Study finds little solar link to cloud formation, not the driver of climate change?

A pretty picture fo the sun, which doesn\'t look like it\'s causing global warmingTwo of the major criticisms of global warming theory I’ve seen recently have been that a) 1998 was actually the hottest year on record and since then it’s been cooler and b) that solar winds and cosmic rays are driving the climate change process, not human emissions.

These are valid points and scientists have been spending a lot of time researching their impact. Lancaster University have just released a major report on the latter, concluding from 20 years of data that global temperatures have little influence from solar activity. The original hypothesis, by Danish scientist Henrik Svensmark, hypothesized that when the 11 year cycle of solar wind is weak, more cosmic rays make it through the earth’s atmosphere, making more clouds and cooling the earth. Correspondingly, when solar wind is strong, Svensmark’s theory expected more global warming. However, with solar winds currently near their minimum, global temperatures are still high. The Lancaster study used three different experimental methods to find little correlation between the two, contradicting Svensmark’s theory, which was heavily cited in the documentary ‘The Great Global Warming Swindle’.

Related to this discussion is the citing of 1998, the hottest year on record, as proof that global temperatures are going down. This is a compelling argument on the surface but when you look at other global weather patterns the reason for the difference in numbers becomes apparent. 1998 was incredibly hot in main part because it was in an El Nino cycle, in which the warming of the Pacific Ocean disrupts weather patterns. Today however, we are in the midst of a significantly strong La Nina event, the sister condition that dampens global temperatures. This means that whilst it will still likely be in the top ten hottest years, 2008 will not be a very hot year, due to that effect.

Both the cosmic ray and 1998 hypotheses were picked up as proof that global warming doesn’t exist. These criticisms are important because by either disproving or proving them to be right, our understanding of this science improves. When the outlying criticisms of climate change are themselves shown to be lacking, the consensus grows stronger and vice versa. Like all cutting edge science, it’s a learning process.

UPDATE: you can read the Lancaster paper here, whilst some of Svensmark’s papers are available on his website, although I can’t find any after 2001.

[via BBC Science, picture by Feuillu]

29 thoughts on “Study finds little solar link to cloud formation, not the driver of climate change?”

  1. Scientists in the U.K. have reported evidence that further refutes one theory of global climate change.

    In the heated debate over global warming, there is an opposing idea, called the cosmic ray theory, which contends that climate change is simply caused by cosmic rays coming from the sun.

  2. Dieter if you look carefully that’s actually US temperatures, not World temperatures. The US is 2% of the Earth’s area. It’s entirely possible for one area of the globe to have high temperatures but the average temperature across the globe be lower. To get a good idea of the global temperature you have to look at the entire world, especially the poles which aren’t included in a lot of surveys. Is it any surprise that the hottest years for the US coincided with the dust bowl that helped expand the great depression? No. But until I see evidence that the rest of the world had similar increased temperatures, this change in data is of little use to climate models. It could well be that at the time of this US rise, the temperatures elsewhere were largely down. It’s an interesting statistic but in itself it needs other data to contribute to the debate.

    Even when the correction due to NASA’s data is filtered in to the global charts, the change in global temperatures is less than a thousandth of a degree a year. When the trend of warming is 0.185 degrees per decade, the change due to this new US temperature data is insignificantly small.

  3. The problem, Tomas, is that there were no satellites back in the 30s. We will never truly know what the temperatures were. All of climate science is operating on educated guesses and inspired notions. The study above was based upon the wrong solar data. The sun can affect climate through several mechanisms. The study you look at did not even look at Svensmark’s mechanism! How can we make any progress in climate this way?

    Tomas, you are aware that ocean buoys indicate a cooling of Earth’s heat content over the past 4 years. That comes after the correction made a year ago. Still cooling. We have to look at the models and find out where they are going wrong.

    No more rush to judgment. Let’s start acting like scientists instead of politicians out to run a new economic regime.

