A simple demo of order and chaos; Climate Models are not so simple

Here’s a fascinating example of oscillating systems.

In this demonstration 15 independent cyclic systems with different periods begin in phase, then watch how the total system departs from being in phase to apparent chaos to split phases and so on.

Now consider this demonstration as a model for all the contributors, big and small, to Earth’s climate–certainly more than the 15 billiard balls depicted here. And put the balls on springs of varying elasticity (permitting varying periods). And then allow the balls to hit each other (adding the third dimension to their oscillation and…..energy transfer).

Try to model and predict that!

Solar slump continues – NOAA: “we are currently approaching a Maunder-type minimum in solar activity.”

Reblogged from Watts Up With That:

Solar experts predict the Sun’s activity in Solar Cycle 25 to be below average, similar to Solar Cycle 24

April 5, 2019 – Scientists charged with predicting the Sun’s activity for the next 11-year solar cycle say that it’s likely to be weak, much like the current one. The current solar cycle, Cycle 24, is declining and predicted to reach solar minimum – the period when the Sun is least active – late in 2019 or 2020.

Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel experts said Solar Cycle 25 may have a slow start, but is anticipated to peak with solar maximum occurring between 2023 and 2026, and a sunspot range of 95 to 130. This is well below the average number of sunspots, which typically ranges from 140 to 220 sunspots per solar cycle.

Graph via Twitter from
NOAA’s Space Weather Workshop

The panel has high confidence that the coming cycle should break the trend of weakening solar activity seen over the past four cycles.

“We expect Solar Cycle 25 will be very similar to Cycle 24: another fairly weak cycle, preceded by a long, deep minimum,” said panel co-chair Lisa Upton, Ph.D., solar physicist with Space Systems Research Corp. “The expectation that Cycle 25 will be comparable in size to Cycle 24   means that the steady decline in solar cycle amplitude, seen from cycles 21-24, has come to an end and that there is no indication that we are currently approaching a Maunder-type minimum in solar activity.”

The solar cycle prediction gives a rough idea of the frequency of space weather storms of all types, from radio blackouts to geomagnetic storms and solar radiation storms. It is used by many industries to gauge the potential impact of space weather in the coming years. Space weather can affect power grids, critical military, airline, and shipping communications, satellites and Global Positioning System (GPS) signals, and can even threaten astronauts by exposure to harmful radiation doses.

Solar Cycle 24 reached its maximum – the period when the Sun is most active – in April 2014 with a peak average of 82 sunspots. The Sun’s Northern Hemisphere led the sunspot cycle, peaking over two years ahead of the Southern Hemisphere sunspot peak.

Solar cycle forecasting is a new science

While daily weather forecasts are the most widely used type of scientific information in the U.S., solar forecasting is relatively new. Given that the Sun takes 11 years to complete one solar cycle, this is only the fourth time a solar cycle prediction has been issued by U.S. scientists. The first panel convened in 1989 for Cycle 22.

For Solar Cycle 25, the panel hopes for the first time to predict the presence, amplitude, and timing of any differences between the northern and southern hemispheres on the Sun, known as Hemispheric Asymmetry. Later this year, the Panel will release an official Sunspot Number curve which shows the predicted number of sunspots during any given year and any expected asymmetry. The panel will also look into the possibility of providing a Solar Flare Probability Forecast.

“While we are not predicting a particularly active Solar Cycle 25, violent eruptions from the sun can occur at any time,” said Doug Biesecker, Ph.D., panel co-chair and a solar physicist at NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center.

An example of this occurred on July 23, 2012 when a powerful coronal mass ejection (CME) eruption missed the Earth but enveloped NASA’s STEREO-A satellite.

Powerful eruption from the surface of the sun captured on May 1, 2013. NASA

2013 study estimated that the U.S. would have suffered between $600 billion and $2.6 trillion in damages, particularly to electrical infrastructure, such as power grid, if this CME had been directed toward Earth. The strength of the 2012 eruption was comparable to the famous 1859 Carrington event that caused widespread damage to telegraph stations around the world and produced aurora displays as far south as the Caribbean.

The Solar Cycle Prediction Panel forecasts the number of sunspots expected for solar maximum, along with the timing of the peak and minimum solar activity levels for the cycle. It is comprised of scientists representing NOAA, NASA, the International Space Environment Services, and other U.S. and international scientists. The outlook was presented on April 5 at the 2019 NOAA Space Weather Workshop in Boulder, Colo.

