Posts Tagged ‘solar effects on climate’

Droughts on the Tibetan plateau coincide with grand solar minima

May 14, 2012

Yet another paper indicating that climate and solar behaviour are related – at least over the Tibetan plateau and at least over the last 1000 years.

Tree ring based precipitation reconstruction in the south slope of the middle Qilian Mountains, northeastern Tibetan Plateau, over the last millennium

by Junyan Sun and Yu Liu,  Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an, China


Reconstruction of precipitation amounts for the edge of the Tibet Plateau. The bars on the chart depict prominent weak phases of solar activity, which correspond to Om = Oort Minimum; Wm = Wolf Minimum; Sm = Spörer Minimum; Mm = Maunder Minimum; Dm = Dalton Minimum). Figure from: Sun & Liu (2012).

Geologist Dr. Sebastian Lüning and chemist Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt have written a summary of this paper (in German), and this translation is from P Gosselin at NoTricksZone

New Study of the Tibet Plateau: Whenever Solar Activity is Weak, the Rains Disappear
By Sebastian Lüning and Fritz Vahrenholt

The Tibet Plateau is at 3000 to 5000 meters elevation and is the highest and (most) expansive high plateau on Earth. Therefore it reacts sensitively to climate changes. Junyan Sun and Yu Liu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences studied tree rings in the northwest plateau edge from two living 1000 year old trees. Tree growth in the area of study is particularly sensitive to the amount of precipitation. (more…)

Solar effects on climate – evidence mounts that the Little Ice Age was a global event

May 9, 2012

And another paper showing that the Little Ice Age was a global event.It is highly probable that the LIA was related to the solar effects which gave a dearth of sunspots during the Maunder Minimum.

GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 39, L09710, 7 PP., 2012, doi:10.1029/2012GL051260

Little Ice Age cold interval in West Antarctica: Evidence from borehole temperature at the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide


Anais J. Orsi , Bruce D. Cornuelle, Jeffrey P. Severinghaus – Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA


New study shows solar minimum does cause climate cooling

May 7, 2012

A new paper in Nature Geoscience shows that solar grand minima do indeed cause cooling of the climate in Europe. Around 2800 years ago, one of these Grand Solar Minima, the Homeric Minimum, caused a distinct climatic change in less than a decade in Western Europe. The forcing mechanisms still remain unclear but the evidence that solar effects are significant and cannot be ignored are mounting and persuasive. Now as we enter (or have already entered) a new solar minimum it remains to be seen as to whether this (Landscheidt?) Minimum will be a grand minimum to compare with the Maunder Minimum. In any event a period of global cooling seems likely.

In contrast, the evidence for any anthropogenic effects on climate is still non-existent though political and alarmist theories abound. There is as yet no direct evidence that man-made carbon dioxide emissions has any significant effect on global warming.

Regional atmospheric circulation shifts induced by a grand solar minimum by Celia Martin-Puertas, Katja Matthes, Achim Brauer, Raimund Muscheler, Felicitas Hansen, Christof Petrick, Ala Aldahan, Göran Possnert & Bas van Geel

Nature Geoscience (2012) doi:10.1038/ngeo1460


Bicentennial cycle of deep cooling starting in 2014 – another little ice age in 2055±11 years

February 1, 2012

Well now!!!

Perhaps this just panders to my opinions but I find this more convincing than the Hockey Stick.

A new paper in Applied Physics Research:

Bicentennial Decrease of the Total Solar Irradiance Leads to Unbalanced Thermal Budget of the Earth and the Little Ice Age by Habibullo I. Abdussamatov, Pulkovo Observatory of the Russian Academy of Science, St. Petersburg, 196140, Russia

Applied Physics Research   ISSN 1916-9639 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9647 (Online)


