Earth ChangesS


The Sun puts on some fireworks for the 4th of July

sunspot july 4 2009

Leif Svalgaard has been saying for sometime now that Solar Cycle 24 seems to be getting underway. Seeing sunspot group 1024 today, I'm tending to agree.

The magnetic polarity (seen on the SOHO magnetogram) of the spot group combined with the middle latitude indicates it is a cycle 24 spot.

The most active sunspot of the year so far is emerging in the sun's southern hemisphere: movie. Sunspot 1024 has at least a dozen individual dark cores and it is crackling with B-class solar flares. This morning, amateur astronomer David Tyler caught one of the flares in action from his backyard solar observatory in England:

Evil Rays

Cosmic Ray Decreases Affect Atmospheric Aerosols and Clouds

Henrik Svensmark et al have a new GRL paper in press entitled: 'Cosmic ray decreases affect atmospheric aerosols and clouds'

The Abstract states:

Close passages of coronal mass ejections from the sun are signaled at the Earth's surface by Forbush decreases in cosmic ray counts. We find that low clouds contain less liquid water following Forbush decreases (FDs), and for the most influential events the liquid water in the oceanic atmosphere can diminish by as much as 7%. Cloud water content as gauged by the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) reaches a minimum around 7 days after the Forbush minimum in cosmic rays, and so does the fraction of low clouds seen by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and in the International Satellite Cloud Climate Project (ISCCP). Parallel observations by the aerosol robotic network AERONET reveal falls in the relative abundance of fine aerosol particles which, in normal circumstances, could have evolved into cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). Thus a link between the sun, cosmic rays, aerosols, and liquid-water clouds appears to exist on a global scale.

Better Earth

Message in the CLOUD for Warmists: The end is near?

You've probably all heard of Svensmark and the Galactic Cosmic Ray (GCR) to cloud cover modulation theory by now. Lot's of warmists say it is "discredited". However, CERN in Switzerland isn't following that thinking, and after getting some encouraging results in the CLOUD06 experiment, they have funded a much larger and more comprehensive CLOUD09 experiment. I figure if it is "discredited", a bunch of smart guys and gals like CERN wouldn't be ramping up the investigation. There's also word now of a new correlation:
GCR solar correlation
© unknownCorrelation recently reported between solar/GCR variability and temperature in Siberia from glacial ice core, 30 yr lag (ie. ocean currents may be part of response)

I get so many tips now it is hard to choose, but this one is a gem. If you look at nothing else this month, please take the time to download the slide show from CERN's Jasper Kirkby at the end of this article.

He does a superb job of tying it all together. I found Kirkby's slide show quite interesting, and I've grabbed some slides for our WUWT readers. He proposes a GCR to cloud droplet mechanism, which to me, makes sense meteorologically. He also touches on the possibility that the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) may have been shifted due to GCR modulation during the LIA/Maunder Minimum. This ties in with Willis Eschenbach's theories of the ITCZ being a "thermostatic mechanism" for the planet with some amplification effects. - Anthony


ITCZ Creeping Northward over the Past 300 Years

© NASAA satellite view of the ITCZ. Note the clusters of broken clouds aligned just north of the equator (central/eastern Pacific region) in this image.

New research from the University of Washington indicates that the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ), which is a persistent band of showers and heavy thunderstorms that produces heavy rainfall near the equator, has been creeping northward for more than 300 years now. The zone, on average, has been moving northward at just less than 1 mile a year.

The ITCZ normally fluctuates between 3 and 10 degrees north of the equator, depending on the time of the year.

Researchers believe that global warming is probably the reason for this northward trend.

Alarm Clock

Ocean temperatures: The new bluff in alarmism

There has been a change in direction by the alarmists, as shown by their new "Synthesis Report." The independent scientists noticed it during the Wong-Fielding meeting.

The alarmists have abandoned air temperatures as a measure of global temperature, because the air temperature graphs are just too hard to argue with (like the second figure below, from the Skeptics Handbook). Instead they've switched to ocean temperatures, which they often disguise as ocean heat content (a huge number like 15×10²² Joules sounds much more scary than the warming it implies of 0.003° C/year).

