A testable prediction by a nutter

Habibullo I. Abdussamatov of the Pulkovo Observatory of the RAS thinks solar irradiance is in for a "bicentennial decrease". And has been kind enough to predict it. Unfortunately it won't be obvious until about, what, 2016, that he is hopelessly wrong. But it beats most of the nutters who just wurble and nitpick and never predict anything.


* Bicentennial Decrease of the Total Solar Irradiance Leads to Unbalanced Thermal Budget of the Earth and the Little Ice Age, Habibullo I. Abdussamatov, Applied Physics Research, Vol. 4, No. 1; February 2012 .

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As I've mentioned in previous comments here this stuff is REALLY BASIC PHYSICS. It's nothing to do with urban heat islands or radiative feedbacks, nothing subject to measurement error or remotely controversial.

Perhaps you can write something about him in Wikipedia, then. Oh Wait.....

[I don't see him -W]

Thanks. So he's got that one published. The nutters in here even produced a section in a TV-show on this particular one.

I sure hope he is right about his predictions regarding the sun. He is predicting a 6 W/m^2 drop in TSI, which works out as just over 1 W/m^2 allowing for spherical surface area and albedo. That is just less than the forcing of an additional 100 ppmv of CO2, so no mini ice age in prospect, but it would sure be nice to have the extra approx 20 years to start mitigating this theory would allow.

Habibullo I. Abdussamatov's delusions run deep: he thinks that the greenhouse effect is a myth and that the rise in CO2 isn't even from us.

"It is no secret that increased solar irradiance warms Earth's oceans, which then triggers the emission of large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. So the common view that man's industrial activity is a deciding factor in global warming has emerged from a misinterpretation of cause and effect relations."

"Ascribing 'greenhouse' effect properties to the Earth's atmosphere is not scientifically substantiated," he maintains. "Heated greenhouse gases, which become lighter as a result of expansion, ascend to the atmosphere only to give the absorbed heat away."

He also uses the "Mars is warming, so it's the Sun" nonsense. He sounds just right for the WUWT crowd. I'm waiting for his guest post.

By Robert Murphy (not verified) on 06 Feb 2012 #permalink

"...warms Earth's oceans, which then triggers the emission of large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere."

So where's his paper overturning that whole chemistry pH thingy - you know, getting rid of lots and lots of carbonic acid from the ocean makes it more acidic rather than less. That kind of round-and-round, up-and-down, inside out writing could be very useful to someone. For something.

[But what he says is quasi-true: T up, all else left the same, does outgas CO2. He's just wrong to think that (a) everyone else doesn't know this and (b) its not the cause of recent CO2 rise -W]

Interesting fact; Christopher Monckton suffers from a rare neurological disorder which renders him unable to distinguish between the names "Habibullo I. Abdussamatov" and "the International Astronomical Union". This had lead him on multiple occasions to inform his audiences that the International Astronomocal Union had concluded that solar activity was primarily responsible for recent warming, whereas of course what he actually meant to say was that Habibullo I. Abdussamatov had concluded that solar activity was primarily responsible for recent warming.

A sad case. It's truly disheartening to see one of the foremost minds of our era struggling with a condition that makes him appear, to the uninitiated observer, as a clueless, dishonest hack.


You say he is a 'nutter', his background does look quite impressive/respectable/credible, what is your view based on?

[I think he is probably one of the soviet-era apparachniks, with impressive-looking credentials but nothing more. But I'm only guessing.

My view is based on the inanity of his views. The solar forecasts he makes are clearly rubbish, though I admit that may not be obvious. But comment 4 up above will do: he thinks the increased CO2 is from the oceans, which is very nutty. If you're not aware of the std proofs of why that is wrong, I can dig them out -W]

Thanks stoat,

Comment 4 is over egging it a bit though, it's clear from his paper that he is not a 'Greenhouse effect' denier per se. He takes the position (rightly/wrongly), that Solar activity has been the dominant driver of past climates - Herschel, Maunder minimum etc.