Temporal changes in the power of the longwave radiation of the system Earth-atmosphere emitted to space always lag behind changes in the power of absorbed solar radiation due to slow change of its enthalpy. That is why the debit and credit parts of the average annual energy budget of the terrestrial globe with its air and water envelope are practically always in an unbalanced state. Average annual balance of the thermal budget of the system Earth-atmosphere during long time period will reliably determine the course and value of both an energy excess accumulated by the Earth or the energy deficit in the thermal budget which, with account for data of the TSI forecast, can define and predict well in advance the direction and amplitude of the forthcoming climate changes. From early 90s we observe bicentennial decrease in both the TSI and the portion of its energy absorbed by the Earth. The Earth as a planet will henceforward have negative balance in the energy budget which will result in the temperature drop in approximately 2014. Due to increase of albedo and decrease of the greenhouse gases atmospheric concentration the absorbed portion of solar energy and the influence of the greenhouse effect will additionally decline. The influence of the consecutive chain of feedback effects which can lead to additional drop of temperature will surpass the influence of the TSI decrease. The onset of the deep bicentennial minimum of TSI is expected in 2042±11, that of the 19th Little Ice Age in the past 7500 years – in 2055±11.

The full paper (pdf) is here: Abdussamatov App Physics Research


Solar science re-emerging? and about time too!

October 12, 2011

It has always struck me as incredibly arrogant and amazingly stupid that the climate “scientists” have ignored the effects of the sun for 2 decades – presumably because:

  1. they did not understand the sun,
  2. doomsday scenarios were better for getting funding,
  3. they had such an overweening conviction about man made effects, and
  4. they actually believed their computer models were the greatest thing since sliced bread!
Perhaps that is changing. As Paul Hudson signs off his column on the BBC Weather blog:
This is an exciting time for solar physics, and its role in climate. As one leading climate scientist told me last month, it’s a subject that is now no longer taboo. And about time, too.
Related: New Scientist permits the sun to join the climate club

New papers confirm solar effects could bring on little ice ages

October 10, 2011

There seems to be a renewal of interest in solar effects on climate change and especially on little ice ages. It would be too much to expect an early abandonment of the carbon dioxide hypothesis. Equally unlikely is any acknowledgement that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is of insignificant influence for climate. But the acknowledgement of solar influences on climate helps to redress some of the balance.

The UK Met office research referred to in yesterday’s Sunday Times article might well refer to this paper in Nature Geoscience published online yesterday which makes the link between UV radiation variation during solar cycles and cold winters in the Northern hemisphere. The authors are from the Met Office Hadley Centre, Oxford and Imperial College.

Solar forcing of winter climate variability in the Northern Hemisphere by Sarah Ineson, Adam A. Scaife, Jeff R. Knight, James C. Manners, Nick J. Dunstone, Lesley J. Gray & Joanna D. Haigh  Nature Geoscience (2011) doi:10.1038/ngeo1282

Sarah Ineson – Met Office Hadley Centre, FitzRoy Road, Exeter, Devon EX1 3PB, UK 

Abstract:An influence of solar irradiance variations on Earth’s surface climate has been repeatedly suggested, based on correlations between solar variability and meteorological variables. Specifically, weaker westerly winds have been observed in winters with a less active sun, for example at the minimum phase of the 11-year sunspot cycle. With some possible exceptions, it has proved difficult for climate models to consistently reproduce this signal. Spectral Irradiance Monitor satellite measurements indicate that variations in solar ultraviolet irradiance may be larger than previously thought. Here we drive an ocean–atmosphere climate model with ultraviolet irradiance variations based on these observations. We find that the model responds to the solar minimum with patterns in surface pressure and temperature that resemble the negative phase of the North Atlantic or Arctic Oscillation, of similar magnitude to observations. In our model, the anomalies descend through the depth of the extratropical winter atmosphere. If the updated measurements of solar ultraviolet irradiance are correct, low solar activity, as observed during recent years, drives cold winters in northern Europe and the United States, and mild winters over southern Europe and Canada, with little direct change in globally averaged temperature. Given the quasiregularity of the 11-year solar cycle, our findings may help improve decadal climate predictions for highly populated extratropical regions.

A sceond paper in Nature Geoscience also released online yesterday reports that simulations with a climate model using new observations of solar variability suggest a substantial influence of the Sun on the winter climate in the Northern Hemisphere.

