Sunday, June 29, 2014

Denier Weirdness: Magical mysterious Force X and the Notch

Sou | 6:51 AM Go to the first of 22 comments. Add a comment

Note: You can read a step by step account of the Big News here. In more recent news, it has been announced that The Notch has passed away, peacefully, in the presence of family and close friends. RIP. [Sou 1 August 2014]

If you ever wondered just how much a fake sceptic is willing to be duped, here's an example.

Until today there was only been one minor mention of the scam at WUWT that I noticed. Anthony Watts chastised Wondering Willis for not giving Jo Nova a plug, in another of his "it's not the sun" articles. Today it's being promoted by Anthony Watts in an article by David "funny sunny" Archibald (archived here, latest here, and very latest here, with 532 comments. Some of the stouches (battles) are hilarious).

I mean, you've got to wonder at how deniers can be so darned gullible.

If you're wondering what this is all about, apparently Jo Nova and her partner David Evans have found a Notch. What this Notch does is delay solar energy reaching the earth by eleven years, or something like that. That's a long time for light to wait in the queue. Einstein would be amused.

There's more. There is also a mysterious Force X that is affecting the climate. This Force X comes from the sun. It's just that no-one's noticed except David Evans and Jo Nova.

This is a long account. If you're on the home page click read more for the rest.

William Connolley wrote about this amazing discovery in an article with the title "Force X from outer space". So I figured I didn't have to. However now that Anthony Watts has decided to promote it, and with WUWT otherwise being so depressingly boring and predictable lately, here is your weekend entertainment.

Force X
I don't know if the two David's and Jo have looked at whether this notch is only affecting Earth or whether there's a notch affecting the moon, Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, Mercury or Mars. Uranus may be too far away for them to bother with. As for the mysterious Force X, they claim they know not what it is. All they can say is that it comes from the sun - though the details are fuzzy at best and at times seem to be contradictory.

Jo is being unusually generous with David Evan's Notch and Force X. She's giving it away for free. I wonder if that's because she's already got enough money from her very successful panhandling effort early in the year. Or maybe it's because she's not sure if she can even give her idea away.

The discovery of Force X and the notch in the sun is doubtless making huge waves in the scientific community. Because I've not heard a whisper of it in the hallowed halls of academia I can only assume that all the climate scientists throughout the world are bunkered down, busy working out which discipline they are going to shift to, now that all of climate science has been explained by Force X and a Notch.

Apparently the Notch and Force X take some explaining. As of today, there have been eight parts to the explanation - in Roman numerals, which I guess makes it more "official". Yet they still haven't been able to explain what they are or provide too many details. According to the latest missive, Force X is "some other effect" coming "from the sun". They write:
The synopsis then is that solar irradiance (TSI) is a leading indicator of some other effect coming from the Sun after a delay of 11 years or so.
(I believe the Notch is nothing but a feature of the mathturbations to which they've subjected their somewhat shonky data. Force X seems to be a fudge factor they've dreamt up to replace greenhouse forcing, which they want to reject outright or at best minimise.)

Flickers in sunlight ahead of "some other force" from the sun

This is delicious, we've got flickers in sunlight ahead of a mysterious Notch and Force X from the sun:
The flickers in sunlight run a whole sunspot cycle ahead of some other force from the sun. Knowing that solar irradiance dropped suddenly from 2003 onwards tells us the rough timing of the fall in temperature that’s coming (just add a solar cycle length). What it doesn’t tell us is the amplitude — the size of the fall. That’s where the model may (or may not) tell us what we want to know. That test is coming, and very soon. This is an unusual time in the last 100 years where the forecasts from the CO2 driven models and the solar model diverge sharply. Oh the timing!

Oh, do ponder:
Ponder how ambitious this simple model is — the complex GCM’s only aim to predict decadal trends, and have failed to even do that. Here is a smaller simpler model proffering up a prediction which is so much more specific. The Solar Model has not shown skill yet in predictions on such short time-scales, though it hindcasts reasonably well on the turning points and longer scales. It cannot predict ENSO events, and obviously not aerosols, nor volcanoes. But if the notch-delay theory is right,  the big drop coming is larger than the short term noise.

