Atmosphere And Weather

Does Solar Activity Contribute to Climate Change

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The beauty of science is the fact that most scientists are skeptical by nature and what was once thought of as fact, can then change and be replaced by a new fact. In 2006 Pluto, the ninth planet of our Solar System was changed from being a planet to become a dwarf planet, and before that it was once common thought that the Earth was flat and was the center of the universe.

Climate change has also been an evolving science; in the 1970’s, it was thought that the Earth was cooling and going into an ice age. In the 1990’s and early 2000’s, it was thought that the Earth was overheating and it was man which was causing this. It has since been found that neither are the case and that the climate of the Earth is complicated and many factors influence its behavior. One such factor is the solar activity of the Sun. Below is a discussion of solar activity and its effects on climate change.

-         “Solar Constant” Actually on an Eleven year Variation

The Sun’s energy is critical in weather influence, it controls atmospheric circulation. Any change in the Sun’s energy will ultimately affect the weather and in turn the climate. George Reid showed that Sunspots vary in an eleven year cycle and this influences global sea temperature which then influences the climate. This theory was expanded by Eigil Friis-Christensen and Henrik Svensmark which showed that yes this 11 cycle exists, but the sea temperature lags and that the surface temperature in the North American hemisphere preceded this by 20 years. They showed it was solar surface magnetic fields as well, as the 80-90 year Gleissberg period, proved that sunspots do not always coordinate to temperature change. They in turn showed that the length of the sunspot cycle mattered, it is mostly an 11 year cycle but it can vary from cycle to cycle. When they added this factor it correlated fairly closely for the last 400 years and  confirmed the good correlation between solar activity and the Northern Hemisphere land temperature.

-         Skepticism

Scientific research is typically funded by the state and in turn can be influenced by an agenda to keep funding flowing instead of scientific truth. For some reason certain scientific institutions have a hard time changing their course when presented with facts that do not agree with their current position or theory. NASA is having a hard time admitting correlation between solar activity and temperature. Hopefully sometime in the future scientists will get back being skeptical and question not only new theories but old theories that they might have held.

More about this author: Brian Lobb

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