The Solar Cycle and Global Warming

The Sun is doing something interesting, and has been for the last few years. As a solar physicist noted last year, there really haven’t been many sunspots lately. Look at 2001 (left) and 2009 (right) for the difference in sunspot activity.

But there’s more. In addition to virtually no sunspots, the Sun is having fewer solar flares, hit a 50-year low in solar wind pressure, and is at a 55-year low in radio emissions. This is in addition to sunspot activity, which is at a 100-year low!

Well, Professor Mike Lockwood, an expert in long-term solar variations, has been keeping tabs on our Sun. As the BBC reported, he thinks he’s figured out what’s happening.

If you look carefully at the observations, it’s pretty clear that the underlying level of the Sun peaked at about 1985 and what we are seeing is a continuation of a downward trend (in solar activity) that’s been going on for a couple of decades.

So what’s been going on — in theory — is that the Sun undergoes cycles that last hundreds of years, and it reached its maximum activity in this cycle just 24 years ago. Now, it’s starting to come down from that, and so overall solar activity and — here’s the key — overall solar output has been declining for the last 2 decades. What if we compared solar output with the recent rise in global average temperature? What can we learn?

That something besides solar activity is dominating Earth’s temperature changes. The last few years (not shown on the graph) have seen both the temperature continuing to rise and the solar output start to fall.

There isn’t even a correlation between solar activity/output and temperature anymore.

Or to let Mike Lockwood tell it in his own words:

We are re-entering the middle ground after a period which has seen the Sun in its top 10% of activity.

What we are seeing is consistent with a global temperature rise, not that the Sun is coming to our aid.

Or, in other words, the Earth is continuing to heat up even though the Sun is chilling out, relatively speaking. Neat stuff, and a little more ammo for those of you fed up with global warming deniers.

Comments

  1. #1 Jim
    April 21, 2009

    I agree with your overall point, but do have one nitpick…
    The sunspot cycle runs for 11 years, so you need to compare a 1998 photo to 2009.

  2. #2 Ian
    April 22, 2009

    “Look at 2001 (left) and 2009 (right) for the difference in sunspot activity.”

    The sun has evidently become more orange, too! Does it smell like an orange?!

  3. #3 Gingerbaker
    April 24, 2009

    Ian said:

    “The sun has evidently become more orange, too! Does it smell like an orange?!

    He he.

    The 2001 sun was a lot more psychedelic looking than the 2009 sun, too. It must have been burning off the last of the Orange Sunshine left over from the early ’70’s. :)

  4. #4 Solar Power Business
    April 28, 2009

    Thanks for this post.

  5. #5 Jackson Wambui
    April 29, 2009

    but is their a correlation between carbon dioxide output and the rise of global temperatures?

  6. #6 YouHelpFixIt
    April 30, 2009

    I have a couple of issues with your post:

    – Your graph does not show a drop in TSI over the last two or three decades as the text of your post indicates. Perhaps you were looking back farther.

    – Your graph stops at 2000. I hope the omission was not intentional as both TSI and temperature data are readily available. The temperature drop from 1998 to present would tend to refute your hypothesis. It would also tend to weaken the correlation to CO2 concentrations.

    It should be interesting to see if we continue to see record high temperature predictions amid declining actual temperatures as we continue in this unexpected extended solar minimum.