Science deniers think that mainstream science is a hoax but they'll buy a mathturbatory Notch and a mysterious undetectable Force X from the sun?  It seems like a nice little lark they've got going. They beg for money and promise a special project, skim thousands from their readers, and come up with nothing more than "flickers in sunlight" and "some other force from the sun"!

I wonder if anyone is looking at a "false pretences" claim?

Big News - an ice age cometh prediction - again

Still, even though they don't  have any explanation of Force X and the Notch, Jo Nova and David Evans are pretty sure of what they mean for us on planet Earth. The BIG NEWS is that an ice age cometh. Here are the latest headlines on the subject from Jo Nova's blog:

BIG NEWS VIII: New solar theory predicts imminent global cooling

Global Cooling is Imminent

1   Why It’s Going to Cool 

These breathless announcements include the why, although when you find out what the why is you may feel a tad let down. It's supposedly because of some "big drop" in solar radiation, which started in  2003 or 2004, depending. According to David Evans:
The reason for the cooling is the dramatic fall in solar radiation that started around 2004. Here is a graph of solar radiation since 1610, when sunspots were first recorded. The brown line is the solar radiation, and it peaks every 11 years or so because of the sunspot cycle. We put an 11-year smoother through it to gave us the red line, which shows the trends in solar radiation.

This is what they came up with:

Source: Jo Nova's blog

You'll notice the one year and eleven year smoothing of what they call TSI, (which isn't, going by the chart below).  And the 25 year smoothing of the global temperature. (Why not eleven year smoothing, I hear you ask. And well you may.) From where they got global surface temperature going back to 1600 I don't know. They list numerous sources and call it "global average surface temperature", but they included UAH and RSS, which would probably be lower troposphere, not surface temperature.

David Evans reckons there's been a "dramatic fall" in incoming solar radiation since 2003 or 2004 (depending on which paragraph you're on). But it doesn't look all that dramatic according to SORCE:

Here is a longer timeframe, so you can see the change in TSI in context. It dropped as you probably know, but didn't get quite as low as it was in the 1920s and 1930s. (Remember Jim Steele going on and on about the rapid warming in the Arctic in the 1920s and 1930s? The "it's the sun" folk now want you to believe the same TSI is going to bring a Big Freeze!)

One thing I see is that Jo and David attribute a very large negative forcing to atmospheric nuclear tests.  I notice that other science deniers have poo-pooed this idea. If I'm reading their chart as intended, then I'd say that Jo and David reckon the nuclear testing explosions last century caused a drop in global surface temperature of 0.5°C, which is very large. Here's another of their charts:
Source: Jo Nova's blog

This time there's no clue as to where they got the data. For one thing they reckon that global surface temperatures dropped about 0.8°C in the early 1800s - which doesn't match up with anything I'm aware of. Even in just the northern hemisphere, which did get very cold then, only one reconstruction seems to show the temperature dropping by that much. (Click to enlarge. Global surface temperature is shown in the bottom right hand panel.)

IPCC AR5 WG1 Figure 5-7

Magical mysterious weightless invisible undetectable late Force X

Leaving aside their dubious charts, how about the mysterious Force X. Here is what David Evans has to say about it:
 However the physical interpretation of the notch and delay (see Post IV) show that these little changes foretell the changes in a newly detected climate influence from the Sun, which we are calling “force X” for now. The effect on temperatures of changes in force X is 10 to 20 times as great as the immediate effect of changes in solar radiation (see Post VI). Force X works by modulating the albedo of the Earth, or the amount of solar radiation reflected straight back out to space without changing the heat of the planet, by clouds and ice and so on. Force X turns the tap that controls how much sunlight pours into the Earth’s climate system. This could be through UV, magnetic field effects, solar wind, or some form of electrical field.

This mysterious and as yet undetected Force X is quite magical. It affects temperature ten to twenty times as much as does incoming solar radiation. (Notice again the wide range of possibilities.) Apparently Force X changes the albedo, whether all over the earth, or only the land or only the oceans David Evans doesn't say. Nor does he explain just how the reflectivity of the surface is changed.  But however it works, it is a mighty big change. Oddly enough the magnitude of this Force X is apparently not that much smaller than that of the greenhouse effect.