For the latest space weather forecast, visit https://www.swpc.noaa.gov/

Why climate predictions are so difficult

“The difficulties [in climate modeling Bjorn Stevens of the Hamburg Max Planck Institute for Meteorology] and his fellow researchers face can be summed up in one word: clouds. The mountains of water vapor slowly moving across the sky are the bane of all climate researchers.”

Climate Etc.

by Judith Curry

An insightful interview with Bjorn Stevens.

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Nudging a Climate Illiterate

Excellent post.

Science Matters

Mark Hendrickson writes at The Epoch Times March 28, 2019 Open Letter to a Journalist About His Paper’s Position on Climate ChangeMark patiently lays out information and context for someone to think more deeply about superficial opinions on global warming/climate change. Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

Commentary

Mark Trumbull, Staff Reporter
The Christian Science Monitor
Boston, MA 02115

Dear Mr. Trumbull,

Last month, in your introductory remarks to The Christian Science Monitor Daily online news stories, you addressed the issue of the Monitor’s coverage of climate change. Your challenge is how to report when you and your Monitor colleagues believe that “human emissions of CO2 are triggering dangerous climatic conditions” while some of your readers do not.

You wrote, “Part of good journalism is to seek out a range of viewpoints rather than just present a story through one lens. But a corollary journalistic responsibility…

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Global Cooling: The Real Climate Threat

From the American Thinker:

Climate alarmists constantly warn us that man-made global warming is making our world less habitable and that climate doomsday is fast approaching.  But a closer look at our climate reveals a surprising climate discovery that our mainstream media have conveniently ignored for decades: the role of the sun in determining Earth’s climate.

For the first time in humanity’s history, our leaders could be actively devising policies — based on their defiant and biased obsession with global warming — that will render us highly vulnerable to even the slightest cooling in our climatic system.

“We are causing irreversible damage to our environment,” “We are headed for a climate doomsday due to excessive warming,” “Climate change may wipe out humanity” — these are our everyday news headlines.

As a climate scientist, I find these headlines, and the stories they introduce, vague and full of hasty generalizations.  The repeated, one-dimensional doomsday cry about carbon dioxide’s role in global temperature blinds the public to other causes.

CO2 is just one of many factors that influence global temperatures.  Its role in recent warming is far from dominant.  Indeed, there is poor correlation between CO2 emissions and global temperature.  Between 2000 and 2018, global temperature showed no significant increase despite a steep increase in carbon dioxide emissions from anthropogenic sources.  The same was the case between the years 1940 and 1970.  When carbon dioxide concentration increases at a constant and steady rate and temperature doesn’t follow the pattern, we can be certain that carbon dioxide is not the primary driver of global temperature.

If not CO2, what?

Life on Earth is possible because of Earth’s perfect positioning in the solar system: not too close to the sun and not too far.  For centuries, academicians have acknowledged this, and climate scientists today know that the sun is the biggest influencer and driver of global temperature.

NASA’s page on solar influence clearly states that changes in the sun largely determine Earth’s atmospheric and surface temperatures.  Astrophysicists and climatologists measure these changes in the sun in terms of quantifiable phenomena such as sunspot activity and solar cycles.

However, in recent times, NASA has succumbed to pressure from climate doomsday proponents.  NASA’s original page on the sun’s impact on our climate system is now hidden from the public domain.

With the advent of dangerous man-made global warming theory, CO2 has taken the limelight, and the sun has been relegated to a mere spectator.

This could be warming-obsessed alarmists’ biggest mistake ever.

In central Europe, for example, temperature changes since 1990 coincided more with the changes in solar activity than with atmospheric CO2 concentration.  The same has been true globally, and across centuries.

The Maunder Minimum (1645–1715) and Dalton Minimum (1790–1830) — periods of low solar activity — were responsible for the coldest periods of the Little Ice Age.  England’s River Thames froze.  Whole civilizations collapsed as people starved because cold-induced poor harvests led to malnutrition that made people too weak to resist disease.  Likewise, increased solar activity in the Roman Warm Period (~250 B.C. to A.D. 400) and Medieval Warm Period (~A.D. 950–1250) brought warmer temperatures on Earth, and thriving crops led to greater nutrition and lower mortality rates.

Hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific papers affirm the overwhelming impact of solar activity on Earth’s temperature.

But will there be a cooling?

Observations of sunspot activity at the Space Weather Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) indicate that there has been a lull in solar activity during the past 18 years — the same period during which there has been no significant warming, confirming a direct correlation between solar activity and global average temperature.

Some climate scientists say another major cooling is likely soon.  Their claims are not outlandish.

Evidence for the lull in solar activity is so clear that even NASA admits the cooling trend.  Martin Mlynczak of NASA’s Langley Research Center commented, “We see a cooling trend[.] … High above Earth’s surface, near the edge of space, our atmosphere is losing heat energy.  If current trends continue, it could soon set a Space Age record for cold.”

Most recent scientific studies on solar cycles suggest that the next solar cycles (25 and 26) could be similar to the Maunder and Dalton minima that plunged much of the world into disastrous cold.

An article in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Astrophysics and Space Science last month warns that the solar minimum might already have begun.  Its authors also say there is a high possibility that it will be even colder than those of the Little Ice Age.

That is disturbing news.

Most of our current efforts — including the choice of our renewable energy technologies and our anti–fossil fuel developmental policies — are incompatible with fighting off the impacts of severe cold weather (localized and short-term), let alone long-lasting and global cooling like what happened with the solar minima of the Little Ice Age.

In the event of global cooling, people all over the world — the poor, especially — will be vulnerable.  Our vulnerability will be largely because of global warming alarmists’ neglect of climate reality and the power-hungry climate agenda currently dominating national and international politics.

Vijay Jayaraj (M.Sc., Environmental Science, University of East Anglia, England), contributor to the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, lives in Chennai, India.

What’s the worst case? Emissions/concentration scenarios

Climate Etc.

by Judith Curry

Is the RCP8.5 scenario plausible?

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The Greenhouse Effect Refresher

Sierra Foothill Commentary

Atmospheric Gases: When discussing atmospheric gases, it is useful to refresh one’s memory of the relative concentrations of various gases. To be more useful these will be put in the same units, that is ppmv: parts per million by volume. In the idealized dry atmosphere:

Nitrogen is about 78% of the atmosphere or 780,840 ppmv;

Oxygen is 20.9% or 209,460 ppmv;

Argon is 0.93% of the atmosphere or 9,340 ppmv;

Carbon dioxide is about 0.04% of the atmosphere or 400 ppmv [carbon dioxide varies seasonally and is increasing]. The next greenhouse gas, significantly lower, is

Methane, with about 0.00018% of the atmosphere or 1.79 ppmv;

Nitrous oxide is about 0.0000325% or 0.325 ppmv; and

Ozone is about 0 to 0.000007% or 0 to 0.07 ppmv.

The greenhouse influence of ozone is predominantly in the upper the atmosphere, the stratosphere, where it is created naturally by chemical reactions involving solar ultraviolet…

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FORCE MAJEURE–The Sun’s Role in Climate Change

From the GWPF:

Henrik Svensmark, 11 Mar 2019

Executive Summary

Over the last twenty years there has been good progress in understanding the solar influence on climate. In particular, many scientific studies have shown that changes in solar activity have impacted climate over the whole Holocene period (approximately the last 10,000 years). A well-known example is the existence of high solar activity during the Medieval Warm Period, around the year 1000 AD, and the subsequent low levels of solar activity during the cold period, now called The Little Ice Age (1300–1850 AD).

An important scientific task has been to quantify the solar impact on climate, and it has been found that over the eleven-year solar cycle the energy that enters the Earth’s system is of the order of 1.0–1.5 W/m2. This is nearly an order of magnitude larger than what would be expected from solar irradiance alone, and suggests that solar activity is getting amplified by some atmospheric process.

Three main theories have been put forward to explain the solar–climate link, which are:

  • solar ultraviolet changes
  • the atmospheric-electric-field effect on cloud cover
  • cloud changes produced by solar-modulated galactic cosmic rays (energetic particles originating from inter stellar space and ending in our atmosphere).

Significant effort has gone into understanding possible mechanisms, and at the moment cosmic ray modulation of Earth’s cloud cover seems rather promising in explaining the size of solar impact.

