[Vision2020] Sunspots: 2009 Deepest Solar Minimum in Nearly A Century, Then 2010 Warmest Year in 131Years

Jay Borden jborden at datawedge.com
Tue Jun 21 17:45:49 PDT 2011



....well, never mind that Venus is something like 40 million kilometers closer to the sun... and that its "clouds" are composed primarily of sulfuric acid instead of water vapor...  I'm sure that probably irrelevant in the comparison.


But since you're tossing planet Venus into these discussions, does that also mean that the argument of humans significantly contributing to CO2 goes out the window as well?  Last I checked, no one lived there.




Jay Borden


From: vision2020-bounces at moscow.com [mailto:vision2020-bounces at moscow.com] On Behalf Of Ted Moffett
Sent: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 3:50 PM
To: Paul Rumelhart
Cc: Vision 2020
Subject: Re: [Vision2020] Sunspots: 2009 Deepest Solar Minimum in Nearly A Century, Then 2010 Warmest Year in 131Years


On Venus (source for quotes and some exploration of scientific complexities regarding "clouds" lower down) "only about 10 percent of the Sun's radiation penetrates the clouds and gets to the surface."   Yet "On the surface the temperature is 900 degrees F."  It seems this example of rather serious "shading the ground" by clouds does not result in a cool planet!

You are misrepresenting your original comment ("...a weak sun allows more cosmic
rays to strike the Earth, leaving ionized air molecules for clouds to
form around.  This causes a cooling of the Earth by shading the ground...") and my request, in your response to my request on Svensmark's cosmic ray/cloud formation theory regarding the variable "shading the ground," so I'm not directly going to respond to this question, except to point out that, "the Earth" is about 70 percent covered by oceans, so "shading the ground" would only apply to the about 30 percent of the Earth's surface that is land.  


Besides, your response seems to be dodging the central point of my response to your "Sunspots" post:  For someone who is apparently following and studying recent sunspot activity regarding the impact on global climate and temperature, and historically (Maunder Minimum, LIA), with some serious interest, to not mention the deep solar minimum, the deepest in nearly a century, in 2009, and the associated 2009 and 2010 global temperatures as the second and first warmest years in Goddard's 131 year data set, which is relatively new and very important empirical data regarding the debate on solar forcing of climate, is, as I wrote, "a major and puzzling omission."  


But I have another planet for you to ponder regarding clouds impacting planetary temperatures.  


Clouds have a complex impact on global temperature, both cooling and warming.  Defining what a "cloud" is not as simple as it might seem.  Atmospheric water vapor is the dominant greenhouse warming variable on Earth, and clouds are for the most part water in the atmosphere.  Skeptics of anthropogenic climate change often point out that CO2 has a relatively small impact on the greenhouse effect on Earth compared to water vapor, but they sometimes ignore the well established positive feedback from increasing atmospheric CO2 levels also causing increasing atmospheric water vapor levels, thus causing more warming than would occur from the CO2 increase alone.


Venus has a cloud cover so dense that only "about 10 percent of the Sun's radiation penetrates the clouds and gets to the surface."  Quite an example of "shading the ground," it appears, yet "On the surface the temperature is 900 degrees F."




>From website above:


Part of the reason for this planetary hothouse is Venus' thick cloud <http://www.brighthub.com/science/space/articles/68774.aspx>  cover and atmosphere. Consisting mainly of carbon dioxide (CO2), Venus' atmosphere carries the greenhouse effect to the extreme. As the environmentalists keep warning, a buildup of CO2 in our atmosphere could increase Earth's temperature to unbearable levels. It has on Venus.

Add the thick cloud cover which also helps hold heat in, and you have a world <http://www.brighthub.com/science/space/articles/68774.aspx>  that can never cool off. In fact, the European Space Agency's (ESA) Venus Express probe has found that there is very little difference in day and night time temperatures on the planet.

Interestingly, the probe has found that only about 10 percent of the Sun's radiation penetrates the clouds and gets to the surface. But 100 percent what does reach the surface stays, because the greenhouse effect and clouds hold it in.

Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett

On Mon, Jun 20, 2011 at 7:09 AM, Paul Rumelhart <godshatter at yahoo.com> wrote:

Are you asking me to find you a peer-reviewed paper published in a credible scientific journal that backs up my claim that "clouds shade the earth"?  Really?


On 06/19/2011 10:28 PM, Ted Moffett wrote:

Excuse me?

