Where The UV Goes…

When I was a kid, my Dad would show me things.
Then he would review, saying “This happened, then what happens?”.

I ‘caught on’ and started asking questions of the form: “What next?” “Then what happens?”.

It is now one of my standard processes. To just say “FOO happened, what happens next?”. Or sometimes “FOO happened, what happened before that?”

Lately, the sun has gone quiet. This largely showed up as a lowered output of Ultra Violet and increased output of Infra Red.

Then what happens?

We already know that the lower UV caused cooling high in the Stratosphere (where UV is absorbed) and a general shortening of the air column (NASA found, for example, that drag on satellites was a bit lower). I’ve pointed out that this will have an effect similar to raising the altitude of a mountain peak. The tops are now in thinner air. Maybe not a whole lot, but perhaps enough. So we’ve seen more snow in the mountains and the start of a recovery of glaciers in some places.

I looked at how some of it would likely unfold in the air here:


And Stephen Wilde has a much more detailed elaboration of how the changes reflect in the movement of air masses and Rossby Waves and all in his thesis / elaboration:

Intro bit here:


Full paper here:


I’ve described, in a comment, the differences in our point of view largely being ‘starting point’. Also he has priority on the changes in the weather patterns, having done his work before I’d done much (and before I’d noticed his).

The difference, IMHO, is that he says “the clouds move and that changes things” where I’m saying “the UV changes and that makes the atmosphere ‘less tall’ that then moves the cell bands (and incidentally the clouds) and that changes things”.

So a bit different in ‘starting cause’ on my end, and more detail on ‘inner feedbacks’ on his end, and probably about the same from that point onward.
Stick a UV trigger on the front of his thesis and add in some “altitude effects” from squashed atmospheric dynamics in the middle causing a more loopy jet stream and I think we’re on pretty much the same page. (Or add cloud dynamics and albedo feedbacks to my outline; which I readily admit I’ve ignored as it’s one of the ‘hard bits’..)

Then what happens?

But there’s another place where UV goes. Into the oceans.

So what happens then?

Long wavelengths like IR, red, even yellow and green, are very rapidly absorbed into the surface layer of water. Any diver can tell you that just a tiny ways down, color is gone. Things lose reds first (so they start to look dark / black) then yellows and greens, eventually you are left with a generally blue world. (That is why some fish, like bright red rock fish, can use that color for camouflage at depth.)

UV penetrates deeply into the ocean.
IR is promptly absorbed into the very surface, causing evaporation, and does not heat the water at all.

Ocean depth reached by wavelength of light

Ocean depth reached by wavelength of light

Then what happens?

So in the “Global Warming” world of the 30 year warm cycle of weather that we have just exited, UV was taking energy deep into the oceans. Putting it fairly far away from the atmosphere. At altitude, the stratosphere was hotter, so when descending at the winter pole, the “Night Jet” and all would be fairly mild and generally there was less “push” to get cold air out of the polar regions (so a less “loopy jet stream”). At the same time, the oceans running on a much longer slower cycle, slowly gain heat, and start pushing to get to the poles a bit faster (as the poles are where the heat net-net leaves the planet). These warm waters take about 18 years to get from the center of the Pacific to the Arctic Ocean, so after a while we got increased Arctic ice melt. Quieter weather in the air, more weather in the water.

What happens when the part of sunlight shorter than 400 nm drops, and that at the long end increases:

Sunlight intensity variation with altitude / ocean depth

Sunlight intensity variation with altitude / ocean depth

(In reality, it is not a hard ‘cut off’ at 400 nm. The entire short end decreases in strength while the long end increases. That “hump” at the UV / Blue end flattens while the “tail” at the yellow / red end gets taller.)

When the UV drops, that reverses. The air gets more energetic; as that much colder Stratosphere sinking at the poles, does so more strongly, and the shorter atmospheric height causes faster wind speeds; as the same mass of air must move through a shorter atmospheric space. The ocean slows down. It gets less heat in at the warm parts, so less energy to drive it.

They both are “heat engines”, running on the difference in heat between the input (largely at the equator) and the poles (where net heat leaves). So that top few hundred feet of ocean are no longer getting all that lovely UV energy injected. It doesn’t need to transport it to the poles. The current slows down as the temperatures first, stabilize, then drop. But with a time lag. So about 2018 we ought to see the Arctic Ocean getting cold and the Arctic Ice pack growing and being more persistent.

More IR in the mix means more heat deposited promptly into the top mm of the ocean, and that causes evaporation. It doesn’t end up in the ocean, driving that heat engine. It ends up in the air as moisture. We get more rain. (Just as we have seen in the last decade). More heat in the air as evaporated water (not temperature), less in the oceans. Atmospheric weather and precipitation picks up. Ocean currents cool and slow.

What happens then?

Those places that depend on those currents to carry heat away will tend to warm up a bit, and those that depend on those currents to bring them heat will cool, a lot.

We’ve seen that with a “red tide” algae bloom in Florida (that is killing Manatees). Red Tide depends on warmer surface waters.

We’ve seen that in the UK where it is bitterly cold. That UV driven warm water is just not headed to the UK. They are not feeling the love… But they are getting a cold, UV starved, “Night Jet” from a cold Stratosphere descending in winter.

I’d also expect that as the water backs up, we could get more hurricanes eventually showing up in the USA. More energy moving by air, less by sea.

But do remember that the water time period is longer and slower than the air time period. So the change we saw in the air, starting in 1990, will show up in the water about now. We will be going back to the hurricanes like those from the ’50s.

In Conclusion

So at this point I’m going to pause in this chain of “what happens next?” Pausing at this point because I think that this point is the one that needs pondering.

The UV, and how differential distribution of solar energy happens: matters.

It isn’t in the climate models. It isn’t thought about at all, near as I can tell. IMHO, it is one of the key “root causes” of the cyclical weather changes, over a 58 to 60 ish year cycle, and potentially plays a dramatic role in the 178-180 year weather cycles that look to have planetary “sun stirring” causality. (There is at least strong correlation, causality is in the ‘working it out’ phase…)

I think that is a major omission and pretty much invalidates all the present
“Climate Science”.

It is clear from the present weather that the recent solar changes and UV shift has had more impact than anything “Climate Science” has predicted. (Oh, pardon, “projected”… even they know they can’t predict anything and need to use a ‘polite lie’ to hide their failures…)

Clearly someone ought to put numbers on it. How many GigaWatts not going into the Stratosphere (making that cold pole colder) and not going into the oceans (slowing that water engine). How many more GigaWatts being evaporated from the surface by prompt IR driven evaporation. How many tons of water evaporated, not heated and sent to the poles 100 feet below the surface in a strong current. I’m sure it would be enlightening. It is a giant “Dig Here!”. The kind of thing the Climate Modelers ought to just love doing.

But even without that, the results can be seen. More rains in the topics (and Northern Australia). More cold in anywhere near a polar region where the descending stratosphere is now colder, and the warmth of the tropical oceans are arriving much more slowly. Even in the USA where we’re getting a cold spring, with more snow happening now, as cold polar Canadian air “does what it does” in the Midwest, and some backed up tropical warmth and wet reminds the South why they like life there, and as the East Coast looks out to sea and wonders about the next “Tropical Storm”.

Oh, and me? Well, had my shirt off in the sun an hour ago. There is far less UV than in the ’80s. I’d regularly sunburn in 20 minutes at noon, then. Now? Hey, not a problem. ( I can actually feel the difference. The “prickly warning” feeling in the skin just isn’t there in the first 1/2 hour. Not yet ready to try a whole hour ;-)

I’m prepping the BBQ to make dinner. Probably a BBQ chicken and some roast potatoes. We’re on a “warm lobe” of air right now. (Rossby Wave). A few days ago, we had rain as a cold lobe moved down from The Gulf of Alaska. Next week? Who knows… A couple of days back, we had “Hurricane force winds” in parts of California (not where I am) at 70+ miles per hour. Here we “only” had 50 mph or so… Yes, clearly more energy in the air. But the water off shore sets our temperature. It is still cold, so we have not gotten much rain (we get the cold water after it has dumped heat in Alaska and heads south for a recharge).

So that’s what I’m seeing in “where the UV goes”.

Now I’ve got to to go start some coals…. Probably need a few extra, as there’s a bit of wind, and it’s a cool wind. But I’ll be doing the BBQ in the sun, and that IR warms the skin nicely, even in a cool breeze… Haven’t needed sunscreen in a year or two either. Nice, that part…

Update: Satellite Data

Part of where this article came from was a discussion on WUWT. In that discussion there are some graphs, that I will include here. The first one shows the overall shift of spectrum measured by NASA. The second “gets down into the weeds” of individual parts of UV at the extreme end. The part that almost entirely gets absorbed in the very high atmosphere (thermosphere even).

SORCE measured vs expected changes

SORCE measured vs expected changes

First off, this is a terribly confusing graph. It does NOT show UV level. It shows size of change vs expected. It is just saying “UV Changed more than expected”, not in which direction. That word “Difference” in the side headings – or ‘first derivative” might be better. So that hump in UV is not more UV, it is more change in UV.

