The link between solar cycle length and decadal global temperature
I’ve been a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society since about 1971 and was a student member from 1968.
Admittedly, that was before a science qualification was required, but nonetheless I have been a weather and climate enthusiast for over 60 years and have observed the differing global weather patterns across three so called ‘climate regimes’.
Some in the blogosphere have attempted to discredit my contribution to the climate debate on the basis that I have no professional climatology qualifications but my involvement in the form of study, observation and thought substantially pre-dates that of many current, prominent, commentators.
First, I passed my childhood during the cooler, stormier 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.
Then I noticed the Great Climate Shift of the late 70’s.
Then I appear to have been amongst the first to notice another climate shift back to cooling (or at least non-warming) from around 2000.
The alleged link between cosmic ray flux and cloudiness proposed by some (Svensmark in particular) remains to be proved or disproved.
The link between solar cycle length and decadal global temperature changes is obvious throughout all the weather records. It’s not strictly a sunspot issue. More likely it is a wavelength issue.
Short fast cycles with many sunspots result in warming. Long slow cycles with fewer sunspots result in cooling.
The mechanism which explains the clear and obvious link has not been ascertained adequately but it isn’t anything to do with CO2. It is likely that the El Nino/ La Nina cycle is implicated with a dominance of El Nino resulting in global warming and a dominance of La Nina resulting in global cooling.
The scale of the solar induced natural variability that has been observed over more than 500 years swamps any warming effect from human CO2. It is even possible that human cooling influences such as particle emssions and albedo changes from crop growing could offset any human induced warming already. There are no calculations quantifying both warming and cooling human influences so we have no idea what our net influence might be.
It is clear that the late 20th Century warming spell matched the duration of the two shortest, fastest solar cycles in the historical record ( 21 and 22) At the same time thare was a matching sequence of strong El Nino events. These points should not be lightly dismissed. The cooling fears of the 60’s and early 70’s coincided with weak cycle 20 and the cessation of warming occurred during cycle 23 which has been weaker than the two cycles before it.
On balance the evidence shows that solar is more likely the cause than CO2 but the issue can soon be resolved by observing the global temperature changes that occur as a result of the extended cycle 23 and the probable weak cycle 24.
If we now get a period of natural cooling it might well last several decades.There has been a gradual background and wholly natural warming trend since the end of the Little Ice Age. Of course it is all a matter of trends over time periods. You can ‘prove’ any trend you require by choosing the right time scale. What matters is the scale of human influences either towards cooling or towards warming as against the underlying trend behind natural variability. It really is an unknown quantity. Even the scale and trend behind natural variability is subject to an unknown number of overlapping cycles from multiple causes many of which are unknown, unquantified or both.
Making policy decisions on the basis of current knowledge (and in the light of recent observations) would be wholly irresponsible. Using food for biofuel production should be a crime and yet that is the single most influential result of global warming alarmism so far. Just the start of the potentially murderous cycle of bad policy decisions that are likely to be based on a false premise.
I was open minded as to the cause of global temperature changes when I started my participation in the blogosphere several years ago. At first, all I was pointing out was my observation of a change in global weather patterns around 2000 from a warming mode back to those more like the cooling mode of the 60’s and 70’s. Observations since then have shown me to have been right. I was also doubtful about the standards of accuracy in official recording sites due to urban development. That doubt was prompted by my own observations of how much a nearby building affected my own readings and has been vindicated by recent surveys of U S recording sites showing a pitiful attention to site standards.
After a great deal of reading and research since then I have come more and more to the view that solar variablity is more important than CO2 on all the evidence available and that causes me to be out of line with the IPCC and the climate establishment.
Published by Stephen Wilde April 24, 2008