It’s still not the sun, stupid

Real science is about the gathering of multiple lines of evidence, bulding on previous research that built on research before that. One of the hallmarks of denialism is choosing a single study or dataset out of a multitude simply because it is an outlier that confirms their prefered viewpoint.

On the “It’s the sun, stupid” thread, mandas has provided a very nice listing of some of the many different examinations of solar forcing on recent climate change.

As with all robust scientific findings, the methods and datasets are different but the general conclusions are all the same: solar forcing has not been a dominate driver of modern day global warming, and especially so for the later 20th century to today period.

Here is his comment:

Some interesting studies for those who wish to do some reading (with thanks to skepticalscience):

•Erlykin 2009: “We deduce that the maximum recent increase in the mean surface temperature of the Earth which can be ascribed to solar activity is 14% of the observed global warming.”

•Benestad 2009: “Our analysis shows that the most likely contribution from solar forcing a global warming is 7 ± 1% for the 20th century and is negligible for warming since 1980.”

•Lockwood 2008: “It is shown that the contribution of solar variability to the temperature trend since 1987 is small and downward; the best estimate is -1.3% and the 2? confidence level sets the uncertainty range of -0.7 to -1.9%.”

•Lean 2008: “According to this analysis, solar forcing contributed negligible long-term warming in the past 25 years and 10% of the warming in the past 100 years…”

•Lockwood 2008: “The conclusions of our previous paper, that solar forcing has declined over the past 20 years while surface air temperatures have continued to rise, are shown to apply for the full range of potential time constants for the climate response to the variations in the solar forcings.”

•Ammann 2007: “Although solar and volcanic effects appear to dominate most of the slow climate variations within the past thousand years, the impacts of greenhouse gases have dominated since the second half of the last century.”

•Lockwood 2007: “The observed rapid rise in global mean temperatures seen after 1985 cannot be ascribed to solar variability, whichever of the mechanism is invoked and no matter how much the solar variation is amplified.”

•Foukal 2006 concludes “The variations measured from spacecraft since 1978 are too small to have contributed appreciably to accelerated global warming over the past 30 years.”

•Scafetta 2006 says “since 1975 global warming has occurred much faster than could be reasonably expected from the sun alone.”

•Usoskin 2005 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.”

•Solanki 2004 reconstructs 11,400 years of sunspot numbers using radiocarbon concentrations, finding “solar variability is unlikely to have been the dominant cause of the strong warming during the past three decades”.

•Haigh 2003 says “Observational data suggest that the Sun has influenced temperatures on decadal, centennial and millennial time-scales, but radiative forcing considerations and the results of energy-balance models and general circulation models suggest that the warming during the latter part of the 20th century cannot be ascribed entirely to solar effects.”

•Stott 2003 increased climate model sensitivity to solar forcing and still found “most warming over the last 50 yr is likely to have been caused by increases in greenhouse gases.”

•Solanki 2003 concludes “the Sun has contributed less than 30% of the global warming since 1970.”

•Lean 1999 concludes “it is unlikely that Sun-climate relationships can account for much of the warming since 1970.”

•Waple 1999 finds “little evidence to suggest that changes in irradiance are having a large impact on the current warming trend.”

•Frolich 1998 concludes “solar radiative output trends contributed little of the 0.2°C increase in the global mean surface temperature in the past decade.”

As Ray Pierrehumbert – Louis Block Professor in Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago – said in response to a quote in Nature which said that this was the ‘last nail in the coffin’ for solar enthusiasts about solar warming:

“That’s a coffin with so many nails in it already that the hard part is finding a place to hammer in a new one.”

