AWI’s Sloppy Antarctic Peninsula Science…Oversaw GISS Temperature Data, Snowfall Amounts

Record ice melt at the Antarctic Peninsula? Scientists oversaw fluctuations in snowfall

By Dr. Sebastian Lüning / Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt
(Condensed, summarized by P Gosselin)

German journalists, e.g. the Stuttgarter Zeitung’s Roland Knauer, recently reported that ice at the Antarctic peninsula was “melting more rapidly than first thought“, and that “climate change was making its way further south“.

But this seems to be a rather strange claim, especially in light of the fact that the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) recently claimed that ice on the continent would grow over the coming decades as a result of global warming. Somehow Süddeutsche Zeitung’s Knauer never got around to mentioning that.

Calamitous Planning: German Wind Parks Overload Power Grid …”At Its Limits” …Record 50,000 Grid Interventions In May!

Online German NDR public radio here wrote last week how northern Germany’s power grid had suffered a major bottleneck that led to the overload of the Flensburg-Niebüll power transmission line in Schleswig Holstein last week.

Transformer

North German transformer stations constantly overloaded by wind power. Photo image cropped here (not a German station, for illustration only).

The overload resulted from a power surge from North Sea wind parks when winds picked up a bit. What is unusual in this case, however, is that there was no storm present and the overload was caused by normal wind fluctuations. Thus the incident illustrates the increasing volatility of wind as a power supply, even under regular weather conditions.

At its limits

It turns out that intervening in power grids to avert a widespread power supply breakdown is nothing new in Germany. NDR writes that nowadays power engineer Stefan Hackbusch at the grid’s control center in Northern German increasingly has to intervene even when there are even moderate breezes. The north German public radio media outlet writes: “Because of the strong growth in wind park installations, the power grid up north is at its limits.”

Intervened 50,000 times in May

As winds pick up with little warning, engineers at control centers constantly have to keep a close eye out and be ready to act at a minute’s notice and intervene if the power surges (or drops) to dangerous limits. To prevent overloading of the grid, control centers often have to shut down wind parks until the power supply moves into a safe range. These unplanned wind park shutdowns are occurring more and more often, NDR writes. “Switching off has become much more frequent the workers at the control center confirm. Transformer stations in Schleswig-Holstein had to have their output reduced 50,000 times in May – a record.”

“Waste electricity” skyrocketing

Not only is grid stability a problem, but “waste power” is also growing astronomically, NDR writes, citing the Bundesnetzagentur (German Network Agency), that 555 gigawatt-hrs of renewable power went unused in 2013 because of overloading and the surplus had to be discarded. The trend of “waste electricity” is skyrocketing, NDR writes. According to the provisions of Germany’s EEG renewable energy feed-in act, waste electricity still needs to be paid for, which means that consumers foot a bill for something that is never delivered. Consumers are also required to pay for the electricity that doesn’t get produced when a wind park gets shut down. Wind park operators get paid whether they feed in or not.

Grid bottleneck dampens new installations

One solution for the German grid overloading from the uncontrollable wind and sun sources would be to vastly expand the German national power grid so that wind power produced near the North and Baltic seas power could get transmitted to the industrial south, where demand is big. But here too the costs of building the such transmission power lines are astronomical and permitting entails a bureaucratic mess. Moreover political opposition against these lines is mounting rapidly. Experts say that the earliest, most optimistic completion date for a major power transmission expansion is 2022. This however is now looking totally unrealistic, as pie in the sky.

With the German grid often becoming hopelessly overloaded and with no real expansion in sight, the future looks bleak for wind and solar power systems suppliers. With no place to send the power, there’s no need for new installations. Orders and contracts for new projects have been drying up and wind and solar companies are now being hit hard.

Are Glacier Earthquakes Shaking Greenland? Scientists, WaPo Seeing Only What They Want To See

By Ed Caryl

The Washington Post just published an alarmist article titled: Giant earthquakes are shaking Greenland — and scientists just figured out the disturbing reason why. The article claimed that earthquakes were caused by icebergs calving off the Helheim Glacier, and that these were increasing because of increased outflow from this glacier. Here is the glacier in question, on the East side of Greenland opposite Iceland.

Helheim Glacier

 Figure 1 is the location of Helheim Glacier. Source: Apple maps.

Here is a map of all the earthquakes that have occurred in this region since January 1st, 1980.

Greenland Earthquakes

 Figure 2 is a map of the earthquakes that have occurred in this region since 1980. Source link.

Earthquakes vs Years

Figure 3 is a date versus magnitude plot of all those earthquakes.

Only one of these 15 earthquakes is directly associated with Helheim Glacier, the last one. All the others were scattered all over the region, a few under or at the edge of the ice, most at sea or on land away from the ice.

They also occurred in two clusters, four in the early 1990s, then an eight year pause, then the rest in the eight years between 2002 and 2010. None have occurred since. There is nothing unusual to be seen here. Move along…

This is an example of scientists seeing what they wish to see. Instead of a full investigation, they just assumed that any earthquakes in the region were originating at Helheim Glacier, and because they stopped looking in 2010, they assumed that the earthquakes were continuing.

Instead of investigating a longer time period, they assumed that the period of their study was significant. None of their assumptions were true.

Greenland Temperatures Weaken Theory CO2 Drives Climate

By Ed Caryl

In my last article, we discussed the Greenland ice core temperature record. In this article we will discuss the Greenland thermometer record. All the long record thermometer readings are from villages and stations on the coast. Some of these records go back to the early 1800’s, though GISTemp only posts records going back to 1880.

Here is plot of seven stations. Annual averages were downloaded from GISTemp and converted to annual anomalies using the 1951 to 1965 average for each as the baseline, the only years all seven stations had in common.

Greenland Temperature

Figure 1 plots seven Greenland temperature records, their average (the thin black trace), and a five-year centered average of the average (wide bright blue trace).

This result agrees with other papers that were found, for example Box et al 2009. Considering that land surface station records warm an average 40% greater than the global land-ocean average, and that Northern Latitude stations warm an average 40% higher than the global land-ocean average, with Arctic stations averaging higher than that, it makes sense that this combination of surface stations in the northern latitudes will warm at twice the rate of the global average.

Box Fig 11

Figure 2 is from Box et al 2009, figure 11.

Jason Box’s paper shows that temperatures before 1880 were generally warmer than the decade after 1880, only about one to one and a half degrees colder than at present. The interesting thing is the step-change in temperature between 1920 and 1930. Greenland temperatures stepped upward by two degrees in this decade, the same step as in the 1990 to 2000 decade. But there was no rise in CO2 in those years. Both intervals are preceded by volcanic activity, as shown in Box’s figure 11. The volcanic activity is blamed for the cooling.

