Monday, February 26, 2007

Hard times

Just scanning the weekly output from those a little distrustful of reality and I must say I'm underwhelmed. Ever since the great AR4 sea-level controversy of January 2007, they've gone a little flat. Almost like their hearts just aren't in it any more. (BTW...don't ya just love the denialist term 'debate' when it comes to differing scientific opinions. So, well, unscientific. Scientists argue. They don't 'debate'. Debate sounds formal. If there is one thing scientists aren't, it's formal. Well, not the lot I work with anyway.....but I digress).

Perhaps the hard times for the 'you-just-want-to-destroy-capitalism' crew are due to certain limitations in methodology. Wellington Grey captures perfectly the two modes of thinking; reality-based and faith-based.

Maybe you just run out of new things to say after a while when you have so little to work with.

"Al Gore's bad"
"Yeah.....Al Gore's so bad"
"Cosmic rays"
"Al Gore just won an oscar, so he's bad"
"Al Gore's.......ahhh, I give up"

Read the rest of this post!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

It's curtains for cosmic rays

The recent main-stream media frenzy over the ‘cosmic ray theory of climate change’ has shown no sign of abating. For wing-nuts the world over it is proof-positive that AGW is one giant hoax; human activity isn’t mainly responsible for recent climate change and the IPCC is part of a huge conspiracy that ignores non-conforming science etcetera etcetera.

Unfortunately for cosmic-rayers, the more the studies backing the theory are investigated, the more problems with data sets and experimental methodology that pop up.

A new paper by Evan et al. in Geophysical Research Letters may well be the final nail in the coffin for cosmic ray-induced climate change. Central to the theory are data from the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) showing that cloud levels have decreased by up to 4% over the past 20 years. Decreased low-level cloud cover due to decreased cloud-nucleating cosmic rays is proposed to lead to warming. However, for some time it has been noted that a portion of ISCCP data did not match surface-based observations, and that low-level cloud cover may not have actually reduced in recent times.

When Evan and team investigated the ISCCP D2 data set they found that cloud-cover almost immediately dropped when satellites were moved and the angle at which they observed cloud-cover was reduced. The reason for this is that as more weather satellites were put into orbit, each satellite had a smaller area to observe and could look directly down through the cloud layer, rather than covering a larger area where the edges are observed at an increased angle. The latter, more direct observations made it appear as though there was less cloud when, in fact, cloud-cover hadn’t changed. The data appeared to contain observational artefacts that weren’t corrected for before use in other studies.

The paper’s concluding paragraph is devastating:
We have demonstrated that the long-term global trends in cloudiness from the ISCCP record are influenced by artefacts associated with satellite viewing geometry. Results from earlier studies based on these trends may be influenced by these non-physical artefacts, and we therefore suggest that development of a correction for the data is warranted. As the number of publications on the subject of climate change continues to grow [Stanhill, 2001], this paper highlights the need to critically explore the source of any trends in global, multi-decadal satellite data sets.
Evan’s work has yet to be reproduced and the exact extent to which the change in observation area has artificially changed cloud-cover over the past 20 years quantified. Still, things are looking decidedly grim for cosmic ray-induced climate change, which will probably end up in the dust-bin with the similarly artefact-ridden ‘troposphere isn’t warming’ theory.

Will this stop the crazies harping on about it?

Not a chance.

Read the rest of this post!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Just a little somethin’ I noticed

One of the oft-quoted wing-nut pieces of evidence against anthropogenic activities being a major cause of recent warming is the recent shrinking of Mars’ southern polar ice-cap.

Worldnetdaily proclaimes:
Global warming on Mars – without SUVs!
Planet experiencing increased temperatures despite lack of humankind
Glen Reynolds of notes:
GLOBAL WARMING ON MARS: "New impact craters formed since the 1970s suggest changes to age-estimating models. And for three Mars summers in a row, deposits of frozen carbon dioxide near Mars' south pole have shrunk from the previous year's size, suggesting a climate change in progress."

If only we had ratified Kyoto.

However, over the past month or so Svensmark’s cosmic ray theory has taken off in crazy land. It so proves AGW wrong!