65 thoughts on “It’s still not the sun, stupid

  1. snowman

    You are correct with one of your statements at least. The potential for the sun to enter into an extended period of relatively low activity – a Maunder Minimum if you like – and the research being conducted on it, are very important aspects to the debate. But then, I have never denied that. But your statement that the paper I linked to is largely irrelevant is moronic in the extreme, as is your entirely predictable faith in what Henrik Svensmark (and by inference, Eigel Friis-Christensen) has to say about it. Why would it not come as a shock that you would automatically discredit a paper that suggests global warming is real and is driven by human CO2, whilst in the same sentence put forward the same old, discredited stuff about cosmic rays having a greater influence than CO2?

    Do we really have to do this again? How many times do these ideas have to be shown to be wrong before you accept the simple, undeniable facts? Study after study has shown that the so-called correlations between cosmic rays and climate change driven by cloud formation just do not exist. You said it yourself – “Of course, it may be that Svensmark is wrong, and time will tell”. Time has already told my friend – he is wrong.

    But – and here’s the really big but – just think for a moment about the implications if he was right. Or is doing analysis too hard for you and you would just rather rely on a crakar-like cut-and-paste of denialist dogma? IF cosmic rays could affect climate so easily – then it would imply that climate is extraordinarily sensitive to even small changes in forcings. And that is – of course – completely at odds with what other notable deniers say when they attempt to downplay the role of CO2.

    How about you do something with a bit of integrity and tell us all what denialist hypothesis you agree with, rather than being like crakar and simply picking one depending on which way the wind blows, and which one appears to oppose the latest research into climate change? I know it’s not your style to contribute ideas; your modus operandi is normally to pick on skip’s language or to simply rubbish / ignore any papers that we post.

    Is this just one of your normal drive byes, and we won’t see you again for a couple of weeks when once again you will make a few disparaging remarks of no substance before disappearing back under your rock? I hope not. I hope you are going to do something different. I hope you are going to tell us what you think and why you think it so we can have a proper discussion, rather than just reading your usual pedantic whining.

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  2. A toad, Skip? A little immoderate, don’t you think?

    Yet again we see outrage from the warmists when anyone (not your humble correspondent, but Dr Svensmark) has the temerity to disagree with them. I suppose I should try to understand their point of view. Their comfortable little world is crashing about their ears. No wonder they pout and sulk.

    I think I’d take immoderate over unjustified, slobbery wounds from a silken tongue any day. Are you even aware that you regularly accuse thousands of nerds of vicious protection of the gains of lazy fraud? Does that not count as immoderate simply because your vocabulary tends to be pretentious and strangely melodramatic?

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  3. You will avoid this direct query–again–in your classical dishonorable manner.

    I make no claim to be able to model climate, but I will always be able to model Snowman.

    I am also getting better at translating Snowmanspeak. Any word such as “odd”, “strange”, “unhinged”, and so forth is in reference to, “A point to which I have no answer but insulting bluster.”

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  4. Wow

    If I can just clear up a couple of snowman’s remarks, as he is not very good at expressing himself.

    At #44, you asked a reasonable question about a remark he made, as follows:

    SM – “and ignored amplification of the solar signal by clouds and cosmic ray modulation”
    W – “How do cosmic rays modulate the solar signal? There’s naff all energy in it.”

    What snowman really meant to say was that the solar signal modulates cosmic rays, not the other way around as he stated. He has obviously not read the work of Svensmark, despite his use of him as a source (hmmmm – why does that sound so familiar?).

    SM – “However, thank you for putting Dr Svensmark right on the subject. I’m sure he will be glad to have his errors pointed out.”

    Perhaps snowman is not aware that Svensmark has already had his errors pointed out to him repeatedly, But, unlike what snowman is suggesting, he was NOT glad about it, and he continues to push the same old discredited line. I think that’s what snowman meant about ‘faith-like’. It takes a special kind of faith to continue to believe something that has been shown to be wrong – it’s certainly not a scientific approach.

    And snowman, I was just wondering if you have considered my request in #51? Is there any chance that you might actually tell us all what your views on the subject are? Do you think the climate is changing? If so, what is causing it to change? Why do you think it couldn’t possibly be CO2?

