UPDATED - see below for comments from Nicola Scafetta and responses from Anthony Watts.
Death blow to Barycentrism: ‘On the alleged coherence between the global temperature and the sun’s movement’Posted on March 11, 2014 by Anthony Watts
People send me stuff.
Tonight I got an email that contained a link to a paper that takes on the wonky claims related to barycentrism and Earth’s climate, specifically as it relates to Nicola Scafetta’s 2010 and 2012 papers. This new paper taking on the Scafetta claims will be published in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, April 2014. The author is Sverre Holm Department of Informatics, University of Oslo, Norway.
Here's a link to it in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics and, since you probably don't have access to the journal, here's the paper itself.
Anthony had better watch it. At the rate he's going he won't have any scientists to argue that the world is cooling or not heating or whatever he wants to argue. He'll have to turn to climate scientists and accept global warming. Thing is, he's tossed out climate science too, writing (my bold):
REPLY: Oh, people will still debate it I’m sure. Tallbloke and his group of cyclists will try to prop it up, but I’d say it pretty much has reached the end of credulity as a workable theory.
Some years ago I thought the theory had some merit, and I dabbled with it a bit, but then just like with CAGW, things didn’t quite add up. Now I’m quite convinced it’s junk. – Anthony
It looks as if Anthony Watts, after blogging endlessly about how despite all the changes in climate of the past few decades, he doesn't believe his eyes that this is happening:
Why doesn't Anthony just shut down his blog? What's left for him to
Anyway, about Scafetta's patterns. Remember Anthony's "as close to royalty as he'll get" idol, Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, offered to take over the pattern journal that featured Nicola Scafetta as equal top contributor (in terms of number of papers). I don't know if he did have a hand in it's "relaunch". (It's new Editor-in-Chief is Dr Sid-Ali Ouadfeul of the Algerian Petroleum Institute, IAP, Algeria and the co-editor in chief is Nils-Axel Morner, while Nicola Scafetta is on the editorial board!)
Monckton couldn't let this one pass. He is doing a bit of a dance on Anthony's blog about all this, writing lots of comments, for example (extracts):
It is not improper to look for patterns in physical observations, for they may (or may not) reveal a physical law....I do not say that these cycles – if they are more than mere coincidences – must be caused by the infinitesimal gravitational influence of the planets on the Sun. However, that the planets are capable of influencing each other gravitationally if the influence is exerted for long enough is suggested by the coplanarity of nearly all the planetary orbits....In short, both theory and observation indicate that it is not impossible for the planets to influence the Sun and, via the Sun, the Earth/Moon system. However, merely because it is not impossible, it ain’t necessarily so.
And there's more. The mad physicist must have taken a shot at Christopher :D
Lubos Motl makes the mistake of assuming that someone with no piece of paper to say he is a scientist knows nothing about science. ... And I am also well aware of the laws of gravitation. That is why I was cautious in my approach, and I did not say, as Lubos Motl seems to imagine, that there is a detectable influence on the Earth’s climate arising from the influence of the planets on the Sun. I raised a not uninteresting question about the cause of the ocean oscillations and of the apparently-associated cycles in global temperature. I often raise such questions here, not because I wish to make a point but because I want to know the answer.
While this is hypocrisy at its finest, coming from the potty peer:
Let us be gentler with one another, and not be too harsh with those who advance theories that appear incompatible with what we think we know. The stifling of intellectual enquiry that the New Religion seeks to impose is bad enough. We must not be corrupted by it. In science, an open mind is of near-infinitely greater value than an open mouth.
A lot of people have chimed in, for example:
Paul Vaughan says:
March 12, 2014 at 3:28 am
It was pointed out countless times in the past that the lines are time-varying. Now the message suddenly sinks in? Also, I would hardly call Scafetta’s views “barycentrism”. His approach might better be described as eccentrism, as it used any and all cycles, well beyond just the traditional barycentric ones. Leveling valid criticism at Scafetta’s work would be child’s play, but at wuwt we’ve seen time and time again attacks on Scafetta from people who don’t even understand what he has done. Sensible discussion just won’t happen here.
beng says to Christopher - you're out of your league, mate:
March 12, 2014 at 4:54 am
Monckton of Brenchley says: March 12, 2014 at 2:42 am
I’m an admirer of your courage, but when arguing physics w/Motl, you’re out of your league. Read and understand his link.
March 12, 2014 at 6:27 am
Isn’t FUD wonderful? It creates so many opportunities!