Here’s Reynolds again:
GLOBAL WARMING AND COSMIC RAYS: We must, of course, follow the science, and not let the fact that a lot of politicians have invested their credibility in greenhouse theory affect the analysis. It's wrong to politicize science.
And Worldnetdaily:
Global warming? It's in the stars, says scientist
Blames high-energy rays from distant parts of space smashing into atmosphere
Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist, even manages to put these two theories into the same paragraph:
Henrik Svensmark of the Danish National Space Center, for instance, believes that changes in the sun's magnetic field, and the corresponding impact on cosmic rays, may be the key to global warming. Nigel Weiss, a past president of the Royal Astronomical Society and a mathematical aerophysicist at the University of Cambridge, correlates sunspot activity with changes in the Earth's climate. Habibullo Abdussamatov, who heads the space research laboratory at Pulkovo Astronomical Observatoryin Russia, points out that Mars is also undergoing global warming -- despite having no greenhouse conditions and no activity by Martians. In his view, it is solar irradiance, not carbon dioxide, that accounts for the recent rise in temperature.
“It’s all solar!”, claims Jeff.

Svensmark’s theory relies on cosmic rays initiating cloud formation, which has a cooling effect.

Less cosmic rays = less clouds = warmer.

One problem.

Mars doesn’t have clouds.

So, to use the contrarian scientific method, these conclusions are all unequivocal fact:

1. Mars’ recent warming proves Svensmark wrong.
2. Svensmark’s theory proves the Mars missions were faked.
3. Islamoleftistscientists hacked our servers and to make us look like we are contradicting ourselves.
4. The Earth is the centre of the universe evolution is a lie.

Problem solved. What contradiction?

Read the rest of this post!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Uncertainty and the impacts of climate change

A good article by Quirin Schiermeier in last week’s Nature (subscription only) discusses a range of areas in climatology where plenty of uncertainty still exists. Such areas are a prime focus of research in the short- to medium-term future. It is important to note that uncertainty doesn’t mean unlikely, it just means that currently there is insufficient data to draw a firm conclusion. It is also equally important to note that uncertainty doesn’t necessarily mean current predictions of climate change and its impacts are overblown. They may be, but there’s an even chance that current predictions underestimate the likelihood and degree of serious climate change impacts. When denialists attack the accuracy of global warming this is the critical piece of the puzzle they always ‘forget’ to mention. It’s also why it’s obvious that the search for scientific accuracy isn’t any where near the top of their agenda.

And these uncertainties are?

According to Schiermeier:

  • Sea-level changes. Ice-flow dynamics leading to changes in sea-level are poorly understood. The expression of uncertainty about ice-flow dynamics in the AR4 summary lead to many observers incorrectly concluding that estimates of sea-level rises had been reduced. They haven’t, though future research may show that this is indeed the case. Conversely, they may show significant increase from the TAR estimates. A recent paper by Rahmstorf in Science predicts a 1.4 m sea-level rise if the correlation between sea-level rise and temperature rise over the past couple of hundred years holds.
  • The relationship between hurricane intensity and warmer sea-surface temperatures. A number of recent papers have shown a correlation between warmer SSTs and an increased frequency of intense (Cat 4 and 5) cyclones. Potentially inaccurate and inconsistent reporting of cyclone intensity over a decent time-frame (say 100 years) means that long-term trends are difficult to determine. Model predictions are a problem too. Schiermeier states:
In the tropics, rising sea-surface temperatures can be linked in a relatively straightforward manner to storm formation, and the case for more intense storms seems more or less settled. But in the mid-latitudes, where atmospheric processes are more complex, some climate models predict more storms whereas others do not.
  • The relative impact of feedbacks, particularly biological ones. On balance, will they be negative or positive? A rather worrying example given by Nature is the possibility of a change of carbon sinks to carbon sources in a warmer world (e.g. the Arctic tundra). Another example is the ability of the more acidic oceans to take up CO2 and lock it away in the shells and exoskeletons of marine organisms. Most organisms may not be significantly affected or there may be sufficient biological diversity that a changing ecological structure will prevent a negative impact on the oceans’ CO2 sink properties. Conversely, lower calcification rates may become the norm and the oceans’ ability to lock away carbon is reduced.
  • The ability for climate models to predict impacts at a regional scale.
For some areas, models predict specific and well understood effects, such as hotter summers in Spain and smaller snowpacks (the accumulation of snow each season) in the Rocky Mountains in the United States. But improved analyses that incorporate clouds, snow and ice into the models must be developed if regional predictions are to become more accurate, says Rasmus Benestad, a climate modeller at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute in Oslo.
It will be interesting to read about Australian regional predictions when the full AR4 WG1 report is released. I suspect small population = small amount of research money = less money spent on modelling = less accurate models = less accurate regional predictions compared to Europe and the US (Maybe modelling is more difficult in the Southern hemisphere too? I dunno). Anyway, we’ll see. From my understanding current modelling of Australian climate has some pretty gloomy predictions as far as rainfall changes in prime agricultural regions are concerned, so hopefully the predictions are wrong.

