It’s the sun, stupid! It’s not CO2

September 10, 2012 04:48

This new sun-climate relationship picture may be telling us that the way our Sun cools and warms the Earth is largely through the penetration of incoming solar radiation in regions with cloudless skies.


By Willie Soon and William M. Briggs


Scientists have been studying solar influences on the climate for over 5000 years.

Chinese imperial astronomers kept detailed sunspot records. They noticed that more sunspots meant warmer weather. In 1801, the celebrated astronomer William Herschel (discoverer of the planet Uranus) observed that, when there were fewer spots, the price of wheat soared. He surmised that less “light and heat” from the sun resulted in reduced harvests.

Earlier last month Professor Richard Muller of the University of California, Berkeley’s BEST project announced that, based on their newly constructed global land temperature record, “no component that matches solar activity” was related to temperature. Instead, Professor Muller said, carbon dioxide controlled temperature.

Could it really be true that solar radiation, which supplies Earth with the energy that drives our weather and climate – and which, when it varied, caused the climate to shift over the ages – is no longer the principal influence on climate change?

Consider the charts that accompany this article. They show some rather surprising relationships between solar radiation and daytime high temperatures, taken directly from Berkeley’s BEST project. The remarkable thing about the graphs is that these tight relationships hold for areas as large as the USA, to areas as small as the Sunshine state, and even as minor as our nation’s capital.

This new sun-climate relationship picture may be telling us that the way our Sun cools and warms the Earth is largely through the penetration of incoming solar radiation in regions with cloudless skies.

Recent work by NCAR senior scientists Drs. Harry van Loon and Gerald Meehl place strong emphasis of this physical point, and argue that the use of daytime high temperatures is the most appropriate test of the hypothesis connecting solar radiation with surface temperature. All previous sun-climate studies have included the complicated nighttime temperature records, while the Sun is on the other hemisphere.

Even small changes in solar radiation may have a strong effect on Earth’s temperature and climate. In 2005, our research demonstrated a surprisingly strong correlation between solar radiation and temperatures in the Arctic over the past 130 years. Since then, we have demonstrated similar correlations in all the regions surrounding the Arctic, including the US mainland and China.

This confirmation of a sun-temperature relation using only the daytime high temperature records from the USA certainly adds scientific weight to the soundness of this connection.

The close relationships between the abrupt ups and downs of solar activity and similar changes in temperature that we have identified occur locally in coastal Greenland; regionally in the Arctic Pacific and north Atlantic; and hemispherically for the whole circum-Arctic. This strongly suggests that changes in solar radiation drive temperature variations, at least in many regions.



Correlations like these cannot be drawn for temperature and CO2 concentration. There is simply no similar close match between the steady rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration and the often dramatic ups and downs of surface temperatures in and around the Arctic, China and the United States.

Even more recently, in collaboration with Professor David R. Legates of the University of Delaware, we were able to provide a self-consistent explanation for these apparent sun-climate correlations. It involves exchanges of heat and moisture between the equator and the Arctic region.

In addition, we recently discovered direct evidence that changes in solar activity have influenced what has been called the “conveyor-belt” circulation of the great Atlantic Ocean currents over the past 240 years. For instance, solar-driven changes in temperature, and in the volume of freshwater released from the Arctic, causes variations in sea surface temperature in the tropical Atlantic 5-20 years later.

These peer-reviewed results, appearing in prestigious journals, make it difficult to maintain that changes in solar activity play no (or only an insignificant) role in climate change.

The hallmark of good science is the testing of plausible hypotheses that are either supported or rejected by the evidence. The evidence in BEST’s own data, and in other data we have analyzed, is consistent with the hypothesis that the Sun causes climate change, especially in the Arctic, China and the USA.

BEST’s data also clearly invalidates the hypothesis that CO2 is the most important cause of observed temperature changes across the USA.

Former US president Bill Clinton recently expressed his astonishment that “best tattoos” he had ever seen were on construction workers at a solar energy plant in California.  He said, “You win the tattoo vote, we’ll have the damndest environmental policy you ever saw!”

President Clinton would probably be the first to admit that the viability of solar electricity power plants depends not only on the mysteries of cloudless skies, but also the brutal reality of economics.

Taking Mr. Clinton’s advice, perhaps we can propose a new science-based tattoo worthy of his fame: “It’s the Sun, stupid!”



Willie Soon has been researching the relationship of solar radiation and Earth’s climate for the past 21 years.  William M. Briggs is a meteorology-trained statistician and former associate editor of the Monthly Weather Review.


Editor’s note: We’ve been warning about the CO2 climate hoax for over two years. Making CO2 the culprit fits a political agenda not science. Control over CO2 brings control over virtually everything. Transportation, lifestyles, manufacturing, food production, energy production even the air you breathe all involve CO2. The UN IPCC “study” showing CO2 is the culprit has been thoroughly discredited as unscientific. Be sure to click on further reading below for many more articles exposing the climate scam that is the biggest con the world has ever seen.