This theory suggests that solar activity has had a significant impact on climate during the Holocene period. This understanding is in contrast to the official consensus from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, where it is estimated that the change in solar radiative forcing between 1750 and 2011 was around 0.05 W/m2, a value which is entirely negligible relative to the effect of greenhouse gases, estimated at around 2.3 W/m2. However, the existence of an atmospheric solar-amplification mechanism would have implications for the estimated climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide, suggesting that it is much lower than currently thought.

In summary, the impact of solar activity on climate is much larger than the official consensus suggests. This is therefore an important scientific question that needs to be addressed by the scientific community.

The PDF report is available here: GWPF

Auroral Evidence of Upcoming Mini or Little Ice Age?

Reblogged from Watts up With That:

Guest Opinion; Dr. Tim Ball

A recent article in the British newspaper The Express titled, “Northern Lights in the UK: Can you watch Aurora Borealis from UK? Where can you see it?” raises interesting questions and comparisons with historical events. It also appears to reinforce the climate forecasts for the next few decades.

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Source: Daily Express

Sir Edmund Halley (1656 – 1742) was one of the great astronomers in history. He proved his science in the best way possible by making an accurate prediction. He predicted the return of a comet that they then named after him. I became familiar with his work while working on the climate record of the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) at Churchill, Manitoba.

The record was given a great scientific boost when in 1768/9 two astronomers, William Wales and Joseph Dymond arrived in Churchill to measure the Transit of Venus. Halley first identified this event and devised a procedure to gather data to determine the distance of the Earth from the Sun. This distance was critical to accurately testing Newton’s theory of gravity. A Transit occurred in 1761, but lack of knowledge and a useable technique resulted in failure. The 1769 Transit was critical because another Transit would not occur for 105 years.

Sir Neville Maskelyne, President of the Royal Society, sent the astronomers. They brought a range of instruments made specifically for them by the Society to carry out a range of scientific measures including thermometers and barometers. They left them at Churchill where the HBC employees continued to maintain some of the earliest instrumental records in North America.

In an interesting irony, Halley’s life spanned the coldest portion of the Little Ice Age with the nadir in 1680. To my knowledge, he did not write about this, but he did write about astronomical events related to it. For example, he was invited by the Royal Society to visit Scotland to observe and submit a report on the newly seen Aurora Borealis. His submission was published in their Philosophical Transactions, in 1714 under the magnificent title,

An account of the late surprizing appearance of the lights seen in the air, on the sixth of March last; with an attempt to explain the principal phænomena thereof; as it was laid before the Royal Society by Edmund Halley, J. V. D. Savilian Professor of Geom. Oxon, and Reg. Soc. Secr.

His abstract is very different from those we see in today’s academic or scientific journals, but this is a time when the title scientist did not exist. He wrote,

The Royal Society, having received accounts from very many parts of Great Britain, of the unusual lights which have of late appeared in the heavens ; were pleased to signify their desires to me, that I should draw up a general resation (sic) of the fact, and explain more at large some conceptions of mine I had proposed to them about it, as seeming to some of them to render a tollerable solution of the very strange and surprizing phænomena thereof.

He knew about them from earlier reports, and he also knew about their relationship with sunspots. He knew about sunspots from Galileo’s work but had not seen them either because his life also spanned a period with very few sunspots. The diagram shows the most accepted reproduction of sunspot numbers with only a few over Halley’s lifetime.

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Aurora borealis or northern lights are among the most spectacular atmospheric displays. Called Aurora australis in the southern hemisphere they are visible evidence of the relationship between the sun and climate. In early days they called them Petty Dancers from the French petite danseurs. In England, they were also called Lord Derwentwater’s lights because they were unusually bright on February 24th, 1716, the day he was beheaded. A bad omen for him, but they were also an indicator of the bad weather and harvest failures of the period.

Ionized particles streaming out from the sun are called the solar wind. The term is misleading because they are solid electrically charged particles. Activity on the Sun is seen as sunspots and solar flares and coincides with variations in the strength of the solar wind. When these charged particles reach the upper levels of the earth’s atmosphere, they collide with the molecules of nitrogen and oxygen. This collision creates electrical charges that make the gas molecules glow. The gas determines the colours of the Aurora. Nitrogen produces red and oxygen the shades from almost white through yellow to green.

