Solar Activity Drives Climate Change

Has solar activity influenced Earth climate over geologic time? If so, how does it change climate? How will ongoing solar activity alter climate in our immediate future?

It seems a silly notion to ignore the primary source of heat and light on Earth when talking about climate change.

Yet, that is exactly what the IPCC has done in every climate assessment report, including AR5 just released.

The IPCC ignores the sun! It’s justification is total solar irradiance (TSI) varies by only ±0.5 W/m2 measured over the last 3 solar cycles.

According to the IPCC, greenhouse gases have trapped 1.7 W/m2 of heating. That is more than 3 times greater cumulative influence than solar variability. The IPCC also estimates the average drop in TSI during the Maunder Minimun cold period of the 1600s was -0.16 W/m2. Greenhouse gases have had 10 time more influence than that.

TSI, the total energy from the sun, links directly to the 11-year sunspot cycle. High sunspots raises TSI and warms the Earth. Low sunspots lower it and cools the Earth.

Geologically speaking, 33 years of measured TSI is the blink of an eye. How has TSI varied over the long term?

A 2008 study called “Grand Minima and maxima of solar activity: New observational constraints (.pdf)” published in Astronomy and Astrophysics provides some answers.

Solar Activity During the Holocene

Solar Grand Maxima (RED) and Minima (BLUE) during the 11,500-year Holocene

In geologic time, we are living in the Holocene Epoch. Paleoclimatologists call this epoch an “interglacial warm period”. It began 11,500 years at the end of the last great ice age expansion.

Direct TSI measurements go back only 30 years. For longer periods scientist depend on solar activity reconstructions that imply larger TSI variability.

The above graph is a solar sunspot activity reconstruction smoothed for the entire Holocene. It’s from the 2008 study. What does it tell us?

  1. At present the sun is at its most active in 10,000 years
  2. In the mid-1600s during the “little ice age” solar activity was nil
  3. The sun was most active 11,000 years ago when the great ice sheets melted

The sun was very active in the last century and the Earth got hotter.

Coincidence?… perhaps.

Solar activity was nil during the “little ice age” and the Earth was colder.

Coincidence?… perhaps.

11,000 years ago, at the beginning of the Holocene, the sun was at its most active when the vast ice sheets covering Europe and North America all melted away.

Coincidence?… perhaps NOT!

The warmest earth climate corresponds with the highest amounts of smoothed sunspot activity during periods named Grand Maxima. The coldest periods, like the “little ice age” correspond to times of low solar activity during so-called Grand Minima.

The IPCC argues that the sun hasn’t had much impact because of a mere 30-year period of measured TSI variability. The long-term reconstruction from the 2008 study argues otherwise. Both hot and cold periods on Earth throughout the Holocene provides strong evidence that solar variability plays a major role in Earth’s climate.

That should surprise no one except for… wellll… the IPCC!!


A lot has happened since 2008. Earth’s sun is undergoing its most rapid change since the Maunder Minimum 400 years ago!

As shown in the graph above, less than a century ago the sun was at a peak of solar sunspot activity. Cycle 19 was up around 200. But in the last two cycles solar activity has plummeted to only 67 this cycle. Next cycle is forecast to only be a stunning 7 spot average! Solar activity is dying. That is HUGE news.

If that comes to pass, and all indicators suggest it will, then we are headed for another phase matching the Maunder Minimum of the little ice age.

Those of you concerned about global warming take heed. Don’t throw away your fur-lined winter overcoat just yet. You might need it.


About azleader

Learning to see life more clearly... one image at a time!

Posted on Oct 29, 2013, in Climate, economics, Economy, environment, Government, nature, news, Politics, science, sunspot activity, sunspot report. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. You are right. Solar activity drives climate change !

    The reason for overlooking that fact are given in the first chapter of my autobiography: FEAR of death in 1945 convinced world leaders and guilt-ridden scientists to hide the information typed in red and highlighted in yellow on both:

    1. This one page synopsis of my research career: “A Journey to the Core of the Sun”

    2. Chapter 1 tells the history of meeting Professor Paul Kazuo Kuroda in May 1960.

    This information is being posted as written with the conclusions first because frankly I do not know if I will be around to write or you around to read information that our government still wants to hide.

    Thanks for allowing me to post this information here.

    With kind regards,
    – Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

    • The good news about big government is that it is far, far too incompetent to keep anything secret indefinitely.

      If it were then two cub reporters, Woodward and Bernstein, would never have uncovered Watergate!

      The IPCC and its climate agenda is an arm of the United Nations, which is the most incompetent government of them all!

  2. This news cannot be repeated often enough.

    Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere is the very stuff of life.