  4. sigh… it’d be funny if I wasn’t a physicist. I’m not rushing to judgement here. I’m saying that the current arguments being used to criticise AGW are themselves in doubt. That doesn’t mean they might not be true, after more study. But after several prominent universities produce papers that contradict something like Svensmark’s work, that raises questions about whether it is true. It still may be accurate. But using cherry-picked examples like individual years affected by El Nino or comparing data for one small part of the world to global temperatures to disprove the entirety of the science of climate is not ‘acting like scientists instead of politicians’, it’s the other way around.

    Ocean buoys will show a cooling in water temperatures as ice in the arctic and antarctic melt. Cold ice mixes into the water as icebergs travel south and melt, resulting in a cooler temperature. You’re right that there’s no satellite data for the 30s. That doesn’t somehow magically mean that 30s data for the US represents global data, though. Lack of the full picture doesn’t make the small bit you have = the big picture.

    The Lancaster study is peppered with references to Svensmark’s mechanism. It is the second reference in the entire paper, which I have read from its Institute of Physics publication:

    The entirety of the introduction and much of the rest of the paper is discussing the validity of Svensmark’s data, so I really don’t see how your criticism is valid. Have you read the study or just the press release?

  5. Ah, Tomas. You being a physicist is neither here nor there. Svensmark himself states that the study you reference does not address the mechanism that he focuses on. Science is not about defending entrenched positions. AGW has become something of a laughingstock among many scientists (including Freeman Dyson), due to its dependence on computer models that are not validated.

    Of course US ground station temperature data does not reflect world temperatures. World temperature data stations were few and far between in the 30s. Satellite data has the advantage of measuring large swathes of the Earth not represented by well placed or maintained ground stations.

    Right, Paul, great witticism. If it makes you feel superior, and all that . . .

  6. With the current Solar cycle at an extended minimum we will soon have a pretty good idea whether the sun is the primary driver (or not). NASA predictions run either hot or cold, and our current world wide temperature record is decidedly flat, and perhaps even down. It’s been 10 years since the 1998 (yes, it’s a cherry) peak, how long will we need to decide one way or the other?

  7. I read Svensmark’s papers too by the way. the Lancaster paper’s argument that although there appeared to be a correlation when Svensmark first wrote his paper, since 1994 this correlation has dramatically decreased, is very compelling. Read the papers and see what you think about the science of the two studies. Press releases don’t give you anything more than spin.

    If scientists other than Svensmark find evidence supporting and corroborating his work, then it has a lot of merit. I’m not ruling it out. But you’re the one that sounds like you’re defending an entrenched position. Anyone can say it doesn’t address their mechanism. I’ve had a look around on physics journals and I can’t find anything from after 2001 for Svensmark’s work. I’d be interested to read it if you have any. As someone involved with the LHC at CERN, the CLOUD project is a great way to test the cosmic ray cloud interaction and when the collider begins later this year it should settle this matter in a more ‘lab-frame’ way.

    What do you think about the Lancaster finding that the observed 1.28% dip in cloud cover with the solar cycle ending in 1990 didn’t appear in the next cycle? Purely as a guess I’d be willing to posit that one major thing has changed between that cycle and this one: CFCs. That’s not a scientific analysis as I don’t have any data but a reduction in Ozone layer could conceivably allow more cosmic rays to penetrate the atmosphere to seed low lying clouds with ionisation events, as Svensmark predicted.

    The nature of science is that when an idea is challenged with contradictory evidence, you go back and take a look at your data and perhaps change your hypothesis, or come up with a reason for the contradiction. I’ll be interested to see Svensmark’s next paper addressing the next solar cycle. Atmospheric physics, like high energy particle physics (such as cosmic rays) is a fast moving science and only by constant testing of these theories can we come to a conclusion. The Lancaster study doesn’t rule out Svensmark’s hypothesis but it does mean Svensmark will need more data and and explain the discrepancy between his and Lancaster’s work if his theory is to remain relevant.

    I’d be more supportive of Svensmark’s work if he didn’t have a long history of not addressing criticisms to his work:

    It’s not that there isn’t some dependence on cosmic rays on cloud seeding, just that he seems to be trying to make it the only factor, which isn’t borne out by other studies.

  8. Thanks for the clarification. Anyone who tries to make his particular climate forcing the only operative forcing is going too far. In my mind, the question is whether Svensmark’s mechanism is significant, ie accounts for at least 10% of climate variation. If so, I suspect that it is fairly close in effect to greenhouse forcing. Other factors yet to be elucidated and quantified may be significantly more important than either solar variation or greenhouse.

    Paul, publicly venting frustration without substantial content is a fascinating practise. It would be great to incorporate that trait into robots, don’t you think?

  9. It is indeed a fascinating practice – though probably, I concede, more so for us that practice it than those who observe us doing so.

  10. Consensus is a very difficult thing to nail down, jtc. If 99 people say one thing, and one person dissents, is that a consensus? To the majority probably, but to that one lonely person, probably not. Science is not a democracy, either, which confounds things further. Tomas is right when he says the best way to understand something is go straight to the source. Read the original papers (I find it frustrating that many journals aren’t available online and I can’t afford a subscription), but also beware of who the author is and what motivations he may have.

    Scientific literacy is something that should really be taught in schools, especially since everyone considers themselves scientists nowadays.

  11. Lay believers in catastrophic anthropogenic global warming are confused about what the “consensus” in climate science actually is. Too many of them think that Al Gore’s AIT represents some sort of scientific consensus. Or they may think that IPCC policymaker summary documents represent a scientific consensus. Nothing could be further from the truth. Unfortunately, that is what most people think of when they think “go straight to the source.” They are thinking about those mythical 2500 IPCC scientists who “stand firmly behind the consensus.” But start talking to those 2500 and you find a much more interesting breakdown of viewpoints which diverge more than most of the bureaucrats actually running the IPCC care to admit.

    Or they think of Naomi Oreskes’ famous non-paper paper where she claims that there are no peer reviewed papers published questioning catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. Not even close to being true. The reality, the spread of opinions and ideas, is far richer than Oreskes was (and probably still is) prepared to admit.

    Climate science is an interdisciplinary field, and scientists are not apt to agree completely even within one single field–much less between fields such as meteorology, geology, solar physics, atmospheric physics, computer modeling, statistical modeling, etc. etc. to all the fields that impinge on climate science.

    The myth of a lock-step consensus is convenient to political policy-makers of governments and inter-governments who have a climate agenda that they would like to put into effect. It is convenient to the organised environmental groups who need the fundraising to lobby the political policy-makers. It is a convenient myth to the insurance companies, carbon traders, and any number of other financial interests who stand to gain immensely under a new political economic climate regime.

  12. I think the idea of finanical interests standing to gain from climate change is ridiculous. Fair enough if people want to say that there’s not enough evidence or that more work needs to be done from this angle or that. But whenever someone talks of a ‘convenient myth’ and a ‘new political economic climate regime’ they reveal their true motives aren’t proving or disproving the science at all. A lot of pro free trade, pro capitalist, anti-regulation people have been saying this kind of thing recently and it’s just a straw man argument to the real one: you don’t want government regulation, whether it be climate or otherwise.

    There’s no way that insurance companies want more disasters. The more they pay out, the worse their profits are. Pretending there’s a problem with climate change doesn’t help them either as once people realise there’s nothing to claim for, their premiums return to where they were.

    Some carbon traders are dodgy, admittedly. But to say that a small group of companies making mere fractions of the amounts the oil and automobile lobbies are somehow deluding the world’s politicians is naive and frankly, damages your credibility. If you want to talk about the science, we can talk about the science. Currently I’ve read a fair few of the major papers and not one of the studies I’ve come across contradicting *any* climate change is without major criticisms of its methods and motives. Whilst you’re right in saying climate scientists don’t all agree, it’s not that a huge minority of them disagree with the theory that changing gas concentrations in the atmosphere alters temperature (that’s just basic thermodynamics). It’s that they disagree how much heating will occur and how quickly. This kind of difference in opinion is good and will encourage criticism and debate that will refine results more quickly.

