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Evidence for a solar signature in 20th-century temperature July 1, 2009

Posted by honestclimate in Discussions.
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Evidence for a solar signature in 20th-century temperature

By Jean-Louis Le Mouel, Vincent Courtillot, Elena Blanter, Mikhail Shnirman

Jun 30, 2009

We analyze temperature data from meteorological stations in the USA (six climatic regions, 153 stations), Europe (44 stations, considered as one climatic region) and Australia (preliminary, five stations). We select stations with long, homogeneous series of daily minimum temperatures (covering most of the 20th century, with few or no gaps).

We find that station data are well correlated over distances in the order of a thousand kilometres. When an average is calculated for each climatic region, we find well characterized mean curves with strong variability in the 3-15-year period range and a superimposed decadal to centennial or ‘secular’ trend consisting of a small number of linear segments separated by rather sharp changes in slope. Our overall curve for the USA rises sharply from 1910 to 1940, then decreases until 1980 and rises sharply again since then. The minima around 1920 and 1980 have similar values, and so do the maxima around 1935 and 2000; the range between minima and maxima is 1.38C. The European mean curve is quite different, and can be described as a step-like function with zero slope and a 1.8C jump occurring in less than two years around 1987. Also notable is a strong (cold) minimum in 1940. Both the USA and the European mean curves are rather different from the corresponding curves illustrated in the 2007 IPCC report.

We then estimate the long-term behaviour of the higher frequencies (disturbances) of the temperature series by calculating the mean-squared interannual variations or the ‘lifetime’ (i.e. the mean duration of temperature disturbances) of the data series. We find that the resulting curves correlate remarkably well at the longer periods, within and between regions. The secular trend of all of these curves is similar (an S-shaped pattern), with a rise from 1900 to 1950, a decrease from 1950 to 1975, and a subsequent (small) increase. This trend is the same as that found for a number of solar indices, such as sunspot number or magnetic field components in any observatory.

We conclude that significant solar forcing is present in temperature disturbances in the areas we analyzed and conjecture that this should be a global feature.

We have also shown that solar activity, as characterized by the mean-squared daily variation of a geomagnetic component (but equally by sunspot numbers or sunspot surface) modulates major features of climate. And this modulation is strong, much stronger than the one per mil variation in total solar
irradiance in the 1- to 11-year range: the interannual variation, which does amount to energy content, varies by a factor of two in Europe, the USA and Australia. This result could well be valid at the full continental scale if not worldwide. We have calculated the evolution of temperature disturbances, using either the mean-squared annual variation or the lifetime. When 22-year averaged variations are compared, the same features emerge, particularly a characteristic centennial trend (an S-shaped curve) consisting of a rise from 1920 to 1950, a decrease from 1950 to 1975 and a rise since. A very similar trend is found for solar indices. Both these longer-term variations, and decadal and sub-decadal, well-correlated features in lifetime result from the persistence of higher frequency phenomena that appear to be influenced by the Sun. The present preliminary study of course needs confirmation by including regions that have not yet been analyzed.


Larger version here. Comparison of the mean squared interannual variation (left column) and lifetime (right column) of the overall minimum temperature data from the US (153 stations), Australia (preliminary, 5 stations) and Europe (44 stations). Europe (bottom row) is shown for the two types of calculation for quick comparison (green curves), and also the magnetic index representing solar activity (blue curve).

Icecap Note: Extending the solar TSI (Hoyt and Willson) and US temperatures up to the present time and adding the ocean multidecadal cycles, we see that relationship continue. It also suggest the current cooling trend as it is similar to the trend down in solar and ocean temperatures in the late 1950s and 1960s. Larger image here.



