Digital Diatribes

A presentation of data on climate and other stuff

Archive for October, 2008

RSS – What Have the Tropics Been Up To? (Or Down to…)

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on October 31, 2008

I decided that it may be nice to run the same analysis that I’ve been doing for the global temperature (which you can find here) on some of the specific geographic zones highlighted in the RSS data.

I’m starting with the tropics for no other reason than the next column over in the data set is that of the tropics (between 20 degrees latitude South and North).

DATA
The information is found here.

The September anomaly is 13.50 (in terms of 0.01 degree Celsius – the data in the link is in terms of degrees Celsius.). The global anomaly was 21.10.

HISTORICAL COMPARISON OF THE SINGLE DATA POINT
*It is 0.0990 degrees cooler than September 2007
*It is 0.1260 degrees warmer than August 2008

RANK
*It is the 11th warmest September anomaly (20th coolest) of all Septembers in the data set
*It is the 138th warmest (220th coolest) anomaly in the total of 357 observations
*It is the highest anomaly since September 2007

AVERAGES
*The latest 12-month average is now -13.30, which continues a steady decline.
*The 12-month average is the lowest since the period ending September 2000.

STREAK
*This is the 12th consecutive year over year decrease in the anomaly reading
*There have been a number of cooling stretches at least this long in the data set

SLOPES AND CHANGES IN SLOPE
*Overall trend line since inception is presented below. This represents warming of 1.534 degrees per Century. The history of this data only goes back to January 1979. This is slightly lower in slope than the global measure.

*Current running negative slope extends back to June 1996, or 147 months (graph below)
*This cooling trend goes back 9 more months than the global trend line

*Current 60-month slope is -0.8035, which is a pretty steeply negative trend line.
*This is down from the peak trend line shown below:

*You can see how the slopes have trended down from this peak value in this chart:

*Current running 120-month slope is 0.1512
*This is the highest slope value since April 2006
*It is apparent that the temperature in the tropics is affected by the same El Nino/La Nina effects that are apparent in the global temperature data sets, and the impact of the 1998/99 El Nino really impacts how the 120-month trend line has shifted.

*We can see how the 120-month slopes have cycled during the course of this data set:

*180-month slope is 0.0430, continuing to decrease as time goes on.
*This is the lowest trend value since the period ending July 1994

*The slopes have declined from the most recent peak value as follows:

*240-month slope is currently at 0.1738 (actually a bit higher than the global trend)
*This is at its lowest value since January 2007
*We can see how the 240-month slopes have tracked over time:

*300-month trend is at 0.1747 (almost identical to the global trend line)
*This is the lowest it’s been since the period ending April 2008
*Shown below is the slope most recent trend in the slopes, followed by how these slopes have tracked over the data set

I’d like to say that anything above has the “wow” factor, but the most I can say is that it looks like, overall, the tropics have not warmed as much as global temps, and the cooling trend line goes back almost a year further. But, in general, it looks like the peaks and valleys that drive global temperature show similar impacts on the tropics, and all in all the trends aren’t all that much different.

I’ll be tacking other regions as time allows.

Posted in Climate Change, Earth, Global Warming, RSS, Science, Temperature Analysis, Tropics | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

October 2008 Update on Global Temperature – HadCrut

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on October 24, 2008

Trying to catch up here… I’m finally getting around to posting on the HadCrut-released September anomaly, which was 0.3760 (in terms of degrees Celsius, or 37.60 in terms of 0.01 degrees). I’m pleased to announce that I have managed to find the source of the problem from last month’s attempt at upgrading the projection model. There was a silly, yet hard-to-detect formula error in one section of data that shot the whole works.

DATA
The information is found here, in column 2..

The September anomaly is 0.3760, as noted above.

