back to article Sunspots make the world hot and wet

News that paleoclimatologists at Paul Smith's College in New York state have found a link between sunspot activity and rain reaches us on the same day that other mathematicians at the University of Washington have uncovered a correlation between variations in the global temperature and the cycle of solar activity. The …


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  1. Mike Arnautov

    Over to you, C4!

    And can we now look forward to C4 showing a documentary to publicise the fact that the global warming is not attributable to sunspots after all? (I know, I know... just day-dreaming...)

  2. Kristian Miklec

    Water -- The other greenhouse gas.

    I'm glad to see research on the interaction between the sun and our planet. I don't think enough of the interaction between climate and the solar interaction with earth's magnetosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere; and solar irradiance, spectra and mass discharge, are really all that well known. Water vapour has nearly twice the specific heat of carbon dioxide and like this study points out, relatively small changes in humidity in the atmosphere could really change surface temperatures.

  3. Steven Moore

    Here we go again

    How could they look at "satellite data on solar radiation and surface temperatures over the past 50 years" when the satellite data only goes back 28 years?

    As for the prediction "the planet would see an increase in temperature of between 2.3°C and 4.1°C", they are either over-estimating the forcing of water vapor, or discounting the increase in albedo, or (probably) both.

    Finally, how does any of that article justify the statement "But climate change still down to humans"?

  4. G R Goslin


    A centuries worth of solar cycle data. That comes out as a statistical sample of nine events. I do so like these predictions made on a realistic sample base. And the unusual rainfall events preceeding the solar maximum, perhaps we should look into the possibility that the solar cycle is driven by unusual rainfall in East Africa.

  5. Wade Burchette

    This just in: Sun makes earth warm

    Some scientist did a study that proved that the intensity of the sun has a direct affect on cloud mass. Stronger solar winds = less clouds, and vice versa. Less clouds = more solar energy hitting the earth = higher temperatures. From what I've read, but don't have any links to prove it, the sun is at its peak intensity, which means it will only go down from here. The real question is when that will happen.

    What is also interesting is that Mars has been getting warmer, and Jupiter, and Neptune. What a coincidence that other planets without humans are getting warmer. This just goes to show how complex the weather is, and how the simplistic UN or Al Gore don't account for most of the variables in global warming.

  6. Chris Goodchild

    hot stuff

    The amount of extra energy required to make the difference between a rise of 2.3 and 4.1 centigrade is vast and what exactly is the connection between atmospheric carbon and rainfall? Am I missing something?

    Also I seem to remember reading somewhere that an AVERAGE GLOBAL increase in temperature of 4degrees celsius would result in about 60% of all plant species dying out. Not to mention humongous rises in sea level . Who needs humans to screw up the planet?

  7. Lexx Greatrex

    "But climate change still down to humans"??

    You byline reads "But climate change still down to humans" but where in the article does it say that?

    What kind of journalism is this Reg?

    Did Al Gore invent journalistic integrity as well?

  8. David K

    Getting hotter....

    Of course it's all due to 'uman beans! The earth's getting hotter and re-radiating its excess heat back into space. All the pollution just focusses it on the other planets causing them to heat up as well!

    Have a warm one... DavidK

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did you read the article?

    Fact 1: Someone linked the sun spot activity of the sun to a change in global temperature, over the 50 years, to about 0.2C. (note, Zero, Point, Two).

    Fact 2: By comparison, doubling the carbon content of the atmosphere would change the temperature of the world by 2.3°C and 4.1°C

    "if atmospheric carbon was doubled tomorrow, the planet would see an increase in temperature of between 2.3°C and 4.1°C"

    So, yes, sun spots do change the temperature, but by almost nothing compared to human activity.

  10. giles scott


    'Ka-Kit Tung and Charles Camp', are you making this up???

  11. Paul R

    re: Did you read the article?

    You are aware aren't you that the current measured increase in global temperature over the last 125 years or so is 0.6C Which is only 0.1C above what you would expect from a 0.2C increase every 50 years.

    Also, so what if doubling atmospheric carbon would increase temperatures by 2.3-4.1C (very dubious calculations there anyway). That's a bit like saying 'If I drive everywhere at 150mph I'll get to my destination faster', it's true but it's also irrelevant. It would take a massive effort to churn out so much CO2, we'd all have to start driving 10mpg cars everywhere, have our home heating at 40C, never switch lights off etc to even come close to that level of carbon emissions.

  12. Richard

    Solar cycle

    "From what I've read, but don't have any links to prove it, the sun is at its peak intensity"

    That's not surprising because it's almost bang on a minimum.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's Chocolate got to do with it?

    Am I the only one who read part of that article as "Mathematical Kit Kat" ??

    Yes? Thought so...!

  14. NIILL

    It will be funny in a few years

    I am sure that in a few years we'll all look back on this "humans changed the climate" fallacy in the same way we do about the Earth being flat, Moon made from cheese, and super-natural creator of Heavens and Earth. DOH, we still have some way to go to overcome that one too!!!

    Predicting climate changes based on very short historical evidence is naive at best and dangerous at worst. A recent Ice Core sample from Greenland showed that there was insects and vegetation in that region between 150,000 and 400,000 years ago. This is a region now covered by over 1 Km of ice. I am sure that the last few millions of years have seen the planet warm and cool for all sorts of reasons, and the Eco-nutters who are more worried about scare-mongering and fund raising than scientific evidence should put their 20 years of research into a planet life-cycle context.

    Al Gore.... = Al Bore

  15. Tim

    All pales into insignificance...

    ... when considering the 'seasons' of the solar system, the sun, the earth's cycles, orbits around the galaxy, interactions of planets and so on.

    Whatever humans do, a minor shift in orbit makes a massive change by comparison.

    How else do you think we had ice ages and periods hotter than any of the "hottest day ever!*" records of recent years ?

    * - so says records that only stretch back a few hundred years which is peanuts compared to the millions the planet has existed.

    Do what we like, we're an insignificant blip on the history of the planet and make very little impact despite what we like to believe.

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