Thursday, April 29, 2010

Blank sun, cosmic rays, clouds and cooling

Today's update: Cosmic Ray flux has hit an all time high for the space age! That should mean more clouds, increased albedo and a cooling earth--sorry AGW folk.

Cosmic Rays Hit Space Age High 09.29.2009
September 29, 2009: Planning a trip to Mars? Take plenty of shielding. According to sensors on NASA's ACE (Advanced Composition Explorer) spacecraft, galactic cosmic rays have just hit a Space Age high.

"In 2009, cosmic ray intensities have increased 19% beyond anything we've seen in the past 50 years," says Richard Mewaldt of Caltech. "The increase is significant, and it could mean we need to re-think how much radiation shielding astronauts take with them on deep-space missions."

Above: Energetic iron nuclei counted by the Cosmic Ray Isotope Spectrometer on NASA's ACE spacecraft reveal that cosmic ray levels have jumped 19% above the previous Space Age high.

The cause of the surge is solar minimum, a deep lull in solar activity that began around 2007 and continues today. Researchers have long known that cosmic rays go up when solar activity goes down. Right now solar activity is as weak as it has been in modern times, setting the stage for what Mewaldt calls "a perfect storm of cosmic rays."

One can look at the following picture to see that as the solar magnetic field has dropped, the cosmic ray intensity has risen strongly.

A theory that is gaining experimental support among some climatologists and solar scientists links the rise of cosmic ray flux to an increase in clouds

“Growing evidence, such as the correlations
between paleoclimate records and
solar and cosmic ray activity indicators
(e.g., 10Be, 14C), suggests that extraterrestrial
phenomena are responsible for at
least some climatic variability on time
scales ranging from days to millennia
(Friis-Christensen and Lassen, 1991;
Tinsley and Deen, 1991; Soon et al., 1996;
Svensmark, 1998; Beer et al., 2000;
Egorova et al., 2000; Soon et al., 2000;
Björck et al., 2001; Bond et al., 2001;
Hodell et al., 2001; Kromer et al., 2001;
Labitzke and Weber, 2001; Neff et al.,
2001; Todd and Kniveton, 2001; Pang and
Yau, 2002; Solanki, 2002). These correlations
mostly surpass those, if any, for the
coeval climate and CO2. Empirical observations
indicate that the climate link could
be via solar wind modulation of the
galactic cosmic ray flux (CRF) (Tinsley
and Deen, 1991; Svensmark, 1998; Marsh
and Svensmark, 2000; Todd and
Kniveton, 2001; Shaviv, 2002a, 2002b)
because an increase in solar activity results
not only in enhanced thermal energy
flux, but also in more intense solar wind
that attenuates the CRF reaching Earth.
The CRF, in turn, correlates convincingly
with the low-altitude cloud cover on time
scales from days (Forbush phenomenon)
to decades (sun spot cycle). The postulated
causation sequence is therefore:
brighter sun => enhanced thermal flux +
solar wind => muted CRF => less lowlevel
clouds => less albedo => warmer
climate. Diminished solar activity results
in an opposite effect. The apparent departure
from this pattern in the 1990s
(Solanki, 2002) may prove to be a satellite
calibration problem (Marsh and
Svensmark, 2003).”
Nir J. Shaviv and Jan Veizer, “Celectial Driver of Phanerozoic Climate?” GSA Today, July 2003, p. 5

"Not until six years later would they be able to test the proposed mechanism in a lab. In 2006, Svensmark assembled a team at the Danish National Space Center to undertake an elaborate experiment in a reaction chamber the size of a small room. Dubbed SKY (Danish for "cloud"), the experiment mimicked salient features of the chemistry of the lower atmosphere, adding ultraviolet rays to mimic the actions of the Sun. Naturally occurring cosmic rays were filtered in through the ceiling."

"What they found left them agape: a vast number of floating microscopic droplets soon filled the reaction chamber. These were ultra-small clusters of sulfuric acid and water molecules-the building blocks for cloud condensation nuclei-that had been catalyzed by the electrons released by cosmic rays. They had expected some effect. The surprise was that the electrons acted as catalysts-each causing not one but several reactions before being lost to the environment. This strengthened their notion that a relatively small change in cosmic radiation could have a significant effect on climate."
Lawrence Solomon, The Deniers," (Richard Vigilante Books, 2008), p.155-156

