I mentioned this Conference before, but it deserves closer attention IMO: ”Solar Activity during the onset of Solar Cycle 24″, a Conference sponsored by several prominent scientific organizations (NASA, etc), 8 – 12 December 2008. Home page; copies of the presentations.
The main goals of the meeting were to assess our current knowledge of solar activity, in order to prepare for observations in the new Carrington Cycle 24, and to encourage the most effective use of these observations. The meeting thus had special emphasis on the coordination of ACE, Hinode, STEREO, TRACE/SDO, SOHO, RHESSI and Wind observations, among other space and ground-based instruments.
I esp recomment “Solar Activity Cycles – Past and Future“, David Hathaway (NASA) — This provides valuable insights for laypeople about climate science, on several levels.
(1) Much of this presentation (esp slides 1 – 19) provides a rebuke to laypeople who consider a solar cycle 24 a certain source of global cooling, as seen in the comments on this site. As exemplified in this comment (humor, I hope) by M. Simon:
Climate change has already been solved. No sunspots today.
(2) Esp note slide #47. This cycle might tell us much about the dynamics of the solar cycle, as the major theories give radically divergent forecasts.
(3) His discussion of models in slides 30 – 47 is (speaking as a layman) exemplary: useful tools to be rigorously tested. We would know much more if his advice on slide 42 was general practice:
Given these caveats, independent confirmation of the model is needed.
One of the many mysteries of the pro-AGW comments on this site is that they consider themselves to be speaking for “science”, yet I provide almost all the citations from mainstream science. And not just mindlessly listing articles, but providing some description and context.
The extreme case of this is the recent comment by ex-PFC Chuck. He refers to no scientific works, but has the audacity to say I rely on Stephen McIntyre and his climateaudit.org website. This is easily proven false, by the FM reference page Science & nature – studies & reports, listing the science articles mentioned on this site (it’s a long list).
Note the posts about the solar cycle, which cite the mainstream scientists in this field.
- A look at the science and politics of global warming, 12 June 2008
- More forecasts of a global cooling cycle, 15 July 2008
- Recommendations for your weekend reading, 31 August 2008
- Worrying about the Sun and climate change: cycle 24 is late, 10 July 2008
- Update: is Solar Cycle 24 late (a cooling cycle, with famines, etc)?, 15 July 2008
- Update on solar cycle 24 – and a possible period of global cooling, 1 October 2008
- Interesting reading for your weekend pleasure!, 22 November 2008
- Weekend reading recommenations, 13 December 2008
Here are some of the other posts on the FM site citing mainstream scientists about climate change:
- An article giving strong evidence of global warming, 30 June 2008
- Two valuable perspectives on global warming, 4 August 2008
- One of the most interesting sources of news about science and nature!, 27 October 2008
- Good news about global warming!, 21 October 2008
- This week’s report on the news in climate science, 7 December 2008
- The Senate Minority report is out: “More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims”, 12 December 2008
- An important new article about climate change, 29 December 2008
- High school science facts prove global warming! Skeptical scientists humiliated by this revelation!, 31 December 2008
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- About Science & Nature – my articles
- About Science & nature – studies & reports
- About Science & Nature – the history of climate fears
7 thoughts on “News from the conference on ”Solar Activity during the onset of Solar Cycle 24″”
Thanks for doing so much homework, which seems pretty trustworthy when I check on it. So I haven’t felt like checking out most of the excessive pro-AGW (didn’t Obama claim there was no question about it?) stuff.
Recent evidence of possibly some meteorite impact about 12,900 years ago, causing an immediate ice age (and killing off the woolly mammoth and the Clovis Indians) seems to me a fear to be more afraid of for the next 100 years.
With your great work on AGW, I’m more comfy looking at the financial crisis and ignoring it until the evidence is of a more transparent kind.
A comment from Leif Svalgaard (an expert in solar science) about relationship of solar cycles and Earth’s temperature — a caution to the confident voices on the Internet that the relationship is clear and simple (source):
His current forecast for solar cycle 24:
Note: I see no bio on Svalgaard. Leif Svalgaard’s Research Page has a wealth of technical data (not friendly to non-scientists). Here is is list of publications.
When comparing models, especially when comparing how well each “predicts” the past, a starting point is to note the number of adjustable parameters that are used to fit the data. An old adage in science is “given enough parameters, a model can fit anything”. The most impressive model is one that fits the trailing data record using only physical constants of the universe and the equations of math physics.
Fabius Maximus replies: This is an important point, and one of the major grounds for skepticism about current climate models.
The following quote could be about climate science (it fits so well), from Freeman Dyson’s classic article “A meeting with Enrico Fermi“, Nature (22 January 2004) – “How one intuitive physicist rescued a team from fruitless research.” — Excerpt:
An intesting special issue on climate science: Neatherlands Journal of Geosciences, October 2008 — Mostly subscription only.
However, this is available to the public — and looks interesting: “Solar activity and its influence on climate” C. de Jager (Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research) — Abstract:
It is long past time for Hathaway, Svalgaard, and the others to admit that their predictions have failed, and they do not understand what the sun is doing this cycle. Starting from that honest foundation, perhaps it would be possible to add to the trifling knowledge we possess about our star.
Fabius Maximus replies: In what sense have their forecasts “failed”, given the immature state of solar cycle?
Hathaway’s forecast(s) for the start of cycle 24 have not been accurate (see here), but his overall view of a “strong” cycle 24 remains untested (only time will tell).
Esp on what basis do you say Svalgaard’s forecasts have been wrong? Looking at his research page, I do not see any formal forecasts (casual opinions do not count in this game).
Hathaway deserves our admiration for testable predictions and summarizing the predictions of the four major models (his slide #47). When I saw his slide #36 I immediately said “ohmygod, another place where Richard Feynman signed the guestbook and left”– imagine my surprise to learn that it was his younger sister Joan, who I knew from Gleick’s biography was in physics, but I had had no idea in what field.
Now for my own work– as an amateur radio operator first licensed in 1956, I’ve been aware of sunspot cycles for a long time now (creak) and a science fact article by Hal Clement some time around 1961– “Gravity Insufficient” started me thinking about the two largest planets in the solar system: Jupiter (mass 318 x earth) and Saturn (mass 95 x earth); they line up every 20 years, in years divisible by 20, and are on opposite sides of the sky 10 years later. If you look at sunspot maxima vs. those conjunctions (and oppositions) for the last 250 years or so, you see that maxima that occur in phase with a year ending in 0 tend to be relatively high ones, and ones where the maximum occurs in a year ending in 5 plus or minus 1 are low ones. This predicts a relatively low maximum, around 2013 or so. . .
I’m sure that somebody could make this a whole lot more quantitative and see if a “hindcast” can be made, but there’s a forecast.
Looks like the Landscheidt Grand Minimum will dominate earth’s climate for the balance of this century.