Salvatore Del Prete Thesis

I’m putting up a copy of a comment from WUWT by Salvatore Del Prete.

Why? Because it is interesting, and I keep forgetting where he’s posted things, so figure this will make it easier to find again ;-)

He posted in last then first order in two parts and I’m leaving it that way.

First, there was this ‘teaser’:

Salvatore Del Prete May 29, 2015 at 11:10 am

I would say before this decade ends because what is GOING to happen is the global temperature trend is going to be in a definitive down turn due to prolonged minimum solar conditions and the associated secondary effects.
The PDO/AMO and ENSO will also be more often then not in a phase which promotes global cooling. Evidence exist for a connection between these indices and solar/lunar parameters.

Then a bit further down, the full description:

Salvatore Del Prete May 29, 2015 at 11:14 am

Here is why and how I think the climate may change. Part two is sent first followed by part 1.


Below I list my low average solar parameters criteria which I think will result in secondary effects being exerted upon the climatic system.

My biggest hurdle I think is not if these low average solar parameters would exert an influence upon the climate but rather will they be reached and if reached for how long a period of time?

I think each of the items I list , both primary and secondary effects due to solar variability if reached are more then enough to bring the global temperatures down by at least .5c in the coming years.

Even a .15 % decrease from just solar irradiance alone is going to bring the average global temperature down by .2c or so all other things being equal. That is 40% of the .5c drop I think can be attained. Never mind the contribution from everything else that is mentioned.

What I am going to do is look into research on sun like stars to try to get some sort of a gage as to how much possible variation might be inherent with the total solar irradiance of the sun. That said we know EUV light varies by much greater amounts, and within the spectrum of total solar irradiance some of it is in anti phase which mask total variability within the spectrum. It makes the total irradiance variation seem less then it is.

I also think the .1% variation that is so acceptable for TSI is on flimsy ground in that measurements for this item are not consistent and the history of measuring this item with instrumentation is just to short to draw these conclusions not to mention I know some sun like stars (which I am going to look into more) have much greater variability of .1%.

I think Milankovich Cycles, the Initial State of the Climate or Mean State of the Climate , State of Earth’s Magnetic Field set the background for long run climate change and how effective given solar variability will be when it changes when combined with those items. Nevertheless I think solar variability within itself will always be able to exert some kind of an influence on the climate regardless if , and that is my hurdle IF the solar variability is great enough in magnitude and duration of time. Sometimes solar variability acting in concert with factors setting the long term climatic trend while at other times acting in opposition.


Solar Flux avg. sub 90

Solar Wind avg. sub 350 km/sec

AP index avg. sub 5.0

Cosmic ray counts north of 6500 counts per minute

Total Solar Irradiance off .15% or more

EUV light average 0-105 nm sub 100 units (or off 100% or more) and longer UV light emissions around 300 nm off by several percent.

IMF around 4.0 nt or lower.

The above solar parameter averages following several years of sub solar activity in general which commenced in year 2005..

If , these average solar parameters are the rule going forward for the remainder of this decade expect global average temperatures to fall by -.5C, with the largest global temperature declines occurring over the high latitudes of N.H. land areas.

The decline in temperatures should begin to take place within six months after the ending of the maximum of solar cycle 24.

Secondary Effects With Prolonged Minimum Solar Activity. A Brief Overview.

A Greater Meridional Atmospheric Circulation- due to less UV Light Lower Ozone in Lower Stratosphere.

Increase In Low Clouds- due to an increase in Galactic Cosmic Rays.

Greater Snow-Ice Cover- associated with a Meridional Atmospheric Circulation/an Increase In Clouds.

Greater Snow-Ice Cover probably resulting over time to a more Zonal Atmospheric Circulation. This Circulation increasing

the Aridity over the Ice Sheets eventually. Dust probably increasing into the atmosphere over time.

Increase in Volcanic Activity – Since 1600 AD, data shows 85 % approximately of all major Volcanic eruptions have been associated with Prolonged Solar Minimum Conditions. Data from the Space and Science Center headed by Dr. Casey.

Volcanic Activity -acting as a cooling agent for the climate,(SO2) and enhancing Aerosols possibly aiding in greater Cloud formation.

Decrease In Ocean Heat Content/Sea Surface Temperature -due to a decline in Visible Light and Near UV light.

This in turn should diminish the Greenhouse Gas Effect over time, while promoting a slow drying out of the atmosphere over time. This may be part of the reason why Aridity is very common with glacial periods.

In addition sea surface temperature distribution changes should come about ,which probably results in different oceanic current patterns.

The constant mistake in this field is trying to link a one cause and effect to the climate and thus a climatic outcome. It does not work that way . The climate is very complex and has to be looked at from all perspectives to see what may or may not occur with the climate.

This is the approach I have taken trying to tie all of the items that may effect the climate to one another in a process that when they phase, if the phase and degree of magnitude change and duration of time is sufficient enough the climate will gradually change until brought to a threshold at which point in time the climate will change abruptly due to a cascade effect of all these items that exert an influence on the climate phasing .

I also try to show the regulators of the climate on a very large scale those being Milankovich Cycles, the Initial State of the Climate or Mean State of the Climate , State of Earth’s Magnetic Field which set the background for long run climate change and how effective given solar variability will be when it changes when combined with those items, and the secondary effects associated with this solar variability which give the phasing I am talking about in the above paragraph. Nevertheless I think solar variability within itself will always be able to exert some kind of an influence on the climate, but how much will depend on the solar variability itself and where the regulators of the climate are at in the very large scale picture.

The approach often taken and this article is no exception is to simplistic in that it(they are ) is looking for a one cause /effect thus climate outcome as if all of what they mention is somehow in isolation and it does NOT work that way.

This is why I do not take these kind of articles seriously because they offer but one piece of the larger climate puzzle.

Here is what I have concluded. My explanation as to how the climate may change conforms to the historical climatic data record which has led me to this type of an explanation. It does not try to make the historical climatic record conform to my explanation. It is in two parts.



Below are my thoughts about how the climatic system may work. It starts with interesting observations made by Don Easterbrook. I then reply and ask some intriguing questions at the end which I hope might generate some feedback responses. I then conclude with my own thoughts to the questions I pose.

From Don Easterbrook – Aside from the statistical analyses, there are very serious problems with the Milankovitch theory. For example, (1) as John Mercer pointed out decades ago, the synchronicity of glaciations in both hemispheres is ‘’a fly in the Malankovitch soup,’ (2) glaciations typically end very abruptly, not slowly, (3) the Dansgaard-Oeschger events are so abrupt that they could not possibility be caused by Milankovitch changes (this is why the YD is so significant), and (4) since the magnitude of the Younger Dryas changes were from full non-glacial to full glacial temperatures for 1000+ years and back to full non-glacial temperatures (20+ degrees in a century), it is clear that something other than Milankovitch cycles can cause full Pleistocene glaciations. Until we more clearly understand abrupt climate changes that are simultaneous in both hemispheres we will not understand the cause of glaciations and climate changes.

. My explanation:

I agree that the data does give rise to the questions/thoughts Don Easterbrook, presents in the above. That data in turn leads me to believe along with the questions I pose at the end of this article, that a climatic variable force which changes often which is superimposed upon the climate trend has to be at play in the changing climatic scheme of things. The most likely candidate for that climatic variable force that comes to mind is solar variability (because I can think of no other force that can change or reverse in a different trend often enough, and quick enough to account for the historical climatic record) and the primary and secondary effects associated with this solar variability which I feel are a significant player in glacial/inter-glacial cycles, counter climatic trends when taken into consideration with these factors which are , land/ocean arrangements , mean land elevation ,mean magnetic field strength of the earth(magnetic excursions), the mean state of the climate (average global temperature gradient equator to pole), the initial state of the earth’s climate(how close to interglacial-glacial threshold condition it is/ average global temperature) the state of random terrestrial(violent volcanic eruption, or a random atmospheric circulation/oceanic pattern that feeds upon itself possibly) /extra terrestrial events (super-nova in vicinity of earth or a random impact) along with Milankovitch Cycles.

What I think happens is land /ocean arrangements, mean land elevation, mean magnetic field strength of the earth, the mean state of the climate, the initial state of the climate, and Milankovitch Cycles, keep the climate of the earth moving in a general trend toward either cooling or warming on a very loose cyclic or semi cyclic beat but get consistently interrupted by solar variability and the associated primary and secondary effects associated with this solar variability, and on occasion from random terrestrial/extra terrestrial events, which brings about at times counter trends in the climate of the earth within the overall trend. While at other times when the factors I have mentioned setting the gradual background for the climate trend for either cooling or warming, those being land/ocean arrangements, mean land elevation, mean state of the climate, initial state of the climate, Milankovitch Cycles , then drive the climate of the earth gradually into a cooler/warmer trend(unless interrupted by a random terrestrial or extra terrestrial event in which case it would drive the climate to a different state much more rapidly even if the climate initially was far from the glacial /inter-glacial threshold, or whatever general trend it may have been in ) UNTIL it is near that inter- glacial/glacial threshold or climate intersection at which time allows any solar variability and the associated secondary effects no matter how SLIGHT at that point to be enough to not only promote a counter trend to the climate, but cascade the climate into an abrupt climatic change. The back ground for the abrupt climatic change being in the making all along until the threshold glacial/inter-glacial intersection for the climate is reached ,which then gives rise to the abrupt climatic changes that occur and possibly feed upon themselves while the climate is around that glacial/inter-glacial threshold resulting in dramatic semi cyclic constant swings in the climate from glacial to inter-glacial while factors allow such an occurrence to take place.