I'll let dikranmarsupial have the last word, because it stands out from all the others and is a rarity at WUWT. It's a "rare as hens' teeth" sensible comment. Also because it's the last comment in the archive. He says:
March 12, 2014 at 6:52 am
RichardLH, it appears that you did not understand the point I was making. The climate responds to changes in the forcings, if TSI goes up, then global temperatures will follow; if we have more volcanos, the resulting aerosols cause a bit of global dimming and the earth cools. Increase GHGs and temperatures will rise. The basic physics of these things are rather well understood.
If you look for cycles in the data BEFORE properly controlling for these known forcings, then your model is implicitly assuming that the effects of these forcings are precisely zero. If the net effect of these changes in individual forcings happens to be correllated with some cycle that can be fitted to the data, the effects will be attributed to this cycle, rather than to the effects of changes in forcings which actually caused them.
In statistics this is called “omitted variable bias” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omitted-variable_bias). If you don’t include the forcings in your model, you run the risk of overestimating the effect of these nebulous cycles.
Anthony has closed the thread to comments for some reason that he hasn't given. The following comments, with Anthony's replies, were close to the last in the thread (latest archive here). Nicola is echoing the sentiments I expressed above - that Anthony is busy alienating all the contrarians - perhaps in order to find favour with ... who? There's no-one much left.
[Sou 15 March 2014]
Nicola Scafetta says:
March 12, 2014 at 10:05 pm
hunter says: March 12, 2014 at 8:53 pm Anthony, I agree there is probably very little to barycentric work. But for you to treat people who have been your friends and who largely agree with you on most issues the way you do on this is ironic.
My work is complex and based on multiple effects.
There are two possible forces: Gravity and Electromagnetism.
Gravity acts mostly through tidal forces, Electromagnetism through the relative speed movement between the sun and the planets which is approximately described by the barycentric speed of the sun. The two effects are coupled and superimposed.
Those who like Anthony oppose barycentrism are arguing having in mind the gravitational forces alone but they are ignoring the existence of Electromagnetism.
Anthony is making a mess due to his ignorance in physics.
Moreover, many times I told Anthony that when I refer to gravitational forces I am thinking to the tides. My papers on the tides are quite explicit in this but Anthony never got it and misleads himself and the readers of this blog .
REPLY: Well that’s your opinion, and you are welcome to it, even though it is rooted in your own inability to see that the theory, even if true, is inconsequential. As Mosher predicted, you are doing everything but questioning your own work.
@ Hunter, I am privy to some things that you are not, and thus that forms part of the basis of my change in opinion. For Nicola’s benefit I’ll leave that issue alone, but please note that while I’m calling Nicola’s paper into question with this post, he’s getting personal, essentially calling me too stupid to understand his work. That’s a difference worth noting. With this new Holm paper, he should be questioning whether his work is correct or not, instead of asserting it is. Per Feynman, always question yourself first as you are the easiest person to fool.
Nicola Scafetta says:
March 12, 2014 at 10:35 pm
REPLY: Well that’s your opinion, and you are welcome to it, even though it is rooted in your own inability to see that the theory, even if true, is inconsequential. – Anthony
Anthony, I miss the logic of your argument. Expand your argument or acknowledge your errors.
Moreover I have not yet listen from you your reaction to the confirmation of my calculations by Holm, a fact that demonstrates the argument by Mosher (that is “Scafetta’s calculations can not be reproduced”) repeated again and again on your blog and on other blogs for years to be only a slander of a charlatan taking advantage of the lack of scientific knowledge of your readers and of yourself.
What do you have to say about this?
Are you understanding that during the last 2 years you have pushed away real friends and give credit to questionable individuals?
REPLY: Science is not friendship Nicola. Look, we’ll go round and round for days, so I’ll just make this the last comment on the issue. My position has been that Barycentrism/solar motion influences on Earth’s climate is falsified, and Holm has done a good job of showing why. You’ve done nothing to change that other than to claim everyone but you is wrong. That’s not science, but vanity.
BTW, to address your claim of ignorance, I’ll paraphrase a famous character: “I may not be a smart man, but I know what B.S. is”. – Anthony
Anthony has explained in another in-line comment on another thread, why he shut down this particular discussion:
I closed the thread because Nicola won’t address the paper itself, but instead insists everyone else is just too stupid (especially me) to understand his brilliant theory that was just falsified by Holm.