Scafetta on the 60-year temperature cycle

Nicola Scafetta has a new paper out, “Climate change and its causes — a discussion about some key issues” (13MB pdf).  It is well worth a read.  One “key issue” is “a large 60 year cycle in the temperature record” (p. 19).  Says Scafetta:

“It has been observed that several multi-secular climatic and oceanic records present large cycles with periods of about 50-70 years with an average of 60 years [18].17 Figure 10 [below] shows the global temperature record detrended of its quadratic upward trend [19] depicted in Figure 1. This sequence has been filtered of its fast fluctuations (by applying a six year moving average smooth algorithm) and it has been plotted against itself with a time-lag of about 60 years. The figure clearly suggests the existence of an almost perfect cyclical correspondence between the periods 1880-1940 and 1940-2000. The peak in 1880 repeats in 1940 and again in 2000. The smaller peak in 1900 repeats in 1960. This 60-odd year oscillation cannot be associated with any known anthropogenic phenomenon [19]. (See also Appendixes Q and R).”


What causes this 60-year cycle?  Scafetta goes on (p. 22):

“If the temperature is characterized by natural periodic cycles the only reasonable explanation is that the climate system is modulated by astronomical oscillations.20 Natural cycles known with certainty are the 11 (Schwabe) and 22 (Hale) year solar cycles, the cycles of the planets and luni-solar nodal cycles [19,24]. Jupiter has an orbital period of 11.87 years while Saturn has an orbital period of 29.4 years. These periods predict three other major cycles which are associated with Jupiter and Saturn: about 10 years, the opposition of [the] two planets; about 20 years, their synodic cycle; and about 60 years, the repetition of the combined orbits of the two planets. The major lunar cycles are about 18.6 and 8.85 years.

Figure 12 shows a spectral analysis of the global surface temperature and of a record that depends on the orbits of planets (the speed of the sun relative to the center of mass of the solar system [19]). The two records have almost the same cycles. The temperature record contains the cycles of the planets combined with the two solar cycles of 11 and 22 years and a lunar cycle at about 9.1 years.21 (See also Appendixes Q-V).  …

The physical mechanisms involved in the process are likely numerous. The gravitational forces of the planets can partially modulate the solar activity. For example, it was noted that the alignment of Venus, Earth and Jupiter presents cycles of approximately 11 years that are in phase with the 11-year solar cycles [21] and multi secular reconstructions of solar activity reveal 60-year cycles associated with the combined orbit of Jupiter and Saturn and other longer cycles [22]. Solar changes could modulate climate change through various physical and chemical processes as explained in Section 6, which are currently not included in the models, as explained in Section 6.

There is also the possibility that the Earth’s orbital parameters are directly modulated by the gravitational forces of Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon, and the Sun’s magnetic force in such a way that the length of day is modulated and/or other planetary parameters are altered.  For example, the rotation of the Earth on its axis shows 60-year cycles that anticipate those of the temperature by a few years [18, 23]. Variations in the Earth’s rotation and tides caused by the lunar cycles can drive ocean oscillations, which in turn may alter the climate [19]. For example, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) present clear 60-year cycles and other faster cycles, see Figures 14 and 15. None of these mechanisms are included in the models adopted by the IPCC.”

Prior posts on the Jovian planets’ tidal influence on the Sun here.  Anthony Watts covers the paper here.

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4 Responses to “Scafetta on the 60-year temperature cycle”

  1. John Sack Says:

    I have heard that these overly hot summers also follow a 11 year cycle, controlled by the pacific ocean. I understand that this summers (2010) heat is the cause of this cycle. Any truth?? If so how does this happen? Thanks John Sack

  2. Ulric Lyons Says:

    I would put money on it being warm/hot from 2025 to 2038.

  3. David Harper Says:

    I have verified the 60 year cycle in the temperature set from Observatory Hill in Sydney Australia using a Fast Fourier Transform technique.

  4. David Harper Says:

    A quick check with Google shows that the Chinese use a 60 year calender cycle based on Lunar Cycles.

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