But there was cooling for four decades after 1930 without any major volcanoes. If the lack of volcanic activity is to be blamed for the steps upward in temperature, but temperature declined for four decades without volcanoes, what is left for CO2?

There are several logical twists and turns illustrated here. If volcanic eruptions are blamed for the cooling periods, especially in Greenland, with lack of eruptions blamed for warming, only some of the cooling dips are explained. The other cooling episodes are presumably because of ocean current/temperature cycles or the sun. This leaves only a single one decade warming period, from 1995 to 2005, that can possibly be blamed on CO2, though it still could be from those other reasons. That period is really a step at 1998 which we know was due to the El Niño of that year. This is pretty thin gruel on which to float climate calamity.

Bill Gates Dismisses Solar And Wind Energy, “Can’t Do The Job” …Cost “Beyond Astronomical”!

Another prominent thumbs down against wind the current renewable energy craze, this one from Bill Gates.

The UK online Register here reports that the technology guru is not impressed by fad renewable energies wind and sun: “Renewable energy can’t do the job. Gov should switch green subsidies into R&D“.

Moreover Gates thinks they “aren’t a viable solution for reducing CO2 levels” and that power coming mainly from solar and wind energy “would be beyond astronomical“.

Gates made the comments in an interview with the Financial Times. The Register reports:

As for a possible solution for energy with low CO2 emissions, Gates thinks the answer lies in technology innovation. The Register writes: In Bill Gates’ view, the answer is for governments to divert the massive sums of money which are currently funnelled to renewables owners to R&D instead.

Gates also believes that divesture from oil and coal companies will have little impact, and that batteries for storing the sporadic supplies of wind and sun energy are not the answer. Part of the answer, Gates believes, is in nuclear power.

Read the whole article and analysis here.

Schellnhuber Boasts Of Having Skeptics Excluded From Participating In Drafting “Laudato Si” Encyclical

 at www.achgut.com/ch, a policy-critical site run by leading German publicists, wrote how Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber recently boasted before journalists of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) how he got Pope Francis to swing over to climate alarmism in His most recent encyclical “Laudato Si”. It wasn’t through open debate.

[Read here for more background on Schellnhuber.]

Wendt quotes the climate-alarmist Schellnhuber:

Over ten years ago the Pontifical Academy held a conference on climate change. Back then also a squad of prominent ‘skeptics’ also were invited; the Vatican’s position at the time was much different than it is today. …It was a tough job to prepare the scientific findings so that the problem is now far better understood in the Vatican.“

In response Wendt writes point that for Schellnhuber: “The major progress made at the Vatican is namely that the Church excluded any controversy in the new, latest debate which he influenced.”

According to Wendt, the FAZ journalists anxiously asked Schellnhuber:

The skeptics were invited as well?”

Schellnhuber replied:

No. But a British politician, Lord Monckton, managed to sneak into a conference. Unfortunately he is all caught up in conspiracy theories. In Rome he sat behind me with his iPhone, eagerly recording everything, and later in his blog made fun about how he fooled the Swiss security. It was a performance like in a Tyrolean peasant theater.”

Wendt summarizes what we naturally can gather from all this:

When it comes to how a debate is supposed to be conducted, we now know quite precisely what Schellnhuber’s idea of this is, especially once his Great Transformation becomes successful one day.”

Schellnhuber is convinced he should have the last and final word. Pope Francis likely views him as a prophet of some sort.

Wendt defended Monkton, writing that the high profile British climate critic is not caught at all up in any “conspiracy theories”, and that he in fact shares many common positions with scientists like Schellnhuber, quoting him in his own words: “Yes, there is a greenhouse effect. Yes, CO2 contributes to it. Yes, it causes warming. Yes, we emit CO2. Yes, warming will result. But not a lot.”

So here we see, just as we suspected, that the Vatican never bothered having any real balanced and open discussion on climate science in the run-up to “Laudato Si”. A terrible misstep.

Heartland Institute Now Distributing ‘The Neglected Sun’ …Scientists Say IPCC “Grossly Incorrect”

Neglected Sun HeartlandA reader recently left a comment saying he had been having difficulty getting a copy of “The Neglected Sun“, the best-selling non-alarmist climate science book showing how man-made climate change is nowhere near as serious as the IPCC wants us to believe it is.

Order here now.

Good news! The Die kalte Sonne site here reports that The Neglected Sun, the English version, which sold out a few months ago, will once again be printed and available from the Chicago-based powerhouse think-tank The Heartland Institute, who have purchased the rights to the book.

It is now available at Amazon here, or at the Heartland Institute online shop for US$ 19.99. The Kindle version is available at Amazon for US$ 11.11. Shipping begins July 1, 2015.

The book was also translated in Polish and has been available since October 2014.

IPCC’s “grossly incorrect radiative forcing values”

According to authors Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt, the book is up-to-date, cites hundreds of peer-reviewed literature and explains in easy terms why the CO2 climate sensitivity has been totally overblown and how the sun and oceans are the primary climate drivers.

They commented in an e-mail:

Detailed comparison with the palaeoclimatological development demonstrates that the climate change observed over the past 100 years is nothing new, neither qualitatively nor quantitatively. Natural climate variability is much more important than previously thought and solar activity changes and ocean cycles are some of the key drivers. It turns out that the IPCC has made major mistakes in the attribution of the 20th century warming which leads to grossly incorrect radiative forcing values in the IPCC reports.”

The two authors also point to the latest UK Met Office report which shows we may be heading into a new cold phase due to low solar activity.

NASA data are “suspicious”

The two prominent German skeptics are also distrustful of NASA GISS temperature data, claiming the temperature “corrections” are “suspicious” because “they always result in amplification of the warming trend, never the opposite. Artificial cooling of the past and artificial warming of the present-day.”

What to expect from Paris

On what we can expect from Paris later this year, the two co-authors write that there will be some sort of treaty “but likely without a lot of substance and with lots of vagueness and loopholes.”

Also pick up a copy of Climate Change: The Facts:

Facts

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German Analysis: Near Record Level Antarctic Sea Ice Shows Nothing Climatically Unusual At South Pole!

Yesterday Ed Caryl showed us that the Greenland ice core shows there’s nothing unusual going on with our climate around Greenland. Today geologist Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt tells us the same for the other end of the Earth.
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The development of the Antarctic Sea ice before the satellite era in 1979

By Dr. Sebastian Lüning, Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt
[Translated/edited by P Gosselin]

Antarctic sea ice has truly surprised science. Contradicting the models, it has continuously grown since 1979 during a time that the climate models were only able to find scenarios of receding ice.

Today we would like to take a look back before the satellite time. How did the South Pole develop during the time when satellites were unable to continuously and completely monitor sea ice movement?

