the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Century to Decade Climate Change Created by Planetary Motion

Posted by Jeff Id on August 11, 2009

This video presentation and associated PDF file discuss the issues of solar forcing, TSI datasets, proxies and long term trends. I believe it is one of the better posts here on the Air Vent and it deserves a lot of attention. The presentation is quite exciting from my perspective as it is full of information which would take a long time to uncover but also because it has a unique conclusion which looks like an improvement in temperature signal analysis. It’s also a good skeptic’s presentation.

The video is from a link given in a few short communications with Dr. Scafetta by email regarding his recent disagreement with Benestad and Schmidt. The video is a seminar on Feb 26, of 09 regarding a great number of issues with the IPCC on climate change. If you are at all serious about understanding the detail of climate change or if you are a climatologist I suspect you will find this video informative as it highlights some what I believe are unique and in some cases unpublished (for the next 2 weeks) results of planetary orbits and their effects on climate change. If I’m right, this paper will be very interesting when it comes out.

If you’re just a casual reader, this probably isn’t for you, the video is long and at times technical. However, if you really want to know what the (non-existent because it’s a consensus) debate is about, watch the following video. There is a great deal of detail which is understandable to the serious AGW reader and will likely be misunderstood by the casual observer. Several points were made which went unsaid or incompletely explained which require an understanding of satellite orbits, instrument quality, data steps, general data collection and solar proxies.  If you get it, the points are quite interesting and compelling.

The most important issues mentioned are beyond my own experience, at least to the point where it’s new information to me. What happened is Dr. Scafetta has noticed a coherence between measured climate data and the sun’s gravity center velocity which is difficult for me to discount. I’m no climatologist and not a solar physicist but this seems from my reading to be unique to the discussion of solar forcing. In particular look at this plot of the power spectrum of global temps in relation to the plot of the sun’s linear velocity relative to the gravitational center of the solar system.

power spec

The sun is of course pulled by planetary gravity in equal measure to the effect it puts on the planets. We all know the equal an opposite reaction from either physics or pushing our friends on the playground. In the case of the sun, the center of solar mass is pulled by little near-star’s and gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn to wobble significantly around the solar systems center of gravity. By adding it all up we know how far off-center the sun is and its cyclic movements creted by orbiting planets can be analyzed using spectral analysis.

The figure above is an amazingly coincidental plot which I for one haven’t seen before. Look at how the different wavelengths align. This is similar to the Milankovitch cycles except the timescale is very limited in comparison. I haven’t verified the data but this doesn’t seem like a minor point at all as Dr. Scafetta uses it to predict the small variances in the future climate of earth over the next 100 years. Something models have been unable to do thus far.

scafetta prediction

Astoundingly simple really. Thanks to Dr. Scafetta for the link and the video. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

scafetta video

Click to view

For better viewing of the slides Here is the PDF.

The slides themselves don’t do the presentation justice unfortunately. To understand it the presentation is the way to go.

74 Responses to “Century to Decade Climate Change Created by Planetary Motion”

  1. curious said

    Look forwards to reading this – but in the meantime get yourself a tip jar:

    “If you are at all serious about understanding the detail of climate change (even if you happen to be a climatologist),”

    LOL – and not just the abbreviation version!!

  2. Jeff Id said

    That is pretty funny.

    I didn’t intend it that way but good stuff.

  3. leftymartin said

    Intriguing – seems to be along the same lines per this:

    Click to access RhodesFairbridgetheory.pdf

  4. Ryan O said

    Argh!!!! Dialup sucks.
    I’ll have to figure out a way to get this.

  5. tallbloke said

    I too have been in email contact with Nicola Scafetta recently on this subject, which is pretty much outlawed at both Climate Audit and What’s up With That. Leif Svalgaard refers to it as “Barycentric Nonsense” and has convinced both Steve MacIntyre and subsequently Anthony Watts to discourage it’s discussion.

    After studying this effect for the last two years, I have recently made some breakthroughs in understanding and computation. Nicola Scafetta has recommended I try to get my findings published, which is very encouraging after all the negative comments I’ve received.

    Nicola’s presentation is based on the motion of the sun relative o the solar system barycentre (centre of mass) in the ‘x’ ‘y’ axes. My work has focused on the ‘z’ axis perpendicular to the planetary orbital plane. The small angle the sun leans at in relation to that plane means that the outer gas giant planets affect the position of the barycentre and it’s relative position above and below the sun’s equatorial plane. These changes correlate strongly with phenomena both solar and terrestrial, including sunspot production and north south sunspot asymmetry, and variations in Earth’s Length of Day.

    The lag is due to the inertia in the changes of the sub crustal currents responsible for around 90% of changes in Earth’s length of day. These currents are bearing molten magnetic material which affect geomagnetism indices at the surface.

    Using the sunspot number in a cumulative count technique I have developed and the Length of Day data combined in a series, I have reconstructed the history of global sea surface temperature.

    Clearly the SST record around the time of the second world war is problematic. There are two principle reasons for the departure of my generated curve and the SST record. One is the well known issue of the problematic calibration of engine cooling water inlet sensors in maritime shipping and naval vessels covered by Steve MacIntyre at Climate Audit. The other is the fact that LOD variation, although it correlates well with periodic reversals in global temperature trends, does not capture el nino events well.

    This is neatly demonstrated by this plot of a combination of TSI and LOD data against the changes in atmospheric angular momentum.

    As you can see, the el nino events stick out from the general agreement between the cyclic activity.

    Following the positive remarks Nicola Scafetta made to me yesterday, I will be writing this up into a first attempt at a proper paper.

  6. curious said

    Jeff – excuse me coming in on this but maybe Tallbloke could do a guest post here and get some of the benefit of tAV readers?

  7. Jeff Id said


    I think it would be a good option before publishing, let blogland beat it up first before the reviewers get to it. I have a lot of respect for Leif but am unfamiliar with the different arguments and don’t in the slightest like suppression of a point of view. It sounds like it would be an interesting post if Tallbloke is up to it.

  8. timetochooseagain said

    I’ve seen it. The good doctor has a rather thick accent, But it’s very interesting stuff!

  9. Ryan O said

    I second the notion of a Tallbloke guest post. Looks to be interesting!

  10. Kenneth Fritsch said

    Be careful, be very careful. Apparent relationships like these cry out for sensitivity testing.

