Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New paper finds up to 72% of temperature increase over past 150 years due to the Sun

A paper published today in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics finds that up to 72% of the temperature increase over the last 150 years can be explained by the length of solar cycles, and that ocean currents may act to reinforce solar influences on climate. The paper predicts the long current sunspot cycle will result in "lower temperatures during the next [solar] cycle" with a "1 °C or more temperature drop predicted 2009–2020 for certain locations."

The long sunspot cycle 23 predicts a significant temperature decrease in cycle 24

  • Jan-Erik SolheimaCorresponding author contact informationE-mail the corresponding author
  • Kjell StordahlbE-mail the corresponding author
  • Ole HumlumcdE-mail the corresponding author
  • a Department of Physics and Technology, University of Tromsø, N-9037, Tromsø, Norway
  • b Telenor Norway, Fornebu, Norway
  • c Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Norway
  • d Department of Geology, University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway


Relations between the length of a sunspot cycle and the average temperature in the same and the next cycle are calculated for a number of meteorological stations in Norway and in the North Atlantic region. No significant trend is found between the length of a cycle and the average temperature in the same cycle, but a significant negative trend is found between the length of a cycle and the temperature in the next cycle. This provides a tool to predict an average temperature decrease of at least View the MathML source from solar cycle 23 to solar cycle 24 for the stations and areas analyzed. We find for the Norwegian local stations investigated that 25–56% of the temperature increase the last 150 years may be attributed to the Sun. For 3 North Atlantic stations we get 63–72% solar contribution. This points to the Atlantic currents as reinforcing a solar signal.


A longer solar cycle predicts lower temperatures during the next cycle. ► A 1 °C or more temperature drop is predicted 2009–2020 for certain locations. ► Solar activity may have contributed 40% or more to the last century temperature increase. ► A lag of 11 years gives maximum correlation between solar cycle length and temperature.

References from the paper are among the hundreds of peer-reviewed studies showing significant solar influence on climate:


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  1. http://www.pnas.org/content/95/22/12753.long

  2. http://www.swsc-journal.org/index.php?option=com_article&access=standard&Itemid=129&url=/articles/swsc/full_html/2012/01/swsc120022/swsc120022.html

  3. http://vixra.org/pdf/1108.0032v1.pdf