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.

SORCE’s Solar Spectral Surprise – UV declined, TSI constant

SORCE’s Solar Spectral Surprise – UV declined, TSI constant. Could it be that measurements of Solar UV and Irradiance show enough variability to be a factor in climate trends? Anthony Watts wants you to think so. There’s a NASA news report about the SORCE spacecraft’s Solar Irradiance Monitor (SIM) results that can be spun that way, so he pastes it in.


Decrease in Solar ultraviolet radiation, 2004 - 2007. Source: Joanna Haigh/Imperial College London

Too bad that:

  1. The unexpected UV decline may be an artifact of the instrumentation.

    “I strongly suspect the SIM trends are instrumental, not solar,” said Lean, noting that instrumental drift has been present in every instrument that has tracked ultraviolet wavelengths to date.

  2. If the change is real the impact would be the opposite of the observed climate trends.

    “If these SIM measurements indicate real solar variations, then it would mean you could expect a warmer surface during periods of low solar activity, the opposite of what climate models currently assume,” said Gavin Schmidt, a climate modeling specialist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City.

Still, NASA scientists are simultaneously assessing the accuracy of the measurements and considering what this apparent information might suggest for solar models. The rigid mainstream scientific consensus strikes again?

Something to be thankful for! At last: Cosmic rays linked to rapid mid-latitude cloud changes

Something to be thankful for! At last: Cosmic rays linked to rapid mid-latitude cloud changes“. Anthony Watts has once again found a natural cause for Global Warming (which isn’t happening). Now it’s cosmic rays! Anthony finds the Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics paper Cosmic rays linked to rapid mid-latitude cloud changes “compelling”, especially when combined with denialist Jo Nova’s amateur illustrations (apparently the solar magnetic field absorbs cosmic rays).

The theory, which Henrik Svensmark has been relentlessly but unsuccessfully promoting for years, is that the sun’s magnetic field deflects Galactic Cosmic Rays, which seed cloud formation as they pass through the atmosphere. Hence a weaker solar magnetic field will trigger cooling by increased Earth’s albedo.

Do you think Anthony realized that the effects observed in the paper are only on the order of several days in duration? Naw. Or that Anthony noticed the authors’ admission that this effect is swamped by the anthropogenic impact? Naw.

Anthony’s quote-mining is always fun to watch. He highlights this sentence in the paper’s abstract: “These results provide perhaps the most compelling evidence presented thus far of a GCR-climate relationship.” but conveniently ignores the one immediately in front of it: “However, the results of the GCM experiment are found to be somewhat limited by the ability of the model to successfully reproduce observed cloud cover.”

Update: Here’s Jo Nova’s entertaining cosmological depict of the theory (purple annotation mine):

Jo Nova's concept of Cosmic Rays being eaten by... space dragons?

NASA’s Hathaway issues new solar cycle prediction

NASA’s Hathaway issues new solar cycle prediction. Anthony Watts draws attention to the difficulty experts are having predicting the course of the current sunspot cycle. He also says “let us not be too critical of Dr. Hathaway, unlike some scientists we know, he has the integrity and courage to admit when his forecasts and models don’t work, and to revise them in the face of reality.” Ah yes, the mythical corrupt scientist. Who is the cowardly scientist that refuses to admit any error in their theories?

Of course if we can’t accurately predict something as ‘simple’ as the number of sunspots how can we possibly trust any climate predictions, right?

P.S. That was a lousy “blink comparator” graphic, Anthony. Try using the same scale and date range for both version next time. Or were you just pasting together two jpgs?

Length of day correlated to cosmic rays and sunspots

Length of day correlated to cosmic rays and sunspots. See? Anthony Watts was right all along! It’s the Sun!

Thus, the [rotation of the] Earth (specifically the mantle), is accelerated or slowed according to the fluctuations of cosmic rays under the influence of solar activity through the zonal winds… (original article – in french)

Oh, the variations are on the order of a 10th of a percent. Well, it’s still all natural. The solar kooks come out in full force in the comments.

Aurora Borealis hits a 100-year low point – sun blamed

Aurora Borealis hits a 100-year low point – sun blamed. A news report from lets Anthony Watts talk vaguely about solar cycles. You know, the thing that’s supposed to be behind all the climate change that hasn’t been happening.

How come the sun’s slight cooling trend hasn’t been reflected in cooling here on Earth?

More follow up on the solar-neutrinos-radioactive decay story – experimental falsification

More follow up on the solar-neutrinos-radioactive decay story – experimental falsification. A surprising report last month by physicists that claimed to have detected a variation in radioactive decay rates, which they attributed to solar neutrinos. The NIST has overturned this finding, concluding that the tiny variations arose from environmental conditions during the original study.

This means that you can never trust scientists. They’re sloppy and biased! Instead, trust the keen skepticism of Anthony Watts, he mumbled about this when the report first came out.

Climate science solar shock and awe

Climate science solar shock and awe. Anthony Watts thinks that climate scientists have suddenly realized that there’s a sun up there in the sky. Wow, it heats the Earth too! So it’s all natural after all. That’s a relief.

This revelation was, um, revealed, in an editorial in New Scientist! You never know where new ideas will pop into existence, do you? Maybe even from Anthony’s blog where the solar looneys are out in full force in the comments.

You know, there are lots of natural cycles out there that correlate pretty well with natural variations in the earth’s climate. Just not any that correlate with the recent large and abrupt changes that climate scientists ascribe to human activity. Sorry Anthony.

NASA discovery: solar storms don’t always travel in straight lines

NASA discovery: solar storms don’t always travel in straight lines. Anthony Watts posts another NASA news report, Solar Storms can Change Directions, Surprising Forecasters. A 2008 coronal mass ejection (CME) was observed by NASA’s STEREO-A and STEREO–B spacecraft. The researchers speculate that CME’s follow the sun’s curving magnetic field until they get swept up by the solar wind. The paper by Byrne et al, Propagation of an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection in three dimensions, is in the Sept. 21, 2010 issue of Nature Communications.

The Dec. 12, 2008 coronal mass ejection observed by STEREO. Source: NASA.

I guess Anthony thinks this report is helpful in suggesting that a) we don’t know anything about that big fiery ball in the sky, and b) them scientists are going to change their minds anyway, so don’t bother listening to them.