    I like the Scafetta accent.


  11. tallbloke said

    Jeff, thank you very much for your offer, I would very much appreciate the input of tAV readership. Like Steve M, Steven Mosher and everyone here I also believe in ‘open science’ and would be happy to throw this open to discussion before presenting anything ‘official’ in order to share ideas and benefit from the knowledge and insight of your contributors.

    Leif Svalgaard is a great scientist who has been very generous with his time and effort. I don’t regard what has happened at CA or WUWT as active ‘suppression of ideas’, more the normal rough and tumble which occurs in open scientific discourse where ideas are evaluated, someone with an established reputation makes a judgement, and occasionally the baby gets thrown out with the bathwater. We disagree about the importance of this effect because he is certain there is no possible causative chain between solar motion WRT the solar system centre of mass and solar activity. He maintains that the sun is in freefall, and ‘feels no forces’.

    I think Nicola Scafetta may have a few things to say about that in his forthcoming paper and I don’t wish to ‘steal his thunder’ or muddy the waters with half baked ideas of my own about causation at this stage. I simply offer the interesting correlations now as a contribution providing supporting circumstantial evidence for the importance of the effect.

    We should allow time for Dr Nicola Scafetta’s new paper to be published and then perhaps I could put up a post regarding the ‘z’ axis effects in it’s wake to cross fertilise the discussion.

  12. tallbloke said

    @ Ryan O

    I know what you mean. I got my lady to download it and burn it to CD at the University she works at. I’m in the UK or I’d offer you a copy of the disc by snail mail. I’m sure you’ll find a way, and I highly recommend you do, because it’s an essential accompaniment to the pdf of Dr Scafetta’s EPA presentation slides.

    The ‘barycentric stuff’ comes in the last 20 mins or so of the video. The earlier stuff on the ACRIM data and the difference between the ACRIM team’s interpretation of TSI data as opposed to the interpretation of the PMOD team (including Claus Frohlich, Leif, and Judith Lean) is essential to a full understanding of the issues.

    Having seen it, Jeff will understand more now about the reasons Leif and I are having an ongoing ding-dong about his revision of sunspot numbers and TSI reconstruction from magnetic data. I hope Jeff follows up Leif’s agreement to supply some data and methodology for a post on those matters too.

  13. tallbloke said

    Sorry to swamp the thread, but just to add that from my point of view, the state of play between Leif and myself is reasonably well summarised here:

  14. Thanks Jeff for the presentation. I havent watched the whole video but Dr. Scafetta looks to be backing up my work of last year. It became obvious to me after studying Carl Smith’s now famous graph that solar angular momentum was responsible for the modulation in solar output at the solar cycle scale and under the right conditions is also responsible for Grand Minima. Solar velocity is a direct product of the angular momentum distributed by the solar system planets as seen in my graph here:

    Once this angular momentum or velocity is displayed in a more usual format it becomes obvious that solar output is linked with angular momentum/solar velocity as seen here:

    And further seen here in my 200 year solar prediction:

    Link here to my original article:

    There is little doubt solar output is governed by the distance from the SSB, perhaps this will pave the way for further understanding by the scientific community on how Neptune and Uranus are the big players in solar modulation and Grand Minima….the next one happening right now on queue.

  15. Tony Hansen said

    And so what if Leif happens to have a different point of view to Tallbloke.
    How much of what we currently ‘know’ are we happy to hang our hat on and say ‘Yes, this will still be considered a central pillar of our understanding in 20 years time’.
    And enough of this standing on the shoulders of giants stuff.
    I couldn’t see over their shoulders to start with.

  16. Antonio San said

    As long as the data used in HADCRUT are not freely available -see Climateaudit for this- and that HADCRUT results therefore cannot be independently replicated, any model, any research trying to fit anything – for or against- into the published HADCRUT curve is in my opinion at great risk of instant oblivion the moment HADCRUT is replicated. Scafetta’s presentation hints at the surface temperature problem with the well known GISS adjustments.

    Yet in so many discussions, what’s missing is how any solar or other influence is “translated” into meteorological data that in turn will become, over time, climate. The fixation on the one parameter -Hadcrut temperature- is blinding and misleading. In particular, the general atmospheric circulation is the key to understanding how those effects are playing. That is why it is unbelievable that Marcel Leroux’s work is so neglected. In fact, his reconstruction -I do not say model- of the general circulation, based on observed facts, satellite imagery and meteorological realities initially during extensive studies of weather and climate of tropical Africa, later extended to the entire globe is the missing link between the numerical models validation and studies such as Scafetta’s.

    Between models’ run and the multiple possible answers they give (summarized as GI=GO) i.e. subjective, tweaking of parameters in order to fit the expected result, hardly an independent proof of anything, and theories such as Svenmark’s or observations like Scafetta’s and solar scientists and geophysicists researches, the only verification will come from observed meteorological data and their evolution in time. That is where Leroux’s work is invaluable as it constraints both models and the research for the cause of variations.

    The second English edition of Leroux “dynamic analysis of weather and climate” will be published in early 2010. I strongly encourage all researchers to read it because it expose the understanding that leads to ways of verifying, objectively the findings of climate science.

    Professor Marcel Leroux passed away August 12, 2008, a year ago.

  17. Jeff Id said


    I don’t know if you took the time to watch the video but if you’re interested in data quality he’s done a good job describing problems in the TSI dataset.

  18. Antonio San said

    Jeff, no doubt about that.

  19. Curt said

    Leif’s fundamental point about the “barycentric nonsense” — and one that I have trouble disputing — is that bodies in orbit are in free fall about each other (whether just two or more than two). A body in free fall “feels” no forces from the other body[ies], so there is not a mechanism to create physical effects in it.

    So while the sun’s motion about the solar system’s barycenter may be useful for alien astronomers in the galaxy to detect that it has planets (this is our main method for finding planets around other suns), it is hard to come up with a physical mechanism for this to affect properties of the sun.

  20. Jeff Id said

    #19, This argument doesn’t end it for me.

    The mechanism can be the same as the tidal forces on the earth. There is a severe density gradient of material in the sun and likely a viscosity gradient. Also, there is a gravitational field gradient created over the diameter of the sun.