  7. #7 John A. Jauregui
    May 4, 2009

    CO2 is good, not bad. We all benefit from more of it in the atmosphere, especially farmers and foresters. Why?
    Plant growth stops at 200 PPM in the atmosphere.
    Plant growth is optimized at 1000 PPM; commercial greenhouse owners invest good money in CO2 generators to raise greenhouse concentrations toward the optimum to increase the productivity of their fixed growing area.
    In particular, increased levels of CO2 enable plant growth in drought conditions.
    150 years ago CO2 concentration in the atmosphere was 285 PPM, now it’s 385 PPM. It’s like free airborne fertilizer in the atmosphere.
    Increased levels of CO2 have significantly increased crop and forest yields over the last century. If environmentalists truly wanted a greener planet they would want more, not less, CO2 in the atmosphere.
    Warmer temperatures are generally good, not bad. Most of us benefit from warmer temperatures, especially farmers and foresters. Why?
    Warmer temperatures increase growing seasons and produce more consistently successful crops from year to year.
    Warmer temperatures reduce heating fuel consumption in the winter. This is a very big deal today because world oil production peaked three years ago and will begin a permanent decline in two years. That is why the cost for all fuels is going through the roof. Fuel costs will only decline during economic down turns, like we are experiencing now.
    Warmer temperatures two thousand years ago enabled the rise of the Roman Empire. The subsequent cooling period resulted in the fall of the Roman Empire and the social and economic decline into the Dark Ages. The next warm period one thousand year ago ushered in the Renaissance. Today’s warm period enabled the rise of the United States. The Dalton (type) Minimum the sun is now entering will dramatically affect us all by virtue if it’s impact on crop yields in the northern and southern hemispheres.
    The cooling we are now experiencing, together with declining availability of carbon based fuels, will dramatically affect our lives and our economy. Taxing the use of carbon based fuels will make matters much worse. Taxing carbon is like leaning into a right hook. It’s a quick way to end the fight.
    Warming is caused principally by the sun, not by elevated levels of CO2.
    Energy from the sun drives our climate, not CO2. Energy from the sun is modulated by the oceans and the atmosphere to produce our weather. Changes in climate are driven by long-term changes in the sun’s radiative output and magnetic field strength. Google: Fairbridge Solar Inertial Motion (SIM) for a sense of how this works physically.
    The principal green house gas is water vapor. It provides 95 percent of our greenhouse warming effect. Without it the earth would be a ball of ice. As a greenhouse gas, CO2 is a distance fourth behind methane and nitrous oxide, which produce most of the remaining 5 percent of greenhouse warming. CO2’s concentration in the atmosphere is four one-hundredths of one percent (.04 %). That’s roughly equivalent to the thickness of the floor wax on your community’s high school basket ball gymnasium, compared to the distance from the floor to the ceiling. The quantity and warming effect of CO2 in the atmosphere is negligible.
    The two trends described above have done more to “GREEN” the planet over the last several decades than anything humans have done to motivate that change. Both trends are now headed south, naturally. Solar activity is declining and will continue for the next few decades, cooling the earth about 2 degrees (C) in this quiescence period. The sun has just emerged from several decades of very high activity, which has warmed the earth by about one half degree(C). CO2 levels will naturally decline as carbon fuels production, particularly oil, begin their long decline. World oil production has been flat for three years. We are all going to meet our Kyoto targets whether we plan to or not. The environmentalists should be pleased. The rest of us won’t.

  8. #8 John Dziel
    July 1, 2009

    There is another counter-factor on the global warming issue- Lower solar winds = less particulates entering earth’s atmosphere. Less particulates = less cloud formation and higher % of sunlight hitting the surface. One could extrapolate that with less cloud seeding by particulates that we would end up with higher moisture saturation at high altitudes producing a “powder keg” condition. In other words, when particulates do hit, the reaction would lead to stronger storms as the higher moisture “discharges” from the upper atmosphere.

  9. #9 Matt Bailey
    July 15, 2009

    Update your graph with the most recent 8 years of temperature data available from the UK’s Hadley Center or the Goddard Institute of Space Science (GISS data base) and your conclusion falls apart. As a previous commenter noted, total solar activity appears to be flat the last 20 years or so, as assumed in the IPCC’s reports, ignoring the previous 150 years of increase. You should also read Scafetta and West, J. Geophys. Res. 112,D24S03 (2007) , summarized in March 2008 Physics Today article, “Is climate sensitive to solar variability?”.

  10. #10 Lotharloo
    July 31, 2009

    Unfortunately, when it comes to AGW, many people have decided that they have made up their minds and they will not change it no matter what evidence is presented to them.

    On this matter, the consensus is very clear: the overwhelming majority of the climate scientists agree that “most of the global warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities”.
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/naomi-oreskes-consensus-on-global-warming.htm

    There is no need for heated debate. As climate scientists are the top experts in this field, it is logical to submit to their judgment. They can be wrong, however, if someone has evidence for this, they better try publishing it in the respected climate related journals. The accusations that “scientists have vested interest” or that “scientists silence any voice who disagrees with them” shows a complete lack of understanding of how scientists work.

  11. #11 Bruce Williams
    August 10, 2009

    Lotharloo – If you realize it or not, you are the in reality also one of the deniers. You deny that the sun’s cycles have a major part in global warming and are unwilling to debate it.
    You also are not true to science because you do not explain why you believe the points made by others are not valid points. Instead you rely on the “published Gods can’t be wrong” argument, which is very invalid (See any articles from the 1970’s about the coming ice age).
    And lastly, scientific journals, like all businesses, are there to make money; not science. As such, they are very conservative and do NOT publish controversial papers unless the paper is watered down so much it is no longer controversial, but rather asks the question – could things be different? with no definite conclusions.