Atmospheric science: Solar cycle and climate predictions by Katja Matthes Nature Geoscience (2011) doi:10.1038/ngeo1298

Katja Matthes is at the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany

Interestingly a paper from 2001 with Michael Mann and Gavin Schmidt  (of climategate infamy) as co-authors has similar findings:

Solar Forcing of Regional Climate Change During the Maunder Minimum by Drew T. Shindell, Gavin A. Schmidt, Michael E. Mann, David Rind and Anne Waple,  Science 7 December 2001: Vol. 294 no. 5549 pp. 2149-2152 DOI: 10.1126/science.1064363

Abstract:We examine the climate response to solar irradiance changes between the late 17th-century Maunder Minimum and the late 18th century. Global average temperature changes are small (about 0.3° to 0.4°C) in both a climate model and empirical reconstructions. However, regional temperature changes are quite large. In the model, these occur primarily through a forced shift toward the low index state of the Arctic Oscillation/North Atlantic Oscillation as solar irradiance decreases. This leads to colder temperatures over the Northern Hemisphere continents, especially in winter (1° to 2°C), in agreement with historical records and proxy data for surface temperatures.

Update! The BBC reports on this story here but takes great care to pay due respect to global warming orthodoxy with the statement “The researchers emphasise there is no impact on global warming”.

Of course not – It’s only the sun stupid! And what can the sun possibly have to do with warming the planet?!


Colder winters to come and solar influence on climate beginning to get its due

Is the Landscheidt minimum a precursor for a grand minimum? 

Net effect of clouds on climate is strongly cooling and not of warming

September 21, 2011

During daytime clouds shadow the earth from the sun’s radiation and have a cooling effect while at night they act as a blanket and decrease the radiation away from earth into space. For anybody who has desperately sought the shade on a warm day or has observed the absence of frost after a cloudy night, this might seem a pretty obvious and a rather trivial statement.

The alarmists’ view of global warming assumes that the net effect of clouds is to warm the earth’s climate and that it is one of the “positive feedbacks” for warming. But a new paper in September’s Meteorological Applications severely undermines these assumptions by showing that this feedback is strongly negative. To put the magnitude of this cooling effect into perspective, the net cooling effect of clouds is put at -21W/sq.m while the much-touted effect of a doubling of carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere is supposed to be only +1.2W/sq.m.

When this is coupled to the recent support for Svensmark’s hypothesis  on solar effects for cloud formation from the CERN cloud experiment, and the lack of warming over the last decade  while carbon dioxide has been increasing, it only emphasises that:

  1. the science of how climate varies is a long way from being settled, and
  2. the magnitude of carbon dioxide effects on climate are extremely small, and
  3. the effect of man-made emissions on the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is miniscule

Whether directly by incoming radiation or indirectly by the formation of clouds or through the transport of heat by the oceans and the winds, it is the sun which is the predominant forcing. Climate models which ignore solar effects and do not have the sun at their centre are fatally flawed.

Allan, R. (2011) Combining satellite data and models to estimate cloud radiative effect at the surface and in the atmosphere, Meteorological Applications, 18 (3). pp. 324-333, ISSN 1469-8080, DOI: 10.1002/met.285

Abstract: Satellite measurements and numerical forecast model reanalysis data are used to compute an updated estimate of the cloud radiative effect on the global multi-annual mean radiative energy budget of the atmosphere and surface. The cloud radiative cooling effect through reflection of short wave radiation dominates over the long wave heating effect, resulting in a net cooling of the climate system of − 21 Wm−2. The short wave radiative effect of cloud is primarily manifest as a reduction in the solar radiation absorbed at the surface of − 53 Wm−2. Clouds impact long wave radiation by heating the moist tropical atmosphere (up to around 40 Wm−2 for global annual means) while enhancing the radiative cooling of the atmosphere over other regions, in particular higher latitudes and sub-tropical marine stratocumulus regimes. While clouds act to cool the climate system during the daytime, the cloud greenhouse effect heats the climate system at night. The influence of cloud radiative effect on determining cloud feedbacks and changes in the water cycle are discussed. 

“It’s the Sun, stupid” > Svensmark vindicated: CERN shows cosmic rays do influence cloud formation

August 25, 2011

The much awaited results from the CLOUD experiments at CERN have now been published in Nature and show that cosmic rays can influence cloud formation – as Henrik Svensmark has hypothesised. This mechanism – ultimately dependent upon the sun – is far more credible as an explanation of the climate variations seen in recent times than dubious computer models based on implausible forcings due to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Cloud formation may be linked to cosmic rays Kirkby, J. et alNature 476, 429-433 (2011).

