The sun has got his hat on

The activity of the sun, after a long period of low activity, is getting higher. This means that the planet upon which we leave is subjected to more solar irradiance than normal. Solar irradiance is changing both as an overall amount and of ultraviolet irradiance. Our planet will receive more solar energetic particles and fewer cosmic rays. These cyclical changes are normal and some think that there is an eleven year cycle of a calm sun followed by eleven years of a more aggressive sun. We are now getting into the more aggressive phase of the sun.

These changes will inevitably affect our climate; more particularly they affect the climate in the lower part of the atmosphere where humans live. I shall explain how each part of the changing process affects our climate in later posts, but for now the simple thing to bear in mind is that the more solar irradiance there is, the greater the climate forcing of the sun is, warming the seas a little and affecting the water cycle. The greater solar ultraviolet radiation then there is more heating of the upper and middle atmosphere, which has a knock on effect. Solar energetic particles and galactic cosmic rays affect ionisations of the upper and middle atmosphere and the ionisation of the lower atmosphere respectively.

We understand more about climate change now than we did twenty years ago when the sun activity was higher. Scientists will be measuring and observing the changes in the sun now in more detail and with greater precision than ever. They may not establish exactly how much of our changing climate is due to solar activity changes but I expect within a few years we shall know much more about this than we do now.

The importance of this is that in a few years scientists should be able to explain with greater accuracy the causal link between human greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. A lack of a provable causal link is what is holding back universal acceptance of anthropogenic climate change and lack of universal acceptance of climate change is preventing the humans from changing their behaviour and carrying out measures to limit green house gas emissions with any significance.

It may be that we will never have an irrefutable causal link, or that when we do have one it will be too late.

4 Responses

  1. “A lack of a provable causal link is what is holding back universal acceptance of anthropogenic climate change”

    If there’s no provable causal link I wonder why we are berated to reduce our carbon emissions and taxed on them. The longer the world continues without a causal link the more we will be sceptical.

    • That’s not logical. There have been many things that could not be proven by a causal link yet have been proven ultimately either empirically or mathematically or are universally accepted as truths by subjective reaction but may not be true such as:- New medicines Atomic fission Flight of heavier than air machines One guitar being better than another Quantative easing Virtually all of economics Religion

      Virtually all these involve a significant investment. However there is a direct causal link between ill health and fossil fuel mining drilling and burning, and it is clear that supplies of fossil fuel are finite (or do I have to prove that?). Each of these provable facts are in themselves reason to spend taxpayers money on measures which may also mitigate climate change. Robert

  2. Great title by the way

    There are also several other lines of thought to throw into the melting pot and one that we seem to keep forgetting about, there is the factor of raw visible pollution to be taken into account, if we suddenly and abruptly cut out much of our pollution the skies would clear and the shielding effects of those particulates on the planet would be lowered allowing more radience through to the planets surface.

    Also the weather patterns would change once again, the extra pollution we are spewing into the atmosphere is in the main responsible for much of our rain and the reasons for the drought and floods we are witnessing, the water vapour which makes up the majority of the mean global warming would not be in balance and a cooling effect would ensue in certain parts and a heating or lack of water in others.

    As temprature rises C02 is always slightly behind and the pattern continues with actual water vapour making up the majority.

    Did you know that us mere 7 billion souls on earth alone breath out more Co2 in a single day than all the worlds airlines put together, add that to all the naturals like rotting vedgetation, volcanos, animals and the now melting of the permafrost we are truly destined for the sub tropical paradice we once had here in the UK during the bronze age.

    The Uk is thought to be one of the best places for better growing condiions and the highlands of scotland will be very efficient once again as will be all the planted highlands throughout the world, the ancient ruins and evidences are all there to behold.

    This is not the case for many other highly populated places and low lying areas of the world, where if the trend continues for the next decade or so we will see a depopulation taking place like never before, the scensus right now is one of dire consequences which is now out of alreadyour hands says James Lovelock and will be witnesed within the next 20 years, time will tell and most of us here reading this might see it happen.

    • You make a good point about pollution – particles which cause dimming and diffuse the light.

      So far the population has grown consistently except for periods when plague struck. Perhaps the climate changing will be a new plague.


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