HP Lovecraft ends the first section of his (utterly magnificent) ‘The Shadow out of Time’ with the words:

“. . . of the orthodox economists of that period, Jevons typifies the prevailing trend toward scientific correlation. His attempt to link the commercial cycle of prosperity and depression with the physical cycle of the solar spots forms perhaps the apex of . . .”
Nathaniel Wingate Peaslee had come back—a spirit in whose time-scale it was still that Thursday morning in 1908, with the economics class gazing up at the battered desk on the platform
. [Added internal link]

(Scientific correlation, as we know from the first line of ‘The Call of Cthulhu’ and elsewhere, can be terrifying.)

SunCycle24 (Click image to hugely expand.)

The solar system, gauged by mass, consists almost entirely of the sun. Sol accounts for 99.86% of it. Quantity isn’t everything, but insofar as it’s anything, this has to matter — a lot. The sheer magnitude of our solar dependency is hard to even fractionally comprehend. What the sun does is what happens. The earth is its crumb. Our biosphere suckles it. Our civilizations are so far downstream of it, feeding second or third hand on its emissions, if not more distantly, that we easily lose all track of the real flow. As economies sophisticate, the relays proliferate. Perhaps this is why the messages of the sun are so inattentively received, despite rapid improvement in the technical and cultural tools required to make sense of them.

The rotary motions of the earth — axial and orbital — provide the traditional structure of time, typically attributed to the sun by solar cults. These periods, lengths of the day and the year, are now clearly understood as planetary peculiarities. The sun’s own rhythms are quite different.


Nothing that mankind has ever yet been able to achieve, or fail to achieve, in respect to social or civilizational stability, balances formidably against the immense quasi-stability of the sun, which mocks every ideal of securely founded order. The sun’s meandering rhythms of activity, whose patterns remain profoundly cryptic, mark out epochs of the world, hot eras (distant beyond all species memory), glacials and interglacials, and within these multi-millennial tracts of time, lesser oscillations in temperature — periods of cooling and warmth. It is upon this vast thermic stage that history has played out, its comedies and tragedies carried by plot-lines of nutritional abundance and dearth, trade-surpluses and starvations, population ascent and crash, driven migrations, shifting disease gradients, luxury and ruin. Against solar fatality there is no rejoinder.

Irrespective of the accuracy or error of our dominant climate change narrative, its fundamental religious stance is determined at the root. Geocentric-humanism is essential to it, as openly attested by its Anthropogenic definition. It cannot, by its very nature, emphasize the factor of solar variation. At least, if or when it is eventually compelled to do so, it is necessarily transformed into something else.


If we speculate that the global warming ‘hiatus‘ or ‘pause‘ signals the submission of terrestrial climate to solar behavior, in which anticipated anthropogenic effects are cancelled out by fluctuation in the sun’s energy output, the dominant AGW school is confronted by an extreme ideological dilemma. Naturally, alternative theoretical options will be pursued to exhaustion first.

To persist in the core AGW proposal then requires that ‘underlying’ cooling — on the down-slope of solar flux — is sufficient to submerge the anthropogenic-carbon (‘greenhouse’) effect. The stronger the warming that should have been seen, the more suppressive the solar influence has to be. An apocalyptic warming scenario, of the kind loudly prophesied in the 1990s, implies that a calamitous counter-cooling has been fortuitously avoided. (Carbon dioxide emissions would then find themselves positioned as climatic analogs of macro-economic quantitative easing, prolonging a state of stagnation that would ‘surely’ otherwise be a catastrophic depression.)

Whatever the climatic consequences or rising atmospheric CO2, it is implausible to imagine that the solar cycle can be neglected indefinitely. Its absence from the center of the climate debate is in large measure an artifact of obscure cultural-religious imperatives (aligned with the dominion of geocentric-humanist moralism). We know enough to understand that the solar influence is not a prop for shallow terrestrial stability. Eventually it will announce itself, with civilization-shaking severity. However climate science charts the near future, it will forge cultural connections with far older — and non-negotiable — things.

ADDED: This cried out to be tacked on.

ADDED: Missing sunspots and temperature forecasts (via [2]Armitage).

ADDED: GW versus prediction, with more back-story (as requested by the Captain, below) —


ADDED: Matt Ridley on the pause.

September 11, 2014admin 16 Comments »

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16 Responses to this entry

  • E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Says:

    The immortal sun, whose language
    Is too large for us to see
    too silent, too loud for our baggage
    too grand for our land or our sea
    writing in a spotted, inscrutable prose
    unseen as before it the eye must close
    fire and light and heaven will be
    but will man? Only the sun knows.


