Is The Sun Causing Climate Change

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All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Bass. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

Is The Sun Causing Climate Change

Is The Sun Causing Climate Change

Fortunately for us, our Sun is a very average type of star. This means that it behaves stably over billions of years, constantly consuming its hydrogen fuel in the nuclear reaction that produces the sun.

Climate Change: Nearing A Mini Ice Age

Solar stability, along with the greenhouse effect, combine to give our planet an acceptable range of surface temperatures. In contrast, less stable stars can vary widely in their radiation output. This lack of stability could prevent the development of life as we know it on any planet that might orbit such stars.

That the Sun is a stable type of star is clearly demonstrated by the amount of solar energy reaching the Earth’s average orbital position: it varies very little. This quantity, called total solar irradiance, has been measured for about forty years with high precision by sensitive instruments on satellites. Its average value is 1,362 watts per square meter. Irradiance fluctuates by about a watt in each direction, depending on where we are in the 11-year sunspot cycle. This is a variation of at most 0.15%.

From the early 1970s to the present, solar radiation reaching the top of the Earth’s atmosphere has actually decreased very little. During the same period, global temperatures continued to rise. The two data records, solar input and global temperature, differed. That means they went in opposite directions. If incoming solar energy has decreased as the Earth continues to warm, the Sun cannot be the control knob for that warming.

Attempts to blame the sun for rising global temperatures have had to involve taking the data but selecting only the time periods that support such an argument. The remaining information – showing this divergence – had to be discarded. A proper scientific study requires consideration of all available data, not just some of it. This particular sin is known as “cherry picking.”

The Solar Magnetic Cause Of Climate Changes And Origin Of The Ice Ages: Easterbrook, Dr. Don J: 9781691061631: Books

Use this form to provide feedback on this new At a Glance section, which was updated on May 27, 2023 to improve readability. Read a more technical version below or dig deeper through the tabs above!

Our Sun is a medium-sized main sequence star that is constantly consuming its hydrogen fuel, located about 150 million kilometers from Earth. This distance was first determined (with a slight error) by complex and time-consuming measurements in the late 1700s. It led to the first systematic considerations of the Earth’s climate by Joseph Fourier in the 1820s. The narrowing of Fourier’s number led him to realize that an Earth-sized planet far from the Sun would have to be significantly cooler than it was. In doing so, he laid the foundation stone for a line of research that led decades later to the discovery of what we now call the Greenhouse Effect—and how that effect changes in intensity in response to increasing or decreasing the levels of different greenhouse gases.

The sun has a strong magnetic field, but one that is constantly moving, to the extent that every 11 years or so, the solar polarity reverses: north becomes south, until another 11 years pass when it reverses again. These solar cycles affect what happens on the surface of the Sun, such as sunspots caused by those magnetic fields. Each cycle begins at solar minimum with very few or no sunspots, then rises in the middle of the cycle to solar maximum, where sunspots are numerous, before falling back towards the end. The total radiation emitted by the Sun – total solar radiation (TSI) is the technical term – essentially defined as the solar flux within the Earth’s orbital radius, fluctuates over this 11-year cycle by up to 0.15% between maximum and minimum.

Is The Sun Causing Climate Change

Such small, short-term STI fluctuations do not have a strong long-term effect on the Earth’s climate: they are not large enough, and since it is a cycle, they essentially cancel each other out. In the long run, the more sustained changes in STI over the centuries are more important. This is why such information is included, along with other natural and human influences, when climate models are run, to ask “what if?”

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An examination of the last 1150 years showed that temperatures have matched solar activity for most of that time (Usoskin et al. 2005). But also, for most of that time, greenhouse gas concentrations haven’t changed at all. This led the study to conclude, “…so at least this latest warming episode must have another source.”

Figure 2: Annual change in global temperature (thin light red) with 11-year moving average temperature (thick dark red). Temperature from NASA GISS. Annual total solar radiation (thin light blue) with 11-year moving average of TSI (thick dark blue). STI from 1880 to 1978 by Krivova et al. 2007. STI from 1979 to 2015 by the World Radiation Center (see their PMOD index page for updated data). Graphs of the latest solar radiation can be found on the LISIRD Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics website.

The slight decrease in solar activity after 1975 has been observed by a number of independent measurements, so it is certainly real. Therefore, during the last 45 years of global warming, solar activity and global temperature have varied constantly. In fact, an analysis of solar trends concluded that the sun has actually contributed a small cooling effect to the mix driving global temperature in recent decades (Lockwood, 2008), but the massive increase in carbon-based greenhouse gases is the main force. agent at present.

Other studies tend to agree. Foster and Ramstorf (2011) used multiple linear regression to quantify and remove the effects of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and solar and volcanic activity from surface and lower-tropospheric temperature data. They found that from 1979 to 2010, solar activity had a very small cooling effect, between -0.014 and -0.023°C per decade, depending on the data set. A more recent graph, from the IPCC AR6, shows that these trends have continued.

Global Warming / Climate Change Frequently Asked Questions (faq)

Figure 3: Figure SPM.1 (IPCC AR6 WGI SPM) – History of global temperature change and causes of recent warming (b). Changes in global surface temperature over the past 170 years (black line) relative to 1850–1900 and the annual mean, compared to Climate Model Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) simulations of the temperature response (see Box SPM.1) of the temperature response to both human and natural drivers (brown) and natural drivers only (solar and volcanic activity, green). For full image and caption, click here or on the image.

Like Foster and Rahmstorf, Lean & Rind (2008) performed multiple linear regression on temperature data and found that although solar activity may account for about 11% of global warming from 1889 to 2006, it may account for only 1, 6% of the warming from 1955 to 2006. 2005 and had a slight cooling effect (-0.004°C per decade) from 1979 to 2005.

Finally, physics does not support the claim that changes in STI are driving current climate change. If this claim had any credence, we would not expect to see the current situation, where the Earth’s lower atmosphere is heating up strongly while the upper atmosphere is cooling down. This is exactly the pattern predicted by physics, in our situation where we have overloaded the Earth’s atmosphere with greenhouse gases. If the warming was due to the Sun alone, we would expect the opposite pattern. In fact, the only way to propagate this myth these days involves cherry-picking pre-1975 and completely ignoring all newer data. It’s just not science.

Is The Sun Causing Climate Change

It is also important to mention that TSI variations are caused not by solar energy production, but by variations in the Earth’s orbit, which are of course independent of solar activity. Such variations, however, occur over very long periods, described by Milankovitch orbital cycles that operate over tens of thousands of years. These cycles determine the distance between the Earth and the Sun at perihelion and aphelion, and additionally the tilt of the planet’s spin axis: both affect how much thermal radiation the planet receives at the top of its atmosphere over time. But such fluctuations are not like the rapid changes we see in the weather, such as the difference between a sunny day and a cloudy day. The long time factor ensures this.

Man Vs Nature Where Do We Lay The Blame?

Another and more obscure approach used to claim that “it’s the sun” was (and probably still is in some circles) to talk about “indirect effects”. Remember, when studies can’t find a large enough direct effect, they point to even smaller factors like cosmic rays. Failure.

In conclusion, the recent sharp increase in global temperatures after 1975 is not reflected in changes in the STI that actually exerted a small cooling effect. Milankovitch cycles that operate on much larger time scales simply

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