    Reality sucks, but the truth is – Global warming is PolySci, not science.

  12. #12 John Cook
    September 22, 2009

    Bruce, I recommend you yourself check out the articles from the 1970’s regarding climate predictions – the majority of scientific papers predicting warming due to CO2:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/ice-age-predictions-in-1970s.html

  13. #13 Solar
    November 30, 2009

    That’s interesting. I had thought I heard somewhere that the solar activity had been increasing over the past decade. I didn’t know at all that slight changes in solar activity could have an overall positive or negative effect on the temperature of the Earth. I’m going to have to bookmark this page for the next time I’m in a conversation about global warming. Thank you.

  14. #14 pwlg
    December 8, 2009

    Sorry, but Mr. Jauregui’s reasoning fell apart at the beginning. Plant growth may indeed by fostered by an increase in CO2 however not all plants benefit,like C4 crops, our cereal grains, corn and sugarcane for example.

    Your argument seems to focus on benefits for a part of the planet that has cold winters and appears to ignore the other half of earth’s mass where studies have shown that an increase in CO2 and temperature in tropical forests may actually impede growth. One cannot ignore the importance of forests in this region of the world in regulating climate and temperature.

    In the Arctic, plant life may flourish at the expense of ice sheets disappearing and subsequently our great natural air conditioner may cease to function causing a further rise in temperature and a rise in sea level. The consequences of this would be detrimental to ourselves and the few crops with increased yields. Although plant life may flourish in a warmer Arctic, the loss of permafrost and ice, may in the long run create a desert due to a lack of water…a lack of cold water running down the vast number of rivers in the Arctic may indeed turn the earth onto its head.

    More important to crop yield is water and nitrogen but it is noted that higher CO2 levels may help reduce water loss in plants. I guess in a controlled environment like a greenhouse your argument holds up but fortunately our planet is far more complex than a greenhouse environment. We wouldn’t have survived as a species without that complexity. Now the trick is to understand these complexities prior to engineering the planet based solely on the needs of one specie. Our anthropogenic myopia will surely lead to disaster rather than survival.

    You can’t think of solutions that provides benefits to one part of the planet without thinking about the costs elsewhere.

    Another aspect of our impacts on agriculture that Mr. Jauregui failed to mention and which may negate any improvements to plant production by higher CO2 levels is the human and domestic animal production output of emissions that cause ground level ozone.

    In the area of the world where I live in, ground level ozone has reduced crop yields significantly where growing of some crops has been abandoned and while CO2 levels are also higher in this agriculture area it has not been the magic fertilizer of the next “green revolution”.

    And speaking of the Green Revolution, a term chosen for a type of agriculture that improved crop yields immensely and had a hand in stemming off mass starvation in India and other countries in the world, there are a few points to raise.

    The Green Revolution certainly did have significant benefits during the 1950’s -70’s. However, the Green Revolution also had and continues to have a significant downside.

    Since the 1950’s, nearly 20 million wells were drilled or dug by hand to assist in this intense form of petroleum based agriculture. Today, 30% of those wells are dry. Many of the other wells continue to be dug deeper to find available ground water but this is not sustainable.

    Three-quarters (3/4) of the crop varieties developed by farmers over the centuries have been wiped out.

    Fertilizers and large amounts of water used to increase yields have caused soils to be non-productive over time and has led to both rivers, lakes and wetlands being drained leaving an ecological disaster. As crop yields increased so did the use of herbicides and pesticides. Good for commercial crops but highly detrimental to other life forms including humans.

    I am not sure whether or not the following statistic is related to the Green Revolution but in 1950 the world’s human population was 3 billion, 50 years later the world’s population doubled. More people, more food crops needed, more water and fertilizer needed, more fossil fuels to assist in obtaining larger crop yields, more rivers, lakes and wetlands destroyed and/or dried up and of course more CO2 being generated. Sustainable?

    Another ‘Green Revolution’ as proposed by Mr. Jauregui caused by rising CO2 levels is surely going to lead us down a similar short-sighted path, however, the arguments put forward by Mr. Jauregui, well intentioned, underline one common theme, let’s keep things the way they are no matter what the evidence or costs.

    There has been no discussion on what increased CO2 levels will have on oceans phytoplankton which supplies the earth with 90% of its oxygen. The literature on CO2 and ocean ecology is extensive and gaining more importance as the oceans absorb CO2 as part of the equilibrium process for the earth’s atmosphere. This topic is vast but it does underline the importance of the need to understand the earth in its totality rather than how it can benefit, in the short term, our out of control needs.

    I have grandchildren and the moral imperative for me is to ensure that their world is full of possibilities and dreams and not imperiled by short-sighted and obscenely profit-motivated destructive policies.

  15. #15 Hep
    January 8, 2010

    That post was a little misleading… You might want to read this..
    http://sait.oat.ts.astro.it/MSAIt760405/PDF/2005MmSAI..76..969G.pdf

    Sunspots don’t tell you the whole story or even enough to make any sort of judgment, unless the intention is to mislead people about the impact of the sun on global temperatures…

    And isn’t that chart based on the data manipulated by the IPCC?

  16. #16 Richard Lawson
    January 16, 2010

    Guys, guys: this is not an either/or situation, but a both/and situation. Earth’s climate is a system, the resultant of orbital position and tilt, solar irradiance, volcanic activity, aerosols, greenhouse effect, and even possibly other stuff we do not yet know about. Agreed? I hope so.

    Second, our activities have undoubtedly enhanced the natural greenhouse effect. Even the arch-sceptic Patrick Michaels agrees with this, though he argues over the magnitude. The scientific consensus is that it is significant and dangerous. To counter this, the deniers simply deny the integrity of all the science, based on a misinterpretation of the hacked emails. I doubt that anything can be said to change their minds on this, denial being what it is.

    As to the impact of solar activity, we are due for a warming period in the next 5 years as the sunspot cycle picks up. If there is a indeed a longer 205 year de Vries/Suess cycle, we can hope for a cooling trend, or at least a diminished warming trend for perhaps 20 years. This should be welcomed by all, since it gives us a longer time effectively to decarbonise the economy and sequester existing CO2 excesses.

    Summary with pictures here.

  17. #17 Edward
    January 18, 2010

    Will sunspots cycle bring any effect to the sea level… rising or falling of sea level?

  18. #18 Female scientiest
    May 5, 2010

    Lotharloo – If you realize it or not, you are the in reality also one of the deniers. You deny that the sun’s cycles have a major part in global warming and are unwilling to debate it.
    You also are not true to science because you do not explain why you believe the points made by others are not valid points. Instead you rely on the “published Gods can’t be wrong” argument, which is very invalid (See any articles from the 1970’s about the coming ice age).
    And lastly, scientific journals, like all businesses, are there to make money; not science. As such, they are very conservative and do NOT publish controversial papers unless the paper is watered down so much it is no longer controversial, but rather asks the question – could things be different? with no definite conclusions.

    Reality sucks, but the truth is – Global warming is PolySci, not science.

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  19. #19 Bjoern
    May 5, 2010

    @female scientist:

    You deny that the sun’s cycles have a major part in global warming and are unwilling to debate it.

    The influence of the sun on climate has been studied in detail; conclusion: the solar influence can’t explain the observed climate change. So, who is denying something here…?

    You also are not true to science because you do not explain why you believe the points made by others are not valid points.

    What points do you mean? Could you please give examples?

    Instead you rely on the “published Gods can’t be wrong” argument, …

    Err, no – he (and I, and most other people here) rely on the argument “if thousands of highly qualified scientists all come to the same conclusion, then the probability that they are right is rather high”.

    (See any articles from the 1970’s about the coming ice age).

    Oh, come on, not *that* old myth again! There were only very, very few articles by very, very few scientists, who relied on very, very little data, on a possible ice age back then – in contrast, today we have thousands of scientists, decades of research and mountains of data!

    And lastly, scientific journals, like all businesses, are there to make money; not science. As such, they are very conservative and do NOT publish controversial papers unless the paper is watered down so much it is no longer controversial, but rather asks the question – could things be different? with no definite conclusions.

    Oh, yes. That’s why people like Hoyle, Arp, Margulis etc. did never manage to publish their ideas, right? Oh, wait – they did! So, obviously there is something wrong with your claims… Hint: if journals publish controversial claims, that will draw responses from other scientists and will cause more scientists to read the journal. So, how could the journals make more money – by publishing only conservative papers, or by publishing controversial claims…? Think a bit!

    (oh, and what on earth have female bodybuilders to do with global warming?!?)

