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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 knutjb on 6/5/2009 1:19:31 PM , Rating: 0
You are stuck in a bit of a quandary, on the one hand you bought the global warming thing hook line and sinker, on the other hand here is yet another discounted piece of the puzzle that DOES have significant impact and clearly pulls down a large part of the GW argument.

The end of the world from man made causes mob has had a long history of flaws.
1. A number of weather monitoring stations have their instruments located too close to heat sources i.e. near air conditioning equipment or asphalt parking lots causing as much as a 5C rise in readings skewing results.
2. The researchers algorithms did not properly account for many obvious variables like the centrifugal effect for ocean levels or the aforementioned sun.

This is a long term processes where aggressive action will cause more harm than slower, rational research with a sensible outcome that has factored all possibilities. I don't buy the one simple solution to all our woes, STOP CO2 and all will be good. It's never that simple.

The global warming frenzy follows the saccharin sweetener scare over cancer, only bigger and crazier. The media and interest groups went wacko on one single preliminary test of saccharin. It was a simple test to sort out possible carcinogens for further study. The doctor who developed it, I forget his name it was the 80s, told everyone it was not designed as an infallible tool, just one to sort and that regular white mushrooms were 9 times more carcinogenic than saccharin in the same test and one would have to swallow tens of gallons of saccharin soda daily to pose a minor threat. He was ignored and finally after long term FDA research saccharin was re-approved for human consumption. Morale of the story, research takes decades and any preliminary data must be scrutinized as to its validity without the end of the world paranoia mindset criticizing anyone who doubts the outcome as a holocaust denier for having spoke such thoughts.

The GW crowd is a MOB MENTALITY and mobs are incapable of rational thought or actions and that is who you want me to follow? I want cleaner air but at a rational pace using rational, reasonable processes that don't kill our economy while other countries are laughing their collective a**es off at us i.e. China, India, Russia, Venezuela, Brazil, Iran...etc.

This is a work in progress, don't jump to conclusions.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad
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