HISTORICAL COMPARISON OF THE SINGLE DATA POINT
*It is 0.0360 degrees cooler than September 2007
*It is 0.0090 degrees cooler than August 2008
*It is the coolest September anomaly since 2000
*The furthest back we can go to find an anomaly at least as large is January 1983. There are no anomalies previous to that where the value is at least 0.3760.

RANK
*10th warmest (150th coolest) September anomaly out of 159 data points since 1850
*90th warmest (1,816th coolest) anomaly out of the total 1,905 monthly observations
*More recently, 8 of the previous 12 anomalies were cooler than the September 2008 reading.

AVERAGES
*The latest 12-month average is now 29.7, which is the coolest 12-month stretch since the period ending April 2001.

STREAK
*This month was cooler than previous year, after an increase in each of the last two months

Now for the charts. I provide, as always, the most updated long-term chart as well as the current longest non-warming stretch. I will then present a few selected charts for discussion points and provide my nifty little projection chart, which is for no purpose other than some entertainment.

Overall Trend

The overall trend since January 1850 has a slope of 0.000364, which corresponds to warming of 0.437 degrees Celsius per Century. Light blue lines are raw anomalies, and the black line is a 12-month smoothed number.

Non-Warming Trend

The current period for which we show no warming can be taken back to April 1997, or 11 years and 6 months. The last time we had a stretch this long in the data with no warming was the period ending June 1967.

I chose not to present any 60-month charts this time around, since they are my usual focus. But the data on the current trend line is that it has a slope of -0.2873. This has become slightly less negative now for three consecutive months, and projections suggest that this will continue through April 2009. At that point, we can expect another downturn in the trend.

120-month HadCrut Trend

The 120-month slope is 0.0605, down from last month. Last month was the peak of over a year of increasing slope values. We should see the slope value bounce up and down around this value through next May, at which point it is expected to decline, and becoming negative in January 2010.

120-month slopes trended from HadCrut data

The 120-month slopes have trended down significantly since 2002. The peak value was a slope of 0.3316. We can see that the slopes in recent months ticked back up a bit, as explained in the previous chart.

180-month trend peak from HadCrut data

The 180-month trend most recently saw a peak value for the period ending February 2007. The slope of the trend line was 0.2349. That chart is presented here.

180-month slopes trended from HadCrut data

From that peak, the 180-month slopes have trended down since that time to a slope value of 0.1351, over a 40% reduction in the rate of warming. The slopes are charted here and shows the steadiness of the recent decline in the trend line. The current slope is at its lowest point since the period ending January 1998. In another year, it is expected to decline to 0.0910

240-month HadCrut Trend

The 240-month slope is 0.1534, continuing a trend down in slope values since 2004. That chart is below.

240-month slopes trended from HadCrut data

The 240-month slopes have trended down and are shown here. The peak value was a slope of 0.1967, but is now at the lowest value since the period ending November 2001. Projected slope a year from now = 0.1462.

300-month slopes over time from HadCrut data

The 300-month slopes have cycled over time as shown here. The chart shows that since the early 1920s, there has only been one brief period of negative 25-year slopes from the mid-50s to late 60s. The slope has more or less continued to increase since that time. And despite recent flattening, it is anticipated that the 300-month slope value will continue to increase over the 12 months, from the current value of 0.1581 to a value of 0.1670.

360-month HadCrut Trend

The current 360-month slope is 0.1345, continuing a trend down in slope values since 2003. The current value is the lowest slope since the period ending January 2000.

360-month recent peak trend from HadCrut data

The recent 360-month peak value was a slope of 0.1616 for the period ending December 2003.

Projected HadCrut anomalies.

Just for fun, here is the predicted anomalies from my model for the next few years, based on HadCrut.

And here are the exact figures through 2009:

Projections:

October 37.37
November 40.51
December 38.25
January 41.98
February 45.16
March 43.42
April 45.64
May 43.26
June 41.07
July 42.39
August 38.86
September 41.87
October 37.68
November 36.35
December 36.22

Posted in Climate Change, Earth, Global Warming, Science, Temperature Analysis | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

October 2008 Update on Global Temperature – NCDC

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on October 21, 2008

NCDC released the September anomaly, and it came in at a value of 0.4429. The predicted anomaly was 0.4657.