    Consider what happens to water on earth. The gravitational field of the earth in free fall has enough gradient in it that the water pinches up toward the moon despite the fact that the entire planet is in ‘free fall’

    The gravitational gradient in the solar case may be sufficient to create changes in solar behavior so the freefall argument without some analysis doesn’t end it.

    Another perhaps unrelated point is that the magnetic fields of the planets are also experiencing alignments and misalignments on the same timeframe as the analysis shows. All Dr. Scafetta points out is that the oscillations appear to be a good match to the frequency of solar barycentric motion. It doesn’t have to be the motion itself which causes the issue.

    I’m just saying things though. I’ve got very little experience in these things.

  21. Curt said

    If it’s tidal forces, the closer planets would dominate even though far smaller than the gas giants, just as the moon dominates our tidal forces despite the much greater gravitational pull of the sun.

    If there is something to this, it would have to be a subtler effect, I would think. For example, the combination of the sun and moon’s pull on the equatorial bulge of the earth causes the precession of the earth’s axes, something figured out a long time ago, and now generally believed to be a key factor in our glaciation cycles.

    I agree that there are intriguing correlations here. But we’ve got to get to a plausible physical mechanism before anyone can take this seriously.

  22. tallbloke said

    I agree with Jeff that treating the sun as a homogenous ball of stuff is oversimplifying things. Strange things happen in low G situations. Lagrangian points will exist at various points around and sometimes inside the sun as the sun orbits around the barycentre. In fact, just considering the barycentre is oversimplifying the situation, because there are eight planets doing their dance around the sun all the time, and the sun is moving on a path between the various individual barycentres between it an each individual planet. They are spread at various angles and the differential gravitational pulls and tidal forces are acting on different parts of the sun….

    Like Jeff, I’m not an expert in gravi-dynamics, but I do have an engineering background in fluid dynamics, and a good ability to visualise. It’s a fascinating puzzle.

  23. Jeff Id said

    #21, You forced me to look it up, thanks actually. I was too lazy to do it earlier.

    Jupiter mass 317 earths
    Orbit ~5 AU

    Since gravity drops with the square of distance your argument had a good chance of being right. But 5^2 AU = 25 times less attraction than 1 kg at 1 AU so the mass of jupiter would have 317/25 = 12 times more effect than earth.

  24. Jupiter and Venus have the same tidal force on the Sun, but I think this is more about solar velocity than tides. The Sun has 2 loops around the Barycenter, these are a direct result of planetary positions. Each loop has its own velocity (outer loop 100% faster), these loops can also vary in intensity depending on the positions of Neptune & Uranus at the time….this is the background engine fueling the sun, you will never find high solar activity when Neptune & Uranus are opposed.

  25. Curt said

    Jeff — You yourself said that tidal effects are due to the gravity gradient. The gradient, being the derivative of the gravitational force with respect to radius, drops with the cube of the radius, not the square. Again, this is why earth tides are dominated by the moon, not the sun, despite the far greater gravitational attraction of the sun.

    Geoff — The sun’s “whole body” motion about the barycenter is a free-fall motion, meaning that there are no forces acting on the sun in this regard. (Just as we do not feel the sun’s gravitational attraction because we are in free fall about the sun.)

  26. Jeff Id said

    In the case of the moon the distance is incredibly close relative to the sun which is 2.6 million times farther away by the time that’s squared on a force per earth kilogram basis, the moon is much stronger. Also a good point in favor of Leif’s opinion.

    You are correct about the gradient which dF/dr = ?/r^3 so to correct my earlier comment, Jupiter’s gradient would be, 5 AU^3 with a gradient 1/125th of earths gradient per kilogram. So with a mass of 317 Earths it comes out to 317/125 = 2.5 times more net gradient than Earth.

    Geoff, I’ve got venus at 0.9 earth mass and 0.7AU distance which puts it at 2.6 times earths gradient. Fantastic, Venus and Jupiter have equal tidal effects on the sun while the earth is about 1/2.5 = 0.4.

    All of them have far less than the moon on the earth but consider that the sun rotates more slowly than the earth at something like 26 days. This will give more time for the gravitational gradient to take effect on the density gradient of the solar material. The material of the sun has more opportunity to shift to accommodate the gradient.

    Obviously this deserves better numbers applied but it is interesting. It wouldn’t be that hard to determine how much force differential is applied to the different areas of the solar sphere.

  27. So many have tried to find a mechanical link between the planets and the Sun, and tidal theory doesnt look to hold much promise with the exception of a possible influence on the 11 yr cycle….the real mechanical link hasnt happened yet, but it will happen, like so many other areas in scientific history.

    What remains is incredible correlations, and Dr. Scafetta’s work on velocity and solar output is another voice to add to the growing crowd, and in this case its a pleasure to see someone going down the same path as me. I have emailed Dr. Scafetta but I think my website address has him confused as he has associated me with Dr. Landscheidt……it might be time for me break away from that name as my research is completely different.

  28. Jeff Id said


    I still don’t agree from my limited approach that tidal forces are absolutely not responsible, however, I would bet I don’t have your background on the topic. The data however appears to show something is going on.

  29. Layman Lurker said

    Obviously Dr. Scafetta’s thesis depends in part on rejection of the Lean proxy reconstruction (which corroborates with ERBS) in favour of the Solanki proxy reconstruction (which corroborates with NIMBUS) to fill the ACRIM gap. A very compelling argument for this is presented in the video. Jeff, Tallbloke, Geoff please correct me if my take on Scafetta’s arguments are wrong:

    1. The Lean model fails to reproduce the recent solar minimum.
    2. NIMBUS team cannot trace any insturmental, orbital, or calibration issues for a step correction in 1989.
    3. ACRIM gap would have coincided with projected ERBS degradation shortly after launch. NIMBUS should have been comparatively stable.
    4. The Solanki proxy reconstruction in the ACRIM gap shows no 1989 step. It also shows ERBS degradation.
    5. The Solanki reconstruction restores (somewhat) the solar correlations with global temperatures which mysteriously disappeared as of 40 years ago or so (Scafetta drops the UHI hypothesis in the presentation to further bridge this gap).

  30. tallbloke said

    # 26 Jeff
    “All of them have far less than the moon on the earth but consider that the sun rotates more slowly than the earth at something like 26 days. This will give more time for the gravitational gradient to take effect on the density gradient of the solar material.”