Information can be gathered for example from old satellite photos made during the pioneering phases of satellites. On 29 August 2014 the University of Colorado Boulder reported on an amazing discovery of old Nimbus photos:

And the Antarctic blew us away,” he said. In 1964, sea ice extent in the Antarctic was the largest ever recorded, according to Nimbus image analysis. Two years later, there was a record low for sea ice in the Antarctic, and in 1969 Nimbus imagery, sea ice appears to have reached its maximum extent earliest on record.”

In 1964 Antarctic sea ice was hugely expanded, while to the contrary in 1966 it retreated massively. And in 1969 the sea ice had returned once again close to record high levels. This is an enormous amount of natural variability.

A team of scientists led by Tingting Fan used the premise of growing sea ice since 1979 as a reason for investigating the climatic conditions in the southern ocean. Here scientists found that the oceans had cooled over the previous 35 years, which fits well with the notion of expanding sea ice. During the 1950-1978 period, on the other hand, the southern ocean warmed up. This was the basis for a long-term ice retreat during that phase. The paper appeared in the April 2014 Geophysical Research Letters. The abstract writes:

Recent Antarctic sea ice trends in the context of Southern Ocean surface climate variations since 1950
This study compares the distribution of surface climate trends over the Southern Ocean in austral summer between 1979–2011 and 1950–1978, using a wide variety of data sets including uninterpolated gridded marine archives, land station data, reanalysis, and satellite products. Apart from the Antarctic Peninsula and adjacent regions, sea surface temperatures and surface air temperatures decreased during 1979–2011, consistent with the expansion of Antarctic sea ice. In contrast, the Southern Ocean and coastal Antarctica warmed during 1950–1978. Sea level pressure (SLP) and zonal wind trends provide additional evidence for a sign reversal between the two periods, with cooling (warming) accompanied by stronger (weaker) westerlies and lower (higher) SLP at polar latitudes in the early (late) period. Such physically consistent trends across a range of independently measured parameters provide robust evidence for multidecadal climate variability over the Southern Ocean and place the recent Antarctic sea ice trends into a broader context.”

Already in November 2013 a group led by Loïc Barbara published a reconstruction of the sea ice in the area of Antarctic Peninsula in the journal of Quaternary Science Reviews. Between 1935-1950 the ice receded, and after that there is no recognizable trend. Instead the sea ice fluctuated back and forth over years and decades. The paper’s abstract follows:

Diatoms and biomarkers evidence for major changes in sea ice conditions prior the instrumental period in Antarctic Peninsula
The Antarctic Peninsula (AP) has been identified as one of the most rapidly warming region on Earth. Satellite monitoring currently allows for a detailed understanding of the relationship between sea ice extent and duration and atmospheric and oceanic circulations in this region. However, our knowledge on ocean–ice–atmosphere interactions is still relatively poor for the period extending beyond the last 30 years. Here, we describe environmental conditions in Northwestern and Northeastern Antarctic Peninsula areas over the last century using diatom census counts and diatom specific biomarkers (HBIs) in two marine sediment multicores (MTC-38C and -18A, respectively). Diatom census counts and HBIs show abrupt changes between 1935 and 1950, marked by ocean warming and sea ice retreat in both sides of the AP. Since 1950, inferred environmental conditions do not provide evidence for any trend related to the recent warming but demonstrate a pronounced variability on pluri-annual to decadal time scale. We propose that multi-decadal sea ice variations over the last century are forced by the recent warming, while the annual-to-decadal variability is mainly governed by synoptic and regional wind fields in relation with the position and intensity of the atmospheric low-pressure trough around the AP. However, the positive shift of the SAM since the last two decades cannot explain the regional trend observed in this study, probably due to the effect of local processes on the response of our biological proxies.”

In May 2014 a team led by Kate Sinclair published a reconstruction of sea ice from the Ross Sea in the Geophysical Research Letters. Between 1880 and 1950 the ice was apparently stable. From 1950-1990 the ice receded, varied beginning in 1993, but took on an increasing trend, which continues today. The abstract:

Twentieth century sea-ice trends in the Ross Sea from a high-resolution, coastal ice-core record
We present the first proxy record of sea-ice area (SIA) in the Ross Sea, Antarctica, from a 130 year coastal ice-core record. High-resolution deuterium excess data show prevailing stable SIA from the 1880s until the 1950s, a 2–5% reduction from the mid-1950s to the early-1990s, and a 5% increase after 1993. Additional support for this reconstruction is derived from ice-core methanesulphonic acid concentrations and whaling records. While SIA has continued to decline around much of the West Antarctic coastline since the 1950s, concurrent with increasing air and ocean temperatures, the underlying trend is masked in the Ross Sea by a switch to positive SIA anomalies since the early-1990s. This increase is associated with a strengthening of southerly winds and the enhanced northward advection of sea ice.”

We conclude our look at the Antarctic sea ice with an anecdote that appeared in the December 2014 in the Geophysical Research Letters. In the paper authors Jeff Ridley and Helene Hewett claimed that the sea ice trend in the Anatarctic indeed would be irreversible as a result of climate warming. That would of course mean that the increase of the last 35 years would never be reversed. Yet, to the contrary, Arctic sea ice trends are supposed to be reversible. Apparently the authors are anticipating an increase in north polar sea ice. Absolutely curious. Here’s the abstract of the paper:

A mechanism for lack of sea ice reversibility in the Southern Ocean
We find evidence that ocean processes during global warming may result in irreversible changes to the Antarctic sea ice, whereas the Arctic sea ice changes appear to be reversible. Increased forcing gives rise to strong heat uptake in the Southern Ocean, and existing pathways provide an increased transport of heat to the Weddell Sea. As atmospheric concentrations of CO2 are returned to preindustrial levels, the Antarctic ice extent at first recovers, but a rapid change in the position of the an ocean front in the South Atlantic maintains the heat transport into the Weddell Sea. A cooling surface initiates deep convection, accessing the stored heat, resulting in a substantial loss of sea ice, which has not recovered after a further 150 years at preindustrial CO2.”

Analysis Shows Current Warming Is NOT Unprecedented …It Is Not Even “Unusual”!

UPDATE: New paper: http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.de/2015/06/new-paper-shows-n-greenland-was-warmer.html
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By Ed Caryl

The climate calamity crowd claims that the warming we experienced in the Twentieth Century is unprecedented… it has never happened before in human history. Because we didn’t have thermometers until about 300 years ago, and even then records exist from just a few locations, it is difficult to prove that this is not so.

The only reliable temperature record we have with continuous reasonable resolution data is the ice core oxygen isotope data from Greenland. I downloaded the GISP2 data and did a point-by-point difference calculation, computing the warming and cooling trend between each data point, and produced this plot.

GISP2 change rate

Figure 1 is a plot (blue) of the GISP2 temperature data and the calculated warming or cooling (red) between each point expressed as change (warming or cooling) per decade. The horizontal scale is in years before present. Because Excel places zero on the left side and counts up to the right, the present is on the left.

