If we are to have any integrity, we must be gritty, and face what is glaring right into our face.
Some might say the sun’s current streak of fourteen-going-on-fifteen spotless days is a digression from a post on sea-ice, however that friendly face is now beaming down 24-hours-a-day at the Pole, and people who like to freak out about “albedo” are big on how important sunshine is up there. And, when we glance at the closest thing to a North Pole Camera we have this year, we see…
…blast. I just shot myself in the foot, didn’t I? No sun to be seen. So how am I to talk about “albedo” and how important the sun is?
Well, I suppose I could mumble things I don’t understand about Svenmark and cosmic rays, and how the sun is responsible for clouds, however it is best you consult more learned people at a more popular website, as they discuss the simple matter of how that nice warm sun in our sky effects us. (There are only 600 or so erudite and not-so-erudite comments to read, so I’ll see you back here sometime next week.)
The sun is as blank as a billiard ball, solar activity dwindling to lows not seen in 200 years
Back already? You must be a speed reader. I am not. In fact, anything beyond basic arithmetic grinds me to the speed of February’s molasses. However, rather than retarded, I sometimes think I’m lucky, because people who know about such fine things seem to be “straining at a gnat while swallowing a camel.”
Or perhaps they are “pointing out the mote in my eye while ignoring the plank in their own.” Or maybe not. But, to me, it just seems they are fretting about the tiny details, while ignoring the spotless sun glaring in their spotty faces.
(Some don’t even think the sun is spotless, for, squinting very grimly, they note some specks:)
Really? You are going to call those sunspots? And then compare modern-records-of-sunspots with what Galileo could see with a telescope he got at Walmart for $29.95? Puh-leez. Get real.
Whatever you may say about about focusing on the gravitation of Uranus and Neptune, you have to admit the “Layman’s Sunspot count” is a good idea. Let us use Galileo’s telescope, if we are going to compare Galileo’s sunspot-count with the modern count. (Then, of course, you get 17 different methods.) But just using one, you wind up with a graph like this:
The recent string of “spotless” days gives a June a “Monthly Mean” of around 8, and produces a downward-spike of the blue line below all the other lines on the above graph. This allows us to use that wonderful word “unprecedented.” Our current cycle of sunspots is ending more swiftly than even the other feeble cycle we know of, cycle 5, in the “Dalton Minimum.” Heck, if things keep going like they are going, we might even challenge the non-existent records of the infamous “Maunder Minimum.”
(The above chart is dubious because the more modern totals likely include “sun-specks.”)
This is a big deal because the Maunder Minimum is loosely connected to the “Little Ice Age.” In like manner, the much milder “Medieval Warm Period” is even more loosely connected to a time when we have no European Records, but cryptic Chinese records of the sun, when dust-storms of loess made it a red ball, speak of sun-spots you could see with the naked eye, in China. To a layman like me, this means lots of sunspots means warm times, and a spotless sun means cold times.
Scientists, however, are like little children. They ask, “why?” Unlike children, when you cannot supply an answer, they say it never happened, or else mumble some stuff about correlations and causation, which basically means that, just because they themselves are tone deaf, it means such a thing as a musician can’t exist. They are big on this thing called “replication,” which means that if you are to say Jesus and Saint Peter walked on water then you yourself must do it. (Having tried, as a spiritual scientist, to prove my faith by walking on water, I must say the idea of replication is all wet.)
In any case, poor scientists can’t just say that a lack of sunspots means we need to chop some extra firewood. First they must say why fewer sunspots cause cold to happen. And this is where things get interesting.
All I can say is that, if I had ever said, “Efftin Poyn Tzeven”, to my mother, I probably would’ve gotten strapped by my father when he got home, but scientists can graph it:
This is one of the gnats scientists are straining at even as they swallow a camel. They also strain at ultraviolet radiation effecting ozone, solar wind deflecting cosmic rays, and another garble that might have gotten me strapped by my mother herself, “Gee Oh Mattick Flucks!”
I don’t claim to understand this highfalutin stuff, but as an ignorant bumpkin I do notice the sun-stuff is lower and earlier than the most authoritarian scientist said it would be. So? So they are not the smartypants they think they are. They stated the sun would behave this way, but it behaved that way. In some ways they may even be as stupid as I am.
I just wish they could be humble and say they are mortal and don’t know what is happening. Instead they dig in their heels. They insist on knowing the littlest detail of cause-and-effect. If you cannot give a step-by-step explanation of how it came to be, a dog could be biting your leg, and they’d spend more time saying there was no proof the dog was there, than they’d spend shooting the darn thing and saving your leg.
Some of the most brilliant minds I know will deny sunspots influence weather, because they can’t find the step-by-step proof. There is some vauge evidence that geomagnetic solar changes prompt earthquakes and volcanoes, but the same brilliant minds will deny that a giant volcano darkening the skies world-wide has any effect, because their brains are so weak and mortal (like mine) they can’t find any step-by-step proof.
I’m lucky. I don’t need proof. Or I don’t need proof to that degree. I have no degree. I just chop extra firewood.
