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Yet Another Earth Scientist Debunks Global Warming


Read the sunspots

The mud at the bottom of B.C. fjords reveals that solar output drives climate change – and that we should prepare now for dangerous global cooling

R. TIMOTHY PATTERSON, professor and director of the Geoscience Centre, Carleton University
Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Our finding of a direct correlation between variations in the brightness of the sun and earthly climate indicators (called “proxies”) is not unique. Hundreds of other studies, using proxies from tree rings in Russia’s Kola Peninsula to water levels of the Nile, show exactly the same thing: The sun appears to drive climate change.

However, there was a problem. Despite this clear and repeated correlation, the measured variations in incoming solar energy were, on their own, not sufficient to cause the climate changes we have observed in our proxies. In addition, even though the sun is brighter now than at any time in the past 8,000 years, the increase in direct solar input is not calculated to be sufficient to cause the past century’s modest warming on its own. There had to be an amplifier of some sort for the sun to be a primary driver of climate change.

Indeed, that is precisely what has been discovered. In a series of groundbreaking scientific papers starting in 2002, Veizer, Shaviv, Carslaw, and most recently Svensmark et al., have collectively demonstrated that as the output of the sun varies, and with it, our star’s protective solar wind, varying amounts of galactic cosmic rays from deep space are able to enter our solar system and penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere. These cosmic rays enhance cloud formation which, overall, has a cooling effect on the planet. When the sun’s energy output is greater, not only does the Earth warm slightly due to direct solar heating, but the stronger solar wind generated during these “high sun” periods blocks many of the cosmic rays from entering our atmosphere. Cloud cover decreases and the Earth warms still more.

The opposite occurs when the sun is less bright. More cosmic rays are able to get through to Earth’s atmosphere, more clouds form, and the planet cools more than would otherwise be the case due to direct solar effects alone. This is precisely what happened from the middle of the 17th century into the early 18th century, when the solar energy input to our atmosphere, as indicated by the number of sunspots, was at a minimum and the planet was stuck in the Little Ice Age. These new findings suggest that changes in the output of the sun caused the most recent climate change. By comparison, CO2 variations show little correlation with our planet’s climate on long, medium and even short time scales.

Please read the rest of this very informative article at the link above.

