Thursday, December 13, 2012

New paper finds the 'most convincing evidence for a sun-climate connection'

A paper published today in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics by Dr. Willie Soon finds the "Most convincing evidence for a sun-climate connection during the Holocene." Professor Soon finds "The Equator-to-Pole Temperature Gradient [EPTG] is linked to Total Solar Irradiance [TSI]," noting, "This newly discovered relationship between TSI and the EPTG represents the 'missing link' that was implicit in the empirical relationship that Soon (2009) recently demonstrated to exist between multi-decadal TSI and Arctic and North Atlantic climatic change."

Source: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics

Using thermometer air temperature records for the period 1850 to 2010, we present empirical evidence for a direct relationship between total solar irradiance (TSI) and the Equator-to-Pole (Arctic) surface temperature gradient (EPTG). Modulation of the EPTG by TSI is also shown to exist, in variable ways, for each of the four seasons. Interpretation of the positive relationship between the TSI and EPTG indices suggests that solar-forced changes in the EPTG may represent a hemispheric-scale relaxation response of the system to a reduced Equator-to-Pole temperature gradient, which occurs in response to an increasing gradient of incoming solar insolation. Physical bases for the TSI-EPTG relationship are discussed with respect to their connections with large-scale climate dynamics, especially a critical relationship with the total meridional poleward energy transport. Overall, evidence suggests that a net increase in the TSI, or in the projected solar insolation gradient which reflects any net increase in solar radiation, has caused an increase in both oceanic and atmospheric heat transport to the Arctic in the warm period since the 1970s, resulting in a reduced temperature gradient between the Equator and the Arctic. We suggest that this new interpretative framework, which involves the extrinsic modulation of the total meridional energy flux beyond the implicit assumptions of the Bjerknes Compensation rule, may lead to a better understanding of how global and regional climate has varied through the Holocene and even the Quaternary (the most recent 2.6 million years of Earth's history). Similarly, a reassessment is now required of the underlying mechanisms that may have governed the equable climate dynamics of the Eocene (35 to 55 million years ago) and late Cretaceous (65 to 100 million years ago), both of which were warm geological epochs. This newly discovered relationship between TSI and the EPTG represents the “missing link” that was implicit in the empirical relationship that Soon (2009) recently demonstrated to exist between multi-decadal TSI and Arctic and North Atlantic climatic change. 


The Equator-to-Pole Temperature Gradient is linked to Total Solar Irradiance. ► View presented of how poleward energy transport operates beyond the Bjerknes rule. ► Most convincing evidence for a sun-climate connection during the Holocene.


  1. Now that the leaked IPCC Draft Report for 2013 indicates something of a backdown, you may be interested in my climate analysis and projections (mentioning Scafetta's cycles) as in Appendix 1 of my paper published March 2012. You will need to open it to see the graphics and supporting links, but the text reads ...

    Q.1 How do you explain the fact that the Earth has been warming?

    Technically the Earth is currently in an interglacial period and the last few glacial periods have occurred at roughly 100,000 year intervals. This indicates the possibility of there being natural cycles, short and long, which appear to be related to astronomical orbital events. For example, the planet Jupiter has an effect on the eccentricity of the Earth's orbit in such a way that the difference in the distances between the Sun and the Earth at the aphelion and perihelion can vary (over many thousands of years) from just over 0% when its orbit is nearly a true circle, up to about 5% when it is elliptical. Such variations affect the mean distance and that will then affect the mean radiative flux over the course of a year.

    Many scientists also believe there is clear evidence of a 60-year cycle which may be related to the alignment of the planets Jupiter and Saturn every 59.6 years. This cycle appears to have been the main cause of the observed temperature increases which raised alarm in the 30 years or so leading up to the maximum in 1998. However, there is also a longer cycle which appears to be very approximately 1,000 years. The underlying trend in the rate of ncrease can be detected when a trend line is added to the plot below (from this site) which shows 30 year trend gradients.

    It appears that the mean rate of increase per decade has decreased from about 0.06oC early in the 20th century to about 0.05oC per decade in recent times, as you can see from the green trend line. Perhaps the 1,000 year trend will reach a maximum in the next 100 to 200 years and be 0.5 to 1.0oC warmer than at present. So natural trends can and do explain the historic climate record, right up to the current slight decline which is probably due to the 60 year cycle declining, but being mostly countered by the underlying upward trend of the 1,000 year cycle.

    You will find an explanation in my new paper linked here.

  2. The link to the paper is not working

  3. I have previously pointed out in a number of articles and blog contributions that solar effects from above can alter the gradient of tropopause height between equator and poles which then allows the climate zones and jet stream tracks to slide latitudinally to and fro so as to affect their degree of zonality or meridionality.

    More zonal jets such as were observed during the late 20th century warming period caused a reduction of global cloudiness as the subtropical high pressure cells expanded.

    More sunlight into the oceans strengthened warm El Nino events relative to cooling La Nina events and warmer water flowed from the equatorial oceans in the northern hemisphere into the Arctic Ocean.

    Stephen Wilde

  4. Can anybody explain the effect of precession of the earth`s axis on climate change?

  5. The paper is _not_ by Scafetta - it's authored by Soon and Legates.

    Given previous work by those authors, I do not have high expectations of this paper.

    1. Thanks for the correction
      The rss feed came up under Scafetta but the link was broken

  6. Simple question for scientists or lay people:

    We've had ice ages over the last million years. What caused the retreat of the glaciers in the past if there were human CO2 emissions and how do we know the same factor isn't responsible for the mild warming tend we've seen over the last few centuries?

    1. There is no evidence that recent climate change is unusual or unnatural. The IPCC claims its computer models are proof of anthropogenic climate change, but the models are highly flawed and prove nothing other than circular reasoning.