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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: DT -- wake up! You're posting idiotic articles!
By lunker on 6/4/2009 5:54:03 PM , Rating: 1
If you read my comment carefully, you will note that I never mention having a specific viewpoint on this issue. As a scientist, I would generally tend to believe the side with the most compelling evidence. At the moment, proponents of anthropogenic global warming have the overwhelming advantage in that respect. However, I am fully open to evidence from both sides. In any case, my criticism was not leveled at the idea, but rather at the style of writing, which is undeniably biased. An article like this has no place on a site like daily tech. I would expect to see writing of this caliber on a 911-truther or creationist website. This type of writing reeks of desperation and only the hardest of fanatics would not be able to see through it, hence my comment. Classic human illiteracy on your part.

RE: DT -- wake up! You're posting idiotic articles!
By Spuke on 6/5/2009 11:37:29 AM , Rating: 2
The best part is that he's attracted a loyal following of people who actually buy everything he says. I can understand rallying behind someone who supports your point of view, but even fanatics have to have some kind of standards.
And this statement is not taking a side? BTW, you don't actually have to say "I take a side" in order to take a side. Those that manipulate are very good at this tactic. If you truly were in the middle you would be careful not to alienate anyone when discussing hot topics by using words like fanatic. No illiteracy here, just pointing out your bias and hypocrisy.

By lunker on 6/6/2009 3:36:36 AM , Rating: 2
Let me try one last time to get across my idea. My criticism is of Andrews/Asher's writing style and appropriateness for this website. In what is supposed to be a news post , he dug up a year old study and interpreted something quite different from its actual conclusion. If this were a blog post or an editorial, he could ramble all he wants, and I would not care. However, this is supposed to be a news post on a tech website and it is neither news nor tech. As for your accusations of bias or taking a side on my part, let me point out that I am not making a news post, I am posting my opinion of one. If you don't know the difference between being biased and expressing an opinion, and the appropriateness of each, please go educate yourself on the difference. Also, a quick look at every single post you made in this thread and at a scattering of your 2500+ posts on this website reveals a very clear bias on your part. Those with heads made of glass should not throw stones.

Since you haven't actually been able to defend Andrews/Asher, I'm going to assume that you agree with me and move on.

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