DATA
The information is found here..

The September anomaly is 0.4429 (in terms of 1 degree Celsius).

HISTORICAL COMPARISON OF THE SINGLE DATA POINT
*It is 0.0116 degrees warmer than August 2008
*It is 0.0821 degrees cooler than September 2007
*It is the coolest September anomaly since 2000
*The furthest back we can go to find an anomaly at least as large is December 1987. There are no anomalies previous to that where the value is at least 0.4429.

RANK
*10th warmest (120th coldest) September anomaly out of 129 data points since 1880
*107th warmest (1,439th coldest) anomaly out of the total 1,545 monthly observations
*More recently, it is the 5th coldest of the last 32 anomalies. The four colder anomalies are all since December 2007.

AVERAGES
*The latest 12-month average is now 0.4495, which is the coldest 12-month stretch since the period ending October 2001.

STREAK
*This month was cooler than previous year, after an increase last month (August was lower than previous year as of August month end, but it was adjusted this month and now shows a value above last year)

I will simply present a couple of the updated NCDC charts, and then show the updated projected anomalies from my composite model. I will list the actual projected anomalies through 2009 below that chart.

Overall Trend
Overall Trend

The current period for which we show no warming can be taken back to January 2001

Overall Trend

The 60-month slope values continue a downward trend that has lasted almost 5 years

Overall Trend

The 60-month slopes vary in a cyclical pattern over time, with current values dropping below recent "resistance" lower bound trend lines

Overall Trend

If the model is accurate, we should see negative anomalies in 8 years

 

 

Projections:

October 45.59
November 54.87
December 42.01
January 51.44
February 49.74
March 50.73
April 45.98
May 49.66
June 46.77
July 43.81
August 41.01
September 42.66
October 40.20
November 33.91
December 37.49

Posted in Climate Change, Earth, Global Warming, Science, Temperature Analysis | Leave a Comment »

The mid-month lull…

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on October 18, 2008

For those of you who continue to check in to see if there are any additional updates on the data analysis front, I’m sorry to disappoint.

It would help if I didn’t have about a dozen completely unrelated interests and irons in the fire (seven kids is a big enough iron!) but please be patient.

My quick reports are as follows:
1) NCDC anomaly was recently released and it is very close to the projected anomaly from my model. I post on that and update the future predicted anomalies.
2) Unfortunatley, I still haven’t dug into the HadCrut projection model as I wanted to do, but hopefully I can get to that this week.
3) I still would like to get a projection analysis on RSS temps by region put together
4) I’ve decided to forego additional commentary on my GISS post. The charts are the main deal anyway.
5) A reader sent me a spreadsheet on more solar analysis that I would like to get to this week. Depending on what I see, I may suggest a collaborative post on the subject, but we’ll see.

Completely unrelated to global warming, I need to:
a) do the bills!
b) give my kids a piano lesson…
c) spend some time on my Fantasy Football teams, because I really am sucking this year and I’ve done nothing to upgrade my teams…
d) update my football scores projection model that predicts games against the spreads (purely for entertainment purposes, of course)
e) start working on my next CD…
f) be a Dad…
g) be a husband…
h) take advantage of stock opportunities in this volatile market…

Problem is, there isn’t enough time in a day to pursue all these things. So, occasionally, this global warming thing takes a short breather to allow me to get caught up in some other areas. That’s what is happening now.