Also consider this from July 19, 2010 at


Sun not CO2 the culprit -but cap & trade eminent


Dr David Ivory at Otago Daily Times

David Ivory argues the variation in energy received from the sun has a much greater effect on global temperature balance than the effect of greenhouse gases.

The scientific and public debate on what causes global warming has been very one-sided.

The claim the so-called greenhouse gases (chiefly the natural biological products, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide) are the cause of global warming is only a theory.

It is not fact or an unequivocal truth, even though the proponents of the theory would want to claim the science behind their theory is beyond debate and supported by an overwhelming majority of scientists.

The reality is the scientists associated with climate change groupings represent only a small proportion of the total physical and biological scientists around the world, but collectively they have had an inordinately large influence on governments and policy makers.

In addition, they have adopted a condescending tactic to rebut criticism by disparaging or questioning the integrity or knowledge of those who oppose their point of view by labelling them deniers and sceptics and to claim the majority of scientists accept the so-called science of greenhouse gas-induced global warming.

The fact is there has been no poll among scientists concerning their beliefs and a large body of physical and biological scientists do not accept this theory (a recent scientific publication rejecting this theory had 10,000 signatories), as they believe the historic scientific record shows clearly the sun has always controlled and continues to control global temperature, not greenhouse gases.

Put simply, although very complex in reality, the earth’s temperature balance is dictated by the net effects of energy into (solar irradiance), and energy out of (back radiation and heat loss), the earth’s atmosphere and surface.

If energy in exceeds energy out the earth warms and if energy in is less than out the earth cools.

The greenhouse gas theory claims that increasing greenhouse gases restricts thermal energy out to the point that the energy balance is positively affected and therefore the earth warms.

The greenhouse gas theory of global warming, however, is only a very recent proposition in earth time, relating to the period of time since the industrial revolution.

It does not explain the reasons for the earth warming and cooling during the millennia of its existence.

The alternative point of view held by a very large number of scientists is that the variation in energy received from the sun has a much greater effect on global temperature balance than the effect of greenhouse gases on energy loss and therefore it is the sun’s activity that has always dominantly controlled global warming and cooling.

The scientific record shows clearly that over the past 3000 years there has been a more than 3degC change in global temperature, with both significant warming (in mediaeval times) and cooling (little ice age in 1700s) trends above and below present global temperatures.

What is important is these global temperature changes closely follow radiation level changes and indeed have the highest correlation with temperature change.

More importantly, since the end of the 1700s the earth has been in a general warming trend in response to increasing solar radiation.

And with this warming trend the scientific record shows that glaciers have been steadily retreating and sea levels rising for the past 200-250 years.

Thus it is important to realise these trends are not recent and started long before there was any significant burning of fossil fuels or increase in atmospheric CO2 levels.

However, the most damning evidence against greenhouse gas-induced global warming is the fact that there was a significant global cooling period between about 1940 and 1975 (associated with decreasing radiation levels) even though there was a three-fold increase in burning of fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions during this period.

This clearly demonstrates that global temperature was responding to changes in radiation levels and that rising levels of greenhouse gases were not causing global warming.

The recent continuation of the general warming trend in the past 30 years, which is the period upon which the greenhouse gas theorists exclusively concentrate, is associated with further increases in solar radiation level.

Of course, the greenhouse gas theorists claim this warming has been exclusively because of rising greenhouse gases during this period, but as the rates of glacier melting and sea rise continue as they have for the past 200 years, it can only be concluded that rising greenhouse gases are merely coincidental with the long-term warming trend, not the cause.

Niwa announced that the average temperature of New Zealand in 2009 was cooler than the long-term average (i.e. cooler than more than 50% of the 100-plus years since temperature measurement started), with some places between 0.5degC and 1degC lower than average; that there was record cold weather in the last northern hemisphere winter; and that the area of winter Arctic ice increased for a third consecutive year.

These are not coincidences.

While it is too early to be certain of a trend change to lower solar radiation and therefore lower global temperature, the fact that the approximately 11-year solar cycle reached its lowest level in more than 50 years in 2009 may represent the beginning of a new global cooling period despite higher levels of greenhouse gases.

If a second global cooling period occurs during a further period of increasing greenhouse gases, this will surely completely and finally discredit the theory of greenhouse gas-induced global warming.

The bottom line is that there is no unequivocal scientific evidence that global warming is caused by greenhouse gases.

And therefore, this means that the introduction of an emissions trading scheme (ETS) is useless in reducing global temperatures and represents only an expensive venture in futility.

The New Zealand Government would have been better off delaying the introduction of an ETS, as has the Australian Government, until the complexities of climate change are better understood.

Dr David Ivory is a Balclutha-based retired university teacher, scientist and senior United Nations staff member. His research interest has been in the general area of environmental (climatic) effects on biological processes.


And these:

NASA study debunks global warming alarmism

Greenhouse Effect; Everybody Talks About It But Few Know What It Is

UN climate official admits climate hoax is about redistributing wealth globally

Help Make A Difference By Sharing These Articles On Facebook, Twitter And Elsewhere:

Interested In Further Reading? Click Here