You did not mention in your "Sunspots" post that in 2009 the solar
minimum was the deepest in nearly a century, nor mention that the
impacts on cooling global temperature that such a deep solar minimum
should have were likely overcome by other forcings in the climate
system, given that 2009 and 2010 were the second and first warmest
years for global average temperature in Goddard's temperature record
since 1880.

Given your emphasis on sunspot cycles having a major influence on
global temperature, to not mention the 2009 recent deep solar minimum,
and the associated global temperatures, is a major and puzzling

As far as you posing as a credible critic of NASA's climate scientist
James Hansen, pardon my intense skepticism.

At the website below from James Hansen read discussion indicating that
variations in solar irradiance associated with sunspot cycles do have
an impact on global temperature in short time frames, from year to
year, as does ENSO cycles, so the deep solar minimum of 2009, the
deepest in nearly a century, should have had an impact on 2009 or 2010
global temperature, even if small:


> From website above:

"The 5 year mean is sufficient to reduce the effect of the El Niño -
La Niña cycles of tropical climate. The 11 year mean minimizes the
effect of solar variability - the brightness of the sun varies by a
measurable amount over the sunspot cycle, which is typically of 10-12
year duration."

Also, please refer to a published climate science article in a
credible peer reviewed journal where in reference to Svensmark's
cosmic ray/cloud formation theory the phrase "shading the ground" is
used to indicate this is a major variable involved in cooling or not
of the Earth's climate due to cosmic ray cloud formation variables.

Good luck!
Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett

On 6/18/11, Paul Rumelhart<godshatter at yahoo.com>  wrote:

On 06/18/2011 11:47 AM, Ted Moffett wrote:

The subject heading sums up the main point of this post.

Odd (well, not really, actually what I've come to expect) that given
your in-depth (?) research into solar activity and its relation to
Earth's climate, you make no mention, in your sunspot comments below,
of the very significant recent deep solar minimum in sunspot activity
in 2009, the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century, according to
NASA: "This is the quietest sun we've seen in almost a century,"
agrees sunspot expert David Hathaway of the Marshall Space Flight

Sure I did.  It was the part where I said (and I quote) "I started this
a couple of years ago.  It was extremely boring at first,
because there would be stretches of sometimes months between sunspots."
I've been watching the Sun, mostly daily, ever since.

During and just after this deep solar minimum, Earth's average surface
temperature in 2009 and 2010 remained among the top ten warmest years
in the 131 year instrumental record from the Goddard Insitutue for
Space Studies.

In fact, 2010 was tied statistically with 2005 as the top warmest year
in 131 years, according to GISS:

Wasn't 2010 an El-Nino year?

The following article from the Earth Institute at Columbia University
mentions the 2009 deep solar minimum impacts on global temperature:
2000-2009: The Warmest Decade:
  "In 2009, it was clear that even the deepest solar minimum in the
period of satellite data hasn't stopped global warming from
continuing," said Goddard Institute for Space Studies director Dr.
James Hansen.

It would appear that a small drop in total solar irradiance does not
have an immediate effect upon surface temperatures.  However, it would
be ill-advised to ignore the Maunder Minimum / Little Ice Age connection
because of this.  There is a lot of heat currently in the system, much
of it in the oceans.  Maybe it takes a few years to have an effect.
That's if you trust the guys in charge of the surface temperature data
sets, which I don't.

In 2009, during this deep solar minimum, there was speculation in the
scientific community that we could be entering a prolonged period of
very low solar activity, that "...sunspots could completely vanish
around the year 2015."

But this did not occur.  Solar cycle 24 has seen an increase in
sunspot activity, with sunspot activity predicted for 2015 above the
2009 deep solar minimum.

According to my phone, which may be incorrect, we're actually in 2011
right now.  The current sunspot cycle, which was much delayed, is
currently running between half and two-thirds the power that the last
cycle ran.  It's true that solar cycle 24 (the current one) has seen an
increase in sunspot activity.  It's now in that part of the cycle.  It's
turning out to be a rather dismal cycle for sunspots, though.

There are always a wide variety of theories and speculations occuring
in the science community on many issues.  Those with a biased agenda
cherry-pick the theories and research to suit their confirmation bias
filter, and conveniently ignore a balanced consideration of all the
scientific research.

On 6/17/11, Paul Rumelhart<godshatter at yahoo.com>   wrote:

"For example, there is an interesting theory by a guy
named Henrik Svensmark that states that a weak sun allows more cosmic
rays to strike the Earth, leaving ionized air molecules for clouds to
form around.  This causes a cooling of the Earth by shading the ground
and by changing the albedo."