What does this have to do with sea-ice? I’m not sure. But I do think some of my prior assumptions were based (incorrectly) on a steady-state sun. For example, I thought the AMO would follow a nice and normal sixty-year-cycle, but that was dependent on the sun behaving itself. Instead the sun is misbehaving. To me it seems the sixty-year-cycle may have a large wrench jammed into its works, and I now expect the unexpected. I expect my expectations to be wrong.
Unfortunately, when the unexpected happens, Alarmists will not say they were wrong, but will call the unexpected “Unprecedented”, and caused by CO2. This is their MO. To heap insult onto injury, they will also insist the sun has no effect.
The sun has a huge effect, but considering even brilliant minds can’t see the huge effect, in the step-by-step way they want, how can I expect Alarmists to see the effect? (Alarmists have minds, but can’t bother use them, instead thinking their mind should be used in being a copy-cat, a follower, a yes-man to the politically correct elite.)
(It does not matter if you want to look “fashionable” or look “cool”, or look like “a-non-conformist-like-all-the other-non-conformists”; even if you hang out with similarly-dressed people who congratulate you about how smartly you are attired, and stroke your flimsy ego and reassure you until you smile, your grandchildren will look at fading pictures how you are currently dressed and call you anything but smart. Apparently, to really be smart, involves something besides fashion.)
Alarmists are amazing, in that they can say the sun has no effect and that the sun has a huge effect. How can they do this? Well, outside the realm of arctic sea-ice, they blame absolutely everything on CO2, from floods to droughts, from booms to busts, from your manic spells to your depressed spells, and they sneer at any suggestion the sun may effect anything. (Forget the obvious fact ten cloudy days in a row makes them even worse; they still insist their rotten mood has nothing to do with sunshine, and everything to do with your daughter’s hairdryer.) However, when you talk about sea-ice, they use this word “albedo” (which my spell-check says doesn’t exist, and my mother might have had me spanked for uttering aloud), and they basically say that sunshine is the most important thing there is.
I’m sorry. You can’t have it both ways. Either sunshine is important or it isn’t.
I’d say sunshine is important, but confess that attempting to understand all the 600+ comments in the above-referenced WUWT link causes me a sensation like you get when you eat too much ice-cream too fast. Brain-freeze. I far prefer to have some older person do all that suffering for me, and to read what they gleaned from their study. Fortunately we have Joseph D’Aleo, but stupidly I never turned to the Weatherbell site until after 600+ comments caused me brain-freeze. Only then did I turn to a brief, succinct and elegant summery of the very little we know:
(Unfortunately the above link is to a site which is pay-to-view. There is some way to get a free trial, for a week, but I myself am willing to pay the less-than-a-dollar-a-day to get the insights gained from experienced old-school weathermen. Assuming some can’t afford an extra dollar-a-day, or are too busy to figure out how to get a free trial, I will don my jester’s cap-and-bells and do a clumsy job of an overview.)
(But first I will say this in praise of old-school forecasters. They know the idea of consensus, concerning chaos, is bull-feathers. They know a butterfly flapping its wings can change everything, when you deal with chaos. Therefore, though it is indeed very gratifying to wake and see the morning map much like you forecast it would be, old-school forecasters were and are far more interested in seeing what they didn’t expect, as that is a clue, and evidence, and part of what will make their next forecast better.
Back before computer models, when I was a boy, I liked to switch channels between the major Boston channels, because the forecasts differed. I recall Kent, Copeland and Ward on three channels, daring to differ. I may be remembering incorrectly, but I seem to recall that even a single station, (WBZ) had morning, evening and weekend forecasters (Kent, McDonald and a novice Shwoegler?) who dared differ between themselves when they forecast. Occasionally one might seem way out on a limb, but turn out to be right.
One winter Copeland got onto an amazing hot-streak. His streak would make gamblers in Las Vegas envious, but I don’t think it was due to luck, but rather due to a mind working at an optimum level, and able to see the sense in chaos, albeit only for a while. The thing that may seem strange to modern minds is that Copeland didn’t keep the ideas behind his success secret, or try to copyright them. He explained them. The other newscasters drummed their fingers impatiently, because he was going ten seconds over his allotted time, but to me as a boy it was sheer heaven. What is also difficult to explain is that there seemed to be little hostility on the part of the other weathermen on other stations. They were as interested as I was.
Forgive me for sounding like an old grouch, but I am an old grouch. I have worked long and hard to be one. And in my opinion young weathermen are not worthy to shine the shoes of the old school. For one thing, the young ones never dare differ. For another thing, they bow to a false god, because if a computer model said it would snow creamed cheese in July, they wouldn’t dare say it was wrong. Sometimes, when I am feeling particularly grouchy, I think that if all the computers melted down, and the young whippersnappers had to make a forecast on their own, they wouldn’t be able to do it.
OK. Rant over. I just wanted tip my hat to the old-school forecasters we still have with us, such as Mr. D’Aleo).