There have been 73 warming periods…

Temperatures in the Holocene have been quite volatile. Excel counts in this data 73 warming periods of at least 0.1 degrees per decade, and 80 cooling periods of that same amount. The time resolution of the points in the data are from about six years to about twenty years, so many of these warming and cooling periods are short. But some span a century or longer as we will see in figure 2.

I processed the HADCRUT4 data set to six year resolution to simulate the ice core data here. The highest warming was in the six year period from 1975 to 1981, a rate of 0.27°C/decade. There were two periods in the ice core data with higher warming rates, one was in 1370 BCE where in a 12 year period the warming rate was 0.357°C/decade. This period was bracketed by similar length periods with 0.25 and 0.16°C/decade warming periods. This 34-year period saw a warming of nearly a degree (0.98°C) far exceeding the warming in the late Twentieth Century.

Another period 8200 years ago (6200BCE) saw a 1.667°C warming in 71 years. The people around at that time must have been truly panicked at the rapid climate change and probably blamed it on the invention of beer.

Here is a chart of the ice core temperature and HADCRUT4 together as an anomaly plot using the same baseline period, spliced at 1850-55, the only years they have in common.

GISP2 & HADCRUT4 Anomalies

Figure 2 is a plot of the ice core (GISP2) and HADCRUT4 as an anomaly plot. The vertical scale is in degrees C. The horizontal scale is calendar years with the present on the right.

HADCRUT4 is the thermometer-measured, small, red, “Hockey-stick” at the right side. All the excitement is about half of that red uptick. The big question: Is it natural, or CO2?

In Figure 2, many heating and cooling periods with high magnitude and longer duration than the current warming are seen. The two periods described above are seen at 1400BCE and 6200BCE, but there are others scattered across the plot. The current warming appears puny in comparison and only half of that is in any way attributable to CO2.

Greenland tells a lot

Some detractors have tried to make the point that Greenland ice core data only reflects Greenland temperatures. This isn’t quite correct on several counts. Oxygen isotope fractionation acts at three places: the area of evaporation and the points of condensation and precipitation. These phenomena are latitude dependent and the evaporation area is diffuse. So the ice core data reflects temperature at Greenland’s latitude.

Another point (though it only applies to the first 3000 years on this chart) is that during the Ice Age, the ice sheets removed so much fresh water from the oceans that it increased the salinity of the remainder, affecting surface oxygen isotope levels. This is also factored into the temperature calculation (link). Also, the ice core temperature data is averaged over the years represented at each section of core. This temperature represents climate over those years and not weather. The last point is that heat exchange between Greenland latitudes and the oceans, and thus the rest of the globe, insures that Greenland temperature cannot be far from reflecting global temperature.

A larger point is that the current warming is not unusual. Even greater warming has occurred many times in the last 11,000 years. It has been as much as two degrees warmer than now three times in the last 10,000 years. More important, warming episodes are followed by cooling episodes that can be disastrous for mankind. The long-term trend for the last 3000 years of the Holocene has been cooling. We are slowly sliding into the next long cold at about half a degree C per millennium.

The Excel spreadsheet used to generate the figures and calculations is here.

Flagship German FAZ Assails Pope’s “Distorted Depiction Of Civilization”…Encyclical’s Vision “A Frightening Idea”

Journalist Jan Grossarth of flagship political daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) says it all in just the first sentences of his recent online commentary here:

Where the Pope errs

The Pope’s Encyclical is chock full of criticism and anti-liberal distortions. The good of the industrial present hardly gets mentioned.”

This is quite a comment for Germany’s leading political daily, which has been consistently green and a devoted purveyor of climate alarmism.

Grossarth is not the first to criticize the Pope’s massively one-sided, über-pessimistic position outlined in the Encyclical. Other journalists and observers have done so as well.

Increasingly it is growing clearer with each passing day that Pope Francis has made a fatal miscalculation in allowing certain alarmist, extremist scientists to dictate the Encyclical’s tone. They have rendered it a grotesquely flawed document.

The FAZ’s Grossarth cannot understand why the Pope is coming down so hard on modern society and its many virtues:

For many, and not by a long shot only those in the Northern World, capitalism is a paradise: Hunger is receding, more and more people are going to school, are getting older, and don’t have to work as long or as hard.”

In a nutshell, most things that earlier popes and Catholics requested in former times have been expediently delivered by free market systems. Much misery, squalor and suffering have been alleviated. Ehrlichian visions of doom from just 40 years ago never came to pass – due to modern industrial progress.

Grossarth thinks the Pope is overly “pessimistic” – someone who is way out of bounds in equating “capitalism to greed”. He characterizes Pope Francis as a person who has an incurable, chronic habit of presenting only the very ugly side of things. He writes:

In the Encyclical there are so many examples of one-sided negative perceptions that in summary a distorted depiction of civilization is the result.”

This should not be a surprise as the lead contributor to the Encyclical was German alarmist scientist Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber. It’s truly a pity the Pope did not have the wisdom to recognize the document for what it was: a power-grabbing instrument by extreme environmental activists masquerading as scientists. Under John Paul II or Benedict such a polarizing and distorted encyclical would have never seen the light of day.

Grossarth also makes the point that Francis is extremely adversarial to free-market systems, that he is someone who defines them as the world’s evil.

Instead, all the abstract talk is about ‘refraining’, and the ‘common good’, or of ‘irrational trust in progress’. For the Pope, man’s intervention in nature leads to a vicious circle.

Economic liberalism (symbolized by Adam Smith’ s ‘invisible hand’) is named in the same breath along with sickness, forced labor, slavery or child abuse.”

Grossarth also sharply criticizes Pope Francis for making claims “without any evidence”. He writes that the “Pope leaves the facts aside.” The FAZ journalist thinks that the Pope’s vision of an exodus back to an agrarian world of more natural, pre-industrial living is totally misguided. On the Pope’s vision, Grossarth writes:

Thus here the pre-industrial times are revered as a time when ‘man and things’ were still ‘in friendly harmony’. The return to that time is a frightening idea.”

Pope Francis Encyclical Incites The Violation Of 4 Of God’s 10 Commandments

This Vatican site here teaches Catholics the 10 Commandments of God.

Yet, on topics of energy and climate, the Pope’s latest Encyclical arguably serves to incite many of the world’s citizens and powerful institutions to violate 3, if not 4, of these Holy Commandments.

On the subject of climate science and energy, the overall attitude of the Pope with regards to skeptic voices has been a colossal disappointment. Pope Francis has purposely refused to listen to the critics of climate pessimism and alarmism, has outright dismissed them, and, as He communicates in His Encyclical, He now calls for the forced redistribution and reorganization of the world’s goods.

