(Translated, edited by P Gosselin)
More than three years ago (February 2012) our book Die kalte Sonne (see right) made its debut. In it we described a vast variety of scientific results underpinning the significant impacts of solar activity fluctuations on climate. Leading climate scientists suddenly saw their CO2-dominant view threatened and so they launched an all out onslaught against the solar theories.For one or two of these IPCC-climate warriors the overreaction has since then perhaps even become a bit embarrassing. Over the past years it has become increasingly clear that the role of the sun on climate has long been underestimated. Recent studies show this, and we will point these out at this blog in the days ahead.What’s new on the subject of the sun?In the search for literature the first place to start is at the “Club de Soleil“ website operated by climate scientist Maarten Blaauw of Queen’s University of Belfast. So far in 2015 Blaauw has presented 23 papers – in just the first 8 months alone, and there’s still one third of the year to go. The most recent are two summary papers by David Douglas and Robert Knox appearing in the April 2015 Physics Letters A. The authors found a clear solar signal in ocean temperatures:
The Sun is the climate pacemaker I. Equatorial Pacific Ocean temperatures
Equatorial Pacific Ocean temperature time series data contain segments showing both a phase-locked annual signal and a phase-locked signal of period two years or three years, both locked to the annual solar cycle. Three such segments are observed between 1990 and 2014. It is asserted that these are caused by a solar forcing at a frequency of 1.0 cycle/yr. These periodic features are also found in global climate data (following paper). The analysis makes use of a twelve-month filter that cleanly separates seasonal effects from data. This is found to be significant for understanding the El Niño/La Niña phenomenon.
The Sun is the climate pacemaker II. Global ocean temperatures
In part I, equatorial Pacific Ocean temperature index SST3.4 was found to have segments during 1990–2014 showing a phase-locked annual signal and phase-locked signals of 2- or 3-year periods. Phase locking is to an inferred solar forcing of 1.0 cycle/yr. Here the study extends to the global ocean, from surface to 700 and 2000 m. The same phase-locking phenomena are found. The El Niño/La Niña effect diffuses into the world oceans with a delay of about two months.”
There’s a discussion of the two papers at WUWT.
In April 2014 The Hockey Schtick site pointed out that accumulated solar energy is possibly a far better approach for a comparison to the temperature curve. This can be attributed to the climate system’s huge inertia. You can plot here on your own. The result is amazing.
Also very interesting is a Chinese paper from June, 2014, made public by the Science China Press with the following press release:
Has solar activity influence on the Earth’s global warming?
A recent study demonstrates the existence of significant resonance cycles and high correlations between solar activity and the Earth’s averaged surface temperature during centuries. This provides a new clue to reveal the phenomenon of global warming in recent years.
Their work, entitled “Periodicities of solar activity and the surface temperature variation of the Earth and their correlations” was published in CHINESE SCIENCE BULLETIN (In Chinese) 2014 No.14 with the co-corresponding authors of Dr. Zhao Xinhua and Dr. Feng Xueshang from State key laboratory of space weather, CSSAR/NSSC, Chinese Academy of Sciences. It adopts the wavelet analysis technique and cross correlation method to investigate the periodicities of solar activity and the Earth’s temperature as well as their correlations during the past centuries.
Global warming is one of the hottest and most debatable issues at present. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claimed that the release of the anthropogenic greenhouse gases contributed to 90% or even higher of the observed increase in the global average temperature in the past 50 years. However, the debate on the causes of the global warming never stops. Research shows that the current warming does not exceed the natural fluctuations of climate. The climate models of IPCC seem to underestimate the impact of natural factors on the climate change, while overstate that of human activities. Solar activity is an important ingredient of natural driving forces of climate. Therefore, it is valuable to investigate the influence of solar variability on the Earth’s climate change on long time scales.
This innovative study combines the measured data with those reconstructed to disclose the periodicities of solar activity during centuries and their correlations with the Earth’s temperature. The obtained results demonstrate that solar activity and the Earth’s temperature have significant resonance cycles, and the Earth’s temperature has periodic variations similar to those of solar activity (Figure 1). This study also implies that the “modern maximum” of solar activity agrees well with the recent global warming of the Earth. A significant correlation between them can be found (Figure 2). As pointed out by a peer reviewer, “this work provides a possible explanation for the global warming”.
