of temperature for the last decade or more.

      Here are just a few statements in the AR4:

      “For the next two decades a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emissions scenarios.

      “If radiative forcing were to be stabilised, keeping all the radiative forcing agents constant at B1 or A1B levels in 2100, model experiments show that a further increase in global average temperature of about 0.5°C would still be expected by 2200.”

      “Current global model studies project that the Antarctic ice sheet will remain too cold for widespread surface melting and gain mass due to increased snowfall.”

      Here are some quotes from an article by Gavin Schmidt in 2007:

      “Climate projections made with sophisticated computer codes have informed the world’s policymakers about the potential dangers of anthropogenic interference with Earth’s climate system.”

      “Model assessment occurs on two distinct levels—the small scale at which one evaluates the specifics of a parameterization and the large scale at which predicted emergent features can be tested.”

      “However, much of the large-scale behavior projected by climate models is robust in that it does not depend significantly on the specifics of parameterization and spatial representation.”

      “Current climate models yield stable and nonchaotic climates, which implies that questions regarding the sensitivity of climate to, say, an increase in greenhouse gases are well posed and can be justifiably asked of the models.”
      http://scitation.aip.org/journals/doc/PHTOAD-ft/vol_60/iss_1/72_1.shtml?bypassSSO=1

      This is what Real Climate had to say (in 2007) about Hansen’s testimony regarding his model in 1988:

      “At Jim Hansen’s now famous congressional testimony given in the hot summer of 1988, he showed GISS model projections of continued global warming assuming further increases in human produced greenhouse gases.”

      Seems there was a whole lot a predictin’ goin’ on until 2007 at least. And as late as 2007, Schmidt was arguing this about Hansen’s projections:

      “The bottom line? Scenario B is pretty close and certainly well within the error estimates of the real world changes. And if you factor in the 5 to 10% overestimate of the forcings in a simple way, Scenario B would be right in the middle of the observed trends. It is certainly close enough to provide confidence that the model is capable of matching the global mean temperature rise!”
      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/hansens-1988-projections/

      Sure sounds like he was saying Hansen’s model, as far as scenario B is concerned, was “right.” It is noticeable from the graph in that RC article that the observed temperature trends had only really begun to diverge from the predicted temperatures.

      Up to that time, arguments about the inaccuracy of the models were met with the statement that the time period involved was too short to be relevant. It was further claimed that validation the models was simply not needed.

      It is only as that divergence has continued, and indeed increased, that we are seeing these attempts to claim that the models were never intended to be predictive, they are neither right nor wrong, and by the way, 10-12 years is still too short a time to tell if the models are wrong. And since the models are not intended to be right or wrong, we still don’t need to worry about validation.

      The models “should be classified as useful or useless or as good or bad rather than right or wrong.” OK, I will take a shot. Where the models falsely predict warming over a 10-12 year period, and their projections of continuous increased warming are used as a justification for massive tax and regulatory policies, and those models’ projections are shown to be incorrect over a 10-12 year period, they are “useless” and “bad” as an instrument of such public policy.

      You know, they are wrong.

      (And to avoid the inevitable attempt to distinguish between projection vs. prediction: “project; to set forth or calculate (some future thing)” vs. “predict; to declare or indicate in advance; especially : foretell on the basis of observation, experience, or scientific reason”)

    • To find out, what scientists have thought and said on the capabilities of the models, you might pick some textbook on them. Based on your speculation, you would be surprised by the modesty of the descriptions. The natural and traditional way scientists have discussed such issues has always been rather critical and full of skeptical comments.

      Presently we have advocates, advocacy net sites and other violations of that practice, but they do not really give the correct picture of science. That is one side of the polarized debate that has made it only more difficult to find out, what science really tells about climate.

    • If our politicians were debating policy based on text books, then the tone of those books would be more important to the debate. The earlier versions of the AR, and even articles on Real Climate also used to have a degree of “modesty,” and “skeptical comments.” The problem is that the closer the CAGW movement came to fruition, the more certain and dire the public pronouncements became.

      But then the reported temperatures have diverged even more from the projections; some of the most famous exaggerated claims were show to be chimera; the crown jewel policies (cap and trade, zero carbon regulation) have become apparently unreachable; and of course climategate happened.

      So we are beginning again to see what at first blush appear to be moderation, if not modesty, in such claims. My point is that for many, this retrenchment is not genuine modesty or self examination, but an attempt to save the CAGW movement and its hoped for policies.

      With all those genuine, card carrying climate scientists reviewing the AR4, why was it left to skeptics to point out the most egregious exaggerations? Why are so many consensus scientists still defending every aspect of the prior overheated advocacy? And why are Dr.s Muller and Curry still persona non grata among the consensus?

      The implication that the advocates are a minority among the consensus does not appear, to me, to reflect the reality.

    • steven mosher

      yes, I enjoy the way skeptics dismiss the global temperature record as.

      1. meaningless
      2. undersampled
      3. corrupt.

      And then gladly accept a phenomenological model that explains it.

      When this is pointed out they usually ignore the point. They also refuse to address his failure to hold out any data while constructing his model, something they would demand in a proxy reconstruction. They also fail to ask for his code. They also fail to ask what his model predicts for other aspects of the climate, and they never ask how well his model works to do paleo reconstructions. Selective skepticism

    • I’m confused.

      I keep reading from “skeptics/deniers” that “almost no one” doubts that the climate is warming, but then I also read where “skeptics/deniers” dismiss temperature records as meaningless, undersampled, and corrupt.

      Why would most “skeptics/deniers” accept that the climate is warming if there is no valid data showing warming?

    • What makes you think all sceptics are of the same mind and opinion?
      What makes you imagine that they’re so inwardly conflicted?
      If you’re confused, then spare some sympathy for sceptics who have to endure an endless stream of conflicting opinion emanating from the other camp
      (I tend not to pigeonhole people if I can avoid it, so I used neither the ‘W’ nor the ‘A’ word.)

    • I think that they are clearly not all of the same mind. I’m pointing out two things:

      The first is that the near unanimity among “skeptics/deniers” that some claim to exist, does not, in fact, exist. There clearly is not near unanimity (among “skeptics/deniers) in belief about whether the climate is warming.

      The second is that if someone believes that the temperature records are invalid, then how could they have an opinion, one way or the other, about whether the climate is warming (or how fast it is or isn’t warming) unless they have some other measure? What other measures are there?

      I get where someone might come up with an opinion that theories about the warming effect of adding CO2 to the atmosphere don’t outweigh alternative analyses. But that would lead to an opinion that specific theories are wrong, not an opinion about at what rate/whether or not, the Earth has actually warmed anthropogenically and/or due to natural forcings.

    • So it’s either the, “Anthropogenic CO2 emissions are changing the climate in some unspecified way”, or the single alternative explanation which everyone must agree on in order to have any credibility, or is it the 1000, 001 possible alternative explanations which everyone must agree on in order to have any credibility?

    • I think you’re putting words in my mouth, Peter.

      It seems that you are painting a wide variety of opinions (including mine) with a very broad brush.

    • It seems that you are painting a wide variety of opinions (including mine) with a very broad brush.

      That’s exactly what it seems you’re doing to sceptics.
      I could be wrong, but that’s what it seems like.

    • I got that, Peter. All I can say is that I’m trying to be specific.

    • It must be the end of days. I agree with Joshua.

      I don’t know about “near unanimity,” I think that’s an exaggeration. To the extent there is any unanimity among skeptics regarding temperature trends, it is probably only to the extent that there is insufficient reliable evidence among those trends to justify the type of drastic policy prescriptions being sought by the CAGW movement.

      But apart from the issue of unanimity, not only do I think that the question is fair, but I asked it of myself quite some time ago.

      I do not think the data is available to calculate a global average temperature, that would include all layers of the atmosphere and oceans, with anywhere near the accuracy claimed in the various temperature reports. I think the impact of siting and equipment changes, along with UHI, make the accuracy of such measurements even more problematic. And I have doubts about the objectivity of some of the adjustments that have historically been made to the data.

      I think it is particularly doubtful that the GAT can be measured with sufficient accuracy to determine temperature trends of tenths of a degree per decade.

      The same doubts, and more, extend to paleo temperature records.

      I think many skeptics share some or all of these doubts. Yet despite those doubts, I (like most skeptics I know and have read) believe there has been warming historically, and in the near term, with that warming leveling off roughly ten years ago. Joshua’s question is why.

      As far as historical warming, it seems to be rather obvious that the Earth has warmed since the last glacial period. I don’t know of any debate on that issue. So the interesting question is why skeptics accept recent historical warming, and why do they believe there has been no warming, or slight cooling, over the last 10-12 years.

      Needless to say, I cannot speak for the “unanimity” of skeptics, nor the majority, nor in fact for anyone other than myself. But the simple fact of why I believe there has been warming during my lifetime, and stalled warming or cooling of late is…purely anecdotal, my own experience.

      Winters were much more severe, as far as temperature and snow, in my youth, and were increasingly milder (with the occasional exception) until roughly the turn of the century. Beginning around 2000, winters have been getting more severe again, and summers do not seem to be as hot as they used to be. And my impression has been from watching and reading news the last several decades, that the severity of the seasons have been similar in other areas of the globe.

      None of this is science, none of it measured, none of it the result of reading peer reviewed literature (I haven’t). Nor do I claim that my belief regarding recent warming is in the least scientific. If someone came up with accurate measurements, covering all the relevant areas involved, land, sea and air, and those results showed cooling from 1970 to 2000, and warming from 2000 to date, I would say, “hey, that’s interesting,” and go get a Diet Coke. If such an effort revealed the opposite, my reaction would be the same.

      I am not particularly invested in my opinion regarding recent warming or cooling. I am very much invested in rejecting the notion that measurements of temperatures to date provide justification for decarbonizing the economy.

    • Joshua
      Isn’t it reasonable to be skeptical that it is essential that we take drastic actions to reduce CO2 emissions at a great cost? I can accept that the climate is getting somewhat warmer, but not be convinced that it justifies highly expensive US actions. I am even skeptical that a somewhat warmer world is worse for humanity overall in the long term.

    • Sure, I think that’s reasonable.

      I understand all that skepticism. I am also skeptical of what you mention there.

      Again – I am pointing out that the claims I’ve seen about the near-uniformity of opinion among “skeptics/deniers” that the Earth has been warming (but not at a significant level/not because of anthropogenic forcings) don’t seem to be accurate.

      More specific to your comments – personally, I think that the skepticism you outline needs to be weighed against the risks of not reducing CO2/making other GHG related changes to energy policy, particularly when you consider the other benefits that could potentially accompany such changes (which have to be weighed against potential costs) . I assume that you would agree there with me, but that we might find ourselves at different points along the continuum of beliefs on the risks/benefits analysis.

      What I find that I disagree with more strongly are accusations that there are political influence from only one side of the debate, or arguments that the political influence is significantly asymmetrical in balance.

    • Rob Starkey

      What would you say if it could be clearly shown:

      a) in climate terms that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere was more-or-less exactly analogous to poking a hornet’s nest with a stick;

      b) there were actions that could be taken that would be inexpensive and effective?

      I’ll concede that I’m not the one to show such proofs.

    • I’d reverse the onus of proof – prove that it does not have potential for harm – or for at least no surprise to eventuate. The great atmosphere experiment is underway – with not the slightest clue as to the outcome.

      Hmmm.

    • David L. Hagen

      Bart R
      The null hypothesis is the foundation of science. The proponents have the burden of proving anthropogenic warming distinct from natural variations. Scafetta is showing that natural variations could may be larger than anthropogenic changes.

      Beneficial aspects of global warming and increased CO2 have not been throughly evaluated by comparison to harmful consequences.

      Pragmatically, how are you going to persuade China and India to not use the cheapest energy source – coal?

      What benefit is there is spending trillions of dollars for negligible benefits?

    • BartR –
      a) in climate terms that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere was more-or-less exactly analogous to poking a hornet’s nest with a stick;

      Who has proved that? It is, of course, the basis for all the alarmist claims of the last 20+ years. And AFAIK every one of those claims has been debunked.

      there were actions that could be taken that would be inexpensive and effective?

      Specify those actions. Your proposed tax scheme would be neither inexpensive nor effective. Nor would any other proposed scheme that I’ve seen to date. Anything that requires taxation or gives power, authority or function to the government is both expensive and inefficient. That’s the nature of the beast. A friend once told a (different) President that government was like a horse – you feed perfectly good material in one end and get something entirely different out the other end. In more than 50 years of working for the government in one capacity or another, I’ve found that to be true.

    • Chief

      Question’s uninteresting to me, but go ahead and pose it to Rob Starkey if you like.

      David L. Hagen

      You’re giving lectures on the foundation of science to Chief Hydrologist?

      Really?

      Jim Owen

      Apparently you missed the word “if” and you’re asserting facts not in evidence. Other than myself, I’ve never heard anyone use the hornet nest analogy, and I’d wager that if I did spend as much time wandering around among ‘greens’ as you do, they’d look at me as if I had five heads for saying it, or they’d wildly misinterpret the question and suggest I reverse the onus of proof or something.

      If you and David want to discuss China and India and failures of Western governments, discuss it with China and India and Western governments. I’m not the expert in how those countries identify and copy the best ideas in the world and take the initiative on new technologies from the West, or why Western governments let them.

      If you and David want to participate in the future-oriented discussion of what approaches might be taken that are less, rather than more, expensive, see if you can steer the topic that way in today’s Climate Capitalism thread comments that way.

      If you and David want

    • Well Mosh,
      I guess I don’t fit your skeptic model very well. I generally accept the instrumental record as valid, I question some of Scarfetta’s conclusions based on his findings while understanding that it is an opening paper designed to lead to future studies. I have never asked anyone for their code because I am not a math guy and wouldn’t know what to do with it, but I am confident others will. I would be interested in a model paleo test. I understand the basics of radiative physics and yet I still consider myself a cAGW skeptic. How can that be??

    • You talk as if there’s something inherently inconsistent with believing that the temperature record is meaningless/undersampled/corrupt and also gladly accepting a phenomenological model that “explains” it. To the contrary, it’s entirely consistent with, at least, my flavor of skepticism.

      Indeed, way back when, when the big environmental issue was the ozone hole, I found equally satisfying a number of graphs showing that the growth of the ozone hole was well explained by the price of certain DOW stocks, or the lengths of skirts, etc. The point, of course, is that correlation doesn’t prove causation–and that is equally true whether you’re finding a correlation with a sound record of a real and meaningful variable or with a series of random walk noise.

      For that matter, you should note that even Scaffeta only claims that his phenomenological method accounts for 60% of observed anomoly. One possibility is that the other 40% is explained by something else, including, possibly, GHGs. Another is that the other 40% simply doesn’t exist, because the temperature data is meaningless/undersampled/corrupt.

      Put another way, I suspect the reason the skeptical response to a theory like Scafetta’s seems odd to you is that you fail to appreciate the asymetry of our positions. As a skeptic, my thesis is “we don’t know.” The establishment, on the other hand, insists that they do know. The skeptical position is supported and the establishment position is undermined by both the fact that the temperature record is unreliable AND by the fact that the establishment position is not the only one consistent, even assuming the data is valid. In fact, one of the arguments relied upon heavily by teh IPCC is “We must be right because we can’t think of anything else to explain the data.”

    • Steve,
      “Selective skepticism” – Absolutely. And correctly so. Noting an error in part of a subject is perfectly reasonable when that is an area you are familiar with. It does not mean that you are required to have an opinion on the validity of other parts of the subject.

      Now, when a single person espouses mutually exclusive claims, that is a problem.

      Gary W

    • Steven Mosher.

      “yes, I enjoy the way skeptics dismiss the global temperature record as.
      1. meaningless
      2. undersampled
      3. corrupt.
      And then gladly accept a phenomenological model that explains it.”

      How about this rephrasing?

      “yes, I enjoy the way the CAGW consensus accepts the global temperature record as.

      1. meaningful
      2. properly sampled
      3. accurate.

      And then gladly accept GCMs that disagree with it.”

    • Steven,

      1. It IS meaningless because of the heat capacity of the oceans. Only a small change in ocean currents might change the air temperature for decades. Scafetta tries to give these changes an explanation.

      2. It IS undersampled, don’t you agree? There are gaps which some are trying to fill and some are not. That is an uncertainty don’t you think?

      3. It might even be corrupt, some of the long term trend might not really exist and the relative warmth of the 1940′s might be higher than in the records. But Scafetta doesn’t even try to explain the long term trend in his paper.

      And by saying this I don’t mean one should accept Scafettas model. It might the right explanation or it might not, but giving it a chance doesn’t mean one should accept the global surface temperature records as they are without any significant uncertainty.

    • William Newman

      steven mosher wrote “yes, I enjoy the way skeptics dismiss the global temperature record as [...] And then gladly accept a phenomenological model that explains it. [...] When this is pointed out they usually ignore the point”

      “Skeptics”? Not “some skeptics,” not “several skeptics in this thread,” not “that annoying dude at work who keeps pulling my chain,” not “skeptics like Nate Donald Crowshooter and climatronofutah.org and believethisdammitnow.com,” just “skeptics”? The most natural way to read “skeptics” in this context is at least as strong as “most skeptics.” Such a strong claim seems to me not to be true. So we’re supposed to guess which weaker claim you have in mind, and to give you credit for that claim? You are not writing such short posts about this that you couldn’t express your criticism more precisely instead of imposing on us to guess at the possible literally true interpretations.

      I think there is some truth behind this criticism, but the way you are expressing it is irritatingly bad. Criticizing one’s opponents’ behavior without specifically identifying it (as with hyperlinks or other citation info) is not particularly constructive. (And IIRC Judith Curry is one of the many people in the AGW debate who have specifically pointed this out in the past, though I can’t think of a good way to ask a search engine to check.)

  23. Joshua writes “Why would most “skeptics/deniers” accept that the climate is warming if there is no valid data showing warming?”

    I can only speak for myself. We know that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. There is observed data that as one adds more CO2 to the atmosphere, the radiation balance (whatever that is) is disturbed. So there is little doubt that as we add more CO2 to the atmosphere, it will warm. The question is, how much will it warm? My assessment is that the amount of the warming is so small that we will never be able to measure it.

    An analogy I use, is consider a house in Ontario, Canada. If we put 16 feet of insulation around it, it will take a certain amount of money to heat it in the winter. If we add another one inch of insulation, I will accept that this will decrease the heating cost. However, with all the other variables around, I defy anyone to actually measure how much less it would cost.

    • Jim,

      Here’s the thing: I often read “skeptics/deniers” criticizing “believers/convinced” for shifting their focus form global warming to climate change, as if that inconsistency is somehow proof of the weakness of their science.

      Yet reading “skeptics/deniers” posting on the blogosphere, I see a variety of arguments: CO2 doesn’t have a warming effect; it might have a warming effect but it isn’t significant; it might have a significant warming effect in some limited parts of the atmosphere but that won’t cause climate changes; the amount of added CO2 is insignificant; there isn’t any warming/the warming that has taken place is due to natural and/or cyclical forcings; the temperature rise we can measure is caused by natural forcings/is cyclical; the measures we have of warming are invalid, etc.

      I see post after post at WUWT, highlighting weather events that are supposedly inconsistent with a warming climate, ostensibly to prove that in fact the climate isn’t warming, and yet I read post after post where “skeptics/deniers” say that they don’t deny that the climate is warming.

      I don’t really expect there to be consistency in the arguments; what I expect, however, is honesty. Some “skeptics/deniers” think that warming is taking place, but it is due to natural/cyclical forcings. Some think that no warming is taking place. So there isn’t the consistency that some claim. But further, it seems to me that if a “skeptic/denier thinks the way that warming has been measured is invalid – then they have no basis for either of those two opinions,, only purely theoretical speculation (unless they have some measurement system that they think is valid – and I haven’t seen any claims of such).

    • Joshua,
      Your logic is a little shaky here. You say some folks have one view and some others have another, and yet others have other views. That is quite reasonable given folks have different backgrounds and areas of expertise. It seem that the only group insisting upon a consistent single view is the AGW crowd. The correct skeptical stance is to say “I know this part is wrong. That makes me question that validity of what is claimed based upon that part.” In the case of climate skepticism, lots of different folks are finding problems with different parts of the ‘consensus’ view of climate.