Second, it has a vertical black line at 242 nm. They shift scales at that line. To the left of that line, things are ‘blown up’ by 2.5 x compared to the right of the line. ( I truly hate this graph for how it is made. But like what it says…)

Some more caveats: Note that this is ONLY the period from 2004 to 2007. A particular part of the solar cycle. Also note that the band shorter than about 315 nm is absorbed in the ozone layer. It doesn’t reach the surface at all. There is a ‘level of detail’ left out of the above discussion involving the formation and destruction of atmospheric species, and absorption of UV of very short wavelength in ozone. It’s very complex, a bit contentious, and I didn’t want to get mired in that ozone detail. But in reality, there can be a major spike or drop in ultra short wavelengths that can change the amount and location of ozone in the upper atmosphere. (UV can both create, and break down, ozone and other complex molecules, depending on wavelength and altitude). So there is an entire area of thermosphere involvement and differential UV driven ozone at various atmospheric altitudes that needs examination.

Here is the original caption for that graph from the article at WUWT. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/22/sorces-solar-spectral-surprise-uv-declined-tsi-constant/:

Between 2004 and 2007, the Solar Irradiance Monitor (blue line) measured a decrease in ultraviolet radiation (less than 400 nanometers) that was a factor of four to six larger than expected (black line). In the visible part of the spectrum (400 to 700 nanometers), SIM showed a slight increase in comparison to what was expected. Measurements (red) from another ultraviolet radiation-sensing instrument called SOLSTICE compare well with those from SIM. Note: different scales are used for values at wavelengths less and more than 242 nanometers (see left and right axes respectively). Credit: Joanna Haigh/Imperial College London

But that graph does show that UV changed a whole lot more than expected.

Cahalan’s modeling, for example, suggests that the sun may underlie variations in stratospheric temperature more strongly than currently thought. Measurements have shown that stratospheric temperatures vary by about 1 °C (1.8 °F) over the course of a solar cycle, and Cahalan has demonstrated that inputting SIM’s measurements of spectral irradiance into a climate model produces variations of that same magnitude.

Without inclusion of SIM data, the model produces stratospheric temperature variations only about a fifth as strong as would be needed to explain observed stratospheric temperature variations. “We may have a lot more to learn about how solar variability works, and how the sun might influence our climate,” Cahalan said.

To which I would add “And the oceans, too”.

However, SIM suggests that ultraviolet irradiance fell far more than expected between 2004 and 2007 — by ten times as much as the total irradiance did
— while irradiance in certain visible and infrared wavelengths surprisingly increased, even as solar activity wound down overall.

The steep decrease in the ultraviolet, coupled with the increase in the visible and infrared, does even out to about the same total irradiance change as measured by the TIM during that period, according to the SIM measurements.

The stratosphere absorbs most of the shorter wavelengths of ultraviolet light, but some of the longest ultraviolet rays (UV-A), as well as much of the visible and infrared portions of the spectrum, directly heat Earth’s lower atmosphere and can have a significant impact on the climate.

So we have a modestly complex pattern of absorption of UV / blue ends, where it does complicated things to the upper atmosphere (stratosphere, mesosphere, even thermosphere) with differential ozone creation and destruction depending on wavelength and altitude; plus we have differential depth of ocean for absorption by wavelength. IR and long wave visible hardly entering the ocean at all, UV and short wave visible going much deeper. And with UV variation of “10 times TSI variation”. I think that matters…

Down in the comments of that posting, Leif Svalgaard points out that even that is not enough to capture the complexity, as SOME of the ultra short UV increases while others decrease. For my purposes, that is not very relevant, since he is looking at wavelengths so short they don’t make it through the upper atmosphere; but for folks looking at Ozone and related thermosphere / stratosphere effects, some of this will matter. Note that all the wavelengths in this graph are shorter than 315 nm. None of this participates in the air vs ocean vs land heat distribution effects.

Very short wavelength UV changes from Leif Svalgaard

Very short wavelength UV changes from Leif Svalgaard

So if you read the comments / discussion on that point at WUWT, realize that Leif is looking at variations of the peaks and valleys in the side of that “Difference” graph mostly to the left of that “change of scale” line, but straddling it to some extent. So yes, some of those spikes of “difference” are “more UV in one tiny band” while some are spikes of “less UV in one band”. Overall, that end of the scale doesn’t do anything to land vs ocean vs troposphere effects; but it does have important effects in the thermosphere / mesosphere / stratosphere and especially on ozone formation and destruction. (Part of why I avoided that part of the ‘what happens next’ discussion as it is very complex and poorly understood.)

In a comment on that article, responding to Leif, I point out that looking at how particular wavelengths change shows a complex pattern, but that overall the result looks like short end drops, long end rises. So the use of “UV” in this article is a bit of simplification. It really is “long end vs short end” overall, and without nice neat cutoffs at places we define via a nm size as being UV, and also with variations inside the particular bands we give particular meanings. But the net effect is that more energy goes into the oceans, or does not go in, and more goes into the atmosphere, or does not go in, but with some complex bits to work out. (So, for example, does one part of the upper atmosphere actually get MORE UV during a ‘slow down / drop of UV’ due to the increase in some wavelengths changing which layer of the upper atmosphere absorbs the different UV frequencies? Most likely. But which ones? “Dig Here!”) I chose to simplify that bit simply because it is the lower level of the stratosphere near / at the tropopause that has an effect on our weather and climate at the poles, not so much the thermosphere and high levels. Yet it is a glossing over. Ozone change does matter to net radiation to space. But if one “goes there”, they will also need to address changes by latitude and season as that Polar Night Jet and months of darkness modulate the ozone and polar heat loss. In short “a whole lot of moving parts you can not ignore”. We know the total air column got shorter and overall cooled. We know the polar vortex cooled. So I’ve chosen to skip over the elucidation of all the upper atmosphere UV detailed mechanics and jump to the observed “net net” of it all.

But here is the data from that comment:

OK, I’ve gone back to the SORCE data page as I’ve now got just a bit of time (before I start making Christmas Dinner preparations / prework)

In looking at a variety of ranges I’ve found very complex changes in output. Such that the words in the report become a simplification of way too much. I’ll not mention all the frequencies I put in to the request (partly as the site changes them to “something else it likes” anyway and partly because some were “uninteresting”. If I get a chance, I’ll download a set of images and put them up in a page, as this really needs a visual treatment. (What it really really needs is a 3 D graph of Power, Year, Frequency… )

Instead, for each point of frequency I’m going to give a simple 1 or 2 word description:

Above UVC – 0-100:

0.5 Dramatic Drop, but from 4 e-6 down to “near zero” e-6
39.5 Dramatic Drop, 6 e-6 to 5 e-6 (Spikes to zero. Instrument error?)

UVC – 100-290

115.5 Drops. 2.4 e-5 to 1.8 e-5 in 2009, then slight rise to 2 e-5
150.5 Drops. 9 e-5 to 7.75 e-5 in 2009, then slight rise to 8 e-5
190.5 Drops. 0.00415 to 0.00390 in 2009 then rise to 0.0040
250.5 Large Drop. 0.0580 to 0.0555 in 2008 then rise to 0.0565

UVB – 290 – 320

290.5 Drops. “near” 0.60 to 0.58. Graph looks steeper than data, scale stretched?

300.5 “Flat Hump”. 0.352 in 2003 to 0.356 in 2004, then 0.352-0.354 oscillator from 2005-2010. About Oct 2010 takes abrief ‘plunge’ to 0.346 and back to 0354.

305.5 Rise to flat. 0.600 – 0.610 in 2007-2010 with spikes to 0.615, then DROP to 0.605 with spikes down to 0.595.

308.5 Rise (the one you hit) 0.635 – 0.655 in 2010-Feb then drop to 0.645

310.02 Drops. 0.535 to 0.52 in 2010-about June, recent gap / jump up to 0.530
(really look at the graph on that one, the lead in and exit look more nearly the same with just some “spikes” different and I’m weighting the numbers to sort of average the spikes. It’s mostly a drop and recent return to “normal”)

320.06 Drops. 0.752 to 0.738 in 2007-2009, then slight rise to 0.745. Recent “gap up” to “near normal” of 0.748 in about November 2010

I included that last one in UVB even though the xxx.06 put it over the line. Since folks sunburn based on UVB, it kind of matters to me…

UVA 320-400

320.06 (as above)

329.90 Drops. 1.035 to 1.020 in 2007. Oscillates 1.020-1.025 to 2010, rise to 1.030 in November. (This one, too, looks like some kind of glitch / step function higher in about October / November…)

350.01 “Sag”. 0.987 to 0.980 (with ‘spikes’ down of 0.977) to 2008, slow rise back to 0.986 with oscillations until November 2010 “gap up” 0.988 – 0.990.

369.69 Big Rise Sags from 2004-2007 at 1.220-1.215, then rapid rise to 1.222+/- 2 then November “gap up” to 1.226

380 Near Flat 2004-2008 at 1.875 -1.190 oscillator. Rounds into a rolling rise to 1.194 then November ‘glitch’ and a spike to 1.202 drop to 1.192.

389.75 Drops. 0.177 to 0.168 in 2010. November “glitch” spike to 1.180 back to 1.175

399.79 Drops. 1.675 to 1.597. November “glitch” spike at 1.615 back to 1.610

That’s the end of the UVA, B, C set.

It’s pretty clear that something “complex” is going on and a 3 D graph is what is really needed. (Gee, I think I heard that somewhere before ;-)

Also of note, the set starts and ends with a drop. The middle has a bit of a rise. I have no idea what the “average power change” might be, but would guess from the number of “drop” vs “rise” and that some are on the “higher power side” of the rise points, it’s probably a drop (in keeping with the written words) but I’d not stand by that statement without “doing the math’ on the data download.

