diet coke for breakfast

Friday, February 11, 2005

Posted by RFTR
I knew I'd find it
A while back, in discussion of global warming, I mentioned that I had overlayed a graph of sunspot cycle length and the annual-mean earth temperature, and found that they coincide remarkably well. As it happens, I was trying to reproduce my work, when I came across a significantly more scientific paper than mine that does the same thing. You'll be amazed at how closely Solar Activity and Climate correspond.

Jake -- Not to rain to heavily on the parade, but having looked in the subject more it appears to not be all of the story. It is correct that solar cycles correspond very closely with recent term temperature variations (and I would emphasize near term because we only started measuring this recently). However, estimates of the actual energy resulting from these variations show that they are not sufficient to explain all of the recent increases in mean global temperature. The question of whether increases in solar radiation are amplified by "greenhouse" effects is unclear. The whole problem with the global warming debate is that we really don't know whether a small temperature increase is amplified or reduced because we don't understand the role of water vapor (the primary greenhouse gas) in these circumstances. So while solar variation probably has something to do with it, it is probably premature to write it off to that completely. Correlation after all is not causation.


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