28 New Papers: Solar, Ocean Cycles Modulate Rainfall Trends

A Human Influence On Precipitation

‘Has Yet To Be Detected’

“Climate model output suggests decreasing rainfall as a consequence of anthropogenic greenhouse gas radiative forcing.”

“[I]f anthropogenic forcing has impacted the [regional rainfall pattern], the signal has yet to be detected above the level of natural climate variability.” – Lachniet et al., 2017

According to climate models, precipitation trends were supposed to have intensified as a consequence of human activity.

And yet after compiling decades of observational and proxy (paleoclimate) evidence, it has been determined there has been no detectable global-scale human influence on rainfall patterns in the last hundred years (even hundreds of years).  Instead, any variability in the hydrological cycle can be strongly linked to non-anthropogenic forcing mechanisms, namely solar activity and natural oceanic/atmospheric oscillations (NAO, PDO, AMO, ENSO).

Miralles et al., 2013

The hydrological cycle is expected to intensify in response to global warming. Yet, little unequivocal evidence of such an acceleration has been found on a global scale. This holds in particular for terrestrial evaporation, the crucial return flow of water from land to atmosphere. Here we use satellite observations to reveal that continental evaporation has increased in northern latitudes, at rates consistent with expectations derived from temperature trends. However, at the global scale, the dynamics of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) have dominated the multi-decadal variability. 

Modern Precipitation Trends Similar To Past Centuries

Verdon-Kidd et al., 2017

Overall, the inter-annual and inter-decadal variability of rainfall and runoff observed in the modern record (Coefficient of Variation (CV) of 22% for rainfall, 42% for runoff) is similar to the variability experienced over the last 500 years (CV of 21% for rainfall and 36% for runoff). However, the modern period is wetter on average than the pre-instrumental (13% higher for rainfall and 23% higher for runoff). Figure 9 also shows that the reconstructions contain a number of individual years (both wet and dry) of greater magnitude than what has been recorded in the instrumental record.

Kostyakova et al., 2017

A nested July–June precipitation reconstruction for the period AD 1777–2012 was developed from multi-century tree-ring records of Pinus sylvestris L. (Scots pine) for the Republic of Khakassia in Siberia, Russia. … The longest reconstructed dry period, defined as consecutive years with less than 25th percentile of observed July–June precipitation, was 3 years (1861–1863). There was no significant difference in the number dry and wet periods during the 236 years of the reconstructed precipitation.

Shi et al., 2017

Five of the six coupled ocean-atmosphere climate models of the Paleoclimate Modeling Intercomparison Project Phase III (PMIP3), can reproduce the south-north dipole mode of precipitation in eastern China, and its likely link with ENSO. However, there is mismatch in terms of their time development. This is consistent with an important role of the internal variability in the precipitation field changes over the past 500 years.

Conroy et al., 2017

20th century precipitation variability in southern Tibet falls within the range of natural variability in the last 4100 yr, and does not show a clear trend of increasing precipitation as projected by models. Instead, it appears that poorly understood multidecadal to centennial internal modes of monsoon variability remained influential throughout the last 4100 yr. … Until we have a predictive understanding of multidecade to multi-century variability in the Asian monsoon system, it would be wise to consider the risk of prolonged periods of anomalously dry and wet monsoon conditions to be substantial (Ault et al., 2014). Such variability may also explain why the predicted anthropogenic increase in Asian monsoon precipitation is not widely observed.

Clarke et al., 2017

Corresponding ~4-8 year periodicities identified from Wavelet analysis of particle size data from Pescadero Marsh in Central Coast California and rainfall data from San Francisco reflect established ENSO periodicity, as further evidenced in the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI), and thus confirms an important ENSO control on both precipitation and barrier regime variability.

McCabe et al., 2017

In this study, a monthly water-balance model is used to simulate monthly runoff for 2109 hydrologic units (HUs) in the conterminous United States (CONUS) for water-years 1901 through 2014. … Results indicated that … the variability of precipitation appears to have been the principal climatic factor determining drought, and for most of the CONUS [conterminous US], drought frequency appears to have decreased during the 1901 through 2014 period.