    Usually at this point people trot out a list of scientists speaking out against AGW, including ‘reknowned scientist Freeman Dyson’, perhaps 50-100 names. Compared to vast volumes of people in support of it, this is such a fractional number it’s probably less than 1% of climatologists, even if all those people counted as climatologists in the first place.

    Debate about the science is good. If someone comes up with compelling evidence and theory that contradicts the current thinking, it will be listened to. Scientists earn tiny amounts compared to big business. Their grant money goes mostly on equipment and materials. They have to fight to get grant money but a good scientist will find something to study and it would take a conspiracy theory of monumental proportions for them to rig the grant structure to supply large amounts of extra money – most of which would go to their departments anyway for new computers or electron microscopes so the idea that climatologists are somehow saying this for money completely misses the point about their work.

    There’s not a huge amount people gain from AGW being true. More violent storms, rising sea levels, etc, the costs outweigh the benefits by a huge degree. If it doesn’t exist and we make steps to avoid it a few people will get rich but their money will soon dry up once the error is realised. It seems to be this argument is a straw man for it is not who will gain but who will lose that is at stake. The business model that has dealt with our financial world so very well and created the only economic expansion in history where the mean wage went down, not up, is at risk here, plus the profits of the highest level of CEOs of banks, oil companies and the like. Now I can see that they wouldn’t want these changes to come into play – regulation is what they’ve been dismantling for decades, to make a bigger buck. But you can’t turn that weakness into an argument of those to come – the money involved in carbon credits and the like is pitifully small compared to the big profits currently at risk.

    If you were to say that you were against regulation of these big companies, that’d be a real argument. Your last paragraph is just hyperbole though, and lacks credibility. I’ll leave you with this sentence:

    With the July 2007 release of the revised statement by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, no remaining scientific body of national or international standing is known to reject the basic findings of human influence on recent climate.

  13. Tomas, you seem to fail to catch my point.

    The important matter in considering the question of who would gain from the appearance of impending disaster is far different from examining who would gain from the actuality of climate disaster. It is not even a subtle distinction.

    It is extremely lucrative to particular organisations, departments, and industries to project a myth of impending climate disaster–even if they suspect that such a myth is unsupported by the evidence.

    Do you know what CAGW stands for? Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. You absolutely must include all of the qualifiers in the same concept to understand my objection to the emotionalistic hyperbole that is dominating the debate. Global Warming? Fine. Anthropogenic global warming, fine. Catastrophic anthropogenic global warming? Uh, no.

    If you fail to understand the point of contention, your argument tends to blow past without contacting anything.

  14. I understand perfectly what you meant. Whether its CAGW or AGW, my point remains. The amount of money people stand to gain from ‘the appearance of impending danger’ is greatly dwarfed by the amount of money certain industries stand to lose from it. Insurance companies is your most laughable one, for their premiums are based on payouts. If the payouts don’t happen, the premiums go down. That’s just market forces.

    The accusation against scientific departments/organisations is the most dangerous though. It appears you completely misunderstand how science works. No doubt there are some scientists who are politicised and who are funded by debateable sources. However, the vast majority of funding comes from independent research councils like EPRSC or the Royal Society. These institutions have been in place for hundreds of years to promote science in all forms. A BBC reporter researched the claims of bias in the IPCC and found no evidence of withdrawn or threatened withdrawn funding – one of the three journals denied funding was incomplete and another was a paper supporting climate change:

    It seems you think science is run like a business, that there is some huge scientific profit floating around somewhere that people are making millions from. The reality is very different. In fact, in the UK at least, funding has gone down this year, including particle physics which could lead to a better understanding of Dr. Svensmark’s work.

    Scientists rarely earn megabucks for the work they do. Getting funding doesn’t mean they get some mammoth pay rise that allows them to buy a house in the bahamas. Most of the money goes on equipment, materials to study and to pay for assistants such as PhD students. The very idea that they stand to gain something is silly, and the idea that they won’t fund dissenting views is even more so – How do you think they got a consensus unless they looked at possible disagreeing factors? The reason the consensus is clear now is because there’s been thousands of studies both for and against the science and the vast majority of the ones against have not been borne out by the evidence.