I’m sure there are other uncertain areas of climatology that have been missed in the brief article. Feel free to add to the above examples in comments.

Read the rest of this post!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Oz editorial - still wing-nut central. Part II

Australian editor and climate change-denialist Chris Mitchell just can't help himself. In another screeching rant against economic terrorists scientists, he spins and twists, but just ends up falling over in a heap.

On certainty:
While the recent IPCC report was held up as the last word on the subject, many scientists have pointed out that the 90 per cent certainty ascribed to the report's findings is in scientific terms not very certain at all.
Firstly, Mitchell's 90% certainty is actually the IPCC's 90% uncertainty range.
In general, uncertainty ranges for results given in this Summary for Policymakers are 90% uncertainty intervals unless stated otherwise.
In a way, the difference is academic, but when you're attempting to deny the likelihood of worst-case scenarios you can see why Mitchell didn't elude to its real meaning.
...there is an estimated 5% likelihood that the value could be above the range given in square brackets and 5% likelihood that the value could be below that range.
Doesn't sound good as 10 % chance of being wrong to the ears of denial, does it?

Still, could you imagine Mitchell at the races (even with his certainty interpretation).

Man in the know: "Mitchell, I have a tip for you. Put you money on number 8 in race 9, he's got a nine in ten chance of winning."

Mitchell: "In scientific terms, that's not very certain at all. I'm going to put all my money on the sway-backed, three-legged, emphasemic horse over there, just to prove you know-it-alls wrong!"

So do you think Mitchell actually read the IPCC summary? After all, it's not exactly very long and if you're going to pontificate at length in Australia's only national newspaper, it's surely not that difficult a task. Unfortunately, Mitchell clearly hasn't. Witness this statement about the glory of scepticism:
Today's scepticism could well prove that man-made carbon emissions are not the sole, or even primary, driver of climate change.
Not the sole driver of climate change?

That's already established fact. Does the IPCC summary say that mad-made carbon emissions are the sole drivers of climate change?


The IPCC summary says the significant radiative forcing components are:

Stratospheric ozone
Tropospheric ozone
Stratospheric water vapour from CH4
Surface albedo
Aerosol direct effects
Aerosol cloud albedo effects
Linear contrails
Solar irradiance

It goes on and on. Copernicus was a sceptic, as is 'cosmic-ray' Svensmark, so give 'em equal respect. Climate is infinitely complex (big number is infinity. Not too common in nature I suspect).

Best of all though.

Mitchell rages:
It is profoundly unscientific to say the debate is over and that sceptics are not only wrong on the facts but morally unhinged - as demonstrated by the unsubtle and offensive epithet "denier"
Mitchell's headline directly below that sentence:
Culture of denial
Steve Bracks must wake up and act on police corruption

Read the rest of this post!

Monday, February 12, 2007

It's Time

Until today I thought there was no chance that little Johnny Howard wouldn't be our Prime Minister beyond the uncoming election and for the foreseeable future. However, his bizarre attack on Barak Obama, who immediately slapped him down, made him look like a fool. Combined with his barely-disguised AGW denialism, which isn't going down too well with the populace, he may be in a little trouble come election time.

