German Professor: Europe’s € 5.7 TRILLION Climate Policy Is “Very Expensive”, “Counter-Productive” And “Does Nothing For Climate” … “Completely Wasted”!

University of Magdeburg economics professor Joachim Heimann held a presentation in Brandenburg highlighting the shortcomings of Germany’s Energiewende (transition to renewable energies) and Europe’s climate policy earlier this year.

First Weimann calls the climate issue a debate that is emotionally and ideologically charged, and that the facts are almost always suppressed. He also believes that the real facts on climate change and energy policy are unpopular among policymakers and that they all too often “deny” them.

In the presentation Heimann makes it clear that he is an alarmist, and that he believes something needs to be done rapidly.

The thrust of his presentation, however, is about Germany’s Energiewende and Europe’s climate policies, and whether they are really effective. His assessment in a nutshell: The feed-in acts are a colossal disaster.

Coal plants pay less, consumers pay much more

Heimann says that go-it-alone national CO2 reduction programs aren’t functioning and that emissions trading schemes in combination with energy feed-in acts only result in emissions being sourced out and thus lead to no emissions reductions. In the end the price of emission certificates falls to levels that makes them ineffective. Ironically coal power plants, he says, wind up the ones profiting the most. “Coal is indirectly being subsidized by the feed-in acts,” says Heimann. Everything about coal suddenly becomes cheap, not only its supply, but also the costs of its emissions.

Greater consumption of resources

For the consumer, however, the price of electricity becomes far more expensive. Heimann also explains that the forced feed-in of renewable energies in fact even leads to greater consumption of resources, and not less.

At the 24:20 mark Heimann presents the costs of eliminating 1 tonne of CO2 emissions for a variety of sources: for a coal power plant 1 ton reduction of CO2 costs only 8 euros, for retrofitting a car it costs 100 euros per ton, for onshore wind 150 euros, offshore wind 320 euros and solar 400 euros a ton. This do not include the grid costs. Clearly some CO2 reduction measures make little economic sense.

Feed-in acts lead to zero climate protection

At the 26:30 mark Heimmann slams the German EEG energy feed-in act because it promotes the installation of existing technology rather than research and development in new technology. He says:

– “For climate protection, we do not need the Energiewende.”
– “It is doing nothing for saving resources”.
– “It is also doing nothing for jobs and new technology.”

Substituting coal and nuclear a pipe dream

Next Heimann shows why it is madness to try to replace 18 nuclear power plants (total output 20 GW) with “extremely volatile” wind energy. He says there’s no chance of accomplishing this feat without storage technology, which is still nowhere in sight. Some 437 pump storage facilities would need to be built to ensure the supply of 18 nuclear power plants – an impossible task he says. He calls stopping nuclear energy and coal energy at the same time a pipe dream.

More coal burned today than in 1990!

Because Germany has already committed to closing its remaining nuclear power plants by 2022, the country will be forced to do 2 things: 1) burn more fossil fuels, and 2) to import more of the unpopular nuclear energy. The stunning result, so far, Heimann points out: “We are now burning more coal than in 1990!

Heimann summarizes, saying Germany’s Energiewende resulted in:

– “No energy independence.”
– “Negative job creation.”
– “A price tag of up to 1.2 trillion euros.”

Europe: €5.7 trillion “completely wasted”

Moreover global greenhouse gas emissions climbed 35% from 2000-2012, clearly dwarfing Europe’s 11% reduction. He says the 5.7 trillion euros committed by all of Europe so far will be “completely wasted”. He says that what is needed is an international coalition and that here Germany is doing nothing to support it.

At the end (38:00) he hands in his final assessment. Germany’s Energiewende:

– “Is very expensive”
– “Is counter-productive”
– “Has had no effect on climate”
– “Disturbs in the decommissioning of nuclear power”


The Swiss September Mean Almost 1 Degree Cooler Than Normal …Holland Sees Coolest in 15 Years!

I’m a bit hampered today by a head cold, and so today’s post will be a short one.

The preliminary report for September weather in Switzerland is out. Hat-tip: Kurt in Switzerland.

According to the Swiss Meteorological and Climatological Office, September was 0.8 deg. Celsius colder than the norm for the month, based on the averages for the period of 1981-2010. A blast of polar air early in the month saw temperatures plunge to as much as 7°C below normal. Snow fell at elevations down to 1800 meters.

Later in the month temperatures fell once again, dropping to as much as 7°C below normal in the Alps. The snow fell to elevations as low as 1400 meters on the north side of the Alps.

Interestingly in Swtzerland this year the autumn crocuses blossomed more than week earlier than the 1981-2010 mean. The Swiss Met office writes that “in many areas the blossoms were already observed in August“. Also foliage colors from a variety of trees were observed to be earlier than normal, writes the Swiss Met.

Holland sees coldest September in 15 years

Also reader Vermeer writes in a comment that the Netherlands had it coolest September in 15 years. The mean temperature in De Bilt was a nippy 13.4 °C , 1.1 °C below average. There were only two days with a maximum above 20°C. Highest only 20.2 °C. This was the lowest high September maximum in 50 years. Source: KNMI :


Eight Recent Papers Overshadow CO2 Warming Hypothesis …Evidence Of Svensmark’s Solar Amplifier Theory Solidifies

Recently I posted a number of reports on the powerful correlation between solar activity cycles and historical climate change. Clearly the sun is a driver. The question that remains is what is the mechanism that drives climate.

Recently there have been a number of papers showing Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark is on the right path and that global governments, and the hundreds of climate institutes they fund, are hopelessly lost in la-la land.

The latest on Svensmark’s cloud-solar-amplifier

By Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt and Dr. Sebastian Lüning
[German text translated/edited by P Gosselin]

A few years ago Henrik Svensmark described a mechanism how solar activity could change cloud cover. Was this the long-sought solar amplifier? The proposed process involves a series of steps where the sun’s magnetic field shields the earth’s atmosphere, at times more and at times less, from cosmic rays – thus acting as a modulator. The tiny galactic particles then act as seeds for condensation and cloud formation, which in turn regulate the Earth’s temperature. This mechanism allowed Svensmark to establish a correlation between solar activity and clouds. But later the curves deviated from each other in the 20th century. So indeed it turned out to be more complicated. The IPCC was elated and promptly discarded the model.

But the IPCC appears to have acted too hastily with its curt dismissal because bit by bit it is becoming increasingly clear that it is necessary to differentiate more carefully between various latitudes, cloud levels and seasons. What follows is a summary of the latest publications on the cloud-solar amplifier.

In November 2014 in the journal of Atmospheric Research M. Kancirova and K. Kudela reported on a study on the development of cloud cover and cosmic rays atop a 2634 meter mountain in Slovakia over the 1982–2010 period. Here the authors found a stable correlation between clouds and cosmic rays, even if the signal was weak. The abstract:

Cloud cover and cosmic ray variations at Lomnický štít high altitude observing site
We studied the relation of cloud cover and cosmic rays during the period 1982–2010 measured at Lomnický štít (2634 m above sea level, in the direction of 49.40°N, 20.22°E, geomagnetic vertical cut-off rigidity for cosmic ray ~ 3.85 GV). Daily means are used. It is seen that the correlations are insignificant for averaging shorter than about one year. We have found weak positive correlation for longer averaging times. Difference in distributions of cosmic ray intensity between the days with cloudless and overcast sky level at α = 0.05 is found in the data. In addition to the experiments and clarification of physical mechanisms behind the relations studied here, longer time intervals and analysis at different sites with respect to cut-off rigidity and sea/continents along with the satellite data are important for progress in understanding the cosmic ray–cloud relation questions, at least from the point of view of empirical description of the dependencies.”

In January 2015 Badruddin & Aslam added to this with a publication in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics. They studied the effect of cosmic rays on Indian summer monsoons. They got results: Phases of drought occurred mostly when cosmic rays weakened, and wet phases occurred with increased ray intensity. Moreover they found a relationship with temperature. The abstract:

Influence of cosmic-ray variability on the monsoon rainfall and temperature
We study the role of galactic cosmic ray (GCR) variability in influencing the rainfall variability in Indian Summer Monsoon Rainfall (ISMR) season.
We find that on an average during ‘drought’ (low ISMR) periods in India, GCR flux is decreasing, and during ‘flood’ (high ISMR) periods, GCR flux is increasing. The results of our analysis suggest for a possibility that the decreasing GCR flux during the summer monsoon season in India may suppress the rainfall. On the other hand, increasing GCR flux may enhance the rainfall. We suspect that in addition to real environmental conditions, significant levitation/dispersion of low clouds and hence reduced possibility of collision/coalescence to form raindrops suppresses the rainfall during decreasing GCR flux in monsoon season. On the other hand, enhanced collision/coalescence efficiency during increasing GCR flux due to electrical effects may contribute to enhancing the rainfall. Based on the observations, we put forward the idea that, under suitable environmental conditions, changing GCR flux may influence precipitation by suppressing/enhancing it, depending upon the decreasing/increasing nature of GCR flux variability during monsoon season in India, at least. We further note that the rainfall variability is inversely related to the temperature variation during ISMR season. We suggest an explanation, although speculative, how a decreasing/increasing GCR flux can influence the rainfall and the temperature. We speculate that the proposed hypothesis, based on the Indian climate data can be extended to whole tropical and sub-tropical belt, and that it may contribute to global temperature in a significant way. If correct, our hypothesis has important implication for the sun – climate link.”