I note in passing that while the dermatology site said UV went to 400 nm the Wiki on visible light says “Violet” starts at 380 and goes to 450 so “YMMV” …

FWIW, the 420 Graph is a ‘rocket ride’ up. From 1.750 1.756, then the November ‘glitch’ and were at 1.760 now. So those violets in the flower garden ought to look particularly pleasing ;-) though the 450 range is ‘nearly flat hump’ until November when it “glitches” and jumps from 2.065 to 2.070.

I wonder what happened in November… (and note: That is an “eyeball” November so could easily be October… or…)

In Conclusion: Leif, I’m agreeing with you. The write up / press release is a lousy way to present a 3 D power graph. I’m just also adding some more data points and saying “needs a 3 D power graph”…

Though, having done the extra graphs above, I’d now add “and it looks like, depending on where you call ‘uv’, it could actually be dropping overall” and my skin agrees.

Parting Note: 500 nm (green) rises nicely 1.953 – 1.959 and 700 nm (red) does a “hump” with 1.4124 to 1.4135 in 2005 back to 1.4117 in 2010 then “glitch” and back at 1.4125. That walk in the garden could be an interesting thing. More greens and violets, a briefly higher reds… ;-)

What’s very clear from all of this is that the various colors each respond differently. There is undoubtedly a lot that can be learned from that, but it’s going to take a lot of effort by some very clever folks. It would be interesting to look at individual color lines for individual atomic species and see if anything interesting is visible there and it would also be interesting to see if this varies by depth in the sun. Corona vs surface vs… But ‘Ol Sol is not just sitting still. There’s stuff changing in there…

So hopefully this “under the covers detail” doesn’t confuse more than enlighten.

It is quite certain that none of that is in the climate models. It is also quite certain that as the sun changes activity levels, it redistributes the output power into widely varying parts of the spectrum, so they end up in very different parts of our planet. Overall, the effects are as presented in the original article, as best I can sort them out. But do realize that there is a lot of detail to be teased out and combed into order. In reality, the increase in long wavelength light can matter as much as the changes of UV / Violet. They tend to go in opposition overall, though, so naming one can stand as proxy for the other in general discussions. Only when getting into high altitude atmospheric chemistry and such does the detail inside the UV shift come into play, and only in the ‘shorter than 315 nm’ range. For surface heating effects, it really ought to be a “316 nm to 450 nm” or so vs “yellow, red, and IR”. I’m not so sure where to put the “blues” around 540 nm, they keep me awake nights ;-)

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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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54 Responses to Where The UV Goes…

  1. diogenes says:

    if you use a wok, then you don’t need the long-term planning around the coals…;) and the vits stay in the veggies

  2. Ian W says:

    Had you considered that both you and Stephen Wilde could be right? There is no ‘one’ thing that affects the atmosphere it is an entire chaotic mix.

    So UV from the Sun has reduced and IR has increased . This will reduce the heating of the upper atmosphere and change the chemistry of the ozone hole/recovery and the TOA has dropped. (The atmosphere is not as tall (tm EM)

    At the same time the oceans are not heated as much as before by UV and the temperature starts dropping faster than was thought likely (see Nir Shaviv’s “Using the oceans as a calorimeter to quantify the solar radiative forcing”). The infrared radiation will not penetrate the surface of the water but may cause increased evaporation from the surface and actually cool the surface water adding to the cooling due to the lack of UV. As the oceans cool the Hadley cells become less vigorous and do not have the energy to push the rest of the atmosphere poleward so the Ferrel cells and associated jet streams start moving south and the Rossby wave effect is not damped and the jet streams start to become loopy.

    However, in the Northern Hemisphere there is a lot more landmass and that will be warmed by infrared. So the inland areas will start to get hotter and drier while the oceans get cooler. This might be one of the causes of the blocking highs that prevent the Rossby waves progressing eastward. The longer jet streams and the weather systems in the Ferrel cells carry cloud cover over a larger surface area of the oceans leading to more cooling due to albedo and returning rain. The effect of the hot dry and cold wet could explain the rather extreme weather across the US at the moment with 80F temperatures one side of the front and 18F and snow the other side.

    I don’t think that it is possible to say ‘that one thing alters everything’ the elements in the chaotic system that make up the weather and climate are involved in a team event where each one reacts to the others.

  3. E.M.Smith says:


    Um, I think you wanted a cooking thread? Or are you suggesting a UV Wok? ;-)

    @Ian W:

    Um, I thought that was what I said? We reached basically the same conclusions about what happens in the atmosphere. I started at an earlier step (UV) where he started at the shift of the jet streams / clouds. My atmospheric model (mental model) was less detailed and robust, and he got there first anyway.

    So “mostly the same”, a little bit of difference around the edges.

    The rest of your description: Yes. Just like that.

    Though I’m certain there are a lot of little oscillators and inverters at various points in that chaotic connected pot of moving parts. But that’s OK, I “handwave” around them by saying “and that changes the weather” ;-)

    My only “value added” here, really, is pointing out the the wobbling bowl of jello and moving connected parts gets the first “kick” from Old Sol via that UV for IR swap; and that it’s the distribution between sea and land that changes.

    The rest of it I leave for Rube Goldberg to work out ;-)

  4. Eric Barnes says:

    Great post EM! :)
    The distribution of energy between UV and IR is interesting. I wonder whether the temperature record might clearly show the variance of average highs/lows in individual stations (or even all stations?) broken down by years? I know that the 30’s had wide swings in temps (extremely hot summers and extreme winters).

  5. Quail says:

    Interesting! Maybe you should send this to http://wattsupwiththat.com/
    It would be great to see what discussions it generates there.

  6. Joe Prins says:

    Did some re-reading of parts of John Kehr’s book: The inconvenient sceptic. Seems to me that he basically says the same thing. Mr. Wilde starts with cloud changes and EM start with ” The UV changes”. Mr. Kehr basically starts with: “The insolation changes”. Rather like the different starting points on a golf course. (Although, where i live in the middle of Alberta, these are still snow covered) Point is that eventually one has to start paying a lot more attention to that furnace in the sky, without which we would be on a permanent Europa.

  7. P.G.Sharrow says:

    This concept of differences in heating of different components of the Earth’s surface by the solar radiation changes is not one I have encountered before. Everyone seems to just say TSI covers it all. Like all boiling pots, the solar IR output changes very little over time, It can’t! UV on the other hand changes a great deal. The characteristics of water under pressure are the set point of all atmospheric and oceanic actions. The different results from the various solar radiations effects on water is the variable that has not addressed well yet. I find this post adds well to the work of Stephen Wilde on atmospherics of weather/climate. pg

  8. omanuel says:

    Radiation from the Sun covers the whole range of energies, . . . from cosmic rays emitted from its pulsar core to the UV, Vis and IR radiation that emerges after traversing the iron-rich solar mantle and its H,He-rich photosphere.

    See: Hiroko Miyahara’s video on: Solar Activity and Climate

    And this pdf summary: http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/news/2011ScienceMeeting/docs/presentations/2k_Miyahara_SORCE_brief.pdf

  9. E.M.Smith says:

    @Eric Barns:

    I think it ought to show up clearly in polar winter temperatures. That’s where the stratosphere descends (even to the point of touching the surface in the dead of winter).

    quoting the wiki

    Polar night jet

    The polar-night jet stream forms only during the winter months, i.e., polar nights, of the year in their respective hemispheres at around 60° latitude, but at a greater height than the polar jet, of about 80,000 feet (24,000 m). During these dark months the air high over the poles becomes much colder than the air over the equator. This difference in temperature gives rise to extreme air pressure differences in the stratosphere, which, when combined with the Coriolis effect, create the polar night jets, racing eastward at an altitude of about 30 miles (48 km). Inside the polar night jet is the polar vortex. The warmer air can only move along the edge of the polar vortex, but not enter it. Within the vortex, the cold polar air becomes cooler and cooler with neither warmer air from lower latitudes nor energy from the sun during the polar night

    For many months of that Polar Night, that vortex gets good and cold, and then that frozen air descends to the surface.

    But I think the folks in Germany and the UK are aware of that now…

    The really good news is that as “night” moves to the South Pole, folks there ought to get a major bit of relief.

    So what I’d expect to see as an indicator in the instrument record would be a greater summer / winter “delta” as the UV / Stratosphere is descending in winter, but not in summer. Summers ought not to change as much when UV goes low.

    Doing a compare of that with ocean temperature records would be great, but I think they are unlikely to go back far enough. Though perhaps some proxy from off of Iceland might work… Diatoms?

    Glad you like it! ;-)


    Thanks for thinking it of that caliber. Anthony has a ‘cart blanche’ to pick up and use anything here he finds of interest. So if it “makes the cut” he knows he can use it.

    @Joe Prins:

    Not gotten “John Kehr’s book: The inconvenient sceptic” yet. Only so many birthdays and Christmases in a year ;-)

    So he covers UV distribution? Maybe I’ll have to pry loose some money of my own to buy a copy. (I emptied out the Tip Jar on stove and preparation gear – thus the cooking and quake preparation / brick stove postings). Didn’t know anyone else had looked into it.

    It’s always nice to have confirmation of an idea from another finding the same thing. (And always just a bit of a “what? another one someone else found before me?” Oh Well.) At any rate, as long as folks are figuring it out and realizing how the system really works.