    Good point. Taking it further, in the vertical axis I’m studying, the gas giant planets are above or below the solar equatorial plane for many years at a time, and this allows much more time for small forces to build. Ray Tomes put forward an idea that involves an Einsteinian relativistic mass content gradient from solar core to surface being differentially affected by the planetary masses gravitationally. His calculations showed a motion of the solar core relative to the surface moving by between one and several km over a six year period (depending on uncertainties about the time it takes for radiation to get from core to surface). This motion would produce a toroidal overturning and would be amplified at the much less dense surface plasma, with sub eddies at intervening levels.

    Leif objected to this on the grounds that it would pull Mercury’s orbit up and down, but I calculated that the inertia involved would imply a slow libration on Mercury’s orbit which would be within the bounds of observational error. Given that Einstein’s calculation of the effect of relativity on the perihelion of mercury is something he himself was still unhappy with although the scientific community thought they nailed it with the observations in 1932 (?) there is perhaps some wiggle room here.

    I think there could be both a radial effect such as Geoff alludes to, and a vertical effect such as I describe above. Perhaps these are analogous to the two seperate solar dynamos, one creating the dipole field and the other one the quadrupole field, described by Russian scientist Valery P. Mikhailutsa.

    I did find a link where the full text was available before. I’ll look for it if anyone is interested.

  31. If we are talking purely TSI then yes the Lean model does not fit well with Scafetta’s approach. The Lean model has been changed so many times in the last decade for me to have a lot of confidence in it, she also seems to have a AGW bent… where as Solanki has produced some solid work (altho I disagree on his and Usoskin’s decision to exclude the Dalton minimum in their 11000 yr 14C reconstruction)

    Solar output is a lot more than TSI, with UV and comic ray shielding perhaps playing a greater role in our climate. The next decade will be very interesting to watch.

  32. tallbloke said

    #29 Layman Lurker

    Good summary.

    On point (2), the ACRIM team objected quite strenuously to PMOD team leader Claus Frolich’s application of correction algorithms to the earlier data, saying those orbital corrections were not applicable to that data at that time. The letters reproduced by Scafetta in the pdf (page 16 or thereabouts) makes this clear.

  33. Curt #19
    Leif’s fundamental point about the “barycentric nonsense” — and one that I have trouble disputing — is that bodies in orbit are in free fall about each other… so there is not a mechanism to create physical effects in it.

    Geoff Sharp #27
    So many have tried to find a mechanical link between the planets and the Sun… What remains is incredible correlations…

    Exactly. Evidence of correlations is of prime importance to Science, explanations can come later. I respect Svalgaard but disagree with his rejection of SSB material, and welcome a blog outlet where this can be discussed with all the best minds of CA and WUWT. I thought Scafetta was brilliant when I first saw this video.

    I’d be interested to see included in the discussion, potential effects from Quantum Mechanics, Zero Point Field effects, if any reader is able to – I have a hunch that these matter, but know little of the nuts and bolts. We have high correlations, but with effects that appear to exceed inputs. It seems to me that there should be “no holds barred” on exploring possible mechanisms.

  34. DeWitt Payne said

    Curt said
    August 12, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    (Just as we do not feel the sun’s gravitational attraction because we are in free fall about the sun.)

    No, we’re not because we’re not located at the center of mass of the earth. There are solar tidal effects on local g at the earth’s surface that can be measured with a laboratory four place balance (if you don’t calibrate it every day). The difference in local g between perihelion and aphelion causes about a 0.0040 g change in the apparent mass of a 50 g weight. This is one of the reasons why you need to calibrate a load cell type ‘balance’ every day. You should be able to see lunar tidal effects as well over the ~25 hour full cycle (two peaks).

    Larry Niven wrote a story (Neutron Star) describing the effect of tidal forces on a space ship passing through a gravitational field with a high gradient (hyperbolic orbit, perihelion one mile above the surface of a neutron star).

  35. Jerome Hudson said

    Hi –
    I watched Dr. Scafetta’s lecture with considerable interest, but my hearing coupled with his slight accent kept me from fully understanding some of the talk. I greatly appreciate your presenting it here.

    A remark about motion of the Sun around the barycenter. Consider only Jupiter, the “heavy” in the Solar System. The Sun outweighs Jupiter by 1047:1 (Astronomical Almanac), and its mean distance from the Sun is 5.203 times the Earth’s (the “astronomical unit”). Using 1AU = 1.496E6 Km, that means the Sun center is offset from the barycenter by 0.743E6 Km.

    That only considers Jupiter. Saturn has a slightly lesser effect of offsetting the Sun by 0.408E6 Km. I’ll neglect other planets.

    Consider that these offsets can occasionally add to, say, 1E6 Km. This will affect the intensity of solar radiation reaching Earth, since the Sun will occasionally be that much closer, then farther, in the same year (since Jupiter and Saturn’s orbital periods are long in comparison). What is the difference in solar radiation?

    I = L/R**2, L being the Solar luminance, and R the mean distance,
    149E6 Km. Differentiating, we have dI/I = -2 dR/R. So an offset of the Sun closer or farther by 1E6 Km will produce dI/I = .013, or
    1.3 per cent. Taking I = 1300 W/m**2, that’s about 17 watts/m**2.

    Whether this is significant to climate folks, is beyond my competence, but I would guess this is considerable when compared with the claimed 4 w/m**2 forcing the Greenhouse folks expect in a dry atmosphere.


  36. Jerome Hudson said

    Oops –

    That isn’t quite the way it works. I was assuming the Earth orbits the barycenter – not quite. The dynamics are quite a bit more complex than I presented them, but to a good approximation, the Earth orbits the Sun, and the variation in the Earth-Sun distance isn’t that drastic owing to other planets. I was off by several orders of magnitude. There is of course some seasonal variation in solar radiation due to orbital eccentricity, but I imagine this is adjusted properly by meteorologists.

    No doubt this was mentioned in the lecture.

    Sorry for the fuss, if I caused any.

    – Jerry

  37. A very common perception Jerry, there have even been several cases where scientist’s have produced papers making the same mistake, also I was picking up from the audience in Scafetta’a seminar a similar perception.

    I have spent some time looking at the orbit points of the planets using JPL data. Initially it led me to believe the Jovians might not orbit the Sun, but that just turned out to be the normal perturbations to the orbits caused by the surrounding planets.

