Little surprise here: A new paper published by Climate of the Past journal shows that solar cycles indeed play a dominant role on climate change. I touched on this already once before, here. Here’s the front page of the study:
Contrary to what popular science is telling us today, this paper tells us we need to be worried about cooling for the next 65 years….possibly even down to 1870s levels! The abstract (my emphasis):
A large number of investigations of paleoclimate have noted the influence of a 200 year oscillation which has been related to the De Vries/Suess cycle of solar activity. As such studies were concerned mostly with local climate, we
have used extensive northern hemispheric proxy data sets of Büntgen and of Christiansen/Ljungqvist together with a southern hemispheric tree-ring set, all with 1 year time resolution, to analyze the climate influence of the solar cycle. As there is increasing interest in temperature rise rates, as opposed to present absolute
temperatures, we have analyzed temperature differences over 100 years to shed light on climate dynamics of at least the last 2500 years. Fourier- and Wavelet transforms as well as nonlinear optimization to sine functions show the dominance of the 200 year cycle. The sine wave character of the climate oscillations permits an approximate prediction of the near future climate.”
Figure 1 of the study below shows the global overview of the proxies used in the study, and thus serve to refute claims the study results are only local in nature:
The study looks back 2500 years, and takes a global look. A thorough analysis of the multiple proxies led the authors to find the very pronounced 200-year De Vries/Suess solar cycle. In the discussion part of the paper the authors write:
The Earth’s climate shows a rather regular oscillation of 200 year period during the last millennia. However, frequency, phase, and strength of the oscillation are found to vary in different time series of temperatures and for different times (see Figs. 4–6, and 8). Nonetheless, the relative historic stability of the cycle suggests that the periodic nature of the climate will persist also for the foreseeable future.”
So what will this cycle bring us in the future?
Of course it is not possible to extrapolate directly as the authors hint above. Later in the paper they point out that the cycle is impacted by “terrestrial activities” which “can dominate the solar activity temporarily, e.g. disrupting the sine-like oscillations“. But for the most part, the cycle is likely a reliable indicator of what to expect ahead on decadal timescales. The authors write of the 200 year cycle:
It gives correctly the 1850–1900 temperature minimum and shows a temperature drop from present to AD 2080, the latter comparable with the minimum of 1870, as already predicted in the studies (Steinhilber and Beer, 2013; Liu et al., 2011) on the grounds of solar activity data alone.”
You may want to hold back on purchasing land along Greenland’s coastline, unless that is you or your kids plan to be selling glacial ice in the decades ahead. The warming we saw during the 20th century appears to be in large part caused by the 200-year cycle. But now the peak is behind us. The paper warns that we need to expect cooling over the next 65 years!
More on the implications of the paper here.