Daily Mail has 2 Science articles absolving the Sun from responsibility

July 11, 2007 at 9:28 am | Posted in Climate change, Fröhlich, Global warming, Lockwood, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Switzerland, UK, World Radiation Center | 4 Comments

Science & tech

1 The sun is not to blame for global warming, says study

11/07/2007 11:40:19

The sun’s changing energy levels are not to blame for recent global warming and, if anything, solar variations over the past 20 years should have had a cooling effect, scientists have said.

Their findings add to a growing body of evidence that human activity, not natural causes, lies behind rising average world temperatures, which are expected to reach their second highest level this year since records began in the 1860s.

There is little doubt that solar variability has influenced the Earth’s climate in the past and may well have been a factor in the first half of the last century, but British and Swiss researchers said it could not explain recent warming.

“Over the past 20 years, all the trends in the sun that could have had an influence on Earth’s climate have been in the opposite direction to that required to explain the observed rise in global mean temperatures,” they wrote in the Proceedings of the Royal Society.

Most scientists say emissions of greenhouse gases, mainly from burning fossil fuels in power plants, factories and cars, are the prime cause of the current warming trend.

A dwindling group pins the blame on natural variations in the climate system, or a gradual rise in the sun’s energy output.

In order to unpick that possible link, Mike Lockwood of Britain’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and Claus Froehlich of the World Radiation Centre in Davos, Switzerland, studied factors that could have forced climate change in recent decades, including variations in total solar irradiance and cosmic rays.

The data was smoothed to take account of the 11-year sunspot cycle, which affects the amount of heat the sun emits but does not impact the Earth’s surface air temperature, due to the way the oceans absorb and retain heat.

They concluded that the rapid rise in global mean temperatures seen since the late 1980s could not be ascribed to solar variability, whatever mechanism was invoked.

Britain’s Royal Society – one of the world’s oldest scientific academies, founded in 1660 – said the new research was an important rebuff to climate change sceptics.

“At present there is a small minority which is seeking to deliberately confuse the public on the causes of climate change. They are often misrepresenting the science, when the reality is that the evidence is getting stronger every day,” it said in a statement.

The 10 warmest years in the past 150 years have all been since 1990 and a United Nations climate panel, drawing on the work of 2,500 scientists, said this year it was “very likely” human activities were the main cause.

The panel gave a “best estimate” that temperatures would rise 1.8 to 4.0 degrees Celsius (3.2 to 7.8 Fahrenheit) this century.

Science & tech

2 The sun is ‘in the clear on global warming’

11/07/2007 00:15:24

SunGlobal warming over the past 20 years cannot be explained simply by natural variations in the Sun, according to a study.

Researchers say that, if anything, solar trends should have resulted in the world cooling since the mid 1980s.

Climate change sceptics argue that most scientists underestimate the importance of solar activity in altering global temperatures.

Yet the findings add to the evidence that human behaviour is altering the climate.

Dr Mike Lockwood, of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire, is a coauthor of the findings, published in the Proceedings Of The Royal Society ‘A’ journal.

He said: “Over the past 20 years, all the trends in the Sun have been in the opposite direction to that required to explain the observed recent and rapid rise in global mean temperatures.

“Hence, irrespective of any connections between the Sun and Earth’s climate before the dominance of the effects of burning fossil fuels, the Sun is not a factor in recent climate change.”

The Daily Mail is, I think, the most widely read tabloid in the UK.   I am not sure where it stands in relation to circulation numbers for The Sun, but I checked the latter, and, despite its name, THE SUN newspaper has no references to the Lockwood & Fröhlich study.

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4 Comments »

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  1. That’s interesting since earlier this year Lockwood suggested a correlation between Neptune Brightness, Earth Temperature and Total Solar Irradiance.

  2. G.W. Lockwood is responsible for the article you refer to, N.Johnson, i.e.:

    Hammel, H. B., and G. W. Lockwood, 2007. Suggestive correlations between the brightness of Neptune, solar variability, and Earth’s temperature, Geophysical Research Letters, 34, L08203, doi:10.1029/2006GL028764.

    I have no idea what the initials G.W. relate to, apart from the obvious acronym for Global Warming, which has not escaped previous comments from kids in relation to our President’s firstname initials!

    Mike Lockwood is the name you need to search on, not Lockwood alone.

  3. Darnit. Too many Lockwood’s out there. Thanks for catching my error.

  4. My pleasure. Just wait till you try searching on Frohlich, Froehlich, and Fröhlich 😉


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