Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

12 March 2008

Climate Sensitivity to Solar Radiation Variability

Nicola Scafetta, a research associate at Duke University in the Physics Department, and Bruce West, chief scientist in the mathematical and information science directorate in the US Army Research Office, Research Triangle Park, NC wrote an opinion piece in the March 2008 issue of Physics Today entitled "Is climate sensitive to solar variability?" The results of their research into the coupling of variations in the radiation of the sun to temperature changes near the surface of the earth show that there is a strong coupling from 1950 to the present.

From 1950 to 1977, the principal variation with a minimal smoothing of the data appears to be due to variations in solar radiation and clearly shows the 11-year cycle of the Sun's radiation. The data they use shows a very small temperature increase over that time, though other data sets I have seen show a temperature decrease then. This probably means that the surface temperature data sets they are using have not been properly corrected for the fact that far too many temperature measuring stations are affected more and more by urban growth and the change from white washing stations to painting them with latex paints. From 1977 to the present, it is clear that the cycles in the solar radiation are seen in the earth's surface temperatures also, so the solar contribution is clearly significant. Then depending on which data sets are used, the Sun may account for up to 69% of the temperature increase since 1977. A part of the difference is again probably just error due to the influence of urban settings to bias temperatures upward.

Once again scientists who dispute the idea that the global warming since the 1970s has been primarily caused by man's emission of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere are unlikely to receive either much media attention or the attention of politicians. Meanwhile calls for drastic governmental controls on the economy and on how we live our lives are justified on this largely unexamined myth that man is baking and killing the planet Earth. These government activities and the fright of future such actions is part of what is preventing new business investment. It is primarily a slowdown in business investment which is causing the marked slowdown of the economy recently. The increase in food prices is also hurting and a large part of the recent increases in food prices are brought on by the ridiculous subsidies to encourage the use of corn to make ethanol and legal requirements to use more and more of it in fuel for our vehicles. A future essay will be on that subject.

No comments: