Solar Variation

As I have posted before. for the past 10,000 years or so, the Earth has experienced the climate regime known as the Holocene. The Northern hemisphere is warm and is experiencing an apparent variation range of perhaps one degree. The range may be in fact slightly larger, but I do not count on that. The reason for that, is what we have seen in the Arctic. A few short summers at the heat transfer levels experienced for the past two decades will clear the Arctic of sea ice and generally improve conditions. No further increases are actually needed.

I have to reasonably assume that a similar phenomena will emerge at the other end of the scale and give us the possibility of the cold climate of the little ice age that occurred four hundred years ago.

This also gives us a deeper appreciation of just how inhospitable that the temperate zone would have been during the Pleistocene when apparent temperatures were driven back and forth over several degrees. A hunter gathering lifestyle was the only viable option in such a regime.

Which leaves us to discuss the natural drivers of this one degree or so range of global temperature. And let us make one thing a little clearer. That one degree is not necessarily that precise since most of the solar energy is absorbed in the tropics where a much smaller range will generate the observed impact in the higher latitudes. In other words a rather modest variation in solar output can do all the heavy lifting quite handily.

It is also telling that global variation lags solar activity which presumably follows the sunspot activity levels. And it has also been very telling that a long apparent minimum in sunspot activity came with the little ice age. This is why climate science has long recognized solar variation as a prime driver of global climate variation.

The mechanism there may be a simple cyclical release mechanism in which a surface heat build up causes a slight expansion of the radiating diameter of the sun and thus providing slightly more energy to the Earth. The sunspot activity thus represents the discharge part of the cycle. It is possible then that periods of low sunspot activity occur when a large mass impacts the sun, cooling off the surface slightly for some time.

I have already explained in the Pleistocene Nonconformity (July 2007) why the ice age so totally ended and why we are in the Holocene. Te remaining question is what real effect does man's activities have on the global climate?

I ask this for another reason. We are now capable of knowingly impacting the globe with our efforts. The advent of agricultural man has transformed a major percentage of the land surface. It has eliminated a huge biomass of both land and sea life without much organized forethought. We have dumped a huge amount of slowly absorbed CO2 into the atmosphere through burning fossil fuels. And we have released a range of biologically resistant chemical pollutants into the environment. All of it could have been done much better.

Then there is the contention that global warming is also been at least aided by the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. The first problem that I have with that, is that it is an unnecessary hypothesis. Why look for a problem when you have a solution in the room that is more than satisfactory. As I have said before climate variation has not removed itself outside of signal noise.

We are certainly obligated to use removal strategies to divert our CO2 waste back into the natural cycle. Perhaps for the first time in human history we will globally do something. And shipping our acid rain to China was not a solution. It was a regulatory dodge. In twenty years these steel mills will be built in Africa. And the actual solution to that problem is simple and cheap, just inconvenient to implement.

Without a global submission to a rule of law, any strategy will simply encourage the best minds to find new and exciting ways to dodge .

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