    There has been a recent project where Leif was involved trying to disprove any chance of spin orbit coupling between the planets and sun, where the angular momentum of the sun and planets was calculated and then compared to see if there was any imbalance that could be conserved by a trade off in spin momentum. Unfortunately they used the SSB as the orbit point of the planets making the whole exercise fruitless.

  38. tallbloke said

    #37 Geoff

    There’s no question that the outer planets affect each other gravitationally and in terms of their angular momentum, and cause nutations on the polar axes of the inner planets too. That is proof of ‘spin orbit coupling’ though the magnitude of the effect on the sun is obviously smaller, though still non-zero.

    Since we only have LOD data for Earth, that would seem to be a good place to start looking for effects. It’s fiendishly complicated stuff though, as there are several effects feeding back onto each other.

  39. timetochooseagain said

    34-Niven? Fallen Angels Niven? Bloody Awesome!

    For those who don’t know, Niven is just plan awesome-Advised Reagan on SDI, the Department of Homeland Security on future trends of terrorism with a group called SIGMA, and author of many, many books etc.

    “Niven’s Law” is “There is no cause so right that one cannot find a fool following it”-which is brilliant.

    Fallen Angel’s gets this opening blurb on Wiki:

    “Fallen Angels (1991) (ISBN 0-7434-3582-6) is a Prometheus Award-winning novel by science fiction authors Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and Michael Flynn published by Jim Baen. The novel was written as a tribute to science fiction fandom, and includes many of its well-known figures, legends, and practices. It also champions modern technology and heaps scorn upon its critics – budget cutting politicians, fringe environmentalists and the forces of ignorance. An ebook of this text was among the first released by the Baen Free Library.

    The novel takes aim at several targets of ridicule: Senator William Proxmire, radical environmentalists and mystics, such as one character who believes that one cannot freeze to death in the snow because ice is a crystal and “crystals are healing.” It also mocks ignorance in journalism, which greatly helps the main characters (for example, one “expert” cited in a news article believes that the astronauts must have superhuman strength, based on a photograph of a weightless astronaut easily handling heavy construction equipment) and the non-reality based community in general. Several real people are tuckerized into the book in a more positive light, including many fans who made donations to charity for that express purpose and a character called “RMS” (presumably Richard M. Stallman) who leads a network of hackers called the Legion of Doom, connected by a series of pre-Internet BBS systems.”

    And the plot?

    “Set in an unspecified ‘near-future’ (one of the main characters has childhood memories of the Exxon Valdez disaster) in which a radical environmentalist movement, joined with a coalition of religious groups, has gained control of the US government and imposed draconian luddite laws which, in attempts to curb global warming, have ironically brought about the greatest environmental catastrophe in recorded history – an ice age which may eventually escalate into a Snowball Earth.

    The exact process is described: Clouds are water condensation. This cannot occur without particulate matter in the atmosphere. The emission laws have removed most of this, reducing cloud cover, meaning the ground loses heat faster. This in combination with the drop in greenhouse gases has resulted in the acceleration of the existing ice age; now self-perpetuating as glaciers have a much higher albedo.

    As a radical Nazi-like environmentalist party now controls the US government, the scientific explanation is denounced as “propaganda from life-hating technophiles”, and blame for the ice age is instead solely placed on the society surviving in orbit. Science fiction fandom forms the core of a pro-technology underground in the United States, working in tandem with Hacker movements. Other technologists were accused by the government of pursuing “materialist science” were removed from their jobs and forced underground, where they were generally unable to continue their work. This rabid distaste for technology has resulted in the collapse of the economy and lack of education and a complicit media has left the majority of the population credulous and easily manipulated. The Greens have been in power for most of the lives of the characters.”


  40. #24 Geoff Sharp
    this is the background engine fueling the sun, you will never find high solar activity when Neptune & Uranus are opposed
    In Scafetta’s CMSS/Climate Power Spectrum comparison, the astounding new correlation evidence, it’s clear that the 60-year cycle is particularly strong (take care when reading the logarithmic scale). This 60-year cycle shows clearly in the patterns we all know, 30-years warming, 30-years cooling, etc, the basic evidence of cycles that stares out the IPCC graph but IPCC plainly ignores. However, I’d like to know the size of the next cycle, to see if this correlates to the whole 20th Century rise (if UHI is properly accounted for). Is is this Neptune-Uranus cycle ie c. 84 years warming, 84 years cooling?

    FYI, folks, WUWT’s got an article today on Livingston and Penn, and here’s another very interesting article by Dr Richard Mackey, just out at Climate Depot, drawing on Livingston and Penn.

  41. Leif said in the SW vs BS debate that The real issue is that climate researchers persist in using TSI reconstructions that the solar community has long left behind in the dust.

    This is a real issue… but is it true? Tallbloke?

  42. #40 Lucy Skywalker

    Scafetta has certainly picked up on something here, the power spectrum and distance to SSB and velocity graphs. I would like to know how he created the trend line in both graphs (solar distance to SSB & solar velocity). The distance graph shows modulation which is the crux that perhaps Scafetta does not understand. I seem to be the only one seeing the importance of Neptune/Uranus on modulation.

    Scafetta has recognized solar modulation is in sync with solar velocity, velocity IS angular momentum as shown in my original post. Its a hard road but the evidence is before us, its only a matter of time before science wakes up.

  43. Geoff Sharp #42 The distance graph shows modulation which is the crux that perhaps Scafetta does not understand. I seem to be the only one seeing the importance of Neptune/Uranus on modulation.

    Please explain “modulation”. And for good measure, since I’ve finally been reading Leif/Tallbloke at WUWT’s SW vs BS debate, two things arise that I want to clarify (a) what does “secular” mean (b) it seems that Leif’s key interest and strong point is that he’s shown TSI varies little so the old pic we used to use is not valid – but if we use SUNSPOT NUMBERS instead, we get the old shape, but we lose our driver even worse (TSI changes were already too weak), so WHAT IS THE MECHANISM whereby sunspot changes are “converted” into Climate Change???

  44. Lucy

    The first graph depicting Solar distance from SSB shows a modulating trend line ie the wave is not constant in height and goes higher when Neptune & Uranus are together. The next graph depicting solar velocity is a flat wave. There is a clue right there.

