Saturday, June 2, 2012


date: Wed, 22 Nov 2000 13:20:41 +0000
from: Tim Osborn <>
subject: RE: intense precip
to: m.hulme@uea


I replied to this guy on our behalf. I thought I'd bring you back into the
picture - he wants to approach the Environment Agency to suggest a joint
UEA-EA-WeatherAction project to sort out the greenhouse vs. solar problem.
Not quite sure how to respond - any suggestions?


>From: "hilles" <>
>To: "Tim Osborn" <>
>Subject: RE: intense precip
>Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2000 12:34:56 -0000

Dear Tim,

Thank you for your reply of the 6 November, very much appreciated.

Could it simply be that the solar signal is being produced by a combination
of the improved resolution of your most recent winter precipitation data,
together with the ever increasing levels of CO2 providing now greater and
more pronounced greenhouse effects?

I have also asked Weather Action at SBU to provide longer time series
correlations between solar activity and terrestrial weather related
factors. We have used WA forecasts for planning the arable farming on 2500
acres here in Glos for several years - and they have been of great benefit.
They seem to achieve similar accuracy to conventional forecasts at 5 days
range, yet are produced months ahead, and are usually best at showing
overall trends, as well as extreme storm events. I appreciate such
forecasts could be produced by purely mathematical means; but the WA people
seem very sincere in their claim that these forecasts are produced by
correlations with solar activity - and certainly those graphs I originally
sent you would indicate (well beyond the chance of coincidence) that such
links do exist.

May I also mention my own perspective and vested interests, in addition to
my Agenda 21 work. As a countryman and keen fisherman I have done what I
could over the last twenty years to prevent the obvious deterioration in
our local environment. It has become apparent that in addition to the
greenhouse gas/solar debate on climate change and weather - there are also
significant terrestrial factors that have a role, not only in the
amelioration of the effects of weather/climate extremes, but also probably
in the moderation of the actual weather extremes. I see little in the media
relating to this and I strongly believe that we are thus failing to produce
a cohesive and convincing strategy to meet such changes.

The graphic below, taken from one of my local studies shows some of these
principles, to enable a relatively 'cheap' response to climate change:

I have had contact also with the Environment Agency regarding these issues,
ranging from their neglect of the natural water management principles
detailed in the graphic above through to their equally apparent disregard
of the clear drought/flood cycles detailed in the public domain information
I originally sent you. Such cycles have long been noted in the water
industry; but not acted on. Dr Richard Bailey (former CIWEM president)
tells me he was fully aware of the solar signal apparent in Yorkshire river
flows over 30 years ago.

I am aware that there is a great difference of opinion regarding global
warming between your department at UEA and Weather Action at SBU. Between
you both you will have the expertise and data to more fully investigate the
atmospheric/solar links - and WA has expressed to me a willingness to
collaborate with you in this respect.

May I suggest to the EA that they should commission a joint UEA/WA/EA study
of such links? Could I introduce you to WA researchers to develop such a
proposal, if not for the EA, then I might find other sponsors?

I thank you in anticipation of your consideration of this.

With kind regards,

Julian Jones

-----Original Message-----
From: Tim Osborn []
Sent: 06 November 2000 10:03
Subject: Fwd: intense precip

> I am very concerned by the strong correlations between UK Winter Rainfall
>and solar activity and the failure of the authorities to incorporate such
>data in their forward planning - we appear to be paying a bitter price for
>this here in Gloucestershire.
> Your rainfall data had been previously been published to illustrate
>increasing UK rainfall due to Greenhouse Gas emission led Global Warming -
>there would appear to be a strong solar component to this also.
> By failing to acknowledge this and incorporate this in our plans we are
>also failing to produce a cohesive argument for Sustainable Development -
>certainly as far as the petrol protesters are concerned!

Dear Julian,

Mike Hulme asked me to reply to your email (copied above). The possible
link between solar variability and winter precipitation intensity is very
interesting - one of the scientific reviewers of our paper in fact asked us
to add some comments about it to our original scientific paper. We
declined to do so, however, mainly because we had a second record that
covered the period from 1931-1997, though based on only 63 weather stations
rather than 120 stations used to create the figure that appeared in the
media. The second record showed a very similar trend to our main results
over 1961-1995, and also showed the 11-year variability that indicates a
link to solar activity over this period. *But* over the 1931-1960 period
it showed no link at all to solar activity. It is quite possible that the
11-year oscillations over 1961-1995 are purely coincidental, and that the
solar-climate link is weak or non-existent.

The range of scientific opinion is quite broad on the topic of how much
climate variability and change is driven by solar variations.
Nevertheless, as more observational data and improved statistical analysis
techniques become available, it is becoming increasingly obvious that solar
variations are important. For temperature, many scientists now feel that
natural solar variations were the main contributor to the early 20th
century warming that occurred between about 1910 and 1950. The dramatic
warming since 1980, however, cannot be explained by changes in solar
output. So, the role of solar variability is starting to be acknowledged,
though it cannot explain all changes, and is much more uncertain than the
greenhouse effect (in terms of quantifying past changes and in
understanding physical/chemical mechanisms that can amplify a small change
in radiation into a large climate response). It also does not imply that
the greenhouse effect is necessarily weaker than is currently believed, so
the best way to think of it might not be that climate change scenarios due
to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases are wrong, but just that
the level of natural variability that should be superimposed upon them is
larger if solar variability is included. This is, of course, my personal

Best regards


Dr Timothy J Osborn | phone: +44 1603 592089
Senior Research Associate | fax: +44 1603 507784
Climatic Research Unit | e-mail:
School of Environmental Sciences | web-site:
University of East Anglia __________|
Norwich NR4 7TJ | sunclock:
UK |

Attachment Converted: "c:\eudora\attach\sustainwater.jpg"

Dr Timothy J Osborn | phone: +44 1603 592089
Senior Research Associate | fax: +44 1603 507784
Climatic Research Unit | e-mail:
School of Environmental Sciences | web-site:
University of East Anglia __________|
Norwich NR4 7TJ | sunclock:
UK |

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