back to article Boffins find MEXICAN WAVE pattern in random climate wobbles

A new paper has found hitherto undiscovered rhythms in the climate. What is today regarded as random natural variability actually conforms to a “standing wave” (aka, Mexican Wave) pattern, boffins have found, meaning the climate is much more predictable than previously thought. Dr Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and …

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" The IPCC-sanctioned account only takes into account the Sun's TSI, or Total Solar Irradiance, and not on its magnetic influence or the subtle modulation effects of the planets"

The IPCC report looks at various solar mechanisms, not just TSI. None of them fit the data and no adequate mechanism has been substantiated for how they could do so. It looks very much like the Sun is not a dominant player in global warming.

For one thing since 1950 solar output has dropped. The world has warmed. That's a massive divergence which tends to be completely ignored by climate skeptics.

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"The IPCC report looks at various solar mechanisms, not just TSI."

They may have "looked at" them - but they didn't seriously consider the issue. They have always had a tendency to look at TSI, and discard without explanation things like the variations in the makeup of that total. Ultraviolet light, for example, can vary greatly - and has a disproportionate effect on things like clouds. No, the IPCC did not even discuss that, past "we don't think it's important."

There's also the cosmic ray issue. Lower solar winds = higher cosmic rays = more clouds = cooler. Higher solar winds = lower cosmic rays = fewer clouds = warmer. Again, a solar-induced change that isn't reflected in TSI.

"For one thing since 1950 solar output has dropped."

Nope. TSI - the measurement you like so much - has not dropped in the last 60 years. However, once you take frequency output into consideration, things change. If TSI remains the same, but UV increases, there's a net warming - exactly like what happened in the 1970s-1990s. When you get a drop in UV incoming to the Earth, things get slightly cooler - just like we've seen over the last decade or so.

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Solar output has dropped since 1950? References please...

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Unhappy

"For one thing since 1950 solar output has dropped. The world has warmed. That's a massive divergence which tends to be completely ignored by climate skeptics."

Err perhaps you would like to consider what would happen to the Earths atmosphere without the Sun.

Basically it ends up in a lake 10ms deep.

That suggests it has quite an effect.

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> It looks very much like the Sun is not a dominant player in global warming.

You do realise that *all* our daily energy comes from the Sun don't you?

It single-handledly drives our entire climate.

How can you make a statement that it is not a dominant player in anything to do with our climate?

> ...climate skeptics.

BTW, although I doubt that there is currently sufficiently convincing evidence of AGW, I do not doubt that we have a climate, which is self-evident.

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Mushroom

"Since the beginning of time, man has yearned to destroy the sun......"

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IPCC quote " It looks very much like the Sun is not a dominant player in global warming."

all heat comes from the sun - AFAIK

If a climate model cannot explain the last 8 ice ages then it is not real world.

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> > It looks very much like the Sun is not a dominant player in global warming.

> You do realise that *all* our daily energy comes from the Sun don't you?

> It single-handledly drives our entire climate.

> How can you make a statement that it is not a dominant player in anything to do with our climate?

Every time the relationship between the sun and climate change is discussed on these AGW stories, there is a posting like this one and it inevitably gets a majority of thumbs up. It makes me despair at the lack of capacity for logical thinking that many people seem to have.

Nobody is saying that the sun is not a dominant player with respect to the climate.

What they are saying is that IF, as most scientists believe, solar output is not going up THEN it can't be a driver for global warming.

And even though some people are arguing in comments above that maybe solar output has in fact gone up according to some criteria, that is an argument about the premise, not about the implication. It doesn't justify comments like skelband's.

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"You do realise that *all* our daily energy comes from the Sun don't you? It single-handledly drives our entire climate."

Ridiculous strawman. If the Sun stays absolutely constant, how do you propose it will heat the Earth up?

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Anonymous Coward

"Basically it ends up in a lake 10ms deep."

Ten milliseconds deep?

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Anonymous Coward

"...that *all* our daily energy comes from the Sun..."

Daily? Is it different hourly, weekly, monthly or annually? Unnecessary time unit!

What about nuclear and geothermal energy? You did write "*all*", which is wrong.

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The IPCC considered indirect solar effects at length:

http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch2s2-7-1-3.html

So lets stop misrepresenting the IPCC reports shall we?