    Leif likes to concentrate on TSI, which has its problems as Scafetta points out. Solar output is a lot more than just the TSI component, with UV levels and cosmic ray isolation commanding much more attention.

  45. Right then Geoff. Are you suggesting that the global temp max we saw around the early 1990’s, correlates with the conjunction (alignment) of Neptune and Uranus? I don’t understand your “flat wave” clue. And the correlation doesn’t seem to fit very well retrospectively, 1825, 1663 approx.

    Now I’m inclined to trust Scafetta’s multiple-cycle analysis tho’ it would help to have the data to rerun; in particular I’d like to see a reasonable UHI correction in order to look for cycles longer than 60 years because, tantalizingly, Scafetta makes it look as if the amplitude is rising – which logically would make sense to me… although obviously the data becomes scanter and less certain.

    What’s most intriguing about Scafetta’s CMSS – climate comparison is the way some of the cycles DON’T QUITE fit – yet there is a strong suggestion they do relate, and some clearly do relate exactly. You’d think it would be exact or not at all, since cycles that don’t quite fit would get more and more out of synch over time.

  46. Balance said

    Great comments.

    I’ve been wondering about gravity myself recently in regards to the Pacific Warm Pool (PWP). Since warm water is less dense it will rise (flow) to the highest point. So, slight changes in gravity could effect the Earth in ways that influence the PWP which in turn impacts our global weather.

    It could be that sunspots and Earth’s weather are influenced by the same mechanism. That is, the changes in the sun don’t create the changes on Earth. They are just correlated to the same factors.

    Ok, probably a crazy idea but I thought I’d throw it out anyway.

  47. Tallbloke said

    #41 Lucy: quoting Leif Svalgaard.
    “The real issue is that climate researchers persist in using TSI reconstructions that the solar community has long left behind in the dust.”

    Leif’s definition of ‘solar community’ would appear to be those solar researchers who agree with him. It seems to be an argument about ‘consensus’. Now where have we heard that before?

    #42 Geoff:
    “I seem to be the only one seeing the importance of Neptune/Uranus on modulation.”

    I for one agree with you, and have seen their importance stand out very clearly in my ‘z’ axis studies. Also, Scafetta in his presentation talked about the maxima around 2000, and that this was on a ~180 year cycle, a pretty clear reference to the U+N synodic period.

    #43 Lucy:
    “what does “secular” mean (b) it seems that Leif’s key interest and strong point is that he’s shown TSI varies little so the old pic we used to use is not valid – but if we use SUNSPOT NUMBERS instead, we get the old shape, but we lose our driver even worse (TSI changes were already too weak), so WHAT IS THE MECHANISM whereby sunspot changes are “converted” into Climate Change???”

    Secular means ‘longer term’.
    Leif’s reconstruction of TSI is buil from terrestrial magnetic records. I think there are factors not accounted for in his ‘adjustment’ of the figures for the changing strength of Earth’s magnetic field. For example he doesn’t provide any evidence for the assumption of linearity. Sunspots seem to be loosely correlated to TSI. but Leif’s reconstruction demands a revision of sunspots to the tune of “upward adjustments” of around 20% pre 1945 and 40% (!!) for group sunspot numbers in the mid C19th.

    I’m not convinced. As you might imagine.

    #44 Geoff:
    “Solar output is a lot more than just the TSI component, with UV levels and cosmic ray isolation commanding much more attention.”

    Stephen Wilde and I have been taking Leif to task on the UV issue here:

    There was an uptrend of 10% in UV over the last century and a half, but Leif assures us the effect of this change is negligibly tiny. I point out that UV depletes ozone, which lets more UV through to the surface, which kills plankton, and lets more UV into the ocean, which penetrates deeper than visible. Of course visible will penetrate further too. when plankton is low, as evidenced by lower catches of surface feeding fish during positive PDO and AMO.

    #45 Lucy:
    “You’d think it would be exact or not at all, since cycles that don’t quite fit would get more and more out of synch over time.”

    You need to allow for crap temperature measurement, other cyclic phenomena, and quasi random variation due to biosphere and land use changes and volcanos.

    #46 Balance:

    The disposition of the PWP affects Earth’s angular momentum and therefore Length of Day (around 2.5%). I agree with you that other mechanism’s affect both the sun and Earth. That’s what this discussion is all about. The planetary effects on the gravity and magnetics and the angular momentum of the bodies in the solar system. The preliminary result of my latest investigation suggests the angle of the planetary orbits to the solar equatorial plane will turn out to be a subtle factor in the myriad feedbacks between solar and planetary changes.

  48. Tallbloke said

    Tentative hypothesis:

    The level of the suns activity affects the surface temperatures of the planets, which affects their rotation rate, which affects the vertical component of their angular momentum, which affects their obliquity, which feeds back to their insolation and the effect it has on their surface temperature, which further affects their rotation rate, which affects their orbital velocity through the law of conservation of momentum, which further affects affects the vertical component of their angular momentum, which affects the angle of their orbit relative to the solar equatorial plane, and the longitude of perihelion relative to the axis of the suns tilt, which then affects solar activity levels, which then affects the surface temperature of the planets…. and so we go round back to the beginning.

    If such a feedback loop exists, this would imply that the sun’s activity level is intimately linked to small changes in the orbital elements and surface temperatures of the planets, and that the planets thereby help maintain the stability of the sun’s output.

    I believe looking at the solar system this way will help move the discussion beyond simple cause and effect proceeding from the sun outwards, and help us see its variations as one of the elements of a cybernetic feedback control loop.

  49. Tallbloke said

    Furthermore, it seems to me that this could potentially offer an explanation for the oscillation of ice ages and interglacials, they being the subharmonics of oscillations caused by the passage of the solar system through interstellar clouds which affect the insolation levels on the planetary surfaces and then their orbital elements.

    If we knew more about the degree of effect of passage through such clouds on insolation, it might provide evidence for the feedback effect of the planets on solar activity levels which I propose, if such feedback works to increase solar activity when insolation diminishes. The inertial lag in such a mechanism would explain the subharmonic oscillations of Earth’s climate, and the variation in their periodicity, i.e. the shift from 45,000 year interglacial periods to 100,000 year periods. We already suspect these are connected with the Milankovitch cycles, which are themselves caused by the changing relationships and angular momentum exchanges between (particularly) Jupiter and Earth.