Next there’s also a paper by L.Z. Biktash appearing in the journal Advances in Space Research in December 2014. This study also looks at cosmic rays with their impact on global temperature. For the period of 1965–2012 the temperature maximum occurred during the cosmic rays minimum. The abstract:

Evolution of Dst index, cosmic rays and global temperature during solar cycles 20–23
We have studied conditions in interplanetary space, which can have an influence on galactic cosmic ray (CR) and climate change. In this connection the solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field parameters and cosmic ray variations have been compared with geomagnetic activity represented by the equatorial Dst index from the beginning 1965 to the end of 2012. Dst index is commonly used as the solar wind–magnetosphere–ionosphere interaction characteristic. The important drivers in interplanetary medium which have effect on cosmic rays as CMEs (coronal mass ejections) and CIRs (corotating interaction regions) undergo very strong changes during their propagation to the Earth. Because of this CMEs, coronal holes and the solar spot numbers (SSN) do not adequately reflect peculiarities concerned with the solar wind arrival to 1 AU. Therefore, the geomagnetic indices have some inestimable advantage as continuous series other the irregular solar wind measurements. We have compared the yearly average variations of Dst index and the solar wind parameters with cosmic ray data from Moscow, Climax, and Haleakala neutron monitors during the solar cycles 20–23. The descending phases of these solar cycles (CSs) had the long-lasting solar wind high speed streams occurred frequently and were the primary contributors to the recurrent Dst variations. They also had effects on cosmic rays variations. We show that long-term Dst variations in these solar cycles were correlated with the cosmic ray count rate and can be used for study of CR variations. Global temperature variations in connection with evolution of Dst index and CR variations is discussed.”

In the text the paper states:

We demonstrate that the detrended annual means of global surface air temperature in 1965–2012 show the maxima during CRs [Cosmic Rays] and Dst index [of the solar wind] minima. It proves that CRs [Cosmic Rays] play essential role in climate change and main part of climate variations can be explained by Pudovkin and Raspopov’s (1992) mechanism of action CRs [Cosmic Rays] modulated by the solar activity on the state of lower atmosphere and meteorological parameters. Following this we have to seek for another ways of looking for global warming reason, first of all, as a man impact on climate.”

A group of scientists led by Nicolas Huneeus made waves in May 2014 when their study appeared in the Journal of Geophysical Research, which contained a veiled confirmation of the sun-cloud relation. Within the scope of modeling they found an important influence on clouds by solar activity fluctuations. You can read it in the abstract yourself:

Forcings and feedbacks in the GeoMIP ensemble for a reduction in solar irradiance and increase in CO2
The effective radiative forcings (including rapid adjustments) and feedbacks associated with an instantaneous quadrupling of the preindustrial CO2 concentration and a counterbalancing reduction of the solar constant are investigated in the context of the Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project (GeoMIP). The forcing and feedback parameters of the net energy flux, as well as its different components at the top-of-atmosphere (TOA) and surface, were examined in 10 Earth System Models to better understand the impact of solar radiation management on the energy budget. In spite of their very different nature, the feedback parameter and its components at the TOA and surface are almost identical for the two forcing mechanisms, not only in the global mean but also in their geographical distributions. This conclusion holds for each of the individual models despite intermodel differences in how feedbacks affect the energy budget. This indicates that the climate sensitivity parameter is independent of the forcing (when measured as an effective radiative forcing). We also show the existence of a large contribution of the cloudy-sky component to the shortwave effective radiative forcing at the TOA suggesting rapid cloud adjustments to a change in solar irradiance. In addition, the models present significant diversity in the spatial distribution of the shortwave feedback parameter in cloudy regions, indicating persistent uncertainties in cloud feedback mechanisms.”

Highly interesting is a study by a team of researchers led by Mai Mai Lam, who published their results in September 2014 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The scientists examined the atmosphere over Antarctica and found clear indications that the solar-modulated cosmic rays were able to influence the clouds of the lower troposphere via the atmospheric electric field. Lam et al see the cloud solar amplifier operating parallel with the UV solar amplifier in the stratosphere. The abstract:

Solar wind-driven geopotential height anomalies originate in the Antarctic lower troposphere
We use National Centers for Environmental Prediction/National Center for Atmospheric Research reanalysis data to estimate the altitude and time lag dependence of the correlation between the interplanetary magnetic field component, By, and the geopotential height anomaly above Antarctica. The correlation is most statistically significant within the troposphere. The peak in the correlation occurs at greater time lags at the tropopause (∼6–8 days) and in the midtroposphere (∼4 days) than in the lower troposphere (∼1 day). This supports a mechanism involving the action of the global atmospheric electric circuit, modified by variations in the solar wind, on lower tropospheric clouds. The increase in time lag with increasing altitude is consistent with the upward propagation by conventional atmospheric processes of the solar wind-induced variability in the lower troposphere. This is in contrast to the downward propagation of atmospheric effects to the lower troposphere from the stratosphere due to solar variability-driven mechanisms involving ultraviolet radiation or energetic particle precipitation.”

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) found the paper so remarkable that it introduced it in its membership magazine Eos:

How the Solar Wind May Affect Weather and Climate
The Sun’s influence on the Earth’s climate is complicated, but researchers are slowly figuring out how the solar wind can indirectly affect clouds over the poles.
The Sun plays a large role in providing the Earth with light and heat, but its more subtle effects on the Earth’s weather, climate and atmospheric processes are still a mystery. Scientists are especially puzzled by how the solar wind—streams of plasma ejected from the Sun—affects the Earth’s climate system.”

Read more in Eos.

There was a paper appearing in the PNAS in March 2015. Here a group led by Anastasios Tsonis published a study on the relationship between cosmic rays and global temperature. Although the scientists were not able to show a match between the 20th century warming with cosmic rays on a scale covering years, they were able to show an important relationship between cosmic rays and temperature. The abstract:

Dynamical evidence for causality between galactic cosmic rays and interannual variation in global temperature
As early as 1959, it was hypothesized that an indirect link between solar activity and climate could be mediated by mechanisms controlling the flux of galactic cosmic rays (CR) [Ney ER (1959) Nature 183:451–452]. Although the connection between CR and climate remains controversial, a significant body of laboratory evidence has emerged at the European Organization for Nuclear Research [Duplissy J, et al. (2010) Atmos Chem Phys 10:1635–1647; Kirkby J, et al. (2011) Nature 476(7361):429–433] and elsewhere [Svensmark H, Pedersen JOP, Marsh ND, Enghoff MB, Uggerhøj UI (2007) Proc R Soc A 463:385–396; Enghoff MB, Pedersen JOP, Uggerhoj UI, Paling SM, Svensmark H (2011) Geophys Res Lett 38:L09805], demonstrating the theoretical mechanism of this link. In this article, we present an analysis based on convergent cross mapping, which uses observational time series data to directly examine the causal link between CR and year-to-year changes in global temperature. Despite a gross correlation, we find no measurable evidence of a causal effect linking CR to the overall 20th-century warming trend. However, on short interannual timescales, we find a significant, although modest, causal effect between CR and short-term, year-to-year variability in global temperature that is consistent with the presence of nonlinearities internal to the system. Thus, although CR do not contribute measurably to the 20th-century global warming trend, they do appear as a nontraditional forcing in the climate system on short interannual timescales.

N.A. Kilifarska described a complete model on the climate effect of cosmic rays in August 2015 in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics. The process runs on a scale of two decades and covers the sun’s magnetic field, which modulates the cosmic rays, which in turn change the ozone and water vapor in the stratosphere. The abstract:

Bi-decadal solar influence on climate, mediated by near tropopause ozone
The Sun’s contribution to climate variations was highly questioned recently. In this paper we show that bi-decadal variability of solar magnetic field, modulating the intensity of galactic cosmic ray (GCR) at the outer boundary of heliosphere, could be easily tracked down to the Earth’s surface. The mediator of this influence is the lower stratospheric ozone, while the mechanism of signal translation consists of: (i) GCR impact on the lower stratospheric ozone balance; (ii) modulation of temperature and humidity near the tropopause by the ozone variations; (iii) increase or decrease of the greenhouse effect, depending on the sign of the humidity changes. The efficiency of such a mechanism depends critically on the level of maximum secondary ionisation created by GCR (i.e. the Pfotzer maximum) − determined in turn by heterogeneous Earth’s magnetic field. Thus, the positioning of the Pfotzer max in the driest lowermost stratosphere favours autocatalytic ozone production in the extra-tropical Northern Hemisphere (NH), while in the SH − no suitable conditions for activation of this mechanism exist. Consequently, the geomagnetic modulation of precipitating energetic particles – heterogeneously distributed over the globe – is imprinted on the relation between ozone and humidity in the lower stratosphere (LS). The applied test for causality reveals that during the examined period 1957–2012 there are two main centers of action in the winter NH, with tight and almost stationary ozone control on the near tropopause humidity. Being indirectly influenced by the solar protons, the variability of the SH lower stratospheric ozone, however, is much weaker. As a consequence, the causality test detects that the ozone dominates in the interplay with ULTS humidity only in the summer extra-tropics.”

