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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 ironargonaut on 6/8/2009 3:21:15 AM , Rating: 1
all you would expect to see is a sine wave with slightly increasing amplitude towards the end when graphing average temperatures.

Using this logic the sun could never cause the global temperature to drop below 0.1C from a certain point. Since, the minima is almost always the same that means any change from one minima to the next must be from man, according to you. If that is the case how do you explain the Maunder Minimum. Using your theory the temperature should not have changed by more then 0.1C. Unless, somehow man was causing the cooling. The more likely scenario which you completely ignore is that the effect is cumalative. That is many low maxima cause eventual cooling trend and many high maxima cause a rising trend in surface energy. Temp is a piss poor measurement to begin with. Energy is the real measurement.

So the average would have to increase by 100 sunspots for every 0.1 degree of observed warming, for solar activity to be the primary culprit.

Why? Where is it written this must happen? You claim to comprehend that global warming is complex. Yet you take too sets of numbers that are purported cause and effect and since their relationship is not linear you claim one couldn't be the primary influence on the other.

It is you who is trying to BS people. I agree with the author that NASA AGW supporters acknowledging the relationship between sunspots and GW is significant. A sunspot is a visible manifestation of a solar phenomea. It is binary, while the phenomina is variable. Using sunspots is like a deaf man using a lightbulb to measure a radio stations effect. You know when it was on and for how long. But, you don't know what song was being broadcast and what the strength of the signal was. All you can measure is the overall increase in human energy when the bulb is on more frequently.

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