New solar reconstruction paper suggests 6x greater solar forcing change than cited by the IPCC

New solar reconstruction paper suggests 6x greater solar forcing change than cited by the IPCC (May 10, 2011). Could a paper brought to Anthony Watts’ attention by a hockey stick-obsessed denialist be right? Has it really all just been the Sun’s natural variation? We’re making such a fuss over nothing! Damn those stupid lying climate scientists.

Unfortunately, no. Anthony and his eager associates are conflating, either willfully or through ignorance, amounts of change with rates of change.

Shapiro et. al. (2011) reconstructed “the total and spectral solar irradiance covering 130 nm–10 μm from 1610 to the present” and presented a new model that suggests that TSI (Total Solar Irradiance) may have been “substantially lower during the Maunder minimum than observed today.” But being an actual scientist he also acknowledged that “there is general agreement on how solar forcing varied during the last several hundred years“. Which, surprise, is when man-made global warming happened. Once again, Anthony has toppled the global warming house of cards (not).

Stepping out of Anthony’s narrative for a minute what do the scientists, including Dr. Shapiro, agree upon about Total Solar Irradiance? That global temperatures increased with TSI from 1880 until about 1950. After about 1975 TSI flattens while global temperatures resume their increase. This renewed  global warming (without any help from TSI) is what climate scientists attribute to greenhouse gases (see below, link to Skeptical Science).

Actual TSI vs global temperature. Not a great correlation once greenhouse gases kicked in, huh? Source: Skeptical Science.

Back to Anthony’s narrative: Funny how reconstructions, proxies, and computer models are A-OK with Anthony if he thinks they support the conclusion he wants. Otherwise, the anti-scientific howling is continuous. Hypocrisy much?

Funny how uncertain pre-instrumental records are A-OK with Anthony if he thinks they support the conclusion he wants. Otherwise, the anti-scientific howling is… you can fill in the blanks.

So, perhaps six times as much increase in TSI since 1850? Six times as much sounds huge. The historical TSI fluctuation is around 0.1%, which suggests that the fluctuation may have been up to about 0.6%. However this says nothing about the actual levels of TSI. Those values are neither changed or contested by the paper. If you compare the Figure 2 in Shapiro (2011) with that of  Solanki (2004), shown above, you’ll see that in 1900 Shapiro’s TSI value is 3.9 lower in 1900, and 1.4 higher in 1960. The post-1960 peaks on both the Shapiro (2011) graph and Solanki (2004) TSI graph are the same: 1366 W/m2.

The unfortunate paper authors seem to have done some good refining work on historical Total Solar Irradiance that has minimal impact on the climate change debate but now find themselves falsely held aloft by denialists. I suppose bad publicity is better than no publicity…

On “Trap-Speed”, ACC and the SNR

On “Trap-Speed”, ACC and the SNR. Anthony Watts gives us a guest post by William McClenney, a geologist and “environmental consultant”. He tells us, at tiresome length, that things have happened quickly in the past so who cares if they happen again? So what if they caused civilizations to collapse? We R smart now.

Skeptical or constipated?

Is there a signal in McClenney’s noise? I don’t think it’s worth the effort to find out. Arrogant geologists love to invoke poorly characterized ancient events to dismiss anything happening in the modern world. Whatever.

Bangladesh, the Poster Child

Bangladesh, the Poster Child. B.Quartero guest posts for Anthony Watts that Bangladesh’s ‘climate risk’ is simply about living on a massive river delta. The delta will magically stay balanced with changes in sea-level because of sediment deposition, “almost by definition”. So don’t worry about them!

This is classic past equals present don’t-worryism. Natural conditions have not been maintained. Reduced sediment volumes in the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta owing to climate change means that we have no clear idea if sediment deposition will keep pace with sea-level rise. But they’re all poor and brown, so it doesn’t really matter anyway. “Learn to swim!”

Geologically speaking, deltas “sink” if sediment intake doesn’t balance compaction + sea-level rise and “grow” laterally if sediment intake exceeds that balance. So can the 1 mm/year of flood deposition continue? Will it keep pace with sea-level rise and sediment compaction? B.Quartero is optimistic, but offers no evidence in support of this (even a single reference would be start).

Here’s something brought to my attention, from Nicholls & Goodbred (2004), Towards Integrated Assessment of the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta:

This early-Holocene mangrove facies has been recognized across the entire delta front indicating that the coastal ecosystem was widespread, and radiocarbon dates and deposit thickness indicate the environment’s long-term stability (GOODBRED and KUEHL, 2000b). In terms of delta response, that the Ganges-Brahmaputra system was able to maintain coastal stability under 30 meters of sea-level rise at rates exceeding 1 cm/yr is not a result recognized by traditional deltaic models.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the future situation be stable enough to allow millions of people to live there and grow a crop a year.

