Still far more worrisome than global warming: solar coronal mass ejections

“Still far more worrisome than global warming: solar coronal mass ejections” (2017-02-01). Space climate alarmist Anthony Watts reminds his readers about space weather (Coronal Mass Ejections) and tells them that we can’t pay any attention to climate change (which is a commie lie anyway) until every other risk has been averted first.

A CME “would plunge our society into darkness and chaos as our sensitive electronics, networks, and power systems fail world-wide”!!! But “global warming worriers” are apparently “blind to this looming and certain threat and prefer squabbling over a few tenths of a degree change in temperature that may or may not be entirely man-made.”

Coronal Mass Ejections are scary!

Anthony presents a Coronal Mass Ejection in cartoon form.

A significant CME aimed at Earth could undoubtably cause serious trouble for our electricity transmission networks and the devices connected to them, as well as affecting commercial satellites. This is a serious matter in electrical engineering circles.

But methinks Anthony’s space climate alarmism is more concerned his own smug energy-intensive technology bubble than he is about humanity in general. How will Anthony receive President Trump’s tweets? Your average African or Southeast Asian subsistence farmer would ride out this kind of transient tech disaster easily, assuming they haven’t already watched their soil blow away or be poisoned by relentless anthropogenic global warming.

Smear campaign: “His judgment cometh and that right soon”

Smear campaign: “His judgment cometh and that right soon” (2015-02-23). Dr. Willie Soon is an aerospace engineer affiliated (part-time) with the Harvard Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics who publishes weak climate papers (always, always, with the same unsubstantiated “it’s all just natural solar variation” chant). He’s now been caught out by communists Greenpeace researchers. Seems Dr. Soon rarely discloses his fossil fuel industry backing in his publications, but boasts of his “deliverables” to the same buddies. Research to order, on the Q.T.

Dr. Willie Soon, rehydrating.

Anthony Watts has often snuggled up to Dr. Soon. Hand-waving about solar climate influences has been a great side-show for denialists, but it’s been hard for them to find a reliable figurehead for their obstruction. Being able to whisper “HArvard! SmithSONian!” must have been just irresistible. Dr. Soon’s work, while widely discredited, had a “sciencey” look and he made a great tame Republican witness in kangaroo court Senate Hearings.

The best Anthony can do is suggest that the benighted Dr. Soon is the victim of a smear campaign because, well, facts are smears. Then the usual Morris Dance ensues: invoke the malevolent “compliant media” and immediately talk about something else.

Did you know that “climate science is a huge money machine”? So what if Willie wanted a taste! Anthony tries to play the herd mentality card (I guess that makes Dr. Soon our latest Galileo, funny how he’s always reincarnated as a denialist these days) but doesn’t notice that each ‘overturned consensus’ came about through considering new evidence, not through pig-headed repetition of the same crap.

Butter wouldn’t melt in Anthony’s mouth though when he brazenly tries to invoke the e-mails of mainstream climate scientists targeted in the false “Climategate” uproar. They solicited funds from the energy industry too, although without the flirtatious promises, Willie’s just the latest nose in the trough! What were once vices are now virtues, the denialist outrage during Climategate is so yesterday.

Remember the whole “97% of climate scientists accept the evidence of global warming” thing? Guys like Willie Soon are the 3%.

“Follow the money” Anthony sagely advises, but he really wants to lead us down the garden path.

Dana Nuccitelli’s holiday trick for sobering up quick: put a little less rum in your egg nog

“Dana Nuccitelli’s holiday trick for sobering up quick: put a little less rum in your egg nog” (2012-12-28). Funny how a post on Anthony Watts’ “uncensored” website attacking Dana Nuccitelli doesn’t have any responses from Dana Nuccitelli. Just sayin’.

So Anthony’s denialist buddy Alec Rawls, a self-appointed whistle-blowing IPCC expert, posted this bunk to lash out at Dana Nuccitelli. Dana had the temerity to ridicule Alec’s idea that there is a lag of secret duration and unknown cause in our climate’s response to “solar variation” (which… doesn’t). Thus proving that it really is all because of the sun and we can go back to our coal-powered land yachts free from communist oppression.

After-all, your level of inebriation can rise even after you stop drinking! And a wacky biological analogy is even better than a physical science proof. To be blunt, you’d know more about solar physics and climate from staring straight into the sun for a minute than Alec could figure out in a lifetime.

If you have the patience the 400+ comments are a comedy goldmine, especially when actual solar scientist Leif Svalgaard pops in for a serious round of whack-a-mole. Paul Vaughan’s wounded howl “Do not ever address me again” seems to capture the flavor of the reactions. Poor Alec must have anticipated an unopposed playing field, because he swaggers and sneers hilariously:

I have to feel bad for Dana on this point. It isn’t his fault. He has been systematically duped by this parade of so-called scientists all telling him that a persistent high level of forcing can’t cause continued warming. Makes me want to put him on a milk carton. The poor guy isn’t just lost, he was kidnapped. Want a piece of candy little boy? Credulous Science indeed.

Leif Svalgaard finally calls a spade a spade:

lsvalgaard says:December 29, 2012 at 3:28 pm
Alec Rawls says:
December 29, 2012 at 2:39 pm
UV-shift effects is one obvious candidate, so the NewScientist actually belittles TWO of the main candidates for this unidentified solar amplification mechanism
The Steinhilber et al. paper you cite, ends with “The UV irradiance may not be the viable solution because its observational data do not show a similar distinct decreasing trend as TSI [Frohlich ¨ , 2009], implying that its level during the MM was similar as in present solar cycle minima.
So you will quote selectively and omit what you don’t like.