    • Gary – I’m afraid that I don’t see much point in responding on point to you given that you’ve called me a liar, in addition to claiming that it is not questioning Muller’s “credibility” (or integrity if you prefer) when you (or Willis) say(s) that Muller was giving scientific testimony purely for propagandistic purposes, and with no concern at all about the science (not to mention comparing him to a con man, saying that his testimony was explainable by foolishness and incompetence, saying he was being shabby, mean-spirited, underhanded, and deceptive, etc.) .

      My impression is that you have no interest in a good-faith exchange.

    • Hmm,
      Liar? Muller? You are talking to the wrong fellow. I’ve never directed any communications towards you before this. You are obviously thinking of someone else.
      Gary W

    • I, GaryM, accused you of being dishonest in misstating my comments on another thread, And in doing so, I copied and pasted my comment, and your rewording of it to claim I had said the exact opposite of what you claimed. You may respond or not to anything I write, I just hope that if you do in the future, you will address what I actually write.

      But GaryW was no part of that exchange.

    • John Carpenter

      Joshua,

      Let’s say you are a member of a religious faith of which you are a devout observant and further let’s say that from your point of view the majority of people you know agree with your belief because they are also followers of that faith. As you walk among the general population, it includes people who do not adhere strictly with your faith and who you may have theological discussions with. Perhaps some of these people are mildly observant of your faith… but have reservations, others belong to another faith, still others are agnostic, yet others are atheist and finally some simply wander aimlessly looking for something to latch on to.

      I don’t mean to reduce all the convinced, or you, as blindly following AWG or CAGW as a religion…. though many others have and there are striking similarities… but I offer this as perhaps another viewpoint as to why a collection of “skeptics/deniers” don’t appear to have a coherent ideology compared to a collection of those faithful to a certain belief system.

    • Joshua, as I see it, the AGW hypothesis has six propositions:
      that abnormal warming is occurring;
      that this warming is driven by increased human emissions of greenhouse gases;
      that this warming will continue;
      that the outcomes will be catastrophic;
      that rapid action to reduce emissions is essential; and
      that there will be significant benefits from such action.

      I’m a sceptic because, on the evidence I’ve seen in the last 20-odd years, I don’t accept that any of those propositions have been convincingly demonstrated. But I speak only for myself, I’m not part of any movement but am applying my analytical capacity (as a former government economic policy adviser familiar with econometric models).

      As an economist concerned with drivers of economic growth, I have long argued that we need to accept the reality that circumstances constantly change, that changes will often be unexpected, and that the best policies are those which increase our capacity to respond positively to changing circumstances. That is, we need to be flexible, adaptive, entrepreneurial and innovative; this will have both short- and long-term benefits. Changing climate is part of the circumstances we face, whether or not AGW is valid, and having a better understanding of climate, potential changes and potential impacts is helpful; the resources we devote to improving our understanding of climate should be based on opportunity cost, i.e., directing our limited resources in a way which appears to have the best risk-adjusted rate of return. It seems to me that over the last 20 years, and in terms of proposed policies such as Australia’s proposed carbon tax and ETR, far too many resources have been devoted to AGW when there are more obvious and pressing problems, such as malaria and clean water supplies in poorer countries, to be addressed.

    • Well, you might want to rethink that absolute of increasing CO2 and increasing backradiation or, as you put it, increasing insulation decreased heat loss:

      http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2011JCLI4210.1

      from:

      http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2011/04/another-blow-to-warmist-theory.html

  24. A comment I wrote appears to have disappeared into the ether…or the spam filter?

  25. A general comment, I’m very impressed with the quality of this thread. Most of those who contribute to Climate Etc are well-informed, many are specialists in relevant disciplines, and I hope that the reach of the blog to the intelligent but less-informed increases. Maybe I should fly-post in my district, Brisbane’s West End, which is a Green/far left hotbed ….

  26. Why would most “skeptics/deniers” accept that the climate is warming if there is no valid data showing warming?

    Yes, why? Seems the data provided by “alarmism/scientific cleansing” has won sway.

  27. Josha: .. I disagree ..more strongly [with] accusations that there are political influence from only one side of the debate, or arguments that the political influence is significantly asymmetrical in balance.

    The roots of the asymmetry lie here:

    * The state has a huge vested interest in CAGW being believed, since this justifies it extending its control over society.
    * The state funds almost 100% of climate science

    In dollars, the asymmetry is something like three or four orders of magnitude.

  28. Secret Lemonade Drinker

    Is the following a fair lay appraisal…..?

    Scafetta has allegedly shown a 60% hindcast correlation with the instrumental record (compared to 16% for GCMs).
    But he hasn’t provided code and data. Which besides making it fragile as a hockey stick, means other implications cannot be explored, eg rainfall, paleo data (fwiw), etc.
    If and when he does, though, and if they hold up, all or some of the remaining 40% could still be AGW.

  29. Dr. Curry,
    Thank you for this thread. Discussing Scafetta is always enlightening.

    I came across another paper I would love to see discussed. It is about the bipolar seesaw of temperatures between the poles. Unfortunately, it is behind a paywall. Perhaps you can ask Petr Chylek to write a blog post about the paper. See http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2010/2010GL042793.shtml

  30. Nicola Scafetta

    I would like to thank Dr. Curry and all others who have commented above

    I would respond to Curry’s issues in this way

    ***On the surface, this significance analysis (e.g. the results) doesn’t seem convincing, in particular the multi-taper analysis seems to be producing too many peaks with 99% confidence, especially given the short length of data record used?

    The issue should be addressed in the proper scientific way. The correct way is NOT to start with a hypothetical “idea” of statistical significance (there are too many peaks, so it is not credible!). The correct approach is to ask whether those same frequencies are known in the scientific literature. Now the spectral analysis says that there are three major frequency sets at about 10 year, 20 years and 60 years. Are these frequencies known in the scientific literature? Well, the ~9-11 year cycle is called for example, Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), the ~18-22 year cycle in climate is quite known as well and seen in a lot of records, and a ~50-70 year cycle has been also observed by several authors, as proven in the references of the my paper. In addition to these three frequency sets there are others at higher frequency (3-8 year period) that are not studied in detail in the paper but in the literature those frequencies are usually associated to ENSO. Then, there are the secular and multisecular and millennial cycles. Thus, the frequency peaks that I found are not arbitrary, but well known signals.
    The problem is that computer climate modelers are not able to reproduce those cycles with current GCMs, and, consequently, have called such signal “noise” or better “red noise”. And their axiomatic claim is that a statistical significance tests based on red noise discriminate between signal and noise. In the paper the confidence level is tested against red-noise background, and still the frequency peaks are questioned despite the same frequencies are found by numerous other authors.
    It is evident that a complex signals does not need to be made, at most, of just one or two frequency plus noise. There may be several frequencies of interest.

    ***The attribution of these peaks to astronomical cycles occurs based on the matching of the astronomical cycles to the spectral peaks, without any apparent physical mechanism relating them. The amplitude of the spectral peaks does not seem consistent with the likely subtle effects of astronomical forcing.

    Physical mechanisms can be searched. Since ancient times people understood that ocean tides were due to a lunar influence. There was the need of several millennia to arrive to Newton, and still now the ocean tides are predicted using “astrological” type of models because Newtonian equations cannot be practically solved in details and give only a vague idea of how tides work.
    As explained above, the process of interconnecting the physical theories is a slow time-consuming process. The scientific method does not require that a proposed theory is “already” explained by other microscopic theories. The scientific method only requires that a proposed theory is supported by observations.
    Rigorously speaking, all physical theories are phenomenological, the ultimate “mechanism” of Nature is unknown and it is called by somebody “God’s will”.

    I believe that “climate change” is the only topic in science where people analyzing data and proposing possible explanations based on those analysis are continually harassed and dismissed by hand-waving by computer climate modelers claiming that the empirical studies and empirical theories questioning, on the basis of data analysis, the computer climate modelers’ theories are not “scientific” because those studies may not already give to computer modelers clear first principle equations that can be implemented in their models!

    Think what would happen if the same harassing logic would be implemented in medicine. All medical journals should be considered non-scientific because physicians do not support medical theories with “human body general circulation computer models”!

    The argument about the amplitude of the frequency peaks is simple. Only in perfectly “linear” coupled system the amplitudes of the forcing functions correspond to the amplitude of the outputs. It is evident that I was not inferring that the climate is “linear” and nobody does, with the only exception of Judith Lean. On the contrary, the claimed matching was only with the frequency sets. In fact, also non linear coupled systems may very likely share the same frequencies, (not the amplitudes associated to those frequencies).

    ***If there is some sort of amplifying feedback at work, is there any reason to think that the phase of the forcing would be reflected in the phase of the response in this complex nonlinear chaotic climate system?

    As proven in another paper of mine, (“Comment on “Heat capacity, time constant, and sensitivity of Earth’s climate system’ by Schwartz.” J. Geophys. Res., 113, D15104, 2008) the climate system is characterized by both fast and slow time responses. For example, the response of the cloud system to cosmic ray may be quite fast, the heating of the ocean (except the very surface) is slow.

    ***How would one go about either falsifying Scafetta’s hypothesis, or garnering further support for it?

    By doing further research as pointed by Dr Hagen above, not by hand-waving!

    In any case, there are already a lot of studies that confirm the existence of the cycles that I have detected. So, climate is not made of “red noise” plus anthropogenic trending, as the GCM modelers what us to believe!
    There are still unknown astronomical forcings acting on climate that favor the emergence of quasi-periodic patterns. However, the existence of these forcings is revealed by frequency analysis.

    • David L. Hagen

      Others have been exploring such orbital impacts on climate. e.g.
      Theodore Landscheidt explored the impact of solar forcing on ocean cycles:

      I have shown that the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), El Niño and La Niña, extrema in global temperature anomalies, drought in Africa and U.S.A., as well as European floods are linked to cycles in the sun’s irregular orbital motion around the center of mass of the solar system (Landscheidt, 1983-2003).

      Trends in Pacific Decadal Oscillation Subjected To Solar Forcing

      Decadal-Scale NAO Forecast Based on Solar Motion Cycles

      a long period of cool climate with its coldest phase around 2030 is to be expected. It is shown that minima in the 80 to 90-year 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 skillful 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.

      New Little Ice Age Instead of Global Warming? Energy & Environment, 2003 – Multi-Science

      G.J. Sharp explored: Are Uranus & Neptune responsible for Solar Grand Minima and Solar Cycle Modulation?

      Don Easterbrook comments:
      SHORT-TERM WARM/COOL CYCLES FROM THE GREENLAND ICE CORE

      Only one out of all of the global warming periods in the past 500 years occurred at the same time as rising CO2 (1977–1998). About 96% of the warm periods in the past 500 years could not possibly have been caused by rise of CO2.

      Where are we headed during the coming century?

      Past warming and cooling cycles over the past 500 years were used by Easterbrook (2001, 2005, 2006 a,b, 2007, 2008 a,b,c; Easterbrook and Kovanen, 2000) to accurately predict the cooling phase that is now happening. Establishment of cool Pacific sea surface temperatures since 1999 indicates that the cool phase will persist for the next several decades.
      We can look to past natural climatic cycles as a basis for predicting future climate changes. The climatic fluctuations over the past few hundred years suggest ~30 year climatic cycles of global warming and cooling, on a general warming trend from the Little Ice Age cool period.

      (~60 year PDO cycle with 30 years of warming, then 30 years cooling).

      PS Nicola: Easterbrook and others refer to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation as the ~60 year cycle.

    • Paul Vaughan

      And do you think those folks got it right?

    • David L. Hagen

      Easterbrook’s 1999/2001 prediction of a cooling trend due the shift from warm to cool PDO phase beginning about 2001 is now clearly showing up in the global cooling trend since 2001. e.g. Lucia Liljegren compares global temperatures and trend uncertainties against IPCC models.

      It is worth noting that the projected trend is well outside the uncertainty intervals estimated using ARIMA; this is best evaluated by comparing the slope of the dashed green lines to the slope of the dashed black line. The mean of the observations is below the multi-model mean; . . . Currently, these results indicate a fairly strong rejection of the hypothesis that the multi-model mean and HadCrut agree.

      The Blackboard April 16, 2011
      Hadcrut3 versus Multi-modal mean

    • A problem with fitting putative cycles to global temperature variation is that apparent correlations fail to persist over longer intervals. For example, Landscheidt, in a guest article on John Daly, referred to his predictions by stating, “I forecasted, in 1982, that we should expect declining temperatures after 1990 and probably a new Little Ice Age around 2030″. Global temperature trends did not conform to this prediction. Accordingly, in later articles linked to above, he adjusted the prediction by adding an 8-year lag so that the decline would start in 1998. Similar adjustments have been made to reconcile correlations between cosmic ray flux and global temperature. To date, most evidence is consistent with solar effects on climate via total irradiance, spectral irradiance variations (including UV), and cosmic ray flux, but none of the evidence is consistent with effects sufficient to account for more than a small portion of long term temperature change on a global scale. Important influences on regional variations of temperature, precipitation, and atmospheric and ocean circulation patterns appear to be more likely.

    • Paul Vaughan

      You mean like the day & year?

    • Fred Moolten

      You wrote:

      To date, most evidence is consistent with solar effects on climate via total irradiance, spectral irradiance variations (including UV), and cosmic ray flux, but none of the evidence is consistent with effects sufficient to account for more than a small portion of long term temperature change on a global scale.

      Your statement may be correct, but one could say exactly the same for anthropogenic effects of increased atmospheric CO2.

      There are nice theories, backed by model simulations supported by some questionable interpretations of paleo-climate reconstructions, but there is no empirical evidence based on real-time physical observations or reproducible experimentation.

      Even worse, the AGW theory cannot explain the physically observed multi-decadal cycles in the temperature record and they are unable to explain the most recent lack of warming of both the atmosphere and the upper ocean. This is a fatal flaw.

      So it appears that all the theories – solar or CO2 forcing – suffer from the same basic problem, which you described.

      Max

    • “anthropogenic effects of increased atmospheric CO2…. there is no empirical evidence based on real-time physical observations”

      Max – I’m puzzled that you are dismissive of a rather vast set of observational data confirming climate responses to basic anthropogenic forcing estimates. Some have been addressed extensively in posts in this blog. The entirety would consume thousands of pages, including many hundreds of reported studies. You would be correct in stating that these estimates only delineate a probable range but not a precise value, and leave room for natural climate variability to account for the full range of climate variation. They do not leave room for natural variability to exclude an important role for anthropogenic contributions. The two can coexist and undoubtedly do, although not always on comparable timescales.

    • strong>Fred Moolten

      You write:

      I’m puzzled that you are dismissive of a rather vast set of observational data confirming climate responses to basic anthropogenic forcing estimates.

      Please refer me to these observational data, Fred.

      And, once you have done that, please explain to me how and why the observed temperature record does not correlate with the CO2 record, per my post, if you can.

      If you can’t (or don’t want to) I’ll understand.

      Max

    • It’s not a question of “can’t”, Max, but a question of practicality. As I mentioned, the evidence surrounding a strong role for anthropogenic factors in climate change consumes thousands of pages, and much of it has already been presented here and elsewhere in summary form. That is why I’m more agreeable to discussing specific points than the entire foundation underlying our current understanding of climate change. In addition, I expect you’ve already encountered some of this material, and I gather you’ve tended to reject it even when presented by individuals with better powers of description than I possess, which might make any effort to repeat the process unrewarding for both of us.

      I’ve noticed that my most productive exchanges with others – edifying for both them and me – has involved topics on which questions were asked by any of us not as a form of challenge to an argument, but out of a genuine interest in learning more. When the questions were simply intended as challenges, the results have been less useful.

    • Fred Moolten

      Thanks for answering my question.

      Max

    • Fred –
      The calibration curve and the calibration data differ significantly from each other around 2010 – they are not the same data.

      Yes. Now – which one do they use as the “cal curve” – the rolling 60(?) day smoothed data or the linear “drift rate”. Do you actually KNOW – or are you guessing? On the Nimbus 3 program, with the same kind of volatile data, we used rolling smoothed data (NOT 60-day) and it worked well. Used the same thing on Landsat 4/5 for a different application.

      If they’re using the linear “drift rate”, then you’d likely be right about the underestimates. But…

      it implies that the very recent measurements may be underestimates.

      Possibly, but I doubt it. Remember that the Jason 1 and Envisat data don’t vary significantly from the Jason 2 data.

      one can’t claim that a multiyear trend of rising sea levels has changed based on two years of data that are influenced by El Nino/La Nina transitions. Over such short intervals, slopes change all the time with no significant implications for what the climate is doing over 5 year, 10 year, or even longer intervals.

      Didn’t claim that. Only that the rate of increase has changed for the last several years. Will that hold for the next 100 years? Woudn’t count on that. For the next 5 years? Maybe – we’ll find out in 5 years.

      I believe the implication that the University of Colorado is, or might be engaged in a dishonest effort to conceal data is unworthy of this thread

      It’s a possibility – even though it would be utterly stupid under the circumstances. I never said I believed it – nor did I expect anyone else to do so . But it would also be less than prudent to disbelieve/dismiss it entirely. Mama didn’t raise that kind of fool. There are other possibilities, none of which would necessitatte a 6 month delay. Not even the web site excuse.

    • Just so you don’t miss it Fred, here is a link to the paper again:

      http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2011JCLI4210.1

    • I’m not sure what your point is, kuhnkat. Global downwelling IR will reflect global temperature and global concentrations of GHG molecules (including cloud water), and can’t be inferred from a single site in the southern U.S., where local changes in cloud cover can profoundly influence the results.

    • My goodness Fred, you are admitting that cloud cover might actually be more important than the concentration of CO2?? My how the discussion has changed in the last couple of years!! I expect you to support stopping the ridiculous efforts to control CO2 emissions next.

      Now I realize you want to minimize this study, but, it is still a downward trend over a period of 14 years indicating the temps are going down. So, you think this may be an outlier??

      You may want to think about this then:

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/17/doing-it-yourself-the-latest-global-sea-level-data-from-jason-shows-a-sharp-downtick-and-downtrend/

      Someone not a member of the AGW religion knew that this would eventually happen, but hey, you play the hand you are dealt. How are you going to play it Fred?? Are you really as smart as you think you are??

    • I think you’re losing your cool, kuhnkat. Take a deep breath and remember that this is a discussion thread, not a fight to the death. For reasons I stated, I believe you misinterpreted the article you cited, but you’re welcome to disagree, and others can visit the link to make their own judgments. Let’s move on.

    • So Fred, explain to me how sea level can DECREASE substantially if OCEAN temps haven’t decreased and glaciers are still melting?? Didn’t our expert on Argo Floats spend 7 years getting all the decrease out of the ocean temperatures?? Haven’t we been assured that all the glaciers are melting faster than predicted and sea level rise is accelerating??

      As Einstein stated, it only takes one valid observation to overturn a THEORY. Since Climate Science isn’t Science it takes a stake through the heart.

      Fred, it is coming apart NOW. Time to change horses.

    • I think you may still be a bit hyperexcited, kuhnkat, or at least your somewhat adversarial tone suggests you may be, but if you want a rational discussion of sea level, it’s possible to have one. However, it requires a detailed analysis of the difference between single data points and valid averages, including the effects of sampling, seasonal and regional variations, smoothing, instrument variability, the need for inverted barometer corrections, and so on. That’s why it will be important to await the University of Colorado analysis when it appears, rather than a premature claim from an outside source.

      The claim for a large drop in sea level was based on this graph (unsmoothed) – Sea Level Graph, and was based on a single Jason-1 data point very different from all the rest including the average. The latter shows no sign of a pronounced dip.

      I have the sense that you are very eager to prove an opinion, which is fine, but not a reliable means of arriving at an accurate understanding of what is going on. If you await the next University of Colorado update, in which new data are presented via the same averaging process as the previous data, to allow proper comparison, I expect you’ll find that current sea level trends are similar to those of the recent past.

