News24

Weaker sun won't stop global warming

2012-01-24 09:35

London - A weaker sun over the next 90 years is not likely to significantly delay a rise in global temperature caused by greenhouse gases, a report said on Monday.

The study, by Britain's Meteorological Office and the University of Reading, found that the Sun's output would decrease up until 2100 but this would only lead to a fall in global temperatures of 0.08°C.

Scientists have warned that more extreme weather is likely across the globe this century as the Earth's climate warms.

The world is expected to heat up by over 2°C this century due to increased greenhouse gas emissions.

Current global pledges to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas emissions are not seen as sufficient to stop the planet heating up beyond 2°, a threshold scientists say risks an unstable climate in which weather extremes are common.

Changes

"This research shows that the most likely change in the sun's output will not have a big impact on global temperatures or do much to slow the warming we expect from greenhouse gases," said Gareth Jones, climate change detection scientist at the Met Office.

"It's important to note this study is based on a single climate model, rather than multiple models which would capture more of the uncertainties in the climate system," he added.

During the 20th century, solar activity increased to a maximum level and recent studies have suggested this level of activity has reached, or is nearing, an end.

The scientists used this maximum level as a starting point to project possible changes in the sun's activity over this century.

The study also showed that if the sun's output went below a threshold reached between 1645 and 1715 - called the Maunder Minimum when solar activity was at its lowest observed level - global temperature would fall by 0.13°C.

"The most likely scenario is that we'll see an overall reduction of the sun's activity compared to the 20th Century, such that solar outputs drop to the values of the Dalton Minimum [around 1820]," said Mike Lockwood, solar studies expert at the University of Reading.

"The probability of activity dropping as low as the Maunder Minimum - or indeed returning to the high activity of the 20th century - is about 8%."

Comments
  • Paul - 2012-01-24 10:51

    Despite Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth and all of the "green" global warming stuff we hear, it just doesn't add up for me. In a reversal of the Anthropogenic Global Warming theory, increases in CO2 lags rising temperatures by about 800 years- http://www.sciencemag.org/content/299/5613/1728.abstract and http://joannenova.com.au/global-warming/ice-core-graph/ This fact on its own blows AGW out of the waters. Human activity contributes less than 1% of the total greenhouse effect (which is supposedly the primary cause of global warming). This is a very informative article with an explanation of the numbers involved- http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html I reckon the main reason for the global warming which we have experienced over the past century is natural cycles. The Milankovitch cycles (that’s to do with the eccentricity, tilt and precession of the earth’s orbit of the sun) in particular. See this chart which parallels the insolation from these combined cycles, the CO2 and CH4 records (linked to temperature) from the Vostok ice cores- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vostok_420ky_4curves_insolation.jpg There is a striking correlation between these natural sun-earth cycles and the CO2/temperature records! To add to that there are the smaller sun spot cycles and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO).

      ludlowdj - 2012-01-24 11:09

      Spot on Paul, great reply. People are using global warming to make obscene profits, when it is in fact a traceable natural cycle that has occurred millions of time already and will continue to do so no matter what man does to try and control it. Any suggestion that man can stop or reverse the cycle being an outright lie.

      Lebowski - 2012-01-24 11:16

      Paul - it's obvious that you talk the talk, but how can you be so naive to think that humans haven't had a significant impact on the climate? Perhaps - and I say this very tentatively - we do not play such a big role in climate change as we are lead to believe, but why tell the people that? They will not hesitate to jump on the "climate change is a con" bandwagon. Personally, I'm certain that we well and truly f.ckt Earth up. Pollution + deforestation + overpopulation = DOOM. Humans really deserve to die. Bring on 21 December!

      Paul - 2012-01-24 11:33

      @Lebowski Sure we have contributed to global warming but if you look at the numbers involved our contribution is really negligible. I agree that man has not done such a great job of looking after our planet, and I think we should try to develop cleaner energy sources. But if the world adopted the Kyoto Protocol there would be seriously negative consequences to the world economy. So I am saying rather than just accepting the "green" propaganda, check out the info for yourself. And let's try and find a healthier middle ground.