Though the Encyclical gives the appearance of an appeal to alleviate pain and suffering among the world’s most vulnerable, It is in part a deeply rooted and disturbing desire to seize and control the world’s life-sustaining wealth and resources. History threatens to repeat.

Rather than teaching Catholics to voluntarily share their wealth (as many already do), Pope Francis instead proposes that Catholics and all citizens be forced to do so by law, against their will, and to do so to a draconian extent. This is an uncharacteristically harsh and aggressive doctrine. So harsh in fact that executing the Encyclical’s underlying demand would de facto involve the violation of 4 of God’s 10 Commandments:

NO. 10: YOU SHALL NOT COVET YOUR NEIGHBOR’S GOODS

When you boil down the issue of climate change, it gets down to the confiscation, redistribution and re-ownership of global wealth. Catholic and PIK economist Ottmar Edenhofer even confirmed this in no uncertain terms. It is clear that much of the issue is all about coveting thy neighbor’s goods. It is about inciting the world’s poor to covet the wealth of others, and inciting powerful institutions to seize that wealth on the poor’s behalf. Worse, rightful owners are being coerced by false threats (e.g. computer-generated doomsday scenarios) should they resist going along.

NO. 7: YOU SHALL NOT STEAL

The climate issue and the Encyclical itself demand that a global authority be set up with the purpose of denying and/or redistributing the world’s wealth and energy. Redistribution here means seizing property rights from their rightful owners, and transfering these rights to others, all under the guise of the common good. The confiscation of property through gross acts of scientific deception and computer-generated threats of natural calamities is ‘stealing’.

NO. 8. YOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS AGAINST YOUR NEIGHBOR

When it comes to the claimed “consensus” on the science, its funding, the accuracy of climate models, presentation of data, proxy reconstructions, etc. there’s been an over-abundance of false witness. This has been the most unfortunate aspect and the root of the whole issue. The Pope’s characterization of the non-alarmist climate skeptics, one he seems to have hastily adopted from the powerful and well funded, is one that bears false witness against these very skeptics. The skeptics of alarmism and climate science are in fact in great numbers, and most are operating humbly on a shoestring and with no support from the powerful institutions, let alone Big Oil. Moreover there is no consensus whatsoever, and the Pope is spreading a grave untruth here when He implies there is. The skeptics are poor, have had their voices muffled – and yet, rather than showing them compassion as Jesus would, the Pope has callously dismissed them, refused to hear them, even marginalized them, opting to side with the rich and powerful.

NO. 5: YOU SHALL NOT KILL

Here killing means the premeditated act of taking another’s life. Of course no one believes the Vatican endorses this. But if you know your actions and policies lead to lives being lost in mass, then you are guilty of killing. It is clear that taking affordable energy away from the poor (and even the lower middle class) leads to horrible deaths from exposure – real deaths today that we witness winter after winter. Instead the Pope appears indifferent to the poor’s need of cheap fuel to stay warm and to care for their families, and seems obsessed with the fictitious computer-generated “deaths” 50 years down the road that some see in models, which so far have been proven to be totally flawed. Has he bought into the notion that climate scientists are prophets?

These are 4 Commandments that Pope Francis is sadly neglecting and possibly abusing in his Encyclical. Many of us have already come to realize that this Pope did not even author the encyclical himself, and that he likely was duped into endorsing It. Executing the Encyclical would lead to moral anarchy.

Good Catholics will choose to ignore the Pope’s Encyclical with respect to the still very much unsettled and hotly debated topics of climate science, energy, and especially the calls for the forced redistribution of (coveted) goods.

Pope’s Negligent Rush To Flawed Judgment: ‘Laudato Si’ Based Solely On Alarmist Side

A reaction to the Pope’s encyclical has been published at climate science critical site: Die kalte Sonne.
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What does the pope know about our climate?

By Uli Weber
[Translated/edited by P Gosselin]

In his encyclical‚ Laudato si, Pope Francis worries about our “common home”, and fundamentally he is not incorrect here. Under Part I of his encyclical he addresses environmental pollution and climate change. Unfortunately the papal view on the climate question is restricted solely to the strictly alarmist position. Here we present a few excerpts:

20. … Technology, which, linked to business interests, is presented as the only way of solving these problems, in fact proves incapable of seeing the mysterious network of relations between things and so sometimes solves one problem only to create others.”

This statement not only applies to market economy technologies, but rather to a far greater extent to central planning mechanisms. The ecological efforts of using renewable energies for rescuing the climate are creating at the very moment great problems in the third world, and these are being completely ignored. On this point our ecological souls, namely rainforests, are being clear-cut to make way for bioethanol production for our “ecologically precious E10 fuel”. Here a clear position-statement from the Pope on the sale of eco-indulgences at the expense of the third world would have been most desirable. Instead such active environmental destruction is being booked under the alleged climate change, which supposedly will lead to the migration of climate refugees. Quote from the papal encyclical:

25. …this is how, for example, changes in climate, to which animals and plants cannot adapt, lead them to migrate; this in turn affects the livelihood of the poor, who are then forced to leave their homes, with great uncertainty for their future and that of their children…”

For the first time since the Middle Ages the scientific mainstream and the Catholic Church are once again unified. A quote from the encyclical:

23. …a number of scientific studies indicate that most global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides and others) released mainly as a result of human activity. … The problem is aggravated by a model of development based on the intensive use of fossil fuels, which is at the heart of the worldwide energy system.…“,

… and both agree with the politics:

26. … Therefore it is urgently needed to develop political programs over the coming years which will serve to drastically reduce the emission of carbon dioxide and other strongly polluting gases, … There have been some investment in production methods and types of transportation that require less quantities of energy and raw materials, as well as types of construction or ways of building renovation that increase energy efficiency. However these good practices have by no means been put into practice everywhere.”

We already know the implicit demand to decarbonize the global energy supply from the G7 summit at Schloss Elmau, and from the “Contract for a Great Transformation“ by the German Advisory Council for Global Change (WBGU) of 2011. Precisely this WBGU reported on 17 June 2015 that Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber, Chairman of the WBGU and Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, PIK, would introduce the encyclical “Laudato si” by the Pope together with Cardinal Turkson in Rome on June 18, 2015 . This encyclical on environment declared that man-made climate change is a scientific fact and that committed climate protection for mankind represented a religious and moral imperative. Is the Pope now announcing ‘ex cathedra’ climate science truths?

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Our reader Manfred Büchel points out another important point in the encyclical, which we find hidden at the very end of the first chapter:

61. On many concrete questions, the Church has no reason to offer a definitive opinion; she knows that honest debate must be encouraged among experts, while respecting divergent views.”