A team led by Il-Hyun Cho made an exciting discovery, which they described in August 2012 in the Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences. They analyzed five solar cycles over 50 years and found that the global temperature when the northern hemisphere of the sun was more active than the sun’s southern hemisphere. The authors suggest a mechanism involving cosmic rays. The abstract:

The global temperature anomaly and solar North-South asymmetry
We investigate whether the global temperature anomaly is associated with the solar North-South asymmetry using data archived approximately for five solar cycles. We are motivated by both the accumulating evidence for the connection of Galactic cosmic-rays (GCRs) to the cloud coverage and recent finding of the association of GCR influx and the solar North-South asymmetry. We have analyzed the data of the observed sunspot, the GCR influx observed at the Moscow station, and the global temperature anomaly. We have found that the mean global temperature anomaly is systematically smaller (0.56 in the unit of its standard deviation) during the period when the solar northern hemisphere is more active than the solar southern hemisphere. The difference in the mean value of the global temperature anomaly for the two data sets sub-sampled according to the solar North-South asymmetry is large and statistically significant. We suggest the solar North-South asymmetry is related to the global temperature anomaly through modulating the amount of GCR influx. Finally, we conclude by discussing its implications on a climate model and a direction of future work.


Scientists Can’t Figure Out Why Leaf Unfolding In Europe Not Happening Earlier …(Pssst, It’s Not Getting Warmer)

In a recently published study on spring leaf unfolding appearing in Nature a team of scientists led by Fu et al found that spring leaves on trees in Europe are in fact not unfolding much earlier – as we should expect in these times of “global warming”.

Hat-tip: Der Standard

The abstract excerpt of the paper (emphasis added):

Using long-term in situ observations of leaf unfolding for seven dominant European tree species at 1,245 sites, here we show that the apparent response of leaf unfolding to climate warming (ST, expressed in days advance of leaf unfolding per °C warming) has significantly decreased from 1980 to 2013 in all monitored tree species. Averaged across all species and sites, ST decreased by 40% from 4.0 ± 1.8 days °C−1 during 1980–1994 to 2.3 ± 1.6 days °C−1 during 1999–2013. The declining ST was also simulated by chilling-based phenology models, albeit with a weaker decline (24–30%) than observed in situ. The reduction in ST is likely to be partly attributable to reduced chilling. Nonetheless, other mechanisms may also have a role, such as ‘photoperiod limitation’ mechanisms that may become ultimately limiting when leaf unfolding dates occur too early in the season. Our results provide empirical evidence for a declining ST, but also suggest that the predicted strong winter warming in the future may further reduce ST and therefore result in a slowdown in the advance of tree spring phenology.

Strong winter warming?

So why is leaf unfolding not happening as early as expected? The authors here appear to be baffled and thus are left speculating and offering adventurous explanations. Maybe they ought just take a look at the temperature trends for spring and winter in Europe. If they did so, they would find that winters and early springtime have gotten COLDER over the past couple of decades, and not warmer as the authors seem to believe.

Back in early April I posted on this here. Winters have not been warming and spring has been in fact delayed. Spring flowers have also been found to be blossoming later.

For example an analysis by Kowatsch and Kämpfe using data from Germany’s DWD national weather services for the month of March in Germany over the past 26 years shows a pronounced cooling trend:

 March mean temperature for Germany has fallen more than a degree Celsius over the last 27 years.

That would hardly promote earlier leaf unfolding. The same is true for the February trend over the past 22 years:

The 22-year February trend for Germany also shows a marked decline in temperature. Cold weather acts to delay the onset of spring.

Little wonder leaves aren’t unfolding earlier. The Kowatsch and Kämpfe summarize:

Winter and pre-spring have gotten somewhat cooler since the late 1980s, especially February. The temperature trend lines are negative. Therefore the start of spring is currently being delayed and is coming later than the relatively warm 1990s.”

Austrian and German winters have also gotten COLDER over the past 25 years, read here and here.

Moreover the European Alps have gotten “considerably colder” over the last 26 years. Also read here. It’s truly stunning that the authors seemingly never bothered to look at the temperature trends.


September 2015 In Austria Comes In Cooler Than Normal…”Snow In Many Valleys”

Yesterday we posted here how Germany’s DWD national weather service reported that September 2015 was cooler than normal. The United Kingdom saw one of its coolest Septembers in decades.

The Austrian ZAMG national meteorological services released the temperature results for September 2015 here. Looks like the country is getting an early start to the ski season. It writes:

The preliminary monthly result of the ZAMG: September 2015 pretty much hit the multi-year mean (0.1 °C below normal). Rain and snow were 20 percent above normal. The sun shone 15 percent less than it usually does over an average September.

A September with wide temperature fluctuations has come to an end. On September 1 the Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik (ZAMG) measured the hottest September day in the history of measurements: 36.0 °C in Pottschach. In the second half of September a cold mass of air brought snow down to many valleys. Early on 24 September in Bad Gastein (S, 1092 m), for example, there was 8 cm of snow. At the Rudolfshütte in the Hohen Tauern (S, 2317 m) there was 45 centimeters of snow. ‘On average, however, the extreme temperatures yielded a very average month,’ says ZAMG climatologist Alexander Orlik. “Looking at Austria as a whole September 2015 was 0.1°C below the multi-year normal.'”

Urban heat island effect in Vienna?

Interestingly the ZAMG data show that remote locations saw cool anomalies, for example with Achenkirch (T, 904 m) coming in at
0.8°C below normal. The warmest anomaly was recorded in the city center of Vienna (W, 177 m), coming in at 0.3°C above the long-term mean for September.

Central Europe Sees Cool September…Germany Mean Temperature 0.5°C Colder Than Normal

Snowfall …in September!

 WetterTicker - Wetter live verfolgen Senden Sie uns Ihre Bilder/Videos 15:49 Uhr 23. September Wetterbericht: Morgen wieder freundlicher Das Wetter hellt sich ab morgen wieder auf. Verbreitet bleibt es fast den ganzen Tag über trocken und die Temperaturen steigen etwas an. Und zwei Gebiete bekommen voraussichtlich den meisten Sonnenschein ab... Mehr Details im aktuellen Wetterbericht 14:51 Uhr 23. September Alpen: Auf 1000 Meter Höhe weiß! Überraschend tief hat es im österreichischen Bad Gastein herunter geschneit: In dem Wintersportort am Alpenhauptkamm ist es heute auf nur 1000 Meter Höhe weiß geworden. Quelle: wie vo

A webcam recorded this image on September 23 at 2:41 p.m. in Austria in Bad Gastein (1000 meter elevation). Source: here.

Listening to the media, I kept getting the impression that September 2015 in Germany had been a warm one (though my heating costs tell a different story). Yes, I kept hearing weathermen saying how mild it was, with summerlike temperatures. But now the reality comes out.

Germany’s national weather service Deutsche Wetterdienst (DWD) has just issued the preliminary results for September 2015. It turns out the month in Germany was cooler than normal. The results are tabulated from data collected by the country’s approximately 2000 weather stations scattered across the country.

The DWD writes how September was unusually uneventful and just plain normal, after an “extremely hot and dry summer“. It also announced that the drought period that gripped most of the country since since February has ended in the north and central parts of the country, yet lingers on over the east and the south (an area with a size of something like Maine).

The DWD sums up the temperature:

In total the temperature, precipitation and sunshine were below the long-term mean. […] September 2015 had a mean temperature of 13.0° Celsius, 0.3°C cooler than the mean of the 1961 – 1990 international reference period. Compared to the 1981 – 210 reference period the deviation was -0.5°C.”

Especially the northwest part of Germany was cool in September as the temperature failed to reach the 25°C mark during the entire month, with surface frost appearing in many regions late in the month and snow at higher elevations (see photo above). In general Northwest Europe and Scandinavia saw unusually cold conditions this summer, see here and here.

The average temperature for 2015 so far in Germany over the first 9 months of this year has been 10.77°C. By comparison last year (2014) the average temperature after the first 9 months was 11.42°C. 2014 in Germany was the hottest on record.

With October looking to be perhaps dominated by a high pressure over Scandinavia (GFS model), 2015 will fall well below last year’s wild anomaly.

The overall trend for Germany over the past 25 years remains slight cooling. There has not been any statistically meaningful warming since 1990.

UPDATE: And Great Britain has just had its 3rd coldest September in 42 years. See here.

This Morning’s Temperature Readings From Berlin’s 7 Stations Profoundly Illustrate Urban Heat Island Effect!

Berlin is Germany’s largest city, and in and around it there are 7 weather stations reporting to the Deutsche Wetterdienst (DWD), Germany’s national weather service.

Earlier today Germans and Berliners woke up to one of it’s coolest nights so far this fall with temperatures around the freezing point. If you asked people in Berlin what the temperature was this morning at 6 a.m., you’d get very different answers. Why? Obviously because of the siting of the thermometers.

Website Wetterkontor here showed the readings taken this morning at Berlin’s 7 official weather stations located about the city. Below is a cropped table of these 7 stations:

Berlin Oct 2

Source: Cropped from Wetterkontor.