Still, whatever his weaknesses, he certainly has strengths; incumbency, dog whistle politicking and big business on side.

One big problem for him, though. One Kevin Rudd, Opposition leader. Howard has finally met his match.

It's Time.

UPDATE: A little tune from our hopefully future Minister for the Environment and Climate Change, Peter Garrett, to get you in the mood.

Read the rest of this post!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Nexus 6 global warming adaption plan

Adaption to climate change will be much simpler if the frequency of extreme weather events does not increase in the future. Thanks to the thoughtful reporting at I now have a fail-safe plan.

According to News, the IPCC summary forcasts:
... a rise in average global temperatures of between 1.1 per cent and 6.4 per cent by 2100.
Percentage temperature increase! Now there's a new concept!

Not only does the IPCC use percentage increase, so does Australia's CSIRO:
The CSIRO report looked at the impact of a range of temperatures, from a small decline to a rise of more than 5 per cent.
The potential of a 5 % rise. Oh no! And if the 5 % rise comes to be:
It examined the impact of rising temperatures in five key areas: ecosystems; crops, forestry and livestock; water resources; public health; and human life.

A senior CSIRO scientist said: "For the higher levels of warming, it's pretty serious for Australia."
Not good. Not good.

But fear not, here is the cunning plan.

The solution is simple really, we just switch our temperature units to kelvin instead of centigrade. An increase of, say, 291 kelvin (~18C) to 300 kelvin (~27C) might sound like a lot, but it's actually only around 3 %, so it's fine!

The only hole in my theory could be that is full of it and you can't measure an increase or decrease in temperature by percentage, and that neither the IPCC or CSIRO have ever actually mentioned any percentage change figures.

Read the rest of this post!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Oz editorial - still wing-nut central

Rarely do I read the editorial of Australia's only national paper, the Murdoch-owned Australian. Since the arrival of editor Chris Mitchell it has moved so far to the right it makes John Howard look entirely reasonable. However, since yesterday's was about climate change I thought I'd check it out.

Unsurprisingly, the denialism of the Oz is stronger than ever. Reflecting reality is a problem for the Right and it's amply demonstrated in some of the points made in the editorial:

Humans don't necessarily play much of a role in recent warming:
  • It is possible to accept that the climate is changing without agreeing either on how much of that change is man-made or even what or how much to do about it.
Sea levels will rise by no more than 59cm by 2100 according to the IPCC summary:
  • Sea levels will rise somewhere between 0.18m and 0.59m over the coming century
Global warming ended last century.
  • temperatures have been pretty stable since 1998
Cutting CO2 emissions won't prevent warming, but this CO2 stuff does cause 'urban pollution' and other bad things:
  • While there are many good arguments for cutting carbon emissions - urban pollution, energy security and so on - it remains an open question as to whether this is the best way to deal with the issue of a warmer world.
The Oz does, however, show that it moves with the times and accepts the scientific consensus behind AGW.
  • ... human activity is making at least some contribution.
It's not a consensus I'd heard of before. I'm thought it was something to do with human activity making most of the contribution. Guess not, hey?

Read the rest of this post!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Rude Pundit paints a picture

Monday, February 05, 2007

The 59cm myth (with an appearance of ‘the global warming has ended’ myth)

As expected, the release of Climate Change 2007: The physical Science Basis (Summary for policymakers) has caused a new front to open in the battle between the forces of good and the forces of denialism. There has been a concerted attempt by a number of contrarians with media access to use the findings of the summary to discredit claims about the degree of climate change and its impacts.

A lot of these claims seem to revolve around the myth that the IPCC summary states that sea-levels will raise by a maximum of 59cm by 2099.

One such article, by Jennifer Marohasy of the free-market think-tank The Institute of Public Affairs, is published in today’s Courier Mail. It is entitled “How much hot air?”, and makes the following claim:
For example, while Al Gore claimed that sea levels are about to rise by more than 6m, the IPCC summary indicates that sea levels have risen by just 17cm and may rise by no more than another 18cm, certainly no more than 59cm by 2099.