CO2: Ice Cores vs. Plant Stomata

CO2: Ice Cores vs. Plant Stomata. More Christmas Guest pudding! Geologist David Middleton takes on the “Warmista Junk Science”. I think he was a classmate. [Update: No, thank god] How depressing to see him parroting the decrepit “Hockey Stick” aspersions and casting about for excuses to prefer weaker data that ‘suggests’ results that suit his purpose.

Ironically David reflexively deplores “Mike’s Nature Trick“, which boils down to plotting temperature proxies over just the period for which they can be demonstrated to be reliable, but mimics it in his arguments. He tries to deprecate the widely accepted ice core data by combining sparse, erratic, leaf stomata temperature proxies and the insensitive (10 million year increments!) GEOCARB III geochemical model of Phanerozoic atmospheric CO2. This apparently requires lots of very busy charts to give the impression of analysis, but lets him simultaneously claim that ice cores don’t capture the variability the way the stomata proxies allegedly do and that the ice core CO2 is too low in CO2 when compared to the monotonic GEOCARB III data. Nice “trick”.

After all those charts, what is David’s compelling “analysis”? Wishful eyeballing.

In his conclusions David repeats the debunked denialist claim that the “carbon cycle lags behind the climate cycle and thus does not drive the climate cycle” and that “anthropogenic contribution to the carbon cycle since 1860 is minimal and inconsequential.” Yeah, the carbon cycle lag was true over geological time when organic productivity was linked to natural climate variation. The problem now is that carbon release by man has turned the feedback response into the driver and is proceeding at a rate that is an order of magnitude faster. Claiming that the anthropogenic contribution is minimal is just a baseless assertion. Plugging your ears and singing “lalalalalala” isn’t going to change these things.

This is just another case of a denialist who can’t find a successful argument resorting to fabricating one, and David has embraced as many old denialist themes as he can. Naturally he’s greeted by the usual thoughtful exclamations of his Copernican brilliance in the comments that will one day be embarrassing to read. I suppose that in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king, but why do so many of Anthony’s readers feel compelled to praise such pedestrian efforts? It seems like a hollow attempt at self-reassurance.

What argument could David have made about ice core data without exposing his bias? That they are not sensitive to short-term CO2 variations. Unfortunately this would lead to a new question: so what?

Solar Geomagnetic Ap Index Hits Zero

Solar Geomagnetic Ap Index Hits Zero. No sunspots! Has this ever happened at this point in a solar cycle? (Yes.) This means the Earth must be cooling according to “It’s the Sun” denialists. Except 2010 was the hottest year in the instrumental record.

Anthony Watts gives us a big blob of copy and pasted Solar data and hopes we don’t draw the logical inference from it all. The comments, as always when the Sun is mentioned, are a glow with arguments about whether the Sun is externally heated or not…

Confirmation of Solar forcing of the semi-annual variation of length-of-day

Confirmation of Solar forcing of the semi-annual variation of length-of-day. December 23rd gave us Anthony Watts’ first Christmas Guest, and Paul Vaughn (M.Sc.) served up a delightful slice of Dunning-Kruger pudding. There’s nothing a denialist likes more than a new and obscure correlation to (briefly) divert the conversation… Causation is for sissies.

Paul wants to show that Earth’s Length of Day is influenced by cosmic rays, which slightly affect atmospheric density. Hence, using the power of wishful thinking, all Global Warming is natural and will reverse itself. Eventually. Paul gives us lots of cluttered stock promoter-style charts, spreading a tiny proportional change over a full chart range. You’d think an analytical genius like, perhaps, Steve McIntyre would call him to task on it wouldn’t you?

Yes, atmospheric and oceanic angular momentum impacts Length of Day. Trivially. This influence, measured as being on the order of one millisecond out of 86,400,000 over a period of months, is significant? Try again. Cue the ignorant arguments about magnetic fields in the comments.

The Madden – Julian Oscillation

The Madden – Julian Oscillation. Anthony Watts discovers that our atmosphere sloshes! There are currents everywhere! This means that there is no Global Warming, it’s all natural oscillations!

Anthony pastes in a 1998 atmospheric science web textbook chapter to show his new knowledge, in particular about the short-period (40-50 days) tropical Madden – Julian Oscillation. But he must have choked on this sentence, unless he never read it:

Notwithstanding its complexity and dependence on convection, the essence of the MJO (its periodicity, structure and zonal asymmetry) can be simulated in a GCM.

That sounds like a vindication of Global Circulation Models… They’re evil, corrupt, and always wrong!