    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    (very well threaded, is the needle of this prose.)

    — keep it up, I can encode posts like this pretty fast.


    Posted on September 11th, 2014 at 3:19 pm Reply | Quote
  • Orthodox Says:

    Ra > Gaia


    Posted on September 11th, 2014 at 4:34 pm Reply | Quote
  • tg moderator Says:

    Dr. Hathaway had done some fine work. We can expect colder weather for a while. How might one profit from such knowledge. Invest in coal? Ice skates? Snowshoes?


    Posted on September 11th, 2014 at 4:51 pm Reply | Quote
  • Cap'n Obvious Says:

    I’m sure there’s a sound scientific reason that chart starts in 1985? Given the long history of solar data, that’s such a weird, arbitrary starting point. It’s especially strange since it charts twice as much projected data as it does actual recorded data.

    Can’t wait to find out what’s so special about 1985. Thanks in advance!


    admin Reply:

    What would count as a non-arbitrary starting date?

    Given the predictions in question are comparatively recent, I’d expect the pre-1985 data to be retro-fitted. I agree (?) that if this is the case — or even were it not it — there’s no reason not to show it. How could it in any way discredit the generally-accepted claim being made?


    Stirner (@heresiologist) Reply:

    Just a guess, but one explanation for a date of 1985 is that it might have been the year when a satellite with a dedicated suite of modern sun-monitoring tools was put into orbit.

    The certainty of the climate “experts” is astounding, given the paucity of climate and temperature data that is available. Good satellite temperature records only go back to the 1960’s giving us only 40 to 60 observations of annual temperature with a high degree of accuracy.

    Global weather station data only goes back to 1900, so the number of annual observations rises to only 110+.

    Single site thermometer readings (Central England Temperature) can maybe give us two centuries deeper in the past.

    Past that, you are looking at temperature proxies like Pine tree rings, sedimentation patterns, environmental gas composition, etc. All those factors can work, but not at an accuracy of fractions of a degree.

    The same thing applies to sun spots. We have several full cycles of robust sun measurement, but the the historical data is purely based on solar observations. Very hard to develop good solar models from such a small dataset.


    Cap'n Obvious Reply:

    Fortunately the original chart does go back to 1960. Strange that the Daily Mail cut off so much relevant data.

    Posted on September 11th, 2014 at 5:35 pm Reply | Quote
  • Spotless | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on September 11th, 2014 at 7:04 pm Reply | Quote
  • Cap'n Obvious Says:

    Ahh, I found it.

    The uncredited graph published here is originally from the Daily Mail (Nov 3, 2013), who credit a chart by Dr Ed Hawkins.

    Dr. Hawkins’ other charts with observational data going back to 1950 paint a much clearer picture. He also has a very helpful explanation about the difference between air temperature, and total warming of the planet.


    admin Reply:

    Pass on a link to his version of the chart, and I’ll add it.


    Cap'n Obvious Reply:


    Posted on September 11th, 2014 at 9:21 pm Reply | Quote
  • Cap'n Obvious Says:

    It’s from page 959 of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report

    The Daily Mail version cuts off the correlation with volcanic eruptions and the observational data going back to 1960. Weird, right? No idea why they would do that.


    Posted on September 11th, 2014 at 9:47 pm Reply | Quote
  • Orthodox Says:

    Here is some new theories on solar cycles, scientists may have found larger underlying cycles:


    Posted on September 12th, 2014 at 3:14 pm Reply | Quote
  • Lightning Round – 2014/09/17 | Free Northerner Says:

    […] Sunspots and climate change. […]

    Posted on September 17th, 2014 at 5:01 am Reply | Quote
  • Robert What? Says:

    In all the years I’ve been reading and hearing about Global Warming / Climate Change, I’m amazed that this is the first article I’ve seen that references what the Sun is doing in relation to climate. For most people concerned about Global Warming, it almost seems like the Sun is just some big yellow ball in the sky that has no effect on our climate. From what I understand of the Sun’s recent activity, we are likely headed into period of global cooling, not global warming. So maybe the climate scientists of the 1970s got it more right than the current crowd despite technology that was primitive by comparison. Most likely because they focused on the Sun’s activity, rather than man’s activity.


    Posted on September 18th, 2014 at 12:28 pm Reply | Quote

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