1. Magnus A - July 2, 2009

There’s also a new study from these four scientists. See Climate Research News, and th conclusion in tha abstract:

“In concluding, we find increasingly strong evidence of a clear solar signature in a number of climatic indicators in Europe, strengthening the earlier conclusions of a study that included stations from the United States (Le Mouël et al., 2008). With the recent downturn of both solar activity and global temperatures, the debated correlations we suggested in Le Mouël et al. (2005), which appeared to stop in the 1980s, actually might extend to the present. The role of the Sun in global and regional climate change should be re-assessed and reasonable physical mechanisms are in sight.”

Meanwhile the politicians listeen to the klimatizt alarmists and plan to destroy the economy — quite a mass murder strategy, I think. 😦

2. Francis Tucker Manns - July 3, 2009


“If we regard the fulfilment of our purpose as contingent upon any circumstances, past, present or future, we are not making use of first cause, we have descended to the level of secondary causation, which is the region of doubts, fears and limitations, all of which we are impressing upon the universal subjective mind, with the inevitable result that it will build up corresponding external conditions.”
Thomas Troward,
Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science 1904
I am quoting Troward because the current political climate of junk science zeitgeist is madness, or at least crazy making. History tells us that prosperity has always advanced as inflation permitted. A steady increase in the money supply leads to higher prices and wages to measure them, and more people able to participate. Adjusted for inflation, copper, iron, oil, and gas, e.g., are not much more expensive than they were in the early 20th century, and we have more supply available and more people have electricity and transportation. There are no shortages of resources; only the cautionary principle keeps resources from being elevated to economic reserves. The bleak Dickensian world has gotten a great deal smaller as the ‘American Dream’ expanded to Asia. The environmental impact also, adjusted for inflation, is less and society has generally progressed, as is reflected in human lifespan in the west.
A common web of fear links misguided environmentalism, peak oil and AGW. Environmental lobby groups (ELGs) since their inception have had a stronger inflationary effect than historical supply and demand pull and push. Witness the oil sands, for example, uneconomic in the early going but reaching ore grade by gradual steps and external (secondary) jumps, ratcheting upward to economic viability. In recent years, a number of ELGs have come to question the cost in CO2 and open pit mining. I will come back to that later.
Gradual inflation has allowed the development of oil sands and similar projects, and will lead to logical scientific and technical development of kerogen shale as it has already permitted the developments in unconventional shale oil and gas. Furthermore, there are vast areas untouched on continental shelves and in arctic Canada. How much hydrocarbon lies under the shelf off Bangladesh? I do not know, but I am willing to bet there is some. The Alaskan NWR could be drilled today from a platform of 2,000 acres.
Our situation in 2009, however, is that secondary causation (fear of the future) has disrupted the steady growth of prosperity. For instance, after 30 years of mining the oil sands footprint covers 0.072% (72 /100,000) of the total land area of Alberta and could ultimately reach 3,000 km2 (0.45%) without equilibrium reclamation (No reclamation has ever been approved by Alberta, so you see where that puts the companies; Syncrude has reclaimed over 23% but is vulnerable to not having that approved by bureaucrats in the thrall of ELGs). With reclamation, the proportion will shrink from 0.072% to zero. The annual CO2 contribution, moreover, is 4% of Canada’s 2% of the global 2% or 7.6 ppm (2% of 380 ppm) , a di minimis figure considering the CO2 seawater equilibrium of 50; all but a few parts per billion will dissolve in the cooling oceans. That estimate is vanishingly small in the context that CO2 may not even be a greenhouse gas, and that water vapour moderates climate modulated by cosmic radiation. As I look out my Toronto window at the current downpour of rain, I realise I am in the Great Lakes cloud chamber and have been watching scenes like this for the past three years of the sunspot cycle. The sun, not CO2, drives the climate and the weather.
Government in the thrall of ELGs is attempting the modify behaviour, based upon a deeply flawed secondary causation argument that resources and ingenuity are finite, and that CO2 is pollution. All this arises from fear; history shows that, in fact, prosperity is the best birth control. Without fear or doubt, peak hydrocarbon is 1,000 years away. There is even time to go nuclear.

“That way lies our hope where sits our greatest fear.” (Gandalf)

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