I was generally trying to get ‘restarted’ after some changes at work increased my workload ( the two senior folks “moved on” leaving me as ‘most senior’…) and was looking for a new “muse”. Landed on an interesting paper by Habibullo. He thinks a new Little Ice Age is coming.
GRAND MINIMUM OF THE TOTAL SOLAR IRRADIANCE LEADS TO THE LITTLE ICE AGE
by Habibullo Abdussamatov | November 25, 2013
Source: Published Nestor-Istoriya, St. Petersburg, October 2013, ISBN 978-5-44690-122-7, –246 p., in Russian. firstname.lastname@example.org
I had the pleasure to meet him once in Chicago. An energetic and focused man. One of those folks you meet and just KNOW they are meticulous and through. Someone who speaks the truth as they understand it, come what may. I like him.
So he thinks we enter a new little ice age about now as we come off the “top” of the present solar cycle (the top of which is rather like the bottom of prior ones… IMHO… with snow in Cairo and Israel..) Then it gets worse to about 2060. The paper is a short easy read, so I’ll leave it to folks to get the details there. There is a bit of Russian affect in the language, so it helps if you are not too hung up on agreement of number and such from an English point of view. Personally, I like the “accent”. Somehow if feels like a Great Russian Bear….
At any rate, one thing in it got me pondering. He has a graph showing TSI dropping by an expected 6 Watts or so. Yikes! I’ve been indoctrinated into the Solar Constant meme and find that a big number. So I go off looking for where that does not agree with Received Wisdom. OK, lots of nice smooth charts showing about 1361 W/m^2 with a small 1.5 or so wobble over the recorded sunspot cycles. While H.A. has it as 1366 now dropping to 1360 as things get cold. Who is right?
The Trouble With TSI
The basic problem is that we don’t measure TSI as defined. We measured a subset of the spectrum near earth for most of the record. Only recently do we have really decent data. The prior measurements are more scattered in range. The solution?
Sigh. Where have we seen this before…
I ran into a site that does into it in far more depth than I would, so I’m going to put a link here to them. It looks well done. As a sidebar: The guy has a chip on his shoulder about gravity and several postings claiming that gravity isn’t as claimed… OK, there ARE issues with gravity and nobody knows how it works, so maybe he is onto something or maybe his a bit off kilter. Just don’t let that get in the way of reading the stuff on TSI. It looks well researched.
The “net net” of it all is that early readings are 1366 and recent are 1361 (ish) but they are computer model adjusted to be a flat “solar constant”… Who’s right? Well, it comes down to “Who do you trust?” as it’s based on hypotheticals. Sigh.
What gets it for me is this graph showing the relative data of different measuring devices and the second one showing the different spectrum they measure. As we have only now learned that a quiet sun shifts spectrum rather a lot, and mostly in the poorly sampled UV ranges, we simply don’t have the data to say how much power was really being radiated when and measured by what instrument, as they didn’t cover the whole spectrum and the adjustments to calibrate to a ‘solar constant’ are more assumption than observation.
The Composting happens:
In my opinion, it all comes down to this gem, showing how each measures a different thing:
Just how can you get any information about TSI change that depends on shifting how much energy is in which frequencies when you didn’t measure them all?
So, in the end, we really don’t know what historic TSI has been. We have some proxies. We have some very limited measured subset of frequencies. And we have a whole lot of hand waving to make it fit the narrative of a Solar Constant.
Personally, since that leaves us with “Who do you trust?”, I trust Habibulo. I don’t trust NASA, given their propensity for social activism, noble cause corruption, and having kept Hansen around well past his “sell by” date…
At any rate, I’m getting the rest of my life restarted after a bunch of changes. Hopefully I can ramp back up to full speed here. It looks like the next decade or two will be cold, and then who knows. Place your bets.
I’ve also become a bit more skeptical about TSI as Solar Constant and a lot more wondering what our variable star will do next.