As you can see, depending on where the temperature reading was taken, the temperature ranged from a low of -2.3°C to +3.2°C recorded at Kaniswall and Marzahn respectively. That’s a span of 5.3°C!

Clearly the urban heat island (UHI) effect is very real and thermometer readings taken in urban areas are significantly skewed upwards.

I decided to plot these results on a map depicting the greater Berlin area below. We plainly see that the stations located near the city center are warmer.

Berlin Oct 2015

In general, the further out you get from the city center, the lower the temperatures become. This gives real meaning to “cooler temperatures in outlying areas“, which we often hear from local weather reports.

What’s the take-home message? Clearly surface readings entail lots of uncertainty, and it’s probably a good idea to fall back on the satellite readings for accuracy. Little wonder that the 20th century showed a general global warming, especially when we consider that most of the stations have been moved next to large airports and big cities made of concrete, steel and asphalt.

Of course the above are readings taken for only one morning. It would be more interesting and telling to compare the overall long-term trend of each station. But I think it’s safe to say that most of us have a pretty good idea of what those results would be.


It’s the Sun, Stupid! Growing Number Of Studies Show Oceanic Cycles (Climate) Driven By Solar Activity

In our last post Fritz Vahrenholt and Frank Bosse looked at solar activity and the impacts on the North Atlantic Oscillation. Today they present a post here on more papers on the NAO.

North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) couple to solar activity: New studies find a time-lag of 3 years

By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt
(Translated/ edited by P Gosselin)

In our book “The Neglected Sun” we describe how climate is driven significantly by ocean and solar cycles. The climate science establishment prefers to ignore all of this. But lately things have turned around, as a number of scientists have been researching the subject and are publishing on this almost on a weekly basis. It is indeed becoming increasingly clear that ocean cycles are in fact coupled to a certain extent with solar activity. An important paper on this was published in the Environmental Research Letters in May, 2015. A team of scientists led by M. B. Andrews of the Hadley Centre of the British Met Office examined the relationship between the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and solar activity cycles. It has long been known that the NAO swings to the positive mode when solar activity is strong. Conversely negative NAO values often fall when solar activity is weak. For more information of the NAO see Wikipedia here.

The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is a climatic phenomenon in the North Atlantic Ocean of fluctuations in the difference of atmospheric pressure at sea level between the Icelandic low and the Azores high. Through fluctuations in the strength of the Icelandic low and the Azores high, it controls the strength and direction of westerly winds and storm tracks across the North Atlantic. It is part of the Arctic oscillation, and varies over time with no particular periodicity. Unlike the El Niño-Southern Oscillation phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean, the NAO is a largely atmospheric mode. It is one of the most important manifestations of climate fluctuations in the North Atlantic and surrounding humid climates.

The North Atlantic Oscillation is closely related to the Arctic oscillation (AO) or Northern Annular Mode (NAM), but should not be confused with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO).

Westerly winds blowing across the Atlantic bring moist air into Europe. In years when westerlies are strong, summers are cool, winters are mild and rain is frequent. If westerlies are suppressed, the temperature is more extreme in summer and winter leading to heat waves, deep freezes and reduced rainfall. A permanent low-pressure system over Iceland (the Icelandic Low) and a permanent high-pressure system over the Azores (the Azores High) control the direction and strength of westerly winds into Europe. The relative strengths and positions of these systems vary from year to year and this variation is known as the NAO. A large difference in the pressure at the two stations (a high index year, denoted NAO+) leads to increased westerlies and, consequently, cool summers and mild and wet winters in Central Europe and its Atlantic facade. In contrast, if the index is low (NAO-), westerlies are suppressed, northern European areas suffer cold dry winters and storms track southwards toward the Mediterranean Sea. This brings increased storm activity and rainfall to southern Europe and North Africa.”

Andrews and his colleagues tried to determine if there is an empirical NA/solar relation in a simulation model. In earlier attempts the models were unable to get a handle on magnitude of the effect. But this time around the scientists were more successful. They recognized that they had indeed overseen a 3-year time lag with which the NAO follows the sun. Andrews et al also see an indication that other processes play a role – other than the pure atmospheric warming, and the dynamic effects thereof, taken into account up to now. The paper’s abstract follows:

A simulated lagged response of the North Atlantic Oscillation to the solar cycle over the period 1960–2009
Numerous studies have suggested an impact of the 11 year solar cycle on the winter North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), with an increased tendency for positive (negative) NAO signals to occur at maxima (minima) of the solar cycle. Climate models have successfully reproduced this solar cycle modulation of the NAO, although the magnitude of the effect is often considerably weaker than implied by observations. A leading candidate for the mechanism of solar influence is via the impact of ultraviolet radiation variability on heating rates in the tropical upper stratosphere, and consequently on the meridional temperature gradient and zonal winds. Model simulations show a zonal mean wind anomaly that migrates polewards and downwards through wave–mean flow interaction. On reaching the troposphere this produces a response similar to the winter NAO. Recent analyses of observations have shown that solar cycle–NAO link becomes clearer approximately three years after solar maximum and minimum. Previous modelling studies have been unable to reproduce a lagged response of the observed magnitude. In this study, the impact of solar cycle on the NAO is investigated using an atmosphere–ocean coupled climate model. Simulations that include climate forcings are performed over the period 1960–2009 for two solar forcing scenarios: constant solar irradiance, and time-varying solar irradiance. We show that the model produces significant NAO responses peaking several years after extrema of the solar cycle, persisting even when the solar forcing becomes neutral. This confirms suggestions of a further component to the solar influence on the NAO beyond direct atmospheric heating and its dynamical response. Analysis of simulated upper ocean temperature anomalies confirms that the North Atlantic Ocean provides the memory of the solar forcing required to produce the lagged NAO response. These results have implications for improving skill in decadal predictions of the European and North American winter climate.”

Other modellers also took a closer look at the sun’s control over the North Atlantic Oscillation. In June, 2014, Lin et al. presented a situation of a Atlantic ocean cycle (AMOC) slowdown for the 1915-1935 period in the Climate of the Past Discussion. The authors saw the rise in solar activity after 1914 as a trigger and were able to show the effect in their simulation. The abstract:

An abrupt slowdown of Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation during 1915–1935 induced by solar forcing in a coupled GCM
In this study, we explore an abrupt change of Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) apparent in the historical run simulated by the second version of the Flexible Global Ocean–Atmosphere–Land System model – Spectral Version 2 (FGOALS-s2). The abrupt change is noted during the period from 1915 to 1935, in which the maximal AMOC value is weakened beyond 6 Sv (1 Sv = 106 m3 s−1). The abrupt signal first occurs at high latitudes (north of 46° N), then shifts gradually to middle latitudes (∼35° N) three to seven years later. The weakened AMOC can be explained in the following. The weak total solar irradiance (TIS) during early twentieth century decreases pole-to-equator temperature gradient in the upper stratosphere. The North polar vortex is weakened, which forces a negative North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) phase during 1905–1914. The negative phase of NAO induces anomalous easterly winds in 50–70° N belts, which decrease the release of heat fluxes from ocean to atmosphere and induce surface warming over these regions. Through the surface ice–albedo feedback, the warming may lead to continuously melting sea ice in Baffin Bay and Davis Strait, which results in freshwater accumulation. This can lead to salinity and density reductions and then an abrupt slowdown of AMOC. Moreover, due to increased TIS after 1914, the enhanced Atlantic northward ocean heat transport from low to high latitudes induces an abrupt warming of sea surface temperature or upper ocean temperature in mid–high latitudes, which can also weaken the AMOC. The abrupt change of AMOC also appears in the PiControl run, which is associated with the lasting negative NAO phases due to natural variability.

Another paper on the solar impact on North Atlantic cycles – especially the NAO – appeared in the journal Annales Geophysicae. Sfîcă and colleagues reported there in February 2015:

The influence of solar activity on action centres of atmospheric circulation in North Atlantic
We analyse the response of sea level pressure and mid-tropospheric (500 hPa) geopotential heights to variations in solar activity. We concentrate on the Northern Hemisphere and North Atlantic in the period 1948–2012. Composite and correlation analyses point to a strengthening of the North Atlantic Oscillation and weakening (i.e. becoming more zonal) of the Pacific/North American pattern. The locations of points with lowest and highest sea level pressure in the North Atlantic change their positions between low and high solar activity.

Let’s now move to the Pacific Ocean. Here find the “El Niño–Southern Oscillation” (ENSO) phenomenon. Daniel Howard, Nir Shaviv and Henrik Svensmark are now able to show that the global sea level fluctuations (excluding the long-term trend) is at least 70% controlled by the ENSO and solar activity fluctuations. This team of scientists published their results in May 2015 in the Journal of Geophysical Research:

The solar and Southern Oscillation components in the satellite altimetry data
With satellite altimetry data accumulating over the past two decades, the mean sea level (MSL) can now be measured to unprecedented accuracy. We search for physical processes which can explain the sea level variations and find that at least 70% of the variance in the annually smoothed detrended altimetry data can be explained as the combined effect of both the solar forcing and the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The phase of the solar component can be used to derive the different steric and eustatic contributions. We find that the peak to peak radiative forcing associated with the solar cycle is 1.33 ± 0.34 W/m2, contributing a 4.4 ± 0.8 mm variation. The slow eustatic component (describing, for example, the cryosphere and large bodies of surface water) has a somewhat smaller peak to peak amplitude of 2.4 ± 0.6 mm. Its phase implies that warming the oceans increases the ocean water loss rate. Additional much smaller terms include a steric feedback term and a fast eustatic term. The ENSO contributes a peak to peak variation of 5.5 ± 0.8 mm, predominantly through a direct effect on the MSL and significantly less so indirectly through variations in the radiative forcing.”