See the article:
ZHAO X H, FENG X S. Periodicities of solar activity and the surface temperature variation of the Earth and their correlations (in Chinese). Chin Sci Bull (Chin Ver), 2014, 59: 1284, doi: 10.1360/972013-1089 http://csb.
scichina. com:8080/ kxtb/ CN/ abstract/ abstract514043. shtml
Science China Press Co., Ltd. (SCP) is a scientific journal publishing company of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). For 60 years, SCP takes its mission to present to the world the best achievements by Chinese scientists on various fields of natural sciences researches.
In August 2014 Maliniemi and colleagues described in the Journal of Geophysical Research a relationship between winter temperatures of the northern hemisphere and sunspot cycles:
Spatial distribution of Northern Hemisphere winter temperatures during different phases of the solar cycle
Several recent studies have found variability in the Northern Hemisphere winter climate related to different parameters of solar activity. While these results consistently indicate some kind of solar modulation of tropospheric and stratospheric circulation and surface temperature, opinions on the exact mechanism and the solar driver differ. Proposed drivers include, e.g., total solar irradiance (TSI), solar UV radiation, galactic cosmic rays, and magnetospheric energetic particles. While some of these drivers are difficult to distinguish because of their closely similar variation over the solar cycle, other suggested drivers have clear differences in their solar cycle evolution. For example, geomagnetic activity and magnetospheric particle fluxes peak in the declining phase of the sunspot cycle, in difference to TSI and UV radiation which more closely follow sunspots. Using 13 solar cycles (1869–2009), we study winter surface temperatures and North Atlantic oscillation (NAO) during four different phases of the sunspot cycle: minimum, ascending, maximum, and declining phase. We find significant differences in the temperature patterns between the four cycle phases, which indicates a solar cycle modulation of winter surface temperatures. However, the clearest pattern of the temperature anomalies is not found during sunspot maximum or minimum, but during the declining phase, when the temperature pattern closely resembles the pattern found during positive NAO. Moreover, we find the same pattern during the low sunspot activity cycles of 100 years ago, suggesting that the pattern is largely independent of the overall level of solar activity.”
And finally we present a paper by Nicola Scafetta appearing in the Elsevier journal Physica A in November 2014: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications. It is a discussion of a paper by Gil-Alana et al. whereby the authors claimed solar activity fluctuations had no impact on climate. However there is indeed a relationship that is in fact more complex than that assumed by Gil-Alana and colleagues. The Abstract of Scafetta‘s discussion:
Global temperatures and sunspot numbers. Are they related? Yes, but non linearly. A reply to Gil-Alana et al. (2014)
Recently Gil-Alana et al. (2014) compared the sunspot number record and the temperature record and found that they differ: the sunspot number record is characterized by a dominant 11-year cycle while the temperature record appears to be characterized by a “singularity” or “pole” in the spectral density function at the “zero ” frequency. Consequently, they claimed that the two records are characterized by substantially different statistical fractional models and rejected the hypothesis that the Sun influences significantly global temperatures. I will show that: (1) the “singularity” or “pole” in the spectral density function of the global surface temperature at the “zero” frequency does not exist—the observed pattern derives from the post 1880 warming trend of the temperature signal and is a typical misinterpretation that discrete power spectra of non-stationary signals can suggest; (2) appropriate continuous periodograms clarify the issue and also show a signature of the 11-year solar cycle (amplitude ≤0.1°C), which since 1850 has an average period of about 10.4 year, and of many other natural oscillations; (3) the solar signature in the surface temperature record can be recognized only using specific techniques of analysis that take into account non-linearity and filtering of the multiple climate change contributions; (4) the post 1880-year temperature warming trend cannot be compared or studied against the sunspot record and its 11-year cycle, but requires solar proxy models showing short and long scale oscillations plus the contribution of anthropogenic forcings, as done in the literature. Multiple evidences suggest that global temperatures and sunspot numbers are quite related to each other at multiple time scales. Thus, they are characterized by cyclical fractional models. However, solar and climatic indexes are related to each other through complex and non-linear processes. Finally, I show that the prediction of a semi-empirical model for the global surface temperature based on astronomical oscillations and anthropogenic forcing proposed by Scafetta since 2009 has, up to date, been successful.”