The climatic back ground factors (those factors being previously mentioned) driving the climate gradually toward or away from the climate intersection or threshold of glacial versus interglacial, however when the climate is at the intersection the climate gets wild and abrupt, while once away from that intersection the climate is more stable. Although random terrestrial events and extra terrestrial events could be involved some times to account for some of the dramatic swings in the climatic history of the earth( perhaps to the tune of 10% ) at any time , while solar variability and the associated secondary effects are superimposed upon the otherwise gradual climatic trend, resulting in counter climatic trends, no matter where the initial state of the climate is although the further from the glacial/inter-glacial threshold the climate is the less dramatic the overall climatic change should be, all other items being equal.

The climate is chaotic, random, and non linear, but in addition it is never in the same mean state or initial state which gives rise to given forcing to the climatic system always resulting in a different climatic out-come although the semi cyclic nature of the climate can still be derived to a degree amongst all the noise and counter trends within the main trend.


Why is it when ever the climate changes the climate does not stray indefinitely from it’s mean in either a positive or negative direction? Why or rather what ALWAYS brings the climate back toward it’s mean value ? Why does the climate never go in the same direction once it heads in that direction?

Along those lines ,why is it that when the ice sheets expand the higher albedo /lower temperature more ice expansion positive feedback cycle does not keep going on once it is set into motion? What causes it not only to stop but reverse?

Vice Versa why is it when the Paleocene – Eocene Thermal Maximum once set into motion, that being an increase in CO2/higher temperature positive feedback cycle did not feed upon itself? Again it did not only stop but reversed?

My conclusion is the climate system is always in a general gradual trend toward a warmer or cooler climate in a semi cyclic fashion which at times brings the climate system toward thresholds which make it subject to dramatic change with the slightest change of force superimposed upon the general trend and applied to it. While at other times the climate is subject to randomness being brought about from terrestrial /extra terrestrial events which can set up a rapid counter trend within the general slow moving climatic trend.


Despite this ,if enough time goes by (much time) the same factors that drive the climate toward a general gradual warming trend or cooling trend will prevail bringing the climate away from glacial/inter-glacial threshold conditions it had once brought the climate toward ending abrupt climatic change periods eventually, or reversing over time dramatic climate changes from randomness.

This also gives an easy place for Salvatore to point a link if he doesn’t want to paste the whole thing in somewhere.

At WUWT, the discussion following it has Leif Svalgaard saying “not happening” as he points to TSI (which is what he usually does with this kind of ‘sun quiet making things colder’ discussion).

If Salvatore would like any edits made, I’m happy to make them. Just put a comment below.

My Comments

On the Milankovitch complaints, I find them weak; but they are really only a preamble to the rest. The points are valid exemplars of “something different happening” for some cases (D.O. events, Younger Dryas) but the first two I think miss some points, while the last two are non-Milancovitch.

1) Hemispheric synchronous timing of Ice Ages. Just not a problem. Milankovitch theory actually is the explanation for why. Since the S.Pole is always covered in ice (as it is a land mass so can not be melted from below via warm water), there is no interglacial when it is the warm pole. ONLY when the N. Pole is the warm pole is there enough heat to melt the ice and get things warm as an interglacial. Since a key part is played by warm water currents getting under the ice and melting it, once that ice is gone, the rest of the global water can warm up nicely and the whole place is warmer. And once the ice does not melt, stacking up a mile of ice changes the ocean currents so that the south gets colder too.

Key point is that the N. pole melts when it is pointed at the sun during summers AND the earth is furthest from the sun. There are more days of summer then, and it is the longer summer / shorter winter that starts the melt. In all other configurations, once you ice up, you stay ice. Pointing the Antarctic at the sun a bit longer just leaves it a pile of ice…

2) Rapid end of ice. Also not problematic. Once you get a warmer water north, you also get warm rain instead of snow. Rain rapidly melts ice, that raises sea level and starts a disruption cycle of ungrounding ice, with breakup and flushing from the frozen north. Something that just can’t happen in the South Pole. Return of ice is slower as that depends on evaporation / mass flow / snow fall and it just takes a long time to build up 10 miles of snow to make 1 mile of ice. Especially as the glacial periods are also very dry periods. Hot wet melts ice fast and flushes the arctic. Cold dry builds up snow slowly. Also add in that once the ocean is deep enough and currents reorganize you get the gulf stream pointed at the N. Polar ice and that really gets things melting faster.

Salvatore then cited one of my postings as supporting his ideas:

which it does to some extent. It supports the notion of D.O. events being triggered by things non-Milankovitch. In particular, the switching of the Gulf Stream / Northern Drift and the effect on the ocean overturning currents.

which gets to

3) D.O. Events. Not a concern for Milankovitch theory at all. Just isn’t. It is a distinct and separate process with its own causes and timing. IMHO most likely caused by lunar tidal extremes as the lunar orbit shifts along with solar shifts. Now I’d expect that the same timing that causes D.O. Events (or Bond Events during interglacials like now) at about 1500 year periods would likely act as a trigger for the exact timing of onset / end of interglacials, but not causal (until things are ready to trigger). As of now, we are in the ‘metastable’ band of W/m^2 of insolation. Next Bond Event could well leave us in a glacial state, and stable in that glacial. IMHO we almost dropped into it during the Little Ice Age, but didn’t quite stick. Next down will be further and colder (as orbits have moved on a bit more).

Now predicting the exact date of the next Bond Event could be a bit hard. Some folks count the L.I.A. as the last one, but I think it was a Half Bond event. That would make Bond 1 the start of The Dark Ages in 540 AD and put the Bond Event Zero at 1470+540= 2010 AD or so “start” date. Just about the time the sun went quiet (or 2040 AD if you use a 1500 year pulse). Or right about now. Do realize that D.O. Events are warming often preceding a cold plunge. A related thing is the Heinrich Event that is similar but shows ice rafted debris when still in a cold phase. Bond Events catch the cold plunge after the warm, during interglacials. So one reasonable surmise is that the recent “warming” period from 1970 to now was just a D.O. event, before the Bond Event drop.


In the Northern Hemisphere, they take the form of rapid warming episodes, typically in a matter of decades, each followed by gradual cooling over a longer period. For example, about 11,500 years ago, averaged annual temperatures on the Greenland ice sheet warmed by around 8 °C over 40 years, in three steps of five years (see,[3] Stewart, chapter 13), where a 5 °C change over 30–40 years is more common.

Heinrich events only occur in the cold spells immediately preceding D-O warmings, leading some to suggest that D-O cycles may cause the events, or at least constrain their timing.

The course of a D-O event sees a rapid warming of temperature, followed by a cool period lasting a few hundred years. This cold period sees an expansion of the polar front, with ice floating further south across the North Atlantic ocean.

Now a Heinrich Event is a load of ice rafted debris in the just preceding cold period before the D.O. Event. As these only happen during glacials, we would not see these now as there was little debris on the ice over the water. But I do need to point out that the L.I.A. end had a load of glacial ice drift in the N. Atlantic. Even sunk a famous ship… that lead to a Titanic Movie and buckets of money… So we HAVE had ice flowing out of the North Polar area, just not dirty ice, during a cold period, preceding a rapid warm up of 30 to 40 years, that has folks on the Warmers side claiming Greenland has warmed by 3 or 4 C. Sure sounds like the right pattern to me. That, then, ought to be followed by a cold plunge when the Bond Event cold part hits.

But none of this is related to Milankovitch, other than that the same 1470 / 1500 year “clock” runs in both but shows up as D.O. Events when things are frozen and as the other half cycle Bond Events of cold when things are warm. That clock, IMHO, is lunar tidal. The paper cited in that link:
Seems to attribute things to fresh water inflows, but ignores the giant tidal metronome. Still, I think their model of stability vs metastable is right, even if the driver is more lunar / tidal.

Once the system is in the `warm’ mode with convection in latitudes north of Iceland, it becomes insensitive to the applied, weak 1,500-year forcing cycle (this experiment was performed but is not detailed here). The freshwater budget of the Nordic Seas is then dominated by the vigorous circulation; anomalies in surface forcing cannot accumulate to create noticeable salinity anomalies as in the stratified `cold’ mode. For this reason, the Holocene climate in our model is stable with respect to the 1,500-year forcing cycle, while the glacial climate is not. We can thus explain the large fluctuations of Greenland temperature during the glacial climate in terms of ocean circulation instability, requiring only a weak trigger but not necessarily any major ice-sheet instability. In the Holocene, the 1,500-year cycle is still present but is not amplified by ocean circulation instability, so that its signature is only weak.

