Solar Activity and Global Warming

Posted: 01/07/2009 by that's Elbert in science, Weather
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There’s one gripe I’ve had since the cooler weather invasion. Our area keeps “dodging the bullet” when it comes to snow. It will get real cold, then warm up just in time for some rain. At the same time, there’s that inner conviction that I should be grateful for what we have. With that, I attempt to close my mouth and check my heart.

I have wrote all that to attempt to lead into these clips from Alex Gimarc’s Interesting Items where he discusses the effects of the sun on what is called “global warming.” First, here is a story from back in September 29, 2008 edition:

A NASA press release Tuesday reported that Ulysses, a probe that has been in solar polar orbit since 1992, found the weakest solar wind outflow at the solar poles over the last 50 years. The more active the sun is, the stronger the flow of the solar wind is. When the sun is not active, the less the solar wind flows. Why is this important? It is important because the solar wind tends to protect the solar system from external cosmic rays. The stronger the solar wind, the fewer cosmic rays get through. Last year, there was a paper that described the connection between solar activity and global warming and cooling. During periods of quiet solar activity, more cosmic rays impact the atmosphere, triggering cloud formation, which in turn reflect off more incoming solar energy and cooling the earth. Now that we have actually measured a significant decrease in solar wind outflow, I wonder how long it will be before the greens blame that on mankind also.

Here is a story in the January 5, 2009 edition:

Lack of sunspots and long solar cycles correlate very well with cold weather here on earth.  2008 ended with the second fewest days without sunspots since 1900, at 266 days.  The worst year, one of three in the top ten years with the fewest sunspots from 1912-1914 had 311 days without any sunspots.  The solar astronomers are still in the midst of an extended argument about what Solar Cycle 24 will end up being, as the four different prediction techniques are predicting either a very quiet next cycle or a very active one.  According to a briefing given in Berkeley late last year, the solar astronomers believe they will know by 2010 and be able to analyze the differing theories and figure out why some were predictive and others were not.  Regardless of what happens to the predictions, this year is shaping up to be a pretty cold one, if this winter so far is any indication.

Unlike the global warming alarmists, the solar astronomers are doing actual science.  There is no consensus. When the observations differ from the predictions, unlike Hansen and the boys and girls at Goddard, the do not cook or revise and scrub the data so that it meets their preconceived conclusions. And they don’t shut off funding from those that publish something different from what the powers that be want published. In other words, they do actual science. They observe. They compare observations and measurements with theory. And they modify theory to match the observations. What a concept. The global warming alarmists are the worst thing to happen to the scientific community since political correctness happened to the humanities or Lysenko happened to biological research inside the USSR during Stalin’s reign of terror.

With this story following:

Anchorage was hit with one of the coldest snaps in nearly a decade last week, with lows here in town getting down to -20 to -25 degrees F by weeks end.  There are parts of the state that are over fifty below zero.  This is a bit unusual, as this sort of cold snap does not normally settle in until late January – February.  It is a fitting end to a year with one of the coldest summers on record.  The real unfortunate part of the cold snap is that there is over two feet of snow on the ground here in Anchorage and the cross country ski trails are in superb condition – providing of course, that you can stand being outside at ten to twenty below zero – which quickly ends up being more work than fun.  If this global warming keeps up, we are going to need thicker parkas up here.

Alex recommends a couple of web sites: ICECAPDr. Roy SpencerSolar Cycle 24. Alex Gimarc hails from Alaska and writes the Interesting Items newsletter. Special thanks to Alex for allowing these reprints.

  1. Fran Manns, Ph.D., P.Geo. (Ontario) says:

    Keeping in mind that windmills are hazardous to birds, be wary of the unintended consequences of believing and contributing to the all-knowing environmental lobby groups.
    Water vapour is the most important green house gas followed by methane. The third important greenhouse gas is CO2, and it does not correlate well with global warming or cooling either; in fact, CO2 in the atmosphere trails warming which is clear natural evidence for its well-studied inverse solubility in water: CO2 dissolves in cold water and bubbles out of warm water. The equilibrium in seawater is very high, making seawater a great ‘sink’; CO2 is 34 times more soluble in water than air is soluble in water.
    Correlation is not causation to be sure. The causation has been studied, however, and while the radiation from the sun varies only in the fourth decimal place, the magnetism is awesome.
    “Using a box of air in a Copenhagen lab, physicists traced the growth of clusters of molecules of the kind that build cloud condensation nuclei. These are specks of sulphuric acid on which cloud droplets form. High-energy particles driven through the laboratory ceiling by exploded stars far away in the Galaxy – the cosmic rays – liberate electrons in the air, which help the molecular clusters to form much faster than climate scientists have modeled in the atmosphere. That may explain the link between cosmic rays, cloudiness and climate change.”
    As I understand it, the hypothesis of the Danish National Space Center goes as follows:
    Quiet sun → reduced magnetic and thermal flux = reduced solar wind → geomagnetic shield drops → galactic cosmic ray flux → more low-level clouds and more snow → more albedo effect (more heat reflected) → colder climate
    Active sun → enhanced magnetic and thermal flux = solar wind → geomagnetic shield response → less low-level clouds → less albedo (less heat reflected) → warmer climate
    That is how the bulk of climate change might work, coupled with (modulated by) sunspot peak frequency there are cycles of global warming and cooling like waves in the ocean. When the waves are closely spaced, the planets warm; when the waves are spaced farther apart, the planets cool.
    The ultimate cause of the solar magnetic cycle may be cyclicity in the Sun-Jupiter centre of gravity. We await more on that. In addition, although the post 60s warming period is over, it has allowed the principal green house gas, water vapour, to kick in with humidity, clouds, rain and snow depending on where you live to provide the negative feedback that scientists use to explain the existence of complex life on Earth for 550 million years. The planet heats and cools naturally and our gasses are the thermostat.
    Check the web site of the Danish National Space Center.

  2. Dr Manns – Thanks for saying very well what I tried to say very poorly. Here’s a funny, true and awful story about water vapor and global warming: A couple of years ago I had the unfortunate opportunity to listen to one of the congressional staffers for Senator Lisa Murkowski (R, AK) make a presentation about impending carbon taxes. After the presentation and Q&A session, I asked him how congress could possible justify regulating carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas when water vapor was responsible for 90-98% of the effect. He looked at me in horror and said carbon dioxide regualtions were bad enough and they didn’t want the democrats to start regulating that (water vapor) either. I asked him how it would be possible to control water vapor emissions as long as we had these things called oceans that were the worst emitters of water vapor. At that point, the discussion ended.