Even Nasa climate scientists have been talking about a 2 degree cooling if we enter a new 'Maunder minimum', giss temp anomaly's <1 degree, Maunderesque sounds pretty big to me. So where does the nutter come from? He may support a theory that turns out to be wrong, but that doesn't make him a nutter, surely?

[I'd need a ref for the NASA bit - it doesn't sound very plausible to me. You haven't been reading the Daily Mail, have you?

You don't address the "CO2 is from the oceans point". That makes him a nutter, and (since its a std denialist talking point) it makes him a probable denialist nutter. Or, more directly, this -W]

Our good host was being far too kind in his response to #7.

The most delectable morsel in #4 is not the point about oceans and CO2, which is just about forgivable to someone who is not familiar with the discipline. Rather, it is the statement "Heated greenhouse gases, which become lighter as a result of expansion, ascend to the atmosphere only to give the absorbed heat away."

The mind-boggling inanity, the sheer physical lunacy, embodied in that statement is impossible to overstate. In a mere twelve words Abdussamatov violates the second law of thermodynamics, the kinetic theory of gases, and likely other fundamental laws that I can't think of at the moment. Quite impressive in its own way.

As I've mentioned in previous comments here this stuff is REALLY BASIC PHYSICS. It's nothing to do with urban heat islands or radiative feedbacks, nothing subject to measurement error or remotely controversial.

It's sad because the contrarians could serve the role of a useful opposition, keeping us on our toes, as Curry would have us think. But stuff like this is just a stupid waste of time.

[I did wonder what he means by the "heated GHG" bit. Its as if he thinks just the Co2 molecules float up by themselves. Which is so insane I found it hard to believe anyone could mean it. "useful opposition" - agreed; but I think that is done by other scientists, mostly -W]

By The Bishop of … (not verified) on 06 Feb 2012 #permalink


It occurs to me that the Canada National Post article may be a classic example of the Scientist's dilemma - just giving enough information to a non technical(?) journalist for him to write the story, whilst being fully aware that anything you do say will be regurgitated, in not necessarily the right order, and almost certainly as a jumble of disconnected factoids.

National Geographic (which I have a bit more faith in) reported on the story also.


The quote from Abdussamatov there is

"Man-made greenhouse warming has made a small contribution to the warming seen on Earth in recent years, but it cannot compete with the increase in solar irradiance,"

This is a little more lucid than the National Posts attempt.

The Nasa 2 degree's cooling for a new Maunder minimum, probably came from blog (yes, I know). I'll try and track it down.

[The NP article is junk. In brief:

* "Global warming extends to Mars, where the polar ice cap is shrinking" - We don't even have a time-series for Martian temperature. All these septics who are so critical of the global temperature record suddenly start believing that they know Mars is globally warming from evidence then would dismiss as too thin to believe on Earth. See-also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_of_Mars#Evidence_for_recent_climatic_change
* "Dr. Habibullo Abdussamatov at Saint Petersburg's Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory. Pulkovo -- at the pinnacle of Russia's space-oriented scientific establishment -- is one of the world's best equipped observatories... the celebrated scientist" - This is all puff; His publication record is ridiculously thin.
* "Dr. Abdussamatov goes further, debunking the very notion of a greenhouse effect" - see comments above; its just wrong.

There doesn't seem to be anything else of substance to criticise -W]

Yes, I don't think the Canada NP article is much good either. I have another link to the same story, the 'source' for the Maunder minimum 2 degree's F(!) cooling is given here also.

The attribution for this statement is given as David Rind(?), Nasa Climate scientist, who has modelled the event. 2 degrees F is seems fairly significant bearing in mind the current GISTEMP anomaly ~1 degree F.


[But the quote from that article is Based on current estimates, even if another Maunder Minimum were to occur, it might result in an average temperature decrease of about 2 degrees Fahrenheit, Rind said. This would still not be enough to counteract warming of between 2 to 12 degrees Fahrenheit from greenhouse gases by 2100 So Rind is saying, "even *wtih* a Maunder Min, we still get warming". I don't see anything there to suggest that the thinks a MM is likely, though -W]

I do think the rather garbled physics of the NP article is more a reflection on the author than Abdussamatov. At least it isn't repeated elsewhere, so I think it is fair to give him the benefit of the doubt. Refering to him as being a 'nutter', based on the reporting of a NP hack, more used to dissecting Ice Hockey results(?), is stretching it a bit.


