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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Recycling solar cycles at WUWT

Sou | 2:13 AM Go to the first of 2 comments. Add a comment

When Anthony Watts has nothing new to write about, he recycles the garbage.

Anthony Watts has a very bad memory, is not at all observant and doesn't understand what he writes about. Today he's got an article (archived here) about a paper published more than two years ago. Anthony didn't check the date of it and wrote:

New study suggests a temperature drop of up to 1°C by 2020 due to low solar activity
Posted on June 13, 2014 by Anthony Watts
From the HockeySchtick:  A paper published today in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics finds long solar cycles predict lower temperatures during the following solar cycle. ...
He linked to the paper, which is dated May 2012. Yep, that's the first thing he should have noticed. (Click the read more link to read on if you're on the home page.)

The second thing is that if he ever bothered to take any notice of his own blog articles and if his memory worked, he should have realised that he's posted at least four articles about that very same paper (it was available at in February 2012 and published in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics in May 2012):
  1. Quantifying the Solar Cycle 24 Temperature Decline, Posted on February 11, 2012 by Anthony Watts, Guest post by David Archibald  - archived here
  2. Do Latest Solar Studies Confirm Upcoming Global Cooling?, Posted on February 13, 2012 by Anthony Watts, Guest post by Matti Vooro, I fully support the findings of  Jan –Erik Solheim , Kjell Stordahl and Ole Humlum and their very recent paper called The long sunspot cycle 23 predicts a significant temperature decrease in cycle 24  dated February 2012. Archived here
  3. When will it start cooling?, Posted on August 13, 2012 by Anthony Watts, Guest post by David Archibald, My papers and those of Jan-Erik Solheim et al predict a significant cooling over Solar Cycle 24 relative to Solar Cycle 23. Archived here
  4. CET cooling in line with solar model prediction, Posted on June 3, 2013 by Guest Blogger, Yesterday, WUWT carried the headline: Coldest Spring In England Since 1891.  This essay offers what could be an explanation for it. Judge for yourself. – Anthony - Guest essay by David Archibald - Archived here

Back in July 2010, Anthony was also touting the wacky prophecies of David Archibald and Jan-Eric Solheim that the world is about to cool down. The Solheim12 paper cites David Archibald's nonsense a lot in its list of references. Science deniers don't have a lot of choice when it comes to references.

And who can forget David "funny sunny" Archibald's writing: a global temperature decline of 1.5°C is predicted to 2020. Here's a chart of David's prediction that I drew up some time ago:

Do you really want to know what the paper was all about? It was something about how it was supposed to get very cold in Norway because of the solar cycle length. Here's the abstract:
Relations between the length of a sunspot cycle and the average temperature in the same and the next cycle are calculated for a number of meteorological stations in Norway and in the North Atlantic region. No significant trend is found between the length of a cycle and the average temperature in the same cycle, but a significant negative trend is found between the length of a cycle and the temperature in the next cycle. This provides a tool to predict an average temperature decrease of at least 1°C from solar cycle 23 to solar cycle 24 for the stations and areas analyzed. We find for the Norwegian local stations investigated that 25–56% of the temperature increase the last 150 years may be attributed to the Sun. For 3 North Atlantic stations we get 63–72% solar contribution. This points to the Atlantic currents as reinforcing a solar signal.

I'd say the Atlantic currents would have an impact on surface temperatures in the Atlantic. I'm not so sure that the length of the solar cycle would have anything to do with this though. Solar cycles don't have much of an impact on global surface temperature.

From the WUWT comments

Rob says:
June 13, 2014 at 7:37 pm
It’s what many Meteorologist/Climatologist have been waiting for. Thanks BO!

Transport by Zeppelin is sharper than Anthony Watts and says:
June 13, 2014 at 7:43 pm
This article begins – “A paper published today in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics.
but looking at the link to the paper it states -
Volume 80, May 2012, Pages 267–284
2012, not today ?
I see scepticle science rebutted this paper (corectly or otherwise) back in December 2012
what gives?

There are at least two articles rebutting Solheim papers in - here and here.

Box of Rocks says:
June 13, 2014 at 8:29 pm
Oh phuleeze.
Science, we don’t need no stinkin’ science!
Can we run a bet on when the first freeze is???

latecommer2014 says something about close lag periods and medieval warming. I think they might be referring to what used to be thought to be the lag between a CO2 rise and temperature rise after a glaciation. Perhaps latecommer2014 isn't aware that burning fossil fuels releases CO2 into the atmosphere:
June 13, 2014 at 8:46 pm
Speaking of lag time, I often wonder how much of today’s CO2 is a result of the medieval warm period . The lag numbers are close (600 – 800 yrs ago) but I have found no studies based on this possibility 

Paul Westhaver says:
June 13, 2014 at 8:55 pm
Its the sun stupid.

Pamela Gray says:
June 13, 2014 at 9:14 pm
I don’t quite get this post. It’s an old one. Did it have legs and get into another journal?

Hockey Schtick apologises for the error that Anthony Watts didn't pick up and says (excerpt):
June 13, 2014 at 9:46 pm
My apologies – for some odd reason this paper came up today on my RSS feed from the Journal of Atmospheric & Solar-Terrestrial Physics, which in the past only feeds new articles published online the same day, therefore I incorrectly assumed that it was published today. The original post has been updated to reflect the publication in 2012. The Feedly RSS reader service I use was hacked a couple of days ago so perhaps this had something to do with the erroneous RSS feed.
My apologies for the erroneous date of publication.

davidmhoffer says:
June 13, 2014 at 10:04 pm
For Svalbard a temperature decline of 3.5 °C is forecasted in solar cycle 24 for the yearly average temperature. An even higher temperature drop is forecasted in the winter months (Solheim et al., 2011).
Well at least the paper makes a bold and hence falsifiable prediction. 3.5 degrees between now and 2020 ought to start making itself visible in the temperature record in just a few years if the prediction is accurate. So kudos to them for putting something specific in their paper instead of just a bunch have hand waving that could be interpreted to mean almost anything.
That said, I for one just cannot envision a physical mechanism that would enable this result. Absent a physical driver, this is at most just a correlation. 

Well, it's between 2009 and 2020, but who's to argue. Anyway this is from GISTemp for the airport at Svalbard - no sign of cooling so far and we're about half way through to 2020.
Source: GISTemp
 For a longer time series, you can check this Wikipedia entry. The station was moved but someone's had a shot at comparing the records.

Steinar Midtskogen points out the authors are running out of time. (They are about half way through the period from 2009 to 2020.) He says:
June 13, 2014 at 11:55 pm
I see two problems: 1. They’re already beginning to run out of time for their predicted temperature drop for solar cycle 24. We’re already halfway through. 2. The AMO is also turning and if there is a temperature drop, it must be attributed correctly. We might have to wait until 2030 before understanding well the turn of the AMO.

I'm only about half way through the comments, but that's enough, isn't it? Anthony didn't bother to explain or change his article. I don't know if he even bothered to read the comments. He just papered it over with more silly articles. That's what he does.


  1. Same old logical flaw: if a slight change in TSI can cause a large change in GAT, the climate system is very sensitive to radiative perturbation. Which is bad news for the opponents of emissions reduction.

  2. It's the same incoherence that has contrarians claiming that cloud feedbacks net negative and dominate the climate system. Which would, obviously, render it insensitive to radiative perturbation. But somehow it remains capable of considerable internal variability and hair-trigger sensitivity to solar output. WUWT???


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