    Mr. Kehr basically starts with: “The insolation changes”.

    Or maybe I have got a tiny bit of “something new” in looking specifically at where the UV goes.

    If Mr. Kehr is looking at TSI as the change, it will find the same correlations, but the causality link will be weaker. I think the UV distribution helps to explain some of the greater causality from very small TSI changes. It’s not as much about “how much sun” as it is about “where the sunshine goes”. There is also that pesky Lunar / Tidal cycle effect as well. It stirs the surface waters more than wind does, so lunar / tidal also changes ocean temperatures (and thus the rest of the weather cycle.

    But thanks to “Orbital Resonance” the lunar / tidal runs on a cycle in sync with the major planets that are thought to stir the sun and make it cycle; so “they all go together when they go”…



    That links to this paper that details the lunar tidal cycles:


    so the ocean is having the surface stirred and mixed more at some times than others, while having the heating go deep, or not, in sync. More than enough to explain all our weather cycles and “extreme” changes.


    Well, I think it is original to me. But I’d not be surprised if other folks figured it out too. The truth is like that. Anyone can find it.


    And just where the different energies go, and how they change over time, matters…

  10. Andysaurus says:

    It seems to me that you have nailed a major factor in climate variability. Your arguments are compelling, and your exposition clear and concise. It also seems to match my observation here in Australia, and what I see of the news from the rest of the world.
    Naturally (and I use the word advisedly), your straight forward explanation is totally at odds with the GW alarmist’s, who seem to be glossing over temperatures straight-lining while CO2 increases. Have they no shame?
    I really appreciate your blog when I have time to read it. You always give my mind something meaty on which to chew. Thanks.

  11. Bloke down the pub says:

    More evaporation from the oceans means more rainfall. Greater temperature difference between the tropics and the poles means more, and stronger, hurricanes.You ask what happens next? Simple! The warmists say that it is what they predicted all along and that it’s all consistent with global warming theory.

  12. David says:

    The details which both you, Stephen Wilde and others put on these concepts are intriguing, and helping to answer my very broad scoped questions. Each wavelength of incoming TSI has a different residence time within the atmosphere, land and ocean. This residence time is of course affected by it own inherent properties as well as all of the material it encounters. Then my own little physics law…”Only two things can effect the energy content of any system in a radiative balance. Either a change in the input, or a change in the “residence time” of some aspect of those energies within the system.” Tallbloke, in his usuall harmonious way, once charged me with photon counting, which I insisted was quite necessary.

    I asked Willis this question; “Do we really have the understanding and sensitivity in all of our measuring to capture the earth’s energy budget as it changes form, phase, and location, or are there possibly slow changes in thermocline depths, hydrologic cycle speeds, atmospheric elevations, volcanism, Jet stream latitudes, cloud formations and locations, sea life blooms and crashes, large ocean currents, solar TSI changes, etc, that can receive or manifest energy quickly as heating and cooling in what area, but manifest it as temperature slowly or even imperceptibly in regard to our ability to capture these changes? I never got an answer.

    E.M. perhaps further proofs of these mechanism which you mention could be found in a study of the seasons. The point is things that control short term flux in both the atmosphere and SST, SWR / wind / cloud cover, obviously affect the atmosphere first, due to its much lower heat capacity. However the ocean, warming or cooling, drives the long term atmospheric average. The oceans may lag the atmosphere short term, but long term they drive it. And the sun in the long term drives the oceans. Near the end of the next two paragraphs I ask some questions, which which nobody I know of has answered but could assist in giving evidence to your ideas.

    Perhaps the earth’s seasonal biannual hemispheric energy pulse can reveal some of what happens with the ocean / atmosphere on a monthly daily and hourly basis, and over longer cycles due to solar changes. Sunlight, falling on the Earth when it’s about 3,000,000 miles closer to the sun in January, is about 7% more intense than in July, yet the Earth’s atmospheric average temperature is about 4 degrees F higher in July than January. Why? Because the Northern Hemisphere has more land which heats faster then water. So most people state that the Earth’s average temperature is about 4 degrees F higher in July than January, when in fact they should be stating that the ATMOSPHERE is 4 degrees higher in July. In January this extra SW energy is being pumped into the oceans where the “residence time” within the Earth’s ocean land and atmosphere is the longest. There are also other factors, such as the Northern hemispheres winter increase in albedo exceeds the southern hemisphere’s winter albedo, due to the far larger northern hemisphere land mass.

    So at perihelion we have a permanent loss to space of ? W/2m SWR due to increased albedo, and a temporary loss of SWR to the atmosphere, as at perihelion the SWR is falling on far more ocean, where it is absorbed into the oceans for far longer then if that SWR fell on land. Do these balance (unlikely) or is the earth gaining or losing energy during perihelion??? The TOA seasonal flux should tell us and climate models should accurately predict the observation. The point is CO2 cannot drive the changes, short term or long term compared to flux in SWR and its far greater ocean affect. Now our satellite analysis claim we have missing energy. IE, more energy is coming in annually then going out. This should certainly be true in the winter, as the oceans are absorbing more, but is it true in the summer???

    As these immense changes in SWR TSI happen bi-annually, then how much and how rapidly changes in most things we measure in climate, temperature, cloud cover, albedo, SST, OHC, TOA flux incoming and outgoing, must be reflected in these bi-annual changes and analyzing these relative to the bi-annual 7% perihelion/aphelion flux in SWR should give deeper insight relative to heat and energy flux within our earth system.

    More significant to CAGW theory; should and do the climate models capture and predict the seasonal fluxs in temperature, cloud cover, SST, OHC, TOA incoming and outgoing etc, which are caused by the earth’s seasonal perhilion and aphelion swings? Furthermore can they predict what would happen if this was reversed and the sun was at perihelion in July durning the NH summer? Further to the message, do the climate models match the historic proxy records from about 12,000 years ago when lunisol precession theory says this was the case?

    And an unrelated bonus thought, if there is little evidence of such 12 K year changes, perhaps this is evidence of precission being the result of the solar system curving through space.

    Thanks for all you fun posts!

  13. David says:

    Oh, by the way, sunligh penetrates deeper then most think.
    From 660 to 3,000 feet (200 to 900 meters), only about 1 percent of sunlight penetrates. This layer is known as the dysphotic zone (meaning “bad light”).

  14. Gail Combs says:

    Ian W says:
    9 April 2013 at 11:02 pm

    Had you considered that both you and Stephen Wilde could be right?….
    Yes they are both on the right track but the sun is the origin of the energy on earth therefore the change in the ratio of UV/IR in the TSI is the starting point. I think Stephen Wilde acknowledges this if my memory serves me correctly but his focus is the Adiabatic Processes and the total process.

    (Pause while rummages around in memory)
    Here is what Stephen says as a comment to the article Earth’s Climate Follows The Sun’s UV Groove by Doug L. Hoffman, 08/13/2012 –

    Note that I initially referred to solar proton reactions as affecting ozone quantities but later shifted my position to involve all chemical reactions that would affect the balance between ozone destruction and creation.That obviously includes the UV effects which you rely on pretty exclusively. I think it is prudent to take the wider view at this stage. See my comment after the article:

    “Following a lengthy exchange with solar specialist Dr. Leif Svalgaard I am inclined to the view that pinning the entire phenomenon on solar protons may be overly simplistic.

    Nonetheless the creation of ozone depleting reaction products from a number of solar linked causes does, to me, seem likely to be the cause of cooling of the mesosphere when the sun is active and warming when the sun is quiet which would give the required reversed sign solar effect to support the propositions in my article.

    To resolve the issue we need to await updated data concerning the temperature trends in mesosphere and stratosphere since 2007. ”

    Anyway, the whole point of my article is that raw TSI s NOT the culprit so your comment seems ill founded.

    Furthermore I explain how and why the solar changes alter the global circulation patterns to create global climate zone redistribution as part of a negative system response. Who else has gone that far ?

    I agree however that the paper you highlight does indeed provide empirical support for my hypothesis.

    My key concept is the variability of the GRADIENT of the tropopause height from equator to poles. Change that gradient and the climate zones are free to slide to and fro beneath the tropopause as a thermal regulatory process altering the rate of energy flow from surface to space as a negative system response to ANY forcing process.

    Yes it is me (Stephen Wilde) but my page display provided nowhere to indicate identity hence the apparently anonymous posting.

    Our ideas overlap to some degree and I look forward to real world events clarifying the issues for us…. http://theresilientearth.com/?q=content/earths-climate-follows-suns-uv-groove#comment-4347

    Stephen, EMS, William McClenney and Niv Shaviv all seem to be headed in the correct direction while the Climate Claque is wearing blindfolds of IPCC making.

  15. PhilJourdan says:

    So the mid 90s rise in temperature is now causing the ice to melt (the air temps are not above freezing, but the water…..). In another few years, that trend will reverse and the ice will start accumulating again. A natural cycle.

    As others have noted, you are explaining one factor that influences the climate. One of many from my understanding. So Andy’s observation is accurate. The problem with Global warming is they have not considered other factors, and so will invariably be wrong in their predictions. It is like betting on the outcome of a baseball game based upon the performance of one of the the hitters. Sometimes the 2 coincide and a good game by the player means a win. But not always. And that is why AGW is flawed. They are betting on the second baseman and ignoring the rest of the team.