That's no way to talk about my haberdasher- Monckton's eponymous shirts have given perfect satisfaction since he entered the trade in the 1980's. Over to W. for the illustration .

Solar science fun, knocking the pins out from under Abdussamotov and lots of others, courtesy of Leif Svalgaard via the Big Bunny. Actually it seems like a bit if a scandal that it's taken until this late date to spot the change in methodology, yet the denialists aren't up in arms about it. Go figure.

[I don't know what to make of that. You'd hope that fiddly little details wouldn't affect things quite so much.

For others, this is Das kaninchenmeister -W]

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 07 Feb 2012 #permalink

Well, Leif says the methodology change in 1945 was about a 20% difference, enough that if it's corrected the basis for much speculation about solar variability goes away, so not so fiddly.

What's very strange about this is that previously it never occurred to anyone to compare the methodologies. The scientists who came up with it was observing until the mid-90s, so presumably he would have been aware of record splices showing the "modern maximum." But the exact methodology used at different times by different people, especially since at earlier times there was an unavoidable amount of eyeballing going on, seems like something that should have been investigated carefully when the splices started being done.

I do like Leif's dry humor. Have a look at the first sentence of the abstract (last page). Not so conclusively, it seems. So Eddy didn't look, the original scientist said nothing, and the whole field went off on a 35-year wild goose chase.

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 08 Feb 2012 #permalink


The change in solar kit recalls how the RN's abrupt change in seawater buckets kicked ocean temperature measurements off base for a while

Is it me, or the whole article is a basic exercise in bold curve extrapolation to meet author's wishes ? Even the last graph with extended survey of sunspot activity is quite a stretch to extrapolate, and there is no solar physics to back up the main claim.
I could publish an article with the same basic datas and the opposite conclusion ...

[*You* couldn't publish such an article 'cos you aren't well know. Only decaying elderly scientists with Names get to do this kind of stuff, and even he had to pick a minor journal ;-) -W]

Darn, and I wanted to boost my publication list :]

Actually Eddy's 1976 paper in Science is quite the read. (Leif refers to 1977 and Eddy had a Climatic Change paper then regarding which I can't see more than the abstract, but even if it's not the same paper the conclusions seem similar.)

Maybe more recent science is clouding my view, but his over-reaching for a consistent narrative as to the Sun's variability and its dominant effect on late Holocene and inferentially longer-term climate change seems palpable (although note that he explicitly references the "Suess effect" on current climate without questioning it).

See also this 1983 paper. I haven't read it but it appears to be a defense of his ideas from early criticism.

Good point, Russell. It's especially analogous to this since it hung around for so long without being resolved. Note that a similar but shorter-term problem cropped up later with the XBT sensors.

Science is indeed self-correcting, but it can take a while.

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 09 Feb 2012 #permalink

Leif Svalgaard says:
February 8, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Chuck Wiese says:
February 8, 2012 at 7:35 pm
So Leif, what are we to make of the Abdussamotov paper?

Since it is based on an extrapolation of a decrease that didnât even happen, not much can be made of his paper. Of course, if the paper supports somebodyâs an agenda, that person will make the most of the paper [at his peril, but perhaps he doesn't care].

+1 Leif, although I can't say I'm seeing the peril part. In a just world, sure, but that's just not the world we have, albeit that in the end physical reality cares not at all what we think. But perhaps that was the sort of peril to which Leif was referring.

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 10 Feb 2012 #permalink

Good point, Russell. It's especially analogous to this since it hung around for so long without being resolved.

[Note; this is a spambot, I've left it here for reference -W]

By Sesli Chat (not verified) on 13 Feb 2012 #permalink

Previous comment is a spam-bot quoting Steve Bloom to look human.

[Oops, thanks. I've de-linked it but left it -W]

Ah, clever spam defeats the meat spamfilter. :)

[Yeah, and I was getting so good -W]

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 13 Feb 2012 #permalink