There’s also this post I’ve been contemplating: a layperson’s guide to the current mortgage and financial crisis. There’s a lot of misconception out there, and a lot of oversimplification out there on what has happened. Both parties blame each other, then they blame Wall Street greed, then Congress deflects blame elsewhere, regulation (or lack of it) gets blamed, and anyone who suggests that consumers play a part in the whole deal are labeled racist by the very guy who took kickbacks from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The truth is, this is a perfect storm of a confluence of multiple factors, some of which were years in the making and some of which were not. These factors include everything from demographics to relaxing of regulations to Congressional direction to market forces to overindulgence and more. No single factor caused it, and yet every factor played a part. The speed in which everything unraveled was dramatic, but it was a long time coming.

I may or may not ever get to that, but I at least wanted to throw out the general thought. Our politicians have done us no favors whatever in actually giving us a full understanding of this whole mess. They pick their pet issue, such as a relaxation of regulation, and use it to make a case for more regulation, while ignoring the multitude of other factors involved.

Anyway, just wanted to give a little shout out. I’ll see you soon.

Posted in Current Events, Life | Leave a Comment »

October 2008 Update on Global Temperature – GISS

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on October 9, 2008

Stating in advance I may not get this whole post done immediately, I will nonetheless press on and get up what I can. If need be, I will come back and edit/update as necessary.

GISS released the September anomaly, as previously noted, and it came in at a value of 49. See how this compares to predicted anomalies here.

DATA
The information is found ,a href=http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt>here.

*The September anomaly is 49 (in terms of 0.01 degree Celsius).

HISTORICAL COMPARISON OF THE SINGLE DATA POINT
*It is 0.01 degrees cooler than August 2008
*It is 0.01 degrees cooler than September 2007
*It is the coolest September anomaly since 2004

RANK
*5th warmest (125th coolest) September anomaly out of 129 data points since 1880
*81st warmest (1,465th coolest) anomaly out of the total 1,545 monthly observations

AVERAGES
*The latest 12-month average is now 41.6, wich is the coolest 12-month stretch since the period ending September 2001. If you are anal enough to look back at the previous average, you’ll remember that the last 12-month average was 40.8. So, if it was 40.8 last month, and is 41.6 this month, and this month’s average is the coolest since September 2001, how can this be? Welcome to our good friend, Mr. GISS Adjustment. Some of the previous month’s values were rather largely adjusted upward from the summer months. The average ending August month end has now increased from 40.8 to 41.8.

STREAK
*This is the 6th consecutive month with a year-over-year anomaly decline
*13 of the last 14 months show a year-over-year anomaly decline

SLOPES AND CHANGES IN SLOPE
More written information to come… for now, here are a few charts.

Overall trend since 1880 is around 0.6 degrees per Century

Temperatures are flat for almost 8 years

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Climate Change, Earth, Global Warming, Science, Temperature Analysis | 1 Comment »

Initial Note on GISS Anomaly

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on October 8, 2008

I just noticed the September Anomaly has been released by GISS. The value is 49, which is almost equivalent to both the August 2008 anomaly and the September 2007 anomaly, but at 50.

Updated: I erroneously provided the projection from July month-end, not August month-end. I have corrected that, and have also provided the projections for September that had been put forward since I had a working model, which is March 2008.

It will take me a bit to get my updated charts and analysis up, so I just wanted to throw out the results against the predictive model. The model showed a best estimate range, as projected last month, between 41 and 46. So the current anomaly is .03 degrees Celsius higher than the upper-end of my best estimate. Interestingly, the projection for the September 2008 anomaly based on my model fared better in the previous months, as follows:

March month-end projection: 49 – 51
April month-end projection: 47 – 54
May month-end projection: 45 – 51
June month-end projection: 39 – 44
July month-end projection: 47 – 52
August month-end projection: 41 – 46

I will be trying to incorporate the same adjustments to the GISS model that I made to the NCDC model.

For those playing at home, the projected best estimate anomaly for September for NCDC was 0.4657. Stay tuned.