Europe Weather: “Thing Of The Past” Now A Thing Of Summer …Snow At 1500 Meters In Southern Germany

Two days ago I wrote about the cold weather that’s been gripping Germany and Central Europe. Well, things are about to get worse early this weekend, and not better.

The online Munich-based Abendzeiting (Evening News) here reports the latest weather forecast of frost and snow that are set to hit Germany – in June…on the first day of summer!

Snow in Bavaria down to 1500 meters

The online news site writes that this year “summer is starting out wet and cold: Ground frost in the north, snow in the Alps“.

Though snow is not an unusual event in the Alps at higher elevations above 2500 meters, it is unusual when it happens at just 1500 meters in the summertime. The Abendzeitung writes:

Things don’t look better down south. In the Bavarian Alps the snowfall level will drop to 1500 to 1800 meters. On Zugspitze up to 50 centimeters of snow will fall.”

This morning my wife even turned the furnace back on, as many other homes have done in Germany over the past days. “It’s too friggin cold,” she told me.

Climate forecasts of scorching hot Europe summers refuted

In the early 2000s climate scientists predicted Europe would have to get used to scorching hot and parched summers, similar to that seen in 2003. However, more than 10 years later, summers have been cooler and wetter than normal, thus so far defying the climate scientists’ predictions.

And this summer does not appear to be anything different. The Abendzeitung quotes meteorologist Dominik Jung of wetter.net:

I don’t believe we are going to experience an extremely hot July or August. The run-up to the summer this year has been similar to 2013 and 2014. In both of those years the spring was like in 2015: stable, dry and very sunny. In both years variable and only moderately warm summers followed. I anticipate the same for this year.”

The coming cold is just the latest in an extended string of well below normal temperatures. Last week northern Germany saw 5 consecutive mornings with ground surface frost, a “very unusual” event, Jung reported earlier.

Scientists got the science all wrong

Naturally the recent unusual cold weather has nothing to do with a climate trend; it is just weather – something the global warming alarmists like to forget when hot weather hits. Still, it is important to remind them that they once told us such cold events were “a thing of the past”, that children would never know them and that instead we needed to prepare for hot scorcher periods.

Surprise! The cold events have been becoming more frequent in Germany over the past quarter century, thus bluntly refuting the models. The climate scientists need to admit that they got the science on this all wrong.

Swiss ‘Weltwoche’ Magazine Fires At Activist Encyclical …”Somewhere Galileo Is Chuckling”

The latest 17 June 2015 edition of Weltwoche from Switzerland has a commentary on the Vatican and its encyclical on climate titled: “A Matter of Faith“.

The commentary believes the Vatican is out of place with Its recent encyclical on climate science, reminding readers that the Vatican hardly has a stellar record when it comes telling Catholics what true science really is, and that today It is wrong with Its claim there is a consensus on the issue.

“Galileo is chuckling”

The Weltwoche article writes in its introduction:

With an encyclical the Pope is attempting to teach correct climate policy. The Catholic Church has long since always proven its sense for true science. Somewhere Galileo is chuckling.”

Weltwoche recounts the Church’s debacle surrounding Galileo, writing that it took the Catholic Church over 300 years to apologize for having falsely accused the 17th century physicist, who claimed the Church had been wrong in thinking the earth was the center of the universe.

“The Amen to the reporters of the IPCC”

Yet under Pope Francis the Church appears to have learned nothing from its long history of intellectual blunders, and Its Little Ice Age and bad-weather witch-hunts. Weltwoche writes:

Pope Francis is now sending the encyclical “Laudato Si” to his bishops, which reads as the Amen to the reporters of the IPCC and the capitalism critics, such as Naomi Klein.”

Weltwoche describes how Pope Francis claims there is a “scientific consensus” and that as a result “mankind has to change its lifestyle“.

A Hail Mary to reverse crumbling consensus?

Weltwoche also writes how major media outlets such as The Guardian and Reuters have cheered the Pope’s word on the issue, hoping it will finally tip the scales in favor of radical environmental change. But this reaction was expected, writes Weltwoche:

The jubilation can be explained because the consensus in the science has been crumbling: The temperature has not been rising in what will soon be 20 years and it remains below all prognoses as a result. With increasing desperation, instead of abandoning their refuted models and theories, the climate scientists offered more than 50 explanations.”

Stiff opposition

Weltwoche then describes a growing atmosphere of shrillness pervading among climate scientists and activists, but on the other hand emerging countries have been unimpressed by the ever more shrill alarms being sounded. A climate treaty faces stiff opposition from the US Congress, and for this reason Pope Francis plans to visit Washington in September, Weltwoche writes, adding that His Holiness plans to have a talk with Catholic and House Speaker John Boehner:

However the Holy Father will barely be able to teach him much, and not at all the Chinese, and certainly not the Indians, who will first bring their citizens out of poverty, just as the encyclical demands. And to do that they need affordable energy, foremost coal.”

 

“Very Unusual” Mid-June Cold Surprises Germany…Surface Temperatures Around Hamburg Fall To -3°C!

The year started out on the mild side in Central Europe, but since early May temperatures have been stubbornly on the low side.

“Rarity”: 5 consecutive June days of surface frost

Over northern Germany, for example, the last 10 or so days have been gripped by cold weather. The online Sudkürier here cites meteorologist Dominik Jung, writing how last week there was “a very unusual phenomenon: five days in a row in North Germany there was surface frost. That according to Jung is a rarity for June.”

Ground surface frost is already rare enough over the northern German lowlands in May, let alone June!

In Germany farmers and weather hobbyists often talk of these annual June cold spells, calling them Schafskälte – or “sheep cold”. They often occur in mid June when cold polar air grips the country.

“Record suspect low”

But this year the phenomenon appears to be especially pronounced.

Jung_6_2ß15

German meteorologist Dominik Jung explains what’s behind this year’s “very unusual” June cold spell. Image cropped from: https://www.youtube.com/

Not only last week was cold, but so is this week. In today’s wetter.net  forecast video, Jung tells viewers how this morning: “…around Hamburg ground-surface temperatures fell to -3°C. Yes, for this time of the year this is a record-suspect low.”

In the video the commercial meteorologist also says that after today’s milder temperatures the “grizzly summer weather” shows no signs of letting up. Daytime temperatures are forecast to stubbornly remain stuck in the 50s and 60s (14 – 20°C) over the rest of the week.

“Numerous days with ground level frost”

The online sachsen-fernsehen (Saxony television) writes that not only was the Hamburg region hit, but the cold was widespread across northern Germany:

“In Lübeck and Hannover, just above the ground readings of down to -2°C were taken. Even in Berlin early this morning the thermometer showed ground level frost with readings around 0°C.

Precisely at Germany’s number 1 beaches, the North and Baltic seas, June has been quite fresh so far. The month’s half in the north has been about 1°C colder than the longterm mean. And with the numerous days with ground level frost that June has seen so far, it’s hardly a wonder.”