Did Al Gore claim that sea-levels are certain to rise by slightly more than 6m by 2099? Jen’s statement about Gore’s claim is fairly unequivocal; this is not something that may happen, but something that will happen. But I’m not sure if that was the exact claim he made (I’m happy to be proven wrong. Was there certainty in Gore’s claims and was it definitely going to happen before 2100?). If my memory serves me correctly he claimed that if there was significant melting of the polar caps and Greenland, this magnitude of rise in sea level was possible.

So what does the IPCC summary say?
Global average sea level in the last interglacial period (about 125,000 years ago) was likely 4 to 6 m higher than during the 20th century, mainly due to the retreat of polar ice. Ice core data indicate that average polar temperatures at that time were 3 to 5°C higher than present, because of differences in the Earth’s orbit.
Knowing that the sea levels were this high in the past in a similarly warmer world to what is expected in the future shows that Gore’s claim isn’t as silly as it first sounds. It remains in the realm of possibility that sea-levels may rise by 20ft, though it’s extremely unlikely to happen in the next 100 years.

Again, I’d be interested if someone could fill me in on the EXACT nature of Gore’s claim and if certain embellishments haven't been added in the re-telling.

But it’s actually the final numbers in the editorial paragraph that are particularly revealing.
.....the IPCC summary indicates that sea levels have risen by just 17cm and may rise by no more than another 18cm, certainly no more than 59cm by 2099.
Why are they revealing? Because the IPCC summary shows that this statement is critically wrong for two reasons.

1. There are a number of scenarios given and the sea-level response for each. The most pessimistic scenario gives a sea-level rise of 59cm, with the explicit caveat that this figure does not include future rapid dynamical changes in ice flow. Directly below this is stated:
The projections include a contribution due to increased ice flow from Greenland and Antarctica at the rates observed for 1993-2003, but these flow rates could increase or decrease in the future. For example, if this contribution were to grow linearly with global average temperature change, the upper ranges of sea level rise for SRES scenarios shown in Table SPM-2 would increase by 0.1 m to 0.2 m. Larger values cannot be excluded, but understanding of these effects is too limited to assess their likelihood or provide a best estimate or an upper bound for sea level rise.
As is evident if you bother to read this note, 59cm plus 20cm (79 cm in total) is the likely upper limit to sea-level rise by 2100 though, due to a lack of understanding of likely ice flow rates, an even greater rise cannot be ruled out. This leads me to the second error:

2. Nowhere in the summary is absolutely certainty expressed about anything, let alone sea-level rises. Some things are virtually certain, such as increased temperature in the future. The summary explicitly states that there are uncertainties associated with the upper levels of these sea-level rise predictions.

You’d think that if you going to write an editorial in a major Australian newspaper about how global warming realists are getting their facts wrong, you’d actually get yours right.

Not in this case. Not by a long stretch.

When informed on her blog that there were errors in her article Jen replied:
Nexus, I appreciate your point, I could have been more careful with my words.
Actually, she should have just admitted that she was wrong. Being incorrect in this case is not simply a matter of maybe being not careful enough with words. The statement in the editorial was flat out wrong; that’s all there is to it. It shouldn’t be that hard to admit that this is the case. I’ve even provided an example of how to go about admitting one’s errors when they are pointed out:
And so could you [be more careful with your words]... I suggest we refer to the document as the IPCC SUMMARY of the IPCC report due out in May. You keep referring to it incorrectly as 'the report'.
To which I immediately replied:
Good point, Jen. I stand corrected. Summary for policymakers it is.
See kiddies, it’s not that hard!

So, were there more errors in the editorial? You bet ya, a big one!
But the IPCC summary glosses over various anomalies. For example, while the global trend has been one of warming, a plot of mean temperatures since 1998 shows that there has been no warming since then, now eight years later.

The IPCC summary does not acknowledge the current downward trend, which may or may not prove to be just a blip in the scheme of things.
No warming since 1998? A downward trend?! WTF!