Lachniet et al., 2017

[M]onsoon dynamics appear to be linked to low-frequency variability in the ENSO and NAO, suggesting that ocean-atmosphere processes in the tropical oceans drive rainfall in Mesoamerica. … Climate model output suggests decreasing rainfall as a consequence of anthropogenic greenhouse gas radiative forcing (Rauscher et al., 2008; Saenz-Romero et al., 2010). Our data show, however, that the response of the monsoon will be strongly modulated by the changes in ENSO and the NAO mean states … Our data also show that the magnitude of Mesoamerican monsoon variability over the modern era when the anthropogenic radiative forcing has dominated over solar and volcanic forcings (Schmidt et al., 2012) is within the natural bounds of rainfall variations over the past 2250 years. This observation suggests that if anthropogenic forcing has impacted the Mesoamerican monsoon, the signal has yet to be detected above the level of natural climate variability, and the monsoon response to direct radiative forcing and indirect ocean-atmosphere forcings may yet to be fully realized.

Past, Modern Precipitation Patterns Modulated By Solar Forcing

Lei et al., 2017

The precipitation variability on decadal to multi-centurial generally always reflects changes in solar activity and large-scale circulation, e.g., the ENSO and the EASM [East Asian Summer Monsoon] (Chen et al., 2011; Vleeschouwer et al., 2012; Feng et al., 2014). [D]uring the MWP [Medieval Warm Period], the wetter climate in this region was consistent with more frequent ENSO events, stronger EASM and higher solar activity, whereas the opposite was found for the LIA. In particular, d13Cac fluctuations on multi-decadal to centennial scales is consistent with the changes in solar activity, with fewer dry intervals corresponding to periods of minimum solar activity within dating errors, which are referred to as the Oort Minimum (AD 1010-1050), Wolf Minimum (AD 1280-1340), Sporer Minimum (AD 1420-1530), Maunder Minimum (AD 1645-1715) and Dalton Minimum (AD 1795-1820).

Warrier et al., 2017

Climatic periodicities recorded in lake sediment magnetic susceptibility data: Further evidence for solar forcing on Indian summer monsoon … The results obtained from this study show that solar variations are the main controlling factor of the southwest monsoon.

Zhang et al., 2017

The frequencies represent the influence of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and solar activity on the precipitation from the southwestern United States. In addition, solar activity has exerted a greater effect than PDO on the precipitation in the southwestern United States over the past 120 years. By comparing the trend of droughts with the two fundamental frequencies, we find that both the droughts in the 1900s and in the 21st century were affected by the PDO and solar activity, whereas the droughts from the 1950s to the 1970s were mainly affected by solar activity.

Munz et al., 2017

Decadal resolution record of Oman upwelling indicates solar forcing of the Indian summer monsoon (9–6 ka) … We use geochemical parameters, transfer functions of planktic foraminiferal assemblages and Mg /  Ca palaeothermometry, and find evidence corroborating previous studies showing that upwelling intensity varies significantly in coherence with solar sunspot cycles. The dominant  ∼  80–90-year Gleissberg cycle apparently also affected bottom-water oxygen conditions.

Zhai, 2017

The time series of sunspot number and the precipitation in the north-central China (108° ∼ 115° E, 33° ∼ 41° N) over the past 500 years (1470–2002) are investigated, through periodicity analysis, cross wavelet transform and ensemble empirical mode decomposition analysis. The results are as follows: the solar activity periods are determined in the precipitation time series of weak statistical significance, but are found in decomposed components of the series with statistically significance; the Quasi Biennial Oscillation (QBO) is determined to significantly exist in the time series, and its action on precipitation is opposite to the solar activity; the sun is inferred to act on precipitation in two ways, with one lagging the other by half of the solar activity period.

Sun et al., 2017

[A]t least six centennial droughts occurred at about 7300, 6300, 5500, 3400, 2500 and 500 cal yr BP. Our findings are generally consistent with other records from the ISM [Indian Summer Monsoon]  region, and suggest that the monsoon intensity is primarily controlled by solar irradiance on a centennial time scale.

Zhu et al., 2017

Abrupt enhancements in the flux of pedogenic magnetite in the stalagmite agree well with the timing of known regional paleofloods and with equatorial El Niño−Southern Oscillation (ENSO) patterns, documenting the occurrence of ENSO-related storms in the Holocene. Spectral power analyses reveal that the storms occur on a significant 500-y cycle, coincident with periodic solar activity and ENSO variance, showing that reinforced (subdued) storms in central China correspond to reduced (increased) solar activity and amplified (damped) ENSO. Thus, the magnetic minerals in speleothem HS4 preserve a record of the cyclic storms controlled by the coupled atmosphere−oceanic circulation driven by solar activity.