Many northern North American First Nations people used them to predict the weather. The Cree in Manitoba expected three to four weeks of cold weather after a prolonged period of display. This is very accurate as it relates to the average eastward movement of the Rossby Waves. Henry Youle Hind, leader of a scientific expedition across Canada, wrote on the 19th of September 1858 about Ojibway predictions:

We arrived at the mouth of the river at 10 A.M. and hastened to avail ourselves of a south-east wind just to rise. Last night the aurora was very beautiful, and extended far beyond the zenith, leading the voyageurs to predict a windy day. The notion prevails with them that when the aurora is low, the following day will be calm; when high, stormy.

Samuel Hearne spent two and one-half years with the Chipewyan, (then called the Northern Indians.) His report on their explanation of the aurora is fascinating.

The Northern Indians call the Aurora Borealis, Ed-thin; and when that meteor is very bright, they say that deer is plentiful in that part of the atmosphere;,,, Their ideas in this respect are founded on a principle one would not imagine. Experience has shewn tham, (sic) that when a hairy deer-skin is briskly stroked with the hand in a dark night, it will emit many sparks of electrical fire, as the back of a cat will.

This describes the phenomenon of static electricity and is remarkably close to the current explanation of the Aurora.

The composite image from NASA shows the Aurora from space as a circle around the Magnetic Pole.

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Although at a higher altitude it is coincident with the dome of cold air that sits over the Pole.

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The auroral ring expands and contracts as the cold air dome expands and contracts. This means when the Aurora is seen closer to the Equator there is cold pervading the Northern hemisphere. This is the situation of the last several years. It is accentuated by the change of pattern in the Rossby Waves along the Polar Front from low to high amplitude Waves. It results in more extreme outbreaks of cold air pushing further toward the Equator and warm air penetrating further to the Pole as the cold air moves out of the way.

Similar conditions occurred in the 17th century. Diarist Samuel Pepys (1633-1703) wrote about the conditions on many occasions. They were especially concerned about the mild winters, so the government recommended action. On January 15, 1662, Pepys wrote,

And after we had eaten, he (Mr. Bechenshaw, a friend) asked me whether we have not committed a fault in eating today, telling me that it is a fastday, ordered by the parliament to pray for more seasonable weather it hitherto had been some summer weather, that is, both as to warm and every other thing, just as if it were the middle of May or June, which doth threaten a plague (as all men think) to follow, for so it was almost all last winter, and the whole year after hath been a very sickly time, to this day.”

The prayers paid off. On January 26th Pepys wrote,

“It having been a very fine clear frosty day. God send us more of them, for the warm weather all this winter makes us fear a sick summer.”

Pepys’ concern mirrors an old English saying that,

“A green winter makes a fat churchyard.”

His concern was well-founded because the plague returned, reaching London in 1665.

When you read the entire series of weather entries in Pepys’ diaries that cover the period 1660 – 1690, the pattern of remarkably variable weather is symptomatic of a Meridional Rossby Wave flow.

It was a similar pattern described in Barbara Tuchman’s 1978 book “A Distant Mirror; The Calamitous Fourteenth Century.” It was another example, like Halley of an important person, the nobleman Enguerrand VII de Courcy, whose life spanned an important climate period the 14th century, with weather comparable to the 17th century and the early 21st century. It lasted longer and was more profound because it was a transitional century as the world cooled from the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) to the Little Ice Age (LIA).

The current debate attracting more and more people is that we are cooling with the only question left as to the extent and intensity. Will it be weather similar to the cooler period coincident with the Dalton Minimum from 1790 – 1830? Alternatively, will it be colder with similar conditions to those by the early fur traders in Hudson Bay or those that spanned the life of Sir Edmund Halley? The appearance of Aurora in northern England suggests the latter, although I can predict who will protest this suggestion.

Megawatts And MegaWattHours

PA Pundits - International

By Anton Lang ~

These two similar sounding terms are perhaps the most misunderstood things in the whole electrical power generation debate, and while there are some important things in this debate, these two terms are in that small group of the most important of them all.

Firstly, the simple explanation for both terms.

Megawatts means the design specification maximum power that the generator can actually deliver. This is what I refer to as the Nameplate for the generator. The acronym for Megawatts is MW.

MegaWattHours is what that generator, while it is actually working, delivers in power to the grid over a period of time, here hours, and that period of time can be an hour, a day, or a year. The acronym for MegaWattHours is MWH.

I will explain it in a little more depth below, and show you, with the use of some graphs what the difference…

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