Let us conduct this experiment of plotting mean temperatures since 1998 and see if there has been no warming since then, and if a downward trend is evident. To do this I have used the NASA GISTEMP data set for Global Annual Mean Surface Air Temperature Change, which can be found here. There are no adjustments to data such as smoothing. Temperature changes from 1980 are plotted to show if there is any marked change in the trend since 1998.

You judge for yourself. Has warming stopped since 1998? Is there a downward trend in temperature since 1998? There are certainly some ups and downs associated with ENSO, but an upward trend since 1998 is clear. The reality of global warming, as opposed to the myths in the editorial, could not be more stark.

EDIT: Typo fixed. Sorry Eli.

Read the rest of this post!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The worst climate science paper ever of all time anywhere

I've an important announcement to make. I have just spent the past few days looking of what may well be the worst climate paper yet produced. You heard that right – the absolute worst. This paper is so poor it makes Khilyuk and Chilingar (2006) look like Einstein’s special theory of relativity in comparison.

So anyway, I decided to go all Climate Audit on this paper partly to get a handle on the solar influence on climate that denialists are always on about (there is actually some decent literature on solar forcing, though obviously this paper isn't part of that), and partly because it is so shockingly bad it’s humorous in the way troma movies are.

Firstly, some background. In a rather silly post from NZ denialist Vincent Grey over at Jen Marohasy, a fellow by the name of David Archibald popped up, spouted the usual shill crap, and the directed readers to his relatively recently published paper in Energy & Environment.
You asked for solar - climate papers. Look no further than my own effort:
Now, Lavoisier is a crazed denialist group based in Australia so the fact that the article was reprinted there didn’t bode well.

Archibald goes on to claim his paper is peer-reviewed. Ian Castles informs me that E&E really does have a peer-review process and he has, in fact, reviewed papers for them himself.

But in this case, I’m not so sure. Actually, that’s a bit of an understatement.

So, what is so wrong with Archibald, D.C. (2006) Solar cycles 24 and 25 and predicted climate response?

To begin with, there are some, ahh, editorial and grammatical errors.

Pick what is wrong with these two paragraphs at the top of page 31.
Badalyan, Obridko and Sykora’s projection of solar cycle 24 maximum of approximately 50 is shown in figure 1 with solar cycle activity back to the end of the Maunder Minimum. Solar cycle 25 is also expected to be weak. The rise in amplitudes prior to the Dalton Minimum mimics the rise in amplitudes from the late nineteenth century to the end of the twentieth century.

Badalyan, Obridko and Sykora’s projection of a solar cycle 24 maximum of approximately 50 is shown in Figure 1 with solar cycle activity back to the end of the Maunder Minimum. Solar cycle 25 is also expected to be weak. The rise in amplitudes prior to the Dalton Minimum mimics the rise in amplitude from the late nineteenth century to the end of the twentieth century.
Yes, Archibald has written the same paragraph twice. It doesn’t appear to be a printing error either as each of the paragraphs are slightly different (i.e. projection of solar cycle 24 maximum verses projection of a solar cycle 24 maximum).

The Dalton Minimum is spelt Delton below. There’s a space missing in …..experienced a2.0C decline.

Quibbles maybe, but basic errors such as these indicate little effort was put into the writing and no effort was put into the review. E&E editorial staff clearly don't read the papers they publish.

In the introduction Archibald gives a backgrounder on some of the literature linking solar cycles to climate. Mentioned are the correlations between the solar cycle amplitude and temperature, solar cycle length and temperature etc. It’s fairly shoddy and ignores the literature which refutes the idea that these correlations indicate that solar changes are the main driving force behind recent climate change. I don’t intend to look at the introduction in depth here.

What I do intend to cover is the ‘original work’ part of the paper.

To determine a temperature baseline for predicting response to solar cycles 24 and 25 (we’re currently in 23), Archibald takes a startling approach. Instead of using world-wide temperature data, only data from the US mainland is used. Additionally, Archibald decided that only data from rural meteorological stations should be used to avoid the urban heat island effect. Fair enough, you may say. But the catch is, he chose just 5 stations out of the hundreds and hundreds available! Not only did he only choose 5, all 5 were within several hundred miles of each other in South Eastern USA!

