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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 SonnoS on 6/8/2009 2:26:41 PM , Rating: 2
I haven't been following this for too long, about the past three years seriously and six years as a hobby.

The rabbit hole goes as follows:
The green house gas that affects the planet's warming cycle the most during hot periods of the sun's cylce is actually water in gas form (vapor). Water molecules in "vapor" groups act like "reflectors" or even "amplifiers" depending upon what frequency and angle of intersection of the ray in question is.

For the most part, there has been a considerable increase in the upper-atmospheric water vapor layers that act like a prism as the light enters seperating the full spectrum light into various seperate bands of frequencies which in turn releases more UV radiation onto the earth's surface. Since UV bounces off of most surfaces unlike that of pure full spectrum light it then heads back up to the vapor heavy atmosphere and a larger percentage of the UV is bounced back down towards the surface.

At 0.1 degree change over time could create a cascading warming cycle and coupled with the additional green house gases we are emitting we then can add additional warming elements to the earth as a whole.

So, it wouldn't amaze me to see NASA falling back to the increased radiation from the Sun as being a major contributor to the raise in global warming as it isn't new knowledge that the sun goes through cycles.

Some interesting topics regarding this concept fall into the following categories:
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Theory that our solar system is actuall a Bi-Solar System. In this model, as the second sun to the system "got relatively closer" it would then create a gravitational strain on our sun and would create more solar activity and emissions. This theory also claims this additional sun is the cause behind additional "wobble" found within the local/known planets within this system.

Theory that we are passing through the "center plane" of our galaxy and how that could affect solar activity as we approach the "zero point plane". This, from what I have seen and found so far, isn't going to happen for awhile. However, there are those who believe the contrary. I don't take sides on this issue as my math skills and knowledge is too limited to have an opinion.

Radical theory that there is an additional (Planet X) planet that passes through our system every "#" of years. The only historical evidence from this is said to be pulled from the Summerian texts as well as the additional "wobble" theory behind the yet to be discovered reason behind an additional influencing external force that is adding a "wobble" to all planets' orbits.

There is also evidence and a group of scientists that believe the Al Gore camp didn't look at the full data from the ice core samples and that the carbon dioxide emissions didn't lead (wasn't the cause) to the raise in temperature, but rather the opposite in which the temperature raised and carbon dioxide emissions increased (which is supported by the additional water vapor and water vapor reflective properties theory previously described).
------------------------------------------------- ---------

So, the bottom line is that the planet is changing, and most of us (or at least those who can make a difference) are more concerned about local political matters as opposed to possibly much more concerning matters as "what will happen to this planet in 3 years, 10 years, 20 years?".

Speculation is cool and I love checking out sites like these, however I believe (trying not to bring too much politics into this) that until we can all realize that we are all "the same" and on "the same boat" and come to a "peaceful means of existance" with each other on this planet... truthfully it doesn't matter if we find the answer to something good or bad. We will always be more focused on our microcosmic world and never focused enough to prepare for something bad or take full advantage of something truly fantastic.

Our earth has cycles, the sun has cycles, our system has cycles, the galaxy has cycles, and many theories revolve around the universe having cycles... so the fact that NASA finally has confirmed that the Sun is not a constant and does change in a cyclical fashion should not create speculation as to whether the current mathematical models work, but rather all of those of you who are brilliant with math and have probably way more knowledge than someone such as myself should possibly spend your free time not arguing what is possible based on what you learned in college, but perhaps spend time trying to figure out if it is even possible... and doing so by working outside the boundaries of what society has deemed "right and wrong".

Obviously, being and older person myself, the older folks on this planet don't know everything and many are stuck within their sociologically confined "boxes"...not to their own fault but more of a socially ingrained way of thinking.

So... yeah...I would say that our planet is receiving more radiation from the general direction of our sun relative to our planet's position... and yes it very well could, over time, create a cascading increase in total global temperature especially if we continue to add to the green house gas all green house gas emissions at this point of the cycle of the sun will do nothing but help increase the global temperature which will only create more water vapor which, in turn, will continue to amplify raditation trapped within our atmosphere.

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