Zielhofer et al., 2017

Western Mediterranean Holocene record of abrupt hydro-climatic changes Imprints of North Atlantic meltwater discharges, NAO and solar forcing …Early Holocene winter rain minima are in phase with cooling events and millennial-scale meltwater discharges in the sub-polar North Atlantic. … [A] significant hydro-climatic shift at the end of the African Humid Period (∼5 ka) indicates a change in climate forcing mechanisms. The Late Holocene climate variability in the Middle Atlas features a multi-centennial-scale NAO-type pattern, with Atlantic cooling and Western Mediterranean winter rain maxima generally associated with solar minima.

Matveev et al., 2017

An increase in atmospheric moisture for the warm period of the year (May–September) since 1890s, and mean annual temperatures since the 1950s was identified. During the same time period, there was a marked increase in amplitude of the annual variations for temperature and precipitation. … These fluctuations [atmospheric moisture, mean annual temperatures] are consistent with 10–12-years Schwabe–Wolf, 22-years Hale, and the 32–36-years Bruckner Solar Cycles. There was an additional relationship found between high-frequency (short-period) climate fluctuations, lasting for about three years, and 70–90-years fluctuations of the moisture regime in the study region corresponding to longer cycles.

Luthardt and Rößler

The 11 yr solar cycle, also known as Schwabe cycle, represents the smallest-scaled solar cyclicity and is traced back to sunspot activity (Douglass, 1928; Lean, 2000), which has a measurable effect on the Earth’s climate, as indicated by the Maunder minimum (Usoskin et al., 2015). Global climate feedback reactions to solar irradiance variations caused by sunspots are complex and hypothesized to be triggered by (1) variation in total energy input (Cubasch and Voss, 2000), (2) the influence of ultraviolet light intensity variation on composition of the stratosphere (Lean and Rind, 2001), (3) the effect of cosmic rays on cloud formation (Marsh and Svensmark, 2000; Sun and Bradley, 2002), and/or (4) the effect of high-energy particles on the strato- and mesosphere (Jackman et al., 2005). …  [L]ike today, sunspot activity caused fluctuations of cosmic radiation input to the atmosphere, affecting cloud formation and annual rates of precipitation.

Park, 2017

[S]olar activity drove Holocene variations in both East Asian Monsoon (EAM) and El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

Shi et al., 2017

Our results imply that the synchronous change in the Asian–Australian monsoon may be caused by inherent solar variations, further strengthening previous findings.

Past, Modern Precipitation Patterns Modulated By AMO/PDO/NAO/ENSO

Macdonald and Sangster, 2017

Statistically significant relationships between the British flood index, the Atlantic Meridional Oscillation and the North Atlantic Oscillation Index are identified. The use of historical records identifies that the largest floods often transcend single catchments affecting regions and that the current flood-rich period is not unprecedented. … Solar forcing can manifest itself in a variety of different ways on flood patterns through modification of the climate (Benito et al., 2004). Several series indicated increased flood frequency during the late eighteenth century corresponding to the Dalton Minimum (AD 1790–1830), with notable flooding across catchments in the 8-year period AD 1769 1779, which was a climatic period considered to include the sharpest phases of temperature variability during the “Little Ice Age” (Lamb, 1995; Wanner et al., 2008).

Malik et al., 2017

[W]e investigate the impact of internal climate variability and external climate forcings on ISMR on decadal to multi-decadal timescales over the past 400 years. The results show that AMO, PDO, and Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) play a considerable role in controlling the wet and dry decades of ISMR [Indian summer monsoon rainfall]. Resembling observational findings most of the dry decades of ISMR occur during a negative phase of AMO and a simultaneous positive phase of PDO.

Valdés-Pineda et al., 2017

This study analyzes these low-frequency patterns of precipitation in Chile (>30 years), and their relationship to global Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs), with special focus on associations with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) indices. … We conclude that a significant multi-decadal precipitation cycle between 40 and 60 years is evident at the rain gauges located in the subtropical and extratropical regions of Chile. This low-frequency variability seems to be largely linked to PDO and AMO modulation.

Reischelmann et al., 2017

We document that long-term patterns in temperature and precipitation are recorded in dripwater patterns of Bunker Cave and that these are linked to the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO).

