Solar link to global warming ruled out

One of the global warming skeptics who reads this blog said he would be persuaded if direct measurements of solar output, rather than models, showed that changes in Sun were not contributing to the rise in Earth’s average temperature.

This blog entry is for him. It discusses an article that shows that, if anything, the recent IPCC report OVERestimated when it stated the Sun’s contribution to global warming is approximately 10% of anthropogenic effects. In fact, over the last 20 years, solar changes have been in the opposite direction.

My source is New Scientist online article that cites this journal reference: Mike Lockwood and Claus Fröhlich, “Recent oppositely directed trends in solar climate forcings and the global mean surface air temperature,” Proceedings of the Royal Society A (DOI:10.10.98.rspa.2007.1880).

To quote the opening paragraphs of the New Scientist article:

Direct satellite measurements of solar activity show it has been declining since the mid-1980s and cannot account for recent rises in global temperatures, according to new research.

The findings debunk an explanation for climate change that is often cited by people who are not convinced that greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are causing the Earth’s climate to warm.

Sceptics commonly point to climate research’s reliance on computer models as a reason for doubting the link between global warming and human greenhouse gas emissions.

“We decided to do a simple and direct analysis of the potential role of the Sun in recent climate change without using any model output,” says Lockwood [of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, part of the Science and Technology Facilities Council in the UK].

Please read the New Scientist article and, if possible, the original journal article before commenting here.

The material in this press release comes from the originating research organization. Content may be edited for style and length. Want more? Sign up for our daily email.

25 thoughts on “Solar link to global warming ruled out”

  1. A one sided presentation which is argued either way . Like gun control arguments the numbers can be presented to support either side. Or the cycle of hurricanes versus GW making them worst.

    Professor Robert Carter of Australia states, “Gore’s circumstantial arguments are so weak that they are pathetic. It is simply incredible that they, and his film, are commanding public attention.” Professor Carter works at the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University, in Australia. Climatology as it relates to the oceans is one of his disciplines. He knows whereof he speaks and yet, you will not find his remarks concerning Al Gore’s movie carried by the MSM. (Mainstream Media) Professor Carter is one of hundreds of meteorological and climatological scientists who are not part of a government group, or lobby group, or industrial group who might have a “vested interest” in seeing any agenda pushed forward. In addition, all of these non-vested scientists are highly qualified in their respected fields. In fact, these unquoted and ignored scientists are experts in climate change and they contest the hypothesis that humans are responsible for climate change through the increase of CO2 emissions that have been made by humans.

    Dr. Timothy Ball, formerly a professor of climatology at the University of Winnipeg asserts, “While many are highly skilled researchers, they generally do not have special knowledge about the causes of global climate change. They usually can tell us only about the effects of changes in the local environment where they conduct their studies.” For example, a biologist might study everything from insects to animals and the focus of their study might be how climate changes affect them, he has no or limited knowledge of what produced those climatic changes.

    In the 1800’s a small volcanic island near Sumatra literally exploded. When Krakatoa blew, geologists believe the energy force of that explosion was equivalent to 1,300 Hiroshima bombs going off at one time. The column of ash and gases rose an astounding 40 miles before gravity pulled the heavier pieces back down to earth. Three years following the explosion of the volcano, sunsets around the earth were seen through the filter of the hydrocarbon cloud for a period of three years. The effects were felt around the earth; temperatures dropped in temperate zones approximately three to ten degrees on average, growing seasons were shortened and winter was lengthened for a few years. Further, every minute that Krakatoa was erupting prior to the final blast that blew away 80% of the island, one million metric tons of ash, gases, and pumice were thrown into the atmosphere. Is it Al Gore and his cadre of unspecialized scientists that man has done more to “pollute” the earth than the earth itself? How many volcanoes have gone off since Krakatoa? How many metric tons of debris and CO2 as well as other gases have been ejected from these volcanoes into our atmosphere? Have there been no climatic changes as a result?

    Dr. Timothy Patterson of Carleton University, recently testified that, “There is no meaningful correlation between CO2 levels and Earth’s temperature over this (current geologic) time frame. In fact, when CO2 levels were over ten times higher than they are now, about 450 million years ago, the planet was in the depths of the absolute coldest period in the last half billion years. On the basis of this evidence, how could anyone still believe that the recent relatively small increase in CO2 levels would be the major cause of the past century’s modest warming?” Dr. Patterson concluded his testimony before the Commons Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development what his research and the research of “hundreds of other scientists” have discovered, “on all time scales, there is very good correlation between Earth’s temperature and natural celestial phenomena such changes in the brightness of the Sun.”

