2010-10-07 10:30:01Letter in Nature: Counterintuitive effect of solar cycle on warming


Oops, skeptics just took on a much bigger load of incoherence, maybe.

Letter in Nature:


...We also show, using the SIM data, that solar radiative forcing of surface climate is out of phase with solar activity. Currently there is insufficient observational evidence to validate the spectral variations observed by SIM, or to fully characterize other solar cycles, but our findings raise the possibility that the effects of solar variability on temperature throughout the atmosphere may be contrary to current expectations...


Popular treatment at Guardian w/useful development by coauthor Haigh:


The research is based on the first ever measurements of solar radiation across the entire spectrum from X-rays to infrared light which showed that the mix of different wavelengths of light – for example infra-red, ultraviolet – was very different to what had been expected. The data, collected by the Sorce satellite between 2004 and 2007, revealed that the intensity of the ultraviolet light in the sun's rays fell by six times more than predicted over that period, while the amount of visible light exceeded expectations. Less intense ultraviolet light means less ozone is formed in the upper atmosphere, which in turn means the Earth warms, as does an increase in visible light. 

Remember, though, skeptics say that trace gases can have no effect on climate... 

2010-10-07 18:55:16
Paul D

Who needs a button to explode a skeptic, when all they have to do is read science and their heads go crtical.
2010-10-08 00:18:08


Gavin Schmidt at RC: "not so fast!"


2010-10-08 03:42:10Schmidt
Dana Nuccitelli

Ah, good ol' Gavin Schmidt and RealClimate, what would we do without them?

"While it does seem clear that the overall trend from 2003 to 2009 is an increase, closer inspection suggests that this anti-phase behaviour only lasts for the first few years, and that subsequently the trends are much closer to expectation. It is conceivable, for instance, that there was some undetected or unexpected instrument drift in the first few years. The proof of the pudding will come in the next couple of years. If the SIM data show a decrease while the TSI increases towards the solar maximum, then the Haigh et al results will be more plausible. If instead, the SIM data increase, that would imply there is an unidentified problem with the instrument."

That's the difficulty in trying to draw a conclusion from just 6 years of data from a new instrument.  It will certainly be interesting to see the data as more time passes.
2010-10-08 06:32:22


Gavin Schmidt recommends this article as an instant benchmark of spectral skeptic gullibility:


(yes, they've got their caps-lock turned on!) 


"UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom said: “This report further guides us to the logical conclusion that solar activity was responsible for the Minoan, Roman and Medieval warm periods and the little Ice Age, the fact that uninhabited planets in the solar system are warming and cooling cyclically and why there has been no global warming for 12 years, an unchallenged fact." 

Another warming period, but there's a problem w/aliasing: which MWP is it? Minoan? Medieval? Moronic?