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.
quote: then went badly off the tracks. Ignoring its own evidence
quote: The only people opposed to accepting some human contribution to climate change are those who are politicians
quote: Oh and environmentalists who want us all to give up civilization and head for the woods and be ruled by them ;-)
quote: Nice production, I wonder who paid for it and why?
quote: Why does carbon levels increase after the temperature increases not vice versa.
quote: 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
quote: We get worse mileage due to ethanol and safety standards
quote: All we can do is build tiny cars
quote: To be fair, the lions share of that debt your kids are saddled with started early in the previous administration's tenure.
quote: Also, technically we can do the same with less if we buy the smallest automobiles that fit our needs (not our wants).
quote: And who do you propose regulates our needs?
quote: I'm far more worried with the massive debt any children I have will be saddled with due to the current administrations massive spending
quote: We get worse mileage due to ethanol and safety standards.
quote: The fact is that this global climate change is so multifactorial that science is never going to prove anything is 100%.
quote: As a graduate student, I read these regularly...
quote: I don't have kids, but if you do think about the possibility of getting this question wrong.