"Close passages of coronal mass ejections from the sun are signaled at the Earth's surface by Forbush decreases in cosmic ray counts. We find that low clouds contain less liquid water following Forbush decreases, and for the most influential events the liquid water in the oceanic atmosphere can diminish by as much as 7%. Cloud water content as gauged by the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) reaches a minimum ≈7 days after the Forbush minimum in cosmic rays, and so does the fraction of low clouds seen by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and in the International Satellite Cloud Climate Project (ISCCP). Parallel observations by the aerosol robotic network AERONET reveal falls in the relative abundance of fine aerosol particles which, in normal circumstances, could have evolved into cloud condensation nuclei. Thus a link between the sun, cosmic rays, aerosols, and liquid-water clouds appears to exist on a global scale." Henrik Svensmark, Torsten Bondo, Jacob Svensmark, "Cosmic Ray Decreases Affect Atmospheric Aerosols and Clouds," GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 36, L15101, 4 PP., 2009

An understandable explanation of this can be found at Henrik Svensmark, Torsten Bondo, Jacob Svensmark, "Cosmic Ray Decreases Affect Atmospheric Aerosols and Clouds," Draft source

"Explosive events on the sun provide natural experiments for testing hypotheses about solar influences on the Earth. A conspicuous effect is the sudden reduction, over hours to days, in the influx of galactic cosmic rays (GCRs), first noticed by Scott E. Forbush in 1937. Such Forbush decreases (FDs) are now understood to be the result of magnetic plasma clouds from solar coronal mass ejections that pass near the Earth and provide a temporary shield against GCRs [Hilary, 2000]."


Cosmic Rays allow ionization nuclei to form which causes clouds. When the sun has few sunspots we have more cosmic ray influx. Anyone doubting that can go look at the Be10 proxy for sunspot numbers.

From Wiki

"An increase in solar activity (more sunspots) is accompanied by an increase in the "solar wind," which is an outflow of ionized particles, mostly protons and electrons, from the sun. The Earth's geomagnetic field, the solar wind, and the solar magnetic field deflect galactic cosmic rays (GCR). A decrease in solar activity increases the GCR penetration of the troposphere and stratosphere. GCR particles are the primary source of ionization in the troposphere above 1 km (below 1 km, radon is a dominant source of ionization in many areas)."

"Levels of GCRs have been indirectly recorded by their influence on the production of carbon-14 and beryllium-10. The Hallstatt solar cycle length of approximately 2300 years is reflected by climatic Dansgaard-Oeschger events. The 80–90 year solar Gleissberg cycles appear to vary in length depending upon the lengths of the concurrent 11 year solar cycles, and there also appear to be similar climate patterns occurring on this time scale."

But of course, the AGW folk will continue to claim that the sun plays almost no role in our climate.

And compare the information and picture above with the picture of the albedo which began to strongly rise in 2000 along with the cosmic ray intensity.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What a heat source can do to temperature--Geneva and Fairmont Nebraska

In this blog I have done a lot of looking at two nearby towns on the Great Plains. The reason for doing this is that such temperatures should be somewhat similar. They should not have strong bias's over short distances like 15 miles. Today's example is of Geneva, Nebraska and Fairmont, Nebraska, two towns merely 15 miles apart. These two towns are especially intersting as Fairmont has an elevation of 1641 feet and Geneva 1644 feet. No one can claim that there is a lapse rate of any importance between these two towns.

The thermometers are, however in a particularly good place to test out the urban heating of a house. Geneva's MMTS is located 12 feet from a house, in a neighborhood. Below is the picture.

Fairmont Nebraska's Stevenson Screen is sited at least 100 meters away from a house. It's station is shown below. Pictures of both stations are from Anthony Watts' site.

Geneva should be subject to heat being emitted from the house during the winter and thus should be warmer during the winter than Fairmont. This is precisely what we see. Every winter, Geneva, Nebraska is warmer than Fairmont by about a degree. This can't be due to CO2 because CO2 doesn't go up in the winter at Geneva and down at Fairmont. This can only be due to heat affecting the validity of the Geneva measurements.

Why in the world the global warming hysteriacs can act as if they are collecting data of sufficient scientific quality is far beyond me. As a physicist, I learned that the first thing one must do is ensure that the measurements are free of bias--and this is something that the climatologists are not doing.

I would point readers to my previous blog calculating how much heat is added to the radiation field of a city, even a small one, by our modern lifestyle. how energy use warms the earth

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Albedo made me warm and cool.

While doing some research on the earth's albedo, I ran across a Cal Tech press release, which basically says that the experiment has been run--the experiment being a doubling of CO2. And guess what, we survived. The fear among the climate hysteriacs is that we will heat the earth. It isn't CO2 per se, but the heating effect of CO2 that is the worry. The heating is what they fear. So, have we had heating this century equivalent to doubling the CO2 content of the atmosphere? Yes.