Posted in Climate Change, Earth, Global Warming, Science, Temperature Analysis | 1 Comment »

Solar Cycle Length, Sunspot Count, and Temperature – An Insurance “Pricing” Analysis

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on October 7, 2008

Being an actuary, my profession is the butt of many bad jokes. One of my “favorites” is the one about how you can tell the difference between an actuary and an accountant. Answer: Accountants look at the other person’s shoes when they are talking to them.

I’ve always considered myself atypical in a profession known for its geekdom. But, I do have to face a certain reality. I often feign memory-loss when someone asks me what I did the previous evening. That’s because I am somewhat embarrassed to say that I spent a couple hours reading over a research paper on solar cycles, or analyzing temperature anomalies. Even I have to admit that this makes me appear to be a loser. It often gets me in a little trouble at home when the wife notes that the boys need to be roughhoused with, or tomatoes need to be canned, and she could use a little help here or there. I try to point out that I’m trying to save the planet (just not in the way others claim to be) but alas, she doesn’t buy into the importance of understanding the significance of a slowing in the sun’s rotation at different latitudes.

Nonetheless, I press on. And not being a climatologist, but an actuary, I tend to look at the data and conjure up thoughts of how to process it utilizing my actuarial background. There are many ways that the data can be adjusted and analyzed. My interest as of late has been to try and determine a way to test the various elements of the solar cycle and see if there is some relationship to temperature that can be determined. And that is what I have done here.

In actuarialdom, one of the enigmatic things we do is price insurance products. A very simple illustration as to how that is done is to look at age and sex, for example. Suppose we have a large population of people. We decide to split out the ages into 10 groups. We have two groups relating to sex (if that needs explaining, then you must live in California). While it may seem apparent that you can just look at the results of the 20 individual cells defined by those two sets of groups, that is only true because of the simple example here. In reality, we usually have a large number of different rating parameters and the unique cells could literally be in the millions. So, we’ll proceed with this example as if each cell is not credible enough to analyze on its own.

The first thing you can do is look at the experience by age. If you have a base cost per policy, you can apply a rating factor to change the cost as your age adjustment. Then you can look at the experience by sex. If you multiply these two factors together, and then multiply by the base, you get a rate for each particular cell.

The problem with that, though, is that you are not accounting for cross-biases. In other words, if a disproportionate percentage of people in one age class are of a certain sex, then the results of your analysis are skewed. This influence must be eliminated (or at least mitigated to the extent possible). We do this through iterative procedures where the factors are continually adjusted and compared to the known results so that the resulting set of factors are essentially stripped of the other variables’ influences. That way, when the two factors are mutliplied together, it’s a true picture of the risk presented by that cell, rather than an understated or overstated picture because of undue influence of other parameters.

Why am I talking about this? Because when I think of temperature, I kind of think of it the same way as a pricing problem in insurance. A price is determined because there is an exposure, and the exposure has certain characteristics. These characteristics add or subtract dollars to the price according to the risk they present. The better we get at identifying all the appropriate risk characteristics, the more effective we are in pricing to suit the risk.

Likewise, temperature (at least in my mind) can be thought of as being comprised of a number of elements all working in concert with each other. I decided to take a look at the solar cycles, making an assumption (surely an incorrect one) that only the sun matters with regard to temperature. Consider this an initial analysis. As time and data allows, I can incorporate measures of just about anything into the spreadsheet, including measurements of Carbon Dioxide, methane, and the number of pirates seizing Ukranian warships. Adding factors will help refine the true impacts of each solar measure to temperature. In their absence, the factors are still appropriate for observing the general trend and relative magnitude, but there may well be changes to the factors with the introduction of other parameters.

All that said, let me outline the methodology here, in general terms. If anyone is interested in the more comprehensive details, I’d be happy to provide it: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Actuarial Topics, Climate Change, Earth, Global Warming, Science, Solar cycles, Sun, Temperature Analysis | 11 Comments »

October 2008 Update on Global Temperature – RSS

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on October 7, 2008

The RSS anomaly was released yesterday, and in reviewing the data, I decided that I won’t produce all the normal charts on this, because it really mirrors the UAH data trends quite well. I’ll still run down the stats I check below, but I’ll save you some bandwidth my now producing all the charts.