    By the way, I don’t think anyone here has mentioned the word catastrophic. In fact, your posts above are all about AGW, not CAGW. Even a 2 degree average rise over the globe can result in 5 or more degree rises in certain places, causing problems.

    Care to move the goalposts again?

  15. I have nothing against science per se. Only particular niches of science that seem to be incredibly corruptible. Your reassurances are particularly meaningless as blanket statements about all science. You should know better than that. I certainly do.

    As for the broad and interdisciplinary field of climate science, your rather idealistic view of the climate consensus is quite touching, Tomas. The rather less savoury underlying reality of “consensus” is probably best left unexplored, if you truly believe the things you say. I never say anything against anyone’s religion.

    Like you, I am very curious to see the results of the CLOUD experiment in 2010, and follow other results (including satellite) that attempt to falsify the Svensmark hypothesis. That is how science works. By experiment, not by faith.

  16. Religion? I provided you a list of every reputable scientific institution and every single one agrees that climate change is a problem and you say this is a religion?

    Give me examples of these corrupted niches of science and I will agree with you. You say you don’t go by faith, but by proof. Prove to me that your accusations of bias are true. As it stands all I see is you insulting the scientists you say we should listen to the results of, because you don’t like the results.

    The consensus is not a set thing. It will change as new evidence comes out. When it does, I will change my mind with it, be it making AGW more or less likely. Currently, the consensus is that it is very likely to be happening. That is due to the work of the scientific experiments you say we should listen to, yet you seem more interested in laying claims of bribery and bias. In 2010 we will see more results. The consensus may change. I will agree with what the vast majority of climatologists say, for I trust that they are doing their jobs, which is to research climate. I have no interest in AGW as a faith or as an outcome – I’d much rather it didn’t, and I’m sure most of the people in the world would agree. But if scientists who have worked their whole lives studying this are near-unanimously telling me there’s a problem, I’m going to listen.

    I don’t object to work like Svensmark’s paper. As I have said, I believe Cosmic Rays may have some part to play in climate changes, along with other factors inclusing greenhouse gases. However, I have presented evidence that contradicts his work, along with other responses to the other questions you have come up with. Instead of replying about the science, you have resorted to questioning the motives of every scientist that isn’t a skeptic of AGW. I don’t think that kind of slur is appropriate if you cannot provide a scientific rebuttal to the evidence.

    You find my view ‘touching’. What say you to the evidence I’ve presented? If you think the science is the most important thing, show me some evidence for your point of view. So far all I’ve seen is you trying to say that an entire field of science is meaningless because they’re all part of some shady organisation looking to make millions out of falsifying their evidence. Back up your accusations. This is a two way street.

  17. Tomas, if you truly believe that Sloan and Wolfendale’s work somehow invalidates Svensmark’s hypothesis, it is you who is living in the land of religion. A careful reading of the paper reveals that the Lancaster study looks at a rather different sort of cosmic ray than what Svensmark based his hypothesis upon.

    I have no bets or wagers on Svensmark one way or the other. My only comment on your reception of S and W’s paper, which remains true, is that you were not careful enough in matching claims to reality.

    I am hoping that you will be more careful in future blog postings. Certainly scientific papers require more rigour on the part of an author.

  18. Your unwillingness to address any of my points isn’t particularly beneficial to your arguments. There are direct quotes from Sloan and Wolfendale below.;jsessionid=8BAEB3843B5649B18A9707E6BDFC731A

    “Professor Sloan told edie: “We started on this research with the intention of checking whether Svensmark was right.

    “We cannot find a link between cosmic rays and low cloud cover, and therefore the proposal by Svensmark that this is the cause of global warming is not corroborated.
    I went into this with an open mind but we found no evidence for the Danish hypothesis.

    “We can’t prove it and therefore the IPCC has probably got it right so we should cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.”

    Svensmark’s theory developed as a result of the similarity between the amount of low altitude cloud and the rate at which cosmic rays fall on Earth.