Another strange thing about Force X is that while it affects outgoing radiation, "modulating the albedo", at the same time if affects incoming radiation.  It "controls how much sunlight pours into the Earths' climate system". And it could be through light itself (UV), through "magnetic field effects", through "solar wind" or as "some sort of electrical field" which is unknown and undetected.

They forgot about the kitchen sink.

The Big Freeze

Anyway, now that Jo and David have been paid for the discovery of the magical Force X and the Notch, it's time for their prediction. We're going to get very cold - any day now. Yes, really. According to Jo and David the earth is going to cool this year or next. They estimate eleven years from 2003, which means the big freeze starts this year. Jo wrote:
Knowing that solar irradiance dropped suddenly from 2003 onwards tells us the rough timing of the fall in temperature that’s coming (just add a solar cycle length). 

For the sake of their argument, let's forget the fact that solar irradiance didn't drop suddenly from 2003 onwards and just add eleven, which brings us to this year. In which we've just had the hottest May on record. As for how cool it's going to get, this is what they claim:
If the temperature on Earth is entirely controlled by solar effects, the cooling will return us to the temperature levels of the 1950s or even the 1920s, undoing the last 50 or 100 years of global warming in just a few short years.

Here is a chart of decadal surface temperatures so you can see the prediction more easily. The latest decade is incomplete of course.

Data source: NASA GISTemp

What Jo and David are claiming is that the global surface temperature is going to suddenly drop by between 0.6°C and 0.8°C. That's huge. They do acknowledge, however, that:
At least a small portion of the recent global warming was due to rising carbon dioxide, so the fall will not be as large as shown in Figure 2.
I guess they've still got a bit more work to do on their model.

Backtracking and hedging of bets

Is it the last 50 years or the last 100 years of global warming that's about to be undone? Seems to be a rather wide margin they are allowing themselves. That's not the only margin they've allowed. After precise predictions of an eleven year lag, David and Jo fudge rather a lot and write:
As we head to the UNFCCC meeting in Paris 2015 where global bureaucracy beckons, a sharp cooling change appears to be developing and set to hit in the next five years
I expect the hottest May on record was a spanner in the works. So they've decided their fudge factor might be sixteen years, not eleven years.  Rather telling was their motivation, linking their fantastic fantasy to the climate conference next year.

There's more. After writing that surface temperatures are going to drop by between 0.6°C and 0.8°C over a solar cycle starting this year, they then step back a whole lot in their test for falsification, writing instead:
Here’s the criterion: A fall of at least 0.1°C (on a 1-year smoothed basis) in global average surface air temperature over the next decade.
Wow. They've reduced their estimate from between 0.6°C and 0.8°C within a solar cycle starting this year, to 0.1°C in ten years. That's backtracking a whole heap more than their "small portion" is from CO2 comment would suggest.

David "Funny Sunny" Archibald

David Archibald has jumped on the Force X Notch bandwagon and reinvents his history in the process (archived here). He referred his readers back to an article he wrote in 2012. What he neglected to mention was his 2006 prediction, which I wrote about ages ago. Here's the prediction in chart form in case you missed it:

Data source: NASA GISTemp

This time David is going even further and predicting a drop in temperature of 2°C. Now he's put up a chart of central England temperature so it's not clear whether he thinks that global surface temperatures are going to drop by 2°C or whether he's just predicting a big freeze in central England. In the past, David has used "five rural, continental US stations" of the USA as a proxy for global surface temperature. So my guess is he's predicting a drop in global surface temperature of 2°C.

That means this is what he's predicting, compared to the entire Holocene:

Data source: Marcott13

From the WUWT comments

The comments below are to David Archibald's article at WUWT, which itself is supposedly based on Jo Nova and David Evans' Notch and Force X hypothesis.