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  5. Mandas in 40,

    Sorry for the late reply but i did not know you made this post.

    In short what you say is not correct or at least this is not what i am saying.

    The number, magnetic polarity and geographical location of sun spots can tell us at what point in the solar cycle we are, sun spots have no influence on GCR’s enetring the earths atmosphere.

    However sunspots as stated above can tell us the activity level if you like of the sun, less sunspots less activity, less activity includes decrease in TSI, UV rays, x rays, solar winds, magnetic fields, less flares etc.

    When the sun in in activity (usually at solar min) more GCR’s enter the Earths atmosphere, when it is active (solar max) less GCR’s enter the atmosphere.

    Now so far this is accepted science by all, svenmarks theory takes us into the unknown. Svenmark’s studies may indicate GCR’s induce cloud formation, he is currently conducting a cloud experiment using cern so we all wait to see his results.

    Lindzen has calculated an decrease of cloud cover by as little as 3% over the past 60 or more years would explain all the global warming we have seen, this is not to say he believes CO2 has no role to play but how much of an impact cloud cover can have.

    Up until now clouds have been the great unknown we do not know if cloud cover has increased or decreased over the past 60 odd years we dont really know how, when, where or why clouds form. GCM’s operate under clear skies with a fudge factor added at the end, are low cloud a +ve or -ve feed back? What about high cloud?

    Svenmarks work is very important as it will add a piece to the puzzle but it will not prove or disprove AGW, it will however add to our limited understanding on this very important issue.

    In regards to whether a prolonged quiet sun will cause a cooling or warming i am not sure or by what magnitude. It has been shown that the longer the cycle the cooler it gets and the Maunder minimum (which some have predicted the sun will enter a similar minimum, i propose “the Landscheidt” minimum)saw very cold and long winters for many years so it is possible i suppose.

    In the end if you think the only affect the sun has on the Earth is TSI then not much will happen, however if you think the many other outputs/aspects of the sun play a part then you would have reason to suspect it will get colder.

    PS anything talk of an ice age is a bit silly i think.

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  6. > When the sun in in activity .. less GCR’s enter the atmosphere.

    Him english not so goodish.

    > Now so far this is accepted science by all, svenmarks theory takes us into the unknown.

    It takes us into fantasy. CLOUD has currently found nothing other than noise. Yet, despite all your complaints about needing absolute proof, you’re ready without even the results, never mind proof, to accept GCR’s effects.

    I note too that you too cannot explain why you accept it other than faith, and millitantly ignore the problems with the theory:

    Where is the moisture coming from?

    Where are the extra clouds?

    Why is it only now that the effect is in place, where at the same level 100 years ago of solar minima that we are 0.8C warmer than we were then globally?

    “Lindzen has calculated an decrease of cloud cover by as little as 3% over the past 60 or more years would explain all the global warming we have seen”

    Pity he hasn’t actually tested that calculation and observed a 3% reduction in clouds.

    And aren’t GCR’s, being cloud condensation nuclei, going to, if their numbers increase, have either no effect or increase cloud cover?

    And just a few short years ago, all you denialists were saying that the feedbacks were negative because more water vapour meant more clouds?

    Pity Lindzen hasn’t worked out how the humidity and temperature goes up but the clouds come down.

    > Up until now clouds have been the great unknown we do not know if cloud cover has increased or decreased over the past 60 odd years

    What’s this “we”?

    We can certainly measure the cloud cover since satellite measurements.

    And 60 years is enough to tease out as big a change as a 3% reduction.

    That we haven’t seen it proves that, even if Lindzen is right in that a 3% cloud cover reduction could account for the warming, the problems remain that

    a) no such reduction has taken place

    b) the reduction of the cloud cover has no reason to ramp up in accordance with the log concentration of CO2

    c) the reduction of cloud cover doesn’t stop CO2’s effect

    > if you think the many other outputs/aspects of the sun play a part then you would have reason to suspect it will get colder.