  16. Gail Combs says:

    Ian W says
    ….However, in the Northern Hemisphere there is a lot more landmass and that will be warmed by infrared. So the inland areas will start to get hotter and drier while the oceans get cooler. This might be one of the causes of the blocking highs that prevent the Rossby waves progressing eastward. The longer jet streams and the weather systems in the Ferrel cells carry cloud cover over a larger surface area of the oceans leading to more cooling due to albedo and returning rain. The effect of the hot dry and cold wet could explain the rather extreme weather across the US at the moment with 80F temperatures one side of the front and 18F and snow the other side….
    Do not forget the mountains in the NH.
    It is thought that Rossby waves may be caused by the presence of substantial mountain barriers such as the Rockies, the Andes or the Tibetan plateau. Mountains help to create the wave like pattern. The ridges swing northwards and upwards around the barrier in a ridge and then swing downwards and southwards on the leeward side.

    The tutorial goes on to say

    …Rossby Waves are like rivers of air in the upper troposphere and they gradually meander. The meander loops get bigger and bigger until their wavelength from trough to trough could be as much as 8000 kms. When the Waves are well developed and cover a wide range of latitude they are said to have a low zonal index – which leads to the formation of ridges of blocking, high pressure systems and dry stable conditions. When they are almost straight and cover a narrow zone of latitude they are said to have a high zonal index – which leads to a succession of low pressure systems and unsettled weather. The waves evolve then they straighten up and then meanders form again in an endless cycle. The wave evolution cycle lasts about 6 weeks….

    SWAG is this pattern/cycle is what is disrupted by the change in UV and its effects on the atmosphere.

  17. Gail Combs says:

    ChiefIO you may want to add these two graphs to your post. They illustrate where the IR goes. (I really like visuals)

    from this essay: http://www.klimaatfraude.info/oceaanopwarming-of-zeespiegelstijging-door-co2-is-niet-mogelijk_193094.html

  18. adolfogiurfa says:

    Dear @E.M.: In current times we could say something, but as we are living quite “interesting times” we don´t know, just wait and see. As your dear father said:“This happened, then what happens?”. …As we don´t, just keep doing, and enjoying your BBQ.
    Can´t help thinking things are being unusual…perhaps, something up there, as a big E.M. is doing a planetary BBQ….

  19. DirkH says:

    “I think that is a major omission and pretty much invalidates all the present
    “Climate Science”.”
    When it became apparent a few years back how much UV varies during a Solar cycle, the climate scientists SHOULD have declared all their IPCC reports invalid instantly; including all their projections and scenarios.

    They didn’t; so they will have to suffer the consequence of entering history books as the biggest scoundrels of science.

  20. omanuel says:

    @E.M.Smith (10 April 2013 at 5:13 am)

    You have a keen analytic mind and ask the right questions.

    “And just where the different energies go, and how they change over time, matters…”

    Radiation from the Sun is changing and has changed over three different scales of time:

    1. On the geologic time scale, our Sun was a pulsar that emitted circular polarized, high-energy radiation five billion years (5 Gyr) ago. By gravitationally accumulating waste products, it evolved into an ordinary-looking star that emits mostly the visible yellow light that chlorophyll absorbs today for photosynthesis.

    The pulsar core of the Sun still probably emits high-energy cosmic rays, that are successively adsorbed and re-emitted as longer-wave radiation, first.from the Sun’s iron-rich mantle and then from its H,He-rich photosphere.

    2. On the 10-1000 year time-scale of solar cycles induced by the gravitational pull of the orbiting planets, the amount of absorbing material between Earth and the Sun’s pulsar core changes in a repeatable, cyclic fashion.

    _ a.) As the amount of shielding atomic material between Earth and the Sun’s pulsar core increases, the wavelength of light increases, UV -> VIS -> IR
    _ b.) As the amount of shielding atomic material between Earth and the Sun’s pulsar core decreases, the wavelength of light decreases, IR -> VIS -> UV

    3. On the very short time-scale of solar eruptions, high-energy radiation coming directly from the Sun’s pulsar core may reach Earth as a “cosmic-ray event” [1].

    [1] I. G. Usoskin, B. Kromer, F. Ludlow, J. Beer, M. Friedrich, G. A. Kovaltsov, S. K. Solanki and L. Wacker, “The AD775 cosmic event revisited: the Sun is to blame,” Astronomy & Astrophysics, Vol. 552, 2013, (in press)

  21. omanuel says:

    @DirkH (10 April 2013 at 2:00 pm)

    After 1945, fear and loathing of nuclear energy in the cores of heavy atoms, some planets, stars and galaxies convinced world leaders to make research grant funds the primary consequence of scientific efforts to obscure the source of energy that powers the Sun and the cosmos – neutron repulsion [1,2].


    [1] “Is the Sun a pulsar?” Nature 270, 159-160 (1977)

    [2] “Neutron repulsion,” The Apeiron Journal 19, 123-150 (2012) http://tinyurl.com/7t5ojrn

  22. Espen says:

    Regarding the climate in Europe: One thing which is really puzzling, is how the climate suddenly changed in a single step in 1988: Suddenly most of Europe was significantly warmer, with wetter and less cold winters. This period is now slowly grinding to a halt. And the key seems to be negative winter NAO. If you look at the long term trend here, you can clearly see a 1988 jump up in NAO (and maybe a less pronounced step in 1970): http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/pna/JFM_season_nao_index.shtml
    You can also see – modulo a lot of noise – the slow descent since then.

    I don’t think the NAO is very well understood – could there be a UV connection?

  23. Mddwave says:

    “And to hear the sun, what a thing to believe.
    But it’s all around if we could but perceive.
    To know ultra-violet, infra-red and X-rays,
    Beauty to find in so many ways.”

    Now I understand the Moody Blues “The Word” lyrics

  24. jim2 says:

    Here you go, Chief:

    “Good empirical correlations have been obtained between variations in solar activity and climate on time scales on the order of a week (1) and a century (2,3). Also, such solar terrestrial relationships have been suspected for periods equal to once and twice the 11 year sunspot cycle (4,5). However, the physical mechanisms that are responsible for such connections
    remain unknown, despite a number of plausible suggestions 116.7. .”


  25. tckev says:

    Many thanks EM. I’ve been somewhat confused by certain other ideas of what was happening, when really all it was is me grabbing the wrong end of things.
    Now I’ll just reread again till it all sticks – ’cause somedays it’s harder than others. ;-)

  26. Gail Combs says:

    The real question is what causes ‘Abrupt Climate Change.’ That is the question the Climastrologists ignore because there is no way in Hades CO2 can cause it and they know it. They also do not have a clue as to what causes these abrupt changes.

    MCClenny pointed out the new evidence of very quick climate changes at WUWT The evidence shows the change from Ice Age to the Holocene occurred in ONE YEAR. One paper shows temperature changed of 16C in one location.

    On one hand you have papers stating:

    “….The onset of the LEAP occurred within less than two decades, demonstrating the existence of a sharp threshold, which must be near 416 Wm2, which is the 65oN July insolation for 118 kyr BP (ref. 9). This value is only slightly below today’s value of 428 Wm2. Insolation will remain at this level slightly above the glacial inception for the next 4,000 years before it then increases again…..”

    While another states:

    Lesson from the past: present insolation minimum holds potential for glacial inception (2007)
    “….Because the intensities of the 397 ka BP and present insolation minima are very similar, we conclude that under natural boundary conditions the present insolation minimum holds the potential to terminate the Holocene interglacial. Our findings support the Ruddiman hypothesis [Ruddiman, W., 2003. The Anthropogenic Greenhouse Era began thousands of years ago. Climate Change 61, 261–293], which proposes that early anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission prevented the inception of a glacial that would otherwise already have started….”

    (This is where the real debate is)

    Now McClenney brought to the attention of WUWT readers a fall 2012 paper Can we predict the duration of an interglacial? that states the bipolar seesaw, losing Arctic ice and gaining Antarctic ice, is the signal that indicates we are already descending back into Ice Box earth. …“…thus, the first major reactivation of the bipolar seesaw would probably constitute an indication that the transition to a glacial state had already taken place….”

    The problem is not the mile of ice sitting on Chicago 3000 years in the future, it is the “…existence of a sharp threshold, which must be near 416 Wm2…” that is the PITA especially since the error bars are probably a lot bigger than they want you to believe.

    In other words the Holocene has been a very stable interglacial but all indications are that it will not remain so and the Idiots in Charge are wiping out our food reserves and energy producing infrastructure. We are one bad farming season away from WWIII and Clinton handed the USA Military secrets to China. A second link

    Do these Idiots have a death wish or do they just want to wipe out most of the human herd?

  27. jim2 says:

    Here is another paper that shows the correlation between solar irradiance and climate:

  28. Ian W says:

    David says:
    10 April 2013 at 11:43 am

    I asked Willis this question; “Do we really have the understanding and sensitivity in all of our measuring to capture the earth’s energy budget as it changes form, phase, and location, or are there possibly slow changes in thermocline depths, hydrologic cycle speeds, atmospheric elevations, volcanism, Jet stream latitudes, cloud formations and locations, sea life blooms and crashes, large ocean currents, solar TSI changes, etc, that can receive or manifest energy quickly as heating and cooling in what area, but manifest it as temperature slowly or even imperceptibly in regard to our ability to capture these changes? I never got an answer.