Note this is talking about the whole Holocene. As we are nearer the end than the middle, we are starting to enter the unstable mode range of insolation in summer. That is, summers are shorter than 5000 years ago in the N. Hemisphere. At some point the ice starts to stay during one of those “weak 1,500 year forcing cycle” events and we re-enter the cold mode. Then snow and ice build up for 100,000 years (though with a periodic 1500 year wiggle).

So the whole D.O thing is about a sub-cycle, not the full glacial / interglacial Milankovitch cycle.

Which brings us to:

4) Younger Dryas. I’m pretty sure it is an anomaly caused by a cometary or asteroid impact. Looking at other interglacials, they spike higher and warmer than we did. Ours got “peak clipped” by something, and that looks like it was the Y.D. that prevented the usual overshoot / plunge back. Overlay our curve on the older curve, we are just about to arrive at their down line, just with the peak flattened. At that point I expect us to rejoin the normal process of decline. I.e. much faster than we’ve had for the last 8,000 years. covers the impact thesis and evidence in great depth and detail.

So one needs to set the Younger Dryas aside as a one-off type of event. Most likely… Unless it is part of a periodic debris field.

Which also links to a paper that looks at lunar tidal forces and finds them quite adequate to explain things.

Now I suspect their use of 1800 year cycles may have “issues”, but there is a potential they just missed a trick. Some folks have found a 1470 ish year cycle if you adjust for when seasons line up with the particular face pointing at the sun. I also postulate a similar thing when looking at the ’60 year’ cycle (that can be shorter at 50-something) as three lunar cycles that return to the same ocean facing the tidal pull every 3rd.

So one small problem folks have is that it is unclear if the 1470 is an artifact of averaging together 1200 and 1800 year events (as one ‘catches’ on a shorter stimulus cycle, or skips a short beat to the longer event – stochastic resonance and all) or if it is a result of some subtle alignment season things as astroclimateconnection postulates, or if it is just measurements that vary more but are being averaged for a precise number with false precision.

But in any of those cases, I think the Younger Dryas is “special” and has to be treated as such. It quite likely happened during the start of the swap of W/m^2 to ‘stable warm’ and likely with a load of crap in the air, so could easily have knocked things back to cold for 1000 years until the next 1500 year uptick kicked it again.

Note that none of this nit harvesting about what is, or is not, related to Milancovitch has any real effect on what Salvatore Del Prete is saying. He refers to Milankovitch only as preamble, and as a sort of lever to say “there’s more here that can change faster”. Which there is, and which it does. And, given our lower W/m^2 than needed to exit a glacial, the next time we start the ice over, it is likely to stay as we enter the unstable ocean oscillator phase. Yes, it is possible that the next Bond Event will be recoverable and that we end up with 1500 more years to Ice Down, but it is entirely a crap shoot. I really really do hope that CO2 is a “greenhouse gas” and I’m dead wrong. At least then we might have a way to avoid frozen. But everything I’ve seen so far looks much more like a “one and done” and the next Bond Event dumps us in Ice City.

With all that preamble / nit harvest out of the way, the rest of the actual thesis is basically that “the sun does it” with details. I would only add a pointer at the places and ways EUV and UV change drives things. UV enters the ocean to great depth (100 feet range) and deposits energy there. IR (that increases when UV drops, holding TSI near constant) causes prompt evaporation at the surface. UV causes very long cycle warming of the ocean. IR causes increased evaporative cooling and precipitation. In the thermosphere and stratosphere UV is absorbed, depositing heat.

Ozone and temperature

Within this layer, temperature increases as altitude increases (see temperature inversion); the top of the stratosphere has a temperature of about 270 K (−3°C or 26.6°F), just slightly below the freezing point of water. The stratosphere is layered in temperature because ozone (O3) here absorbs high energy UVB and UVC energy waves from the Sun and is broken down into atomic oxygen (O1D) and diatomic oxygen (O2) at wavelengths of below 1180 nm. Atomic oxygen is found prevalent in the upper stratosphere due to the bombardment of UV light and the destruction of both ozone and diatomic oxygen. The mid stratosphere has less UV light passing through it, O and O2 are able to combine, and is where the majority of natural ozone is produced. It is when these two forms of oxygen recombine to form ozone that they release the heat found in the stratosphere. The lower stratosphere receives very low amounts of UVC, thus atomic oxygen is not found here and ozone is not formed (with heat as the byproduct). This vertical stratification, with warmer layers above and cooler layers below, makes the stratosphere dynamically stable: there is no regular convection and associated turbulence in this part of the atmosphere. The top of the stratosphere is called the stratopause, above which the temperature decreases with height.

As that UV falls off, the atmospheric height shortens, and this was observed by NASA as lower drag on satellites (among other ways to observe it).

At this point, Stephen Wilde likes to jump in and tell me that the stratosphere gets hotter. We then have a ‘go around’ where I point out that descending air, especially near the poles in the night jet, will rise in temperature, and that I’m talking about energy deposition not local temperature excursions; and that I’m talking about the actual energy delivered not the ozone cycle further along the process releasing heat. I’m talking energy flux as ‘heat’ and he’s talking temperature. I also then point out we are likely talking about different parts of the stratosphere (ozone UV absorbing vs recombine ozone creation heat release). We’ll see if this disclaimer covers it this time ;-) But it’s pretty clear UV and UV delivered energy falls off in a solar funk, and I don’t know what to call stratosphere with less energy in it than ‘less warm’ or ‘cooling’. At any rate, by the time all this is done, we end up with cold air flowing out of the polar regions and the jet stream going ‘loopy’ / zonal meridional and the rest of his thesis picks up from there.

There’s a decent discussion of it here:

That interestingly enough leads to a precursor page that points back to here as a tip to a paper ;-) Gotta love it when things “just grow” ;-) where I referenced:
while Tallbloke links to the top page:

So I think that some kind of integration of that ‘flow of solar energy’ process through the air and water would help Salvatore’s presentation. Then again, it would make it far too long for a comment.

I hope this ‘bringing together of links’ and the comment is helpful in gathering what needs to be looked at in one place. Even if I don’t sort out all the bits or illustrate where there might be linkages. IMHO, Milankovitch sets the background regime of ocean current stability and ice caps. D.O. / Bond Event cycles are periodic and driven externally, most likely via lunar tidal effects; and manifest in two different ways for the same event when in glacial vs interglacial status. Then the Sun stirs the pot (perhaps via an orbital resonance driven timing connection) and the atmosphere / water energy flows change.

When these cycles line up in different ways, you get anything from a nice warm spring, to a frozen ice age glacial, and several cycles in between of variously about 54-60 years, 1500 years, 5000 years (lunar), and even 100,000 – 120,000 years. The major ‘unclear bit’ being just how close we are to making the D.O. Event / Bond Event swap and enter into a glacial ocean instability mode.

Milankovitch has us “close”. D.O. / Bond looks like “now is close to an approaching cold swap after a warm spike”. And the 60 year PDO / AMO swaps have happened. Plus we have the sleepy sun in a funk like we’ve not seen for about 200 years; as the solar cycle switches out the UV. Just how perfectly aligned these are is not known as there is wide error on some bits, like just how precise is that 1500 years and just when was the last one. To me it looks like “spot on” for now on the 1500 year, but I could easily be wrong as the data do not support hard conclusions. Just informed speculation.

With that, I’m off to get some tea and then I’m going to do more reading / thinking about what Salvatore Del Prete posted, as I’ve not got it all soaked up yet.

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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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38 Responses to Salvatore Del Prete Thesis

  1. cdquarles says:

    Nice write-up you have there, EM.

    Why do people ‘neglect’ chemistry, photo- or otherwise? /rhetorical
    Why do people try to extrapolate from ‘closed’ systems to ‘open’ ones, using ceteris paribus arguments? /rhetorical
    Why do people think that ceteris paribus is possible without trying to learn as much as possible about the system and doing proper error analysis and propagation (something drilled into chemists early on, at least it was in the past)? /rhetorical

  2. craigm350 says:

    Reblogged this on CraigM350 and commented:
    Bookmarking also!

  3. p.g.sharrow says:

    @EMSmith; I agree, you and Stephen need to create a glossary of terms so the discussion will become clearer to others. I have pointed this out to Stephen several times that his description of concepts sometimes need to be clearer.
    Arguments over at Tallbloke’s seem unending as people talk past one another due to misunderstanding of word meanings.
    This concept that tidal pumping is the key to changes in ocean currents moving energy around in the basins and under the north polar ice cap is well founded. The strength and vector of the tides is in constant change due to celestial motions. The placement of land and ocean basin act as standing wave valves to direct this flow. Tesla invented a ” steam valve” that controlled steam from the boiler to the steam engine that had no moving parts, just the reflected pulses in the steam flow through a shaped labyrinth. pg

  4. E.M.Smith says:


    I made a correction of “zonal” to “meridional” for the ‘loopy jet stream’ line in the wrap up at the bottom. It’s easy to get those swapped, and I did… Sigh. Zonal is flat (warm phase) merdional is loopy (current cooling phase).