All three pages of the Synthesis Report that deal with 'evidence' are about factors or trends that tell us nothing about whether or not the warming is due to carbon emissions. If God put the galaxy in a toaster, sea levels would rise, ocean heat content would increase, and ice would melt.
energy content climate components
© unknown

Notice how the graph above from the Synthesis Report that came out this month doesn't include the last six years of data? Carrier pigeons from the remote worldwide network of Argo buoys make it back to base eventually, but the world's leading team of climate researchers seem to have trouble googling "argo". Not coincidentally, measurements of ocean heat capacity from 2003-2009 aren't the numbers Team AGW were looking for. Indeed Craig Loehle has calculated the ocean has lost about 10% of the gain listed above since since 2003. (More info here).

Monkey Wrench

UK: Giant Naked Goddess to be Carved into Hillside

© PA 400 metre long naked "Green Goddess", which was designed by artist Charles Jencks, and will be carved into the Northumberland landscape.
A 400-yard naked "Green Goddess" is to be carved into the Northumberland landscape, under a new plan revealed by a mining company.

Dubbed the "Goddess of the North", Northumberlandia will be made from two million tonnes of earth dug out from an open cast mine in Cramlington, and tower 112ft into the northern sky.


June was cooler than usual in Los Angeles

Los Angeles - June was especially gloomy in Southern California, with temperatures in Los Angeles below normal every day of the month.

The National Weather Service says the region has gone through "a fairly noteworthy stretch of cool weather."

June's average daily high in downtown Los Angeles was 74.5 degrees, five degrees below normal.

The downtown daily high only reached the 80-degree mark or higher twice in June. The last time it was that cool was in June 1982, when there was only one 80-degree or higher day.

Evil Rays

UAH Global Temperature Anomaly for June 2009 ~ ZERO

June 2009 temp anomaly

The was a lot of speculation last year that our global temperature would recover from the huge drops last spring. While there has been some recovery, the overall global temperature trend since 1999 has been the subject of much debate. What is not debatable is that the current global temperature anomaly, as determined by a leading authority on global satellite temperature measurements, says we have no departure from "normal" this month. Given the U.S. Senate is about to vote upon the most complex and costly plan to regulate greenhouse gases, while the EPA suppresses earlier versions of the chart shown below from a senior analyst, this should give some pause to those who are rational thinkers. For those that see only dogma, I expect this will be greeted with jeers. - Anthony


The EPA Silences a Climate Skeptic

Wherever Jim Hansen is right now -- whatever speech the "censored" NASA scientist is giving -- perhaps he'll find time to mention the plight of Alan Carlin. Though don't count on it.

Mr. Hansen, as everyone in this solar system knows, is the director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Starting in 2004, he launched a campaign against the Bush administration, claiming it was censoring his global-warming thoughts and fiddling with the science. It was all a bit of a hoot, given Mr. Hansen was already a world-famous devotee of the theory of man-made global warming, a reputation earned with some 1,400 speeches he'd given, many while working for Mr. Bush. But it gave Democrats a fun talking point, one the Obama team later picked up.


Cool May, June in New Zealand near 50 year record

Forecasters last night withdrew warnings of thunderstorms.

MetService had issued a severe thunderstorm watch for Northland, Great Barrier Island, Coromandel and the Bay of Plenty, valid until 10am today but that was dropped last night.

It has also issued a severe weather watch for Otago and Canterbury, as it expects snowfall in these areas.

Weather ambassador Bob McDavitt said a howling wind from the Tasman Sea was moving across northwestern parts of the North Island last night and was expected to reach Bay of Plenty this morning.

"This active front will bring squally showers, which includes the possibility of dangerous gusts, maybe tornadoes, on the northern coasts."

The front is expected to move quickly over the North Island before clearing East Cape by noon today. Some sun may peak through the gloomy weather this afternoon, but bouts of rain are expected throughout the weekend.