      I recommend the University of Colorado sea level site to others as well, not only for updated time series, but for a more general discussion of principles involved in sea level evaluation.

    • That’s why it will be important to await the University of Colorado analysis when it appears, rather than a premature claim from an outside source.

      So tell me, Fred – why have they NOT updated the website for – what? – several months? It doesn’t take that long to roll out a new web page as they’re claiming. And even if it did take that long, that’s no excuse for not updating the old one in the meantime.

      So – what would YOU imagine the problem might be?
      :-)

    • I doubt that there’s a problem, Jim, or that you will have to wait long for an update. There is no physical basis for expecting that a few months in one direction or another will significantly affect multiyear sea level trends after seasonal signals are removed.

    • Fred,

      Thanks for concentrating on that ONE data point out of the whole graph. What I see is that sea level peaked and has started dropping. Even a rabid denier like me isn’t going to hang his hat on one data point. Again, how can sea level decrease be happening? For that matter, how can a stop in rise of 3mm/yr be happening?? No, those aren’t serious queations for you as you will just wave your arms about variability that you didn’t believe in a few years ago when y’all were trying to stampede us into central control to stop AGW!!

      A few years ago we had about a 3.4mm/yr rate and now we are down to about 3.1 based on Colorado’s 6 month out of date graph.

      Not too long ago y’all were denying that the temps were cooling. Now you will have to deny that the ocean is no longer rising. What next Fred??

      To get ANY drop takes a rather large change in melt and sea temps, yet, we are assured that the oceans are hiding heat and the glaciers are about to catastrophically collapse even while they are adding mass!!

      Now, here is the graph that RomanM wanted us to see:

      http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/sealevel_lines1.jpeg

      So let’s look at what NOAA is publishing:

      http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/slr_sla_gbl_free_all_661.png

      Nope, no sea level rise recently yet we are STILL be regaled by the “experts” telling us that sea level rise is accelerating!!!

      I wonder how well their calibration is doing?

      http://sealevel.colorado.edu/calibration.php

      The real question is, what if that ISN’T an outlier data point. What if it is real and subsequent observations back it up?? Do you think they will just claim it is failing or ADJUST it??

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    • It’s interesting that the Calibration Data suggest that Jason 1 and 2 may be underestimating recent sea level rise. However, despite year to year variation of the kind that has been observed in the past, the slope of the curve averaged over multiple years rather than only a few doesn’t show much change in the rate of rise, and so we will need a longer run of data for at least several years, given interannual variability, to determine whether multiyear sea level is changing faster or slower than in recent past years. The years will presumably need to average out El Nino and La Nina variations, which can affect curve slopes over the course of a few years.

    • Uh, Fred – it’s what? 6 months out of date?

      Sorry – that says – PROBLEM.

      Which means either spacecraft instrument hardware or calibration problems – or the data doesn ‘t fit the preferred storyline and adjustments are in order.

      But how do you adjust data that’s not doing what you think it should be doing? You change the format to hide the decline. And that’s not necessarily “easy” – especially if you have to rework the entire data set.

      The “new website so no problem” dog won’t hunt, Fred. No responsible organization fails to keep up their old website while prepping the new one.

      BTW – if you actually look at the data rather than the conveniently provided trend line, the data hasn’t matched that trend line for a long while.

    • It’s interesting that the Calibration Data suggest that Jason 1 and 2 may be underestimating recent sea level rise.

      That dog won’t hunt either , Fred. The Calibraton data is factored into the final. Unless the cal curve has changed – VERY unlikely but possible – but that would be an instrument hardware problem.

      You’re handwaving here. And you’re doing it in my playground.

    • Jim – The recent calibration data deviate sharply from the curve. If the curve is used for correction, it appears to me that the actual measurements may be underestimating sea level rise until proven otherwise. I think the more significant evidence is that sea level is continuing to rise at rates that at this point can’t be said to differ from those of previous years. It may be legitimate to state that sea level rise is not accelerating, but not to claim that sea level isn’t rising. Nothing in recent interannual variability differs from past variability during the duration of an overall rising curve.

    • For anyone wishing to view the most recent sea level data, including data subsequent to the latest U. Colo update, see Sea Level Update, and Sea Level Updates. Readers can judge for themselves whether the recent trends averaged over several years differ significantly from earlier trends, which also show interannual variability but a long term rising sea level.

      For convenience, the calibration data are Jason Calibration. Again, readers can judge whether adjusting recent data on the basis of the slope of the curve would adequately correct for what appear to be recent instrumental sea level underestimates. If I am misreading the difference between the recent data and the calibration curve, I will be happy to be enlightened, although the overall effect on multi-year sea level trends would probably be small.

      The above is evidence I’m willing to offer without much commentary. The suggestion by Jim that maybe the University of Colorado is dishonestly trying to hide something is a different matter – at least tentatively, that implies to me a mindset too prejudiced to be capable of rational judgments. I hope this is not typical of how Jim evaluates data, but in any case, the evidence will eventually speak for itself with some patience on our part.

    • Fred –
      More handwaving – there’s so MUCH wrong with that last comment that it makes my teeth itch.

      1) the curve IS the calibration data. If the calibration data deviates from a (any) “curve” (the linear trend, for example) then the “curve” is wrong – and you go with the calibration data. ALWAYS. So your underestimation is an assumption on your part but has no reality.

      2) the rate has changed. That’s been evident for the last two years.

      3) It may be legitimate to state that sea level rise is not accelerating, but not to claim that sea level isn’t rising.

      AFAIK nobody is saying that. But the rate has changed – according to the data if not the linear trendline presented.

      4) Nothing in recent interannual variability differs from past variability during the duration of an overall rising curve.

      In any dynamic system, that statement doesn’t make sense. At least not to me. Maybe you can explain?

    • Fred –
      The suggestion by Jim that maybe the University of Colorado is dishonestly trying to hide something is a different matter – at least tentatively, that implies to me a mindset too prejudiced to be capable of rational judgments. I hope this is not typical of how Jim evaluates data,

      Horse puckey – I suggested that “hide the decline ” was ONE of several possibilities. I further stated that no responsible organization allows their website to NOT be updated for 6 months while prepping a new site. I also noted your handwaving.

      Do you have a reasonable response to that or are you just into ad hom tonight? Which would suggest to me that your own rational thought processes might need some fine tuning.

      Note please that “hide the decline” HAS been used before – in at least one climate related context and is now on the table for any unusual occurrence. I wouldn’t want you to forget that.

    • Jim – I think maybe your last comment proves the point I tried to make immediately above it. The calibration curve and the calibration data differ significantly from each other around 2010 – they are not the same data. I’ll let others compare them to see if they disagree. What this means is not something I’m willing to interpret, but it implies that the very recent measurements may be underestimates. I am willing to be shown why this deviation is not meaningful, but that explanation hasn’t been forthcoming.

      This is a relatively small point over the long run, but it struck me as possibly worth noting.

      The rest of my points, I believe, speak for themselves, including the fact that one can’t claim that a multiyear trend of rising sea levels has changed based on two years of data that are influenced by El Nino/La Nina transitions. Over such short intervals, slopes change all the time with no significant implications for what the climate is doing over 5 year, 10 year, or even longer intervals.

      I don’t wish to be unfair, but I believe the implication that the University of Colorado is, or might be engaged in a dishonest effort to conceal data is unworthy of this thread, and unworthy of the more objective commentary you have been capable of in the past.

    • Fred,

      By the way, a private business would be OUT OF BUSINESS if they had allowed their product to get so far out of date. The fact that they did NOT keep the charts updated and used such a blatant excuse for this shows bad intent or incompetence. Take your pick Fred.

      Yup, I am happy to show everyone the data and let them come to their own conclusions as to why Colorado has been so rude about keeping everyone in the dark about the small decline for the last couple of years. Why couldn’t they have simply announced that they appeared to have calibration issues that could possibly be a malfunction and either posted that on the site or posted that data as PROVISIONAL awaiting resolution of possible issues?

      Going from 3+mm/yr rise to 0 is quite a change especially when the historic rise was more like 1.5mm/yr. Of course Dr. Moerner told us all this years ago. Why wouldn’t you listen to a venerable EXPERT in the field???

      I notice that Wood for Trees has also stopped updating the satellite data. You guys are like a bunch of children. Refusing to play if everything isn’t to your preference. Or maybe they just lost interest when they realized there was nothing to save the earth from?? Naaah, they wouldn’t bother keeping CRU and GISS updated in that case.

      So what data does that leave us with Fred?? With the sea level data now in question there is nothing upon which you can base your so called Climate Science that isn’t being adjusted due to going in the wrong direction. Really, how can an area that has received Billions of dollars for research not gather reliable observations and present them openly???

    • And by the way Fred, y’all warmers are blowing off the IR paper as if it was meaningless. I gotta tell you I agree that all by itself it probably is meaningless. Of course, with all the other data agreeing that the earth has been cooling for about 15 years it becomes another piece of the puzzle telling the Climate Science Community they are past their use by date!!!

      Got that Fred?? 15 years of data telling us that the earth is cooling after only 20 years of warming. For 15 years the Climate Community was assuring us it was still warming and venomously attacking honest sceptics when they suggested it wasn’t. Not exactly the picture you will admit to is it??

      What is that data?? No hot spot, no cooling stratosphere, no warming oceans (y’all had to make a mess of splicing different series to get it to show warming through 2003) no increasing humidity in the upper atmosphere, no increasing land or ocean air temps, and now the ocean isn’t rising. All while China and India keeps the CO2 increasing!!

      Climate Science is appropriately becoming a bad joke.

    • To date, most evidence is consistent with solar effects on climate via total irradiance, spectral irradiance variations (including UV), and cosmic ray flux, but none of the evidence is consistent with effects sufficient to account for more than a small portion of long term temperature change on a global scale.

      In reality the evidence is that GCM’s use fictions aka constants when prescribing solar variations such as UV or SSI, OR that there are important variables such as Energetic Electron precipitation that do effect the stratosphere and surface climate, and are not included, are a basis for legitimate questions.

    • UV as any sort of a factor in climate change has not been recognized until recently – and is not included in GCM.

      It is a problem of thinking that we understand the physics in the detail and extent sufficient to model – using chaotic instruments – climate into the dim future. Stop pulling our legs Fred – you have taken this joke far enough.

    • There is a divergence in CCM as opposed to GCM where UV is requied to be spectrally defined for chemical reactions.The stratosphere is only coarsely resolved in GCM.

      EEP is also an important variable as it is responsible for ozone depletion .eg Thorne
      http://www.sciencemag.org/content/195/4275/287.abstract

      Rozanov et al 2005 found measurable changes equal to UV and surface T effects .

      http://www.agu.org/journals/ABS/2005/2005GL023041.shtml

      As the stratosphere seems to be the main driver of climate change in the SH (WMO 2010) (Polvani et al 2011) and as poorly resolved stratospheres are the main reason for both model error (wmo 2010) ,(Rolf et al 2011) and high sensitivity (Joshi 2010) it is best to view each experiment on a case by case basis .

    • David L. Hagen

      Paul Vaughan
      Where there’s smoke, there may be fire. Shows others exploring orbital affects driving climate. Have more confidence in Don Easterbrook’s projections based on the PDO. Back in 1999/2001 he predicted a cooling period (contrary to IPCC’s steadily increasing temperature). There is increasing evidence of cooling since 2000.

      More importantly, thanks for your articles on the Length Of Day (LOD):
      Solar, Terrestrial, & Lunisolar Components of Rate of Change of Length of Day
      Particularly:

      For example, a fundamentally important seminal observation reported by Le Mouël, Blanter, Shnirman, & Courtillot (2010) revealed the quasistationary 11 year solar cycle in the rate of change of length of day (LOD’),

      Thanks for the list of publications on LOD.

      Fred Moolten
      The magnitude of solar impact on temperature is of major debate. The strongest impact appears on precipitation, runoff, and winds (length of day). e.g.
      Le Mouël, J.-L., E. Blanter, M. Shnirman, and V. Courtillot (2010), Solar forcing of the semi-annual variation of length-of-day, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L15307, doi:10.1029/2010GL043185.

      We study the evolution of the amplitude A of the semi-annual variation of the length-of-day (lod) from 1962 to 2009. We show that A is strongly modulated (up to 30%) by the 11-yr cycle monitored by the sunspot number WN. A and WN are anticorrelated, WN leading A by 1-yr. A is therefore directly correlated with galactic cosmic ray intensity.

      WJR Alexander above shows strong evidence of the 22 year solar magnetic Hale cycle drives precipitation and runoff. That complements Mouel et al. showning LOD (winds) driven by cosmic rays.
      These modulation of solar / galactic cosmic rays on clouds and winds (LOD) must have corresponding impacts on temperatures.

    • David L. Hagen

      Solar, Terrestrial, & Lunisolar Components of Rate of Change of Length of Day April 10, 2011 WUWT Paul L. Vaughan
      file:///D:/at/climate%20change/Earth%20rotation%20gravity/Solar%20Length%20of%20Day/Solar,%20Terrestrial,%20&%20Lunisolar%20Components%20of%20Rate%20of%20Change%20of%20Length%20of%20Day%20_%20Watts%20Up%20With%20That.htm

      For treasure hunters, Gross has written an extensive treatise on LOD with quantitative equations:
      Gross, Richard. S., Earth Roation Variations – Long Period, in Physical Geodesy, edited by T. A. Herring, Treatise on Geophysics, Vol. 11, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 2007.
      http://geodesy.geology.ohio-state.edu/course/refpapers/Gross_Geodesy_LpER07.pdf

    • That beats hell out of Jim Hansen’s predictions – because the world is cooling. And before that interminable and tedious discussion begins again – CERES shows some small warming (mostly in the short wave due to cloud changes associated with moderate El Nino conditions in the middle of the decade) as does ARGO to 2000m. The current La Nina will see that reverse.

      ‘This implies that ‘top-down’ solar modulation could be a larger factor in long-term tropospheric change than previously believed, many climate models allowing only for the ‘bottom-up’ effect of the less-variable visible and infrared solar emissions. We present evidence for long-term drift in solar UV irradiance, which is not found in its commonly used proxies.’ http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/5/3/034008/pdf/1748-9326_5_3_034008.pdf

      Now they do stress that this influence on the Arctic Oscillation is regional – but the effect occurs at the South Pole as well and with ENSO connections.

      So the models are wrong.

      ‘Solar activity during the current sunspot minimum has fallen to levels unknown since the start of the 20th century. The Maunder minimum (about 1650–1700) was a prolonged episode of low solar activity which coincided with more severe winters in the United Kingdom and continental Europe. Motivated by recent relatively cold winters in the UK, we investigate the possible connection with solar activity. We identify regionally anomalous cold winters by detrending the Central England temperature (CET) record using reconstructions of the northern hemisphere mean temperature. We show that cold winter excursions from the hemispheric trend occur more commonly in the UK during low solar activity, consistent with the solar influence on the occurrence of persistent blocking events in the eastern Atlantic. We stress that this is a regional and seasonal effect relating to European winters and not a global effect. Average solar activity has declined rapidly since 1985 and cosmogenic isotopes suggest an 8% chance of a return to Maunder minimum conditions within the next 50 years (Lockwood 2010 Proc. R. Soc. A 466 303–29): the results presented here indicate that, despite hemispheric warming, the UK and Europe could experience more cold winters than during recent decades.’
      http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/5/2/024001/pdf/1748-9326_5_2_024001.pdf

      So things are getting very much cooler over Europe and America and warming in Greenland on the basis of open solar flux and temperature correlations – although hemispheric warming seems more to be an offhand statement based on an article of faith. We seem certainly to be entering territory not seen for a while. So the models are certainly wrong.

      The only data we have on TOA radiative flux shows cloud as an order of magnitude bigger factor than CO2 – so really you would have to assume that the models were tuned to warming between 1976 and 1998 but for the wrong reason.

      No – it seems still that this is the greatest nonsense for the greatest number since the end of the world was predicted 1000 years ago at the height of the medieval optimum. I would like to get on board – as I think the outcome of the great atmospheric experiment is unknown and don’t like doing things unless I know what the risk is. But people like Fred are part of the problem and not part of the solution.

    • Paul Vaughan

      The 60 year cycle is not stationary, as I’ve shown.

    • Paul Vaughan

      Meant to say 60 year cycle (since that’s what it is called even though that is not what it is).

    • Dr. Scafetta
      When people do not know, they speculate, look for all kinds of reasons, very often spurious , eventually formulating misleading and false conclusions.
      This is case with CO2 hypothesis, with many papers referring to the natural decadal oscillations, with many comments on this and similar threads here and elsewhere, and respectfully with your paper as considered above.
      None indentify real reason for the climate’s natural change and hence has no scientific value.

    • Paul Vaughan

      vukcevic, please consider the following:

      “An independent rotational constraint comes from the polar motion. For a slow (compared to the Chandler wobble of 14 mo) global eustatic rise from a concentrated source, the pole of rotation responds by moving toward the melting source and thus maximizing the equatorial oblateness. [...] These considerations offer the intriguing possibility of distinguishing between a somewhat off-axis source (Greenland) and a nearly on-axis source (Antarctica).

      Munk, W. (2002). Twentieth century sea level: an enigma. PNAS 99(10), 6550-6555. doi: 10.1073/pnas.092704599.

  31. Nicola,
    Brilliant comparison of climate modelers to drug development modelers. Actually computer-aided drug discovery and development is used, but it is only used to learn about possible outcomes, issues and drug interactions. Actual human clinical trials still have to be performed. No one and I mean absolutely no one things of these computer models as exactly representative of human anatomy and physiology. It is absurd in the extreme that climate modelers think and talk like computer runs are “experiments.” They are nothing of the sort. The fact this lunacy is not more openly mocked is bad for all of science.

    For info on computer-aided drug discovery and development, see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2253724/

    • Nicola Scafetta

      Yes Ron
      Computer models are used everywhere.
      But nobody believes that they should be blindly trusted, despite the empirical results!
      In every field of science there exists an active collaboration and mutual respect and professional acknowledgment between computer modelers and people that make empirical studies.

      So, I simply hope that the same happens in climate, everybody will benefit and good science will be produced.

    • Well, it turns out this is actually true about climate science too.

      This is not to say that every computer modeler respects everyone who does empirical studies. But not every computer modeler respects every computer modeler either, and so forth.

      And of course respect has degrees and even dimensions.

    • Paul Baer

      Computer models are validated by other computer models, not by empirical evidence based on actual physical observations or reproducible experimentation.

      IOW, they are not really validated.

      Max

    • Dr. Scafetta

      I would agree fully that climate models should not be blindly trusted, despite the empirical results.

      In fact, this is the Achilles heel of the dangerous AGW premise, as I pointed out to Fred Moolten above.

      A climate model is nothing more than a very expensive upgrade of the old slide-rule of bygone days. It only tells you what you program it to do. GIGO.

      Without even getting into your study, which I find intriguing and quite plausible, there are just too many empirical observations, which simply do not fit for the premise that AGW has been the principal cause for the observed 20th century warming. Most notable among these are the observed multi-decadal cycles in the temperature record with a total cycle time of about 60 years, the early 20th century warming cycle which occurred before any major human CO2 emissions (a warming cycle that is indistinguishable from the late 20th century warming cycle, which has been used by IPCC as the “AGW poster period”), the similar, but slightly less pronounced late 19th century multi-decadal warming cycle (before any human CO2 emissions), the multi-decadal cycles of slight cooling in between and the current period of no warming, despite record increases in CO2. And all of this at the same time that atmospheric CO2 started increasing at a compounded annual growth rate of around 0.4% per year when Mauna Loa records started and at a much slower putative rate based on ice core data prior to this time.

      Statistical analyses have shown that the temperature record is a random walk. There is no robust statistical correlation between atmospheric CO2 and temperature. And where there is no robust statistical correlation, the case for causation is extremely weak.

      To me this is the fatal flaw of the model-based premise that AGW has been the principal driver of our past climate and, therefore, represents a serious potential threat for the future.

      And to date no one has been able to show me the empirical evidence to corroborate this hypothesis.