Actually Dave, that's the first thing you've said to me that I hadn't heard before and yes, it is a doozy :-) The issue of troposphere warming trends is a lot more complicated than I first realised and it's a pretty crucial factor in understanding global warming so I'm gonna have to do some significant reading before I have everything in context. So I'm replying now as by the time I do get back to you (I'm going away for the weekend), this discussion will probably have gone stale. But I'm sure we'll take this up again in future discussions so I look forward to future chats. John Cook
John Cook Here's a doozy for ya. John Christy wrote
Update 8 April 2002 ********************** Roy Spencer and I are in the process of upgrading the MSU/AMSU data processing to include a newnon-linear approximation of the diurnal cycle correction (currently the approximation is linear). In preliminary results, the effect is very small, well within the estimated 95% C.I. of +/- 0.06 C/decade. In the products released today, some minor changes have been included (though not the new non-linear diurnal adjustment). The 2LT trend is +0.053 C/decade through Mar 2002. The difference in today's release vs. last month's is a slight warming of monthly data after 1998. Essentially, this release corrects an error in the linear diurnal adjustment and produces better agreement between the MSU on NOAA-14 and the AMSU on NOAA-15. The single largest global anomaly impact is a relative increase of +0.041 (April 2001) while most are within 0.02 of the previous values. The net change in the overall trend was toward a more positive value by +0.012 C/decade. Again, this is still an interim change, and we anticipate a final version ("E" or "5.0") next month.
The take home point here is that the satellite data 95% confidence interval is +/- 0.06C per decade. The final diurnal correction added +0.09C over 25 years or 0.036C per decade. The amount of "correction" didn't even make the satellite temperature data rise out of the normal margin of error! And this is the best data there is and the only data that covers the entire surface of the earth without huge gaps in time and distance between samples. The second best data is radiosonde balloons but they don't cover the globe on a monthly basis to say the least. Since 1978 balloon data is primarily used just to calibrate (or what we engineers call "a sanity check") the satellite data. DaveScot
Wrong again, John Cook. As soon as NASA's interactive satellite temperature browser is back online (it went down 2 days ago and isn't back online yet) http://wwwghcc.msfc.nasa.gov/temperature/ you can browse the data for yourself. Global average temperature in the troposphere has not been increasing since 1978 when the first satellites started monitoring it once a couple El Nino's and volcanic eruptions that spiked the years in which they occured are factored out. Carter is absolutely correct about troposphere temperatures. Claims made by others that the satellite data is wrong are largely bogus and were never admitted by Goddard scientists except for three small anomalies that were very brief in duration and didn't substantially change the big picture. The link you gave was disputed and refuted by the Goddard scientists who actually manage the weather sats in question. The diurnal corrections added 0.1C to the global average temperature of the troposphere over the past 26 years California group's answer to climate puzzler improves the accuracy of global climate data (8/11/2005)
The net result of changes in how the data are analyzed added about 0.09 C (about 0.16 degrees Fahrenheit) of global warming over the past 26 years, with most of that previously unreported warming occurring in the tropics. "This work helps us produce a climate record that is even more reliable than it has been," said Dr. John Christy, director of UAH's Earth System Science Center.
If you think a tenth of a degree C more warming over the past 26 years is a "significant correction of the satellite data" I'll be forced to question your honesty. DaveScot
I can only assume Carter is using outdated data as the lower atmosphere has been warming, both according to satellite measurements and weather balloons. Don't suppose you know where Carter gets his data from? That Courier Mail article doesn't have much info. Incidentally that newspaper is from Brisbane where I live - Carter is not that far away from me, I should ask him direct :-) John Cook
John Cook #2 the correlation between sun and temperature ended in 1975 Professor Bob Carter, an environmental scientist, wrote:
Second, lower atmosphere satellite-based temperature measurements, if corrected for non-greenhouse influences such as El Nino events and large volcanic eruptions, show little if any global warming since 1979, a period over which atmospheric CO2 has increased by 55 ppm (17 per cent).
Perfect. The steady warming stopped shortly after the cosmic ray intensity leveled out. Only unpredictable things such as volcanoes and cyclic things like El Ninos have skewed the global average since then. The more you write the stronger the case gets for cosmic rays and the weaker it gets for CO2. If you were arguing against anthropogenic global warming I'd be forced to give you a cigar now but since you aren't... no cigar for you still! Keep in mind CO2 models show the troposphere should heat faster than the surface. As Carter points out the surface is what got warmer from 1979-1999 and he says even surface warming then halted. The troposphere stopped warming (after factoring out volcanoes and El Ninos and such) in 1979. So what does warm the surface but not the troposphere? Black carbon (commonly called soot). If you click on the sidebar "global warming" you'll find piles of evidence implicating black carbon in surface warming, particularly in the northern hemisphere close to the major sources (Europe and Asia) and really in particular on permanent snowfields where the soot can accumulate on the surface year after year after year getting darker and darker and darker. Unlike cosmic rays most black carbon IS anthropogenic but it still ain't CO2 and more importantly it ain't the United States that's emitting all the soot. You see the U.S. classifies soot as an air pollutant and a carcinogen so beginning with the Clean Air Act in 1963 we've been filtering soot from our smokestacks and exhaust pipes. The U.S. classifies CO2 as plant food and no threat to human health whatsoever. For the soot polluters look to Europeans who love soot belching diesel automobiles and poor countries where they still burn wood for heat and cooking and clear fields for agriculture by burning them. There's your villians in all this. DaveScot