The possibility of these stations being representative of anything other than the small local region they covered is non-existent.

There must be something special about the chosen five. And there sure is – they show lower temperatures in the latter half of the 20th century compared to the first half. This actually forms one of the major conclusions of the paper!

The conclusion is that for the current and recent temperature record for all of North America:
The profile indicates that temperatures remain below the average over the first half of the twentieth century.
What Archibald forgets to mention is that most met. stations across the US and indeed most of the world show that it is warmer in the latter half of the 20th century than the first. This trend is evident in non-heat island affected rural stations, as well as urban stations.

Archibald has clearly showed a regional phenomena and falsely claimed it is representative, when even the NASA GISStemp database he has used shows many, many stations where this isn’t the case. All are ignored and the reason why isn't given (though I think we can hazard a guess).

I find it simply unbelievable that Archibald would make such an obviously wrong claim that is based on insufficient non-representative data. But he does, and it’s there for all to see.

Moving right along.

Archibald then decides to predict what the temperature response to solar cycles 24 and 25 will be. To do this he first hypothesizes that temperature is responding to solar cycle amplitude (in this case, the number of sunspots per year). Instead of 5 meteorological stations, this time he decides to use only 1, De Bilt in the Netherlands!

Archibald produces this strange graph, with only 1 data point per solar cycle verses average annual temperature. A liner regression (I’m assuming) is performed, but there is no mention of the slope of the line or its R^2 value. Ignoring this, Archibald claims:
By expanding the time interval studied to 1705 to 2003, a good correlation of temperature and solar cycle amplitude is evident. This is shown in Figure 4 which demonstrates a correlation between solar cycle amplitude and annual average temperature at de bilt, Netherlands.

Here’s the thing, temperature data for De Bilt and sunspot data are available are available for every year from 1705. Why not see if they correlate? Here’s why:

The correlation is very weak (the slope of the line) and the predicative value of the model is also very weak (the R^2) value. Unsurprisingly, it shows that other factors are more important in driving temperature in De Bilt.

So what data points did Archibald use? To be honest, I can’t work it out. It appears that he has taken the maximum solar amplitude value for each cycle and plotted it against the temperature for that year only.

As you can see, some of the data points are the same, but some aren’t. One doesn’t like to suggest that he’s fudged the data so I’m sure there’s a good explanation ;)

This time the slope’s slightly better but the predictive value is even worse. And by ignoring nearly all the available data, the graph is meaningless anyway.

What’s interesting is what Archibald hasn’t shown, as usual. Here’s the smoothed solar cycle data from 1706. You’ll note maximum amplitude of each solar cycle has been getting smaller since 1956.

Here’s De Bilt’s temperature plotted over the same period (5-year floating average shown).

You’ll notice temperature has been sharply increasing since 1960-odd, which is exactly the opposite of what should be happening according to Archibald’s model. Larger solar cycle amplitude should equate to higher temperature, only that hasn’t been the case for some 50 odd years. He has, of course, completely ignored this, maybe becasue it's likely due to that evil conspiracy, AGW.

Archibald shows another graph, which I couldn’t be bothered re-creating, as I’ve really no idea what he’s done, that purportedly shows that solar cycle length displays an even better correlation with temperature than solar cycle amplitude (again, no slope and no R^2).

Here it gets weird. Archibald goes on to conclude that based on solar cycles 24 and 25 with predicted amplitudes of around 50 (hardly anyone is actually predicting this, most predictions are much higher), the correlation equation from his second graph shows a declining temperature of 1.5C in the US!. But his second graph has a correlation based on solar cycle length, not solar cycle amplitude, so it isn’t applicable! He then claims in the next paragraph that the 1.5C figure actually comes from the temperature response to cycles 5 and 6, and not the correlation I guess.

I’ll fire off an email to Archibald and hopefully he’ll drop by to explain how I’ve got it all horribly wrong and defend his paper. Or maybe not.

Anyway, onwards and upwards........some real science is on its way; IPCC AR4 part I.

Read the rest of this post!