    I think that what you are looking for may be oceanic Rossby waves – which was where they were first hypothesized.

    from http://www.noc.soton.ac.uk/JRD/SAT/Rossby/Rossbyintro.html

    Another important characteristic is that they always travel from East to West, following the parallels. And they do not go fast – the speed varies with latitude and increases equatorward, but is of the orded of just a few cm/s (or a few km/day, if you prefer). This means that at mid-latitudes (say, 30 degrees N or S) one such wave may take several months – or even years – to cross the Pacific Ocean. Yes, you read well: in some cases they may cross an entire oceanic basin, being originated close to the eastern boundaries and being (as a first approximation) non-dispersive. Here you can read a few notes on the underlying theory and the generation mechanism.

    ” In the North Pacific, for instance, a Rossby wave, after the 10 years or so that it takes to cross the basin, can push the Kuroshio Current northwards and affect weather on the North America continent. This might have happened already in 1993, the culprit Rossby wave being an effect of the 1982-83 El Niño – see the paper by Jacobs et al in the 4th august 1994 issue of Nature.

    There is a great underestimation on how big the world actually is. Now add the ‘beat frequencies’ between several Rossby waves modulating the thermohaline current – except these waves are traveling at a few cm/sec speeds. Add in the cloud/albedo trade wind effects and the chaotic system cannot ever be considered as simply linear and there be no apparent ‘face validity’ to the system response(s) to perturbations as the system state is imperceptibly variable but with huge inertia.

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  30. E.M.Smith says:

    OK, I’ve added the graphs from Gail, along with some more, and some fine grained detail on the very very short UV that’s up in the very high altitude, but doesn’t ever reach the ground. Hopefully not too much “in the weeds” to break the readability of the original.

    I’ve also fixed Jim2’s broken URL (and that was the “round tuit” that got me to make the “How to do HTML and post URLs with dots in them” posting… )


    But now my brain is tired ;-) (Doing Recursion Hell in escaped HTML Unicode is, er, a focus consuming task…) So I’m not going to respond to all the comments now. Just reading them… After my (well deserved) tea, perhaps ;-)

  31. J Martin says:

    The pace at which the World descends into a glacial period will determine the death toll. So predicting the onset and rate at which glacial conditions might ensue may be crucial in determining how many survive. The question arises as to how much food a glacial World can grow and this would ultimately determine the population level.

    The shear logistics of transferring entire countries to Africa would be a challenge but could be done, the number of people entering and leaving the UK each year runs into the tens of millions. However, the challenge of building sufficient housing and infrastructure within a short time frame would be problematical. And in particular the problem of establishing sufficient farms would be key.

    I think mankind would inevitably make enormous efforts to modify the climate towards a warmer less glacial environment, perhaps focussing initially on cloud reduction over oceans, but later experimenting with space mirrors. It could be that a repeat of the Maunder minimum may be enough to bring on such endeavours.

    I can’t help but wonder if temperatures go to a repeat of the Maunder that in fact temperatures will then go deeper, as the overall trend must inevitably be down, unless the current Milankovic pattern may make escape from the next glacial a possibility.

  32. J Martin says:

    I can’t but help but notice that the Minoan, Roman, and Medieval peaks form a straight line and wonder if the next peak will also be on that line. Probably of no predictive worth whatsoever.

  33. E.M.Smith says:

    @J Martin:

    I’ve explored those bits already. The good news is we have at least a few hundred years before it is “Glacial Time” again, and maybe a couple of thousand. Right now, we are moving toward a slightly less glacial area inside a generally downtrending process. For the next “while” we get longer N. H. Summers, and that means harder to get into a Glacial.

    That does not prevent a Maunder type event nor a “Year without a summer” like “1800 and froze to death”, but it does mean “no ice age glacial right now”.

    The other “minor point” is that the onset of glacial cold may be fairly quick, but the ice takes 100,000 years to build up. (Mass transport from the oceans limited) So you have a glacial ice sheet that advances about 800 feet / year. You can stay ahead of the ice by walking south one day per year about 4 blocks…. Those are ‘suburb’ blocks. It would be about 1/6 of a Major City 1 mile square block…


    Some of the conclusions in these will be a bit “conflicted”, as the understanding evolved over time. I started off thinking we were headed for another Bond Event; but now I’m pretty sure that was The Little Ice Age after all. So we can get a 1/2 Bond Event, that is also cold, but not quite as bad. Ice Age Glacial, though, takes well longer than several lifetimes to “show up”…

    For better or worse, we are most likely to just repeat the last 700 years or so, with minor variations.

    If it really worries you, move to Florida or the USA “Desert Southwest”. They both do well (warmer and wetter) during a shutdown of the Gulf Stream / glacial conditions.

  34. E.M.Smith says:


    I think the “Glacial on the way, starting now” folks have missed a couple of tricks. However it is also quite true that we are “near the cusp” and long term “headed downhill to cold” with each warm peak lower than prior warm peaks and each cold peak lower than prior cold peaks. Yet I’m hopeful… ( As I hear an echo of my own: “But Hope is not a strategy. -E.M.Smith…)

    The simple reason is that at present, the N.H. Summers are getting longer, thus more warmth on the north pole. Thus harder, not easier, to enter a glacial episode. Yes, looked at on a 10,000 year time scale, we are screwed and are already in the early stages of the onset of the Next Glacial. But Geologic time is hard to grasp for people. On a 1000 year time scale, we are warm and getting warmer and N.H. summers are getting longer and all of that means “no glacial now”.

    Though back on a few hundred year time scale we are leaving a warm peak and heading into a Grand Minimum type cold event, even while the Gulf Stream is looking a bit weak. All of which says that Europe and the UK can get mighty frozen, Siberia can Popsicle up “right quick”, and many people in China can die of crop failures. Yet, when that happens, the “back up” of ocean heat into Florida and the Gulf of Mexico brings more water to the Desert Southwest of the USA and makes Florida very pleasant. (It’s in those above links. The D.O. / Seesaw one I think).

    Also realize that there are several time periods of oscillation to the Arctic Seesaw. I’ve even seen evidence of the 56-60 year lunar cycle showing up as Polar Seesaw changes. Most people are very un-careful about just what time period of seesaw they are looking at. It matters. So while we are in a “warmer north” phase now, on a 60 year basis, and maybe even on a 179 year basis, and it is likely to swap back to ‘cold Arctic’, I’d not count on that as the start of a Glacial. (Which, even if it did start, doesn’t mean the ice comes fast. Just that a lot of folks head to Florida and Brazil sends rice and beans to Europe.

    Think back 200 years ago. 1800. How many people moved from Europe to North America in 100 years? 200 years? Now we have jet airplanes and ships that carry thousands. And a time scale for moving measured in lifetimes. Not really a hard problem to solve (in engineering terms… in political terms it is impossible…)

    1,000,000,000 people, 3 flights / 1000 is 3,000,000 flights. Now make that 1000 groups of 3 planes (well inside our capacity) that’s 3.000 days. Say you do it 300 days of the year. That’s 10 years. Now figure in moving the growing families first, and some (large) percentage of old folks choosing to just “stay where they were born”, the present infrastructure being plenty to keep them warm and fed as other things pack up and move. It’s even easier. So we have a 100 year scale problem that can be fixed in 10 year scale time, using ONE already existing mode of transport.

    While I do think “the idiots in charge” are setting things up for a major food catastrophe, once they have had “The French Haircut” that tends to be delivered to “leadership” when a SHTF moment comes along, there is nothing technically that prevents us feeding everyone on the planet even with a 1/2 cut in primary productivity. We just swap some corn and rye from cattle, pigs, cars, and chickens to people.

    Again, this isn’t an engineering nor farming issue, it’s a political management issue…

    FWIW, you are physically in a very favored location, so your biggest problem will be all the folks wanting to give you gold for your crops ;-)

    It’s the folks in the UK and Germany and Sweden and Russia who get screwed. Lucky for us, they are on the other side of the ocean… (The few Canadians who come on down won’t be noticed – we get them all every winter anyway ;-) Besides, they are all smack up against the US border as it is, so all of about 800 feet away. Where have I heard 800 feet before? …;-)

    Oh, and pretty much all of South America other than the skinny bit at the bottom does fine too. Also Africa and all of “South Asia / Pacific Islands”. South Island New Zealand is a bit cold, but they are all going to N. Australia for the mines anyway and will likely be gone well before anything happens. And all the Alaskans can move to California and all we’ll notice is that the foreclosed empty house market is about 10% better… (No, no smiley on that one…)

    “Always look on the bright side of life!” (Sung in that Monty Python way… from the movie…)

  35. P.G.Sharrow says:

    I think that the Great Ice Mountains were built up as snow fields accumulate, in place. The snow compressed into ice, in place. Flow only took place after the ice achieved great thickness. You may have to travel faster then 800 feet a year to avoid the ice. Still a doable thing, even if the migration is a few 100 miles over a year or two. The Great Ice Mountains were caused by deep snows that did not melt over the summer. 20 feet will not melt over a northern summer as the ground and air can not warm. The next year snows can be much less and the air and ground still will not warm sufficiently in the summer. A warm ocean that is evaporating and dropping heavy wet snow over cold land builds up snow very fast. The air does not warm much over extensive snow fields. Winds must bring the Ground warmed air from the south to melt the snow. Change the wind pattern and the snow does not melt. When the snow fails to melt, permanent snow fields result. Permanent snow fields turn to ice fields that modify the air flow patterns due to permanent cold high pressure over them. As depth becomes great then glacial flow begins. pg

  36. David says:

    @PG, hum? sounds feasible. If a large land area cools somewhat dramatically, then high elevations over that entire area, maybe only a few hundred feet higher then the plateaus around them, could all begin to grow glaciers, converging from all directions in a fairly rapid manner. One always sees the ice sheets depicted as a massive wall advancing. And indeed glaciers do terminate in such moraines. I imagine contenintal size glaciers may advance fairly far into climates where the snow melts every summer.