    It was my High School Chemistry Teacher that “done it right” and made me be how I am now. He was also the Physics Teacher and I had the two classes “back to back”. We had to learn to use a slide rule (giant 9? foot one hung over the chalkboard and he would show problems on it!) and woe be to the person who didn’t “get it” about precision and carry of the exponent in your head at all times. Also drilled in the “set up the problem and figure scale, THEN set up the rule and solve, THEN CHECK IT.” To this day I have a “about how big” running in the background of any math and a CHECK IT at the end.

    It was also Chemistry (though in college) where it was drilled into our heads that calorimetry is hard , and you must have the mass, specific heats, and any phase changes measured along with the imperative IF YOU EVER TOUCH the thermometers you screw it up, and By God NEVER CHANGE THEM. The constantly mutating thermometers in a global calorimetry exercise was my first “WTF?” moment with Global Warming…


    Glad you like it!


    Yeah… when I get a bit more time I’m planning some kind of a start to end shot at integration and formalizing the words used… But not, I think, today…

    Basically, I think things need to go one more level of detail finer grain (so layers in the stratosphere and thermosphere and exactly what happens in each) then make it dynamic scored (so how does it change as UV evolves and lunar tidal changes – there are atmospheric tides too…) and with a standardized glossary. But at that point, it’s a small book… And I’d need an artist to draw up some pretty pictures as I’m no good at that… And a lot of background research to find data to support things like “upper Stratosphere cools from less UV absorption but lower Stratosphere warms from…” or whatever is the right set and order.

    You can but a Tesla Valve for $25 here:

    Nice pictures too…

    After the tsunami in Indonesia (followed by the event in Japan) I thought it might be interesting to make a concrete wall that had this kind of one way labyrinth in it such that folks could walk to the beach, but an approaching wave was halted.

    Decided it wasn’t going to “sell” as you would lose way too much beach front property. (If you make the channel, say, 3 foot or 1 m wide, then the length ends up about 100 m long. Doubt folks would consider the trade off of a 100 m wide strip of land for a walkable path with no moving parts as “acceptable” and would go for the blast door approach…

    Also figured a shortened version with fewer stages might make an interesting “not a dam” dam. Sized right, the outflow would be slightly slower than the inflow of a pond. So the pond tends to form, but you have not built a ‘dam’… (In some places that’s a hard thing to get permits to do…) So you take a photo ‘up stream’ while it is still empty showing it as an open “ditch”… Then it’s just “funny shaped ditch” and water backs up some times… ( I was in a puckish mood…) Having slide in baffles to break up the reverse braking flow to let it drain might be handy if someone was going to inspect your property…

  5. omanuel says:

    Thanks for posting this information. I agree global cooling is more likely now than global warming.

    I am not a climatologist but I do have training in nuclear and space physics that convince me, beyond reasonable doubt, that frightened world leaders united nations (UN) and national
    academies of science (NAS) into a giant, worldwide Orwellian Ministry of Consensus Science Truths to forbid public knowledge of the source of energy that destroyed Hiroshima, NEUTRON REPULSION

    Since that is also the primary source of energy on the Sun’s pulsar core, the following consensus science models are falsehoods designed to deceive the public:

    1. AGW
    2. SSM (standard solar model)
    3. SNM (standard nuclear model)
    4. BBC (Big Bang cosmology model)

    Click to access Introduction.pdf

  6. gallopingcamel says:

    Patrick Michaels is right to cry for the lost honor of science in general and “Climate Scientists”in particular.

    Science can recover its honor and the respect of the public at large by disowning the non-science funded by governments and supra-national bodies like the IPCC.

    Will it happen? I am not holding my breath.

  7. omanuel says:

    Here’s another vote for global cooling rather than global warming:

    Leaders of consensus science will find it difficult to defend seventy years of deception if

    _ a.) Global cooling now occurs, or
    _ b.) An event abruptly reveals the Sun’s pulsar core.

    The chances of one or both occurring is probably >50%. The entire structure of post-WWII science may have to be rebuilt from the floor up if events a.) and/or b.) occur before the leaders of AGW consensus science get honest with the public.

  8. E.M.Smith says:

    Having read Salvatore’s posting a couple of times now, I think I can take a crack as answering some of the questions and pointing at a likely structure for some of the other bits.

    Why is it when ever the climate changes the climate does not stray indefinitely from it’s mean in either a positive or negative direction? Why or rather what ALWAYS brings the climate back toward it’s mean value ? Why does the climate never go in the same direction once it heads in that direction?

    IMHO the answer is that there is a hysteresis from water that limits the excursions. On one end, freezing tends to cut down heat dumping as frozen ice does not radiate as much heat to space. On the other end, tropical storm formation limits heat in the equatorial oceans as you get more water evaporation / rise / precipitation cycles and more radiation to space from the tropopause / stratosphere. So we don’t get ‘brought back to the mean’, but rather switch from an ice ball (most of the time) to a warm & wet (10% of the time). This switching is the Melankovitch cycle, and it is driven by changes in the orbital roundness, precession of the equinox, and changes of tilt of the planet (that are not really changes of tilt, they are changes in position relative to the celestial equator.

    The Earth’s orbital plane is known as the ecliptic plane, and the Earth’s tilt is known to astronomers as the obliquity of the ecliptic, being the angle between the ecliptic and the celestial equator on the celestial sphere. It is denoted by the Greek letter ε.
    The Earth currently has an axial tilt of about 23.4°. This value remains approximately the same relative to a stationary orbital plane throughout the cycles of precession. However, because the ecliptic (i.e. the Earth’s orbit) moves due to planetary perturbations, the obliquity of the ecliptic is not a fixed quantity. At present, it is decreasing at a rate of about 47″ per century (see below).

    Basically our planet bobs up and down a bit so the apparent angle of our axle to the sun changes. The actual spin axis doesn’t change, though. (I’d often wondered what could make a giant spinning gyro shift tilt up and down… then found it doesn’t…)

    So in one, and only one, configuration of those parameters, the North Pole has a longer hotter summer and melt can start, then limits at N. Pole Melted, stable ocean currents and a lot of polar water looking at deep space to radiate heat in the dark. (As noted in the paper linked above). In all the other configurations, the ocean currents are not stable, and we get more jerking around in the history with warm spikes as the ocean currents shift for a while. We don’t ice all the way over, just the poles, as there is enough energy to keep the equator liquid and flowing, and water levels go low in the atmosphere as a lot of deserts form. (At this point I hand wave over the question of water as greenhouse gas v.s. albedo changes as the limit step to cold…) I suspect it is just that the mountain of ice at the poles has made the ocean so low that a large area of land is exposed in the temperate to equatorial regions and it just gets dry without enough water to cool it to ice.

    Along those lines ,why is it that when the ice sheets expand the higher albedo /lower temperature more ice expansion positive feedback cycle does not keep going on once it is set into motion? What causes it not only to stop but reverse?

    The ice does consistently build up over the entire glacial. But it takes so long (as things dry) that it ends up with the clock running out before the whole place is iced over. I speculate that it is the dust that limits.

    But is likely a mix of dust, timing, and running out of water enough to add snow of any merit. Then the Milankovitch cycle reaches the ‘warming north’ phase and things cycle again.

    Vice Versa why is it when the Paleocene – Eocene Thermal Maximum once set into motion, that being an increase in CO2/higher temperature positive feedback cycle did not feed upon itself? Again it did not only stop but reversed?

    CO2 is not a feedback. It is irrelevant to warming. At most, it can act to cool the stratosphere. Below the tropopause the CO2 IR window is closed. Heat is moved by convection and evaporation / precipitation. Only above the tropopause (above about 0.1 bar) does the pressure broadening end and the IR can effectively radiate. And at that point, CO2 cools via radiating to space. (Any down directed IR runs smack into that pressure broadened and wet air / cloud top and stops…)

    has a nice graph showing this. It also has a quote from a paper about spectral radiance that might be important to the whole UV thing (where I think SED is Spectral Energy Distribution):

    So we have a rule that applies to at least 6 major bodies of our solar system, that can be applied to planets anywhere in the galaxy, and can constrain surface pressure or surface temperature. And we know that the surface pressure on Earth is constrained to 1 Bar, so it is not the variable. I think that means this formula is going to be constraining surface temperature when applied to Earth… Just saying…

    They go into albedo aspects a bit more than I would expect, and cover some other turf too, but one particular paragraph a ways into it caught me eye.

    Shields, Meadows, Bitz, Pierrehumbert and collaborators used a hierarchy of climate models to explore the effect of the interaction between the parent star’s radiation and the planet’s wavelength dependent reflectivity (from surface ice and snow, and atmospheric absorption) on planetary climate. Their results indicate that planets orbiting cooler, redder (M-dwarf) stars are less sensitive to decreases in stellar insolation (as shown in Figure 2 below), and episodes of low-latitude glaciation may be less likely to occur on M-dwarf planets in the habitable zone than on planets orbiting stars with high visible and near-UV output. This is due to absorption of near-infrared radiation by lower-albedo surface ice and atmospheric absorption by CO2 and water-vapor. However, at the outer edge of the habitable zone, high levels of CO2 mask the ice-albedo effect, leaving the traditional limit of the outer edge of the HZ unaffected by the spectral dependence of ice and snow albedo (Shields et al., 2013). Ongoing simulations also indicate that the amount of increased stellar flux required to melt a planet out of a snowball state is highly sensitive to host star SED. We find that a distant frozen M-dwarf planet orbiting beyond the outer edge of its star’s habitable zone without a continuously active carbon cycle is likely to melt more easily out of global ice cover as its host star ages and its luminosity increases (Shields et al., in prep).