    Does Jupiter act as the sun’s principle activity level governor? We already know it affects the 11 year cycle, so why not the long term changes in solar output which maybe mitigate the effects of passage through interstellar clouds? Jupiter is a net emitter of energy, and it’s magnetosphere affects the heliospheric current sheet. I don’t know enough yet to comment on how the modulation of the HCS affects the sun, but it also affects the planets with magnetospheres, and their climates.

    OK, That encompasses angular momentum, orbital timings, magnetics and electric effects. Anyone unhappy that their pet theory hasn’t had a look in? 🙂

  50. Lucy

    If temperature trends are aligned with sunspot trends then yes, but that is still a contentious issue. But its not quite that simple, Neptune & Uranus will create extra momentum causing strong solar cycles from about 1930 but along with this increase also comes the chance of heavily reduced solar cycles as we saw during SC20. This comes about from a disturbance in Angular Momentum once again caused by Neptune/Uranus, its a 2 edged sword but very easy to recognize once you understand the Angular Momentum graph. After SC20 the AM is still strong but now on the decline as Neptune and Uranus start to move away from each other, but right now there is a strong disturbance that should give us a grand minimum before we have a slight recovery and then tail off into an early 1900’s type trend as Neptune & Uranus move to opposition. This can be seen on Carl’s graph and others I have produced at

    In the 2 Scafetta graphs concentrating on the middle trend line, he shows an amplitude rise around 1990 on the distance graph but not on the velocity graph, even though the two are very closely aligned its not a perfect fit, suggesting the modulation lift is not coming from velocity. I am not sure how he arrived at the trend line but it is food for thought.

    This graph compares AM with velocity, AM and Solar distance are a very close fit.

  51. Tallbloke said

    Another thought before the group considers the above proposal:

    How much would the passage of the solar system through an interstellar cloud affect the orbital speeds of the planets directly? And further, how much does the strength of the solar wind and the shape of the heliospheric current sheet affect the orbital speeds of those planets with magnetospheres directly?

    Both of these would produce a torque reaction in the vertical ‘z’ axis in the planetary orbital planes, altering their relationship to the solar equatorial plane.

  52. tallbloke

    The level of the suns activity affects the surface temperatures of the planets, which affects their rotation rate, which affects the vertical component of their angular momentum, which affects their obliquity, which feeds back to their insolation and the effect it has on their surface temperature, which further affects their rotation rate, which affects their orbital velocity through the law of conservation of momentum, which further affects affects the vertical component of their angular momentum, which affects the angle of their orbit relative to the solar equatorial plane, and the longitude of perihelion relative to the axis of the suns tilt, which then affects solar activity levels, which then affects the surface temperature of the planets…. and so we go round back to the beginning.

    lol…the trick is to find something concrete, meat on the bones stuff, in just one of your segments.

  53. Jeff Id said

    How does the temp of the planet have anything to do with rotation rate on short timescales?

  54. Tallbloke said

    #51 Geoff

    I did clearly state; tentative hypothesis. The border between those and wild speculation was always a bit blurry. 😉

    I just think it’s worth considering alternative ways of conceptualizing the way the solar system works, for several reasons. E.g:
    1) The current model is stultified, and stultifying.
    2) No-one knows why the planets spin at the rate they do, or why some (venus, Uranus) spin ‘backwards’.

    #52 Jeff

    On Earth, increases in temperature cause the troposphere to swell. This slows the planet down, like an spinning ice skater flinging out their arms. This is a well known and documented effect, and contributes a lot to changes in length of day at the inter-annual timescale. There will also be a cumulative contribution to longer term changes during longer term temperature trends.

    According to Dr Richard Gross of NASA, most of the rest of the remaining 90% is caused by changes in the (liquid) currents flowing in the Earth’s molten mantle. As my first post on this thread shows, there is a strong correlation between longer term and larger changes in LOD and the motion of the solar system centre of mass and the sun’s equatorial plane in the ‘z’ axis. One of Geoff’s compatriots, Ian Wilson, has further discovered a relationship between LOD changes and the changing relationships of the planet’s masses in the ‘x’,’y’ plane too. He has asked me to keep his work under wraps until his paper is published in Russia.

    Since the sub crustal flows also affect Earth’s magnetic field, as Richard Gross notes, there will also be a back EMF associated with the current induced by the solar wind above the Earth’s surface. Leif assures me this will be negligibly small, but I wonder what effect it has on ionisation in the atmosphere and therefore rainfall. Obviously a reduction in the water content of the atmosphere will speed the planet up, as the ice skater pulls their arms inwards.

    The sub crustal currents must be getting closer to, further away from the surface to have the same sorts of effects on a larger scale, and this must affect the amount of overturning nuclear radiation from uranium and other naturally radioactive elements heating the underside of the crust.

    I don’t make any claims for the effects of this on global temperature at this stage, because there is no solid data to work from. I simply note the existence of the processes and that their effect will be non-zero.

    The banded weather Systems on Jupiter have interesting harmonic series relationships to each other (Count the storms in each band concentrically radiating from the poles) and the relationship between the solar spin rate and Jupiters orbital rate. These resonances shouldn’t be ignored. They are clues to the resonant harmonic feedback processes occurring in the solar system.

  55. Tallbloke said

    Oops, just to add, the reason for the regularity of the interannual effects on LOD is the 90W/m^2 change in TSI between Earth’s perihelion in December and Aphelion in June. The ocean also swells and subsides by around 7mm over the same period. The combined effect is to alter Earth’s LOD by a mS or so annually.

  56. Tides and Resonance:
    Soldiers breaking step while crossing a bridge, shows how a small action can have a huge effect, if the resonance can build up a standing wave. Tides are affected by seiches or standing waves. Locally (Bristol Channel UK) we have a tidal range of 15 metres which probably has seiche amplification. Dover and The Wash have 4 metres while Lowestoft (at the low midpoint on that seiche) only has 1.5 metres. Norway’s coast varies between some tide and no tide in places. Antarctica only has one tide a day. I’m sure that celestial mechanics are governed by such resonance factors.

    Now for another resonance phenomenon. Jeff, I think this work of George White, a slideshow presentation on “CO2 Forcing: Fact or Fiction” is worth a post on your blog. is stunning quality IMHO, and besides disproving CO2 forcing, it draws on ice core records to show how the Milankovitch cycles explain the ice ages perfectly, when one allows for enough amplifying factors to build up over time.