Also see the works by Joseph Fletcher on the subject of the sun/ENSO.

German Scientists: Models Showing Bitter Winters Are Ahead For Europe …Current Solar Cycle Weakest In 200 Years

The sun in August 2015 and the climatic UV amplifier in the stratosphere

By Frank Bosse and Fritz Vahrenholt
(Translated/edited by P Gosselin)

In August 2015 solar activity was also weak, only 71% of the mean activity that is usual for this month into the cycle. The solar sunspot number (SSN) was 64.6. The mean for the previous 23 cycles is 91. The course of the current cycle so far is depicted in Figure 1:

Figure 1: The solar sunspot number (SSN) for the current solar cycle number 24 is shown in red; the average of the previous 23 cycles is shown in blue; and the similar solar cycle number 5 is shown in black.

The current cycle increasingly resembles solar cycle no. 5, which took place from 1798 to 1810, i.e. in the middle of the Dalton Minimum. That cycle was very long at 12.6 years, which is what we are expecting for the current cycle. As a rule weak cycles are longer than the cycles that see strong solar activity. The summed up monthly anomalies, i.e. the accumulated monthly differences for the current cycle compared to that of the mean value shown by the blue curve in Figure 1, has been the most negative since the Dalton Minimum.

Figure 2: The accumulated SSN anomalies plotted for all cycles 1-24 compared to the mean. The decline in solar activity since cycle no. 22 (which persisted until 1996) is clear to see.

At this blog we reported on a number of occasions on the relationship between solar activity and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Already in our book “The Neglected Sun“ we quoted a paper by Lockwood who found a strong statistical correlation between solar activity, the NAO and cold British winters. Many other studies have since appeared and further confirm this correlation for Northern Europe. As a reminder: The NAO is calculated as the atmospheric air pressure difference between Reykjavik and the Azore.

In September 2015 another paper was published by scientists Katja Matthes and Remi Thieblemont of the Geomar Center for Ocean Research, appearing in Nature Communications. According to their findings the North Atlantic Oscillation lags solar activity by 1 to 2 years. The scientists used a climate model that simulated the atmosphere at an elevation of up to 14o km and thus were able to better account for the effect of UV radiation on the chemistry of the stratosphere, like ozone composition.

Naturally we know that we have to be careful with the results of models. We’ve documented to a great extent the failure of a huge number of numerical models. What is remarkable, however, is that conventional climate research has since found that the impact of the sun on our climate is relevant. Up to now much effort has been expended to talk down the sun’s impact, claiming that the sun’s total solar irradiance (TSI) varies only by about 0.1% during a cycle. But the UV part of the solar radiation spectrum in the stratosphere have huge radiation effects of up 70%! We discuss this in detail in our book The Neglected Sun. In the ozone layer and the ionosphere UV light is converted into warmth and this leads to correspondingly significant temperature changes in the range of several degrees. This warm-up and the increased formation of ozone leads to interrelated mechanisms and changes in circulation in the atmosphere.

Based on ice cores Matthes and Thieblemont could show evidence that years with harsh winters over the northern hemisphere were related to low solar activity (Adolphi et al. 2014). One example are the strong winters that gripped Northern Europe and North America from 2008 to 2010. During those years we found ourselves in a solar minimum.

And when one looks at the development of cosmic radiation since 1984, an increasingly strengthening magnetic field from solar cycle no. 20 (1964-1976) to cycle no. 22  can be seen along with a weakening of cosmic radiation. A reversal of the effect can be seen since solar cycle number 23. Just how large the UV effect or the fluctuating solar magnetic field are on climate is not possible to say at this time. However in the past there is good agreement between the warming phases and high levels of solar activity. The assumption that only CO2 by itself determines the temperature development in this century is in any case very shaky.

Figure 3: Neutron monitor Oulu (Finland) as a measure for cosmic radiation

Political Fraud – Van Ypersele Tries Using “Climate Change” As Excuse For Massive Middle East Policy Incompetence!

Nothing puts the spotlight on Europe’s and USA’s foreign policy debacle better than the Syria crisis and the waves of “refugees” pouring into Europe.

It is a policy catastrophe that will surely multiply in size over the coming months and years ahead, and especially puts European security a risk. Naturally Europe’s leading politicians are desperate to find an excuse. They’ve found one, it appears – so at least has Jean Pascal Van Ypersele, Vice-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): climate change.

Belgian television here presents a clip of Van Ypersele’s view on what is behind the Syrian civil war and refugee crisis. I’ve translated his words from the French to English:

Exactly now is the time to ask questions. You know that there have been a number of studies published over the last months that show the drought in the Middle East and in the region of Syria over many years is probably a factor that amplified in any case the difficulties of the region. It shows very well, this example of Syrian migrants, these Syrian refugees, that the problems are linked to the question of climatic change, that climate change is linked to an entire series of other questions.”

This is one of the most dishonest claims coming from a person who was educated at a Catholic institution. Such people, and our current Pope, really have succeeded in destroying whatever remaining faith I previously had in the Church in the wake of the child molestation affairs.

Such dishonesty and deception just cannot be followed. These totally incompetent leaders flat out refuse to take any responsibility whatsoever – for anything. For them it’s a game of shirk and blame, and it’s just mind-blowingly awful and morally disgusting.


Latest Study Indicates Solar Variability “Dominant Influence On Temperature” …CMIP5 Models Fail

Soon paperRecently a blogger spouted off about the science of the sun’s role on climate, and so the latest paper on the topic published in Earth-Science Reviews last month is timely.

Once again we have a paper, authored by Soon et al, that indicates the sun’s powerful impact on our climate and that CO2 is a minor player. Moreover the paper reaffirms that the 1950s – 1970s cooling was indeed real  and pronounced.

Here’s the abstract with my emphasis added:

Debate over what influence (if any) solar variability has had on surface air temperature trends since the 19th century has been controversial. In this paper, we consider two factors which may have contributed to this controversy:
Several different solar variability datasets exist. While each of these datasets is constructed on plausible grounds, they often imply contradictory estimates for the trends in solar activity since the 19th century.
Although attempts have been made to account for non-climatic biases in previous estimates of surface air temperature trends, recent research by two of the authors has shown that current estimates are likely still affected by non-climatic biases, particularly urbanization bias.

With these points in mind, we first review the debate over solar variability. We summarise the points of general agreement between most groups and the aspects which still remain controversial. We discuss possible future research which may help resolve the controversy of these aspects. Then, in order to account for the problem of urbanization bias, we compile a new estimate of Northern Hemisphere surface air temperature trends since 1881, using records from predominantly rural stations in the monthly Global Historical Climatology Network dataset. Like previous weather station-based estimates, our new estimate suggests that surface air temperatures warmed during the 1880s–1940s and 1980s–2000s. However, this new estimate suggests these two warming periods were separated by a pronounced cooling period during the 1950s–1970s and that the relative warmth of the mid-20th century warm period was comparable to the recent warm period.

We then compare our weather station-based temperature trend estimate to several other independent estimates. This new record is found to be consistent with estimates of Northern Hemisphere Sea Surface Temperature (SST) trends, as well as temperature proxy-based estimates derived from glacier length records and from tree ring widths. However, the multi-model means of the recent Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) climate model hindcasts were unable to adequately reproduce the new estimate — although the modelling of certain volcanic eruptions did seem to be reasonably well reproduced.

Finally, we compare our new composite to one of the solar variability datasets not considered by the CMIP5 climate models, i.e., Scafetta and Willson, 2014’s update to the Hoyt and Schatten, 1993 dataset. A strong correlation is found between these two datasets, implying that solar variability has been the dominant influence on Northern Hemisphere temperature trends since at least 1881. We discuss the significance of this apparent correlation, and its implications for previous studies which have instead suggested that increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide has been the dominant influence.”

In the conclusion the authors write (my emphasis):

If the Hoyt & Schatten reconstruction and our new Northern Hemisphere temperature trend estimates are accurate, then it seems that most of the temperature trends since at least 1881 can be explained in terms of solar variability, with atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations providing at most a minor contribution. This contradicts the claim by the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that most of the temperature trends since the 1950s are due to changes in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations (Bindoff et al., 2013).”

So add another paper to the growing mountain that indicates the sun is the real driver. The ongoing denial of this is getting ridiculous.

Solar Technology’s Glaring Inferiority …Phileas Fogg’s 19th Century Balloon Beats 21st Century Solar Impulse 2 By Over 300 Days!

A couple of readers have brought up the latest on the Solar Impulse 2 project, the solar-powered plane designed by a couple of Europeans to showcase the “unlimited” potential of solar energy in a “solo flight” around the world. Here’s the latest news.