    I’ve bolded a bit.

    To me, this seems to indicate that SED matters rather a fair amount. Shifts of SED can shift habitable zone of the orbit space, and it can change how hard or easy it is to exit an snowball state. We, not being around a redder dwarf, will be a bit more sensitive to SED as it interacts with surface albedo such as ice and snow.

    I think that paper likely contains the information to explain how UV modulates things when it changes.

    But once we melt the north pole, the excess water is busy convecting and evaporating and radiating to space, so limits how hot we can get. Then, as soon as any parameter of orbital roundness, tilt, or precession (moving summer away from more days to less days) gets far enough from “stable in melt”, we drop back into frozen as soon as the ice stays in summers…

    Once in the frozen state, the ocean currents are back to metastable and we can have a warm excursion on those 1500 year D.O. warm tidal events, but it doesn’t “stick” as there isn’t enough W/m^2 above 65 degrees North to keep the snow melted for 10,000 years.

    My conclusion is the climate system is always in a general gradual trend toward a warmer or cooler climate in a semi cyclic fashion which at times brings the climate system toward thresholds which make it subject to dramatic change with the slightest change of force superimposed upon the general trend and applied to it.

    That is the Milankovitch cycle.

    While at other times the climate is subject to randomness being brought about from terrestrial /extra terrestrial events which can set up a rapid counter trend within the general slow moving climatic trend.

    That is the lunar tidal cycles ( 60 years, 1200 / 1470 / 1500 / 1800 depending on who you believe, and potentially a 5000 year one as well). Most likely the solar modulations are in sync with lunar / tidal as they are both synchronized by the orbital mechanics and gas giants via orbital resonance.

    There is also some possibility that sub parts of the Milankovitch drivers might be active here too, in that the precession of about 26000 years cycles a couple of times before the obliquity cycles (tilt) at 41,000 years and the eccentricity (how elliptical) changes about 100,000 years

    A number of other terms vary between components 95,000 and 125,000 years (with a beat period 400,000 years), and loosely combine into a 100,000-year cycle (variation of −0.03 to +0.02). The present eccentricity is 0.017 and decreasing.

    So right now eccentricity is setting the cycle time (but there was a time when the obliquity drove it at 41,000 years, so something changed). Inside that 100,000 to 120,000 cycle, there are still pulses of warmer / cooler as the precession and eccentricity cycle. Those will give better or worse times for the lunar tidal trigger to make a blip.

    Despite this ,if enough time goes by (much time) the same factors that drive the climate toward a general gradual warming trend or cooling trend will prevail bringing the climate away from glacial/inter-glacial threshold conditions it had once brought the climate toward ending abrupt climatic change periods eventually, or reversing over time dramatic climate changes from randomness.

    That’s back to Milankovitch drivers in the long term.

    Basically, Milankovitch sets the table, then lunar tidal and solar UV try to do the modulating, while the ocean has two modes. Stable current structure when warm, not stable when cold. So depending on ocean state, those other things can cause warm or cold spikes of various sizes and durations. Yet in the end, the Milankovitch drivers force you generally toward or away from an interglacial warm stable period… that lasts about 12,000 years… like ours has…

    Oh, and over about 5 million years we have been slowly getting colder. From nearly no ice age glacials, to glacials that had a warm spike every 41,000 years, to now where it is only ever 100,000 ish that everything lines up enough to melt. Eventually we get cold enough that even that doesn’t work and we’re stuck in perpetual Ice Age Glacial with no interglacials. At least until the continents drift to some position that lets the poles get warm water flow again… So on the many millions of years scale, it is continental drift that sets the table.

    It would likely be beneficial to understanding to make a table that lists each thing that has an effect on the warm / ice cycle and put them in order of cycle length. Then put a bracket around the ones in the Millankovitch set, but note that each thing is nudging to and fro on their own cycles… and when they line up, “things happen”…

    Finally, a precautionary note:

    Those timings on things like precession and obliquity? Some folks think they are different from those numbers. I’ve seen precession numbers from 19,000 to 26,000 years. What’s right? Ummm…

    It might well change a lot over time, too…

    So I think that’s enough for now ;-)

  9. p.g.sharrow says:

    @EMSmith; I hate to make your life more difficult. ;-) But there is one more parameter to add. Surface Density Altitude. Caused by the overhead mass of the atmosphere. I have not seen records as to the stableness of barometric pressure averages. A change of 200ft can be the difference between, general snow and general not snow in winters, where I live above Chico. This also makes the difference between warm summers and HOT! summers.

    Sublimation of snow in cold areas can be a direct cause of snow/ice loss without any melt taking place. This is caused by the low water vapor pressure in the atmosphere over the snow/ice.

    An active sun can cause loss of atmospheric gasses due to increased radiation caused radicalization of the gasses as well as stripping by the increased solar wind and reduction of volcanic out gassing that happens during an active sun. A quiet sun would allow a slow build up of the amount of total atmosphere and therefore increase Surface Density Altitude and a warmer general surface temperature.

    A change of a rather small 200ft to 500ft in Density Altitude can make quite a change in snow fall as well as snow persistence so the build up of the ice mountains can become staple once their surface reaches elevation of the local snow level. The surface elevations of the northern continents are quite near the level of permanent snow during the present conditions so a small change in average surface pressure can make a difference in snow accumulation and persistence.

    A lot of moving parts to visualize when it comes to climate, small wonder that it is NOT STABLE. On the other hand, a WET planet does have a fairly flat response curve to outside changes in conditions. pg

  10. Pingback: Climate on Ice: Ocean-Ice Dynamics | Science Matters

  11. cdquarles says:

    Thank you PG, for mentioning density altitude.

  12. E.M.Smith says:

    I had not thought of calling it Density Altitude, but that is a great and proper term.

    I would talk of lower atmosphere height and more snow on mountain tops. But my density altitude exposure was all via aviation ground school, so I had the term siloed as jargon. Silly me.

    Yes you are exactly right and gotten me out of my self imposed word locker…

    The atmosphere changes so much that data like temps and wind are often reported at millibars of pressure altitude instead of actual height… so some unscrambling will be needed.

  13. A fair summary overall.

    A more recent version of my proposition can be found here:

    I exchanged opinions with Salvatore back in 2011 and in one of his emails he said this:

    “I am very excited that I can come around to your thoughts.. You have presented the best case I have ever come across for how the sun effects earth’s temperatures. When you combine what you have said with what I have said about how the sun sets the tables for controlling the AO circulation, SOI index, VOLCANIC ACTIVITY,the PDO/AMO , we are very much on the correct path to what controls earth’s climatic system and why. We have exceeded the so called mainstream climatologist by leaps and bounds ,but hardly anyone up to this point will listen.

    What could be done to get his story out? Steve this is correct, it is the most sensible, comprehensive explanation I have ever come across, this IS WHERE IT IS AT!!!! “

  14. Larry Ledwick says:

    Yes solar spectrum changes matter, as they modify where energy absorption occurs.

    Just because total energy is more or less constant, does not mean moving the spectrum peaks might engage or disengage certain mechanisms of energy absorption and transfer.
    (assuming we really know what total solar isolation is — see your post some time back about how fractured measures of solar isolation are, different satellites with different bandwidth sensitivity. Do we really know what the TSI value is or was??)

    One other interesting item is our external atmospheric environment, does the interplanetary medium change much as we move through our orbit in the galaxy? Might there be “lumps” of gas out there which the earth periodically runs through in its orbit? Similar conjecture has been made about effects of the earth and solar system passing through the galactic plane as our orbit oscillates about the central plane.

    I see no reason to presume that interplanetary space is uniform over time and the 93 million miles of tenuous gas between the earth and sun is uniform over time. In nature we see fractal behavior with variability at all possible scale. They have mapped very large scale density variations in the universe, is there really any reason to assume there are not similar variations in interplanetary density as we traverse millions of miles of our orbit around the galactic center. We can clearly see such density variations on a galactic scale in the bars and arms of spiral galaxies. Like any fluid there should be swirls and eddies of all scales in the tenuous gas of intergalactic space.

    In addition to the changes in energy emissions of our variable star, might there also be periodic changes in the medium it has to pass through to get to the earth?

    I agree changes in spectral content could explain many changes even if total energy transfer was nearly uniform.

  15. omanuel says:

    Technocrats are powerless over and therefore try to hide this reality: Magnetic fields connect Earth directly to the pulsar core of the supernova that made our elements and sustains our lives:

  16. Pingback: Salvatore Del Prete Thesis | Climate Collections

  17. omanuel says:

    Junk Science has raised a new issue: Were the integrity of government science and constitutional limits on government sacrificed for “The Long Peace of 1945-2015?

