Considering the sun in climate change

Posted: December 12, 2017 by oldbrew in climate, Cycles, Natural Variation, opinion, solar system dynamics
Tags: ,

Credit: BBC

The fact is we live in a *solar* system. As the author concludes: ‘It is time … to focus on understanding the sun-climate connection. We need to see the sun in climate change.’

There is a lot of debate about the sun’s role in global warming and climate change says David Wojick, Ph.D.. Some scientists argue that the sun plays the dominant role, making human activity insignificant.

Much of this argument is based on statistical analysis of very long proxy records. One can see a very good example of this thinking, as well as the debate surrounding it, in a recent article on Judith Curry’s Outstanding “Climate, Etc.” science blog.

The article is titled “Nature Unbound VI Centennial to millennial solar cycles.”

In keeping with blog practice, the author is simply Javier. (Who the author is, is generally considered irrelevant.) As the “VI” indicates, this is the sixth in a series of detailed reviews of important aspects of natural variability, all written by Javier.

Curry’s blog is a great place where climate science gets discussed and debated in detail, with all sides well represented. Many of the articles are long and somewhat technical. In fact Climate Etc. is often very much like a scientific journal. The extensive comments are what is called post publication peer review in the journal world.

There are over 850,000 comments to date, many quite technical. This blog may be the best place in the world to see the climate science debate in action. Its educational value is unparalleled.

Most of these articles are what would be called review articles in a journal. Many journals publish review articles and some publish nothing else. These articles attempt to summarize a specific body of research. In this case we have a review of some of the numerous correlations that have been found between very long term climate change and changes in solar activity.

The article is quite long and somewhat technical in places. The starting summary gives the flavor of the piece:

“Summary: Holocene climate has been affected in different periods by several centennial to millennial solar cycles. The ~1000-year Eddy solar cycle seems to have dominated Holocene climate variability between 11,500-4,000 years BP, and in the last two millennia, where it defines the Roman, Medieval, and Modern warm periods. The ~208-year de Vries solar cycle displays strong modulation by the ~2400-year Bray solar cycle, both in its cosmogenic isotope signature and in its climatic effects. The Centennial, and Pentadecadal solar cycles are observable in the last 400-year sunspot record, and they are responsible for the present extended solar minimum that started in 2008.”

The basic problem with the sun-climate connection is our lack of understanding of how it works, even while the evidence for it is quite strong. Javier puts this nicely in the introduction, as follows:

“The study of solar cycles and their climatic effect is hampered by a very short observational record (~400 years), an inadequate understanding of the physical causes that might produce centennial to millennial changes in solar activity, and an inadequate knowledge of how such changes produce their climatic effect. Despite this lack of a solid theoretical framework, paleoclimatologists keep publishing article after article where they report correlations between solar proxy periodicities and climate proxy periodicities, and the observational evidence is now so abundant as to obviate the lack of a theory or well defined mechanism.”

Continued here.

  1. erl happ says:

    It would be nice if this debate about the origins of climate change, including as a proposition the notion that man is materially influencing the climate of the planet were susceptible to rational argument……in a word….’scientific’ debate.

    Unfortunately it’s not.

    Those who assert that man is ruining the planet are responding to a visceral urge. Visceral urges take little notice of observation and reason.

    Religions cater for a deep seated need to have unknowable things explained.Religious groups offer the comfort of being accepted by like minded people. The circumstances that for so long have led men to religion have not gone away. But many religions are ‘on the nose’ for one reason or another.

    It seems that environmentalism is the religion of the industrial era. Paradoxically it would have mankind abandon industrial activity.

    About a quarter of the worlds population are Chinese and they are workers. The religion of environmentalism will have little appeal to them. They want the things that a strong work ethic can provide.

    To the extent that environmentalism succeeds in influencing public policy it will impoverish. It’s already mainstream…..the most powerful religion mankind has ever seen.

  2. oldbrew says:

    One of the ironies is that supposed environmentalists advocate churning up our landscapes and coasts – i.e. the environment – with thousands of concrete and steel wind turbines, plus all the pylons, transmission lines and miles of service roads. Trees are felled by the thousand to make way for some of them.

    Report: 5 million Scottish trees felled for wind farms

    Read more at:

    All this destruction has no significant effect on the climate but costs a fortune in subsidies.

  3. Paul Vaughan says:

    I’ve maintained a boycott of Climate Etc. for years now. Currently there is no venue with worthwhile climate discussion.

  4. Paul Vaughan says:

    Devilish agents are again busy laying red tape across the major western fault:

    1. Chaos differs fundamentally from spatiotemporal chaos. No earthly theory of spatiotemporal chaos yet exists.

    2. The conventional mainstream concept of “internal variations” fails absolutely on aggregation criteria, geometry, topology, and material phase.

    Not only is there no conceptual progress, there’s regression. We’ve observed persistent, concerted devilish agency intolerably scrambling the discussion while moving it backwards.

    Sea Change

    Neither reckless fracture nor forced unity ensure stability.
    Red tape over the major western fault can be fired in one breath.
    Dragons sleep best in the golden light of principled division.

    Lukewarmists along the major western fault devilishly obstruct stably principled division.

