10 July 2007

The Sun is Actually Cooling

One of the (recent) favorite claims of global climate change denialists is that the Earth is warming because the Sun is putting off more heat. To back up these claims, they point to the fact that Mars and Pluto are getting warmer - while conveniently forgetting that there are six other planets in the solar system that aren't.

This is enough, one would think, to blow their claims out of the water. But, as we all are aware, denialists are adept at one thing - whether it's religious denial of evolution, political denial of the debacle in Iraq, or political/big bidness denial of climate change. Fuel has also been added to their claims by The Great Global Warming Swindle, which was broadcast on British television earlier this year.

As it turns out, though, there is "No sun link to climate change".

A new scientific study concludes that changes in the Sun's output cannot be causing modern-day climate change.

It shows that for the last 20 years, the Sun's output has declined, yet temperatures on Earth have risen.

It also shows that modern temperatures are not determined by the Sun's effect on cosmic rays, as has been claimed.

Writing in the Royal Society's journal Proceedings A, the researchers say cosmic rays may have affected climate in the past, but not the present.

"This should settle the debate," said Mike Lockwood from the UK's Rutherford-Appleton Laboratory, who carried out the new analysis together with Claus Froehlich from the World Radiation Center in Switzerland.

Dr Lockwood initiated the study partially in response to the TV documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle, broadcast on Britain's Channel Four earlier this year, which featured the cosmic ray hypothesis.

"All the graphs they showed stopped in about 1980, and I knew why, because things diverged after that," he told the BBC News website.

"You can't just ignore bits of data that you don't like," he said.


I can't wait to hear what the denialists have to say about this!

/end snark

UPDATE: BBC video.

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