Lapointe et al., 2017

This paper investigates an annually-laminated (varved) record from the western Canadian Arctic and finds that the varves are negatively correlated with both the instrumental Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) during the past century and also with reconstructed PDO over the past 700 years, suggesting drier Arctic conditions during high-PDO phases, and vice versa. These results are in agreement with known regional teleconnections, whereby the PDO is negatively and positively correlated with summer precipitation and mean sea level pressure respectively.

Lim et al., 2017

Our study demonstrated that flood frequency and climate changes at centennial-to-millennial time scales in South Korea have been coupled mainly with ENSO activity, suggesting that the hydrologic changes, including flooding and drought, in East Asia are coupled to the centennial-to-millennial-scale atmospheric-oceanic circulation changes represented by the ENSO pattern.

Reynolds et al., 2017

Evidence derived from instrumental observations suggest that Atlantic variability, associated with changes in SSTs and fluctuations in the strength of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), is directly linked with broader scale climate variability, including Brazilian and Sahel precipitation (Folland et al., 1986 and Folland et al., 2001), Atlantic hurricanes and storm tracks (Goldenberg et al., 2001 and Emanuel, 2005), and North American and European temperatures (Sutton and Hodson, 2005, Knight et al., 2006 and Mann et al., 2009).

Park et al., 2017

According to our results, the central Mexican climate has been predominantly controlled by the combined influence of the 20-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the 70-year Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO).

Bianchette et al., 2017

Seven periods of increased water level, varying in duration, occurred during the backbarrier period, with El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) likely the main climatic mechanism causing these periodic shifts in the paleo-precipitation levels. We suggest that the deepest water levels detected over the last ~3200 years correlate with periods of increased ENSO activity.

10 responses to “28 New Papers: Solar, Ocean Cycles Modulate Rainfall Trends”

  1. Kurt in Switzerland

    Wow, this is phenomenal, Kenneth (and Pierre, of course)!
    Powerful stuff.

    Thank you for your tireless work. Keep on keepin’ on.

    But when/how does this message (that natural climate variations rule, and that the “CO2 signal” is for some unknown reason being oddly ‘evasive’) get transmitted to (and promulgated by) the MSM?

    For attempting to argue with the “Average Joe” on the street that nothing “catastrophic” or “unprecedented”, let alone “irreversible” is taking place — this is only looking at the Holocene, fer crying’ out loud — is strangely like attempting to argue that angels don’t have wings.

    1. Kenneth Richard

      Solar activity and oceanic oscillations also modulate atmospheric water vapor content, and water vapor is the predominant greenhouse gas operating within the Earth’s greenhouse effect. In other words, the greenhouse effect itself is overwhelmingly modulated by natural mechanisms, not human activity.

      Water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas. It plays a major role in the dynamics of atmospheric circulation, radiation exchange within the atmosphere, and climate variability. Knowledge of the distribution of water vapor is important for understanding climate change and global warming. In this study, radiosonde data from 1985 to 2012 were used to examine the monthly, interannual, and annual variations and trends of precipitable water vapor (PWV) in central Saudi Arabia in the city of Riyadh (24° 43′N; 46° 40′E, 764 m a.s.l.). The results revealed a clear seasonal cycle of PWV with a maximum during the summer months (June–August) and a minimum during the winter (December–February). This variation follows the mean monthly variation of air temperature. Study of the annual variations of the PWV showed cyclic variations with a period of approximately 10–11 years. The two maximums and minimums were in 1996 and 2007 and 1989 and 2000, respectively. The results showed that the annual [precipitable water vapor] PWV values are anticorrelated with solar activity, represented by sunspot number, during solar cycles 22 and 23.

      Increased Earth surface heating during solar maxima regulates integrated water vapor, cloud liquid water content, and rainfall.
      •Solar control on ISM [Indian Summer Monsoon] rainfall, LWC [cloud liquid water content] and IWV [integrated water vapor] is observed over India during 1977–2012.
      Sun influences the formation clouds and rainfall activity through GCR [Galactic Cosmic Ray] mediation.
      •Increased Earth surface heating during solar maxima regulates IWV, LWC and rainfall.
      •SSN [Sunspot Number] shows both positive and negative correlation with LWC and ISM rainfall.
      •Wavelet analyses also indicate a solar control on ISM rainfall, LWC & IWV over India.

      Discussion: The persistent presence of these solar cycles and their connections with monsoon records over a wide range of regions highlight the dominated solar control of the monsoon at centennial timescales. The persistence of these different periodicities also indicates that the influence of the low-frequency solar activity on the AM [Asian Monsoon cycle] is independent of other climate backgrounds, such as ice volumes, orbital configurations, and concentrations of major greenhouse gases.