By using a combination of earthshine observations and satellite data on cloud cover, the earthshine team has determined the following:

= Earth's average albedo is not constant from one year to the next; it also changes over decadal timescales. The computer models currently used to study the climate system do not show such large decadal-scale variability of the albedo.

= The annual average albedo declined very gradually from 1985 to 1995, and then declined sharply in 1995 and 1996. These observed declines are broadly consistent with previously known satellite measures of cloud amount.

= The low albedo during 1997-2001 increased solar heating of the globe at a rate more than twice that expected from a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide. This "dimming" of Earth, as it would be seen from space, is perhaps connected with the recent accelerated increase in mean global surface temperatures.

= 2001-2003 saw a reversal of the albedo to pre-1995 values; this "brightening" of the Earth is most likely attributable to the effect of increased cloud cover and thickness.


Now,greenhouse gases can be treated as if they are additional heat input to the earth. This is merely treating the greenhouse as if it was extra solar output.

The radiative forcings have been calculated for all the greenhouse gases as a function of their abundance. These calculations are done by computing the way the radiation at each wavelength is absorbed and reradiated at different layers in the atmosphere, until it escapes to space. The present radiative forcings of each greenhouse gas (compared to their greenhouse effects in pre-industrial times) are:
• Carbon dioxide: 1.5 Watts per square meter.
• Methane: 0.5 Watts per square meter.
• Nitrous oxide: 0.2 Watts per square meter.
• Halocarbons: 0.2 Watts per square meter.
• Total from all greenhouse gases: 2.4 Watts per square meter.
Hence, at present carbon dioxide is responsible for 60% of the anthropogenic greenhouse effect, methane is responsible for 20%, nitrous oxide for 10%, and halocarbons for 10%. The total radiative forcing of 2.4 Watts per square meter is equivalent to 1% of all the energy absorbed from sunlight in the surface and atmosphere of the Earth, at present, and it will increase as greenhouse gas abundances increase in the future. source

Below is a picture from the Palle et al article showing the changes in the Earth's albedo. I modified it to show what periods would be warming and cooling and the approximate warming due to greenhouse gas content of the atmosphere.

A one per cent change in the earth's albedo is a change of 13.6 watts per meter squared. From the chart one can see that the earth's albedo has changed by more than a percent just over the past 30 years. Yet the greenhouse gases will only change the radiative forcing by 2.4 watts per meter squared. This means that we have experienced more warming that the hysteriacs fear CO2 will bring us.

The problem with the global warming alarmists is that they focus on a single cause for the warming and proclaim (wrongly) that nothing else can affect the global climate. Data from satellites show that the earth's albedo is a bigger driver of warming than are the greenhouse gases.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

An Odd Solar Cycle

One of the things that is clear from most climatical research--when sunspots are rare, the earth cools. I know, I know some hysteriacs try to say the sun has little impact on the earth's climate. History simply doesn't support them. The period called the Little Ice Age, which was the last time glaciers advanc ed and actually over ran towns which had been inhabited from the beginning of history, was a period of time also known as the Maunder Minimum-- a period when there were almost no sunspots.

The mother of all spotless runs was of course the Maunder Minimum. This was a period from October 15, 1661 to August 2, 1671.
It totaled 3579 consecutive spotless days. That puts our current run at 17.5% of that of the Maunder Minimum.

By the standard of spotless days, the ongoing solar minimum is the deepest in a century: NASA report. In 2008, no sunspots were observed on 266 of the year’s 366 days (73%). To find a year with more blank suns, you have to go all the way back to 1913, which had 311 spotless days (85%):

It was about the Little Ice Age/Maunder Minimum that this was said:

"Villages built in what had been considered safe places were overwhelmed by glaciers in the early 17th century. Several of these villages are still ice-covered today."~G. H. Denton and S. C. Porter, "Neoglaciation", Scientific American, June 1970, p. 102

Anyone who has looked out side over the past couple of years, should know that the weather has been cooler than the global warming hysteriacs would have us believe. I believe that it is because we have had few sunspots over the past few years. During each solar minimum the sun often has no sunspots. Plots of the spotless days show that this solar minimum has been exceptionally low in solar activity. Below is a chart showing a comparision of the number of spotless days per month for the last few solar cycles. Each curve starts the month before the first spotless day. The blue curve, which is the current cycle, is clearly anomalous among the previous few sunspot cycles.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

An uncertain history

One of the jokes in the old Soviet Union was that the Soviet Union was the only country with an uncertain past. The Soviets had a way with altering previously published photographs to remove people who had formerly been there. The above two photos are among the most famous of these history-altering attempts. Grigory Grigoryevich Nelyuboff, simply wasn't there in May 1961, no matter what your lying eyes told you if you saw the original May 1961 publication.