    Lukewarmists apply both reckless fracture and forced unity in a devilish bid to preclude stably principled division. Their devilish political mission is to artificially disrupt natural balance by hammering everyone into an unstable union.

    The major western fault miscalculates and/or misrepresents the east’s capacity to exponentially simplify to ensure stability.

    There are enough real problems without the artificial ones. With one weak breath, awakening dragons can fire mountainous stacks of paper that won’t withstand the tests of time.

  5. oldbrew says:

    erl happ says: ‘It seems that environmentalism is the religion of the industrial era.’

    It may be presented as a religion – ‘believe and you can be saved’ type of thing – but some big-time bankers and politicians, plus the UN (which runs the IPCC) are prominent. What are their agendas?

    World Bank Group Announcements at One Planet Summit

    Paris, 12 December, 2017 – At the One Planet Summit convened by President Emmanuel Macron of France, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, the World Bank Group made a number of new announcements in line with its ongoing support to developing countries for the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement’s goals. [bold added]
    – – –
    Macron: Before entering politics, he was a senior civil servant and investment banker.
    – – –
    One example of their ‘ongoing support’ is no more grants for coal, oil and gas. More off-going than ongoing.

    World Bank Steals Show at One Planet Summit by Phasing Out Upstream Oil and Gas Finance

    Alex Doukas, Stop Funding Fossils Program Director at Oil Change International, said, “This commitment from the World Bank demonstrates true climate leadership. This sends a clear signal to the world that the fossil fuel era is ending, and that government money can no longer be used to prop up oil, gas, and coal production.

    Cheap power generation won’t be supported, so poorer countries will have to do the other thing. Maybe get finance from China…

    Where Is the “Development” in China’s Global Development Finance?
    Dec 08 , 2017

    ‘…the vast majority of China’s commercial loans, but also a sizeable portion of the concessional ones, is directed at two sectors: energy and infrastructure.’

  6. erl happ says:

    Oldbrew, Your points are well made. There is none more fervent in adherence to green ideology than local government employees including urban planners and those who set the rules for construction activity. Just as fervent is government owned media in Australia and the UK, and it appears the western banks. Witness the difficulty that Adani is having getting loans to develop a coal mine in Queensland.

    The more one is divorced from the problem of actually producing physical goods using energy (the essence of industrialisation) the less is one constrained by common sense.

    When I see green ideology adopted by major mining companies like BHP I fear that the rot will be terminal.

    If the Chinese banks, as an agent of government policy provide loans at commercial rates together with the expertise and material for infrastructure development, including the provision of cheap energy, they are very much ahead of the game. Its an old game that the US knows well.But the Chinese are in a better position to integrate all the elements that enable that game to be well played. It’s called statecraft.

    What country other than China consistently subsidises exports of their industrial output? The Chinese play the game with a very, very long term point of view.

    In Australia the government slapped a heavy tax on petrol and diesel at the time of the first fossil fuel availability scare decades ago. Today, fossil fuels are more plentiful and cheaper to access than ever before.But the tax is still there.That tax is a spanner in the industrial wheel. How much more sensible would it have been to subsidise exploration and infrastructure development and to facilitate access to these resources.

    We in the western world do not have the common sense approach to facilitating wealth creation that is evident in China. We are constrained by green ideology that permeates our thinking and in the main we are entirely unaware of the fact.

  7. Renee says:

    Longer term data is available over millions of years. Paleoclimate information sets boundaries on what is natural and not human influenced. Modern climatologists need to establish a past baseline and model deviations from the past 800 kyrs, not the past 100’s of years.

  8. Jim says:

    Sorry too disagree with one, above. The chinese are no more driven to work then anyone else. It’s just their way or the highway, mentality. If checked, their banks are no better then yours, their leadership no better, etc, etc, etc… What they have there are no safeguards, it’s work or die. And they die daily making the latest devices. And the government controls the economy so the lowest commoner can afford to live, not well but live. What happens if a factory closes there? There is no dole, and the landlord may have been part of the factory housing conglomerate, and, it’s not just you, it’s your friends also, and your parents live in a two room efficiency. See, Mao’s great favor was limiting China, getting rid of the leaders of China, creating toadies, not thinkers. The do as you are told crowd, who became privileged, and wealthy by stealing from the people of china.
    But, an excellent article, maybe if they studied science, or read about all of science instead of just their niech.

  9. oldbrew says:

    Asian Banks Pour £600bn Into 1600 New Coal Power Plants
    DECEMBER 11, 2017
    By Paul Homewood

    Research by campaign groups including the Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack and Friends of the Earth has discovered that banks have financed new coal plant developments to the tune of $600bn in the last three years.
    . . .
    So who are these wicked bankers?

    Well, it turns out they are mostly Chinese banks, along with the Japanese Mizuho and the State Bank of India.

  10. ren says:

    It is worth observing what is happening in the stratosphere this year. The situation is getting more and more interesting.

  11. ren says:

    Such a stratospheric circulation means strong temperature drops in the east of North America.,50.96,342

  12. ren says:

    Severe disturbances of the polar vortex are visible.

  13. JM says:

    “If we worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true really is true, then there would be little hope for advance.” Orville Wright

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