  20. #20 Jim Karter
    June 14, 2010

    The key sentence in the letter is this, “‘Denialist’ is an ad hominem argument, the meaning of which is defined entirely by the user, intended to discredit the accused without evidence.”

  21. #21 sceptical dave
    August 20, 2010

    Well, you can believe whatever you like cant you!
    Some say the temperatures are going up, others that their going down, co2 levels are good, or their bad, neither side really looks closely at the arguements of the opposing faction, and its all very heated and emotional. this is not how science is supposed to be. there are lies and mis information and spin [which politicians are very good at],It reminds me of ‘weapons of mass destruction, the biggest lie of the 20th centuary is it all political? we will all just have wait and see.God help us .

  22. #22 Clark
    December 3, 2010

    The solar cycle was discovered in 1843 by Samuel Heinrich Schwabe, who after 17 years of observations noticed a periodic variation in the average number of sunspots seen from year to year on the solar disk. Rudolf Wolf compiled and studied these and other observations, reconstructing the cycle back to 1745, eventually pushing these reconstructions to the earliest observations of sunspots by Galileo and contemporaries in the early seventeenth century. Starting with Wolf, solar astronomers have found it useful to define a standard sunspot number index, which continues to be used today.

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  23. #23 power tools
    January 5, 2011

    Hmm,,great informative a5rticle about the solar cycles.So,what i understood from this article that earth is getting warmer due to other factors except sun and we need to seriously assess the current situation so that we do something to stabilize the temperatures.

  24. #24 Heidrek
    January 10, 2011

    The influence of the sun on climate has been studied in detail; conclusion: the solar influence can’t explain the observed climate change – if not that then are we going carbon gasses as the cause? http://www.floridarefinancemortgagerates.com

  25. #25 jimmy
    January 12, 2011

    there’s been a lot of debate about the causes of global warming and how to combat it. Sunspots don’t tell you the whole story or even enough to make any sort of judgment. http://www.mortgagerefinancelowrate.net the amount of misinformation and scaremongering out there can make it hard to tell fact from fiction some times. most “knowledge” is only supposition and extrapolated theory.

  26. #26 Josh
    January 17, 2011

    Right on Skeptical Dave! There is too much emotion invloved in this debate. There is compelling evidence on both sides that should not be ignored. Anyone who thinks that the sun has nothing to do with the temperature of our planet is somewhere in la la land. For example, why are the polar caps on Mars melting??? Why has climate change happened in the past many many years before the industrial revolution.

    Also I don’t think there is any doubt that we can have an effect on climate change, and anything we can do to help is good. The question is not whether we (humans) contribute to global change, the questions is how much. And that’s a very important question to look into.

    Also one thing to consider is that global warming is tought in our public schools today as fact. So as these kids grow up and become scientist, they are already convinced that global warming is true. As we know, this can skew results. If you are determined to prove something is true, then you will find the facts to do so, and sub-conciously ignore/dismiss other facts. (for example Dr. Wakefield’s study of vaxination links to autism.)

    If studies were run more objectivly, without pre-assumed answers that just need enough facts to back them up, then we would be closer to finding the real solution.

    In conclusion, reduce, re-use, recycle, do what you can becuase mother nature is really good to us. But lets try to be more open to ALL the facts when we are studying this matter.

  27. #27 aaakoo
    February 27, 2011

    Over the holidays I read Ellen Goodman’s final column, Letting Go, in the Washington Post. She is a very well-known syndicated columnist in the US and I, along with millions of others, have been reading her for much of her career, which spans 46 years.itunes.com

  28. #28 Sasha Cooper
    March 27, 2011

    I’m no scientist, but my assumption would be that low level activity on the sun’s surface isn’t all that important when it comes to earth’s climate. Earth’s climate is more determined by it’s atmosphere. The reason I say this is look at the temperature difference between the surface of mercury (no atmosphere) and that of venus (lots of thick atmosphere).