      We conclude that a significant component of century-scale variability in Yucatan droughts is explained by solar forcing.

      These coherencies corroborate strong visual correlations and provide convincing evidence for solar forcing of east-central North American droughts and strengthen the case for solar modulation of mid-continent climates.

      Our results suggest that the solar activity is a fundamental forcing producing the centennial-scale EAWM [East Asian winter monsoon] variability mediated by the large-scale climate linkages.

      Eastern China temperatures varied with the solar activity, showing higher temperatures under stronger solar irradiation, which produced stronger summer monsoons. During Maunder, Dalton and 1900 sunspot minima, more severe drought events occurred, indicating a weakening of the summer monsoon when solar activity decreased on decadal timescales. On an interannual timescale, dry conditions in the study area prevailed under El Niño conditions, which is also supported by the spectrum analysis. Hence, our record illustrates the linkage of Asian summer monsoon precipitation to solar irradiation and ENSO: wetter conditions in the study area under stronger summer monsoon during warm periods, and vice versa.

      On the centennial timescale, the quasi-periodicities around 88 and 210 years suggest a strong link between solar activity and monsoon rainfall. The millennial monsoon cycle in northeastern China is associated with sea surface temperature (SST) variations

      We conclude that variations in solar activity play a significant role in monsoonal rainfall variability at multi-decadal and longer timescales.

      This study provides evidence of the robust response of the East Asian monsoon rainband to the 11-yr solar cycle and first identify the exact time period within the summer half-year (1958–2012) with the strongest correlation between the mean latitude of the rainband (MLRB) over China and the sunspot number (SSN).

      1. Kurt in Switzerland

        Like I said…

  2. tom0mason

    I enjoy the idea that the climate models, for which the the whole AGW fiasco is based, is regularly said to be built-up from known physics — what an idea!
    Water in all its forms is the great unknown.

    Some of water’s anomalous properties are listed here http://www1.lsbu.ac.uk/water/water_anomalies.html. Indeed yet again some scientists have found other properties of water that are not fully understood in a paper called ‘Water—The Most Anomalous Liquid’ and is available as a free download at http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/acs.chemrev.6b00363.

    So how do you model the climate when the major IR active substance (water) is so strange and not fully understood? How do you model the climate when water with impurities dissolved in it has such a wide spectrum of different characteristics.
    Oh yes that right, we just encode unverifiable guestimates into the computer models.

    So exactly how do clouds work, with all the dynamic changes from water as a gas to, micro and macro droplets and back again (energy changes?). What is the major drivers keeping millions of tons of water (in dynamically changing form) afloat and moving in the sky (how much energy does that take?). What governs precipitation? Certainly the models do not know! Maybe all the free-wheeling protons in carbonic acid know…

    1. yonason

      Thanks. Good links.

      I wonder how long we have to wait before we see Hanson, Mann and their ilk listed here?

      …or perhaps we should start a new page for CO2 quackery?

      1. tom0mason

        Hahahahahaha! 🙂 😆

        That is truly the best laugh I’ve had for a while!
        Structured water! 😆
        And water ‘activated’ with ‘”Aerobic” oxygen’,
        “Aerobic” oxygen for crying out loud!

        Good find for a laugh!
        Thanks yonason.

        1. yonason

          Welcome. Glad you enjoyed it.

          1. tom0mason

            Of the few that are still online I note many are foreign, this one in the German language (but NOW not in English), darn and I really wanted to know how it all works ( 🙂 ).
            Maybe some German speakers here could explain, and also perhaps shine a light on why German speaking people are the target of this obvious scam.

          2. tom0mason
  3. sunsettommy

    Jack Dale, made an insulting comment about Kenneth and Pierre over your fine list of papers you collect in the side bar listings,here is his comment at WUWT:

    ” Jack Dale
    October 6, 2017 at 6:43 pm Edit

    Not a single DOI. I want you to show me original sources, not contextomized misrepresentations.

    Get your our Kenneth and Pierre’s butts, try reading actual science.

    I know that science is never settled. I learned much from Thomas Kuhn. The concept of paradigm shifts is his.”


    He replied to my list of nearly 2,000 published science papers and presentations. He clearly insinuate that all those papers you collect here,are not actual science.

    He is apparently in deep love of Thomas Kuhn’s babblings too. Yes this is the same Jack Dale you have seen here with his stale low grade comments.

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