However, given that it mirrors UAH, I produced those charts here, so feel free to check those out.

Now, lest you be disappointed, I am currently working on an expanded spreadsheet for RSS that will produce trend charts by global latitudinal regions. The RSS data has a nice breakdown of the different regions and rather than just regurgitate the global anomaly that I already look at for UAH, I thought it would be more interesting to take a more refined look at RSS. I’m hoping to revisit that soon, as time allows. I’m also nearing completion on an analysis that demonstrates how temperature corresponds to solar activity and cycle lengths, which I think will be very interesting to many readers.

So, for those who still need your fix of the RSS data observations, here you go. Don’t worry, I at least still provided the overall charts and the current cooling trend chart:

DATA
The information is found here.

The September anomaly is 21.1 (in terms of 0.01 degree Celsius – the data in the link is in terms of degrees Celsius.).

HISTORICAL COMPARISON OF THE SINGLE DATA POINT
*It is 0.053 degrees cooler than September 2007
*It is 0.065 degrees warmer than August 2008

RANK
*It is the 13th warmest September anomaly (18th coolest) of all Septembers in the data set
*It is the 103rd warmest (255th coolest) anomaly in the total of 358 observations
*It is the highest anomaly since October 2007

AVERAGES
*The latest 12-month average is now 8.2, which continues a decline in this measure.
*The 12-month average is the lowest since the period ending December 2000.

STREAK
*This is the 13th consecutive year over year decrease in the anomaly reading
*The last such consecutive cooling streak was the period ending February 2000 (which ended a 15-month cooling stretch).
*Other streaks of 13 or more months in the data include: October 1991 – April 1993 (19 consecutive months); December 1983 – December 1984 (13 consecutive months). If the next anomaly is lower than previous year, this will be the third longest stretch in this data’s history (which starts January 1979).

SLOPES AND CHANGES IN SLOPE
*Overall trend line since inception is presented below. This represents warming of 1.69 degrees per Century. The history of this data only goes back to January 1979.

*Current running negative slope extends back to March 1997, or 138 months (graph below)
*The current cooling trend line added one data point with the new month, but did not extend the initial starting point back any further

*Current 60-month slope is -0.3922, about the same as last month (slight tick up) after 12 previous consecutive declines.

*Current running 120-month slope is 0.0805
*This slope value has increased for 8 consecutive months. While there is a longer-term decline since March 2002, this is the chart where the 1998 El Nino shows its major impact.
*The slope value is the highest since February 2007

*180-month slope is 0.0991, continuing to decrease as time goes on.
*Lowest value since the period ending August 1995

*240-month slope is currently at 0.1686
*This has bounced around in a generally flat pattern for a few months

*300-month trend is at 0.1734
*The same observed pattern in the last few anomalies is seen here as in the 240-month slopes

Keep an eye out for a follow-up post on RSS. I don’t have an ETA at the moment, but I’m hoping to get to it soon.

Posted in Climate Change, Current Events, Global Warming, News, Science, Temperature Analysis | 1 Comment »

October 2008 Update On Global Temperature – UAH

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on October 6, 2008

UAH has released the September anomaly!   Woo hoo!   Let the fun begin…

DATA
The information is found here.

The September anomaly is 16.1 (in terms of 0.01 degree Celsius – the data in the link is in terms of degrees Celsius.).

HISTORICAL COMPARISON OF THE SINGLE DATA POINT
*It is 0.04 degrees cooler than September 2007
*It is 0.168 degrees warmer than August 2008

RANK
*It is the 10th warmest September anomaly (21st coolest) of all Septembers in the data set
*It is the 108th warmest (251st coolest) anomaly in the total of 358 observations
*It is the highest anomaly since November 2007

AVERAGES
*The latest 12-month average is now 4.5, which continues a decline in this measure.
*Due to the high value compared to recent readings, all short-term averages rank as warm compared to the previous year or so.
*10, 11, and 12-month averages are low compared to very recent years. The last time a 12-month average reached current levels was the period ending December 2000.