The Solar Impulse 2 plane was launched from Abu Dhabi, amid much media fanfare, on March 9 this year. Today, almost 200 days later involving 8 legs, it is now stuck in Hawaii and it is not going anywhere. So much for the dream.

It turns out that instead of bringing attention to the technology’s potential, the project has only brightly highlighted solar energy’s shortcomings and the technology’s glaring inferiority. Indeed the plane needs the dimensions of a jumbo jet – just to carry the payload of a car.

Today, some six months later (almost 200 days), we see the solar contraption has yet to even reach the halfway point of it’s planned around the world journey. The plane and its pilots are firmly grounded in Hawaii due to an array of technical problems. In comparison a fossil-fueled jetliner would have completed the trip hundreds of times by now, and that while carrying a payload hundreds of times greater.

Greenhouse gas nightmare

I blogged on Solar Impulse 2 earlier here. We saw that the endeavor had been everything but successful – even at that point – and that it was in fact a greenhouse gas nightmare.

To put the project’s performance in some perspective, let us recall how Jules Verne’s fictional characters Phileas Fogg and his valet Passepartout were able to complete their trip around the world in just 80 days – and that in a balloon back in the 19th century! Today we find ourselves in the 21st century and now around-the-world trips with the “latest pioneering technology” are taking some 500 days. Don’t you just love progress? Passepartout’s and Fogg’s balloon would have long since arrived by now.

Conceivably one almost could make the trip more quickly by foot, over land, and sailboat over sea.

This so-called “pioneering solo flight” in reality involved the burning of tens of thousands of liters of fossil fuels because an entire support crew had to be flown along in a fossil fuel powered jet. The fixed-wing Solar Impulse 2 departed Abu Dhabi on March 9 and was planned to continue to India, China, Hawaii, Phoenix, New York, Morocco before finally coming full circle back to Abu Dhabi – sometime in August, 2015 – and “without emitting any climate gases”.

Wikipedia has since revised the clean plane’s timetable. Now the trip should be completed next year.

During the summer it was reported by a handful of media outlets that the plane had been forced to land in Hawaii because of “irreversible damage” to its lithium ion battery system. Getting the replacements parts for the plane would take months and so the plane would be grounded for 9 months, according to reports.

Not enough sun to power the aircraft

This is not the first setback for the Impulse 2. It has since become obvious that the technology is woefully unfit to handle poor weather conditions. Back in May the pilots had to detour to Japan due to bad weather conditions from a cold front. And now that summer is over, there is not going to be enough sunshine in the northern hemisphere to keep the solar-powered plane flying. The result: an extended months-long stay in Hawaii. So tough can failure be.

The pilots now say they will try to complete the remainder of the trip – sometime later in 2016…very likely well over 500 days after their departure. The latest target. we suppose, is to arrive less than one year late.

How will the team look back and rate the project once it ends? They could take the approach once proposed by one US senator on the Vietnam War debacle: “We should declare victory and get the hell out.” Expect nothing less.


2 More Papers! RUSSIAN ICE CORES Show Powerful Relationship Between Solar Activity And Antarctic Climate!

German scientists Lüning and Vahrenholt bring up two recent papers on what by now is obvious to almost everyone.

The sun drives the climate

By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt
(German text translated/edited by P Gosselin)

Antarctica is a fantastic place for a research laboratory. A number of research stations are scattered on the continent, including the Russian Vostok station.

Using ice cores, the climate history of the past 11,000 years has been reconstructed in detail. In January 2015 Zhao and Feng published a paper in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics. In this paper they compared the temperature development to solar activity. In the temperature curve the scientists found the characteristic cycles that correspond to the solar Suess-de Vries cycle (208 years) and the Eddy cycle (1000 years). What stood out was the slight time delay of 30 to 40 years between the solar trigger and the temperature reaction. The scientists concluded that solar activity fluctuations played a large role in the development of the Antarctic climate.

Here’s the abstract:

Correlation between solar activity and the local temperature of Antarctica during the past 11,000 years
The solar impact on the Earth’s climate change is a long topic with intense debates. Based on the reconstructed data of solar sunspot number (SSN), the local temperature in Vostok (T), and the atmospheric CO2 concentration data of Dome Concordia, we investigate the periodicities of solar activity, the atmospheric CO2 and local temperature in the inland Antarctica as well as their correlations during the past 11,000 years before AD 1895. We find that the variations of SSN and T have some common periodicities, such as the 208 year (yr), 521 yr, and ~1000 yr cycles. The correlations between SSN and T are strong for some intermittent periodicities. However, the wavelet analysis demonstrates that the relative phase relations between them usually do not hold stable except for the millennium-cycle component. The millennial variation of SSN leads that of T by 30–40 years, and the anti-phase relation between them keeps stable nearly over the whole 11,000 years of the past. As a contrast, the correlations between CO2 and T are neither strong nor stable. These results indicate that solar activity might have potential influences on the long-term change of Vostok’s local climate during the past 11,000 years before modern industry.

Related to this is also a paper by Volobuev, which was published in the May 2014 journal of Climate Dynamics. For the region around the Vostok station the author described a “relatively high climate sensitivity” for the solar temperature drive. Here’s the abstract:

Central antarctic climate response to the solar cycle
Antarctic “Vostok” station works most closely to the center of the ice cap among permanent year-around stations. Climate conditions are exclusively stable: low precipitation level, cloudiness and wind velocity. These conditions can be considered as an ideal model laboratory to study the surface temperature response on solar irradiance variability during 11-year cycle of solar activity. Here we solve an inverse heat conductivity problem: calculate the boundary heat flux density (HFD) from known evolution of temperature. Using meteorological temperature record during (1958–2011) we calculated the HFD variation about 0.2–0.3 W/m2 in phase with solar activity cycle. This HFD variation is derived from 0.5 to 1 °C temperature variation and shows relatively high climate sensitivity per 0.1 % of solar radiation change. This effect can be due to the polar amplification phenomenon, which predicts a similar response 0.3–0.8 °C/0.1 % (Gal-Chen and Schneider in Tellus 28:108–121, 1975). The solar forcing (TSI) is disturbed by volcanic forcing (VF), so that their linear combination TSI + 0.5VF empirically provides higher correlation with HFD (r = 0.63 ± 0.22) than TSI (r = 0.50 ± 0.24) and VF (r = 0.41 ± 0.25) separately. TSI shows higher wavelet coherence and phase agreement with HFD than VF.”

4! New! Papers! Show Sun’s Impact On Global Climate. German Scientists: Sun Is “A Major Climate Factor”

Personally I find it difficult to believe some people are unable to comprehend the sun’s impact on our climate, especially when something like 99 point-something-percent of the earth’s energy comes from the sun. Even a vegetable notices when a cloud blocks out the sun, when the sun sets, or when it doesn’t get very high above the horizon. So I guess when it comes to solar sciences it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to argue that solar deniers are probably even dumber than a plant.

At any rate, geologist Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Professor Fritz Vahrenholt bring us the latest literature on the sun’s clear impact on the earth’s climate at their Die kalte Sonne site.

The Sun Drives Climate: The Latest from America

By Sebastian Lüning and Fritz Vahrenholt
(German text translated/edited by P Gosselin)

The sun is a major climate factor – also in America. In May 2014 Gorji Sefidmazgi and colleagues underscored this in a study appearing in the journal Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics. The scientists investigated the temperature development of North Carolina over the past 60 years. Here they found that the fluctuations are almost totally explainable by solar and oceanic cycles. Here’s the abstract:

Trend analysis using non-stationary time series clustering based on the finite element method
In order to analyze low-frequency variability of climate, it is useful to model the climatic time series with multiple linear trends and locate the times of significant changes. In this paper, we have used non-stationary time series clustering to find change points in the trends. Clustering in a multi-dimensional non-stationary time series is challenging, since the problem is mathematically ill-posed. Clustering based on the finite element method (FEM) is one of the methods that can analyze multidimensional time series. One important attribute of this method is that it is not dependent on any statistical assumption and does not need local stationarity in the time series. In this paper, it is shown how the FEM-clustering method can be used to locate change points in the trend of temperature time series from in situ observations. This method is applied to the temperature time series of North Carolina (NC) and the results represent region-specific climate variability despite higher frequency harmonics in climatic time series. Next, we investigated the relationship between the climatic indices with the clusters/trends detected based on this clustering method. It appears that the natural variability of climate change in NC during 1950–2009 can be explained mostly by AMO and solar activity.”

