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Global Warming Explained
Climate forecasts
What is wrong with the forecasts
The solar constant
The Little Ice Age
Is the Earth warming up or not?
Tree rings
Droughts, sand dunes, and wells that dry up
Greenhouse gases
Glaciers, polar ice and rising oceans
If only we had a bit of global warming

Global Warming Explained


Blame sun for global warming:

Science proving that industry is off the hook for Mother Nature's woes [note]

Sunday 2 December 2001, p. A18

By Lorne Gunter

I first encountered the idea that the sun was the dominant force in climate change a little more than a decade ago.

In the early 1990s, scientists from Cambridge University compared known sunspot activity with shipwreck records from Lloyd's of London. While not direct proof of cause and effect, there were stunning parallels

Reliable records of sunspot activity go back to the early 17th century when Galileo and others began making the first telescopic observations. Lloyd's has been keeping reliable records of maritime losses and causes since the late 18th century.

Exempting out manmade disasters, such as ships lost to war, scuttling, sabotage or drunken skippers, the rise and fall in the number of sinkings due to ocean storms matched almost exactly the rise and fall in solar activity. The implication was that as the sun has roiled or rested, the sea has absorbed more or less solar energy, and churned or calmed on roughly equal time scales.

These results, of course, do not prove the sun is the major instigator of global heating and cooling, although such a conclusion should be self-evident. For decades, school children have been taught that the temperature on the dark side of the moon -- the side perpetually away from the sun -- is so cold it would freeze anything in an instant, while on the sunny side an unprotected astronaut would bake in a flash.

We all know winter is colder than summer because the latitudes experiencing winter are tipped away from the sun. Even cavemen knew day was warmer than night, and probably the cleverer ones, feeling the sun beating down on their low foreheads, figured out why.

But still, in the debate on global warming, suggestions that solar activity might be behind the slight warming of the earth in the past century-and-a-half are routinely dismissed. The early supercomputer models that first claimed to show a massive warming is coming over the next 100 years failed to account at all for solar flares, sunspots, solar brightening or solar winds. Even the better, newer climate models, which still show moderate to massive warming, fail to account adequately for the sun's influence, although the scientists are now making basic efforts to.

Scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the Mount Wilson Observatory, at Columbia University, at the European particle physics centre in Geneva, the Eugene Parker Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research at the University of Chicago, and Britain's Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford have all demonstrated that major warming and cooling periods have corresponded precisely with periods in which some solar activity or other was markedly above or below normal.

Indeed, shortly after sunspots began to be charted accurately, they seemed to disappear. Between 1645 and 1715, an era known as the Maunder Minimum, almost none were observed. Not coincidentally, that was also the deepest trough of the last major cooling, the Little Ice Age. Seventeen of the past 19 global warmings, over the past tens of thousands of years, correspond with increased solar activity.

Theodor Landscheidt at Nova Scotia's Schroeter Institute for Research in Cycles of Solar Activity, has shown quite conclusively that the sun waxes and wanes on quite predictable 11-year cycles, which can be moderated or intensified by longer-range, but more irregular cycles. Landscheidt, as a result, is unpopular with the UN scientists in charge of pushing the manmade global warming theory. In 1995, they wrote that the sun's effect on climate in the 20th century "has been considerably smaller than the anthropogenic (manmade effect)." But Landscheidt has demonstrated that "a change of 0.1 per cent (in solar energy) effective during a very long interval can release a real ice age."

For some reason, despite all this research, most climate scientists have clung to the "solar constant," the notion that the sun more or less shone steadily and that its variations had little impact on climate change.

Now, that may be about to change. Gerard Bond of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, along with nine other experts on oceans, environmental physics, tree-ring formation and glaciation from around the world, have examined the rates of deposit of tiny particles from melting icebergs in the North Atlantic.

And what have they found? Why, lo and behold, during periods of increased sun strength, the oceans have warmed and the bergs have melted more rapidly. The correlation is so strong, that one scientist who formerly blamed man's industrial activity for global warming told Science magazine, the solar theory "is now the leading hypothesis."

Blaming the industrialized world for global warming, and urging international regulation of industry is misguided. It's putting the ideological horse before the scientific cart.

Edmonton Journal

Note: Lorne Gunter commented privately (he didn't pick the sub-heading), industry is off the hook as far as global warming goes, not with respect to other problems, such as environmental pollution that causes the feminization of fish and men and a slew of other problems that we do have to come to terms with and that we can do something about. 
   However, we can't do anything about the Sun and its influence on the weather, no matter how much the David Suzukis of the world and our poor uniformly uninformed politicians struggle and try to convince us otherwise, and no matter how many more calamities like the Kyoto Accord will be rammed down our throats. —WHS

Index to more of Lorne Gunter's articles on global warming and on the Kyoto accord

The calculations done by General Circulation Models (GCMs) are the main source of the information that fuels the global warming hysteria.  Nevertheless, not one of them comes acceptably close to accurately calculating what the climate presently is at any location, let alone of the whole Earth.  Not only that, but all of the GCMs differ widely from one another as to what the climate was in the past, and as to what it is supposed to be in the future.

Therein lies the problem.  No one in his right mind will base any decisions about the future on tools that cannot determine with acceptable accuracy what the present is and the past was.

Next Page: Additional References and Links

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Posted 2002 09 26 (page broken up into several pages)
2002 10 28 (inserted link to index to more of Lorne Gunter's articles)