Monday, July 23, 2012

Paper finds climate is 'highly sensitive to extremely weak' changes in solar activity

A paper published in Science by the esteemed geologist Dr. Gerard Bond and colleagues finds that "Earth’s climate system is highly sensitive to extremely weak perturbations in the Sun’s energy output, not just on the decadal scales that have been investigated previously, but also on the centennial to millennial time scales." Dr. Bond was the discoverer of the 1,500 year natural climate cycle that bears his name ["Bond Events"]. Dr. Bond and coauthors find that tiny changes in solar activity can be greatly amplified by changes in stratospheric ozone & temperature, and result in significant changes in the thermohaline circulation [global ocean oscillations]. The IPCC, however, ignores these and other amplifying mechanisms [clouds for example] to conveniently assume the Sun cannot be responsible for recent climate change.

The paper by Bond et al shows tiny 0.25% variations in solar activity over the past 3000 years are responsible for temperature swings of up to ~3C in the North Atlantic [Sargasso Sea] and ~3.5C at the Greenland Summit.
First 2 graphs are extent of drift ice in Arctic [more drift ice = colder], 3 remaining graphs show  corresponding temperature changes in  central England, the Sagasso Sea of the N. Atlantic, and Greenland Summit. Note the 3 temperature graphs have an inverse scale with warmer temps at the bottom & colder at top. Horizontal axis is number of years ago.

Gerard Bond et al

Abstract: Surface winds and surface ocean hydrography in the subpolar North Atlantic appear to have been influenced by variations in solar output through the entire Holocene. The evidence comes from a close correlation between inferred changes in production rates of the cosmogenic nuclides carbon-14 and beryllium-10 and centennial to millennial time scale changes in proxies of drift ice measured in deep-sea sediment cores. A solar forcing mechanism therefore may underlie at least the Holocene segment of the North Atlantic's "1500-year" cycle. The surface hydrographic changes may have affected production of North Atlantic Deep Water, potentially providing an additional mechanism for amplifying the solar signals and transmitting them globally.

From the concluding paragraph of the paper:

"The results of this study demonstrate that Earth’s climate system is highly sensitive to extremely weak perturbations in the Sun’s energy output, not just on the decadal scales that have been investigated previously, but also on the centennial to millennial time scales documented here. The apparent solar response was robust in the North Atlantic even as early Holocene vestiges of the ice sheets continued to exert a climate influence and as the orbital configuration shifted from that of the Holocene optimum to the quite different regime of the last few thousand years. Our findings support the presumption that solar variability will continue to influence climate in the future, which up to now has been based on extrapolation of evidence from only the last 1000 years (25). If forcing of North Atlantic ice drift and surface hydrography is fundamentally linked to the Sun and begins in the stratosphere, then atmospheric dynamics and their link to the ocean’s circulation are much more important for interpreting centennial and millennial time scales of climate variability than has been assumed."


  1. Subject to the first impressions of those more expert than I am, I think this settles it.

    1. A second paper by Bond and colleagues published in Science comes to the same conclusion that the climate is highly sensitive to tiny variations in solar activity:

    2. The paper is from 2001. I doubt "this settles it" because the alarmists will ignore it (as they appear to have for 11 years).

      @MS Your paper is from 2003. Same goes.

      Baa Humbug

  2. Yes, I know the papers are from 2001 and 2003, but the data is over the past 3000 years and, as we know, there has been no significant change in global temperature over the past 15+ years. In addition, I could not find any rebuttals in the literature of these papers. Therefore, the conclusions remain solid.

    Unfortunately, Dr. Bond passed away in 2005.

    The IPCC actually references Bond et al 2001 in passing, but claims the available data is too confusing to assume any significant role of the Sun. Typical.

  3. Oops - didn't follow the link with the date on it did I.
    Follow-ups are revealing - thanks.

    The link to the 2003 paper requires registration that appears to malfunction so I'll pass on that, but I'll read the 2001, see if it confuses me.

  4. "Based on the coupled simulations, it is concluded that the tropical Pacific Ocean should warm when the sun is more active."