Your depiction of the cosmic ray/cloud formation impacts on cooling
the Earth's is misleading.  Given my reading on this scientific issue,
"shading the ground" is not a major impact of cloud formation
associated with cosmic rays on temperature, though changes in albedo
A detailed analysis of Svensmark's cosmic ray/cloud theories from
Skepticalscience.com at this website:

"Shading the ground" not having a major impact is clearly BS.  Ever
stood outside on a hot day when the sun is out and had a cloud move in
front of the Sun?  Cools it down, doesn't it?


Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett

On 6/17/11, Paul Rumelhart<godshatter at yahoo.com>   wrote:

I've been meaning to post on this subject for a while, but have been
short on time.

You've probably all seen the news about some research that was unveiled
at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society that suggests that the
Sun will become more quiet over the next few years as sunspots become
rarer.  This is due mainly to a river of gas under the surface of the
Sun which disrupts sunspots.

Sunspots are holes in the outer layer of the Sun caused by magnetic
fields.  The more sunspots on the Earth-facing side of the Sun and the
hotter it is.  Of course, this varies only slightly in comparison to the
overall output of the Sun.

I just wanted to weigh in on this subject and to post some related
information about it.  I'll also give my take on it.  Not that anybody

First, here is a representative article on the subject from the BBC:


Global warming alarmists (as I like to think of them) were quick to
rebut this idea.  Here is a representative article from Discover:


Here is a chart from NASA that shows solar cycle 24 (the one we're
currently in) compared to solar cycle 23.  It also shows their current
predictions for the rest of this cycle:


One of the reasons that this topic is so important is that the last time
sunspots declined for a long period of time during the Maunder Minimum,
we had the Little Ice Age, which followed the Medieval Warm Period.
Some people suspect there might be a link between the two events.  Here
is some info from Wikipedia about LIA and the Maunder Minimum:


Now, the main objection to the LIA (aside from the whole "Hockey Stick"
fiasco) seems to be that it was a phenomenon local to Europe.  However,
there is a paper by Huang and Pollack (1997) that looked at 6,144 sets
of heat flow measurements obtained from all over the globe suitable for
reconstructing temperature over the Earth for the last 20,000 years and
concluded that the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age were both
global phenomena.  Here is a link to an article on CO2 Science about it:


Now, there have been lots of rhetoric from both sides of the fence about
this.  No, I don't think we ought to all be idling our Expeditions so we
don't get any colder.  I do, however, think there might be something to
this.  Every day when I get up in the morning, I check my email, check a
few forums I post on, and see how the sun is doing.  I like to follow
the sunspot number, and since I check it every day I watch the
individual sunspots form, decay, and rotate around the Sun.  It's an odd
hobby, to be sure, but I find it fascinating.  Here are a couple of
websites where you, too, can spend your time watching the Sun instead of
doing something constructive:


I started this a couple of years ago.  It was extremely boring at first,
because there would be stretches of sometimes months between sunspots.
Now, the cycle has finally fired up.  The current sunspot number as of
this writing is 62.  I've seen it up over a hundred, but that's still
low compared to the last cycle.

It makes sense to me that small variations in
ahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maunder_Minimum large ball of fusing gas
that gives us almost all our heat might have an affect on climate.  The
professional climate modelers are convinced that the amount of
fluctuation is too small to make a difference, since TSI doesn't change
but by less than a percent.  The problem with this is that it, in my
opinion, is pure hubris.  We know so little about how the Sun actually
affects the Earth.  For example, there is an interesting theory by a guy
named Henrik Svensmark that states that a weak sun allows more cosmic
rays to strike the Earth, leaving ionized air molecules for clouds to
form around.  This causes a cooling of the Earth by shading the ground
and by changing the albedo.  This, of course, happens over a long period
of time, but adds up.  Poor Svensmark, lacking his stamp of authority by
the IPCC, has been shopping around begging for cloud chamber experiment
time.  Here is a youtube video describing the theory:


This is just one possible mechanism by which small variations in the
Sun's output can affect climate.  To me, it seems crazy to discount the
Little Ice Age and the Maunder Minimum as being local events are
assuming they are not causally related simply because the climate models
we've designed don't show as strong of a connection.  I consider most of
the climate models unproven, while the global warming community
apparently thinks they are evidence.

So, may take on it is that the science behind the sunspot predictions is
sound, there seems to be a connection between the last time this
happened and a large cooling down of the climate, and that dismissing it
out of hand is foolhardy at this stage.





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