Drought also taking hold…

Moreover, large parts of northern Germany are being gripped by a deepening drought. Here as well no significant amounts of rainfall are in sight.

The latest buzz is that Germans should not be expecting any type of “barbecue summer” this year.

Max Planck Society Confirms Warming Pause! …Scrambles To Explain Widespread Model Failure

Max Planck Society: “Temperatures stagnant approximately since 1998, but at high level”

By Sebastian Lüning and Fritz Vahrenholt
[Translated/edited by P. Gosselin]

Attempting midterm predictions

The Max-Planck Society publishes the magazine “Max Planck Forschung” on a regular basis. In its 1/2015 issue beginning on page 68 one finds the article: “…and now on the climate of tomorrow”. The German language article is also available (pdf here). The article starts:

How will the climate appear in 10 or 15 years? Scientists have been unable to provide a satisfactory answer to this question – mainly because random changes play a large role in such mid-term time-frames. A natural fluctuation is likely also the cause of temperatures barely increasing over the past 15 years. Jochem Marotzke of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg and his colleagues all over Germany are working intensively on a system that will deliver reliable prognoses for the coming years.”

Hiatus confirmed

In other words this is about the pause in warming since 1998 and the question of why none of the expensive climate models had correctly forecast the hiatus. Indeed this is a big problem, especially for the fraternity of the climate modellers, who in Germany are led by chief modeler Jochem Marotzke. His favorite excuse: “random changes”, which in his opinion are completely unpredictable. But that’s fatally wrong. His colleagues have long known better and have identified the 60-year ocean cycles as systematic climate drivers. See for example  here, here, here, here.

Scrambling to explain faulty models

First of all the Max Planck Magazine thankfully does confirm what all temperature curves now clearly show, but what a few climate activists clearly refuse to believe:

Another resaon was a phenomenon that at the end of the past decade it was visible that there was a temperature plateau, and this continues to occupy climate scientists today. The global warming that was in high gear during the 1980s and 1990s now appears to have been making a pause since the start of the new millennium. The temperatures have been stagnating since about 1998, but at a high level.”

Jochem Marotzke has recognized that this cannot continue on. Awhile back he launched the Project MiKlip with the aim of making more reliable prognoses. In the Max Planck Forschung (MPF) magazine it is stated:

Today, almost 10 years later, the science regarding decadal climate prognoses has come a long way. From 2011 to mid 2015 the German Federal Ministry for Science has financed the project MiKlip (Midterm Climate Prognoses), that Jochem Marotzke initiated and now coordinates as its director. In the meantime the application for the second phase has been made.”

Cooling Atlantic

We’ve reported on the MiKlip project before. The main result from the initiative so far is hardly known to the media because it is just too inconvenient. See our article “Over the midterm the climate prognoses of the BMBF MiKlip Projects: North Atlantic will cool down by several tenths of a degree by 2020″. Using a Google search, the environmentally activist Süddeutsche Zeitung has yet to report on this amazing prognosis. Activist climate website “Klimaretter.info” naturally has not done so either. Thus we are very curious on whether the Max Planck Magazine is now perhaps able to talk openly about this. In the article’s  title and introduction we see that this important information is absent. In England however, the University of Southampton recently came up with the same result but was much more transparent and proactive with the cooling finding. See our blog article “University of Southampton: Cooling ocean cycle will cause Atlantic to cool by half a degree Celsius over the coming decades, global warming hiatus continues and hurricanes will become less frequent“.

Max Planck Institute refuses to see ocean cycles

But instead of following the example from England, Marotzke continues to stick to his worn out chaos meme. MPF magazine writes:

Such forecasts however are still in the early stages. ‘There is still a lot of work that remains ahead of us,’ says the Hamburg-based scientist. Over the mid-term climate prognoses are burdened by a fundamental difficulty: the chaos of the climate system. As it is so with the weather, also the climate (the mean of weather) is also subject to natural fluctuations that more or less occur randomly. […] Climate scientists refer to these more or less random fluctuations as spontaneous or as internal variability. Due to such variations the global mean temperature can vary by 0.2 or 0.3°C from one year to the next. For scientists these variations are known as so-called ‘noise’ that superimpose the actual signal of global warming.”

Models’ hopelessly faulty assumptions

Here we would like to advise Marotzke: Try just once to apply the ocean cycles, like your colleagues in England are doing. Natural variability not only contains ‘noise’, but also quasi cyclic behavior that today are empirically well-known. However the sad truth is that climate models are unable to properly represent these known cycles. The problem is not with nature, rather it is in fact in the models. Also the weighting of the individual climate drivers is poorly understood. The IPCC table of radiative forcings for solar fluctuations has assigned a much too low value, one in fact that has absolutely nothing to do with the geological-empirically determined systematic impacts of the sun.

We suspect that Marotzke has painted himself into a corner and so has to continuously find excuses and ignore the ocean cycles that have been at play over the last 20 years, though many have long been aware of them (see our article: IPCCcofounder Bert Bolin had all along been aware of the climatic role of ocean cycles).

Marotzke refuses to acknowledge low climate sensitivity

In the second part of the article the Max-Planck scientists discussed various possibilities as to why a warming pause happened. It was considered that the CO2 climate sensitivity may have been set much too high:

One possibility would be that the climate change drive in the models has been falsely assigned – i.e. the amount of radiative energy connected with a rise in atmospheric CO2 that gets trapped in the climate system or that gets reflected back out into space from aerosols. The values that the various models calculate for this magnitude vary widely. Another possibility is that the models over-estimate how sensitive the climate reacts to a rise in CO2. Some models assume that the global mean temperature will rise only 2°C from a doubling of CO2. Others assume that it will be more than 4.5°C warmer.”

But then a few lines later Marotzke and Co. abandon the possibility and return to their wild chaos theory. The MiKlip recognition of a cooling North Atlantic gets no mention at all. Instead the article concludes with a prognosis that anyone could have conjured up without millions in research money. Eventually someday the stupid temperature plateau will end. But as to when, no one really knows. An embarrassing conclusion. In the MPF magazine we read:

The temperature plateau is going to end sometime in the years ahead, as most scientists are convinced of this. It is likely that the warming of the earth’s surface will then progress even more quickly. At the latest when the trade winds blow over the Pacific more weakly the pause will be over.”

Other research groups here are clearer and more solid on this because they have a better grip on the unpopular ocean cycles than than the scientists in Hamburg do:

German Physics Prof Blasts Climate Science …”Far Too Removed From The Scientific Facts”!

Gänteför
The online North German NWZ daily here has an article on a speech given by University of Konstanz physics professor Dr. Gerd Ganteför on the subject of Germany’s transition to renewable energies, the so-called Energiewende, and on the general irrationalities pervading German climate science.