Some months later, in October 2014, a team of scientists led by Erich Osterberg published a study in the Journal of Geophysical Research that examined the influence of solar activity fluctuations on the Aleutian Low in the Gulf of Alaska. The results show: The changes in the Aleutian Low over the past 1500 years correlate strongly with solar activity. Strong solar activity is typically related with a weak Aleutian Low and Tropical La Nina conditions. The abstract:

Mount Logan ice core record of tropical and solar influences on Aleutian Low variability: 500–1998 A.D.
Continuous, high-resolution paleoclimate records from the North Pacific region spanning the past 1500 years are rare; and the behavior of the Aleutian Low (ALow) pressure center, the dominant climatological feature in the Gulf of Alaska, remains poorly constrained. Here we present a continuous, 1500 year long, calibrated proxy record for the strength of the wintertime (December–March) ALow from the Mount Logan summit (PR Col; 5200 m asl) ice core soluble sodium time series. We show that ice core sodium concentrations are statistically correlated with North Pacific sea level pressure and zonal wind speed. Our ALow proxy record reveals a weak ALow from circa 900–1300 A.D. and 1575–1675 A.D., and a comparatively stronger ALow from circa 500–900 A.D., 1300–1575 A.D., and 1675 A.D. to present. The Mount Logan ALow proxy record shows strong similarities with tropical paleoclimate proxy records sensitive to the El Niño–Southern Oscillation and is consistent with the hypothesis that the Medieval Climate Anomaly was characterized by more persistent La Niña-like conditions while the Little Ice Age was characterized by at least two intervals of more persistent El Niño-like conditions. The Mount Logan ALow proxy record is significantly (p < 0.05) correlated and coherent with solar irradiance proxy records over various time scales, with stronger solar irradiance generally associated with a weaker ALow and La Niña-like tropical conditions. However, a step-like increase in ALow strength during the Dalton solar minimum circa 1820 is associated with enhanced Walker circulation. Furthermore, rising CO2 forcing or internal variability may be masking the twentieth century rise in solar irradiance.”

Then a month later, in November 2014, a group of scientists lead by Keyan Fang published a paper appearing in the Journal of Climate, on the relationship between solar activity with the climate development in North America and North America. Using a dataset spanning 600 years the authors show that there is a close coupling between the continents. The abstract:

Covarying Hydroclimate Patterns between Monsoonal Asia and North America over the Past 600 Years
Proxy data with large spatial coverage spanning to the preindustrial era not only provide invaluable material to investigate hydroclimate changes in different regions but also enable studies on temporal changes in the teleconnections between these regions. Applying the singular value decomposition (SVD) method to tree-ring-based field reconstructions of the Palmer drought severity index (PDSI) over monsoonal Asia (MA) and North America (NA) from 1404 to 2005, the dominant covarying pattern between the two regions is identified. This pattern is represented by the teleconnection between the dipole pattern of southern–northern latitudinal MA and the dipole of southwest NA (SWNA)–northwest NA (NWNA), which accounts for 59.6% of the total covariance. It is dominated by an antiphase low MA and SWNA teleconnection, driven by the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and is most significant at an interannual time scale. This teleconnection is strengthened (weakened) in periods of increased (decreased) solar forcing and high (low) temperature, which is associated with intensified (weakened) ENSO variability. Additional forcing by SST anomalies in the Indian and western Pacific Oceans appears to be important too.”

Now let’s jump to the southern hemisphere to South America. In June 2015 a group of scientists led by C. Turney of the University of New South Wales in Sydney published a study in the journal Climate of the Past Discussions on the climate history of the Falkland Islands. Using a charcoal record the scientists reconstructed the strength of the westerly airflow over the past 2600 years. Using spectral analysis Turney and his team found the 250-year characteristic cycle, which is in the range of the Suess-de Vries cycle. One fascinating result: The westerly airflow of the Southern Hemisphere blew in sync with the cycles of the sun. Here’s the abstract:

A 250 year periodicity in Southern Hemisphere westerly winds over the last 2600 years
Southern Hemisphere westerly airflow has a significant influence on the ocean–atmosphere system of the mid- to high-latitudes with potentially global climate implications. Unfortunately historic observations only extend back to the late nineteenth century, limiting our understanding of multi-decadal to centennial change. Here we present a highly resolved (30 yr) record of past westerly air strength from a Falkland Islands peat sequence spanning the last 2600 years. Situated under the core latitude of Southern Hemisphere westerly airflow, we identify highly variable changes in exotic pollen derived from South America which can be used to inform on past westerly air strength and location. The results indicate enhanced airflow over the Falklands between 2000 and 1000 cal. yr BP, and associated with increased burning, most probably as a result of higher temperatures and/or reduced precipitation, comparable to records in South America. Spectral analysis of the charcoal record identifies a 250 year periodicity within the data, suggesting solar variability has a modulating influence on Southern Hemisphere westerly airflow with potentially important implications for understanding global climate change through the late Holocene.”

Just like we reported some time ago: Solar activity also in South American monsoons over the last 1500 years.

Of course readers have the choice of believing a growing mountain of solar-climate papers authored by dozens of distinguished scientists, or an amateur who doesn’t even read the papers.

Leading Climate Scientists Blast Letter By 20 Academics As “Naïve” …”Implied Coercion” Damages Field Of Science.

A couple of days ago I posted a comment given by Joe Bastardi on the 20 academics who penned a latter to the Department of Justice calling for an investigation of dissident views on climate science and their supporters.

It has since turned out that at least one of these academics is really in the green, which raises eyebrows on issues like objectivity and ethical conduct.

I also have gotten comments from Georgia Tech professor Judith Curry and geologist Dr. Sebastian Lüning.

First Prof. Curry’s comment:

I am astonished by the naiveté of these scientists, who are damaging their reputation by their naive meddling in a complex policy debate. They seem not to realize that the tables could easily be turned on them if the political winds change (say with the election of a Republican U.S. President), and the heat would then be turned on green advocacy groups and the scientists that engage with them. The science is sufficiently uncertain to allow several rational narratives for what has caused 20th century warming and how the 21st century climate will evolve. These 20 scientists damage not only their own reputations, but they also damage the public perception of scientists as trustworthy sources of information. Most seriously, the coercion of scientists implied by this letter will discourage objectivity in scientific research and will discourage scientists from entering/staying in the field of climate research.”

“Undemocratic and unprofessional”

Sebastian Lüning also finds the whole affair a bit odd and “unprofessional”. He wrote:

Rather than criminal lawsuits, we urgently need an objective “scientific court” where arguments of both IPCC and skeptic sides are technically and open-mindedly discussed. It is undemocratic and unprofessional to silence scientists by legally threatening them if they do not subscribe to the official interpretation / party line. There are many historic examples where science pioneers such as Galileo Galilee or Alfred Wegener would have ended up in prison.”

Finally Prof. Nicola Scafetta of Duke University also provided a short comment:

Let us hope that this evident politicization of science ends soon.”


VW Needs The Mann, Jones & Muller Scandal Action Team To Implement The “Mike’s Nature Trick” Defense Strategy

The news of VW seemingly being caught red-handed rigging emissions tests of its diesel-powered vehicles has hit like a bombshell. The Wolfsburg, Germany based automaker is reeling like never before.

The U.S. Department of Justice is launching a criminal probe, and potential penalties of up to $18 billion may be imposed. The criminal prosecution of VW top managers and engineers for fraud are likely looming.

According to reports, VW engineers tricked the emissions testing software so that it would hide the incline, and thus delivered the results that the company and regulators wanted to see.

Already many are accusing the company of defrauding the public and its customers, engaging in criminal activity, and even committing green high crimes. This is really serious trouble for VW. So what strategy should VW use to defend itself?

Perhaps they ought to take a page or two out of the Climategate Playbook, where thousands of leaked e-mails indicated climate scientists were manipulating data, dubiously splicing datasets, hiding code and even corrupting the peer review process. Following the strategy used in the wake of Climategate, VW should:

1. Claim that the accusers aren’t real automotive experts, and so they shouldn’t be taken seriously.

2. Claim it’s a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

3. Point out that the “emissions trick” is “just a clever mathematical trick to hide” the emissions incline.

4. Set up three “independent” high-ranking commissions – all made up of close VW partners, suppliers and “real experts”, with the task of investigating the allegations.

5. Put out a statement saying that the company is so depressed that it is even having thoughts of committing suicide.

6. Issue an official report from all three commissions exonerating VW, claiming that though the company’s methods were controversial, the vehicles are still all within the spirit of industry standards.

7. Insist that the engineering behind VW diesel engines “is robust” and that their vehicles are among the cleanest cars in the world.

8. Insist that they are the target of a vast conspiracy, all led by Ford, GM and the fossil fuels industry –  and that they are the ones who really need to be investigated.

9. Get 20 leading academics to write a letter demanding the Department of Justice investigate Ford, GM and the fossil fuels industry for obstructing the production of fuel-efficient cars.

10. File defamation lawsuits against any journalists or experts who point out your alleged misconduct, or evidence thereof.

Indeed there are many other strategies that can be borrowed from the Climategate playbook.

Unfortunately the company’s top executives already publicly opened their mouths and appeared to admit guilt, and so they may have unnecessarily complicated or even damaged their case. VW chief Winterkorn said he was “deeply sorry” and ordered an investigation.

Moreover Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, head of VW’s Center of Automotive Research in Germany, said: “This disaster is beyond all expectations.” Disaster? Why? Everyone knows VW makes some of the best and cleanest cars in the world. Why should that be a “disaster”?

Before making such comments VW’s top brass should have first consulted with their technical experts on the matter – and acquired the damage control services of Mann, Jones & Muller.

The strategy was effective for the Climategate scientists, and so it should do the trick for VW.

PS: Personally I think this is mostly political and it is a first shot in a coming war against the automotive industry and our private mobility. Overall VW cars are clean, well-built, safe, fuel-efficient and reliable cars. I’ve owned 3 in my life and was completely satisfied. The whole affair to me stinks of government attacking one company on behalf of another (or others).


