The Answer Really is 42!

Well, I think I’m about to set a personal record for total posts in one day. I’ve not gotten one other thing done today, but I think it was worth it. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll see if I still have a yard ;-)

Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything

Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything

Original Image

Well, in a stroke the Infinite Improbability Drive had caused the solar climate constant sunspot number to coincidentally coincide with the Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything. Once this was realized on planet Earth, they proceeded to take over the Galaxy, enslave the Vogons, and sell a large number of vacation packages for a beach resort in a place called Cancun, Mexico where revelers could watch a reenactment of the Second Inquisition where in prior times their ancient Priests of Climate had tortured the rest of the population over the fact that they were made of carbon. A ritual not clearly understood to this day, but still, one that entertained the visitors. At least until they had to pay the bill.

(With apologies to all Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy fans…)

An explanation of 42 for the puzzled

An explanation of what the heck that paragraph is talking about for the really puzzled

The Integrated Sun

Tallbloke has a very interesting article that finds that, modulo a “magic number” of 42, the running total of sunspot number has a very strong “wiggle match” to the temperature of the planet. Basically, that running total of sunspot number serves as a proxy for retained heat, that shows up in the ocean temperature. The “42” is the average of sunspots where there is no net temperature change, where we are presently in thermal balance with solar output.

The comments contain many interesting bits as well. There are pointers to two or three MORE things for me to read, including what ought to be another good article by Nir Shaviv about ‘Using the oceans as a calorimeter’ along with a pointer from Adolfo Giurfa to an article about Abdusamatov:

The basic thesis is well presented, and the graphics are compelling. The only thing wrong with it is that now I need to think some more, and I’ve no coffee made, and it’s nearing Mid-Night and I ought not to be drinking more coffee right now and staying up reading more… Those of you in other time zones will not have this particular problem; so perhaps you can do the thinking for the rest of us and provide the ultimate answer ;-)

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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6 Responses to The Answer Really is 42!

  1. Baa Humbug says:

    Hi EM

    I recommend Nir Shavivs “Using the Oceans as a calorimetere”

    p.s. I think I may have found that spot in a corner of the world you are looking for.

    Valette Malta

    There they refuse permission to enviro advocates wanting to hold rallies etc in town. My kind of local govt.
    And you get a Mediterranean CLIMATE to boot :)

  2. Jeff Alberts says:

    Yeah, but the question was wrong in the first place (what do you get when you multiply 6 by 9). So yeah, it works for climate science, wrong question, “right” answer.

  3. Gene Zeien says:

    Jeff: “multiply 6 by 9…”

    54 6×7=42

    As EMS indicated, 42 is the magic number now. If the temperature is higher, or lower, the average sunspot number (SSN) required to maintain equilibrium at that temperature will be higher, or lower. Notice that there is a 2-4 year lag between the peak SSN and temperature. Similarly, we can expect a lag between the average SSN dropping, and the average global temperature following suit.

  4. boballab says:

    Since you brought up HHGTTG, here is a series of Scifi books co-written by a Physicist, Dr. Travis Taylor. Doc Taylor is also one of the Physicists that has appeared on the History Channel series, The Universe (he’s the self proclaimed Redneck with a PhD).

    Into The Looking Glass
    Vorpal Blade
    Maxome Foe
    Claws That Catch

    What is interesting about his books is that they are based on real or the “best guess” postulation of Physics. Example of this is that in Vorpal Blade he stresses that one of the major concerns with any space craft that is going to be designed for long periods in deep space, they must have to have an efficient way to shed waste heat and he designs his ship with that in mind. You can read them for free online here:

    (yes it’s legal the Publisher gave the site owner permission to put all those books online for free. It’s Baen they think of their readers and potential new readers and the free advertising this brings…)

  5. tallbloke says:

    Hi E.M. and thanks for the props.

    Gene, due to the ocean switching from heat absorption to heat release mode as the solar cycle progresses, you tend to get El Nino soon after minimum, and a La nina around maximum, with weaker el Nino’s on the way down the tail of the cycle.

    This gives the illusion of a ‘lag’ and also flattens the apparent surface temperature response to the solar input. This has led to an underestimation of the solar effect on temperature change, as the max-min change seems to be around 0.1C when the data is averaged, but is really more when the charging of the oceanic heat content battery is taken into acount. This doesn’t show up in surface temperature.

    So the variation in the sunspot number over the c20th actually caused a bigger variation in temperature than studies have shown.

    the effect of the sun going quiet will be mitigated by all the excess energy in the ocean escaping back to the atmosphere for some time to come, and this will help us understand the timescales on which sequestered solar energy in the oceans reappears in climate indices.

    So the warmists were right, there is ‘heat in the pipeline’, but it’s solar energy, not co2 that put it there.

  6. Gene Zeien says:

    tallbloke, I agree with every point you made, except that the lag is an illusion.

    The lag is inherent in the metric, average air temperature at ~2m. The change in energy input needs to overcome the inertia in all the buffers before the surface stations register. Add in a pile of white noise, and the change takes longer to detect with this measurement method.

    There is a “lag” between cause & effect in nearly every measureable system. Look at a super-fuel dragster in a slow-mo video & you will see all the flexible parts(i.e. buffers) of the car getting stressed. Just about every part visibly absorbs energy before the whole dragster moves forward an inch. As the dragster moves forward, some of the energy sequestered in the buffers is released until getting loaded up again by the 1-2 shift.

    I’m quite happy that our planet’s temperature moves on a slower time-scale. As you pointed out, the ocean & atmosphere are significant buffers. Fortunately, the sun is fairly stable.

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