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Past studies have shown that sunspot numbers correspond to warming or cooling trends. The twentieth century has featured heightened activity, indicating a warming trend.  (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Solar activity has shown a major spike in the twentieth century, corresponding to global warming. This cyclic variation was acknowledged by a recent NASA study, which reviewed a great deal of past climate data.  (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Report indicates solar cycle has been impacting Earth since the Industrial Revolution

Some researchers believe that the solar cycle influences global climate changes.  They attribute recent warming trends to cyclic variation.  Skeptics, though, argue that there's little hard evidence of a solar hand in recent climate changes.

Now, a new research report from a surprising source may help to lay this skepticism to rest.  A study from
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland looking at climate data over the past century has concluded that solar variation has made a significant impact on the Earth's climate.  The report concludes that evidence for climate changes based on solar radiation can be traced back as far as the Industrial Revolution.

Past research has shown that the sun goes through eleven year cycles.  At the cycle's peak, solar activity occurring near sunspots is particularly intense, basking the Earth in solar heat.  According to Robert Cahalan, a climatologist at the Goddard Space Flight Center, "Right now, we are in between major ice ages, in a period that has been called the Holocene."

Thomas Woods, solar scientist at the University of Colorado in Boulder concludes, "The fluctuations in the solar cycle impacts Earth's global temperature by about 0.1 degree Celsius, slightly hotter during solar maximum and cooler during solar minimum.  The sun is currently at its minimum, and the next solar maximum is expected in 2012."

According to the study, during periods of solar quiet, 1,361 watts per square meter of solar energy reaches Earth's outermost atmosphere.  Periods of more intense activity brought 1.4 watts per square meter (0.1 percent) more energy.

While the NASA study acknowledged the sun's influence on warming and cooling patterns, it then went badly off the tracks.  Ignoring its own evidence, it returned to an argument that man had replaced the sun as the cause current warming patterns.  Like many studies, this conclusion was based less on hard data and more on questionable correlations and inaccurate modeling techniques.

The inconvertible fact, here is that even NASA's own study acknowledges that solar variation has caused climate change in the past.  And even the study's members, mostly ardent supports of AGW theory, acknowledge that the sun may play a significant role in future climate changes.

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RE: Math???
By hlper on 6/4/2009 10:43:34 AM , Rating: 5
then went badly off the tracks. Ignoring its own evidence

I just cannot stand the number of unqualified people willing to judge these scientific papers. The fact is that this global climate change is so multifactorial that science is never going to prove anything is 100%. This means for opponents of doing anything about it that they can always say we just don't know and from a biased perspective they are partially correct.

However, pick up any of the issues of Science or Nature in the last year and it is very likely you will see more articles providing evidence that we have more evidence that we are very likely having a significant impact on the climate. As a graduate student, I read these regularly and haven't seen one article that says there is no human influence on the environment. Scientists who actually know the evidence know that it's good enough to make it a much higher probability that we are influencing climate than not. But why worry, we can just wait until we know for sure, right? I don't have kids, but if you do think about the possibility of getting this question wrong. Read the literature and make up your own mind.

RE: Math???
By stilltrying on 6/4/2009 10:51:17 AM , Rating: 3
Why does carbon levels increase after the temperature increases not vice versa. If it was vice versa you would have a great arguement for man made global warming but since temperature increases precede CO2 increases then that would indicate the sun is more likely the reason for temperature increase.

yutoob - The Great Global Warming Swindle

RE: Math???
By hlper on 6/4/2009 2:32:37 PM , Rating: 4
Honestly, I knew I was wading into dangerous territory with my post. However, it's an important discussion so I dove in anyhow.

I only advocate being an informed consumer of information on this subject. So, I felt the need to make the point that the people doing the actual climate science are almost unanimous on the fact that we are having some impact on our climate. My other point is that we will never be able to completely tease apart the specific contributions of man vs. nature in the environment. The problem is that everyone has taken such an ideological stance on it that you cannot discuss the issue based on probability (as science does), only on certainty, which no one has.