Joe Bastardi Sees Possible “Nasty Winter Shaping Up” In Europe As North Atlantic Cold Expands!

Veteran meteorologist Joe Bastardi has another excellent Saturday Summary up at his Weatherbell Analytics site.

At first he makes some philosophical points on why free markets are so crucial and why so many Catholics disagree with the latest Pope on climate change policy.

That aside, Joe takes a peek at the upcoming European winter.

The current conditions are starting to favor a colder-than-normal winter and so you might want to keep the long johns well within reach. At the 15:45 mark he shows a chart of the new Jamstec (sp?) model for the coming winter.

2015 Europe winter forecast JamTech

The model shows a cold winter in store for Northern Europe, especially Great Britain and a large part of Scandinavia. It’s still early and these seasonal forecasts are fraught with uncertainty. But Joe seems to be leaning toward a cool winter, and so already that is not a good sign.

The reason for the potential cold UK winter is the growing pool of icy sea surface temperatures over the North Atlantic, which played a role in the cold and wet summer Northeast Europe had to endure this year. Here’s the snipped portion of the chart appearing at the 13:45 mark (sorry for the blurry quality):

2015 Atlantic

Joe tells his viewers:

You folks in Europe you watch that cold pool. The fact that it’s getting this far south like this, starting to cool the water near Spain. That’s – the water is warming up here near Iceland – this is gonna promote more ridging in this area of the world. And when there’s ridging in Iceland and Greenland, look out! If that mean trough sinks further south in the North Atlantic, it looks like a nasty winter shaping up, especially for the UK. And we’re telling people that.”

Snow being a thing of the past? Maybe next winter. With a little luck we’ll get a good taste of it in Paris in December. It would be fun watching politicians warn of warming while a blizzard rages on outside. Such an embarrassment of course wouldn’t be the first time.

In the US, charts show a mild start of the winter, but becoming cold beginning in January – especially across the east and south, across Texas.


Veteran Meteorologist Joe Bastardi On Scandalous Letter By 20 Academics: “Reeks of Paranoia”…”Attempt To Silence Dissent”

With 20 academics sending a letter to the US Department of Justice, it’s highly ironic how those who are totally wrong (see chart) are demanding a criminal investigation of those who are correct!

20 academics

Original chart: John Christy, U of Alabama.

I asked veteran meteorologist Joe Bastardi of Weatherbell Analytics to comment on the news of these seemingly fanatic academics demanding the US federal government step in and suppress scientific dissent. Here’s what he sent.

Joe Bastardi’s commentary:

The people that have penned this despotic missive, which sad to say, has a chance to carry weight, should identify directly who this is targeted at. Who are the people taking all this money, for I know of no one this applies too?

It reeks of paranoia, creating a shadowy strawman argument, in an attempt to silence dissent. This is siimilar to lawsuits that have tied people up in courts for years, an attempt to intimidate into silence anyone that dares speak up against their position. I noted with great interest that I could find no signee who has to make global forecasts on a daily basis where their livelihood depended on actually BEING RIGHT, where if they are not right they get fired. Not one.

In addition, given the amount of money that has been allocated to the promotion of AGW, it can be easily argued that some of the people pushing that issue would not have a job if it wasn’t for their position. My job actually depends on the accuracy of my forecasts. Climate is a major tool for getting that forecast right, and so my knowledge of past weather events is needed for my success. If I see something I disagree on, given what I know, I speak up. Nothing more, nothing less.

I fail to see how any of these signees can be objective, given all they have to lose if they are indeed proven wrong by nature itself. That they actually would do such a thing speaks volumes as to their character, which is no different than a bully on the playground, except their playground is other peoples lives and their protected towers from which they seek to dictate their agenda.

I find it rich in that one of the signees, Alan Robock, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, appears to have been to Cuba twice to yuck it up with Fidel Castro, a master at silencing those who dare dissent to his ideas. Maybe that is where he is getting his ideas, from the man who claimed in 1963 the US forced hurricane Flora to stall over his island in an attempt to wipe him out.”


Fed Up! Duke University Researcher Resigns: “High Number” Of Scientific Articles “Published With Fraudulent Data”!

At Facebook Jean-Francois Garlépy, a Duke University researcher, expresses how he has become fed up with the inner workings of western academia and is resigning. Hat-tip: reader Magnum.

He writes:

This week, I resigned from my position at Duke University with no intent to solicit employment in state-funded academic research positions in any foreseeable future. Many reasons have motivated this choice, starting with personal ones: I will soon be a father and want to be spending time with my son at home.

Other reasons have to do with research academia itself. Throughout the years, I have been discovering more and more of the inner workings of academia and how modern scientific research is done and I have acquired a certain degree of discouragement in face of what appears to be an abandonment by my research community of the search for knowledge. I found scientists to be more preoccupied by their own survival in a very competitive research environment than by the development of a true understanding of the world.

By creating a highly-competitive environment that relies on the selection of researchers based on their “scientific productivity,” as it is referred to, we have populated the scientific community with what I like to call “chickens with no head,” that is, researchers who can produce multiple scientific articles per year, none of which with any particularly important impact on our understanding of the world. Because of this…”

(Continue reading here).

He adds:

The fact that the peer-review system does not care about looking at the data is not in any way reassuring about this concern. Furthermore, a large portion of the time of a scientist is spent on frivolous endeavors such as submitting a grant request to 5-10 agencies in the hope that one of them will accept. Finally, our scientific publication system has become so corrupted that it is almost impossible to get a scientific article published in an important journal without talking one-on-one with the editor before submitting the article.”

Later on he writes:

My most important scientific articles were accepted in major journals because the editors had a favorable prejudice toward me or my co-authors, …”


The scientific publication system portrays itself as a strict system for the evaluation of the importance of individual scientific contributions to knowledge, but anyone who has participated to this system and became good at it knows that the true factors that influence the publication of a scientific work have to do with social networking and, in many cases, straight-out corruption.”

Read entire comment here.

Former NOAA Meteorologist David Dilley Suspects Suppression Of Science At The AMS!

Two days ago David Dilley wrote about the widespread suppression of alternative scientific views on climate change at the academic level, even though these skeptical views are far more in line with observations than the climate model projections.

Today he comments on the apparent suppression of science at the American Meteorological Association (AMS).

The American Meteorological Society (AMS) – Living Up to Their Mission – or Suppressing Vital Climate Information?

By David Dilley (former NOAA meteorologist)

Suppression of science is not only going on at universities and academic institutions, but also at societies and government operated agencies.

The American Meteorological Society (AMS) mission statement claims they are “a prestigious membership scientific society that promotes the development, dissemination and education on the atmospheric, oceanic and hydrologic sciences – and the advancement of their professional applications”. Is there a play on words here – maybe advancement of “their” professional applications? Does this mean they promote only “their” views and not others? Could this mean they are obstructing some advances in science by refusing to consider certain aspects of climate change research, such as natural cycles?

This very well may be the case, especially their statement gives the appearance of a final conclusion: “Warming of the climate system now is unequivocal” and “is beyond what can be explained by the natural variability of the climate”. Further into their mission statement they talk only about warming during the past century, and absolutely nothing about prior climate cycles. Have they taken sides with the aim of promoting only anthropogenic grants and dismiss natural cycle research entirely? Indications that this is so are hard not to notice. How will history judge an institution that excludes the huge factor of solar activity from the climate equation?

AMS Suppression of Science Concerning Natural Climate Change – and Other Views

In my last post we saw that according to Dr. William Gray of the University of Colorado, and other researchers, if you are associated with a university and believe in cyclical climate change rather than anthropogenic induced change, you’ll have to wait until after retirement to publish science that supports alternative views. And then you will still hit major snags, among them cut-off grant money, journals that will you jump through hoops, unreasonably nitpicky editors and reviewers,who often refuse papers simply because they do not like your view.

And the same holds true for private researchers. I submitted a proposed natural cycle paper to the AMS Journal of Climate back in 2007 and promptly received a curt reply by the editor: “not in this journal”. As a result of the obstacles encountered in publishing natural cycle research, I took an alternative route and proceeded online by publishing the EBook “Global Warming-Global Cooling, Natural Cause Found”, which was peer-reviewed by three meteorologists and published online in 2009. It was later updated online in 2012. A video update was published on the NoTricksZone on 12 August 2015: “We Are Now Starting To See A Dramatic Cooling In The Arctic”, Says Former NOAA Meteorologist … “Extremely Cold From 2025 To 2050!

And finally, a few years after my manuscript was rejected by the AMS in a very curt manner, I submitted a membership request in 2010 for my Global Weather Oscillations Incorporated (GWO) to become a corporate member. GWO fulfilled all of the AMS guidelines for membership, yet the board voted membership down 5-0. Prior to the vote the AMS office looked through the GWO web site, and especially our views on climate change. This heightened my curiosity concerning membership denial, so I wrote to the AMS asking why the corporate membership was denied. Their response came about 3 months later: “do not know why“.  I then found out through an AMS employee that during the past 30 years – only 3 corporations had ever been denied membership. So again I tried to find out why by calling the Executive Director of the AMS. His reply: all 5 board members voted not to grant membership and that there were “no records regarding the decision“.   Really? No records or recollection? Does this seem odd?

What are they trying to hide?