    Professor Sloan said he is unable to explain the correlation between the two phenomena, if one is not causing the other. ”

    The study itself looks at the trends in warming with cloud cover and finds that the trend that made Svensmark’s data so appealing in the mid-90s no longer fits to the same curve – as I replied to you more than few days ago, the Lancaster study found that the observed 1.28% dip in cloud cover with the solar cycle ending in 1990 didn’t appear in the next cycle. This was one of the main features of the Svensmark study, as I understand it.

    Doubtless more work needs to be done looking at the precise mechanisms. But the trend of cloud cover with global temperature was the ‘smoking gun’ of the Svensmark hypothesis and as I understand it it is this part of the S and W paper that brings the cosmic ray theory into doubt, rather than the specific mechanism discussions. As the link between cloud cover and temperature is the key part of the cosmic ray theory affecting climate change, this is an important finding in its own right and one that will need to be looked at in further studies to determine if Sloan and Wolfendale’s work is correct. But your claims that they do not address Svensmark’s hypothesis is in error. They may not talk in detail about the mechanism he uses for ionisation, but they do talk about the cloud cover and temperature changes for a longer period of solar cycles than Svensmark looked at. If there is no correlation between cloud seeding by cosmic rays and temperature, it doesn’t matter which mechanism is (not) doing it. These mechanisms do exist and it’s good to understand them but the Sloand and Frohlich papers among others indicate the current trend of temperatures doesn’t fit with cosmic ray forcing, it is being outweighed by other factors.

    Let me be clear. I don’t think this paper settles the debate. There is plenty more work to do, but this paper was worth reporting in itself. If S and W’s paper is judged innaccurate, I am prepared to report this. If you have evidence of this, feel free to give it to me and I will read it and use it. Likewise if another scientist finds the trend between CRs and temperature is still correlating, I will report that.

    For instance, there is another study by Lockwood and Frohlich confirming the important part of the Lancaster study: that all aspects of solar forcing have been decreasing for 20 years but temperature has not decreased with them. You can read that paper at the Royal Society.

    The conclusion of this paper is as follows (with a link to the paper itself):
    “There are many interesting palaeoclimate studies that suggest that solar
    variability had an influence on pre-industrial climate. There are also some
    detection–attribution studies using global climate models that suggest there was
    a detectable influence of solar variability in the first half of the twentieth century
    and that the solar radiative forcing variations were amplified by some mechanism
    that is, as yet, unknown. However, these findings are not relevant to any debates
    about modern climate change. Our results show that the observed rapid rise in
    global mean temperatures seen after 1985 cannot be ascribed to solar variability,
    whichever of the mechanisms is invoked and no matter how much the solar
    variation is amplified.”

    So far all you have given me are constantly shifting accusations against S, W and the whole climate science field, none of which you have cared to back up with any evidence. I have provided links to scientific journals and evidence that your claim on consensus was woefully inaccurate. You have so far not backed up any of your claims with hard facts. When you’re accusing me of not having any rigour, that is more than a little rich.

  19. Tomas, Tomas. You continue to dance around the obvious fact that your blog posting misstates the facts. You make claims for a study that cannot be supported. You owe it to your many readers to admit your mistake so as to go on with a clean slate.

    What is the reason for your resistance, your “song and dance” to address anything but that simple fact: your responsibility to your readers as a blog host? That must be left to someone with a better and more intimate knowledge of your personal defense mechanisms.

    By trying to defend what is so obviously wrong–Sloan and Wolfendale’s oblivious pursuit of a red herring that fails to address Svensmark’s hypothesis–you shift the debate into a logical void.

    Your devotion to catastrophic warming seems to have compromised your willingness to face some issues head on.

  20. If it’s anyone’s responsibility, Al, it’s mine as the site’s publisher. And as has been pointed out, Tomas has produced plenty of evidence to support his post, while you have continued to backpedal and deploy ad hominems in an effort to support your own side of the argument – which seems to have exactly the religious fervour to it that you claim the Worldwide Leftist Climate Science Conspiracy (TM) is fuelled by, I might add.