Doug Proctor compares David Archibald to Copernicus and says the lack of physics doesn't matter (extract):
June 28, 2014 at 8:55 am
I think you are still right. Within 18 months, perhaps, but I’m still looking for 2015 as the start of cooling beyond ALL of the models. I don’t think the world will plunge into a Dalton, but your work has the advantage of strong observational evidence.
It is not imperative that the process be understood, but that the implications of observations be understood – if you are grounded. The pragmatist recognizes “cash value” as one of the determinants of truth: whatever you figure out has to have use, something that takes you forward, something that benefits you in a way you weren’t benefited before. You have seen a connection; that is the start, just as Copernicus saw a mathematical solution in circular (or elliptical) orbits that answered big questions about our universe. Copernicus did so without gravitational physics, and at the time nobody expected him to say why, exactly. It was enough to understand how it was; the “why” was someone else’s project....

noaaprogrammer says:
June 28, 2014 at 7:14 am
Is TSI being considered as a driver here or as a chance correlate?

pochas says:
June 28, 2014 at 7:34 am
There is a need to differentiate global temperatures from northern continental interior temperatures. What has happened to date suggests that global temperatures may fall only a few tenths, while northern continental interior temperatures may take a wallop.

SAMURAI picks up on a lesser but not inconsequential detail and says:
June 28, 2014 at 7:40 am
“The biggest spike you see on that record, in 1740, killed 20% of the population of Ireland, 100 years before the more famous potato famine.”
I thought the Maunder Minimum lasted from 1645~1715. Isn’t a 25yr lag a little too long after the fact? I could understand attributing causation had the great famine occurred during the Maunder, but a 25-year lag seems a bit of a stretch.
What am I missing?
The CET record does, however, show considerable cooling during the Maunder Minimum.

lsvalgaard goes out on a limb further even than I have, and says (direct link to Nova's blog removed - see above):
June 28, 2014 at 7:47 am
It is worse than I thought. The TSI used by Evans is totally wrong 
 Apart from the use of the obsolete Lean TSI for the early years, the most blatant error is the statement that TSI has had a sharp unprecedented drop starting in 2003-2005 to now. This is complete nonsense. Here is TSI since 2003 http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-since-2003.png
There is no such drop. If anything TSI is now higher than it were in 2003. As far as I am concerned, the model is already falsified. Not by the observations but by the [almost fraudulent - as there clearly is an agenda here] use of invalid input to begin with. This concludes my comments as the prediction is worthless on its face.

CC Squid calls the Notch and Force X "the unifying theory of Climate Science" and says:
June 28, 2014 at 8:10 am
II am extremely pleased to see that this information is started to be seen on other sites. I think of this hypothesis as the unifying theory of Climate Science. It is a bare bones hypothesis with falicification points. It needs inputs from others like yourself. Hopefully it will put the stake in the heart of CAGW. I have a very limited income and fuel, energy and food costs are killer for everyone.

Salvatore Del Prete likes the idea of a Notch and magical Force X and says:
June 28, 2014 at 8:16 am
Excellent accurate information. Past history has shown us each and every time prolonged solar minimum conditions are present the temperature response has been down.
One item that could slow down solar effects somewhat is ocean heat content.
Anthony good article.

greg Goodman initially says it's a joke (excerpt):
June 28, 2014 at 9:20 am
...The the jonova posts are now at “Big News VII” without any maths being presented getting near to a joke. (Perhaps beyond)

...but must have thought more on it, because later greg Goodman says (excerpt):
June 28, 2014 at 12:33 pm
...I hope that Dr Evans will learn from some of the comments be able to improve what he’s done since I thinks it’s worthwhile venture....

Steve from Rockwood is highly sceptical and says:
June 28, 2014 at 9:38 am
This has me confused. Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) varies from a smoothed high of 1366.5 W/m2 to a low of 1365.5, or +/- 0.5 W/m2. This represents a change of less than 0.04% in TSI over a complete solar cycle, i.e. 100*(0.5)/1366. This is responsible for climate changes of 0.5 deg C? If that is the case we never evolved because the earth is too sensitive to changes in TSI to support life.

MikeUK thinks the whole thing gives skeptics a bad name. (It's not the only thing that does so, Mike.) He says:
June 28, 2014 at 9:38 am
The story of Icarus from Greek mythology should be borne in mind by anyone trying to predict the climate by looking ONLY at the sun’s output. Also bear in mind the theories of next years harvest based on previous correlations with sacrificed goats.
This article gives scepticism a bad name.

john robertson writes of truth from garbage and says:
June 28, 2014 at 9:56 am
I await the rest of David Evans conjecture.
So far I like the roll out and approach.
If the solar data used is rubbish and the land based temperature record as flawed as I believe, then there is also a chance the proposed model can be useful.
G.I.G.O can produce weird truths.
What I do admire is the process, soon enough all of the Australian Duo’s theory will be on line for all to see and assault.