  37. David says:

    Does anyone care to tackle the questions I asked here? David says:10 April 2013 at 11:43 am
    In particular I am curious if climate science has determined if the earth is gaining or losing energy in the SH summer.

  38. George B says:

    UV penetrates not only deeply into oceans, but also deeply into ice and snow. If the UV decreases, we see a decrease in energy penetration into glaciers.

  39. PhilJourdan says:

    The problem with a new ice age, if brought on suddenly, is not going to be Europe or North America. Populations are generally in decline in both areas (the only thing that keeps America going is immigration).

    The problem is with 1.2b starving Chinese, and a world class military that has nothing to do but spread out.

  40. Gail Combs says:

    J Martin says:
    10 April 2013 at 9:35 pm

    …..unless the current Milankovic pattern may make escape from the next glacial a possibility.
    That is the big question that our current civilization SHOULD be asking.

    Five of the last six interstatials have each lasted about half a precession cycle. The precession cycle varies between 19,000 and 23,000 years. We are now at 11,715 years. The paper, Can we predict the duration of an interglacial?, I mentioned above says the reactivation of the bipolar seesaw is an “… indication that the transition to a glacial state had already taken place.” (The Little Ice Age would be at about the correct timing.)

    MIS-19 seems to be the Holocene’s closest interglacial analog. (There is debate on that too.) MIS-19 had at least 3 abrupt warming events during glacial inception with the final warming having the largest dD amplitude (temperature change.) Fig. 2 from K.Pol et al 2010 (left is most recent) In Fig. 6 K.Pol et al compare the Holocene (MIS-1) to MIS-19 the lower part of the figure shows the ‘fit’ for eccentricity, precession and obliquity.

    MIS-11 is another candidate for a match to the Holocene. MIS-11 ran long ( 20-33kyrs) and consist of at least two insolation peaks.
    Chronis Tzedakis, did a comparason of MIS-1/MIS-11/MIS-19 in The MIS 11 – MIS 1 analogy, southern European vegetation, atmospheric methane and the “early anthropogenic hypothesis in 2010.
    Fig. 2 looks at lining up precession vs. lining up termination of glaciation (obliquity is out of whack). So the Holocene seems to fit the end of MIS-11 better than the beginning although the CAGW Climate Claque chooses to line up termination of glaciation, the beginnings of both interstatials.

    Tzedakis conclusion is:

    ….While the astronomical analogy between MIS 1 and MIS11 has been incorporated in mainstream literature, there is a distinct difference between the two intervals: the Holocene contains one insolation peak so far, while the MIS 11 interval of full interglacial conditions (Substage 11c of the marine isotopic stratigraphy) extends over two insolation peaks. Thus an interesting situation has arisen with regard to the precise alignment of the two intervals….

    The two schemes lead to very different conclusions about the length of the current interglacial, in the absence of anthropogenic forcing, …

    … the precessional alignment would suggest that the Holocene is nearing its end, while the obliquity alignment would suggest it has another 12,000 years to run its course….

    “In this view, the two Terminations are incommensurate and MIS-1 is analogous only to the second part of MIS-11c….

    On balance, what emerges is that projections on the natural duration of the current interglacial depend on the choice of analogue, while corroboration or refutation of the “early anthropogenic hypothesis” on the basis of comparisons with earlier interglacials remains irritatingly inconclusive.

    The above is a synopsis of McClenney’s WUWT essay

    Leif Svalgaard defends the going long position with the solar insolation staying just above the point needed to start glaciation for 60 kyrs.

    For us and our immediate descendants it really does not matter. You are going to get wild weather swings when the solar insolation is near the ‘trigger point’ whether or not the Holocene goes long or short.

    If you look at what water vapor actually does it modifies temperature swings so the lows are higher and the highs are lower. A comparison of the desert and a tropical humid area shows that at a glance. If the CAGW Climate Claque had any brains at all they would be PROMOTING the burning of coal in the hopes that CO2 acts as water vapor does and dampens temperature swings.

    Heinrich and Dansgaard-Oeschger events show just how unstable the temperature is when the theoretically calculated insolation at 65 °N is low.

    Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises by Committee on Abrupt Climate Change, National Research Council
    The climate record for the past 100,000 years clearly indicates that the climate system has undergone periodic–and often extreme–shifts, sometimes in as little as a decade or less. The causes of abrupt climate changes have not been clearly established, but the triggering of events is likely to be the result of multiple natural processes.

    That should scare the daylights out of anyone with intelligence as the sun heads into another sleepy time and the theoretically calculated insolation at 65 °N is lower than it was four hundred years ago I do not want to be around when the temperature catches up with that Annoying Lead Time Graph

  41. P.G.Sharrow says:

    @PhilJourdan: They Are and have. Chinese military/companies have spread all over the world. With check book and labor, not guns, Yet. But their population is greying fast and their manufacturing cost advantage is disappearing as well. The One Worlders will get their wish. The West will become so poor that they will have to go back to work. The next Industrial boom will be North America! It’s beginning all ready and will really take off as the Americans throw off the yoke of government strait jacket. I see the green shoots in the bare fields all ready. 8-) pg

  42. David says:

    Well PG, I like your vision. Perhaps the US ca learn anew the Ps of production.

  43. Gail Combs says:

    David says:

    …..I imagine contenintal size glaciers may advance fairly far into climates where the snow melts every summer.
    Yes, it is already happening. Endless Winter for Alaska’s Mountains This Year

    There aren’t many places you can go to in the United States to see snow in August, and usually, even Anchorage, Alaska, isn’t one of them.

    But the city is still dealing with leftover snow from last winter in its bordering mountain ranges. The all-time record snowfall of 133.6 inches last winter – just over 11 feet – could give Anchorage an endless winter.….

    The combination of heavy snowfall and a cool spring caused the lingering snow, said United States Department of Agriculture Snow Survey Supervisor Rick McClure….

    May, June and July have all seen colder monthly averages, with July making the cut as the seventh-coldest July in history. There were 24 days in May 19 days in June that fell below the average daily temperature.

    Adding the record-shattering snowfall into the mix, it’s possible the melt of last year’s snow could overlap with new snow falls that can occur as early as September. When this happens, glaciers can form.

    Somewhere I read it was not earth shattering cold but warmish snowy winters and cool summers that caused glaciers to expand.

    Chiefio, when I moved out of the Northeast did you think I picked mid North Carolina by chance? link

    Also my point is not glaciation, that is slow as we all should agree. It is the ‘Abrupt Climate Change’ where the weather this year is a lot different compared to last year. THAT is what kills off harvests because you planted the wrong crops for the weather. Gradual changes we can adapt to easily it is the abrupt changes that are the witch and it is the abrupt changes that current political policy is ignoring because it is good for the financiers and the Ag cartel.

    “In summary, we have record low grain inventories globally as we move into a new crop year. We have demand growing strongly. Which means that going forward even small crop failures are going to drive grain prices to record levels. As an investor, we continue to find these long term trends…very attractive.” Food shortfalls predicted: 2008 http://www.financialsense.com/fsu/editorials/dancy/2008/0104.html

    “Recently there have been increased calls for the development of a U.S. or international grain reserve to provide priority access to food supplies for Humanitarian needs. The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and the North American Export Grain Association (NAEGA) strongly advise against this concept..Stock reserves have a documented depressing effect on prices… and resulted in less aggressive market bidding for the grains.” July 22, 2008 letter to President Bush http://www.naega.org/images/pdf/grain_reserves_for_food_aid.pdf

    The big problem as I see it is we as a civilization have wasted a lot of time and energy chasing Mankind/CO2 is EVIL instead of figuring out what actually causes abrupt climate change.

    Sudden climate transitions during the Quaternary

    Until a few decades ago it was generally thought that all large-scale global and regional climate changes occurred gradually over a timescale of many centuries or millennia, scarcely perceptible during a human lifetime. The tendency of climate to change relatively suddenly has been one of the most suprising outcomes of the study of earth history… Some and possibly most large climate changes (involving, for example, a regional change in mean annual temperature of several degrees celsius) occurred at most on a timescale of a few centuries, sometimes decades, and perhaps even just a few years…. the full implications of these sudden changes for biogeography and for the evolution of human cultures and biology have barely begun to be considered; there has simply not been time for the message to be absorbed

    …Initial evidence from the GRIP ice core evidence (Dansgaard et al., 1993; Taylor et al. 1993) indicated that the Eemian was punctuated by many short-lived cold events, as shown by variations in electrical conductivity (a proxy for windblown dust, with more dust indicating colder, more arid conditions) and stable oxygen isotopes (a proxy for air temperature) of the ice were used by these workers infer the climatic conditions during the Eemian. The cold events seemed to last a few thousand years, and the magnitude of cooling was similar to the difference between glacial and interglacial conditions; a very dramatic contrast in climate. Furthermore, the shifts between these warm and cold periods seemed to be extremely rapid, possibly occurring over a few decades or less…..

    Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution: Are We on the Brink of a ‘New Little Ice Age?’