      Max

    • Most notable among these are the observed multi-decadal cycles in the temperature record with a total cycle time of about 60 years, the early 20th century warming cycle which occurred before any major human CO2 emissions (a warming cycle that is indistinguishable from the late 20th century warming cycle, which has been used by IPCC as the “AGW poster period”), the similar, but slightly less pronounced late 19th century multi-decadal warming cycle (before any human CO2 emissions), the multi-decadal cycles of slight cooling in between and the current period of no warming, despite record increases in CO2.

      The above passage in one graph is here:
      http://bit.ly/cO94in

  32. As a skeptic I am very doubtful about any link between an apparent 60-year cycle in the climate and the 30-year orbit of Saturn.
    Even if there is a planetary effect, which I very much doubt, it’s a simple calculation to see that the gravitational influence of Jupiter would be more than 10x that of Saturn.

  33. Nonsensical notions about the PDO are rampant and need to be reeled in. Many of the cycles papers being discussed & cited here are outdated.

  34. The PDO is not the whole story by any means – but most people are still in catch up mode – http://www.pnas.org/content/107/5/1833.short – vid Kevin “it surely isn’t decadal” Trenberth

    The PDO is just aspect of the IPO – both non-stationary and non-guassian. About exactly what would be expected in the large phase space of a spatio-temporal dynamically complex climate system.

    • Paul Vaughan

      To extract the spatiotemporal synchronization, what’s needed is a multivariate embedding of adjacent spatiotemporal derivatives in the hypercomplex plane.

    • Très bon. I see you do get it and can make me laugh at the same time.

    • Paul Vaughan

      Even a simple 2 dimensional embedding of normalized adjacent temporal derivatives of NPI, AO, NAO, & solar wind speed reveals nonrandom phase differences.

      The simple (but temporally nonstationary) shared pattern shows up in scores of terrestrial time series, but the preceding subset is perhaps the simplest introductory example.

      The strongest limiting factor holding the brakes on climate science right now appears to be failure to understand & appreciate the spatial nature of interannual variations (Simpson’s Paradox). The mainstream will remain puzzled & divided in its efforts to get a handle on decadal variations until it overcomes the interannual spatial hurdle.

      For those who don’t independently develop exploratory tools from scratch, a concise primer is section 3 of the following:

      Maraun, D.; & Kurths, J. (2005). Epochs of phase coherence between El Nino-Southern Oscillation and Indian monsoon. Geophysical Research Letters 32, L15709. doi10.1029-2005GL023225.
      http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/~douglas/papers/maraun05a.pdf

    • ‘ENSO and the Monsoon have been known to be correlated on inter-annual time scales since the pioneering work of Walker at the beginning of the last century.’ This work of Gilbert Walker was something not excepted for 50 years – just goes to show.

      But you are right – this is one area where climate science is on the first step. The other area is in first causes – the small initial changes that have the potential to result in bifurcation in the global climate system.

    • Paul Vaughan

      It’s good to see Chief laugh at something he hasn’t himself written.

      Keep up the good work.

    • Not true Bart – I laugh at you

    • Chief

      It may not occur to you, but I have to work very hard to keep your spirits up, and if Paul Vaughan is so kind as to help shoulder the burden you’ve become, I’m not complaining.

    • What can I say – you are like a son to me.

      ‘But whoever gives birth to useless children, what would you say of him except that he has bred sorrows for himself, and furnishes laughter for his enemies.’
      Sophocles

      I am inclined to take Tomas’ advice and just ignore you – but you are just so darn irrepressible. You’re like that game where gnomes pop up and we have to hit them with a hammer. I think the game is called ‘nullius in verba’.

      I’d like to advise you to stop posting irrelevancies but I have done that before – and hell it would realistically be a pot and kettle scenario of the hypocritical kind.

    • In my youth, I worked in an auto parts store. About once a week some guy would send his wife in asking for a water-cooled grease fitting for a chain drive manifold. The standard reply was to ask if she wanted it with a filter or not. She would have to call her husband to find out. The joke was really funny when I first saw it 40 years ago.

  35. When considering the gravitational influences of the planets, it should be remembered that the strength of the gravitational pull is not significant. According to the general relativity its effect just disappears and all particles are continuously in free fall. What is of significance is the second derivative of the gravitation, which dies out in the fourth power of distance. For this reason the moon is the main driver of the tides, while the sun has a weaker effect, which results in higher tides at full and new moon than half moon.

    The dying out of the influence in fourth power of the distance means, that the effect of Saturn is really minuscule, and that Mercury is more important than Jupiter. Concerning the relative motion of Earth and Sun the situation is a bit more complex, but the effect of Saturn is again minuscule for the same reason, as the orbit of Earth looks small from the distance of Saturn (the fourth power applies again).

    • Paul Vaughan

      The solar system has shaped the relationship of Earth & Moon with Sun, so one finds confounding if one looks carefully.

      (Some don’t like to hear about this because it ruins their stories. For example, some become hostile when confronted with the suggestion that beats arising in Earth-Moon relations are *not driven by Ceres.)

    • To put the record right:

      A wrote the above message without checking the details. I had the erroneous remembrance that the gradient of the gravitational force would cancel out and the second derivative would be the dominant term. Therefore I wrote that the effect is proportional to the inverse fourth power, while the gradient does not actually cancel out and the effect is proportional to the inverse third power.

      The general conclusions do not change by this observation, but the relative weights are now Jupiter: 2.26, Venus: 2.16, Earth: 1, Mercury: 0.95. These four are important, the next Saturn 0.11 and Mars: 0.04 have only a much weaker effect on solar tides.

      Considering the gravitational effects on the Sun, there is a natural single number to look at: the gradient of the combined gravitational force of the planets. It’s surprising that papers that have discussed the gravitational influence of the planets on the Sun have not done it through this number (I have not done any extensive search, but what I have seen does not apply this approach.)

      Non-gravitational influences like those related to magnetic fields may behave differently, but the distance from the sun is important for them as well.

      To convince me that any particular similarity of periods found from the solar system and in the Earth climate is significant more is needed than the coincidence of a single number. Such coincidences are far too common on random basis to justify emphasizing them as anything more than weak hints of a remotely possible connection. Any hints may be studied further, but conclusions should not drawn without additional confirmation.

  36. When thinking about orbital influences on the sun, it is sufficient to note that the sun does have an irregular orbit and that it is a dynamic fluid whose ouput is strongly modulated by its magnetic field, itself a consequence of fluid motion. Some of the effects on Earth are consequences of this magnetic field itself, not just visible light. It is not necessary for the periods of the effect to be constant for them to be predictable in the short term.

  37. Nicola Scafetta

    Some people above are wondering how it is possible that planets influence the sun. Indeed the issue is not solved yet.

    However there are people looking on this topic. One recent paper is the following:

    Wolff C. L. and P. N. Patrone, 2010. A New Way that Planets Can Affect the Sun. Solar Physics 266, 227-246.

    • Nicola Scafetta

      Spooky.

      The Wolff and Patrone mechanism is almost exactly the same as I’ve heard among practicioners as the explanation for Voodoo, replacing appropriate words with ‘spirit’ and ‘ectoplasm’.

      This fusion transistor mechanism ought be investigated by plasma power researchers, who may merely need to wait for the right alignment of the planets and homeopathic introduction of dewdrops and gold buttons to cast their spells.

    • Bart –
      The Wolff and Patrone mechanism is almost exactly the same as I’ve heard among practicioners as the explanation for Voodoo, replacing appropriate words with ‘spirit’ and ‘ectoplasm’.

      60 years ago the same would have been said about transistors.

    • Jim Owen

      Only by people who’d never heard of vacuum tubes, one suspects.

    • Do you know the difference between vacuum tubes and transistors? It’s not obvious from your comment. Which, BTW, has nothing to do with mine.

    • Jim Owen

      My great uncle was a vacuum tube hobbyist, and had a collection of literature surrounding the death-knell of his obsession from the late 1940′s to the mid 1950′s. He cared a great deal about the distinction between voltage amplification (tube) and current amplification (transistor). I never really caught that bug.

      In 1951, if you knew your vacuum tubes like a fanatic, you’d likely been following the transistor development story for three years from Shockley et al onwards and were keenly interested in TTK.

      You may have even felt a ripple of relief at TI’s early failures in the radio market.

      The difference between Shockley and Scaffeta, vacuum tubes had met their physical limit and could go no further; transistors extended the abilities and expanded the universe of possibilities of electronics — Scaffeta’s simply seeking to replace something relatively reliable and proven with something unproven.

    • BartR –
      So you don’t really know the difference.

      I designed and built equipment using vacuum tubes starting in 1955. I was designing vacuum tube computer circuits in 1958. Transistors came later and I was designing, building and testing circuits for space qualified equipment and for control center C3 switching functions through the 60′s and 70′s. That was a very minor part of the job.

      And by ’64 TI was supplying parts for military SSB gear that even NASA couldn’t acquire.

      As for vacuum tube limits – variations are still being used for high power spacecraft data applications. Think Space Network/TDRSS.
      Among other apps.

      Scaffeta’s simply seeking to replace something relatively reliable and proven with something unproven.

      And just how do you think science works? Or technology, for that matter? Did you really think transistors were reliable and proven when they replaced vacuum tubes? Did you never hear about how close this country came to nuclear war because of ghost targets caused by transistor glitches at Cheyenne Mt?

      You’re blowin’ smoke here.

    • Blowing smoke?

      Maybe my tubes are overheated?

      Seriously, Jim, you’re beating a dead analogy.

      There is some ‘voodoo’ reasoning to understanding transistors. I mean, holes moving through solids?

      A small change in a small thing causing something larger to change more?

      These are not within the methods of strict predicate logic, but of the non-logical forms of reasoning.

      Turns out they work, after much experimentation and trial and failure.

      Which can be how science works.

      But we’re early days on many of Scafetta’s methods, and Nicola Scafetta’s only seeking to replace more established and commonly accepted methods by and large with this approach, unless I’ve missed about two-thirds of what should be there in a publication to support this unconventional analyses.

      If the methods succeed in the fullness of time, that’s great. However, a prudent reader remains skeptical until that time.

    • Paul Vaughan

      This article remains barricaded behind a paywall. Anyone seen a freely-available copy (that could potentially [but not necessarily] enrich our discussion)?

    • Nicola –
      Some people above are wondering how it is possible that planets influence the sun.

      How could they NOT influence each other? They are, after all, parts of the same system and therefore interdependent.

      “How” they do that is another question – but “whether” they do so is not in question for anyone with any imagination or knowledge at all.

    • David L. Hagen

      See the recent review on solar/climate interactions:
      Gray, L. J., et al. (2010), Solar influences on climate, Rev. Geophys., 48, RG4001, doi:10.1029/2009RG000282.
      http://scostep.apps01.yorku.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Gray_etal_2009RG000282.pdf

    • David, I can’t open that pdf for some reason. Does it have something more substantial that correlation? I mean there is still a lot to learn about the Sun, the correlations seem obvious, with the few meanderings that are interesting, but the mechanisms are still pretty vague.

  38. Nicola Scafetta

    Bart, please!
    300 years ago Newton too was accused to propose Voodoo science with its theory of gravity.

    I think that somebody here is not understanding that scientific research is a slow process that starts with empirical analysis and observations. A full and comprehensive and definitive first year student textbook theory will be written later. So, be patient. If you are in hurry and want that things run a little bit faster, simply request that new ideas are properly discussed and not censored (for example, via ” anonymous” peer review process) .

    • Nicola Scafetta

      Newton’s gravity was accused of being illogical because as Motion at a Distance, it is strictly speaking illogical.

      Perfectly rational within the reasoning system of Motion at a Distance, but still illogical, as it lacks a connection between cause and effect either directly or though intermediate mechanisms explicit in its definition.

      This is a problem that has occupied the minds of physicists since Newton, and before, and still.

      While voodoo and homeopathy rely on reasoning that is also illogical, the reasoning they use is mainly the Principle of Contagion, and not so much of Motion at a Distance.

      More correctly, the fusion lensing effect of Wolff and Patrone appears to rely on nothing more than the Law of Similarity (ie Correlation = Causation).

      Newton made careful, diligent observations and his theory was tested to the highest precision that could be contrived experimentally.

      Newton’s work was improved on by Einstein and others in part because it formed a valid foundation for applying logic to a rational body of work, and in part because, lacking a description of the intermediate mechanism, it had room for improvement.

      Einstein’s improvements too, experimental observation and diligent measurement tended to support.

      Correlations between movements of the planets and sunspots, however, careful measurement tends to discredit. Over and over again.

      Repeatedly, even educated people like our Chief Hydrologist fall for the con games of pious frauds like his outback farmer, and propose schemas that the simplest examination by first year students can dispose of.

      Patience ought end when abused by repetition of mistake.

    • ‘These `top-down’ mechanisms would be effective alongside `bottom-up’ solar heating of the sea surface and the dynamically coupled air–sea interactions. Although differentiating between the effects of variations in the two will often be difficult, recent studies indicate that they are additive, producing amplified SST, precipitation and cloud responses, for example in the tropical Pacific, even for relatively small solar forcing changes.’ http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/5/3/034008/fulltext

      Now I am not sure what 1st year students you are referencing Bart. Perhaps it is wikepedia again. Hopefully they are not repetitive and noxious fools because my patience is at an end.

    • Chief

      If you have complaints about wikipedia, become a contributor.

      If you have complaints about being shown to be wrong, stop being wrong.

    • Bart,

      too bad you don’t appear to have much knowledge to support your scepticism. Do you ever have anything but ad homs??

    • kk

      Are you making this assertion as an authority on Newton, Physics, Logic, Reasoning, Voodoo or Homeopathy?

      If you’re skeptical of my substantive arguments, refute them as I have used them to refute Nicola Scafetta’s substantive argument.

      Otherwise “don’t appear to have much knowledge,” is simply the sort of ad hom you (doubly) hypocritically claim.

    • When you come up with a substantive argument please let us know. It will be quite an event!!

    • kk

      It’s quite an event every time.

      I practically keep the champagne and confetti industries alive singlehandedly with my arguments.

  39. GIRMA ON CLIMATE OSCILLATION
    (Mathematics is the science of patterns)

    Study of the annual global mean temperature anomaly (GMTA) shows the following pattern

    1) A 30-years long alternate cooling and warming oscillation of 0.6 deg C and
    2) A 30-years warming of 0.18 deg C

    This pattern can be validated using the following observed data

    Year=>GMTA (deg C)
    1880=>-0.22
    1910=>-0.6
    1940=>0.1
    1970=>-0.3
    2000=>0.5
    http://bit.ly/fizsCE

    We start with the GMTA of –0.22 deg C for 1880.

    GMTA for 1910 (1880 to 1910 cooling) => -0.22 – 0.6 + 0.18 => -0.64 deg C
    GMTA for 1940 (1910 to 1940 warming) => -0.64 + 0.6 + 0.18 => 0.14 deg C
    GMTA for 1970 (1940 to 1970 cooling) => 0.14 – 0.6 + 0.18 => -0.28 deg C
    GMTA for 2000 (1970 to 2000 warming) => -0.28 + 0.6 + 0.18 => 0.50 deg C
    GMTA for 2030 (2000 to 2030 cooling) => 0.50 – 0.6 + 0.18 => 0.08 deg C

    Comparison of simple model and observed data

    Year=>GMTA (Observed) => GMAT (Model)
    1880=>-0.22=>-0.22
    1910=>-0.6=>-0.64
    1940=>0.1=>0.14
    1970=>-0.3=>-0.28
    2000=>0.5=>0.5

    The above comparison shows excellent agreement between model and observed data.

    Conclusion: Based on 130 years of observed data, the annual global mean temperature anomaly is cyclic with alternate 30-years warming and cooling of 0.6 deg C, in addition to an overall warming of 0.6 deg C per century.

    • Nicola Scafetta

      Thank you very much, Girma,

      You have proven to us all the difference between hand-waving logic (adopted by somebody above) and an authentic scientific attitude that checks a claim.

      Your result ” the annual global mean temperature anomaly is cyclic with alternate 30-years warming and cooling” confirms the correctness of my analysis that show a 60-year temperature cycle I am talking in my paper.

      Interestingly, as I also proved in my paper, the IPCC general circulation climate model such as the NASA GISS ModelE are not capable to reproduce EVEN this macroscopic pattern!

      How can those models be considered scientifically valid and useful to understand climate and for regulating extremely expensive policies for the future?

      Moreover, because the Anthropogenic Global Warming theory is based on those computer models, on which empirical evidence is this theory based given that those models do not agree with the data?

      It is evident that something important is missing in those models, and I proposed an astronomical theory for climate oscillations that at least agrees quite well with the data and has the potentiality of forecasting them. Further improvement will hopefully come in the future.

    • Except of course Girma’s predictions are wrong for every point on his graph except perhaps 6 other than these 5 cherry-picked extreme points.

      Likewise, going back to 1850, he’s wrong again.

      Moving the length of Girma’s cycles around arbitrarily by up to five years produces better fits, and so do a number of simpler acyclic proposed lines.

      Using different curve smoothing than Girma arbitrarily selects, likewise, produces different results.

      If you’re actually looking for support from data, and not from skewed and creatively contrived interpretive errors, you would not be relying on such clearly inadequate analyses.

      The best explanation of the cycle-like appearance of the global temperature is ergodicity.

    • Nicola Scafetta

      Bart,
      you need to read my paper first. Once that you have finished, read it again. Possibly, read it a third time. In the paper the analysis is done with advanced techniques.

      If that paper is for you too complicated, read my booklet

      http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/climate_change_cause.pdf

      So, please, learn from Girma who did just a basic analysis of the data while you are only hand-waving.

    • Bart R

      Isn’t predicting the 30-years local maxim and minima [1880, 1910, 1940, 1970, 2000, 2030] adequate in our extremely complex climate? For years between these values, we can correctly predict the global mean temperature anomaly trend, but not the individual year’s temperatures.

    • BartR

      Hey. Back off.

      NONE of the temperature points correlate with atmospheric CO2 concentrations and you are berating Girma of “cherry-picking” because there are a few observed points that lie outside his sine curve?

      Get serious!

      Max

    • Max

      Seriously, even a broken watch is right twice a day.

      Girma doesn’t even match a week worth of the results of a broken watch over the course of a century and a half.

      When applying graphical analyses to data, it’s important to validate the method chose.

      Girma’s using clearly invalid methods.

      I could flip a coin every day for 160 years and using Girma’s type of reasoning come to the conclusion I could predict the toss of a coin, but only on one day every thirty years.

      It’s simply boggling that anyone could fall for that story.

    • Bart

      Look at Girma’s “sine curve” more closely.

      You will see that most of the yearly variations lie within this sine curve, with some exceptions noted.

      This is obviously not a perfect match, but it is so much better than the match with CO2, which is being promoted by IPCC, based on model simulations backed largely by theoretical deliberations, rather than physical observations.

      Girma does not propose a causation. He simply states that the record appears to correlate with a multi-decadal oscillation resembling a sine curve on a tilted axis. From this he concludes that the oscillations cannot be caused by CO2, which has not seen such oscillations, and that the warming from CO2 could, at most, be represented by the overall long-term warming trend of around 0.6C per decade.

      Further to Girma’s analysis: The record shows a random walk, as has been demonstrated by statistical studies. There is no statistical correlation between atmospheric CO2 and GMTA. Where there is no robust statistical correlation, the case for causation is extremely weak, if not non-existent.

      That is the conclusion one can draw here.

      The observed data obviously do not agree with the climate models and the AGW theory, so we have a problem. It is a basic problem, under which much of the “dangerous AGW” premise suffers.

      Should we change the observed data to bring them in line with the models?

      I don’t think so.

      Max

    • Max

      Why should there be a close match of oscillations to CO2?

      CO2 is mostly accumulating, although it has regional variations over time that are tiny in comparison with the overall rise.

      One might expect a shift in oscillations (which may indeed be happening) as an underlying factor accumulates, but one seldom expects to correlate something that oscillates over time with something that doesn’t.

      Looking for something no one expects, and then acting as if not finding it is proof of anything.. not a convincing act.