The only people opposed to accepting some human contribution to climate change are those who are politicians, and those who believe them. Believe me, there is a huge push from powerful, lobbying interests out there to discredit the science, but the information they are feeding the American people is wrong.

RE: Math???
By jimbojimbo on 6/5/09, Rating: 0
RE: Math???
By hlper on 6/4/2009 3:34:41 PM , Rating: 4
So, I checked out the video, and it is exactly an example of what I am talking about. What about CO2? It's fair to say that CO2 has become the poster child of evil greenhouse gasses, but it's not the only one. What about sulphur dioxide, or methane? What about deforestation, which increases ground temperatures, or paving growing areas of land. What about changes in plankton populatons which act as CO2 sinks in the oceans. We can all cherry pick the literature and say, see you can't prove humans are doing anything bad, but that's not critical thinking.

And really, a YouTube video as an arguement? Nice production, I wonder who paid for it and why?

RE: Math???
By clovell on 6/4/2009 4:36:55 PM , Rating: 2
Then regulate sulfur dioxide and not the air I breath.

Wonder who paid for Al Gore's movies...

RE: Math???
By hlper on 6/4/2009 5:21:39 PM , Rating: 3
Spin and missinformation on both sides keeps us all from knowing what the truth is, if there is a truth to know.

And, I don't know who paid for Gore's stuff, but I bet they have something to gain from it too. Oh and environmentalists who want us all to give up civilization and head for the woods ;-)

RE: Math???
By Spuke on 6/4/2009 6:27:25 PM , Rating: 2
Oh and environmentalists who want us all to give up civilization and head for the woods and be ruled by them ;-)
Fixed that.

RE: Math???
By karkas on 6/5/2009 7:44:52 PM , Rating: 1
Nice production, I wonder who paid for it and why?

I think it was the BBC or another Gov't funded TV channel.

RE: Math???
By William Gaatjes on 6/6/2009 3:35:52 AM , Rating: 1
Why does carbon levels increase after the temperature increases not vice versa.

Well, my view is that there is a timedelay. It is a chain of events and co2 is part of that chain. Since these effects take time afcourse you will see some delay. It is even possible there is something like a 180 degrees shift between activity on the sun and some increase of the amount of a particular chemical here on earth. What i am saying is that if something happens on the sun, we do not notice it immidiatetly because a whole chain of events has to occur before we see the effects on co2 levels.

I personally do not believe we are responsible for global warming. But we are however responsible for the pollution of our planet. And that is something we have to address or the lives of future generations of humans and all other life on this planet will have a serious problem.

I will give you an example : when oil companies drill for oil they usually find gas too. Gasses like propane, methane, ethane. They sometimes use these gasses as fuel for local refine processes. But usually the oil companies just let the gas burn off. This is called flaring.

Why you ask the oil companies do this ? Because the oil companies find it to costly to process and sell it and the oil companies just let the gas burn off. The other reason is that there will be to much of this gas for sale on the market driving prices and profits down. While keeping the gasses scarse, the oil companies protect their income.
Now this is the kind of mind set that is just plain wrong.

We are talking about millions of cubic meters of gas that is just burned into the atmosphere. This gas can be used for various chemical processes to create plastics but we can also use it as fuel. There are many applications for these gasses. Now this is just NOT NORMAL !.

Unfortunately a real example of man made pollution.

RE: Math???
By FITCamaro on 6/4/09, Rating: -1
RE: Math???
By erple2 on 6/4/2009 2:57:21 PM , Rating: 2
To be fair, the lions share of that debt your kids are saddled with started early in the previous administration's tenure.

And the fact is that we would probably arrive at commercially viable alternative energy for vehicles sooner and we WOULD have more, cleaner power if not for government interference

Is that a fact? Please cite credible references. Otherwise, it's just another blowhard opinion piece.

We get worse mileage due to ethanol and safety standards

Ethanol, I agree with. If ever there was a sham market that existed, it's the current method Ethanol is produced in this country. Maybe we could do better with non-food based Ethanol. Well, that and the Hydrogen Fuel Cell nonsense. Safety standards cost weight. If you're then equating heavier vehicles with worse mileage, then why do you complain about

All we can do is build tiny cars

Tiny cars weigh less, and all other things being equal, are more efficient. Therefore, one effective way to reduce gasoline consumption is to all drive smaller cars. It's that simple. Also, technically we can do the same with less if we buy the smallest automobiles that fit our needs (not our wants).