He says that the country appears to have “a desire for demise“.

In a presentation called “The Energiewende – Vision and Reality“, he reminded the audience of earlier end-of-world scenarios that never materialized, such as “the end of oil, forest die-off from acid rain, ozone hole”. He thinks that the German population “can be convinced of anything, ‘as long as it’s bad!‘” the NWZ reports.

Ice age approaching

Ganteför told the audience that the climate is going to change anyway even without the influence of man. And on a millennial scale: “The current warm phase will end at that we are approaching a new ice age.” He also told the audience that eliminating light bulbs and using smaller vacuum cleaners are not going to rescue any climate whatsoever.

Energiewende will fail

So far in Ganteför’s view the Energiewende has been limited only to a transition in the electricity supply and that this will fail due to the lack of storage technology.

Removed from scientific fact

The NWZ also writes that Ganteför “criticizes the ‘false fear’ in the public discussion: Germany has become far too removed from the scientific facts and is too caught up in the current zeitgeist: ‘Indeed we are all going to die, but not because of the climate catastrophe,’ was his prediction at the end.”

Photo credit: http://www.faszinationphysik.ch/.

Gerd Ganteför is also the author of the German language books: Climate, the demise of the world is not taking place and Is everything NANO or what?: Nanotechnology for the curious.

 

June 12, 1987: “A Question Of Freedom For All Mankind…Mr. Gorbachov, Tear Down This Wall”

UPDATE: http://www.thelocal.de/20150612/reagan-to-gorbachev-tear-down-this-wall
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Sorry for the interruption in blogging and comment moderation over the past 24 or so hours – I was a bit swamped by other things. But now things are back on track. I’ll be posting back at normal speed tomorrow.

Though I missed the anniversary date by two days, The following video is a nice flashback … to 28 years ago:

I don’t know about you, but I get goose bumps every time I hear that last sentence.

I’m glad to say that during a recent visit to Berlin, President Reagan was prominently featured at the Checkpoint Charlie Museum, a must-see if you’re visiting the German capital. If you go, I suggest starting the visit at the top of the museum and working backwards.

Reagan’s (spineless) advisors actually crossed out the “Tear down this wall” sentence, deeming it too provocative. But Reagan ignored it. Less two and a half years later the wall came crashing down.

 

German Scientists: Solar Cycle 24 On Track To Be 3rd All-Time Weakest …And McCarthy Paper Points To Tame CO2 Climate Sensitivity

The Sun in May 2015, and Atlantic Waves

By Frank Bosse and Fritz Vahrenholt
[Translated, edited by P Gosselin]

Our primary “fusion reactor” remains in a weak phase in its current solar cycle, number 24 since systematic observations began in the year 1749. In May sunspot activity was below normal. The observed sunspot number (SSN) was 58.8. The mean of all previous cycles for the current 78th month into the cycle is SSN=79. Thus May saw 75% of the usual activity.

Figure 1: The current cycle 24 (started in December 2008) is shown in red and is compared to the mean cycle (blue) and to cycle no. 5 (black).

A pronounced lull

Figure 1 shows that current solar cycle 24 has never exceeded the mean (blue) at any time since it began. In the 78 months since the it began, SC 24 has always been below normal. This has never been observed for any previous cycle.  The low solar activity since December 2008 is unique when it comes to its consistency when compared to the other cycles since observations began!

Even when activity reached a maximum in October 2011 in the sun’s northern hemisphere, and in February 2014 for the southern hemisphere, it remained just below the mean value. Together with the delayed start of the cycle we now have a record 10 years of quiet solar activity.

Figure 2: The accumulated sunspot anomaly of all cycle up to the 78th solar cycle month.

Figure 2 depicts a comparison of all the cycles with respect to solar activity. So far the current cycle is in 4th place in terms of low activity. But 3rd place is very reachable because SC 7 saw high sunspot values in its last third of the cycle, and so the chances are good that the total activity of SC 24 will be quieter than the last cycles of the Dalton Minimum.

Atlantic waves…

…are really high when it’s stormy. In early May off the coast of Portugal one of the co-authors of this article came to realize this in a 14-meter long sail boat. But the Atlantic also created other types of waves in the past month. A team of scientists led by Gerard D. McCarthy of the University of Southampton went on the search for internal North Atlantic variability, see www.nature.com/nature/journal.html. They determined that the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) not only has ups and downs in sea surface temperature (SST) in the extratropic Atlantic region, but that these temperature variations lead to changes in sea level (SSH) along the east coast of the USA. The pattern appears as follows:

Figure 3: The “circulation series” shown in blue. In the paper the SSH variation is determined by comparing the sea level south of and north of Cape Hatteras. The AMO is black. Source: Figure 3 of the cited McCarthy publication.

The relatively long time series of tide measurements at the East Coast is thus a proxy for the ocean heat content (OHC) of the North Atlantic. Its direct measurement since the 1950 entails large uncertainty. But beginning in 2004 it has been much more precise thanks to the submerged ARGO measurement buoys and the RAPID network.

What implications does this study have? First of all, the existence of natural Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillations is confirmed, and not only as a variation in sea surface temperature (SST) as it was previously defined. It is now sure that the AMO is a large-scale North Atlantic water mass circulation pattern. It is an independent internal natural variability of our climate system, and not just one involving global temperature.

Already in January 2013 we pointed to falling North Atlantic ocean heat content (OHC) since 2007. What follows is the data plot:

 Figure 4: The ocean heat content (OHC) of the extratropical North Atlantic since 1979. Source: Climate4you.

In the paper and its accompanying press release it is explained that the current decline in the OHC means it is announcing that the probability of the North Atlantic cooling more than 10 years is very high. The AMO’s impact on temperatures in the northern hemisphere was major in the past, as the following plot shows:

Figure 5: The AMO (green) compared to temperature changes of the Northern Hemisphere (red).

If the AMO exists as an internal variability, as the McCarthy paper tells us, then that could imply that 0.5°C warming seen in the northern hemisphere since 1975 was due to the AMO and that the remaining 0.5°C of warming was due to impacts from greenhouse gases and other factors, such as varying solar activity.

For estimating climate sensitivity from greenhouse gases, this has far-reaching implications: Up to now we were not able to completely exclude the impact of aerosols on the cooling of temperatures between 1945-1975, but now it is appearing as increasingly improbable. Indeed it is becoming more evident that the cooling was due to the weakening AMO during that time period (see Figure 3).

If indeed aerosols have a lesser cooling effect than previously assumed, then the climate sensitivity with respect to greenhouse gases must be less.  Since 1975 for the northern hemisphere it was not 0.26 °C / decade increase, but rather only 0.13. This is close to being identical to the southern hemisphere. We’ve often discussed this 50:50 order here …and once again we are confirmed.