The fact is there is no evidence that any of these indirect solar mechanisms contribute significantly to global warming. So that's what the IPCC report.

"There's also the cosmic ray issue. Lower solar winds = higher cosmic rays = more clouds = cooler. Higher solar winds = lower cosmic rays = fewer clouds = warmer. Again, a solar-induced change that isn't reflected in TSI."

That link has NOT been established. Yet you assert it as if it's true! And have the gall to complain about the IPCC's reporting of the science!

Again, none of these speculatory indirect solar mechanisms have been substantiated to affect global temperature in any significant way (or any way in fact). Yet that doesn't stop skeptics asserting that "it must be the sun!" and complaining that the sun is being ignored.

The first thing a scientist looks at for a solar-climate role are changes in the total output of the Sun. Ie the direct effect. Being a huge heat source it's obvious that changes in output will affect global temperature on earth. But it turns out it's output doesn't change enough to explain the warming. So boom, the most obvious influence the sun could have on global warming is ruled out. Yet climate skeptics gloss over this important fact as if it's just a piece of trivia!

Without a direct effect, what's left is speculatory indirect mechanisms that rely on amplification mechanisms. There's no reason that any such thing exists. It's perfectly possible that we simply live on a planet where the Sun doesn't alter enough to cause massive changes in global temperature.

"Nope. TSI - the measurement you like so much - has not dropped in the last 60 years."

TSI measurements don't go back 60 years. Solar activity, as measured by sunspots, has dropped in the last 50 years while temperature has risen. The correlation with CO2 is much better.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7b/Temp-sunspot-co2.svg/731px-Temp-sunspot-co2.svg.png

Interestingly climate skeptics like to rubbish the idea the CO2 link by pointing at a short recent period on the graph where temperature is flat and CO2 rises. But they completely gloss over the much larger 60 year period where solar output and temperature diverge.

Cosmic rays don't correlate either

http://blogs.edf.org/climate411/wp-content/files/2007/07/CosmicRays.png

No solar metric correlates with the warming. But skeptics aren't interested in lacks of correlation when it comes to non-CO2 causes I guess. Wonder why.

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You do realise that *all* our daily energy comes from the Sun don't you?

Well, *almost* all. We use nuclear energy and geothermal energy which both come from our own planet, not from the sun. And there's a bit of energy coming from the moon (it drives our tides). But yes, your basic point still stands because the sun does provide the vast majority of our energy.

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Holmes

Crying wolf!

IPCC is really good at headlining doom and pushing the missing parts of the story under the table. Having done that for decades, they are now hoist on their own petard, when they can't explain why the model that had such dire prognostications no longer ties to reality..

This is so clearly a case of crying wolf!

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Anonymous Coward

Burn the Witch!

Looks like anyone who agrees with the theories of Dr. Judith Curry will be suffering the outrageous slings and arrows of the Climatigionists. Get ready the dunking stool, boiling oil and tar and feathers.

I for one can't wait to follow the resulting comments here at El Reg

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AGR

Re: Burn the Witch!

I'm surprised the comments haven't been shut down after 100's of comments by now...this has been up for a few hours; where are the holy warriors?

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Bronze badge

So does this mean that after 2030 we're back to Indian summers and the re-opening of the northwest and northeast passages?

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That would be nice.

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If their climate model is correct: yes.

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Stop

As a Mexican...

I demand to know why this standing pattern references us.

I am standing right here, and I won't move until I get a satisfactory answer.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: As a Mexican...

It's Richard Hammond's fault.

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Sigh

It's probably a system so complex you can find anything you're looking for. Has anyone found a climatic process related to the Golden Ratio yet?

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Re: Sigh

Might as well use a Ouija board.

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Flame

Oscillation on a trend?

So there is a multi-decadal oscillation on a trend that is upwards over the last 100+ years? Meaning that last 10 years it's been pretty flat (and could continue that way for 10-20 years more, but will then suddenly accelerate?

After all the guys in the stadium that are currently sat down will eventually jump up with their arms raised, and then... >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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S2S

Re: Oscillation on a trend?

Bob Geldof, now he is a joke.

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Roger Longstaff will surely need the Tin Hat. Brave man. Is he Peer-reviewed? Great find Andrew Orlowski.

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Notable that C&W explicitly make their model falsifiable, and make predictions. Unlike the squishy IPCC which makes fudgy projections and then retro-revises them when observations come in on another track entirely.