    I have to agree with reading: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports as far back as 2000. Even though they admit a 35% uncertainty. They are done by crediable people and point out both sides (to some extent) very clearly. I also recommend reading on joint ventures such as Canada’s and China’s CO2 capture project.
    Also :

    These are real solutions, no matter which side you are on, and they are reasonable.

    The problem which most of the ideas in the political world is they look/sound good but don’t produce the desired result. For example: law passed to curb the profit on immunizations. Thus lowering the cost for the poor. Looks/sounds good? But it drove most american companies out of the market and lowered the availability. Then supply and demand kicks in.
    Also you must read and entire bill before it is voted into law. Most of the titles are very decieving and sometimes the opposite result will occur.


  2. Anonymous states:

    “Titles would be good but please omit the ones which misrepresent facts (like Gore’s film).”

    If you look at my previous blog entries, you will note that there are places where I take issue with otherwise correct pieces. Here is an example, which laments a particularly regrettable use of an “icon” by Gore:

    That entry also warns people not to conclude that the accelerated glacier melting elsewhere in the world should be discounted. In other words, one example was chosen without sufficient scientific care, but the overall conclusion is still valid. Glaciologists studying the other glaciers Gore discusses conclude that their accelerated melting can be reasonably attributed to human activity.

    On the whole, I find Gore’s presentation and the documentary based on it to be accurate. Not perfect but on target.

    For instance, Gore’s famous coastal flooding diagram is based on a worst-case scenario of polar ice-sheet melting. A scientist would be more careful and insert a disclaimer. But the point he is trying to make is that the diagram does indeed represent a plausible scenario. The biggest uncertainty in the IPCC projection of sea level rise is that it leaves out the phenomenon of dynamic melting, in which surface ice flows more quickly into the ocean due to lubrication caused by melting underneath.

    Without dynamic melting, the Gore scenario would come about in several hundred to several thousand years depending on the amount of positive feedback due to less reflective polar regions. With dynamic melting, there is a small but nontrivial chance that my grandchildren, who are currently in third grade and preschool, will live to see it. Isn’t that reason enough to be concerned?

    As for specific titles, I suggest you start here:

    That link is a comparative review of Tim Flannery’s The Weather Makers and Elizabeth Kolbert’s Field Notes from a Catastrophe. You’ll note that I am a bit critical of Flannery on one point, but I admire the book on the whole.

    After you have read those books, come back for further discussion.

    Fred Bortz — Science and technology books for young readers ( and Science book reviews (

  3. Thanks for your reply. Titles would be good but please omit the ones which misrepresent facts (like Gore’s film).
    Looking for something that actually can show to some extent that normal cycles of temperature and weather are being affected. With past ice ages, tropical forest wheres NM/AZ now are, etc, it’s hard to believe that anything is out of the norm. Already knew your “Consider this” fact but thanks.
    As for the claims without sources: I believe the numbers were quite generous but if you find they are in error please state which ones. I have read some of what you have written in the past and have target you for two reasons. One: you actually reply and with calm rational thoughts. Two: I have found your writings very interesting.

  4. Anonymous, your post is full of claims without sources, both scientific and economic. If you really want to understand global warming, I suggest you read some of the books on the subject I have reviewed over the past ten years. I’ll be glad to direct you to specific titles on that list if you are interested.

    As for humans contributing a certain percentage of the greenhouse gases, I’ll be glad to address the statistics if you give me sources. But it is important to realize that human contributions to CO2 represent about 20% of the current total and will grow to 50% of all atmospheric CO2. (The following numbers are from memory and may be slightly off: 275 parts per million pre-industrial revolution, 350 ppm now, projections of 500-600 ppm by the end of the century with business as usual.) That may only be 3-4% of the total of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, but that makes it quite significant.

    Consider this: without the greenhouse effect, natural and human-caused, mean global temperature would be around zero Fahrenheit. We’re currently around 50 degrees warmer than that. 3-4% of that is 2 degrees. That percentage is projected to grow quite a bit. It is hardly a hoax!

    If you want to get a handle on what that means in terms of human contribution to global warming and the implications of that warming, I suggest you study the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports.

    As for economics, perhaps you need to read Newt Gingrich’s soon to be published book, A Contract With The Earth.

    Fred Bortz — Science and technology books for young readers ( and Science book reviews (

  5. Global warming is a hoax. Greenhouse gases are mostly natural. Only three to four percent are man made. Greenhouse gases are mostly water vapor. If you remove the water vapor from the man made gases it goes down to half of a percent. So what will taxes and regulations do? Nothing on a global scale. Even if you stop all power plants, cars, planes and industry in America (all polution) thus destroying the economy and sending us back to the stone age it might equal one percent of total global greenhouse gases. Again no difference. Climate changes happened before and will continue to happen. All for cutting pollution but I can’t accept the misrepresenting of data.

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