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  29. #29 Gary Tan
    September 4, 2011

    Sunspots are scary to take the matter seriously. Everything has got an end too. But to consider the thought, it is somehow unstoppable.
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  30. #30 Chris
    October 10, 2011

    I agree with what one of the former posters had to say; global warming is the net result of many factors. However, I am a bit skeptical of those who rush to pronounce judgement on the human race just yet. Depending on when one begins to chart temperatures, different results will be seen. One of the hottest decades in history was the 1930s. Temperatures were at least as high as those we are seeing now. As CO2 levels continued to rise, the temperatures leveled off and fell. They are back up again, but it is far too early to state conclusively that it is due to human factors. A majority of scientists indeed support the idea that global warming is at least added to by humans. However, a significant number dispute that conclusion. That is the nature of science. No theory (and in scientific terms, any conclusion is still a theory, even relativity) is sacrosanct in science. Refusal to consider counterpoints is non-scientific and bears a greater resemblance to political or religious opinions. I notice this trend in other branches of science as well, and it disappoints me. Al Gore cannot know too much about the nature of science to state “the debate about global warming is over” or “the science is in.” Science is never “in.” If we can add a whole kingdom to taxonomy (Archaea, added in 1990 bringing the total up to six), why do we still carry around this notion that science is a static system? It was not designed to be so. Personally, I think we should innovate to pollute less–most people agree. However, I do not think we should do so at a pace which will result in plunging the world economy into ruin. I have spent enough time in the Third World to tell you that poverty itself is harmful to the economy.
    I also note that there is a high correlation between die-hard global warming enthusiasts and socialists. This is sociologically interesting to me. There is actually more debate and consideration on this issue on the conservative side; leftists tend to agree with whatever they feel is the “correct” way of thinking on an issue. Conservatives will worry and debate the issue until they feel convinced one way or the other. I feel that way about man-made global warming. I am, as of yet, undecided. I have read and researched both sides and each has compelling points. However, it is important to unshackle this issue from the chains of politics in order to make a rational conclusion. Does that make me a “denier”? (Note the rhetorical implication comparing those who do not accept man-made global warming to Holocaust deniers.) I tend to think of myself as an “undecided” who would rather not destroy the industrial economy prematurely.
    It also strikes me as odd that Al Gore has recently purchased a home near the beach in Florida when his own graphics show that area being submerged in a few years. It makes me wonder if he is simply exploiting a trend for economic gain.

  31. #31 Chris
    October 10, 2011

    Poverty is harmful to the ENVIRONMENT. Sorry:)

  32. #32 Wow
    October 11, 2011

    “Depending on when one begins to chart temperatures, different results will be seen.”

    Really? I don’t think so. Ask Michael Mann and any other paleoclimatologist. There’s nothing happening now that hasn’t happened before. Supervolcanoes increased CO2 once before and climate changed about 3C per doubling of CO2 concentrations. Humans are burning fossil fuels far faster, and we’ll get the same sort of result.

    “One of the hottest decades in history was the 1930s.”

    FALSE. The last 10 years is the hottest decade.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.A2.gif

    I guess you’re opening comment is really “If you imagine what the data looks like, you can get a different answer”.

    “They are back up again, but it is far too early to state conclusively that it is due to human factors.”

    FALSE. http://www.ipcc.ch

    (and also 1. They’re up a lot more. 2. There was a reason for the reduction in the 40’s)

    “However, a significant number dispute that conclusion.”

    What 1% is a significant number???

    “Al Gore cannot know too much about the nature of science to state “the debate about global warming is over” or “the science is in.” Science is never “in.””

    He can listen to those who know a lot more than you.

    “However, I do not think we should do so at a pace which will result in plunging the world economy into ruin”

    ALARMIST!!!

    “It also strikes me as odd that Al Gore has recently purchased a home near the beach in Florida when his own graphics show that area being submerged in a few years”

    Nope. “his own graphics” didn’t GIVE a year.

    But you’re ready to hallucinate anything to deny the science.

    You, sir, are a DENIER.

  33. #33 Sanity
    November 27, 2011

    The last 10 years is the hottest decade.

    Don’t you really mean that it’s the hottest “recorded” decade?
    To claim that the sun has nothing at all to do with temperature on earth is like saying an oven has nothing to do with the food cooked in it. Al Gore is not a scientist and should never be treated as such, he shouldn’t even be quoted here. Reign in your emotions and look at things objectively rather than dismissing people who happen to want more data, or could it be that is you who doesn’t want additional data?

  34. #34 cat
    January 29, 2012
  35. #35 CaptainSlog
    Bristol, UK
    July 25, 2013

    The hottest summer’s day does not occur on mid-summers day. The temperature cycle lags behind the solar cycle, so the hottest day is usually some time later This may be due to the thermal inertia of the water mass of the oceans, among other factors. Similarly, we would expect the earth’s temperature cycle to lag behind the solar heat cycle.