      Peter - 2012-01-24 11:44

      Thats right Paul. The cycle will continue to diffuse life on earth...over and over and over again. It was happening before us puny humans, and it will happen after us too. The corporate world is a very clever and conniving entity. Always telling the populations that technology is the way to go. I was actually really hoping on that CME to wipe out a lot of tech. People rely WAY too much on technology and the internet, and for something that comes so natural to the world, like climate change, i get a good feeling that there is nothing that mankind can do to stop it. Even though i know that i will suffer in more ways than one. The corporate world creates riffs in consumer demand, to feed its greed in making the average joe, penny-less and the elites more powerful. The Mayan 'end of world prediction' is a misinterpretation. It is the end of an 'age' for them...just like how we will reach the new age in 2150. In my view, i would actually put the a LARGE part of blame, in religion. But thats another topic...and im sure you pretty bored of all the cr*p spewing from my finger tips lol

      Paul - 2012-01-24 13:05

      @Peter How do you pin this one on religion? All the Jews and Catholics lighting candles:-) What a joke!

      Peter - 2012-01-24 13:21

      lol, sorry dude...ive been watching a lot of Zeitgeist, and reading up on the ways that religion shapes humanity and calves large cavities in global/universal acceptance. What really triggered me off about the 'blame region', is i was thinking back to that old dude in the states, and how he had soooo many followers devoting their wealth and lives (to a sinister cause). Religions are riddled with 'the end of times' messages, but over time, i fear that the books have evolved via mankinds greed for wealth and power - to such an extent, that fear is instilled in followers. (hence - the fear of the end) Their is too much hype about this whole global warming rubbish. It is natural, yes, and humans have had a large impact, sure, but the corporate world needs a noose around its neck. ok, im rambling :)

  • Lebowski - 2012-01-24 12:13

    If a butterfly flaps it's wings... This just indicates that "insignificant" actions could lead to outrageous reactions. The climate is chaos. Humans have done much more than just "flapping their wings". To think that pollution-spewing factories don't impact on the climate is SILLY! In fact, there's another word for it - IGNORANT!

      Paul - 2012-01-24 12:22

      @Lebowski Have you even considered the facts? Read this article: http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html Man made greenhouse gas are miniscule compared to natural greenhouse gas.

  • Lebowski - 2012-01-24 12:37

    Paul, I have considered the facts at my disposal (which is probably 1/1000 000 000 of the whole truth), as I'm sure you have. Scientists differ, because no one can possibly consider ALL the facts. Most scientists, however, agree that humans have had a significant impact on the climate. We are not solely responsible for it, of course, but if the guys with the spectacles come to the conclusion that we must cut our emissions then me and you are in no position to argue. Sure, science once told us the Earth is flat. I know science isn't always right, but who really knows what they're talking about? You? Or Monte Hieb? (Hieb is the guy who last revised that link you sent to me in March, 2007).

      Paul - 2012-01-24 12:44

      Fair enough. I agree know one really knows all the facts here. Does that mean we must just accept what the media tells us? I would still like someone to explain global warming or climate change (as they like to call it now- I guess it covers all their bases) considering the data that we do know. It seems that so much of this stuff is based on the IPCC computer models of what may be, rather than on data that we have. And these models ignore vital info like the negative feedbacks of heat lost to the atmosphere and the cooling effect of increased cloud cover. These are major factors which are being ignored.

  • Lebowski - 2012-01-24 12:58

    Paul, you're undoubtedly a smart guy and I hope you figure it out. If you do, let me know. In the meantime, read Michael Crighton's "State of Fear". He has plenty of theories to shoot down global warming and our misinterpretation of the "facts" surrounding it. He uses LOADS of scientific references and the book has a plot to boot. I reckon the book does more damage than good, because uninformed individuals (basically all of us) suddenly believe it's all a scam. We just loo-oove jumping to conclusions. And then we pollute the minds of those who haven't made theirs up yet. It snowballs. Anyway, nice talking to you!