RE: Math???
By callmeroy on 6/4/2009 4:08:32 PM , Rating: 1
To be fair, the lions share of that debt your kids are saddled with started early in the previous administration's tenure.

I'd like to know your explaination for the quote above...

Some figures:

Obama as of 3/30/09 - has so far spent(*) 2.2 Trillion (*) = 1.2 t in bailouts , 800 b in TARP funds, 600 b budget allocations

The main thing people pin on Bush is the cost of the Iraq war --- I've heard people say that trillions been spent on the war....I'm not supporting the war or against it in this post -- that's not the point of this comment....but 860 billion was spent on the Iraq War up to this point in time (as of 4/09). A lot of money indeed but not HALF of what Obama has spent.

Now if you want to go back and show me that bush spent Trillions I'm sure the information is out there --- but remember.....Bush had 8 *YEARS* to be in office and spend.....Obama has passed 2 trillion in under 8 *MONTHS*.

Note: I really don't care who you doesn't change the fact that our kids will be saddled with the debt of today's bailouts.

RE: Math???
By callmeroy on 6/4/2009 4:10:36 PM , Rating: 2
Math error myself....makes it worse ---- Obama spent 2.6 not 2.2 trillion as of March.

RE: Math???
By OrSin on 6/4/2009 8:04:58 PM , Rating: 4
Yes huge math errors. Obama spend 37 billon of the tarp money bush spent 400 billion of it. Obama programs are set to spend .9 trillion but have only spent $110 billion so far. That means bush spend over $400 in his last 6 months and Obama has spend less then $150 in only 6 months. And have not even added in the Iraq war that is project to cost tax payers 3-5 trillion.

Damn people can really pervert numbers.

RE: Math???
By theapparition on 6/4/2009 8:16:51 PM , Rating: 2
If you really want to get technical, the president can't spend a dime.
However, you can point a finger square at Congress. And Congressional Democrats are to blame.

RE: Math???
By jimbojimbo on 6/5/2009 2:20:03 PM , Rating: 2
And all those suckers that voted all of them in.

RE: Math???
By Triple Omega on 6/4/2009 8:12:37 PM , Rating: 3
But your only comparing money spending now and not damages done. That's like complaining Guy A is spending so much on car-repairs while Guy B is the one who made all the dents and scratches. The money wasn't lost when Guy A spent it on repairs, but when Guy B drove into those trees.

Meaning, you can't blame Obama for the damage control he has to do. After all, he got dropped in the middle of it all and wasn't the cause of it. You can however question his optional spending on things like future technologies, but that isn't the bulk of his spending.

RE: Math???
By FITCamaro on 6/5/2009 6:24:02 AM , Rating: 1
I'm guessing you just watch CNN and MSLSD and drink it all in. Obama did not HAVE to support spending trillions. He wanted to. Our country would be far better off if absolutely nothing was done and the markets were just allowed to correct themselves over time naturally. That doesn't excuse Bush's actions either but one mistake does not mean another even larger one has to be made.

RE: Math???
By ironargonaut on 6/8/2009 12:58:40 PM , Rating: 2
Obama was a member of Congress. Obama supported Freddie Mae and Fannie Mac and the lax regulation thereof. If Obama is not the cause then neither is anyone else.

Using your analogy Guy A bought the drinks for Guy B and encouraged him to race but since Guy B was driving, Guy A holds no responsibility according to you.

RE: Math???
By William Gaatjes on 6/6/2009 4:18:49 AM , Rating: 2
Even if the numbers you use are true, do you really think that the aftermath from that war does not cost the US any money ? People always think that events in time have hard stops and new events take place with a fresh new start. Cause and effect, events fade into eachother...

RE: Math???
By theapparition on 6/4/2009 4:48:23 PM , Rating: 4
Also, technically we can do the same with less if we buy the smallest automobiles that fit our needs (not our wants).