      The oscillations Girma proposes, likewise, have a strongly regionalized gradiant, if one separates temperature by high and low latitude, with the oscillation-like appearance strongest in Northern latitudes.

      That Girma has identified a rising portion of the global temperature signal — which is not so strongly regional as the oscillation-like appearance — is perhaps useful and of some significance to interpreters.

      But an oscillation that is sometimes over 30 years when rising, sometimes only six years when falling, doesn’t repeat the same way twice, and may be in total anywhere from 50-70 years on data we have less than three total ‘oscillations’ to evaluate, especially when the first forty years of the data have to be dropped to frame a credible graph.

      That’s simply scientific fraud.

      I have no doubt Girma believes he’s producing correct results. I have no doubt Nicola Scafetta too believes the results published are careful and correct.

      However, Chief Hydrologist’s explanations are better, and do not rely on oscillation or cycle, period or pendulum.

      It’s ergodicity. The ‘oscillations’ are insignificant, and amount to little more than random noise.

      Indeed, even if there were true sine patterns in the global climate, if the whole +/-AGW debate has any substance to it, as the CO2 level is cumulative, then over time it stands to reason the temperature rise might overwhelm the oscillation in a single direction.

      Then again, it might simply evolve into period doubling, with 15-year oscillations. Then 7-8 year. Then 3-4 year. Then true randomness.

      Who’s to say where Spatiotemporal Chaos is involved?

    • Bart R

      There is no question that the GMTA record (HadCRUT, for example) shows multi-decadal cycles of warming and slight cooling, with a total cycle time of about 60 years, an amplitude 0f about +/- 0.2C on a tilted axis showing a long-term warming trend of around 0.6C per century.

      Girma has simply calculated a “best fit” sine curve to represent this physically observed fact.

      He has not speculated on the cause for the oscillations, except to state that it is unlikely that CO2 could be their cause.

      Instead, he and I have both conceded that CO2 might well be (at least partially) the cause for the observed long-term warming trend.

      This all makes sense to me.

      You are right when you write:

      one seldom expects to correlate something that oscillates over time with something that doesn’t.

      This is precisely my point, Bart. GMTA oscillates; atmospheric CO2 does not. Therefore GMTA does not correlate with atmospheric CO2. Where there is no robust statistical correlation, the case for causation is extremely weak (if not nonexistent).

      So we apparently agree.

      Am I right?

      Max

    • Bart R

      If you prefer to see the actual linear trend lines for the observed multi-decadal cycles in the GMTA record, rather than Girma’s “best fit” sine curve, they are visible here.
      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1850/to:2010/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1910/to:1939/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1975/to:2001/trend/plot/hadcrut3

      Max

    • Max

      Working from your original, looking for hemispheric differences, the SH plot underscores what I’d said about looking at full cycles:

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vsh/compress:55/plot/hadcrut3vsh/from:1910/to:1940/trend/plot/hadcrut3vsh/from:1970/to:2000/trend/plot/hadcrut3vsh/from:1940/to:1970/trend/plot/hadcrut3vsh/from:1850/to:1880/trend/plot/hadcrut3vsh/from:1880/to:1910/trend/plot/hadcrut3vsh/from:2000/trend/plot/hadcrut3vsh/trend

      From 1850-1940 you do have a sorta-kinda skewed sine wave. One.

      From 1940 on, you have roughly three quarters of a disjoint and decaying sine wave.

      You produce as convincing results from the random data for some spans.

      For the Northern Hemisphere, you get only a decayed and jumbled collection of meaningless squiggles, less convincing of cyclic behavior than most spans of the random data.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vnh/compress:55/plot/hadcrut3vnh/from:1910/to:1940/trend/plot/hadcrut3vnh/from:1970/to:2000/trend/plot/hadcrut3vnh/from:1940/to:1970/trend/plot/hadcrut3vnh/from:1850/to:1880/trend/plot/hadcrut3vnh/from:1880/to:1910/trend/plot/hadcrut3vnh/from:2000/trend/plot/hadcrut3vnh/trend

      Girma’s apparent sine curve is no more than Simpson’s Paradox and wishful thinking.

      Acceleration is more persuasive for each set, and it’s not particularly convincing:

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vnh/compress:55/plot/hadcrut3vnh/from:1910/trend/plot/hadcrut3vnh/from:1970/trend/plot/hadcrut3vnh/from:1940/trend/plot/hadcrut3vnh/from:1850/trend/plot/hadcrut3vnh/from:1880/trend/plot/hadcrut3vnh/from:2000/trend/plot/hadcrut3vnh/trend

      But at least it’s present in both hemispheres about equally:

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vsh/compress:55/plot/hadcrut3vsh/from:1910/trend/plot/hadcrut3vsh/from:1970/trend/plot/hadcrut3vsh/from:1940/trend/plot/hadcrut3vsh/from:1850/trend/plot/hadcrut3vsh/from:1880/trend/plot/hadcrut3vsh/from:2000/trend/plot/hadcrut3vsh/trend

      The human eye wants to impose patterns, but it isn’t particularly good at trigonometry.

    • David L. Hagen

      Bart
      “That’s simply scientific fraud.” Cut out the ad hominem attacks.
      You have no evidence of knowingly morally reprehensible behavior. Instead, your attacks themselves are morally reprehensible for their scientific slander.

      3 cycles x 60 yrs in temperature is about the longest actual temperature measurements available. So look at how best to get information from that and evaluate the uncertainty in doing so.
      The hydrological record – eg the Nile – provides far longer. See above.

    • David L. Hagen

      “You have no evidence of knowingly morally reprehensible behavior. Instead, your attacks themselves are morally reprehensible for their scientific slander.”

      Were this a blog that hadn’t had a thread already on ethics, and where the topic were not recurrent and prominent, you may have a case that even a repeated and frequent poster of long standing might not be conducting himself in a knowingly morally reprehensible manner.

      However, Climate Etc. has had prominent ethics discussions, and Girma is a frequent and recurrent poster who has amply and repeatedly been given indications that there is a lapse in his methods.

      Girma has ipse-dixitly taken to saying let the data speak for itself, then providing cherry-picked and contrived graphs distorted to speak for himself in place of the data.

      Girma had pointed out to him how inadequate so short a span as less than two full cycles (50-70 years) of sine curves were to graphical analysis, and followed with exactly the same graphs re-framed as 30-year oscillations.

      Girma has had pointed out to him that quadratic graphs have superior correlation to the figures he reports for these re-labeled sine-curve oscillations. He never acknowledges nor discusses nor reports this contrary evidence, which is a key and fundamental element of scientific ethics.

      Girma never discusses the robustness of his fit, the validation methods he has applied, the steps he has taken to prevent being misled by his results, or the principles one ought apply for any such steps.

      Girma repeatedly uses invalid graphical methods in the face of being repeatedly assured these are invalid graphical methods. And he never reports that challenge at all.

      Girma never makes reference to authoritative resources which may tend to support the methods he uses, in the context of being challenged on the validity of his methods.

      Which of these are not transparently fraudulent actions in science, David?

      I’m not attacking Girma.

      I’m criticizing a patently invalid method and cautioning those unfamiliar with how to validate these methods that there are serious questions of credibility.

      I leave it to others to determine how they address these questions.

      I suggest nothing about Girma’s non-scientific character; so far as I know the gentleman may be a misguided saint with many fine features.

      Competent graphical analyses, by the measure of what Girma has presented on Climate Etc. is not among those fine features.

      Maybe look up the definition of ‘ad hominem’ David sometime?

    • David L. Hagen

      Bart R
      Distinguish incompetence from fraud.
      Fraud attacks the person – thus ad hominem.
      Incompetence shows failure to follow the scientific method.
      You may have shown incompetence.
      You do have to show a high degree of evidence before claiming fraud.

    • David

      Respectfully, I said “scientific fraud” and not “fraud” alone.

      The connotation, definition, standards and meanings are not the same.

      Scholarly misconduct is not generally considered a matter of jurisprudence but of academic ethics.

      Were there mere incompetence, such as might be evidenced by repeated different types of failure that could not be construed to be moral or ethical, that would be one thing.

      I myself don’t especially claim to be competent to present the statistical numerical analyses, LOESS, break point validation or other processes it would take to adequately treat the dataset Girma operates on.

      I do claim to be able to identify the methods used by charlatans and pious frauds, which is a far lower standard of technical competence, and I demonstrate this ability by pointing out the simplest and most intuitively obvious of steps to invalidate or challenge Girma’s claims.

      By inspection, the graphs he uses do not achieve his claims.

      By inspection, the domain is far too limited to sufficiently support a trigonometric fit.

      By inspection, when the data is disaggregated into NH and SH — both statistically significant datasets — the effects Girma claims disappear.

      Others have done the work of proposing quadratic equations with higher correlation than Girma claims for his curves.

      These all go simply to competence, and raise questions.

      Girma has many times replied nonresponsively to these issues of competence, so must be aware of them. This addresses the question of intentionality.

      As a scholar, Girma could answer such points, or mention them dismissively, or mention ‘some dispute’ in the vaguest terms when repeating his claims, or could put some caveat in his presentations, or wouldn’t it be great if he simply started using valid methods instead?

      Girma has not recognized or addressed these questions in his repeated claims, instead tailoring his claims to dodge the criticism without addressing the root issues.

      This speaks to intention, and is sufficient in and of itself to consider it a question of ethics.

      The actions in this context do not meet the barest standards of scholarly conduct.

      If you know of any academic institutional ethics body that would, presented with such facts were they in connection with a scholarly paper published within that institution, not consider it worth reviewing, then by all means, name them.

      It wouldn’t pass muster anywhere I can think of.

    • Girma has ipse-dixitly taken to saying let the data speak for itself, then providing cherry-picked and contrived graphs distorted to speak for himself in place of the data.

      From the little attention I’ve paid here, your graphs have been more contrived than his. Don’t make me pay more attention than I have.

      I’m not attacking Girma

      The hell you’re not.

      If you have different information, present it. Without all the personal remarks, which are by any measure unwarranted personal attacks. But your chivying of Girma is getting really irritating – to me, at least and evidently to others as well.

      This is a blog, Bart. Everyone has an opinion and most of us express that opinion. Scientific rigor is not required unless one going to publish. Are you going to publish? Girma has expressed no intent to do so. When he does, your objections may be valid. Until then, they’re just your opinion expressed as ad hom attacks.

    • Girma has ipse-dixitly taken to saying let the data speak for itself, then providing cherry-picked and contrived graphs distorted to speak for himself in place of the data.

      From the little attention I’ve paid here, your graphs have been more contrived than his. Don’t make me pay more attention than I have.

      I’m not attacking Girma

      Of course you are.

      If you have different information, present it. Without all the personal remarks, which are by any measure personal attacks. But your chivying of Girma is getting really irritating – to me, at least and apparently to others as well.

      This is a blog, Bart. Everyone has an opinion and most of us express that opinion. Scientific rigor is not required unless one going to publish. Are you going to publish? Girma has expressed no intent to do so. When he does, your objections may be valid. Until then, they’re just your opinion expressed as ad hom attacks.

    • Jim Owen

      From the little attention I’ve paid here, your graphs have been more contrived than his.

      Engaging in Tu Quoque logic hardly an argument in favorite of an invalid method.

      My graphs have been commentaries on Girma’s, not attempts at character assassination, and I make no claims as to their validity in and of themselves other than with respect to specific other statements, any more than I make any claims about Girma’s character except insofar as is reflected in his conduct with regard to his graphs.

      Don’t make me pay more attention than I have.

      Or..?

      I’m not entirely certain what you’re threatening to do, Jim?

      Or you’ll criticize things I’ve said?

      You’re welcome to.

      I invite and encourage blunt, direct and meaningful criticism that helps clarify subjects.

      Any time you wish to start, go for it.

      I’m not attacking Girma

      The hell you’re not.

      How?

      I know nothing or next to nothing about Girma as a person, I comment only on the comments of Girma’s postings here, I limit my comments to items clearly in evidence about Girma’s postings, and I speak pretty much only to the methods used.

      I’m not engaging in exaggeration, innuendo, rumormongering, mudslinging, guilt by association, half-truths, lying, doublespeak, persecution, defamation, spinning, misleading, concocting, baiting, entrapment, infamy, seeking to blacklist or muzzle or censor, mobbing, inhospitality, caricature, negative campaigning, misattribution; this is not shooting the messenger and I don’t consider Girma fair game for any such tactics or any of the other ad hominem techniques I’m familiar with.

      It’s not a personal attack on you when a red light camera sends you a ticket for running a red light*. It’s evidence you ran a red light. You can dispute it, but the picture’s right there.

      How is this different?

      (*And I’m not implying that either you or Girma run red lights.)

      If you have different information, present it.

      Uh, Jim.. those graphs and comments you’ve looked at without paying much attention, they represent different information being presented.

      There’s quite a lot of it, on the order of beating a dead horse.

      (And I’m speaking here of the arguments and claims, not of the personalities involved.)

      Without all the personal remarks, which are by any measure unwarranted personal attacks. But your chivying of Girma is getting really irritating – to me, at least and evidently to others as well.

      Please, Jim.. I must be slow of mind.

      Explain to me what personal remarks you refer to.

      List them.

      Explain in what nature and means they are personal.

      Explain how to say about the methods what must be said about the methods — because these are true statements to the demerit of the methods independent of the user of the methods — without you thinking it a personal attack.

      Because I don’t see the personal attacks you claim.

      This is a blog, Bart. Everyone has an opinion and most of us express that opinion. Scientific rigor is not required unless one going to publish. Are you going to publish? Girma has expressed no intent to do so. When he does, your objections may be valid. Until then, they’re just your opinion expressed as ad hom attacks.

      Wait. What.

      You’re saying anyone can say anything on a blog, and all criticisms of anything said are automatically personal attack?

      That seems a bit.. broad.

      Are you attacking me personally?

    • Bart R,

      You’ve accused Girma of scientific fraud, which is not a light accusation. I think you should back it up by being specific.

      Here’s a typical definition of scientific (research) misconduct (of which fraud is a subset) :

      (a) Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them.
      (b) Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record.
      (c) Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.
      (d) Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.

      Which of these are you accusing Girma of being guilty of?

      (If you want to provide your own definition of scientific fraud, please spell it out, and then point out how it applies to Girma’s writings.)

    • oneuniverse

      “..you have to show that (d) does not apply”

      Again, asked and answered.

      Incompetence would be producing the graph in the first place with insufficient validation and presenting it unprepared to discuss scientific methodological criticism.

      Presenting the same graph with refinements that do nothing to answer or recognize the serious relevant methodology questions repeatedly raised, that’s also incompetent, too.

      Making changes that clearly are meant to elude or lessen the transparency to methodological criticism is scientific fraud.

      While I’ve disparaged comparison to legal proceedings, I must ask of your expectations and demands, what am I, the cop of the blog?

      You see a purse snatching, is it wrong to yell, “Stop, thief!” if you’re not prepared to chase down the wrongdoer, arrest him, go to law school, get admitted to the bar, act as prosecutor in court and then build a jail and act as warden if the court offers a guilty finding?

      Seems a bit extreme to me.

      I say things on their face may be identified as scientific fraud, in the same way as a purse snatching is a purse snatching, and be perfectly prepared to do nothing more about it than make people aware there’s the whiff of scientific fraud about.

      One would think skeptics would be glad of that honest skeptical service.

      You are a skeptic, no?

      So, if you accept or reject what I report, no skin off my nose. The evidence is there for you to look up for yourself if you are so minded.

      I’m not so excited by the prospect of Girma-stalking to go any further.

    • Making changes that clearly are meant to elude or lessen the transparency to methodological criticism is scientific fraud.

      You still haven’t linked to a specific instance where he did this. If there are multiple instances, it should be easy to point to at least one.

      You said to Jim Owen :

      Explain to me what personal remarks you refer to.

      List them.

      So, list the fraudulent remarks.

    • oneuniverse

      Let’s look at a direct discussion: http://judithcurry.com/2011/01/31/slaying-a-greenhouse-dragon/#comment-36593

      Girma is asked a series of specific, relevant questions by me, all of which he ducks.

      Also see specifically, as provided by willard in that exchange: http://rhinohide.wordpress.com/2011/01/17/lines-sines-and-curve-fitting-9-girma

      I don’t particularly care if Girma ever sees fit to address my questions, however failing to disclose Ron Broberg’s well known commentary is simply deceptive. And forgetting what Milanovic and Rabett have said?

      Shocking.

      Especially considering: http://rhinohide.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/lines-sines-and-curve-fitting-10-nls/

      Girma here at Climate Etc. is telling a fraction of the story he knows, and leaving out the inconvenient bits.

      Keeping in mind, I find the sine+exponential curve extreme silliness, at least the conversation over there is tending toward asking sensible graphical analysis questions somewhat more than people do here.

      That it’s for some reason treated as ad hominem here, and as perfectly reasonable there, I cannot fathom.

      Maybe rhino have thicker hide?

    • Thanks for the links Bart.

      Girma is asked a series of specific, relevant questions by me, all of which he ducks.

      That doesn’t constitute fraud.

      failing to disclose Ron Broberg’s well known commentary is simply deceptive.

      Ron Broberg commentary provides an alternative model to Girma’s. Ron finds that an exponential + sine fit provides a better correlation with GTA than Girma’s linear + sine fit. He notes that “To be fair, Dr Orssengo points out that the future is a better filter for selecting models than correlation.”.

      The two models provide different predictions for the future GTA. Not discussing Ron’s alternative model/hypothesis when discussing his own is not fraud, although it may be preferable if he did mention it.

      And forgetting what Milanovic and Rabett have said?

      Ron’s comment, “If the line+sine is a realistic model, global temp anomalies will drop over the next 20 years”, contests Milanovic’s disputation of Girma’s “cooling until 2030?” question. DeWitt Payne’s comments in the same thread provide some new information to Milanovic and support the possibility of the existence of a ~60yr cyclical signal. (You didn’t represent the whole truth of the discussion involving Milanovic – you omitted the dissenting points raised by others – would you accuse yourself of engaging in conversational fraud ? )

      Eli Rabett queried the predictive power of the model (so what), and the correctness of giving equal weighting given to the earlier, more uncertain, datapoints. Eli’s criticism about uncertainties also applies to Ron Broberg’s model, which is still up unchanged on his website. Is Ron also now committing fraud according to you? Ron’s model is also missing error bars and a confidence level – why do you omit to criticise that, when you criticised Girma – more “fraud” from you?

      By your loose criteria, many publications (including some of the IPCC report chapters) would have to be reclassified as fraudulent, because they haven’t adequately responded to criticism and therefore a conjecture can be made (as you’re doing) that the authors are “telling a fraction of the story” and “leaving out the inconvenient bits.”.

    • oneuniverse

      If all things in the universe were simultaneous, then you might have a point.

      But in this universe, we have ‘before’ and ‘after’.

      Before Girma repeated his sine-linear cyclic graph here, he admitted the superiority of a sine-exponential graph elsewhere, after taking part in a fulsome discussion of the correlations and meaning, implications and there is an inevitable conclusion that Girma’s graph was in essence discredited on the observed data.

      Yet Girma presented the same discredited by observed data graph with the words attached to the effect of ‘let the observation be the judge’ as if it had never happened.

      That’s simple deception. It’s on a scientific matter. It’s clearly intentional. It’s repeated, and it happened after Girma was aware of his errors.

      Surely, oneuniverse, you can demonstrate to me a link to a case where the IPCC has carried on such conduct and that conduct has had the backing of the whole IPCC, where the IPCC has openly and knowingly repeated a falsehood after admitting to the error.

      You could answer that Girma believes he will be proven right in the future. But we have a universe of before and after. As things stand now, he is in error now, the observed data now does not support his claims now, and Girma has before now admitted so much.

      In the fullness of time, I opine that a coin I will someday flip will come up the same way as I call it at that future time. Someday I will be right. But I do not claim the ability to foretell the flip of a coin. Girma, in effect, does.

      That is pure, unabashed, scientific fraud.

      It demonstrates not mere incompetence in graphical methods, but also a will to deceive.

