Cold Hard Facts and the 'Big-Boned Climate' Theory
Since the late 1970s, the amount of solar radiation the sun emits, during times of quiet sunspot activity, has increased by nearly .05 percent per decade, according to a NASA-funded study.
"This trend is important because, if sustained over many decades, it could cause significant climate change," said Richard Willson, a researcher affiliated with NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University's Earth Institute, New York. He is the lead author of the study recently published in Geophysical Research Letters.
"Historical records of solar activity indicate that solar radiation has been increasing since the late 19th century. If a trend, comparable to the one found in this study, persisted throughout the 20th century, it would have provided a significant component of the global warming the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports to have occurred over the past 100 years," he said.
"But, this doesn't account for all the warming, meaning that what we are doing to the Earth's atmosphere is even more dangerous!" we are told. We still cannot account for that extra heat!
Well, how much do we understand about the way the Earth absorbs energy?
A recent paper by Nir Shaviv in the Journal of Geophysical Research has this to say:
Over the 11-year solar cycle, small changes in the total solar irradiance (TSI) give rise to small variations in the global energy budget. It was suggested, however, that different mechanisms could amplify solar activity variations to give large climatic effects, a possibility which is still a subject of debate. With this in mind, we use the oceans as a calorimeter to measure the radiative forcing variations associated with the solar cycle. This is achieved through the study of three independent records, the net heat flux into the oceans over 5 decades, the sea-level change rate based on tide gauge records over the 20th century, and the sea-surface temperature variations. Each of the records can be used to consistently derive the same oceanic heat flux. We find that the total radiative forcing associated with solar cycle variations is about 5 to 7 times larger than just those associated with the TSI variations, thus implying the necessary existence of an amplification mechanism, although without pointing to which one.
And here's the conclusion:
In summary, we find clear evidence indicating that the total flux entering the oceans in response to the solar cycle is about an order of magnitude larger than the globally averaged irradiance variations of 0.17 W/m2. The sheer size of the heat flux, and the lack of any phase lag between the flux and the driving force, further implies that it cannot be part of an atmospheric feedback and very unlikely to be part of a coupled atmosphere-ocean oscillation mode. It must therefore be the manifestation of real variations in the global radiative forcing.
So, a modest increase in the total solar irradiance can amplify in the oceans into a larger temperature variation.
Couple this with other solar-related effects, such as Heinrick Svensmark's theory on cosmic rays -- he argues that cosmic rays generate clouds, which reflect energy back into space; heavy sunspot activity sweeps those rays away from the Earth much like a broom -- and the question of TSI begins to fall into line.
I'm curious to see how the alarmists try to spin this. They are beginning to sound like little children caught with their hands in the cookie jar, desperate to find a better explanation than that they were stealing cookies.
Gobbling cookies can make you "big-boned." Someone should tell that to James Hansen and Al Gore.