  18. Graeme No.3 says:

    I wasn’t that keen on your suggestion that rain would melt the ice. After all 46 mm of rain at 2℃ would be needed to melt 1 mm of ice (at -20℃). With the ice likely to be even colder it would take a long time to make much difference to the ice area, but the change to a warming period seems to have be quite quick.
    I realise that there would be extra heat from the sun, but the change in the amount of solar heat at perigee with the right obliquity is fairly small. Picking up on your suggestion that dust plays a big part, I wondered if it was the major accelerating factor. Dust in the atmosphere prevents a lot of the solar rays from reaching the ground. I notice that Chicago there is only 35% of a clear sky.

    What I suggest is that there is a change in the amount of radiation whether from Milankovitch or a change in solar output. I incline to the latter, as astronomers think that the Sun is a variable star, and its output could vary by up to 4%. Even a 1% increase would be significant. The extra heat causes some rain near the Equator which ‘flushes’ dust from the atmosphere, allowing more solar heat to reach the surface, causing more evaporation. The change forces the rain band further north. Water on ice would not absorb much of the solar rays, but if it was quite dirty it would. This then provides an additional start to melting. Thus the ‘flip’ to a warm stage.

  19. p.g.sharrow says:

    The Ice Melts from the Bottom UP! Freezes from the Top DOWN! Heat energy Rises! When the ice has warmed to 32F it absorbs energy but does not immediately melt, there is the need to absorb 180BTUs per pound before the melt is completed. Those Ice Mountains could absorb huge amounts of energy from below before melting in a rush as the surface warms. The Dirt on the Ice would reduce the amount of Cold that could suck the rising heat out of the ice, therefore speeding the melt down of the ice below. pg

  20. p.g.sharrow says:

    For any that wonder about my rant.

    I have lived for many years in Modoc county of California, a very cold area of that state, as well as the glacial area of Alaska and have watched a lot of Ice and Snow melt. Dirt/dust on the ice or snow is important BUT melt happens in a rush after the ice absorbs huge amounts of energy. pg

  21. Graeme No.3 says:

    So, where does the energy come from? Are you are dismissing the Milankovitch cycles?
    Or are you suggesting that increasing solar activity is translated into movement of the magma?

  22. E.M.Smith says:

    My point about rain was two fold.

    1) WARM rain melts ice fast. We are not talking a shift from snow to rain both at 32 F… We’re talking a shift of the Gulf Stream et. al. turning snow to rain at more like 45 F or maybe even 50 F. Similarly,l think of displacing snow over NYC with a tropical hurricane arrival…

    2) As more rain happens (anywhere) instead of snow, the oceans rise instead of fall. That raises the sea level leading to ungrounding of ice, thus the break up and flushing. In extreme events, it lifts the Arctic Ice Cap off of the grounding around the edges and lets the Gulf Stream North Atlantic Drift get underneath it and, as PG notes, “melt it from the bottom up” along with starting that whole breakup and wind dispersion thing getting started.

    Look at the ice break up on an Alaskan river as an example. Very little melts from cold rain on the surface. A great deal breaks up and floats away due to rain making water flow under it.

    Static snow on static dirt just accumulates. Dynamic snow and ice on dynamic water flows goes away. Fast.

    So we stay frozen and nothing happens for a few thousand years as the heat 65 N+ grows. Snow at -2 C isn’t much different from snow at -5 C. Eventually, we reach the point where it is rain. Now marginal areas melt. Edges of lakes with rain inflow. Lower margin of mountain snow skirts. Rain melts some snow on top of ice, but it is the bulk flow of water down the chute and under the ice that starts the break up in the (former and once again) rivers, streams and drain channels. Now you have mass flow from cold areas to warmer where they melt fast. You have also exposed brown dirt in places in that snow / ice field accelerating heat gain from the sun (hotter now after a few thousand years of orbital shift). The “stable snow near brown dirt in light rain” zone is very much higher altitude and latitude than it was under a mile of ice and with less sun. All this water raises sea levels and the big chunks start to unground, and the Gulf Stream gets under the cap and “There she goes!”…

    I suspect dust matters in the “getting it started” phase, but that the ungrounding, flushing, and Gulf Stream rearrangement are vital in the “get ‘er done” phase. The dust is also a strong indicator of “not much rain happening”, which then shifts to “lots of rain happening”. Hysteresis is what we are looking to find.

    Oh, and I’d also add a likely white albedo zone shift. During full glacial with little rain and lots of dust, the poles are white. Not going to radiate heat well from a big white cap of snow. During a full on interglacial, the tropical band gets a load of rain and the white clouds that go with it. Not going to absorb solar energy well through all that white fluff. So at the interglacial end, white water in clouds limits the heating. At the glacial end, white water in ice caps limits the heat loss. Those are the end points of the hysteresis, IMHO. Now with heat gain at the N. Pole kicking in, and with rain increasing opening more brown dirt, we start the flip of the switch (all that ungrounding, melting, flushing, current rearrangement) and that continues until the snow and ice are retreated back to the Arctic Circle and the Tropics are hot enough to make huge rain bands and tropical storms and then the tropical cloud limits that excursion. Now we wait for a long time as insolation 65 N drops a whole lot, enough to overcome that hysteresis, and snow doesn’t melt in summer. Queue processes flipping the other way: More snow (less rain). Ground covered in white, not brown or transpiring trees. Lower humidity (so more IR escape to space from the poles / snowy places) less flushing of drainage as snow compacts to ice, etc. Continue until very white polar caps and not much tropical clouds, nor rain. Wait for dust to build up and insolation shift to hit trigger point… for rains to return and start the flushing and ungrounding, and for massive tropical water delivery to resume to places at the margin ( i.e. tropical storms back to NYC and such).

    It’s a symphony of things all happening in order that matters, not any one thing. It takes all of them to melt the ice and get an interglacial (and that has a long lag time to onset, but then a faster completion – the melt happens well past the threshold insolation level for preservation of an interglacial…) Only a small collection of them needs to not happen to let us fall back into the glacial. It proceeds more slowly as it takes a very long time to build up enough ice to, for example, ground an ice sheet that cuts off the great lakes drainage….

  23. “It’s a symphony of things all happening in order that matters”

    Absolutely, hence the sequence set out in my New Climate Model.

    However, the glacial / interglacial process is quite different from the smaller climate shifts within an interglacial.

    It is only the latter which we need to be concerned about currently and in my view it is all natural and solar driven via global cloudiness changes in response to variations in the particles and wavelengths emitted by the sun in its active and less active phases.

  24. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Graeme No.3 says:
    1 June 2015 at 4:48 pm
    I am dismissing nothing. I am attempting to show that Thick ice and snow can melt down quickly if the conditions slowly lead up to that point. There is always heat rising from below, ALWAYS. How much is lost to space or is replaced by solar Insolation is the question. Once you get below the point that surface energy losses equalize, Ice and Snow is 32F.
    One pound of water at 32F must lose 180Btu to change to ice at 32F. One pound of ice at 32F must gain 180 Btu to change to water at 32F. When ice is ready to melt, it all does, very quickly. Just a matter of total energy contained in the mass of ice. pg

  25. E.M.Smith says:


    Yeah, we kind of wandered from the now ( recent to couple thousand years) into the “deep time” with glacial onset discussions… It happens here… threads wander…


    Good point… The ocean is always above freezing once you are a few feet down, and the dirt warms up to molten rock just a few miles down. The hard bit is getting a frozen surface sandwiched between that and a blazing sun. Only works when the sun is not so blazing and summers are short with lots of dark winter sky to radiate away heat.

    @Graeme No.3:

    The basic source is the sun. You can see that from the Milankovitch cycle data. ONLY when there’s a load of sun 65 N during longer than typical summers is it warm enough to start the melt. Everything else is just feedbacks to the hysteresis switch.

    Once there is too little sun to keep it melted, the snow starts to build up.

    The snow build up is slow as it is pumping water up hill as vapor.
    The snow melt is faster as it is letting gravity suck water down hill as liquid or chunks of floating solid into that giant warm ocean.

    As the arctic ice ungrounds, it gets some added heat from the ocean warm currents undercutting it, and as the deep glacial dry happens, the snow albedo gets ruined by a layer of dust. The dust and sun get it started with adding energy, then the water flows are the turbo charger…

  26. Chris in Calgary says:

    > Overlay our curve on the older curve, we are just about to arrive at their down line, just with the peak flattened. At that point I expect us to rejoin the normal process of decline. I.e. much faster than we’ve had for the last 8,000 years.

    So, what exactly does that look like?

    From the paleoclimate page at WattsUpWithThat, I’ve eyeballed some temperature drops during the commencement of the last ice age, and we might be in for a temperature drop of 1 degree Celsius in about 250 years, similar to circa 118K BP. Not so rough — at least during my lifetime.

  27. David A says:

    Regarding rates of procession, the variability is consistent. It is accelerating.

  28. E.M.Smith says:

    @Chris in Calgary:

    Well… “yes and no”… OToneH, it is slow to get all the glacial ice built up. Takes 100,000 years to completion, more or less. OTOH, the actual moment of onset can be Damn Fast (but that one year data gets spread over 100 years in the proxy ice as the layers compress and things diffuse).