      And it isn’t even the real issue I have with his graph.

      We have from other sources a pretty nice ‘stadium wave’ analogy and a comparison of natural variation to a loose train or chain over time of coincidences and correlations in ocean phenomena adding up to loosely 50-80 years, with strong regional influence. That model adequately explains the various graphs we have, and due the ergodicity of each of these component phenomena demonstrates that it is unlikely we are seeing anything like the single source periodic phenomenon necessary for Girma’s use of a sine curve to be supported.

      We have at most two full cycloids of 50-80 years over the course of 120-160 years (depending on how concerned about endpoints and data quality), the ability to demonstrate that spans averaging or smoothing observations less than 15 years are highly unreliable, and good mechanistic reasons to reject the sine-curve model, combined with someone who apparently ought know better persisting to use this baseless and disproven model that he repeatedly presents with slight tweaks to hide its insufficiencies.

      What would you call that?

    • Before Girma repeated his sine-linear cyclic graph here, he admitted the superiority of a sine-exponential graph elsewhere, after taking part in a fulsome discussion of the correlations and meaning, implications and there is an inevitable conclusion that Girma’s graph was in essence discredited on the observed data.

      You didn’t specify where “elsewhere” is, so I have to guess you’re still referring to Ron Broberg’s posts on the topic.

      Girma had written: “One very important point, your exponential model does not show the big freeze of the 1970s and the dust bowl of the 1940s. The sinusoidal model does.”

      Rob Broberg replied : “Well, how about a sinusoidal exponential model?”

      Girma replied: “Much better.” ie. the sinusoidal exponential model is better than the linear exponential model.

      Girma doesn’t admit that the linear sinusoidal model is discredited by observations. Neither does Ron say such a thing. Both do agree that the exponential model gives a better correlation with the existing data. But correlation with existing data is not the ultimate criteria. As Ron Broberg writes “To be fair, Dr [Girma] Orssengo points out that the future is a better filter for selecting models than correlation [with existing data].” ie. it’s the model’s predictive power that is most important, even if just to the first order (given that both models fit approximately fit the existing observations).

      Rob Broberg, in his final post on the topic (curve fitting 11) writes :

      “If the sine signal really exists in the physical system, the temperature increases we have seen over the last 30 years are going to slow considerable. If the exp + sine is a realistic model, the global temp anomaly will only see an increase of about 0.1C – 0.2C over the next 20 years. Compare this with an increase of about .3C over the last 20 years. If the line+sine is a realistic model, global temp anomalies will drop over the next 20 years”

      Ron wouldn’t have written the above if he didn’t consider the linear sinusoidal model/hypothesis to be still viable.

      So, contrary to your characterisation that in that discussion “there is an inevitable conclusion that Girma’s graph was in essence discredited on the observed data”, Ron Broberg posits both models as making predictions that can falsified by future observations.

    • oneuniverse

      That’s a somewhat less than representative summary of what went on.

      “Girma

      2011 January 18 at 12:18 pm

      Ron

      Sorry. I read it wrong. It is the exponential that has the higher correlation coefficient of 0.93 . What a pity..

      Girma in http://rhinohide.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/lines-sines-and-curve-fitting-10-nls/ admits that right now, there is at least one model better than his is right now.

      He then goes on to, as Broberg describes, be “quick to claim victory … slow to acknowledge a defeat,” with yet another Girma ‘wait and see’.

      What Girma means when he says, “Let the observed data will be the judge,” is the opposite of what it sounds like. It means until the time comes when the observed data matches his theory, Girma will reject all observed data that disproves his theory. Remember, Girma had previously said:

      “Girma

      2011 January 15 at 6:07 pm

      Ron

      “If I provide a better agreement between data and model with a model just as simple as yours, would my model be better?”

      YES

      However, my model has a very high correlation coefficient of 0.88. As a result, any higher correlation is not necessary.”

      Now, Girma does show a high degree of understanding of and respect for the truth that models that don’t predict aren’t predictive models, and a high correlation may suffice to submit a candidate as possibly a ‘true’ predictive model when otherwise the model is valid.

      However, Girma never otherwise validates his model. He puts out this third-string also ran as a candidate without the necessary steps of proposing a mechanism, and even his post hoc ‘formal’ definition of success in future is needlessly vague and biased in his favor:

      1) Not exceeding the high temperature of a particular year for 13 years, the particular year, the meaning of ‘exceeding’ and the span of 13 years all selected by Girma;
      2) Deceleration of decadal trends, the decades and trends selected by Girma, and there being only two-three of them to form the trend.
      3) The converse, warming, requires “acceleration of decadal trends.”

      In other words, Girma is perfectly happy to redefine terms until he is right. How is this not deceptive practice?

      Further, Girma makes the fundamentally flawed assertion: “As the above pattern was valid for the past 130 years, is it not reasonable to assume it will also be valid for the next 20 years?”

      This magical reasoning is the bane of graphical analysis. The simple answer to Girma’s question is that it is not reasonable to assume a pattern will continue to correlate well simply because it pleases the eye or satisfied a correlation level on a domain up to now.

      What you propose Ron Broberg to mean is a matter of interpretation, I don’t see it as particular endorsement of Girma’s claims after Broberg repeatedly asserts Girma’s defeat on this issue, but rather only a postulate. (A not necessarily correct postulate, but a postulate; hardly surprising as Broberg himself declares he’s still learning the field.)

      For my money, if you or I cared, the sine + sine + sine curve is likeliest to produce high correlation going forward; with three sine curves well-chosen, one could fake out a millennium of data with a fit that exceeds the actual function’s.

      But this isn’t about my opinion of curves, or AGW, or Girma.

      This is about whether scientific fraud may be constituted by simply redefining words post hoc, altering presentations to hide their weaknesses, refusing to address questions pertinent to one’s presentation, and purposely leaving out contrary information that seriously undermines one’s theory?

      Yes. Yes it is.

      Girma has a graph that might match what could happen in the next two decades. He’s wagering that pure happenstance will not show him up to be wrong, postponing the demonstration of the invalidity of his method by rhetoric and deception, and needlessly dragging out a debate that really will never be very productive due its inherent lack of substance.

    • Thanks for the further input Bart.

      That’s a somewhat less than representative summary of what went on.

      I saw these additional exchanges as more of the “which model has better correlation with existing data” dialogue, which as criteria for the goodness of the model will be trumped by the predictive capability of the models, as discussed earlier. However,

      re: the “Sorry I read it wrong.” exchange
      In his first post, Girma thinks it is his line+sine model that has the higher correlation, and exults. However, he goes on to say :

      “First wait and see whether we will have cooling or warming in the next 5 to 10 years. ”

      Then, 8 minutes later, he realises his mistake, and says “Sorry. I read it wrong. It is the exponential that has the higher correlation coefficient of 0.93 . What a pity. We shall wait and see then.”

      So Girma proposed his “wait and see” in both cases; he didn’t come out with it, as you implied, only when he realised that the exp+sine model has a (slightly) higher correlation than his model. In both cases, future observations will test the predictive power of the line+sine model, whether it has a 0.93 correlation with the existing data as he mistakenly thought, or a 0.92 correlation. (Actually his original had 0.88 – Ron Broberg improved the correlation by adjusting the parameters).

      Next, you’ve chopped off Girma’s last two sentences in this quotation, which rather changes the picture. You quoted:
      “Girma

      2011 January 15 at 6:07 pm

      Ron

      “If I provide a better agreement between data and model with a model just as simple as yours, would my model be better?”

      YES

      However, my model has a very high correlation coefficient of 0.88. As a result, any higher correlation is not necessary.”

      The next two sentences, which you left out, are :

      The main test is, as predicted by the model, will we have global cooling until 2030?

      That is the main test. If we have this cooling then we can say the model is a good model.

      Again, since both models have good (if not identical) correlation with existing observations, the main test of the models will be their predictive power. This is not a contentious statement.

      Therefore, Ron hasn’t presented data which invalidates Girma’s model – he’s presented an alternative model than can fit the existing data slightly better. It doesn’t mean the model is better, as their predictive capabilities haven’t been tested yet.

      He puts out this third-string also ran as a candidate without the necessary steps of proposing a mechanism

      The line+sine model (modified by Ron) has correlation ~0.92, the exp+sin model has correlation ~0.93. That doesn’t make it “third-string also ran”.

      re: Girma’s formal definition of “global warming has stopped/is happening”

      I assume you’re referring to Ron’s curve fitting 10 post, where willard asked “Since it’s a mathematical discussion, how about formalizing what “global warming has stopped” mean?”.

      Girma was asked to formally state what he meant by “global warming has stopped/is happening”, and he made an attempt. His interpretation w.r.t. accelerating and decelerating trends is wrong and implies a poor grasp of some concepts, but it’s not fraudulent to be wrong.

      What you propose Ron Broberg to mean is a matter of interpretation, I don’t see it as particular endorsement of Girma’s claims after Broberg repeatedly asserts Girma’s defeat on this issue, but rather only a postulate.

      He’d pointed out that the exp+sine model has a slightly better fit to the existing data (Girma’s ‘defeat’), and whent on to say “If the exp + sine is a realistic model, the global temp anomaly will only see an increase of about 0.1C – 0.2C over the next 20 years. Compare this with an increase of about .3C over the last 20 years. If the line+sine is a realistic model, global temp anomalies will drop over the next 20 years.”

      Girma has proposed incorrect interpretations of what “global warming is happenning/has stopped” means, he needs to answer questions, and forthrightly, and probably needs to improve and tighten up his reasoning on the subject and be on the look-out for confirmation bias and do his best to ensure he’s not fooling himself , but I still don’t see from the information you’ve presented where he’s been fraudulent. (eg. I couldn’t see where you substantiated the charge that he was “purposely leaving out contrary information that seriously undermines one’s theory” or “altering presentations to hide their weaknesses”). His basic proposition of a linear+sinusoidal model, whatever its ultimate merits, is a testable hypothesis that fits reasonably well with existing data.

    • oneuniverse

      To sum up, we’re agreed on premise but disagree on some details, and you require me to demonstrate a further step taking us from where Girma was in early February to where he was when I said, ‘scientific fraud’:

      “Girma has proposed incorrect interpretations of what “global warming is happenning/has stopped” means,”

      You’re a bit more charitable about ‘incorrect’ vs. ‘dishonest’ interpretations in regard to post hoc testing criteria, but I can see myself having the same view of the interpretations, if not for the rest of the story of the method of interpreting.

      “..he needs to answer questions, and forthrightly, and probably needs to improve and tighten up his reasoning on the subject and be on the look-out for confirmation bias and do his best to ensure he’s not fooling himself “,

      Yes, you see this too, and it’s been observed by others on more than one occasion, it’s amply documented and in evidence though I’d rephrase to focus on methodology not on the person. I could care less whether the man answers personal questions forthrightly or is reasonable about non-scientific matters, or if he fools himself about other things; in this one thing, method, it bears a distinct whiff.

      “..but I still don’t see from the information you’ve presented where he’s been fraudulent. (eg. I couldn’t see where you substantiated the charge that he was “purposely leaving out contrary information that seriously undermines one’s theory” or “altering presentations to hide their weaknesses”).

      So, in early February, Girma’s graph included extrapolation of future events and discussed cycles.

      It’s pointed out to Girma (by myself and I believe others) that extrapolation represents a fictional future; he gets it and.. drops the extrapolation from his presentation (without comment or notes explaining why), but does not address the other far more interesting and important questions from earlier.

      It’s pointed out to Girma (again by yours truly and I believe others) that sine-fitting with so few full cycles is unconvincing and does not rise to the usual standards; Girma’s graph now is relabelled to say ‘oscillation’ in place of ‘cycle’ apparently to allow the (still meaningless) claim of _five_ full oscillations.

      You see the claim as it stands now. You saw it as it stood then. You can confirm every intermediate step if you doubt a word of the narrative.

      At this point, with this pattern, the method must be considered to rise to the level of intentional scientific fraud, or we must then accept all methods with such attributes as acceptable and untarnished.

      It does not qualify for special pleading.

      Certainly the IPCC’s methods have been tarred with not just accusations of scientific but of actual fraud on far slimmer pretexts, and it would unduly disarm skepticism to have this one tool of inquiry so blunted, this one way to warn people to be on their guard against deception removed from the arsenal of common sense.

      “His basic proposition of a linear+sinusoidal model, whatever its ultimate merits, is a testable hypothesis that fits reasonably well with existing data.”

      Granted.

      The basic proposition is testable, or would be, if a periodic mechanism were proposed too.

      Absent a fixed, regular period, it is ill-advised to pursue sine-fitting hypotheses — especially when combined with other functions or otherwise manipulated — due their extreme suggestivity.

      Sine-fitting has a bad reputation in the field, and is generally avoided now that methods like Mandelbrot’s are available.

      In this case, since the question suggests fractals already (ie ergodic patterns in the ‘Stadium Wave’ are proposed, climate is known to be temporal- or spatiotemporalchaotic, using the sine fit as a reference for comparison may be illustrative, but until the like of a wheel with sixty year-long cast-iron cogs is found in the clockworks of the Sun, Girma’s hypothesis can’t be taken very seriously.

      Now, is there any way to discuss these important matters of scientific skepticism that is less ad hom?

    • Bart, my reply ended up in the wrong place, it’s here.

    • oneuniverse

      Asked and answered.

      http://judithcurry.com/2011/04/14/scafetta-on-climate-oscillations/#comment-63619

      An ipse-dixit argument is a recognized form of scientific fraud by your definition:

      “(b) Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record.”

      By narrowly focusing on invalid graphical representations, representations given their meaning only because Girma says they have meaning (ipse dixit) and excludes from his opinion such reasonable scientific caveats or reservations as he has had furnished for him.

      He’s had quadratic curves with superior correlation presented to him by others, and yet never mentions this.

      He’s had countless requests to discuss steps he’s taken to validate his graphical analyses and has always been nonresponsive or evasive.

      He’s altered his presentations when they were pointed out to be invalid, not to address their validity but to obscure the most visible and transparent flaws in his reasoning. From periodic sine curve to linear trended periodic sine curve to extrapolated cyclic (but meaning periodic) linear trended sine curve to curtailed extrapolated cyclic (meaning periodic) linear trended sine curve to curtailed linear trended sine curve with oscillation replacing ‘cycle’ all the while stepwise refining compression levels to most de-emphasize exceptions in the data.

      These are facts one can see by simply going through chronologically Girma’s entries on Climate Etc. and noting the devolution from mere opinion to increasingly intensified stepwise spiral into what must be called scientific fraud.

      You don’t hide the issues that conflict with your interpretation in scientific discussions. You don’t refuse to discuss validation. You don’t selectively alter your presentation to trick the reader.

      Unless you are pursuing scientific fraud.

    • Bart, you have to show that (d) does not apply.

      (d) Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.

    • Also, it’s not clear to me that your descriptions about Girma’s “transgressions” correct in the first place.

      I did run a few searches of this site, and didn’t find anything to support your accusation of fraud. Just asking me to read all of Girma’s comments on Climate Etc. is unreasonable. You’ve presumably read the offending comments and are making the fraud accusation based on them, so you are best placed to specify these comments which substantiate your accusation. Please go ahead.

    • To sum up, we’re agreed on premise but disagree on some details

      I originally asked you to substantiate your accusation of fraud – I don’t agree that you’ve done so.

      You claimed that Girma had rejected data that disproved his hypothesis, and referenced the dialogue at Ron Broberg’s site as evidence. As far as I could tell, no such data had been presented, rather, Ron proposed an alternative model and the dialogue ended in agreement between Girma and Ron that future observations will reject (or not reject) their models. You then extrapolated from that unsubstantiated claim to say that “Girma will reject all observed data that disproves his theory.”. That’s a conjecture built on an incorrect claim, as far as I can tell.

      Girma relabelling his graph to say oscilliation instead of cycle sounds like a trivial change – a single oscillation is a complete cycle. The dropping of the criticised extrapolation sounds like he responded to the criticism and improved his presentation. I can’t say for sure as you didn’t provide any links.

      I see that Girma has a very recent presentation at the Air Vent. I see many criticisms in the comments, but no accusations of fraud or scientific misconduct there.

      Perhaps any further discussion of this should be taken to that thread, as we’re not really on-topic here.

    • oneuniverse

      You appear readier to call incompetence, or seek other explanation, than I am for what appears to me to be scientific fraud in this case.

      You are more generous than am I.

      I don’t say Girma rejected data, indeed he appears scrupulous about data he accepts (so long as he gets to choose the one source he wants), but he leaves out information from his presentation about that presentation itself.

      Girma’s curves and arguments are reproduced time and again, without link by him to past presentations. In itself, self-plagiarism is still plagiarism in academia, isn’t it? (http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/57676/)

      The reason it is deprecated is that once a position is stated publicly, it begins a scientific discussion. Seeking to discard that discussion by re-issuing the same claims again as if fresh presumptively dismisses the prior commentary.

      Had Girma, when he posted his graph here, linked to this (and one presumes many others) instance he has presented his views and others have been part of that ongoing discussions, so we new readers to this discussion have full access to it, that would be completely acceptable.

      But he didn’t.

      Ample other evidence in the link and commentary you provide do lend weight to my opinion. Although the generally genteel commentators were not on the whole friendly to all of Girma’s arguments, it may be true none of them raised the issue of scientific fraud.

      Why not?

      I can’t say.

      Not for lack of evidence.

      I don’t agree that Girma knows less about mathematics than Sod’s chickens, and think that particular remark among others uncalled for in my opinion. Where Sod sticks to remarks on technique and method, however, he is not wrong.

      Over and over again the pieces of the puzzle invalidating Girma’s presentation are laid out by commentators. Which is not my issue. That Girma never mentions it in essence is.

      Bias at the outset, (extoling the virtue of the fuel that gives us blahblahblah) confirmed by hand-fitting a curve to the data without suggesting a mechanism, accepting his own curve once a moderate correlation is reached, rejecting similarly formulated curves with superior correlation (eg the 56ish-year cycloid with .92 correlation) with the same ‘wait and see’ mantra, all well and good, mere incompetence as you suggest.

      Altering the presentation over time (including using the term ‘oscillation’ to mean half a cycle either above or below the linear trend to get _five_ oscillations instead of just over two cycles) without altering the argument’s substance or mentioning past discussion of this self-plagiarism, and with this all published with academic credentials — thereby calling for it to be viewed with the strictest standards of academic ethics due the authority called on by those credentials.

      You may have the space in your heart to overlook all these excesses while Girma repeats this conduct.

      Me, I choose to call him on it and warn others that Girma is carrying on conduct that by strict definition could be called scientific fraud.

      As I’m not the cop of the internet or of academia, I’m really not interested in going any farther than to raise the issue, provide ample substance for the claim, and leave it at that.

      And I agree, this isn’t the venue; as I don’t have any particular affection for other venues, I’m dropping it.

  40. Thanks very mush to you to Nicola.

    I am very much interested in your relationship between the movement of the sun relative to the center of mass of the solar system (CMSS) and the annual global mean temperature anomaly.

    Could you please post the details of this relationship so that we could reproduce your results?

    • Nicola Scafetta

      Girma,

      please read the paper, it is very long to describe here the techniques.

      Go to my web-page

    • Nicola

      It would be great if you give us a one-page summary of your results (relationship between CMSS and GMTA).

  41. Nicola

    Is it hard/time consuming to reproduce your results?

    • Paul Vaughan

      No.

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      People who have tried to replicate some aspects of his work have had a problem:

      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/12/please-show-us-your-code/

    • Paul Vaughan

      Getting the 60 year wave from NASA Horizons (online ephemerides) output is a breeze. However, the so-called “60 year cycle” in terrestrial data is nonstationary. The terrestrial data relates better to rate of change of solar cycle length.

    • David L. Hagen

      Paul Vaughan
      Can you refer us to publications addressing the nonstationarity of the “60 year cycle”?
      Is this saying the Pacific Decadal Oscillation is nonstationary?

    • Paul Vaughan

      Just do a wavelet plot of normalized power. PDO is a misleading summary. The mainstream doesn’t do many interesting studies of climate, so there won’t always be references. Solar cycle acceleration is what folks are missing.