IPCC AR5 draft leaked, contains game-changing admission of enhanced solar forcing – as well as a lack of warming to match model projections, and reversal on ‘extreme weather’

IPCC AR5 draft leaked, contains game-changing admission of enhanced solar forcing – as well as a lack of warming to match model projections, and reversal on ‘extreme weather’ (2012-12-13). What’s this? A GAME-CHANGING revelation about global warming? That’s, like, the tenth time! This one’s gotta stick, right Anthony?

Let’s see… this is a leak by an actual insider IPCC expert! Now that ought to get everyone’s attention! Oh, our expert is just Anthony Watts’ blogging buddy Alex Rawls and his “expertise” consists of being able to promise that he wouldn’t release any of the IPCC AR5 draft text. (Looks like he dropped that ball pretty quick via a bit of self-sainting: “As for my personal confidentiality agreement with the IPCC, I regard that as vitiated by the systematic dishonesty of the report“.) Actual science credentials? Zip. He’s just another denialist nutter who thinks he’s the next Galileo.

But still, he must have found something juicy to break his earnest confidentiality pledge! Wazzit? Here’s the game-changing sentence Alec decided to hang his hat on:

The forcing from changes in total solar irradiance alone does not seem to account for these observations, implying the existence of an amplifying mechanism such as the hypothesized GCR-cloud link.

Here’s what NewScientist said in covering the tomfoolery:

if Rawls had read a bit further, he would have realised that the report goes on to largely dismiss the evidence that cosmic rays have a significant effect. “They conclude there’s very little evidence that it has any effect”

So the juicy sentence was just a minor aspect of a solar influence discussion (spoiler: the influence is big, obviously, but so invariant as to be irrelevant to modern climate trends). Really, how could there be anything “game-changing” in an IPCC report? It’s freakin’ based on the existing published science!

Is Alec stupid enough to think that a bit of draft text from a scientific summary would be how we suddenly recognise a paradigm shift in climate science? Apparently, yes. Alec also consider’s himself a national hero for bravely blowing his whistle. Both of these beliefs merit a solid whack on the side of the head.

A few other worthwhile comments on the matter:

  • RealClimate – “A review of cosmic rays and climate: a cluttered story of little success”
  • Skeptical Science – “IPCC Draft Report Leaked, Shows Global Warming is NOT Due to the Sun”
  • Scientific American – “Climate deniers used the leak to press their case but the new IPCC report closes the case on a human cause for global warming”
  • NewScientist – “Leaked IPCC report reaffirms dangerous climate change”
  • The Guardian – “Global warming is not due to the sun, confirms leaked IPCC report”

Solar Activity – Past, Present, Future

“Solar Activity – Past, Present, Future” (2012-11-11). Holy carp! An objective, factual science abstract on Anthony Watts’ blog! Has hell frozen over? Dr. Leif Svalgaard, a real solar scientist, has posted a discussion of how solar activity is measured and what the historical patterns have been.

Dr. Svalgaard has been a tireless respondent to a cacophony of denialist solar ignorance at Watts Up With That. Maybe they’ll finally take this onboard: nothing in the pattern of sunspots, solar radiation. solar wind, or cosmic rays has any correlation to the dramatic climate changes the Earth has experienced in modern times.

My bet though is that the cranks will simply take the data he has referenced and start a new round of fevered cherry-picking.

Earth’s Climate System Is Ridiculously Complex – With Draft Link Tutorial

Earth’s Climate System Is Ridiculously Complex – With Draft Link Tutorial (June 30th, 2011). I’m waaay behind commenting on Anthony Watts’ anti-science, but this post recently came to my attention. Gosh, if the Earth’s climate is so “ridiculously complex” how could we possibly really know anything? We might hurt our thinkin’ muscles trying to figger it out.

The Earth rotates! It orbits the Sun! There’s gravity! The Sun shines! Volcanoes and hot springs are hot! Cosmic rays rain down, as do comets! Funny, I didn’t notice any references to the much-discussed greenhouse effect.

Most importantly; even though the Earth’s climate is “ridiculously complex” it is absolutely clear that all changes are completely natural.

WUWT reader and obsessive googler “Just The Facts” has assembled a collection of mainly Wikipedia entries to prove this point, but it seems to me that he’s unintentionally shown the exact opposite. Climate scientists are well aware of our climate’s complexity, and are able to integrate the processes quite well. Thanks, Facts.

Of course denialists are waging a fighting retreat using the “complexity” and “imperfection” arguments, so a huge list of anything is useful for waving in the air. I think Winnie-the-Pooh said it best:

“When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.”

Climate scientist Michael Tobis tries to inject a little reality to the comments, but faces a determined onslaught of ignorance as well as the usual  passive-aggressive moderation by Anthony and his staff. Eventually solar scientist Leif Svalgaard gets chokes on the ignorance and starts correcting them.

The comment by “Thomas S”, third one in, wins today’s booby prize: “Holy….!! This post will go down in history as the post that killed the AGW debate once in for all.” I wouldn’t put money on that, Thomas.

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…