    ….Presently, there is only one viable mechanism identified in the report that may play a major role in determining the stable states of our climate and what causes transitions between them: It involves ocean dynamics.

    In order to balance the excess heating near the equator and cooling at the poles of the earth, both atmosphere and ocean transport heat from low to high latitudes….

    Our limited knowledge of ocean climate on long time scales, extracted from the analysis of sediment cores taken around the world ocean, has generally implicated the North Atlantic as the most unstable member of the conveyor: During millennial periods of cold climate, North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) formation either stopped or was seriously reduced. And this has generally followed periods of large freshwater discharge into the northern N. Atlantic…

    a disruption of the northern limb of the overturning circulation will affect the heat balance of the northern hemisphere and could affect both the oceanic and atmospheric climate. Model calculations indicate the potential for cooling of 3 to 5 degree Celsius in the ocean and atmosphere should a total disruption occur. This is a third to a half the temperature change experienced during major ice ages…..

    Researchers always tell you that more research funding is needed, and we are not any different. Our main message is not just that, however. It is that global climate is moving in a direction that makes abrupt climate change more probable, that these dynamics lie beyond the capability of many of the models used in IPCC reports, and the consequences of ignoring this may be large. For those of us living around the edge of the N. Atlantic Ocean, we may be planning for climate scenarios of global warming that are opposite to what might actually occur.

  44. Gail Combs says:

    J Martin says:
    10 April 2013 at 10:02 pm

    I can’t but help but notice that the Minoan, Roman, and Medieval peaks form a straight line and wonder if the next peak will also be on that line….
    Why should it not given the Annoying Lead Time Graph.

  45. Gail Combs says:

    PhilJourdan says:
    11 April 2013 at 11:13 am
    …The problem is with 1.2b starving Chinese, and a world class military that has nothing to do but spread out.
    And it is now ‘a world class military’ thanks to Clinton.

    The Chinese are well aware of the problem. They have gotten hit with some nasty winters of late and do not believe CAGW so they are making a move into Africa and scarfing up farmland.

    Agricultural development and “land grabs:” The Chinese presence in the African agricultural sector

  46. Gail Combs says:

    On the subject of the sun and climate, these two threads at WUWT are interesting.

    Svalgaard appears to have lost his God-like status as High Priest of solar knowledge in the thread Current solar cycle data seems to be past the peak and a Met Office Document obtained through FOI “…is brutally honest in admitting how little the Met’s scientists understand about what affects our climate, and, in particular, what caused the unusual weather last year. This is in stark contrast to many of the hyped up claims, made in public statements in the recent past by, among others, the Met Office themselves….”

  47. David says:

    Thanks Gail. Leif is a bit negative about the uncertainty in an area we really have such limited understanding.

    So Gail, what do you think, is the earth (land, oceans, and atmosphere) gaining or losing energy in the SH summer, when global T drops considerably?

  48. Ian W says:

    Seems that the Hedge Funds may have learned from Shakespeare:
    “WILLIAM Shakespeare has been exposed as a tax-avoiding merchant who exploited famine by illegally hoarding food to sell at inflated prices.

    In a paper, they wrote: “Over a 15-year period, Shakespeare purchased and stored grain, malt and barley for resale at inflated prices to neighbours and local tradesmen.

    “In February 1598 he was prosecuted for holding 80 bushels of malt or corn during a time of shortage. He pursued those who could not pay him in full for these staples and used the profits to further his own money-lending activities…

    “Profits were channelled into land purchases. He also acquired tithes on local produce, including ‘corn, grain, blade, and hay’, allowing him to cream off the profits from others’ manual work.

    “By combining both illegal and legal activities, Shakespeare was able to retire in 1613 as the largest property owner in his home town, Stratford- upon-Avon. His profits – minus a few fines for illegal hoarding and tax evasion – meant he had a working life of just 24 years.””


    Interesting date for there to be famine in Central England….

    Not that the Sun has anything to do with climate you understand

  49. Gail Combs says:

    David says:
    ….So Gail, what do you think, is the earth (land, oceans, and atmosphere) gaininng or losing energy in the SH summer, when global T drops considerably?
    I think the sun + oceans is what drives the climate and the earth, specifically the oceans are posed to start losing energy. EPA SST (Sea Surface Temperature) graph and Dr. Spencer’s SST graph Here is Dr. Spencer’s latest report on SST link

    E.M.Smith states: “….The simple reason is that at present, the N.H. Summers are getting longer, thus more warmth on the north pole. Thus harder, not easier, to enter a glacial episode….” However it is in the southern hemisphere that the majority of ocean waters reside. If the N.H. summers are getting longer then the S.H. winters are also getting longer and there is less UV/sunlight entering the oceans. With more warmth at the north pole and less ice you get faster transport of energy out to space. This I think is why the Bipolar Seesaw is important. It allows the earth to shed heat faster.

    We already know the air temperature follows that of the oceans especially near the coasts. We have a pretty good indication that less UV => loopy jets => the polar express dumping snow on the N.H. NH snow Oct. and NH snow Nov and NH snow Dec. and NH snow Jan. and NH snow Feb.

    We know that we are past the Holocene Optimum and each swing warmer is less warm than the one before and the swing colder is colder than the one before. Bob Tisdale has done a lot of work connecting ENSO to clouds and the trade winds and the warming of SST to El Niño’s. If the sun’s change in % UV effects ENSO we could see more La Niña’s in the coming years.

    Short term we do not know if Solar Cycle 24 is a one off or if we are seeing a change to a Grand Solar Minimum as Landscheidt, Shahinaz M. Yousef and others have predicted.


    Shahinaz M. Yousef
    Astronomy &Meteorology Dept.
    Faculty of Science -Cairo University


    …The key in understanding the cause and effect of those types of solar cycles lies in the fact that those low amplitude intermediate cycles rotate faster than the normal ones thus . Hoyt and Schatten (1997) argue that any change in solar rotation rate is a very persuasive indicator that the deeper levels of convection are varying, and hence there is a corresponding variation in solar luminosity and irradiance. Also there has been evidence of change of the daily equatorial rates and cycle length at the maximum of the last Solar Wolf-Gleissberg cycle around cycle 19.

    Climate fluctuations are known from, sharp rises or falls of lakes levels, temperature anomalies, change in the general wind circulation and droughts and flood- Hazards. Yousef (1995a) predicted the downturn of solar activity in 1997 with the start of weak low amplitude fast rotation and longer duration sunspot cycle 23. This is evidentlyconfirmed by the sharp rise of lake Victoria level in 1997-98. Lean (2001) is also seeing a drop in the solar irradiance which might be the start of a longer term drop. Since that is the case, then 1997 is a year of climate fluctuation and a drop of global earth air and sea temperature is predicted soon similar to that happened during similar circumstances around 1800 and 1900, with increased El Nino and La Nina frequencies leading to wide spread flood -drought hazards and God knows best.
    ….Solar variations can be of the order of 11-yr. sunspot cycle, the 22-yr. oscillations in the solar polar
    magnetic field. A longer variation of roughly 80-yr.(Krivsky 1995, Hoyt and Schatten 1997), referred
    to as the Wolf-Gleissberg cycle. As far as long periodicities are concerned, proxy data help build up a
    rather stronger case for the 80 to 90 year and 180 to 200 year cycles(Burroughs 1992). Carbon-14,
    which responds to solar variations, has reported cycle of around 200 years. This same cycle also shows
    up in such other climate proxies as the oxygen-18/oxygen-16 ratio used to measure oceanic
    temperatures ,and tree-rings, which respond to precipitation and temperature. These results suggests
    sun/climate connection( Hoyt and Schatten 1997). In addition, on the long time scale, historical
    accounts for the absence of sunspots and coincident drop in aurora reports mark a period of solar
    inactivity known as Maunder Minimum (1645-1715),Eddy (1978). It is now generally believed that 14C
    anomalies in tree rings of known ages mark times in the past when other weaker solar activity episodes
    have occurred. Episodes of anomalously strong activity are indicated as well. The interval between
    anomalies varies, but is perhaps characteristically around 400 yr. Stuiver Braziunas (1992) reported
    oscillations with a period of 416 year.


    Cycle 19 began April 1954 and ended October 1964. ~1960 (peak) + 44 yrs = 2004….. Maunder Minimum 1645 (start) + 400 years = 2045 to 2061 for a 416 year period.

  50. Gail Combs says:

    OOPs sorry for not cleaning up the last paragraphs of the cut and past. (Spousal interference)

    I though Edward DeVere, the 17th Earl of Oxford was William Shakespeare. link

  51. Gail Combs says:

    I am trying to catch up with my WUWT reading and so far these two items stuck out. NASA satellite data shows a decline in water vapor… the most important greenhouse gas, has declined in the upper atmosphere causing a cooling effect… and a comment by Dr. Svalgaard

    … Because the Earth is closest to the Sun in January it receives more energy from the Sun, so it is understandable that it must also lose more…

    That was in response to the comment in the article “…Normally the Arctic is losing energy at a rate of 163 W/m^2. In January of 2013 it was losing energy at a rate of 173 W/m^2. That 6% increase in rate of energy loss…’

    And an interesting Graph of the NH, SH and global actual monthly average temperatures ( 1900-1990 data). From John Kehr (the Inconvenient Sceptic) author of that Annoying Lead time Graph. You can see the NH does warm more in the summer and the SH does not have the wide temperature swings thanks to all that water.

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