Dave, another great answer (in fact, the only good answer I ever got to Solanki's study). I did read about your theory on ocean lag in your other post on cosmic rays so I was hoping you would bring that up. Let me say for the record also that I'm a Christian so even if we disagree on AGW, I think your website is great. There certainly is a lag due to ocean thermal inertia. I've been scouring the peer reviewed literature to find hard numbers. I've only been able to find a few studies that touch on it so far (so if you know of any other work, I'd deeply appreciate any links). The most relevant is actually Solanki's correlation of temperature & solar activity (definitely worth a read, that paper, opened my eyes on a few issues). The 3 whammies I got from his paper were: #1 the sun is the major driver of climate #2 the correlation between sun and temperature ended in 1975 #3 over the past 11,500 years, temperature lags solar activity by about 10 years So I know of no evidence or studies on the notion that the rising trend before 1950 stored up a bunch of enery in the oceans that then released over the next 50 years. Instead what we see over the past 11,500 years is when the sun showed long term trends, our climate followed it about 10 years later. I agree that aerosol cooling has been a factor over 1940 to 1980. But the decade lag of ocean inertia has been observed long before aerosol influence. And what we see happen this century is what has always happened. Solar activity rose from 1900 to 1950, temperature followed it then a decade after solar activity leveled off, temperature leveled off also. That's what you get with a lag effect - the temperature lags then seeks an equilibrium. But the current warming, as well as being 50 years after any lag effect should occur, is also not seeking an equilibrium but shown a steady 30 year upwards trend. John Cook
John Cook The correlation was interrupted in the latter half of the 20th century because of anthropogenic global cooling due to aerosol emissions. This is well enough documented and used by the anthropogenic global warming pundits to explain why the correlation between CO2 and rising temperatures were interrupted between 1940 and 1980. During those decades CO2 emission was increasing but global average temperature was falling. Since that time aerosol pollutants that block sunlight have been drastically curtailed and the underlying warming trend resumed. Anthropogenic global warming pundits don't get to have their cake and eat it too. If aerosols account for an interruption in the warming trend during the last century of rising CO2 then they also account for an interruption of the warming trend caused by rising sunspot activity. It's also reasonable to presume that a high but steady level of sunspot activity will not drive a high but steady global average temperature. The effect is cumulative. Oceans heat up slowly. Ice fields that reflect sunlight shrink slowly. Winter snowcover begins earlier and melts sooner. These all exert a positive feedback effect that is cumulative rather than immediate. There's no smoking gun to be found in a steady state for sunspot activity while warming continues. The smoking gun is that sunspot activity has been on a rising trend for a century, reached a 10,000 year high in 1950, and has not dropped below the 10,000 year high since that time. DaveScot
Hi Davescot, great reply and you've certainly done your research. I've actually viewed most of those graphs, downloaded the original observed data for analysis (I have a nerdish fascination with plotting graphs) and read the original studies that analysed them. And I completely concur with you - the sun is the major driver of global temperatures throughout Earth's history. The definitive work was done by Sami Solanki at the Max Planck Insitute who compared solar activity & temperatures over the past 1150 years and found temperatures closely correlate to solar activity. When sunspot activity was low during the Maunder Minimum in the 1600's or the Dalton Minimum in the 1800's, the earth went through 'little ice ages'. The sun has been unusually hot in the last century - solar output rose dramatically in the early 20th century accompanied by a sharp rise in global temperatures. However, Solanki also found the correlation between solar activity and global temperatures ended around 1975. At that point, temperatures started rising while solar activity stayed level. This led him to conclude "during these last 30 years the solar total irradiance, solar UV irradiance and cosmic ray flux has not shown any significant secular trend, so that at least this most recent warming episode must have another source." This is confirmed by direct satellite measurements that find no rising trend since 1978, sunspot numbers which have leveled out since 1950, the Max Planck Institute reconstruction that shows irradience has been steady since 1950 and solar radio flux or flare activity which shows no rising trend over the past 30 years. As for cosmic rays, they are augmented by the solar magnetic field which also affects solar irradiation. This is why cosmic radiation correlates inversely with irradiation and both correlate with global temperatures - up until 1975. The sun has been the primary driver of Earth's climate in the past but solar variations are conspicuous in their absence over the last 30 years of long term global warming. John Cook
Here's another skeptic. I like how the article starts off.... "Reid Bryson, known as the father of scientific climatology, considers global warming a bunch of hooey." Lurker
John Cook That chart nicely depicts and verifies the inverse relationship between sunspot activity and cosmic ray flux. What it doesn't show is the average cosmic ray flux going back hundreds of years. That's because we've only been monitoring them for 50 years. Fortunately astronomers have been recording the number of sunspots for 400 years and we know that sunspots and cosmic ray flux reaching the earth is reliably and inversely correlated. The following chart shows sunspot activity since 1870 and shows it increasing during the 20th century and where it remains at a high level today. http://science.msfc.nasa.gov/ssl/pad/solar/images/bfly.gif The next chart is the entire 400 year history of observations. It is even more revealing and shows the average number better. As you can plainly see sunspot activity reached at least a 400 year maximum in 1950 and has remained high since then. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/28/Sunspot_Numbers.png The following chart is a reconstruction of 11,000 years of sunspot activity based on carbon-14 which is believed to track average sunspot activity with a 60 year lag time. Note how the activity is hugely increased in the most recent years and is the highest it has been in 10,000 years. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/solanki2004/fig3a.jpg Just for a little icing on the cake the Maunder Minimum (very little sunspot activity) from 1650 to 1700 exactly coincides with the beginning of the Little Ice Age in 1650. To anthropogenic global warming zealots I'm sure it's just a coincidence. :roll: There is an added wrinkle to this, though. Cosmic rays come from outside the solar system. The flux density entering our solar system is dependent on the part of the galactic neighborhood sol is traversing as well as supernova activity in that neigborhood. The following article talks about this: https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/global-warming/cosmic-rays-implicated-in-climate-change/ So John, nice try but no cigar. Sunspot activity is definitely at a maximum in recent history and cosmic ray flux definitely tracks sunspot activity at least as long as we've been recording both. DaveScot