    Why colder? I thought you said it was getting warmer. If you have reason to suspect that, under your model, it will get colder, yet it’s getting warmer, then your model has proven wrong.

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  7. “What snowman really meant to say was that the solar signal modulates cosmic rays, not the other way around as he stated.”

    Did he? He’s a grown up (or at least he says he is), so if he meant something else, he could have written a clarification.

    Since he hasn’t, then this isn’t his meaning.

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  8. Are you even aware that you regularly accuse thousands of nerds of vicious protection of the gains of lazy fraud?

    What on earth are you talking about? What a strange fellow you are, pough.

    I’ll take that evasion as a “yes”.

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  9. crakar @ #56

    Ok, now I’m confused. That has to be probably the best and most reasonable post I have ever read from you. And I may be coming across as ungrateful etc but I have to wonder where it came from or what prompted it – particularly the bit about the “Landscheidt” minimum (I looked it up).

    So two things. Firstly, thanks for the post. Secondly, could you quote your source please.

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  10. WOW in 57,

    YOU NO RISEN (said with the best chinese accent you can muster)

    Mandas in 60,

    Source for what?

    The stuff about sun spots?

    Livinston and Penn wrote a paper about reduction in sun spots, their prediction is the only one left that is still standing so you might like to read that.

    Upon reflection it might have spencer that said the bit about 3% cloud decrease/increase if so you can go to his website and read it there.

    As for Landscheidt i read a study by him once about what causes the solar cycles to vary if think this is it but i cannot tell as “big brother” wont let me go to the site will need to look when i get home.

    http://bourabai.narod.ru/landscheidt/new-e.htm

    Or here would be better i suspect

    http://landscheidt.wordpress.com/

    You need to find the study where he talks about the sun moving around the bary centre (centre of mass of the solar system). Jupiter plays a major role as the suns normal cycle is 11.8 years but the Jovian year is 11.88 years so they are out of sink.

    He predicted SC23 will be 13 years long, sc24 and 25 will be even longer with very low ssn, whilst all the “experts” predicted the opposite. Too bad the guy is dead now.

    You said ” And I may be coming across as ungrateful etc but I have to wonder where it came from or what prompted it”

    No not coming across as ungrateful, what prompted it? The sun has always been intriguing way before AGW came along so when i talk about the sun it is not simply a way to shoot down AGW (much to WOW’s objections).

    Did i cover everything?

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  11. cracker-ass:

    Well done on doing better in your english classes.

    However your logic classes need attending to.

    > Livinston and Penn wrote a paper about reduction in sun spots

    Says nothing about their effect explaining the temperature increases since 1800’s.

    > Upon reflection it might have spencer that said the bit about 3% cloud decrease/increase

    No, YOU are the one who is stating that 3% explains the record.

    You seem to believe this to be an appropriate explanation so you should be able to explain why you believe it’s the 3% reduction of cloud cover, the evidence for it and why it isn’t the 40% increase in CO2.

    > You need to find the study where he talks about the sun moving around the bary centre (centre of mass of the solar system).

    Another attempt to fake comprenesion from you, cracker-ass.

    “Barycenter or barycentre may also refer to the center of mass.”

    No space.

    > He predicted SC23 will be 13 years long, sc24 and 25 will be even longer with very low ssn, whilst all the “experts” predicted the opposite

    So just like “they all predicted global cooling in the 70’s” meme you pouted out before, we’re supposed to take your word for it?

    And he didn’t predict that the changes would be explanation of the temperature trend since the 1800’s.

    > so when i talk about the sun it is not simply a way to shoot down AGW

    May I suggest you go to a different blog

    http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/

    And, since this topic is about how the sun isn’t the cause of the temperature change, the interest of the sun’s spot record has nothing to do with this thread.

    But at least now you’re admitting that your entire screed is irrelevant to the AGW science.

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