This is just a couple of graphs that illustrate a couple of Very Important Things… that seem to be visible in the graphs but might just as well be nothing more than a matter of perception…
So I’ve pondered these for a bit of a while, and decided to just toss them here for general mulling over.
The first one we’ve seen before, but with time ‘going the other way’ and without a perception altering curve fitted into it. We saw it in in the 8.2 kiloyear event posting:
A nice graph, it shows the spike up of warming out of the Ice Age Glacial, then a massive spike down at 8.2 Kilo Years Ago, a return, then some wobbling sideways and a little trailing off. Time runs from right (old) to left (now).
This other version comes from a posting at Jo Nova’s. Notice that time runs the other way and it has an added reference curve fit to it.
Russ Steel has some history on this version here:
And, for reasons I don’t understand at the moment, I’m getting a “forbidden” on attempting to access the original Jo Nova link here: http://joannenova.com.au/2010/02/the-big-picture-65-million-years-of-temperature-swings/
One hopes the idiots on the Warmista side are not doing another hacking cracking site assault. (It really is a very stupid thing to do; at best it mildly annoys folks you are trying to convince of your merit, at worst it generates a LOT of press and attention for someone you would rather folks not visit. Just incredibly dumb to shout to the world: “I’m rude, stupid, and have no morals; trust me, not this honest and fair person I’m pissing at.”) Whatever the cause, time will tell.
What this posting is about is just comparing the emotional impact of those two graphs and the perception shift. I’d stared at the 8.2 Kiloyear version quite a bit. They eye tends to grab onto the peaks and bottoms and make two straight line references (that faint grid in the background); so the effect is of a “bounce up” from the bottom, then a ‘wobble in a range’, then a tail off to now and bit of a flip at the end.
The second one clips the start a bit (i.e. you don’t see the rocket up from the glacial). The effect is more one of ‘starting high’ and dribbling down. Now the curve is fit too, so you tend to see the peaks and bottoms as following a rolling off curve. More mental emphasis goes to the minor peaks and dips near the line, less to the Minoan Warm Period being a match to the first spike up after the 8.2 Kiloyear Event and that the cool period just before the Medieval Warm Period is a match to the bottom of the 8.2 KY Event. Basically, I notice the intermediate pattern of rolling over ALL the peaks more, and that the extremes limit at about the same place less. Interesting perceptual effect.
But there is another effect too. After the 8.2 KY Event, the rise is nearly vertical. As you look at other cool dips, the rise out is ever flatter. 4771 to the Minoan WP is about a 60 degree angle while the rise into the Roman WP is near a 45 angle. The MWP has a fast rise, but is becoming more of an isolated spike. Up and then immediately down to a nearly flat line of the last 600 years. Then the present is an even smaller blip, which the visual pattern would imply will be followed by a slightly down drifting segment as the ‘roll over’ continues.
Which interpretation is correct? Well, I’d vote for the second one based on orbital mechanics and interglacial histories. But the interesting thing to me is the difference in the “impression” the two graphs provide.
On To Mississippi Drying
This graph is from a paper that claims to match the stream flow in the Mississippi River with a strongly lagged solar cycle. One has to wonder why the lag, but I can postulate many possibles; from ocean lag times to lunar tidal forcing perhaps being a bit lagged but driven by the same engine of plant positions. What is interesting here is that a large offset IS applied, and folks tend to just accept the “wiggle match”. Is it right? Who knows… but the point here is about that effect of the visual:
What this implies about the future Mississippi Flow is that it will be way lower than the already low levels of now. For about the next 20 years. A 1930′s style Dust Bowl anyone? Personally, I think they have the lag wrong and more of a 10 year lag would still work, while having the Mississippi now being more or less ‘on schedule’…
Kansas District, U.S. Geological Survey
AUTHOR: Charles A. Perry, Research Hydrologist
Variations of Solar Activity Affect Regional Hydro-climate
This research focuses on the hypothesis that variations in solar activity affect regional streamflow. Variations in solar activity may control the amount of energy that reaches the Earth’s surface. These variations in solar energy may help create ocean temperature anomalies that can persist for years and move with the ocean currents. The ocean temperature anomalies can have an effect on meteorological factors such as atmospheric vorticity and moisture, both important for precipitation formation. Varying amounts of precipitation controls the regional hydrology including streamflow, groundwater, and lake levels.
Variations in solar activity are manifested in the magnetic structure of the Sun, total solar irradiance, and the strength of the solar wind. Solar wind speed and density directly affect the flux of galactic cosmic rays to the Earth and variations in the Earth’s geomagnetic field. Each of these parameters varies on an approximate 11-year cycle than can range from 9 to 14 years in length which over time displays a unique “fingerprint.” The long-term streamflow record of the Mississippi River at St. Louis, Missouri exhibits a similar “fingerprint.” The historic records of the geomagnetic index aa and 36 month moving averages of Mississippi River streamflow are compared in the following graph.
So now I’m trying to remember exactly what year the AA went to the basement and how far into this “30 Something” years we are now and how bad it’s likely to be how long going forward… all while trying to remind myself “it’s just a wiggle match”… but he does speculate some on mechanism:
The mechanism responsible for the linkage is thought to involve five important processes:
1. Variable solar activity causes variation in total solar irradiance (energy) that reaches the top of the Earth’s atmosphere. Variable solar activity controls the flux of galactic cosmic rays which may affect the formation of low-level clouds that control atmospheric albedo (reflectance).Variations in total solar energy reaching the Earth’s surface are amplified by changes in atmospheric albedo;
2. The variable solar energy is absorbed by tropical oceans creating large pools with different amounts of stored energy;
3. Pools of ocean water with varying amounts of stored energy are transported by major ocean currents (Ocean Conveyor Belt) to other global locations where;
4. Differential evaporation rates from oceanic areas alter global atmospheric pressure patterns (i.e., jetstream position and associated atmospheric vorticity);
5. These patterns dictate regional precipitation and temperature distribution and, consequently, the regional hydrology.
All well and good, and he cites a couple of papers to support the thesis. But then I look at the far right AA in the basement and the Mississippi already nearly shut down and I really really hope “something is different” during a grand minimum or the Midwest is just Royally Screwed for the next 20 to 30 years. Repeat after me: “it is only a wiggle match. it is only a wiggle match. I will not leap off the cliff of conclusion. It is only a wiggle match. It is…”
Back At Perception
Which brings me back to the issue of perceptions. A relationship is postulated. It is put in a graph that looks nice. It seems to fit the data in normal times. Then “something different happens” (and a Grand Solar Minimum” is quite different). Does it still hold? We don’t know. The data don’t cover that situation. But the graph leads us to a clear conclusion; despite the lack of suitable data.
So graphs are interesting, and very useful, and can give interesting insights into possible futures. BUT, it is very important to just look at the data and the proposed mechanisms too. Why? Because the mind brings a lot more to the graph than is IN the graph… Sometimes that is a feature; often it is not.