  1. The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley is on this Jo * David malarky at his new The Lord Monckton Foundation ( a charitable education foundation!) web page with

    "History & Science in the Making

    Over at the JoNova Blog HERE, Dr David Evans is creating History by doing science the way it is supposed to be done.

    You will appreciate that in the current politically correct ‘climate’, no empirical science indicating a major cause other than CO2 for climate change will be published in any climate journal. This will change soon, but only after we win the argument.

    So the new Evans Solar Based Climate Theory is being published as science was traditionally done prior to WW2.


    Cold fusion anyone?

  2. Force X? No, I think it must be those pesky Climate Elves. Everyone knows it takes Climate Elves 11 years to get to the Earth from the sun on Santa's sleigh. Erm .. how does this tripe vary from the slayer stuff that lukewarmer Watts doesn't allow on his scientific website?

    I am guessing that the predicted cooling will start after 2015 if thats when we have an El Nino, ie. be part of the "cooling since 2015", followed by "no warming since 2015", followed by "no statistically significant warming since 2015" cherrypicking after which point they move onto the next piece of BS that can be fitted mathematically to the data while having no physical basis. And, in the meantime, the planet gets warmer.

    1. Your point about 2015 struck me as well, but I missed the Climate Elves aspect. Well spotted :)

    2. Captain FlashheartJune 29, 2014 at 12:25 PM

      Maybe force x is Tol's gremlins?

  3. Don't miss Monkers vs LS in the comments, with Lord M playing the role of Black Night.

    More seriously, I lose a bet I had with myself, which was that WUWT would ignore DE's theory. However, I think my basic reasoning was correct and AW has cunningly found a way to evade it. My reasoning (and its mine, therefore interesting, therefore I shall share it with you) was that AW wouldn't have a clue whether DE's stuff was right or wrong or not-even-wrong; and would therefore neither wish to praise or diss it, unless the status of the idea became clear on its own, just in case he picked the wrong side of the fence. However, JoNova has dropped a few hints that she isn't exactly happy with AW for ignoring her; and I doubt they want to fall out. So AW has got DA to post an "opinion piece", which is fine, as DA can be thrown under the bus later if desired.

    Meanwhile, LS has come close to calling the whole thing fraudulent, which is bad news for them as LS was one of the people whose opinion they wanted.

    1. Good point, William. Anthony probably is waiting to be told what to think. He's been burnt so often these past few months. Willis doesn't think much of it either.

      On a similar note, I see he's been told to kiss and make up with Steve Goddard and he has done so. Going overboard and giving the impression to most casual readers that Steve was right about his "fraudulent" accusation. Of course that's a pile of nonsense. Anthony's article was also making a mountain out of a molehill and grandstanding to the ultimate. It's a prelude to his not-yet-published-if-ever "paper".

      Nick Stokes pulled Anthony up a few times and all that happened was that Anthony showed his ignorance about the subject (and his dislike of anything Nick has to say). Anthony came out of it looking stupid to most thinking people but looking like a hero to his denier fans. That would make it a win in Anthony's little mind.

  4. *Knight*. Sigh.

    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhRUe-gz690 if you don't know it)

  5. Ha ha. David Evans. Just look at his totally ineffective handwaving towards the end of this article from Jo's site a while back:


    He makes a major mistake in converting units by a few factors of magnitude, and thus totally underestimates how much we have been warming the oceans:

    "See NOAA’s PDF, table T1 (on page 14): heat content change for the 0 – 700m layer of the world’s ocean of 15.913 * 10^22 Joules corresponds to a change in mean temperature of 0.168 deg C, so 10^22 Joules in 0-700m of the world’s oceans is 0.168/15.913 = 0.0106 deg C."