The whole problem with the theory that cosmic rays (or lack thereof) are driving global warming is that cosmic radiation has shown no trend over the last 50 years. This has led the Max Planck Institute to conclude that cosmic ray flux and temperature followed each other up to 1970 but there has been no correlation between temperature and cosmic ray flux since 1970. So even if cosmic rays are linked to cloud formation, all they'll find is the cloud formation 50 years ago is similar to now and has little to no impact on the last 30 years of long term global warming. John Cook
Thanks a lot Dave, you and the rest of the pundits on this forum have caused me to become so informed on global warming and NDE vs ID, that none of my liberal friends and family members will even talk to me anymore. Serves me right for being open minded. Keep up the good work. Webwanderer
Was it Reid Bryson? tribune7
Last night I listened to an interview on the radio with a climate scientist who is skeptical of manmade global warming. He commented that there are many more scientists like him, but that most are afraid to come out of the closet for fear of blackballing, losing funding or not having grants approved, damage to careers, etc. Sound familiar? GilDodgen
I don’t like attacking science Oh, but you are not attacking science. You are defending it from religous orthodoxy. tribune7
Great article. scordova
jmcd Understandable. Unlike Darwinian evolutionary theory global warming theory isn't nearly as well entrenched in western philosophy; isn't protected by law from criticism; operates over short enough intervals of time to observe its major predictions; and alternative explanations unquestionably grounded in physical science exist. That's why I pursue it. It's highly vulnerable and IMO almost certainly and provably wrong. What it does is serve to illustrate how paradigms take over scientific thought such that in the minds of believers contrary facts become invisible. Circling the wagons to defend the paradigm by any means becomes the modus operandi by adherents. I believe if macroevolution theory wasn't protected from criticism by legal shenanigans in public primary schools and by derailing the careers of professors in secondary education the paradigm would be well exposed as logically and empirically bankrupt. My hope is that by exposing the paradigmatic nature of consensus science in global warming it will become evident that bandwagon science is a bad thing and isnt' confined to just anthropogenic global warming. I don't like attacking science as I remain convinced most of it is good and critical to the betterment of the human condition but the scientific community has brought this upon themselves. If the evolution pundits cause all of science to get a black eye they have no one to blame but themselves for using such underhanded anti-science tactics of courtrooms and blackballing to prop up an otherwise vulnerable paradigm. DaveScot
The sun appears to drive climate change.
Well, duh! I took a look at what the literature had to say of the C02 content of our atmosphere. I was surprised how small it is. I also want to point out an old college chemistry textbook, by Ebbing, 3rd edition.
The rising concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a great concern, because of its role in the greenhouse effect. ... a doubling of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will raise the average temperature of the earth by about 3 degrees C (predicted to occur between 2030 and 2080). p. 447.
I think the non believers in man-induced global warming are making a credible case. We do know there have been warming trends, and the degree of human causation has not been decisively demonstrated. scordova
Another rather heavy straw on the camel's back Dave. Hopefully the politically correct mass media clowns will catch on sooner or later and we can start reversing this GW = human output hoax. Of course we'd all still be for better fuel economy (hydrogen from H2O is the answer) and no pollution etc.. -------- shaner74: Yes NDE is definitely total crap. So the only other viable options are...? Panspermia and brilliant superior minded aliens? No. That only removes the origins questions one step back. Where did they come from? A God being? Still the best answer once you understand the nature of information, design and the universal sense of purpose and morals. "He that made the eye, does he not see?" "Agnosticism is the philosophical, ethical, and religious dry-rot of the modern world." - Francis E. Abbott Agnosticism? "I have a great love and respect for religion, great love and respect for atheism. What I hate is agnosticism, people who do not choose." - Orson Welles Whatever. The evidence for a supreme being behind existence is so overwhelming that I cannot quite fathom the blind and stubborn atheist's faith. But the agnostic, while certainly more understandable, is still not looking at the all the available evidence either. I view the agnostic as the bewildered one who either has stopped looking or still needs that final clenching element to put his doubts to rest. May all you agnostics here find that clencher. :-) Borne
Seems like Dave is on a crusade against enviromental-whackos and global warming alarmists. Keep it up, Dave! There is no such thing as "too much information", specially on such a highly politicized issue as this. Mats
I agree with jmcd as far as GW goes. I believe the warming is due to solar activity and not CO2. Luckily, I don't think we'll have to put up with GW for 150 years like we have with lord darwin. As far as NDE goes I still think it's total c*ap which exists only to support a blind faith in materialism. I believe this even as I find myself drifting towards agnosticism. shaner74
Well Dave you have not broke me down on ET yet, but as far as climate change goes I am now firmly in the skeptics camp. That is pretty much a complete 180. Your posts forced me to look into it, and the evidence for warming is, in fact, woefully lacking. As far as ET goes, I now find it to be the best if very incomplete notion of how life developed on Earth, but that is still a significant change from where I was right after undergrad. jmcd

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