    There’s evidence “in the ground” and in historical records in Egypt that Bond Event type drops happen in one year. It is from ocean current rearrangement.

    So the question becomes:

    Are you in an area with prompt ocean effects?
    Or are you in an area with slow ice effects?

    Europe gets a “little ice age”. They lived though that once and it works out OK.

    The Middle East and N. Africa gets a “hell of a drought” and enters chaos. (No evidence they are any less chaos prone today…)

    China has sporadic droughts in the drought prone areas. No real change.

    Russia gets cold… hell, they are already cold… and historically folks from that mid-Asia area migrated (often via force) to Eastern / Middle Europe. (See Ukraine… Russians already prepping… Also note that Hungarians came from middle Asia in a cold turn as did the Slavs scattered down into the former Yugoslavia. Expect small repeat…)

    Canada gets cold, especially in the north east. Don’t expect to grow a lot of corn, but do expect decent barley and beer. Cold water fish increase in the north Atlantic.

    In the USA, New England gets cold and snowy (see Boston this year, then double it). Yet, as the Gulf Stream slows, heat backs up in Florida and the Gulf Of Mexico. Florida improves in winter warmth a little and gets a ‘summer pattern’ climate even in winter (that means warm thunderstorms). Similarly, as seen in the Texas posting, that warm gulf sends more water into Texas and places like West Texas become more forested and full of game animals. So The South Shall Rise Again, and in a particularly spectacular way. California gets flooded as the oceans cool, then gets a drought, then basically goes back to what it has always been. A seasonal desert with seasonal rains that are unpredictable. I suggest telling your grandkids to get a USA passport and migrate to Hill Country Texas in about 100 years…

    ALL of the equatorial belt doesn’t notice. Relocation to the Caribbean and / or Belize would likely be nice. ( For about $350,000 you can buy a condo in one of the islands and it comes with citizenship. You get your choice of English, French, and even some Dutch language areas…) Brazil will also be a great spot for those who like Portuguese more than Spanish. (Argentina and Chile not so much… Patagonia returns to snow…)

    Australians are already set. Just wander from one side of the place to the other over a few thousand years. Kiwi’s get to deal with a lot more snow in the mountains, but the large water surround keeps it pretty much the same down low. North Island a better choice than South Island after a while.

    That just leaves Africa, where the tropical band doesn’t change, but South Africa gets darned cold. As they are the economic spark plug of the place, that’s gonna be a problem. Expect food / crop issues from whatever Rhodesia is called these days, and the places around it. The Sahara stays (as it is periodically green during HOT times, not cold) and even expands around the edges. Those bordering countries end up in chaos and famine. Avoid North Africa too, though the climate is not much worse, just sporadic snows added to the mix.

    So depending on where you are in that mix, it is either “instant hell” as snow, flooding rains, and heavy winds destroy grain crops ( ala LIA France leading to that “off with their heads” moment) or it is “What climate change?” on beaches of Brazil and Australia. In between you have the end of winter cold in Florida and the greening of West Texas as enhancements (watch out for the flood of New York Refugees who refuse to return to NYC in spring when the snows don’t leave…)

    For Canada, it will be a series of very harsh winters, but hard to distinguish from any other historical harsh winter, until the snow doesn’t leave in summer. That’s likely to take 100 years to reach even after clear onset of the Next Glacial. It will build down from the mountain tops and from the area near Greenland as the existing ice sheets expand. While the expansion rate is about 800 feet / year average; some years it will be a few miles, then a melt back in others of a mile, then repeat. So if you are a few hundred miles from any ice source, I’d not sell the house just yet.

    We won’t talk about Alaska… they are already an ice culture. British Columbia will stay about the same. Low areas nice, high mountains more snow and ice. Just move to lower elevations and closer to the oceans. (But folks have already done that ;-)

    I’ve been fond of pointing out that at 800 ft / year you can out walk the approaching ice sheet on just one Saturday stroll per year. Another way to look at it, is that once every generation the kids need to move about 30 miles more south or 1000 feet down slope in the mountains. (That’s actually more than needed on average, but allows for cycle extremes increasing to the downside).

    Frankly, that level of migration is nearly undetectable against the background of the 1500 year Bond Event cold plunge disruptions. It’s not the Ice Age Glacial that gets you, it’s the 1500 year whipsaw… And that is why I keep trying to work out just exactly where we are in that 1500 year cycle. And why it really bothers me that we had an ice burg event in the LIA, followed by a D.O. like warm spike (up to 1998) and now have a sleepy sun and onset of lots of snow events globally in the mountains ( and Boston ;-) So take your 1 C / 250 years and add it to the bottom of the Little Ice Age (that was about 1300 A.D.?) So about 3 C lower than then… If that happens in 1200 years, no worries. If it happens in 2030 A.D., um….

  29. omanuel says:

    Thanks to Climategate, some distinguished physicists are objecting to the misuse of physics to deceive:

    Click to access letter-to-president-of-american-physical-society_aps-integrity-issues.pdf

  30. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M. “Oh, and over about 5 million years we have been slowly getting colder. From nearly no ice age glacials, to glacials that had a warm spike every 41,000 years, to now where it is only ever 100,000 ish that everything lines up enough to melt.”

    That immediately made me think of changing atmospheric pressure — and then I saw that p.g.sharrow had already brought up the subject. It has been some time since your blog had any discussion of long term (millions of years) changes in pressure, but certainly there is some evidence that pressure today is only a fraction of the pressure 50 million years ago. Maybe the ongoing drop during the last 5 million is the reason why we are getting colder and colder. Each drop moves the .1 bar level of no pressure broadening a little closer to the ground.

  31. p.g.sharrow says:

    “Chaos equals opportunity”
    We live in interesting times.
    Enjoy it, as there is no alternative. ;-) pg

  32. Jason Calley says:

    Hey p.g.! Chaos indeed — and all in all a time for great optimism! Much of the political discord and danger we see is being recognized for what it is, the actions of a relatively small percentage of individuals. For perhaps the first time in history, the flow of information is becoming so decentralized that we can see the villains hiding behind the curtain. We are (in my opinion) very close to cheap energy, to cheap materials (perhaps harvested from sea water as E.M. suggests), and new methods of almost instant manufacture. Danger? You bet, but danger has always been with us. We still have danger but we also have a new potential to do great and wonderful things!

    (And yes, I intend on enjoying the ride!)

  33. Larry Ledwick says:

    That immediately made me think of changing atmospheric pressure — and then I saw that p.g.sharrow had already brought up the subject. It has been some time since your blog had any discussion of long term (millions of years) changes in pressure, but certainly there is some evidence that pressure today is only a fraction of the pressure 50 million years ago.

    The flying dinasaurs would be one piece of information. Their ability to fly would depend on either higher oxygen concentrations (to facilitate higher metabolic output), or denser air, (easier to achieve lift with moderate size wings.

  34. p.g.sharrow says:

    @ Larry Ledwick; Even very large insects. Imagine today’s 4 to 6 inch Dragonflies, once 2 to 3 feet! Those bugs would require a much more dense atmosphere to fly as well as breath. Also the accepted paradox of the young, cool sun and a warmer earth surface could be explained by a more dense atmosphere that maintains a warmer and more damp surface.
    Flying dinosaurs is not unusual as we still have some them with us. Although they are somewhat smaller then those of 65million years ago. ;-) pg

  35. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Jason Calley, you are very correct. We remember the “Bay of Pigs” and other near Atomic War events. These Muslim Jehadies are just so minor a threat I am in disbelief as to the present worry over them. The actions of out of control government bureaucrats is a far greater personal threat to me then any Muslim terrorist. Although from the bureaucratic point of view that might be a feature. pg

  36. E.M.Smith says:


    Interesting letter they sent…

    @Jason Calley & P.G. (per atmosphere):

    Well, we know for a fact that gigatons of gas left the atmosphere. It went into coal, some of the oil, and giant mountains of chalk and shell deposits, along with more massive deposits on the ocean floor of similar CO2 containing precipitates.

    Then there was the flux of oxygen. At 30% at one point (during higher CO2 at that) and now much lower. So much O2 has also oxidized things and “gone away”. (In fairness, there were also times of low O2 which is likely why birds, and mammals, dominated the world. We were both better at respiration in low O2 times).

    At PG points out, there’s those bugs… But for a Very Interesting reason…

    Bugs do not move O2 around via a liquid. They suck air in through little vents on the side of the abdomen and then pump that air throughout their exoskeleton to ventilate the various tissues. There are many pesticides that work via plugging up that system, including simple fine dust. But this has a consequence.

    The air must pass through the joints.

    Now the demand for O2 goes up with mass, that is a function of the cube of the linear dimension. The little circles that let the air pass through exoskeleton joints (the pipes and plumbing) have their cross section increase as the square of the linear dimension. That cross section determines the amount of O2 that can be delivered. Inevitably, as a bug gets bigger, it hits that O2 transport wall. Presently the largest bugs are about 6 inches long. It isn’t just that predation is limiting bugs, since a 6 inch beetle is a fairly formidable package. It’s the O2 wall, IMHO.