    • Paul Vaughan

      Didn’t those guys wrap the series? Wasn’t that their mistake? (For anyone who doesn’t understand, there is no justification for wrapping in this case.)

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Thanks for that link. Seeing RealClimate adopt the very position it has previously mocked always makes me laugh.

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      Yes, but they adopted this position as a last resort instead of a first resort. There is a difference here.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Say what?

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      The particular problem here didn’t involve a 60 year cycle, it involved an 11 and 22 year cycle. And oh, yeah, techniques which were not described in the paper. And what the heck do you mean by “wrapping the data”? It seems as though they tried to take the description of data and methods from Scafetta’s paper and replicate his results. Didn’t work. Scafetta seems to claim that his results were rather finely tuned to the analysis method used. They still couldn’t get it to fly.

      Link to a comment or reply (in a journal) which backs up your claim?

    • Paul Vaughan

      Scafetta explained their error over here:
      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/08/04/scafetta-benestad-and-schmidt%E2%80%99s-calculations-are-%E2%80%9Crobustly%E2%80%9D-flawed/
      It’s a serious error. (This doesn’t make Scafetta right about stationary “60 year cycles”, but it does make Scafetta’s critics look a little clueless about sensible application of wavelet analysis.)

  42. David L. Hagen

    David Archibald highlights the 210 year de Vries solar cycle:

    “The 210-year period coherency in the BCC-002 Sr/Ca andd13C time series is evidence that the de Vries solar irradiance cycle has significant effects upon moisture levels in east-central NA.”

    So, to predict the onset of de Vries cycle droughts in North America, all we have to know is when the last de Vries cycle started. That was in 1798 at the beginning of the Dalton Minimum. 210 years after 1798 makes 2008, which happens to be the end of Solar Cycle 23 and the beginning of Solar Cycle 24. Solar activity has been quite weak since 2008, so everything is happening on schedule.

    The current US drought is not a surprise.
    See:
    Springer et al. Solar forcing of Holocene droughts in a stalagmite record from West Virginia in east-central North America
    GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 35, L17703, doi:10.1029/2008GL034971, 2008

    Alexei N. Peristykh1 and Paul E. Damon address: Persistence of the Gleissberg 88-year solar cycle over the last 12,000 years: Evidence from cosmogenic isotopes

  43. seems to me that this paper belongs in the category “correlation is not causation” department. I dont know if the celestia body cycles . But the burden of proof is on the authors to actually show that specific climate parameters like rainfall, temp etc can be related to and quantified using these celestial cycles.

    • I begin from the other side of the balance – and have linked to several papers showing effects of solar UV on the polar oscillations and to ENSO – and showing centennial drift in solar UV as opposed to the the more constant solar irradiance.

      ENSO is non-stationary and non gaussian and shows variability at interannual to decadal, centennial and millennial periodicities. Specifically at the quasi 60 year periodicity of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation.

      Solar UV causes warming and cooling of the ozone layer, which causes changes in sea level pressure through varying downwelling in the polar vortices. Pressures are inversely related to the polar indices – the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and the Southern Annular Mode (SAM). Here is a discussion of the AO and implications for Northern Hemisphere temps. The SAM has a similar influence on the Southern Hemisphere – it is simply a matter of storms spinning off the polar cyclones into lower latitudes. When storms push into lower latitudes in the southern hemisphere – cold Southern Ocean water accumulates off the western coast of South America in the area of the Humboldt Current. This mixes with warm water which suppresses upwelling. Upwelling in the Humboldt Current is the thermal origin of ENSO.

      The relationship of SAM with mid latitude SST is quite unremarkable as in – http://www.bom.gov.au/events/9icshmo/manuscripts/PM_B6_Watterson.pdf

      The long term drift in UV is observationally based and must be caused by changes in the solar magneto – which is most clearly the result of magnetic field interactions of the sun and the planets.

      SAM and ENSO are connected (persistent standing waves in the climate system) thus they are correlated and ENSO is initiated by upwelling in the area of the Humboldt Current. As ENSO drives most climate variability – global hydrology and temperature including all of the recent warming through cloud changes- thus solar variability drove most of the global climate variability we have seen in the past 100 years.

      There are many papers – including specifically much correlation of solar variability with ENSO – and many question unanswered yet about the sources of the evident variability of global climate. ENSO has modes and intensities – is non-stationary and non-Gaussian – and is the clearest cause of global changes in temperature and hydrology. Until we clearly understand the drivers of ENSO’s modes and intensities – we will never understand climate.

      It is pointless to even try to dissagregate natural and anthropogenic climate change until and unless we a reasonable handle on natural variability. So sayeth the sacred hydrological texts – and sermon over.

    • Chief

      Much better.

      Now, if you could include links to references, some specific statements of which planets and what mechanisms you propose, probabilities and confidence intervals, you’d be our rock solid darling again.

    • When the moon is in the Seventh House
      And Jupiter aligns with Mars
      Then peace will guide the planets
      And love will steer the stars

      Calculate the solar magneto? I imagine that would be very difficult. Much easier to count sunspots, measure the 10.7 cm the open solar flux or analyse for cosmogenic isotopes. There are many, many papers you can find if you look beyond toys.

      You are deliberately asking the wrong question – a herring in fact red or otherwise. Go play with someone else because I am done with you.
      No – Bart.

    • Chief

      You missed the exclamation point.

      It’s, “No!”

      Tch.

    • I am not sure if you intended to reply to me. Assuming you are, I have only read a couple of the papers you cited. I havent read them tthoroughly either. But what I see is arguments and data showing that we have cycles and oscillations of varying periods in earth’s climate. What I am missing is the connection between such cycles and other planets and celestial bodies. I dont know if you are suggesting that the primary reason any of these cycles exist on eartrh is due to other celestial bodies other than our sun. I can see the sun’s influence on thesee cycles. But not quite the other celestial bodies. Now this could be all due to my ignorance on this topic. But the authors of this paper dont quite show how the other celestial bodies influence earth’s climate.

  44. GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 33, L05708, 4 PP., 2006
    doi:10.1029/2005GL025539

    http://bit.ly/f3vef5

    Phenomenological solar contribution to the 1900–2000 global surface warming
    N. Scafetta

    Physics Department, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA

    B. J. West

    Physics Department, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA

    Mathematical and Information Science Directorate, U.S. Army Research Office, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA

    We study the role of solar forcing on global surface temperature during four periods of the industrial era (1900–2000, 1900–1950, 1950–2000 and 1980–2000) by using a sun-climate coupling model based on four scale-dependent empirical climate sensitive parameters to solar variations. We use two alternative total solar irradiance satellite composites, ACRIM and PMOD, and a total solar irradiance proxy reconstruction. We estimate that the sun contributed as much as 45–50% of the 1900–2000 global warming, and 25–35% of the 1980–2000 global warming. These results, while confirming that anthropogenic-added climate forcing might have progressively played a dominant role in climate change during the last century, also suggest that the solar impact on climate change during the same period is significantly stronger than what some theoretical models have predicted.

  45. Nicola Scafetta

    To Rattus Norvegicus who
    has linked a web-page of the several articles on real-climate where Benestad tries to criticize me and my works. I always found Benestad claims and calculation quite suspect because they were much more than just plain erroneous.

    My papers are always written with great care and any interested reader can replicate my calculations with some study and work.

    About the specific topic on that page on real-climate, one should read this web-page first

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/08/04/scafetta-benestad-and-schmidt%E2%80%99s-calculations-are-%E2%80%9Crobustly%E2%80%9D-flawed/

    In the above article I clearly explained the severe mathematical errors made by Benestad and Schmidt in one of their paper criticizing mine some of my articles.

    Moreover, Benestad’s account of our exchange of emails is severely inaccurate. On 2009-12-13 I received an email from Benestad who still was not understanding how to correct his code, after four months I explain his errors online .

    Because Benestad was using the program “R”, that I do not use, I replied in this way

    *******
    Rasmus,
    follow these steps and you will get my results.
    a) a reflection padding procedure is used that minimizes the
    discontinuity problem at the border;
    b) the data is re-sampled in such a way that the center of the wavelet
    band pass filter is located exactly on the 11 and 22 year solar cycles, which
    are the frequencies of interest;
    c) a reasonable choice of the year when the reflection padding is made,
    that is, the year 2002-3 when the sun experienced a maximum for both the 11 and 22 year cycles.
    However, the problem with your paper is not just the fact that you have
    used the wrong algorithm. There are several other and even more serious
    problems.
    nicola
    *******

    Instead of simply correcting his code, Benestad called a journalist at New Scientist and claimed that I was not giving him sufficient information to repeat my analysis. I found this behavior quite unprofessional. I clearly told him how to correct his code, first publicly and then via email, but evidently correcting a code a repeating my calculations was not his real purpose. So, I really do not know what I can do with Benestad.

    • Nicola

      So, I really do not know what I can do with Benestad.

      Benestad:
      So I asked him to post his code openly on the Internet so that others could repeat our test with their code. That should settle our controversy.

      Nicoal, I think Benestad request is reasonable. Why not do it?

    • Paul Vaughan

      A capable person does not need someone else’s code, but this is certainly not to say that voluntary sharing is wrong. The real challenge here is that tutoring is very time-consuming, particularly through an online medium.

  46. Nicola,

    I agree with Girma,

    It would be very helpful if you published your code (and a description of the platform, etc.). It would be educational, directly answer critics, and provide an opportunity to spot errors that you (and formal peer-reviewers) may have missed, and generally facilitate further work on these lines by others. It’s difficult to see what the drawbacks are. Since your code wasn’t intended for publication, you may want to prettify, document and/or restructure it (or not), but as long as the same results are still reproduced by the same algorithms described, there could be no objection.

  47. Yes Nicola, I think the ball is in your court.
    We all believe in open code and data now, right?

    • Paul Vaughan

      Prematurely releasing code that isn’t yet sufficiently refined & documented risks inflaming serious & time-consuming misunderstandings, particularly if the audience lacks conceptual foundations. Appreciating voluntary early release of methodological notes is sensible, but demands for premature code release often indicate misdirected hostility. Students can attempt to do the work independently while waiting for polished products. If students struggle, demands on a teacher’s time can become truly unworkable. Tying people up at committee is often not appropriate. Inadvertently consolidating yet more power in the hands of administrators (who consume resources without producing scientific insight) isn’t necessarily desirable. The code release issue isn’t as black & white as many seem to naively think. The politically charged atmosphere is partly to blame.

  48. Ignore this . . . would like to follow the site.

  49. Nicola

    In my previous post, I have argued that the annual global mean temperature anomaly (GMTA) is cyclic with alternate 30-years warming and cooling of 0.6 deg C, in addition to an overall warming of 0.6 deg C per century.

    Actually, the fact that the global mean temperature anomaly has an oscillating component as shown in the following graph (http://bit.ly/emAwAu) contradicts AGW.

    It is not necessary to know what caused the cyclic oscillation. However, we are sure that this oscillation is not caused by human emission of CO2 as this increased by five times and clearly is not cyclic. As a result, the actual permanent global warming is not 0.26 (=0.6/3 + 0.6/10) deg C per decade, but only about 0.06 (=0.6/10) deg C per decade. The difference of 0.2 (=0.6/3) deg C per decade is due to the cyclic warming and it is temporary and must be subtracted from all permanent global warming predictions/projections.

    • Girma

      Your analysis of the observed 60-year cycles in the global temperature record shows clearly that these cyclical oscillations cannot be attributed to changes in atmospheric CO2, which has not seen such cycles.

      The underlying warming trend of 0.6C per century could well be attributable to increased CO2, although this is far from certain.

      Several solar studies, including the Scafetta + West 2006 paper, which you cited, conclude on average that around 0.35K of the 20th century warming can be attributed to the unusually high level of solar activity, with most of this warming occurring in the first half of the century.

      Let’s do a rough calculation with and without this assumption.

      C1 = CO2 concentration in 1901 ~290 ppmv (IPCC Vostok est.)
      C2 = CO2 concentration in 2000 = 369 ppmv (Mauna Loa)
      C2/C1 = 1.272
      ln(C2/C1) = 0.2409
      dT observed = 0.6K

      If 100% due to CO2:
      ln2 = 0.6931
      dT(2xCO2) = 0.6931 * 0.6 / 0.2409 = 1.7K

      Deducting 0.35K warming attributed to solar:
      dT (2xCO2) = 0.6931 * (0.6 – 0.35) / 0.2409 = 0.7K

      So the observed 2xCO2 climate sensitivity would lie between 0.7 and 1.7K (all other things being equal).

      [Note: I have excluded any notions of warming “hidden in the pipeline”.]

      Max

      PS But is it logical to assume that “all other things were equal”? [I hardly think so.]

    • GLOBAL MEAN TEMPERATURE ANOMALY OSCILLATION=>http://bit.ly/emAwAu

    • The above data CLEARLY shows:

      1) 30-years of global cooling from 1880 to 1910
      2) 30-years of global warming from 1910 to 1940
      3) 30-years of global cooling from 1940 to 1970
      4) 30-years of global warming from 1970 to 2000

      And if the above pattern that was VALID for 120 years is valid for the following 30 years, we hopefully have:

      5) 30-years of global cooling from 2000 to 2030

    • Girma

      Bold doesn’t equal true.

      Heavyhandedly manipulative use of compression, detrending and offsetting doesn’t necessarily produce clarity.

      By 1880 it appears you mean 1875 or so, by 1910 it seems you mean 1912-13, by 1970 you seem to be talking about approximately 1974, and for 2000 you seem to really mean 1996-1998ish.

      Your 30-year periods are more like 25-40 years sorta kinda.

      When analyzing wavelike structures, typically one prefers to look at full cycles, which appear to be 50-70 years on the whole. So your 120 good years have suddenly become inadequate to fully capture two full cycles end-to-end, and when taken out to the 160+ years of data we have, falls apart entirely and is revealed to be an illusion of hand-picked data.

    • Bart R

      Let the observed data will be the judge.

      For the record here are the comparison of IPCC projections (0.2 deg C per decade warming) and that based on historical GMTA patterns

      IPCC
      http://bit.ly/caEC9b

      Year=>Temp (deg C)
      2005=>0.5
      2010=>0.6
      2015=>0.7
      2020=>0.8

      Orssengo
      http://bit.ly/cO94in

      Year=>Temp (deg C)
      2005=>0.5
      2010=>0.4
      2015=>0.3
      2020=>0.2

    • Girma

      Just to clarify, are you asking me to wait until the global temperature data for the period ending 2027 has been assessed and validated, which could take until 2043 if we’re using running 30-year averages?

      Because the data that abundantly doesn’t match your claims now isn’t good enough to invalidate them, you want me to put off for thirty years the decision whether your method is invalid?

      I don’t follow that line of reasoning.

    • We don’t need to wait 30 years to find whether IPCC’s projection is correct. It requires only five to ten years.

      I repeat:

      Let the observed data will be the judge.

      For the record here are the comparison of IPCC projections (0.2 deg C per decade warming) and that based on historical GMTA patterns

      IPCC
      http://bit.ly/caEC9b

      Year=>Temp (deg C)
      2005=>0.5
      2010=>0.6
      2015=>0.7
      2020=>0.8

      Orssengo
      http://bit.ly/cO94in

      Year=>Temp (deg C)
      2005=>0.5
      2010=>0.4
      2015=>0.3
      2020=>0.2

    • Bart R

      By 2015, is the global mean temperature closer to IPCC’s 0.7 deg C or is it closer to 0.3 deg C?

      We have to wait for the observed data and decide which projection is correct.

    • The data so far is not encouraging for the IPCC

      Year=>GMTA (deg C)
      1998=>0.55
      1999=>0.30
      2000=>0.27
      2001=>0.41
      2002=>0.47
      2003=>0.48
      2004=>0.45
      2005=>0.48
      2006=>0.42
      2007=>0.40
      2008=>0.32
      2009=>0.44
      2010=>0.48

    • Bart

      Open your eyes and look at the chart showing the observed 30-year warming and cooling cycles and their linear trends. It’s all there for the eye to see (if one wants to). The data show very clearly that there is no statistical correlation between GMTA and atmospheric CO2, but that something else is driving GMTA.

      The period 2001-2010 of no warming is obviously not a 30-year trend (duh!), but it may well be the start of one.

      It is simply evidence that the IOPCC models got it wrong when they predicted warming of 0.2C per decade (as Girma has pointed out).

      I’d suggest you give up on this one, Bart. You are in the hole and should stop digging. Take up another battle, where you have a better chance of getting your point across.

      Max

    • Max

      What is this preoccupation Australians have with my hole?

      The point is very simple: In graphical analyses you can disconfirm proposed curves by examining their derivatives compared to tangents (or derivatives approximated by linear trends) of the actual data.

      For a sine curve, you expect these derivatives to be equal in length and placement along the temporal axis.

      For the actual data, you get nothing resembling the derivatives of a sine curve of any description.

      Girma or Scafetta could be right, but Girma can’t be right on Girma’s proposed method because the method is simply wrong.

      You could do what Girma has done with any data to convince yourself of a sine curve. Flipping coins. Lottery numbers. Number of letters in words in random books.

      The simple fact that there is some correlation in Girma’s example is not significant of anything.

      Failure to also propose and prove a mechanism is not immaterial to Girma’s work, it is fundamental.

      Girma fails on all counts his attempts at graphical analyses.

    • Bart

      I don’t know what kind of a screwy plot you made.

      Girma’s point is that there have been 30-year warming and cooling cycles in the HadCRUT GMTA record resembling a sine curve on a tilted axis.

      I have simply plotted the linear warming/cooling trend for each of these cycles rather than Girma’s “best fit” sine curve.

      Either illustration shows that there have been 30-year warming cooling cycles throughout the record.

      The latest warming cycle ended in 2000, and there has been no warming since then. Whether this is the start of another 30-year cycle of slight cooling is anyone’s guess.

      Girma seems to believe “yes”; you seem to believe “no”.

      I would personally think the odds are a bit better with Girma, but who knows?

      Max

    • David L. Hagen

      Bart R
      Your “statistics” could equally be examined and found wanting.
      Girma is presenting his analysis. Others have provided evidence of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. See:
      Don Easterbrook’s AGU paper on potential global cooling.
      Easterbrooks evidence of PDO oscillations influencing temperature and consequent temperature predictions appear reasonable.

      Your burden of proof is to disprove the accumulative evidence of PDO oscillations. Until you can do that, lay off Girma.

      If you are seeking a detailed analysis of statistical significance in warming/cooling and breaks in trends, see David Stockwell Is the atmosphere still warming?

      Until you can show with that level of statistical analysis that there is no PDO, your criticizing Girma is just ad hominem bullying. Lay off.

      Then see Lucia’s analysis at The Blackboard.
      She shows the last decade’s temperature significantly below IPCC’s warming projections.

      It is worth noting that the projected trend is well outside the uncertainty intervals estimated using ARIMA; this is best evaluated by comparing the slope of the dashed green lines to the slope of the dashed black line. The mean of the observations is below the multi-model mean

      If you are claiming AGW from CO2, then your burden of proof is to show where Lucia’s analysis is wrong! Show also where any of the global climate models predicts the PDO oscillation.
      Till then, AGW is NOT PROVEN!

    • David L. Hagen

      What a fascinating theory you present.

      No one ought be able to warn of deception until they can solve an unrelated puzzle of no particular interest to them.

      What statistics do you purport that I’ve done at all?

      Again, let me repeat, this time I will use words so small as I can find:

      I do not care if it gets hot or cold.

      I do not feel a need to prove it will get hot or cold or not.

      I think it is far too hard to prove it will be one way or will not, though on the whole the ‘hot’ side is in the lead by far if horse races make any difference — which they don’t.

      I see you feel the need to prove these things; don’t drag me into that mess.

      To me, Risk and Chaos get the job done.

      Risk and Chaos are proven far enough.

      I stop there.

      Hot? Cold?

      Not my issue.

      If Girma is right or wrong, I just don’t care.

      That Girma’s graphs don’t use graphical methods honestly, I do care out of simple aesthetic concern.