Sadly, much of the climatological corrections have the same effect.Below are two graphs, one showing the original observed temperature profile for Seligman, Arizona. the other the 'adjusted' history. The data was taken from here

Notice that on the original unaltered temperature record, 1960 is warmer than the present time (makes one think about the tree-ring temperature proxy decline that was discussed in the famous 'hide the decline' email of climategate). But in the altered, and final dataset, 1960 is suddenly a full degree cooler than the present day temperature, or alternatively, editing alone has added a full degree of temperature difference to Seligman.

One will notice also that the raw data was hotter by half a degree, with 1960 and 2000 being close to 13 deg C. The adjusted data is down to 12.5 deg for 2000 but about 11.6 deg for 1960. This adjustment changes the trend, and the anomaly which is what most global warming advocates show. They show the trend in the anomalies, and the editing has changed the trend of Seligman.

Here is a graph with both adjusted and unadjusted data on the same graph.

Notice that history has been changed. History is variable.

Let's look next door at Fort Valley, AZ, a town at a much lower elevation. We see the same tendency to make the present hotter. First the raw data and then the 'adjusted' data.

If you look closely the entire history at Fort Valley has been changed to cool all temperatures prior to 1990. Look at 1910. On the unadjusted the peak was about 7.25 deg C. After adjustment, the temperature has been cooled to about 6.25 deg. The 1964 cold spell was cooled even further going from about 5 deg C on the unadjusted to about 4.65 on the 'adjusted'.

Here are both adjusted and unadjusted on the same graph. You can see how the 'correction' systematically cools the past in relation to the present, thus making the temperature TREND, which is what the climatologists scare us with, appear worse than it actually is.

To paraphrase a line from The Lord of the Rings movie, Be afraid, be very afraid, not of the temperature but of climatological corrections.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Warmer Arctic Temperature brings more Arctic Ice

I swear that some of the lunacies that the global warming hysteriacs want us to believe are entirely illogical. Goddard Institute has proclaimed March 2010 as the warmest March in history. (

Here is a picture of the warm Arctic regions, also from Goddard Institute.

NOte that all around the Arctic Ocean is warm, up to 5 deg C warmer than normal. The strong red all along the coasts of the Arctic ocean should indicate that the Arctic Ocean's ice should be melting. But it isn't.

If this is true, then the climatologists at Goddard need to explain how it is that the arctic ice cover and thickness INCREASED in March. Below is a graph of the ice cover in the Arctic. The light blue curve is the area of the Arctic covered by ice at the end of March.

The area of ice cover in the Arctic Ocean continued to increase throughout March, which was up to 5 deg C warmer surrounding the Arctic. Surely ice cover wouldn't increase as much as it does if the Arctic was as warm as Goddard most assuredly mistakenly claims it is.

This discrepancy shows that the thermometer record is not to be trusted. It is a sham.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Polar Bears have seen warmth before.

That is the conclusion of a study reported in Science News.

"The discovery of this jawbone confirms that the polar bear was already a distinct species at least 110 kya, and as such any findings from genetic research based on this specimen could contribute to answering key questions on the evolutionary history of this species." source p. 5054

Analysis of the mitochondrial DNA show that polar bears split from Alaskan bears 150,000 years ago.

“Within this clade, we estimated the mean age of the split between the ABC bears and the polar bears to be 152 ky, and the mean age for all polar bears as 134 ky, near the beginning of the Eemian interglacial period and completely in line with the stratigraphically determined age of the Poolepynten subfossil.” Charlotte Lindqvist et al, “Complete mitochondrial genome of a Pleistocene
jawbone unveils the origin of polar bear, Proc. Natl. Acad. Science, USA, 107(2010):11, p. 5054

The picture below shows the temperature (black curve) from a Greenland Ice core back to 100,000 years ago. Notice the warmth.

This next picture shows the temperature of the Vostok core from Antarctica. Notice that the world was warmer than at present about 100,000 years ago in that core as well. That means that the polar bears survived the warm periods. The hysteria about their future is misplaced.

This, of course, means that polar bears lived through the last interglacial period when it was warmer than it is today. And we are supposed to worry about us killing the polar bears. What a laugh. The bears can take care of themselves.