And who do you propose regulates our needs?

RE: Math???
By Spuke on 6/4/2009 6:32:15 PM , Rating: 3
And who do you propose regulates our needs?
Why good folks like erple who only have our best interests at heart, or course. Can someone please explain to me what exactly is a need when most of what we own or want to own is a luxury? Which, for all intents and purposes, is a want?

RE: Math???
By hlper on 6/4/2009 3:38:30 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you on the debt thing whole heartedly. It's depressing to see the current administration keep digging holes that exceed the wildest spending of any previous adminstration. Am I far more worried about it? Let's just say I would rather play it a little safer on both environmental and economic issues. Sooner or later they both may catch up to us.

RE: Math???
By clovell on 6/4/2009 4:37:45 PM , Rating: 2
Economic will do it faster.

RE: Math???
By Suntan on 6/8/2009 3:37:30 PM , Rating: 2
I'm far more worried with the massive debt any children I have will be saddled with due to the current administrations massive spending

I’d be fine to trade twice his current defect if he would just sop telling my son that it is ok to be lazy and expect others to solve your problems for you.

I’m trying to teach my son that he should take responsibility for his own actions. I’m just glad he is too young to realize that his President, and other law makers, are constantly on TV telling him that it is his right as an American to feel betrayed because someone or some group is not helping him out of the messes that he has made either by his actions or his inactions.

Further, I’m glad that it is going over his head that his President is indirectly inferring that his daddy is a “bad guy” just because he prefers to work hard, save that money and use it to better his future life instead of “wanting” to give it out to every deadbeat and “interest group” that have nothing to offer society other than votes on election day.


RE: Math???
By BikeDude on 6/9/2009 8:08:11 AM , Rating: 2
We get worse mileage due to ethanol and safety standards.

I read an interview last year of Mr Bergström who is the CEO of GM Powertrain Sweden.

He states that the current generation of engines sees an increase of 30% consumption when switching from regular to E85. But the next generation sees only a 15% increase.

Diesel engines OTOH will become less efficient to decrease the emission of small particles.

E85 burns clean, diesel (or regular gasoline) does not.

Putting the same requirements for all types of fuel will balance out the differences in mileage.

Personally I think particle emissions is a bad thing and should be eliminated. Like so many here, I care less and less about CO2 emissions.

RE: Math???
By SeeManRun on 6/4/2009 11:00:06 AM , Rating: 2
Not to mention the solar cycle is a cycle every 11 years. Can't have continuous climate change if the temp goes up by .1 degrees and then down .1 degrees. That isn't change, it is called a season (even if it is the sun, it is more like a season)

RE: Math???
By killerroach on 6/4/2009 11:41:08 AM , Rating: 3
The fact is that this global climate change is so multifactorial that science is never going to prove anything is 100%.


In my own field (economics), apart from basic identities of the trade (i.e. how GDP is defined), many of the potential behavior models that are being investigated are so complex that being able to explain even 30% of the variability with a mathematical model is often considered an outstanding result.

And a lot of economic models primarily just deal with human activity. Climate science, in one form or another, has to take into account the near entirety of all forces in the universe that could act upon the Earth. Being able to directly explain even 20% of variability to one factor, barring massive structural change (which, in the case of the Earth, isn't really going to happen), is quite significant.

RE: Math???
By Suntan on 6/8/2009 3:28:05 PM , Rating: 1
As a graduate student, I read these regularly...

Wow. A grad student, living in academia, that thinks they know the solution to life based on reading journals. How novel….

Sorry, but color me unimpressed. Come back and talk to us when you have had a chance to live in the real world for a little bit.

As a person that has made his living by dealing with the fallout of bad government mandates based upon these types of journal publications, let me say that anyone claiming they know what is really happening is trying to get published, nothing more.

I don't have kids, but if you do think about the possibility of getting this question wrong.

Ah the old classic: “The results would be so bad that it is worth doing something about no matter what the odds are that it might happen…” amped up by adding the old: "Won’t somebody think about the children!" bit.

By that logic all of us that have children should house them in bunkers at least a mile underground… …you know, there’s always a chance that a meteorite could land on them.


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