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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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Numerical Models
By drilloil on 6/6/2009 12:36:38 PM , Rating: 2
Atmospheric Numerical Models

The prediction of catastrophic global warming is largely based upon the projections of extremely complicated atmospheric models attempting to model the entire planet with equations and data relationships that at best are only marginally understood.

Atmospheric models divide the entire earth into a 3 dimensional grid blocks and find numerical solutions to partial differential equations that are created by calculating the relationship and effects of one block to each block around it. This is further complicated by the relationship of the grid blocks that are next to “phase changes” for want of a better term. The gaseous atmosphere block’s relationship that is in contact with the ocean (liquid phase) or land mass (solid phase) or the edge of space (no phase?) is at best poorly understood. Since a minor error effects the entire calculation of the model then if one relationship on energy exchange is in error then the entire model becomes suspect. To date none of the models that laymen often use to support their conclusion has been able to history match actual results. When the models are taken back to 1900 and actual data is input virtually every model predicts that current temperatures should be 4-6 degrees centigrade higher than we currently experience. The models are then manipulated changing the equations and relationships to force a match that may or may not have scientific reality. In short one model may change the energy from the sun to a lower level in order to reduce temperature in order to get a history match, then use the model with this error to project forward leaving the greenhouse effects of carbon dioxide the same, while it may be more logical to reduce the effect of CO2 to make the model history match. There are a myriad of relationships of this nature that can be adjusted in the models from changing the effect of cloud cover both a heat retention blanket or as a sunlight reflective agent. Minor changes in the equations can have a dramatic effect on the models predictions. In short, one can make these models predict anything the modeler wants and yet still appear to be reasonable, because the models are so complicated and the relationships between cells particularly at the phase transition boundaries are largely unknown.

If this isn’t complicated enough, throw in non-linear discontinuous variables such as volcanic eruptions, sunspot cycle variations, deforestation, re-forestation, etc and the models even if reasonably able to predict a linear progression now have no chance of being any thing close to reality.

Nevertheless, these model results are currently being used to scare the world into economic chaos under the presumption that they are reliable predictors of things to come. The people that apparently believe the predictions constantly find data to support their conclusion and ignore anything that doesn’t support their conclusion whether it matches the model or not. Then the model creator as stated previously adjusts the model to fit the data that makes sure to predict catastrophe.

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