    But it is as if many western politicians, much of the scientific establishment, and all Green Global Warming advocates have all collectively and conveniently forgotten all their elementary school biology about photosynthesis and the carbon cycle.

    As a result, the Western world has been forced into a massive guilt trip with endless predictions of impending global catastrophes from the over production of CO2 by mankind.

    But in reality added CO2 is the essential food for plants and its present increase has already contributed to the fertility of the planet, for example in the greening of the Sahel.

    Mankind’s use of fossil fuels simply releases the very diffuse and intermittent energy from sunlight converted by plants over many millions of years, that has been conveniently concentrated and stored by earlier geologic processes.

    And its release back into the biosphere now is to the benefit of all plant life and the wellbeing of the biosphere.

    So it is possible using IPCC data to do some simple calculations on the future impact of added man-made CO2 emissions.

    In round numbers, the major proportion (~95%) of the 33°C greenhouse effect is caused by water vapor and clouds in the atmosphere. Atmospheric Carbon dioxide is indeed also a greenhouse gas but it only contributes marginally (approximately less than ~5%) to the warming effect. However at the current level of ~400ppmv CO2’s ~93% of its available effectiveness is already used up, because according to IPCC publications, its effectiveness diminishes logarithmically as its concentration increases.

    Additional CO2 emissions can now only ever add a maximum of ~7% additional effectiveness of its limited warming effect in future.

    So very roughly the maximum additional temperature effect of continuing to emit unlimited amounts of CO2 is 7% * 5% * 33°C = ~0.11°C. Of which if EU(27) were to eliminate half its ~11% of world CO2 emissions would amount to ~0.006°C and the concomitant effect of halving the UK 1.5% of world CO2 emissions would only be ~0.0009°C.

    These effects for all the de-carbonization efforts involved in the UK or Europe can only ever be miniscule and thus irrelevant and entirely futile.

    Global Warming Advocates only ever emphasize the catastrophe that awaits the world in the future as a result of Man-made Global warming. They should note that more adverse weather (like the St Jude Storm) is more likely to be a symptom of world cooling as the energy differential between the tropics and the poles increases.

    Increased levels of CO2 and a slightly warmer climate within natural limits can bring real benefits to mankind. The world could well survive having additional areas available for viable, well fertilized, agriculture.

    Instead it is likely that any current global warming (or current cooling) is a almost entirely a natural process, is within normal limits and is probably beneficial to Mankind even up to a level of about an additional +2.0°C. Sadly though warming may be not now even be occurring at all in the coming century.

    Thus the probability is that any current global warming is not man-made and in any case it could be not be influenced by any remedial action, however drastic, taken by a minority of nations.

    That prospect should be greeted with unmitigated joy.

    If it is so:
    * all concern over CO2 as a man-made pollutant can be entirely discounted.
    * the cost to the European economy alone is considered to be ~ £175 billion per annum in Europe alone till the end of the century, not including the diversion of employment and industries to elsewhere. These vast resources should be spent for much more worthwhile endeavors, because its far from clear that all those activities will be in any way effective at changing climate
    * if warming were happening it would lead to a more benign and healthy climate for mankind.
    * any extra CO2 has already increased the fertility of all plant life on the planet.
    * if warming is occurring at all, a warmer climate within natural variation would provide a future of greater opportunity and prosperity for human development, especially so for the third world.

    As global temperatures are already showing cooling over at least the last seventeen years or more, the world should fear the real and detrimental effects of global cooling of an advancing Maunder Minimum event rather than being hysterical about limited mainly natural or now non-existent warming.

    It remains absolutely clear that our planet is vastly damaged by many human activities such as:
    * toxic environmental pollution. (Whatever is asserted CO2 is neither toxic nor pollutant).
    * over fishing.
    * rain forest clearance, especially for the production of biofuels.
    * biosphere destructive industrial farming at all levels.
    * wild habitat destruction throughout the biosphere.
    * many green and renewable energy activities actually detrimental to the environment.

    The world and the UK’s Greenest Government Ever should indeed be strenuously finding ways to improve these situations.

    But the unwarranted concentration on reducing CO2 emissions has deflected even well-meaning green activists from these more immediate and more worthwhile objectives.

    This great news cannot be repeated often enough.

    • This article isn’t about the virtues of increased CO2 in the air, but you are right as rain that it is highly beneficial.

      I don’t have references handy at the moment but it is documented that the Earth is greener today and produces more food to feed its population as a result of more CO2 in the air.

      You are right… it is more a good news story than bad.

  3. Hurrah, that’s what I was seeking for, what a stuff!
    present here at this blog, thanks admin of this web page.

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