New Research – “A stronger sun cools the earth”??

New research and like all good research poses more questions than it answers. And the caveat is that the 3 year period of the research may not be very significant in the rythms of the sun. But it only emphasises to me that climate models which ignore the sun are not really worth very much. And climate models will only begin to become interesting when the sun’s influences and mechanisms by which they apply are far better understood.

From The Telegraph:

An increase in solar activity from the Sun actually cools the Earth, suggests new research that will renew the debate over the science behind climate change.

A stronger Sun actually cools the Earth

Stronger Sun actually cools the Earth??

Focused on a three-year snapshot of time between 2004 and 2007, as solar activity waned at the end of one of the Sun’s 11-year cycles, the new data shows the amount of light and heat reaching the Earth rose rather than fell. Its impact on melting polar ice caps, and drying up rivers could therefore have been exaggerated by conventional climate models during the period.

Scientists also believe it may also be possible that during the next upturn of the cycle, when solar activity increases, there might be a cooling effect at the Earth’s surface.

In the New Scientist:

Joanna Haigh of Imperial College London studied satellite measurements of solar radiation between 2004 and 2007, when overall solar activity was in decline.

Haigh’s measurements showed that visible radiation increased between 2004 and 2007, when it was expected to decrease, and ultraviolet radiation dropped four times as much as predicted. Haigh then plugged her data into an atmospheric model to calculate how the patterns affected energy filtering through the atmosphere. Previous studies have shown that Earth is normally cooler during solar minima.Yet the model suggested that more solar energy reached the planet’s surface during the period, warming it by about 0.05 °C.

An influence of solar spectral variations on radiative forcing of climate

by Joanna D. Haigh, Ann R. Winning, Ralf Toumi & Jerald W. Harder

(Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature09426).

The effect is slight, but it could call into question our understanding of the sun’s subtle effects on climate. Or could it? Stefan Brönnimann of the University of Bern in Switzerland says Haigh’s study shows the importance of looking at radiation changes in detail but cautions that her the results could be a one-off. He points out that the sun’s most recent cycle is known to have been atypical

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11 Responses to “New Research – “A stronger sun cools the earth”??”

  1. Bob Armstrong Says:

    The sun’s effect on our temperature is not slight since it is the source of essentially all the energy impinging upon us . We are about 10c , or 3% above the 279kevin calculated for a gray ball in our orbit approximating the sun as a blackbody at about 5778k . If , in fact , the total energy falls , wherever in the spectrum , our lumped earth and atmosphere temperature should also fall by the fourth root of the decrease in energy .

  2. Jason Says:

    Cheer up, Bob. Worse things happen at sea.

  3. Matt Says:

    I’m more along the lines of Bob’s thinking, as I’m a big believer that the sun is a pretty big player.

  4. Dirk Says:

    As I understand it, cosmic rays from space and the sun are partially shielded by the earth’s magnetic field, and this is altered by the solar wind, leading to changes in cosmic ray density, which leads to changes in cloud nucleation, leading to changes in cloudiness- from there it’s obvious that more clouds equals cooler temps, right? (Go stand outside for a few hours and confirm this).

    With the recent discovery that cosmic ray density is different from one side of the planet to the other, and this discovery that there are different- and uncorrelated components of solar output- it seems this theory is as valid as any, and needs more understanding. What’s happening at CERN with their CLOUD experiment?

    It seems solar activity/cosmic rays could be like a big transistor- a small change in the gate can create a large change in the collector- and those effects could be hemispheric as opposed to global.

    Perhaps we’ll start calling it hemispheric climate change- is CO2 density hemispheric?

  5. Denis Ables Says:

    Dirk: You understanding sounds just like Svensmark, except for the part about cosmic ray levels differing on “opposite sides” of the planet. Is that new from Svensmark, or from CERN? Presumably that divide refers to the northern versus southern hemisphere.

  6. Denis Ables Says:

    oops. replace “You” with “Your”

  7. Dirk Says:

    Here’s one of the papers that talks about cosmic ray anisotropy:

    http://iopscience.iop.org/2041-8205/718/2/L194

    The only CERN CLOUD papers I’ve seen (abstracts from Aerosol Conference) talk about the setup of the experiment, measuring systems, etc.- and no results.

  8. Denis Ables Says:

    Thanks. Oh, and based on the newest label invented by Obama’s “science” advisor, it might become more like disruptive semi-global (or hemispheric) climate change.

  9. David L Says:

    This concept violates one of the most fundamental laws of science. All energy in a system MUST be accounted for in that system. Energy does not vanish or hide because of stupid science. Wake up.

  10. Unsettled science? « The k2p blog Says:

    […] first on October 5th, led to the conclusion that an increase in solar activity from the Sun actually cools the […]

  11. Stephen Wilde Says:

    More accurately a stronger sun cools the upper atmosphere. It can still warm the system overall because the jets shift poleward, albedo falls and more energy enters the oceans.

    The effect on the troposphere then depends on whether the oceans are in the mood to release it or squirrel it away hence the need for oceanic cycles to provide the other half of the equation.

    IF the observations are verified the theories are all dead except mine, see here:

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=5497

    “A New And Effective Climate Model”

    and other articles of mine on the same site.

    “Thus when the sun is more active far from warming the planet the sun is
    facilitating an increased rate of cooling of the planet. That is why the
    stratosphere cooled during the late 20th Century period of a highly active sun although the highest levels of the atmosphere warmed. The highest levels werewarmed by direct solar impacts but the stratosphere cooled because energy was going up faster than it was being received from the troposphere below.
    The opposite occurs for a period of inactive sun.”

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