    If you can actually put forward concrete refutations of Tomas’ points, as he has repeatedly requested you to do, please be our guest. If we were averse to people debating with us on subjects we care about, we’d have squelched your comments long ago. But experience has demonstrated that people usually dig themselves a hole if given a shovel and the space to work with. If all you want to do is grind an axe over your maniacal hatred of Al Gore, you have your own blog already. If you wish to debate Tomas on scientific grounds, please do so – point out Tomas’s mis-statements and refute them, if they are so blindingly obvious. Think of the favour you’ll be doing by peeling the scales from our eyes!

    But for goodness sake, put up or shut up – do you have any idea how shrill and bitter you sound?

  21. Seeing as you repeatedly fail to point out exactly where I’m misstating, I’ll tell you simply my statement.

    The Sloan paper, as well as several others, states that if Svensmark’s hypothesis is true that cosmic rays are the main driver of temperature change in the last twenty years, solar variation and cosmic rays should have led to less warming (in the Sloan case, more low lying cloud) as we are now. As we are in an La Nina event now, this is doubly so. We should, by all the arguments other than CO2 forcing, be at a global temperature WAY below what we are. We’re at the low point in the solar cycle. We’re in a La Nina. This should mean temperatures have gone down as cloud cover goes up due to more cosmic rays escaping low solar wind and reaching the atmosphere to seed clouds. They have not. 2005 and 2007 were very hot years, at or near the peak of 1998 depending on the set of satellites you use. The overall trend of temperatures has remained to climb but the solar variation should have led to temperatures going down.

    This is what I said in my original post and it is no less true despite your increasingly aggressive posts. If this trend line were different, I’d be agreeing with you. If I see good explanation for this being the way it is, I could well change my mind. That you are not even listening to my arguments means you are the one with a religion, not me. Prove to me what you’re saying. Only then are you backing up your words with meaning.

    EDIT: for instance, this reply to the Sloan paper by Professor Nir Shaviv is interesting and contributes by criticising the Sloan paper directly on the methods, rather than resorting as you have to smears about consensus and how the whole of climatology is being bribed by carbon profits that don’t exist yet. Shaviv’s argument is interesting and is a valid criticism of the Sloan paper, as far as I can tell, although I’d want to see some thoughts on Shaviv’s questions from Sloan and others to get the full picture. I can do your job for you by finding good opposing viewpoints but if you want to have any credibility I’d recommend you find your own rebuttals in future.

  22. The problem, Tomas, is that your blog posting makes claims that you fail to support. Did you create the title for the post? If not, then the issue is moot. But if it is your title, you need to support the claim. Since you failed to do so, you need to explain why.

    It is clear that climate papers are not being held to a high standard, so long as they support the “correct” mechanism of climate change. There are enough news outlets, websites, and blogs that unwittingly sing along with the choir. There is no need for you and Paul to join in the mindless singalong.

  23. OK Al, that’s a fair comment. The title has been changed. If you’d said that from the beginning, perhaps we could have avoided such a long debate… Still, I’ve read more papers surrounding the issue so that’s always a bonus. I still believe this paper brings doubt to the entire cosmic ray-spawned temperature changes as a driver to current climate change, but it’s fair to say it doesn’t rule it out entirely. In and of itself, it’s a paper worth looking at, but it’s not the full story.

    Having said that, most of your arguments in the comments, in particular those about consensus and the motives of scientists, are far worse contradictions of the truth, so it works both ways. I’m prepared to accept my wording was a little too strong but I’m still concerned by your tarring all climatologists who don’t agree with you as some conspiracy of people making money off carbon credits that don’t even exist yet.

  24. Fair enough. I can understand your concern, although personally, I am not concerned by some blanket statements that you have made about “deniers” on other websites. I understand that it is easy to become frustrated at other viewpoints that sometimes appear inexplicable.

    I am on quite good terms with most scientists with whom I interact, and have no problem with science in general. Even in climatology, there are climatologists who are not afraid to express opinions that conflict with the herd. They are the climatologists that I can respect.

    As for making money off carbon credits, that is a separate issue which has nothing to do with any climatologists so far as I am aware. If you know of any climatologists who stand to make a lot of money from carbon credits, you should do a posting on it.

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