    Because the deniers must always downplay, I suppose. So it doesn't look too scary to their audience. So what's that all about? How can you take a figure of 0.168C (from Levitus et.al 2009, expressed as a total change in ocean mean volume temp from 1955 - 2008), and divide it by 15.913 (x 10 ^ 22 joules), which is how much we've warmed the oceans from 1955 - 2008, to arrive at any kind of meaningful figure?! Just what *are* the units then?

    Now I might be wrong on this, but if I am, please show me your work. And if David Evans is making any sense I might just decide to retire from reality as a result. Did he mean to express the change in ocean mean volume temp as a number per year? If so, why not divide it by the number of years? (2008 minus 1955). That would have made it even scarier than 0.0106 deg C!

    According to me, this is not only mathturbation, but mathturbation that is full of whopping big mistakes.

    1. Sorry, but to be more succinct... a figure of 0.168 deg C expressed as a *change in ocean mean volume temp from 1955 - 2008 in the 0 - 700m layer* is already what it is. How can you divide it by anything, unless you want to express it as a change/year?

    2. Easy. You just do it, and assume nobody is going to call you on it.

  6. That mysterous Force X that mimics the effects of a mysterious gas that would let inwards visible radiation pass, and block part of the outwards infrared radiation!

    If such gas existed, it would certainly have been detected by now. And how would they explain the sudden increase of this invisible and indetectable gas in the past 100 years or so ?

  7. Thank you for this post. Evans & co have engaged in an impressive exercise of unphysical chartism with some fine tuning and hubris ("Force X") for good measure.

    An illustration of this is provided by their claims about nuclear tests. Apart from dust absorption there is no plausible mechanism. Their statement "it’s radioactive too (a bit of a cosmic ray effect?)" seems apologetic rather than invoking a plausible mechanism.

    The transmission of the atmosphere has been monitored for decades, and the contribution of nuclear tests to atmospheric dust was tiny relative to the contribution of large volcanic eruptions. This can be seen quite clearly at http://pubs.usgs.gov/pinatubo/self/fig9.gif

  8. Mythical forces always come in pairs, gremlns are not enough. From Open Mind a while ago.
    "Elsewhere:I’ve proposed:
    gremlins create magic warming that happens to be same size as CO2′s.
    leprechauns nullify effects of CO2, to avoid doubling"

    One always needs the leprechauns to have some reason to ignore Greenhouse Effect without plunging into Slayer turf.

  9. See Who is 'Rocket Scientist' David Evans? and make sure to read the comments.

    1. Thanks for providing that bit of levity, John. It was indeed a good read. As for myself, having only a lowly B.S. in EE degree... well, I must say, I'm feeling a bit inferior. Perhaps I would be qualified to hold the rockets in place as they launched? Oh, wait...

    2. Bragging about making a word processor is pretty great (though debunking it by calling up MS is nonsense -- what's silly is the claim that a one-man effort will get anywhere).

      Sounds like someone with serious delusions of grandeur.

    3. Anyone with a PhD in a technical field is a rocket scientist, eh? I'm sure my various acquaintances with such degrees would be thrilled to learn they had earned such a qualification without even noticing it.

      What a classic crank this guy Evans is, and how silly and credulous Jo looks (again) to be trumpeting his nonsense in her blog.

      When this latest great "death of AGW" piffle blows away in a year our so, I hope William Conneley and the other few sane voices willing to subject themselves to that loony bin will keep reminding her acolytes of how easily they fell for it.

  10. "no empirical science indicating a major cause other than CO2 for climate change will be published in any climate journal."

    What empirical evidence? They have postulated the existence of hitherto undetected and unmeasured, physics defying 'Nova particles'. Newsflash. That's not empirical evidence. Talk about grand conspiracy theories. It does show that ideology can trump reality, and that those obsessed with 'ABCD' (anything but carbon dioxide) will come up with any old codswallop to feed their Morton's daemon.

  11. Yes, Jo's certainly come a long way since she did publicity for the Questacon Science and Technology Centre in Canberra ...

  12. "Who is 'Rocket Scientist' David Evans?" I seem to recall that one Joanne Codling is married to a certain David Evans...

  13. Like, we all know that the pot boils as soon as you turn on the stove top, and returns to room temp as soon as you turn it off... DUH.
    Like, we all were very critical of the "deep ocean heat sink" theory that explains 20 years of global cooling in the midst of AGW, right?


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