  57. Paul Vaughan said

    Tallbloke, what processing have you done to SSBz in the graph you presented?

  58. Paul Vaughan said

    Geoff, It is easy to get Scafetta’s curve by simply constructing a weighted average of the planet positions.

  59. Paul Vaughan said

    Lucy, I agree: Linear obsession with amplitude is blocking perception of multi-scale rhythm.

  60. Stevo said

    It’s worth noting that tides on the sun will rise and fall every 12-18 days. Just as the tides on Earth are every 6 hours, even though the moon goes round once a month. You’re looking for the difference between spring and neap tides, not the difference between high and low tide. Synodic periods may be more relevant than sidereal ones.

    Relative tidal strengths have been published as Jupiter 2.3, Venus 2.16, Mercury 1.24, Earth 1.0, Saturn 0.11, Mars 0.03, Uranus 0.019, Neptune 0.001.

    Assuming the sun acts as a simple fluid under gravity (i.e. ignoring effects like radiation pressure), the tide raised by the Earth on the sun would be about 0.1 mm high. Venus and Jupiter about twice that. (I’m not drawing any conclusions from that. Just noting it.)

    Have you also considered the effect Jupiter’s considerable magnetic and radio presence in the solar system has on the escaping ‘solar wind’ plasma, and whether it is possible that it could affect the physics of plasmas on the sun?

  61. Stevo said

    Oops. 12 hours. Not 6.

  62. Paul Vaughan said

    Jeff, The spectral density peak-matches have been published by other authors in the past (going back decades). Future investigations need to avoid assumptions of stationarity and use not only time-frequency methods, but also time-harmonic-frequency methods. Mapping the occurrence of resonance in the time-harmonic-frequency domain and noting discontinuities is step-one towards asking strategic questions that might direct focus towards specific inhomogeneities. Surely the authorities realize by now (with the spread of powerful statistical-computing tools over the past few decades and the escalation of interest in climate) that they cannot succeed for much longer in keeping related knowledge restricted to a small population of experts. (Keep in mind the aerospace engineering applications – including precise targeting. No one sensible is denying that both climate & solar system dynamics affect EOP (earth orientation parameters).)

  63. Jeff Id said

    I like very much the concept that changes could be magnetic field driven. It makes a lot of sense.

    I hadn’t considered the EOP motives in climate science.

  64. Paul Vaughan said

    Jeff Id (#63) “I hadn’t considered the EOP motives in climate science.”

    Note that the Russians have become very hawkish about getting the message out in recent years (as climate politics have escalated). (Their preliminary knowledge of these matters dates back to the 1940s.) They appear to be looking forward rather than backward, attenuating past fears to squarely confront emerging ones. Their progressive opportunism in adjusting to the shift in strategy-advantage is inspiring.

  65. Jeff Id said

    For sure. I think it has more to do with the unilateral economic damage the ignorant mitigation strategies will produce.

    As far as EOP, I did a post on this right when the air vent started.

  66. Mark T said

    Interesting post, but, being a radar guy, I would doubt the veracity of any claim of tracking a baseball at 2900 miles. 🙂


  67. Jeff Id said


    I don’t know your background but the wavelengths of microwave radar are short enough so I wonder if the atlitude is high enough that there is no ground clutter and the freq is right so water doesn’t mess with it, and you of course have an infinite budget, can it be done.

  68. tallbloke said

    #57 Paul Vaughan

    Hi Paul, I just used a 24 year running average on the SSBz data. No problem with end points as it can be predicted well ahead. I picked 24 years because it is nicely out of synch with Jupiter-Saturn synodic period, and around 2x Jupiter orbital period. The LOD yearly data was used ‘as is’ from Gross’ paper. There seems to be around a 30 year lag from the solar/SSBz motion to the LOD response. This seems reasonable given the viscosity and weight of the sub crustal material responsible for most of the LOD variation, and the subtlety of the applied force.

    If anyone has any ideas on how to account for and quantify that force, I’m all ears. 🙂

    I think it has something to do with exchanges of angular momentum between the terrestrial planets and (predominantly) Jupiter. I asked a question about this possibility in an astrophysics forum, but got no answers. The relative orbital stability of the planets within a quasi chaotic system implies there will be angular momentum exchanges which prevent plenetary collisions I think. There are some which are known. There is a ~2300 year cyclic angular momentum exchange between Uranus and Jupiter and a ~4600 year exchange between Uranus and Neptune if memory serves.

  69. tallbloke said

    #63 Jeff.

    I came across a paper which observed Jupiter’s effect on the heliospheric current sheet and it should be remembered that Jupiter is a net emitter of energy…

  70. By Jupiter said

    An article that is pertinent to this post and to both Tallbloke and Geoff’s work:

  71. Patapsco said

    Interesting paper from 1959 heading in the same direction:

    Power spectrum analysis of climatological data for Woodstock College, Maryland

  72. Mark T said


    Sorry, forgot I had posted this… I’ll give you a better explanation of what I was thinking (not impossible, just extremely difficult, btw) later.


  73. Many measurements since 1960 indicate that

    a.) The Sun is NOT a ball of hydrogen, but this lightest of all elements accumulates at the top of most stellar atmospheres;

    b.) The Sun formed on the remnant neutron star that remained after the precursor star exploded 5 Gy ago and ejected all of the material that now orbits the Sun; and

    c.) The Sun is heated by repulsive interactions between neutrons [1-4].

    Have you considered how a compact, energetic solar core might produce solar cycles?

    1. “Attraction and repulsion of nucleons: Sources of stellar energy”, J. Fusion Energy 19,(2001) 93-98.

    Click to access jfeinterbetnuc.pdf

    2. “€œNeutron repulsion confirmed as energy source”, J. Fusion Energy 20 (2002) 197-201.

    Click to access jfe-neutronrep.pdf

    3. “On the cosmic nuclear cycle and the similarity of nuclei and stars,” J. Fusion Energy 25 (2006) 107-114.

    4. ” The Sun is a plasma diffuser that sorts atoms by mass,” Physics of Atomic Nuclei 69 (2006) 847-1856.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  74. tallbloke said

    For anyone interested, we have a rather productive new thread on this subject running on the blog I’ve set up.


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