    Now think back on those 3 foot bugs. 6 x longer (so about 216 x more O2 demand). That is being met with a 36 times larger cross section of air tube. That implies about 6 times more O2 per unit volume. That could be from 1.5 x more O2 in the air, but that then leaves about a 4 x air pressure needed. This implication is that during the time of those bugs the Earth had about a 60 PSI air pressure at sea level. (+/- about 30 psi I’d guess).

    The implication is that we have “lost” about 3/4 of the air since then. (though theoretically recoverable if we set about breaking down carbonate rocks and burning all the coal and finding a way to reduce all the Iron Oxide and…).

    IMHO something similar happened to Mars. The vulcanism stopped earlier (from less radioactives to use up) and then the CO2 and O2 and such got bound into rocks and soil while the water froze into the poles and stayed there (and some bound into rocks). Eventually the “dregs” reached a point where solar wind stripping could start draining them away. Now we are left with just a rump of CO2 that partly is just the polar caps sublimating a bit. IMHO that is where the Earth ends up in another Billion years or so. (With luck, by then, Venus will be cooled down enough for the sulphates and carbonates to start forming and lessening their air temp to where the water can condense “for 40 days and 40 nights” and we can “re-candle” one planet in… If not, it will be Oneil Cylinders for the lot of us:


    I think it was in Operation Petticoat from the scrounge / supply officer:

    “In confusion there is profit”…


    Lt. Cmdr. Matt T. Sherman: Where is Lt. Holden?
    Lt. Watson: When the air raid started they took off. All he said was “in confusion there is profit.”

    Though I suspect this one applies to the IPCC and Warmer Team:

    Lt. Nicholas Holden: When I was a kid, I was the victim of the most vicious propaganda. People told me that money wasn’t everything and I believed it. Then I found out that the people that were telling me that money wasn’t everything were the people who had a lot of money. Now there are two ways you can get money. You can steal it, or you can marry it.

    I doubt that marriage was the way they settled upon…

    @Jason Calley:

    People have always known that TPTB were screwing them over. From the Roman Slaves to the Irish Famine when my British ancestors shipped food out of Ireland so my Irish ancestors could die of starvation ( Great Grandma and Great Grandpa came over by ship then, to avoid that…). They just could not do much about it.

    It is still To Be Determined if we can do any more about it now. Madam Hillary is looking for a Coronation, and the Democrats are hell bent on giving it to her, despite the $Millions of “pay to play” money she and the Fondler In Chief have raked in… As bad as Ancient Rome, IMHO. (Republic days, just pre-Empire…).

    (One wonders if Her Highness Empress-wannabe Hillary will have all male staff and aides in the White House just to watch Billy-with-the-crooked-tool squirm and be frustrated… “Oh Dear, would you go check on the kitchen staff for about half an hour? My aid and I have some work to do in the Oval closet Office”… )

    So “time will tell”, but from what I can see we are over the hump into the “Bread and Circuses” stage with moral decay and the replacement of Original Citizens by imports to do the dirty work like be the army in foreign exploits and clean things… Folks who don’t give a fig about the prior regime… I’d give it about 20 years to a formal declaration of Empire (though it will likely come via the UN and not with the title Emperor… something more modern and soothing… Like “treaty” and “Central UN Commission”… though I could be wrong. Empress Hillary has a certain charm to it in some circles…)

    On the optimism side, I saw a bit of film about the new road in Viet Nam that’s making the place grow like crazy. They also transitioned to capitalism a decade or two back. The voice overs were interesting, but it was the visuals that were impressive to me. The place is growing fast, with fleets of modern trucks and have build multiple modern bridges from the port (Da Nang IIRC).

    The East West Economic Corridor

    with all sorts of growth, tax breaks for companies in the industrial parks, all sorts of stuff.

    So while the USA is in decline from over regulation, high taxes, higher costs, and stupid government, Asia is doing fine, thanks. They have tasted great success with just adding one modern road and a bunch of modern port facilities (containers can go overland instead of around the end of SEAsia saving about 2 weeks at sea…) and are going to do a lot more.

    One truck driver at a restaurant (hole in the wall doing gangbusters business) was asked how was business. His answer was that he could not find time to take a break as things were so booming.

    So don’t worry, capitalism is alive and well and thriving in Former Communist Countries…

    So expect to see platinum by the ton, delivered from space, via Chinese mining rockets. Expect to see electricity at about 4 ¢ / kWhr from Chinese coal and nuclear plants (and from Indian Th reactors). Expect to see U and gold and more extracted from sea water too, just not here…

    Things will be good. Just have your kids learn Chinese…

    Per a radical change in manufacture: I was chastened by the film. (Japanese news IIRC on TV… a local station) It showed a typical worker. He had a B.S. Electrical Engineering, but could not get a job in that field, so like most in his generation was working for a Japanese company in Da Nang making fiberglass tanks (giant ones the size of a flat bed truck). He paid 70 ¢ for a very good looking Vietnamese dish (looked like seafood pho to me). His “apartment” was very sparse, but at about 350 sq.ft. “big enough”. Cost was $60 / month. Wages were something like $1300 / month.

    With that level of talent, available that cheaply, it will be very hard to compete against them. They showed an I.T. school training a whole crop of folks. Mixed men and women. The screen showed a program written in an English based language and the student was speaking English to the camera (they were not shy about having native languages on this show, with subtitled Vietnamese and Japanese and, I think, Thai, all through it, so this was not a “put up job” to get him shown speaking English. He chose to do it as, I suspect, they teach I.T. in English for a global market.) Their intent is to set up a large I.T. infrastructure / business in Vietnam. I think it will succeed.

    So with that kind of cost basis, even modest machinery and capital costs will have a hard time. Complex and expensive robots even more so. (And even if we DO have good cheap robots, our support staff of IT folks will not be working for $2000 / month… )

    There were many “foreign” firms shown in the tax haven industrial parks along the road, and several (most?) of the containers on trucks had familiar European and USA names on the sides.

    Then, the capper, an interview with the Minster of {important economic stuff} had him pointing out the intersection of a darned fine port (thanks to USA making it for unloading war materials), with a very good major highway, with international easy movement of goods and low regulations at the borders along with added airports. They “get it” that the nexus of modern transport systems is where economic growth happens, and that attracting business means prosperity. That lower taxes and regulation makes things profitable, and they get a cut.

    Sigh. I wish our POTUS and Emperess-in-waiting understood that.

    Were I a Vietnam era vet with Vietnamese language skills, I’d be angling for a job in Da Nang with a US company as local liaison / manager. I like pho, and at 70 ¢ / meal I would be a very happy man… I’ll have to see if I can find an on-line version of the news report…

    BTW, I watch German DW and NHK news along with Al Jazeeera America fairly regularly; simply because while our news is all flagellating over some Reality TV kid touching a breast, or nattering about why Hillary won’t answer questions; they cover things like wars with cameras on the ground (Al Jazeera gets film from ‘impossible’ places…) and Tech Stories and Economic news and…

    Our news has become “Political Bitching and Carping ‘info’Tainment” while there news is about global power balances, state of current critical events, where the sweep of technology is taking us, and what can be done economically to make buckets out of it. Yes, you need to allow for their bias. But at least there is some real information behind the bias… While we navel gaze, they build the new world of the future… with understanding of it.

  37. Jason calley says:

    Hey E.M.! “On the optimism side, I saw a bit of film about the new road in Viet Nam that’s making the place grow like crazy.”

    That is just the sort of thing that gives me optimism also. Whether TPTB like it or not, the basic ideas of the American Revolution are loose and out in the world. The ideas of natural rights, property rights, freedom of association and trade, running your own life — these ideas are not universal or unopposed, by any means, but they are loose and they work so much better than any of the alternatives that more and more people around the world are beginning to demand them. Give it another half century… And meanwhile, here in the US, many of us have gotten so spoiled and so irrational that our country is breaking down. It is going to be a bumpy ride here in the US, but at some point, raw reality is going to teach us a sort of pragmatism that we seem to have forgotten. Maybe the US needs to get a dose of good hard reality for a half century. I do see hard times coming for the US, at least compared to what we had in the last half of the 20th Century, but long term and large scale, I have every expectation that the world has a bright future. What we MUST do is figure out a way to depose the psychopaths, or at least tattoo a big “P” on their foreheads so we will know with whom we are dealing. Then, maybe we can sail out from this rock and do some serious exploration in a much bigger universe. I would like to see that… :)

  38. @Jason Calley:

    I’ve been sort of working on a posting along those lines. I’d add to your list of “features” that our system as designed was a “self organizing system” and not a “central control” one. That has a boat load of advantages (busily being destroyed by the central control freaks…). I’d go so far as to say it is the fundamental principle from which the others derive… and the basic difference between the USA of 1800 and Europe (then or now). We had fundamental power in the people, some delegated up to counties, who delegated some up to States (that changed in California when I was about 7? and they made State Senators elected instead of county appointed…) and then States delegated a tiny and very specific bit to the Federation. After 200 years of chopping on it, TPTB have finally got that inverted back to the European Model so they can run things from the top.

    The results have not been good, and will get a whole lot worse.

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