Nigel Calder (via GWPF) writes:

Long-anticipated results of the CLOUD experiment at CERN in Geneva appear in tomorrow’s issue of the journal Nature (25 August). The Director General of CERN stirred controversy last month, by saying that the CLOUD team’s report should be politically correct about climate change (see my 17 July post below). The implication was that they should on no account endorse the Danish heresy – Henrik Svensmark’s hypothesis that most of the global warming of the 20th Century can be explained by the reduction in cosmic rays due to livelier solar activity, resulting in less low cloud cover and warmer surface temperatures.

Willy-nilly the results speak for themselves, and it’s no wonder the Director General was fretful.

Henrik Svensmark (born 1958) is a physicist at the Danish National Space Center in Copenhagen who studies the effects of cosmic rays on cloud formation. His work presents hypotheses about solar activity as an indirect cause of global warming; his research has suggested a possible link through the interaction of the solar wind and cosmic rays. His conclusions have been controversial as the prevailing scientific opinion on climate change considers solar activity unlikely to be a major contributor to recent warming, though it is thought to be the primary driver of many earlier changes in climate.

I cannot do any better than reproduce Nigel Calder’s explanation of the CERN experimental results:

Jasper Kirkby of CERN and his 62 co-authors, from 17 institutes in Europe and the USA, announce big effects of pions from an accelerator, which simulate the cosmic rays and ionize the air in the experimental chamber. The pions strongly promote the formation of clusters of sulphuric acid and water molecules – aerosols of the kind that may grow into cloud condensation nuclei on which cloud droplets form. What’s more, there’s a very important clarification of the chemistry involved.


Landscheidt Minimum could be a grand solar minimum lasting till 2100

June 20, 2011

It is noticeable that the upsurge of evidence that a solar minimum – and maybe a grand minimum – is upon is causing many of the global warming enthusiasts to try and rationalise the effects of the sun. Suddenly they begin to acknowledge that the sun may have some small effect on climate but rush to point out that the solar influence on climate is not yet understood (indeed!) and in any case it will be much too small to be significant compared to the effects of man.

The belated acknowledgement of the possible influence of the sun is welcome but  the belief that man made effects can overcome the power of the sun is just arrogant.


Dr. Cornelis de Jager is a renowned Netherlands solar physicist, past General Secretary of the International Astronomical Union, and author of several peer-reviewed studies examining the solar influence upon climateIn response to the recent press release of three US studies indicating the Sun is entering a period of exceptionally low activity, Dr. de Jager references his publications of 2010 and prior indicating that this Grand Solar Minimum will be similar to the Maunder Minimum which caused the Little Ice Age, and prediction that this “deep minimum” will last until approximately the year 2100. 

“The new episode is a deep minimum. It will look similar to the Maunder Minimum, which lasted from 1620 to 1720…This new Grand Minimum will last until approximately 2100.”




  2. Solar activity and its influence on climate  
  3. Major Drop In Solar Activity Predicted: Landscheidt Minimum is upon us and a mini-ice age is imminent

An inconvenient solar minimum..

June 15, 2011

Solar science and the possibility that a Maunder-like Minimum may be approaching seems to have caught the fancy of the MSM — Al Gore notwithstanding.

  1. The Telegraph New Little Ice Age in store? 
  2. Sydney Morning Herald Quiet sun: drop in solar activity may signal second ‘Little Ice Age’ on Earth
  3. Fox News Global Warming Be Damned, We Might Be Headed for a Mini Ice Age
  4. International Business Times The Sun’s inactivity leading to second Little Ice Age, to Offset Global Warming?
  5. MSNBC Solar forecast hints at a big chill
  6. The Christian Science Monitor A sun with no sun spots? What that could mean for Earth and its climate
  7. Discovery News IS THE SUN ABOUT TO FIZZ OUT?
  8. ABC News Goodnight Sun: Sunspots May Disappear for Years
  9. New Scientist Sluggish sun may ‘sit out’ next solar cycle
  10. Arizona Daily Star Fewer sunspots could help offset global warming
Most of these publications are generally fairly uncritical adherents of whatever seems to be in vogue and have usually been very vocal in supporting the AGW creed. But it is nevertheless interesting to see how they have all picked up this news — as if they are bored with and tired of repeating the same old AGW story-line and are just waiting for a new star to follow.
Perhaps the political tide is turning, ……


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