      It bugs me to see a graph lie to the eye.

      So, if you do know the right methods, then show Girma how.

      If you don’t know how to tell when you are being deceived by a pretty graph, then not my issue any more.

      If you can walk away from this thinking this is ad hominem, then really, you’ve boggled me with that conclusion.

      Further, you’ve failed to prove or explain this reasoning to me.

      It’s a simple concept, too.

      It means to make the person the the issue, not the deed.

      For instance, to seek to make what a person has done or not done unrelated to a deed important to that deed would be ad hominem.

      Oh look, that would be what you’ve just done!

      So get off the ad hom, and show Girma how to validate a graphical analysis using meaningful methods, if you can.

  50. We condemn the consensus side for hiding, deleting and adjusting data. To return science to only the truth, we sceptics must follow Feynman:

    That is the idea that we all hope you have learned in studying
    science in school–we never explicitly say what this is, but just
    hope that you catch on by all the examples of scientific
    investigation. It is interesting, therefore, to bring it out now
    and speak of it explicitly. It’s a kind of scientific integrity,
    a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of
    utter honesty–a kind of leaning over backwards.

  51. Nicola Scafetta

    To Girma and Oneuniverse

    There is no need to post the code.
    The three steps I have listed above, that is,
    ****
    Follow these steps and you will get my results.
    a) a reflection padding procedure is used that minimizes the
    discontinuity problem at the border;
    b) the data is re-sampled in such a way that the center of the wavelet
    band pass filter is located exactly on the 11 and 22 year solar cycles, which
    are the frequencies of interest;
    c) a reasonable choice of the year when the reflection padding is made,
    that is, the year 2002-3 when the sun experienced a maximum for both the 11 and 22 year cycles.
    ***
    is the code.

    It is not true that Benestad does not have the code, he has it but he has misapplied it, or better he did not want to correctly apply it.

    Moreover, my paper clearly references the textbook where the techniques and codes are discussed “Wavelet methods for time series analysis” and the actual codes can be downloaded from their web-page
    http://staff.washington.edu/dbp/wmtsa.html

    Because Benestad and Schmidt have the code but they have simply misapplied it (for example they used a periodic padding instead of a reflection padding which can be corrected by simply changing a flag in their code), I suggested them that they needed first to study and learn the mathematical properties of the algorithm by reading the book that I reference in my paper and read carefully what my paper says and meditate on the three steps above . They responded that they did not want to read the book and learn about the technique. So, what can I due? They want to use a math technique,but they do not want to learn about it!

    In conclusion, I did not use any special personal code, but something that is already implemented in numerous standard open-domain statistical package including the program “R” used by Benestad. What can I do if they do not want to study math and they do not want to read my paper that explains how the code is used and they do not want to follow the three step explanation I gave them to correct their errors?

    It is evident that to do science one needs to study a little bit too, first.

    In any case the entire exercise they want to do is useless because the same amplitudes associated to the decadal and bi-decadal cycles that I found, have been found also by other authors by using different techniques. So, where are my errors?

    • Nicola

      That is fair enough.

    • “So, where are my errors?”
      If you really challenge other scientists to find your errors, you certainly have to share data and code.

      Instead, you seem to prefer to redefine what “code” is. No, a vague description of your steps (a), (b), (c) are certainly not the “code”. Neither are the link to the textbook “Wavelet methods for time series analysis”, as the study cases, exercises and figures of this textbook are not relevant to your paper. Hence, you can not assert that Benestad and Schmidt, or everybody else, have the code.

  52. Nicola Scafetta

    The problem of explaining how the calculations can be repeated is important and fundamental in science. And my papers are very detailed about this point.

    I do agree that sharing the codes of “novel” complicated techniques is part of the scientific transparency. However, this story of sharing the codes and data should not be abused either to just attack or harass people.

    For example, about the paper we are discussing in this post, Steven Mosher wrote

    “And, finally, since we beat Jones and Mann about for failing to post code and data, I’ll ask for pointers to the site where the code and data behind the paper is posted. fair is fair.”

    This is a typical abuse. My paper clearly explains how all calculations are done in details and which programs are used. For example, the most complicated calculation was the orbit of the Sun. In the paper it is written that I used the NASA JPL’s HORIZONS system which is here http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/?ephemerides
    And the temperature data I used is the CRU version, which, as referenced in the paper, is here
    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/

    Why the information I put in the paper is not enough? Why does Mosher continue to attack me claiming that I was hiding the site where the code and data behind the paper is posted?
    If Mosher wants the code of the NASA ephemerides, he should ask to NASA, shouldn’t he? If he wants the CRU code and temperature data, he should ask CRU, shouldn’t he?

    So, everything can be abused, also the request of codes and data. The above Benestad or Mosher’s requests of codes and data are clearly an abuse that does not have anything to do with scientific transparency. Their behavior is only a harassment. And people should understand the difference between “scientific transparency” and “harassment”.

    • Nicola, thank you for your response.

      Reading the RealClimate article, it seems (although they don’t make this clear,) that Benestad and Schmidt were able to replicate your results, once they were in possession of steps a, b and c.

      I have to say that these steps do not appear explicitly in your paper, and I suspect require some inspiration on the part of the replicating party (please correct me if I’m wrong). While it’s true that you guided B&S to the correct procedure, that wouldn’t have been necessary had you published the actual code, which without doubt forms part of your work for the paper. It’s also more efficient to publish this information, since more than one group might require this same guidance from you. Also, what if had been unavailable to provide the clarification?

      With respect to abuse – one has to accept that this will take place (and indeed, in my opinion, B&S didn’t act in good faith). Publishing your code would at least have provided them with less material to work with.

  53. Nicola,
    Q1: How can your work be audited without code and data?
    Q2: Do you regard being audited as harassment?
    Q3: How much effort and cost involved in publishing them?

    • Nicola Scafetta

      Punksta,
      codes and data are public domain, as I explained above.

    • David L. Hagen

      Punksta
      The historical standards for scientific papers was could the results be replicated by others given what was published.

      What started Steve McIntyre on ClimateAudit was that the data was unavailable, the explanations were not sufficient to reproduce the results, and the custom method used distorted the data to give hockey stick graphs – even with random (red) synthetic data.

      Thus McIntyre has been making the explicit effort to publicly post all his data, assumptions, and code for others to validate and use.

      If others cannot readily reproduce Scafetta’s results given the paper (nd above explanation), then the further steps would likely be warranted to find out why the discrepancies.

      Has anyone found discrepancies between Scafetta’s published results given the paper and descriptions?

      PS Nicola
      It might help to post clarifying steps with links to published data and code such as in your discussions above, to clarify points some have had difficulty following.

    • Q1: How can your work be audited without code and data?
      Q2: Do you regard being audited as harassment?
      Q3: How much effort and cost involved in publishing them?
      -
      codes and data are public domain, as I explained above.

      So Mosher or McIntyre or anyone else can download them, and run your actual code using your actual data?
      Bear in mind that is not the same requirement as merely explaining your algorithms, and saying whose data you used. Replication is not auditing.

      And you didn’t address those three questions.

    • Punksta – if you read Nicola’s replies, he’s already answered your first two questions :

      1) The data is in the public domain. The main subroutines (what Nicola calls the code) used to process the data are also in the public domain.
      Nicola’s explained that the code actually writted by him is minimal, and that his results can be easily be recreated by reading his paper (and, perhaps critically, the above explanation which he’d already readily provided to B&S).

      2) He regards people that demand that he publish code & data (often ignoring that his paper points to the location of the data in the public domain) when they haven’t even tried to reproduce his results, as a form of harrassment. If his results are reasonably straightforward to reproduce by following his explanations, there’s no need to provide the actual code. This is, as David Hagen points out above, an uncontroversial and mainstream position (if a little out of touch with the current move towards maximum transparency made possible by the internet & low-cost information storage).

    • Double standard?

      “If his results are reasonably straightforward to reproduce by following his explanations, there’s no need to provide the actual code”.
      If. That is the point.
      Apparently, some scientists are not finding his explanations very useful and complete to reproduce his results. Nicola has his very personal interpretation: they do not manage to do the elementary math. I am afraid that other explanations are possible.
      Nicola gives us here an equivalent of his word of honour, in the sense that it does not at all allow a third party to determine who is right.

      “Nicola’s explained that the code actually writted by him is minimal, and that his results can be easily be recreated by reading his paper”. So, no difficulty to share the code.

    • Ort, I agree that publishing his code would be preferrable, and have already said so.

      It’s not clear, though, that B&S were unable to reproduce Nicola’s results once Nicola had explained his procedure. Rasmus’ ambiguous final paragraph in his essay “Show Us the Code” at RealClimate was :

      I’m no psychic, so I couldn’t have guessed that all this [the three-step explanation from Nicola] was needed to reproduce his result. But since Scafetta has lost faith in my ability to repeat his work, I think it’s even a greater reason to disclose his code so that others can have a go.

      If, even after Nicola had provided his explanatory steps, they had been unable to reproduce his results, I would have expected them to say so, as vindication of their criticism. But they don’t say either way. In my opinion, the paragraph hints that they were able to replicate, but it’s left hanging ambiguously.

      You say : “Nicola gives us here an equivalent of his word of honour, in the sense that it does not at all allow a third party to determine who is right.”

      This isn’t correct – Nicola is saying that his work is replicable by following his explanation. This can be tested by others. The only people who’ve tried to replicate are B&S, and they were strangely reticent about revealing whether they succeeded or not, after all their criticism.

    • oneuniverse :
      “You say : “Nicola gives us here an equivalent of his word of honour, in the sense that it does not at all allow a third party to determine who is right.”
      This isn’t correct – Nicola is saying that his work is replicable by following his explanation. This can be tested by others. The only people who’ve tried to replicate are B&S, and they were strangely reticent about revealing whether they succeeded or not, after all their criticism.”

      My phrasing was unclear. Nicola saying that his explanations are sufficient and the ‘auditors’ silly, that is the disputed point. But by “third party”, I meant: you, me, everybody here and now, in the thread. From the provided elements of the controversy, we can not conclude, and we are condemned to judge on appearances, on stories, on rhetorics of the quotes, on words (the “word of honour”), following your example of risky and unconvincing interpretation (by psychological reasoning) of Rasmus quote.
      This tedious sterile discussion would have been avoided, with a better transparency and the release of the code.

      Anyway, you are perfectly right that nothing prevents others, if interested, to try from the paper their turn of replication, and see by themselves if indeed enough information was given in the paper, or no.
      (and if no, nothing prevents Nicola to say “read a book, learn the maths” again)

    • Ort

      It’s my practice to generally have higher regard for those who challenge, criticise and investigate what I write, especially those who develop new approaches, with the clear goal in mind of getting to the truth, than for those who agree with me.

      Not that many agree with me.

      I have little time for people who dismiss criticism and flatter sycophants.

    • I would like to point out that for a number of us, even if he handed us a complete documented package of code and data it would prove nothing other than the code runs and produces the claimed output. It would say NOTHING about whether the algorithms were appropriate or whether the conclusions were valid.

      While I think it would be better to hand us the code anyway, I think I understand his desire for people to actually copy the code from the book, as we would at least have to read enough to understand which algorithms were needed and why to be able to replicate his results.

      Where the code is so important is when it IS new and/or unique, like MM’s, and there is NOT common knowledge on the subject and there is NOT detailed explanations as to why the new and unique algorithms are appropriate and how they work.

    • OneUniverse & Nicola:

      Herewith presumed answers to the repeatedly ducked questions:

      Q1: How can your work be audited without your code and your data?

      A1: It can’t. If some publicly available material is used, show us your copy of it.

      Q2: Do you regard being audited as harassment?

      A2 : Clearly Yes.

      Q3: How much effort and cost involved in publishing them?

      A3: It’s one email or ftp upload away.

      So – why will Nicola not do this simple thing?
      We can surely only conclude he’s hiding something. Some some unesteemed others I could name.

    • Punksta, do you underswtand how to do wavelet anaylsis???

    • Er, no, I don’t know anything about wavelet anaylsis.
      Does it explain why Nicola is hiding his code and data?

    • Well Punksta, since you don’t know anything about wavelet analysis how do you know he isn’t being completely honest when he says he used the routines out of the book??

      I believe he did make the data available so your hallucination that he is hiding something doesn’t seem to be very useful. He even gave hints that another scientist should have been, and probably was, able to use to replicate his work. I think the burden at this point is on the detractors to prove he is not being honest rather than using innuendo to try and make him seem to be dishonest.

      So far there has been no straightforward statement that there is anything in particular wrong with his work. Just a lot of armwaving and dislike. I am not an expert in this area either, but, I am relatively expert in people who try and smear others without actually giving specifics.

      Would you like to point to the SPECIFICS of his detractors arguments as opposed to general gripes that he didn’t change their diapers for them??

    • kk

      Wow.

      I have come a long way.

      Before considering the many points Climate Etc. correspondents made, I had a good deal of sympathy for such an argument, applied to UEA, except with one refinement.

      I felt that if McIntyre, or any reader, could verify what any scientist claimed without more than was contained in the published works, then the scientist could rest his case so far as that particular reader’s area of interest.

      That UEA, or Nicola Scafetta, are unconcerned with persuading some critics like me, people with no name or specific expertise or known area of interest, I can accept as somewhere between merely too busy with other things to spend their time that way, and scientific snobbery.

      That Nicola Scafetta’s declining to indicate eagerness to persuade other experts in the field by simply making transparent to them materials at their request and within their realm of expertise is very distinct from the way UEA conducted themselves, or at least I would have held this view before coming to Climate Etc.

      Now, I don’t care what someone’s expertise is. Denying access to data or code to any interested party compounded with refusal to regard critics with respect and colleagiality where due, there’s just no call for such conduct if one is coming, hat in hand, to the world begging to have one’s ideas considered.

    • kuhnkat :

      I am not saying Nicola is incompetant and/or dishonest.

      But he is doing it – by refusing to publish his actual code and data. And regarding auditing as harassment.

      Just like Mann before him.

    • Punksta,

      please show me where he data is missing??

      Although his actual notebooks are not included, and typically are not in most papers, he has provided a souyrce for the STANDARD CODE he use. Please get over it. your whining is tiresome.

      As I pointed out previously, if he had done something out of the ordinary as was done in the numerous hockey schticks and some other Consensus Climate Science papers, it would be appropriate to ask what he did different from the standard, accepted methods. Please show where he did something out of the ordinary to support these claims that his actual working code should be presented??

      Exceptional claims need exceptional proof. What is exceptional about his claims?

    • Punksta,

      when did he REFUSE anything reasonable?? He told them where to find the code and where it also included instructions on how and why to use it. That is so far above what Mann and friends did there is simply no comparison. The fact that you do not understand this in no way reflects on him.

    • Punksta, please show me where he data is missing??
      Although his actual notebooks are not included, and typically are not in most papers, he has provided a souyrce for the STANDARD CODE he use. Please get over it. your whining is tiresome.

      Did you copy and paste that whine straight from one of Mann’s emails? Because it seems to me that like Mann and the ‘consensus’, both you and Nicola cannot tell the difference between replication and auditing. Either that or are pretending not to, so as to fob off a request for auditing, with a response on how to go about replicating – for fear of what auditing might bring to light.
      The evidence? In response to Steve Mosher’s “I’ll ask for pointers to the site where the code and data behind the paper is posted”, Nicola responded with “My paper clearly explains how all calculations are done in details and which programs are used”.

      What is being asked for here is

      Code
      The actual calculations he did
      Not : guidance on how they were done.
      This would include his copies of any standard libraries he used .

      Data
      The actual data he used.
      Not : where to find it.

      This really is elementary auditing. All it would take is a quick email with some attachments to Mosher, or a simple ftp upload somwhere.

      I simply cannot understand why such a simple request is being refused. What reason can there be other than a cover-up of something rotten?

  54. Benestad:

    We were up-front about our lack of success in a 100% replication of their work

    Were they successful in 90%, 95% or what percent replication?

  55. Nicola

    That is a huge amount of work that you have done.

    Very well done.

  56. CYCLIC CLIMATE CHANGES AND FISH PRODUCTIVITY
    L.B. Klyashtorin, A.A Lyubushin

    The book considers relationships between climate changes and fish productivity of oceanic ecosystems. Long-term time series of various climatic indices, dynamics of phyto- and zooplankton and variation of commercial fish populations in the most productive oceanic areas are analyzed. Comparison of climate index fluctuations and populations of major commercial species for the last 1500 years indicates on a coherent character of climate fluctuations and fish production dynamics. A simple stochastic model is suggested that makes it possible to predict trends of basic climatic indices and populations of some commercial fish species for several decades ahead. The approach based on the cyclic character of both climate and marine biota changes makes it possible to improve harvesting of commercial fish stocks depending on a phase (ascending or descending) of the long-term cycle of the fish population. In addition, this approach is helpful for making decisions on long-term investments in fishing fleet, enterprises, installations, etc. The results obtained also elucidate the old discussion: which factor is more influential on the long-term fluctuations of major commercial stocks, climate or commercial fisheries?

    http://bit.ly/gTRQsZ

    • Harold Pierce Jr

      Girma

      In Fig 2.23, their model shows the current warm cycle, which started in 1970, maxing out in 2010. They predict that the climate will cool down for the next 20-30 years.

      Their work is a serious challenge to the projections of IPCC and the climate scientists. How do we know if their model “got it right”? And if they did, then there is no justification for draconion measures that call for drastic reductions in GHG emissions.

      I learned of their mongraph in article posted by Bob Carter at ICECAP several years ago, and have posted the url on various blogs and here on several occasions. Nobody seems to pay attention. Of course Ranting Joe and Gavin the Grinch blocked amd stole my comment.

      If these Russian guys could give testimony to the US Congress, the Republican-controlled House would put a very swift end to all this global warming gobblygook and climate change claptrap.

  57. In a post on WUWT in January, I suggested that the ENSO, a major driver of global climate oscillation, could be a nonlinear oscillator similar in type to the Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) reaction, a classic example of non-equilibrium oscillatory pattern formation.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/25/is-the-enso-a-nonlinear-oscillator-of-the-belousov-zhabotinsky-reaction-type/

    Systems of this type can either be unforced (oscillate at their own internal frequency) or be periodically forced by one or more oscillating external agents. To quote from this post:

    “Anna Lin et al. (2004) looked further at the role of periodic forcing in the light-sensitive BZ reaction. The BZ system in the absence of forcing oscillates at its natural frequency. When forcing was applied by periodic light flashes, they found a difference in the kind of response depending on whether the forcing was strong or weak. To quote the authors:

    “The entrainment to the forcing can take place even when the oscillator is detuned from an exact resonance [refs]. In this case, a periodic force with a frequency f(f) shifts the oscillator from its natural frequency, f(0), to a new frequency, f(r), such that f(f) / f(r) is a rational number m:n. When the forcing amplitude is too weak this frequency adjustment or locking does not occur; the ratio f(f) / f(r) is irrational and the oscillations are quasi-periodic. In dissipative systems frequency locking is the major signature of resonant response.”

    So with strong forcing, “frequency locking” occurs and there is a clear relationship between the frequencies of the periodic forcing and of the BZ systems responsive forced oscillation. However when the forcing is weak, the reaction’s responsive frequency shows a much more complex relation to the forcing frequency, and its resultant oscillations can be described as “quasi-periodic”.”

    The link and correlation between the astrophysical forcings that Scaffeta describes, and climate oscillations, appears to be partial – it comes and goes. During some periods it looks convincing, in others less so. This could be evidence that the nature of the forcing is near the border between “strong and weak” forcing as Anna Lin described it. Sometimes the driving frequencies emerge (strong forcing), at other times the system exhibits additional spontaneously generated frequencies which confuse the picture (weak forcing).

  58. Dr. Scafetta,

    Your theory lacks a mechanism.

    While much to long to explain such a simple relationship,
    I believe here are your mechanism(s) http://ourhydrogeneconomy.blogspot.com/2011/10/another-shot-at-explaining-atmospheric.html

  59. We are a gaggle of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.

    Your site offered us with helpful info to work on. You’ve performed a formidable process and our entire group might be thankful to you.

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