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Anonymous Coward

More evidence: No such thing as "random"

I said it before but many of you didn't want to hear it: scientists came up with a theory, a number of years ago, that there is no such things as "random". What humans perceive as "random" is only due to our human, mortal weaknesses; the only reason we sense things as "random" is due to the fact that we do not have the ability to examine a large enough sample size to witness the pattern.

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Pint

Re: More evidence: No such thing as "random"

Read 'Chaos' by James Gleick. It'll clarify that topic for you.

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Go

Oops, that "butterfly effect" rationalisation is starting to look a *little* shaky.

Well done for looking beyond the current models.

Well done and as always I hope this work will be incorporated in those models sooner rather than later.

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Headmaster

"Standing Wave"?

Correct me if my recollection of o-level physics is wrong, but I thought a standing wave is one that oscillates in place, ie the peak of the wave remains in the location.

A Mexican Wave AIUI is a transverse wave where the oscillation is at 90 degrees to the direction of travel of the peak as it moves around the stadium...

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Re: "Standing Wave"?

I'm pretty sure you are right - a standing wave doesn't move along, a mexican wave does. A quick look at the linked blog seems to say the claim is thewave is like a mexican wave, not like a standing wave.

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Interesting

I'm interested in climate and weather modeling, I found this quite fascinating, thanks!

I'm glad you mentioned a "Mexican wave" is a standing wave, I'd never heard of a Mexican wave 8-).

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Pint

Some ral science at last

So many climate reports are based on those flawed IPCC models that it makes you wonder if "science" is the right term to use. Clearly, the IPCC models are broken, and no amount of political correctness and word-smithing of reports can hide that anymore.Now we have yet another factor that the models don't know about. It appears the Sun affects Earth's climate! And it cycles in intensity!

IPCC is leading the "Green" charge to cover Europe in wind farms, and we in the US are saved only by the current government gridlock from a similar fate. It looks like it ain't necessarily so, and in a big way, and if the science is right, we have 30 years before things start warming again. Given the impact of CO2 in that timeframe will be ameliorated by the response of plants to having more food, maybe we are out to 2060 before things get warm. IPCC should be ashamed of there behaviour. Perhaps the political nature of the committee and vested interests pushing for huge CAPEX are to blame.

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Pint

./waves

iirc, waves bouncin' on other waves give a chaos type output? Might explain what we actually see regarding both weather and climate? Just sayin'

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Yay!

I saw a treatment somewhere where a set of waves found by using Fourier analysis was claimed to hind-cast very well.

Climastrology data is either so poor or so stochastic that is hard to make much sense of it. Clearly, at least for the IPCC, it is not all that predictable yet.

I am strongly of the opinion that climate catastrophe is most unlikely. I fully expect improving empirical data and time to make all this a non-issue. Meantime, it is sometimes fun just to watch the show.

For the record, even though I can be a little strident myself, I find both extreme sides of this debate tiresome and at least a little disingenuous.

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Re: Yay!

Personally, as someone very unconvinced bythe IPCC and their AGW posturing, I'd say the opposite. Over time catastrophic natural climate change is inevitable. Happened before, will happen again. But if you've spent all your resources on useless damn windfarms, what are you going to do about it?

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Earth's orbit is not circular

The sun provides +99% of the planet's heat. The sun's output is variable. The earth's orbit wobbles around the sun. But the sun has no infuence?

Geologist Connects Regular Changes of Earth's Orbital Cycle to Changes in Climate

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100406133707.htm

But 100,000 year variations don't fit the dialog so IPCC report is basically bovine scatology.

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So by removing the trend caused by man made global warming

they found no evidence of the effect they'd just removed.

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Pause then ramp?

So there's a pause for 30 years or so. Does it then ramp up twice as bad as before?

End the result the same but we get to live in denial for a couple more decades?

That's what I read from "By removing the long-term trend from man-made greenhouse gases"

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Pass the hammer

Only the latest final nail in the coffin of global warming.

With so many final nails, one would think the monster dead already. Perhaps we're hammering on the wrong coffin?

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So what's that going to mean for the southern hemisphere? Is it colder now than it ought to be, and will warm after 2030? Or is it warmer now than it should be and will cool after 2030?

My primary concern is ameliorating these ridiculous Australian summers. The rest of the world can look after themselves.

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