I think that the important thing I learned from these old-school forecasters (even as a person who was not fated to be a weatherman), is that they were humble, and based much of their skill on being alert to where they were wrong and what they had missed. They lived in the present tense, like a clipper ship captain sailing into a difficult port; their focus was not in what they expected as much as it was upon what actually was happening. Just as a clipper ship captain had a fellow hurling a lead weight out from the bow to see how deep the channel now was, because he didn’t trust his own records of how deep the channel was the last time he was in port, because he knew the bottom was made of shifting sands, old-school weathermen were constantly measuring other “shifting sands”. I do not think there is a way to program computer models to distrust the past, in this way.)
As far as my clumsy mind can gather, most of the sun’s effects that Joseph D’Aleo could say “might” exist were absorbed by the oceans, and took a long time to manifest. It was like dropping pellets into a glass of water. One pellet would not cause the glass to overflow. Many, many pellets, over the course of years, would cause the glass to overflow, but this would not be obvious in the short-term.
The only thing he mentioned might matter in the short term involved the effect of the solar wind. Apparently we need upper-atmosphere maps of the sun, for that level of radiance, called “the corona”, is not in a steady state, but rather has “holes” that rotate around the sun, allowing blasts of solar wind out.
To steal from a site you would learn far more from, if you paid for it, Joseph succinctly stated:
Now some solar effects happen with much shorter time periods. Low Ap as JB has conceded correlates well with blocking and a negative AO/NAO. Second Labitzke and van Loon showed the increased UV (related to flux) during solar maximum warms the upper atmosphere in low to mid latitudes (likely through exothermic ozone chemistry reactions as Shindell etal showed) leading to a shrinking of the polar vortex.
The 2001/02 non winter was clearly a super high flux winter with zonal warmth in mid latitudes and cold trapped in the polar regions. The 2009/10 winter with record cold in the south and down to Mexico and Cuba was an example of an extremely low flux expanded vortex combined with rock bottom Ap (geomagnetic) and high latitude volcanoes which both aid in high latitude blocking. BTW, the record high flux in 2001/02 winter led to poor model performance that had the meteorological world screaming at the modelers. The models assume the sun is a constant and they kept trying to liberate the cold air trapped in week 2 but the incoming UV and heating prevented it. My colleague climatologist at my former employer was able to document a one month lag in model performance due to large solar excursions like we saw that winter. I was asked to present to CPC my findings. the stratospheric and solar experts included in that meeting supported my observations and model deficiencies with regards to these factors.
BTW, other scientists have documented increased meridional flow and more persistence with low solar.
I confess a lot of this is way over my head. (The sun usually is.) However it does give credence to the idea the sun does have short-term effects beyond the “Alarmists” bland, steady-state idea of “albedo”. To me it seems very foolish to claim there is some sort of “consensus” that feels the sun has no effect, outside of the Arctic. Obviously the sun is barely explored, and we are pioneers on a frontier. A person like the commentator-on-this-site “ren”, who displays great interest in how the changes in solar wind effect pressures at the Pole, is, in my humble opinion, a far more honest and scientific person than are the Alarmists who do not do the research, and rather regurgitate the idea that “variations in sunlight are so minor that they should not be considered.” How can they say that, if they do not bother to check it out and see it for themselves?
In any case, even though I myself cannot yet even postulate my ideas of how the “Quiet Sun” might effect sea-ice, I feel I should note we are witness to a change. Though I am very unsure what the consequences of the “Quiet Sun” will be, I am fairly certain the sun is not effected by the levels of CO2 on earth.
We should not pretend we are know-it-alls. We are facing what we have not seen before, because we now have our modern scientific satellites and other instruments. We are seeing things for the first time. We have no map. We are pioneers facing a wilderness.
If you don’t want to face the wilderness you don’t have to. Not everyone is a Danial Boone. Some prefer to remain behind. However those who prefer to stay home should not claim they are righteous, because they are politically correct, and because they never ruffle feathers by suggesting the status quo is ignorant.
By definition, the staus quo is indeed ignorant, because they do not want to leave the norm and explore the wilderness. That is just how they are. They want to stay home.
But even as an old man I don’t want to stay home. Even if I am confined to an armchair I can roam the web. For the life of me I cannot understand why young weathermen would use computers to be trapped, and bow to models. Computers should set us free.
I feel accepting ignorance demonstrates a lack of integrity, for integrity demands one leave ignorance and seek Truth.
And that is what the blank face of the sun is requiring of us. It is telling us we may be facing what we have only the poorest records of: A Maunder Minimum. Now we may have modern equipment, but we are still seeing something for the first time. We are facing shifting sands.
To return at long last to the subject of sea-ice, who knows what effect the Quiet Sun will have? Nobody. We are like a clipper ship captain sailing into uncharted waters. Sure, we have equipment better than a sailor standing on the bowsprit hurling a chunk of lead attached to a rope to plumb the depth of shoals, but we are in the same boat.
Considering no one honestly knows how currents and clouds and winds and sea-ice may be changed by the “Quiet Sun”, it is lunacy to speak of “a consensus”, (unless the consensus is, “we are not certain.”)
However that is not the height of lunacy. The height of lunacy is enacted by these people I meet at a cocktail party who raise a prissy index finger, and inform me, with all the authority of God, “The sun has no effect, but CO2 does.”
Allow me to conclude in prayer.
Dear God. When I meet these people at a cocktail party, please help me to behave myself.