STREAK
*This is the 13th consecutive year over year decrease in the anomaly reading
*The last such consecutive cooling streak was the period ending February 2000 (which ended a 16-month cooling stretch).
*Other streaks of 13 or more months in the data include: October 1991 – April 1993 (19 consecutive months); October 1988 – October 1989 (13 consecutive months); December 1983 – December 1984 (13 consecutive months). If the next anomaly is lower than previous year, this will be the third longest stretch in this data’s history (which starts December 1978).

SLOPES AND CHANGES IN SLOPE
*Overall trend line since inception is presented below. This represents warming of 1.28 degrees per Century. Of course, the history of this data only goes back to December 1978, which is a steeper warming trend than the longer-term surface data presents.

*Current running negative slope extends back to May 1997, or 136 months (graph below)
*The current cooling trend line added one data point with the new month, but did not extend the initial starting point back any further
*Note on cherry-picking: the entire point of this chart is to see the furthest point backward to find a trend line that has a negative slope. It is well understood that 1998-99 had an El Nino spike, and that we have just recently come of out a La Nina period. The chart itself makes no suggestions about anything other than the fact that there has been no warming for the last 136 months. Please note that I willfully supply numerous charts with other periods that demonstrate a warming trend when a linear trend line is applied. (As an aside, however, I lived through the era where warming was extrapolated back in 1999-2000, which included the El Nino. For some reason, that was fair game. That’s more a point of contention towards the treatment a decade ago than the legitimacy of the caveats of today. We should, in fact, point these things out. Likewise, we should perhaps consider how similar situations were presented in the past, and how they helped shape public opinion and supposed consensus on the issue. OK, I’ll stop now and get back to the data.)
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Climate Change, Earth, Global Warming, News, Science, Temperature Analysis | 5 Comments »

Some fun stats with Sunspots and how the current activity stacks up against recent history

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on October 2, 2008

For a change of pace, I thought I’d take a look at the sunspot numbers, which can be found here and just take a look at how current averages in the index stack up historically against what has been recorded in the past.

Before I start, a couple comments…

First, here is a nice link for those who like to check out a picture of the sun online. I’ve included the current image here.

In addition, I want to point out a post at Watts Up With That? that shows the number of days the sun has been blank so far this year compared to the previous year counts. In summary, this is the most number of blank days since 1954 already, and if current trends continue for another three months we will easily pass up 1954.

OK, so I won’t cover that ground, thanks to Watts. But I took a look at a series of averages, and found some interesting little tidbits that I thought I’d share. Since people like charts, I’ll throw up a few. These aren’t rocket science, and I don’t claim that they are anything new that we haven’t seen before. But it adds a nice context to the post.

The first graph is a plot of the raw observed sunspots since records have been kept. For a more detailed look on the history behind the numbers, check out my posts summarizing a couple papers by John A. Eddy, found here and here.

I wanted to get some kind of a read on how the overall average sunspot numbers are trending in our lifetimes, and because of the cyclical nature this can be done by averaging. One note on the averaging, though… once you get up to multi-year averaging, since the cycles vary in length, you may retain the trough/peak points in the cycle in some areas of the chart, and lose them in other areas. One reason I wanted to collapse the chart in this way was because shorter cycles may increase the overall average sunspots over a period of a number of years. If that is occurring, we’d see an upward trend during those periods.

The following charts represent a 12-month averaging of the sunspot counts, a 5-year averaging of the counts, and a 12-year averaging. You can see how it transforms from a cyclical chart to a chart exhibiting more trend-like behavior. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Cycles, Science, Solar cycles, Sun | 14 Comments »

 
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