      Paul - 2012-01-24 13:03

      Thanks. I will look out for it. I'm obviously not as bright as you may think, because I keep posting twice. For some reason I post and it doesn't show it, even if I refresh the page. Hence, reposting and deleting. Cheers.

  • Grant - 2012-01-24 14:12

    Paul its hard to understand what your position is . You sound like the kind of person who can interpret "facts", understand complex modeling and apply high browed science but yet after powerful IQ application you just cant decide what to do . So let me do it for you . FACT 1.THe anthropogenic greenhouse effect is real,present and cant lag 8000 years behind . Its effect is immeadiate(in the time scale of the earth)2. According to the data from ice cores/the related Milankovitch cycles the earth should be ina state of cooling , not average temps getting hotter.If you look at Methane ,CO2 emmisions , other gas production like Nitrogen etc there is a striking correlation between their production and a sudden rise in avergae temps in the last 100 years . So let me tell you a little secret. Energy/commodities/car industry want you to be deceived ..its in their interests.esp oil ..Why . Well as we hit peak oil production in 2008 it can only mean an upward trend in oil prices the more we use the more expensive it becomes.Dept of Energy USA has quite a skewed agenda, as does its supporters and friends in corporate energy sector USA.The middle ground is opt out of responsibility . What we need is a drastic mind shift as you arent going to pay for it when those Milan cycles reverse and the Free State becomes the KAroo. Your children will and then theyll look back and say "Man those fence sitters really could have done something but they were toooo ......"(fill in the many blanks)

      Paul - 2012-01-24 14:59

      Grant my point is that the science on Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is far from settled. Besides the links with evidence against AGW that I've already given there is loads more: Contrary to the “green” propaganda, the Antarctic is currently gaining in ice mass balance and lowering the sea levels- http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/364/1844/1627.full.pdf Falling sea levels have been confirmed by the ARGO ocean observation system- http://www.climategate.com/sea-levels-proven-to-have-fallen-for-past-six-years Global sea surface temperatures are actually also dropping slightly- http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/03/global-sea-surface-temperature-continues-to-drop/ The stories about rising sea levels threatening certain places is apparently due to sinking land masses rather than rising sea levels. Oxygen isotopes from clams indicate temperatures were as high during the Roman Warm Period some 2000 years ago (I think that was before Industrialization began?)- http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100308/full/news.2010.110.html?s=news_rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+news%2Frss%2Fnews_s7+%28NatureNews+-+Earth+and+Environment%29&utm_content=Netvibes We have just been coming out of a little ice age (in the last few hundred years) which has made the past century seem so hot. To be continued...

      Paul - 2012-01-24 15:06

      Here is more: According to NASA climatologist, Dr Roy Spencer, increased cloud cover has a cooling effect (negative feedback) in contrast to the IPCC climate models’ expected warming (positive feedback)- http://www.drroyspencer.com/research-articles/satellite-and-climate-model-evidence/ Go figure… Spencer has some other interesting articles that are worth looking at on Pacific Decadal Oscillation and heat lost from the atmosphere into space (also neglected by the IPCC models). So there are strong arguments for and against AGW, but it is certainly not a settled issue. I am saying that if the "green" movement had their way there would be disasterous consequences economically- we wouldn't be able to feed the masses! But if we just carry on as we are there may be terrible consequences environmentally, which in turn will effect mankind. And all these movements, governments and corporations have their own agendas. So I am suggesting we don't do anything rash (like the Kyoto Protocol called for), and get a better scientific understanding of what's going on. But in the meantime start working towards more environmentally friendly alternatives (like clean energy sources).

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