Army Chief Scientist: “Sun’s turbulent dynamics” driving climate

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From Wired Magazine:

The Army is weighing in on the global warming debate, claiming that climate change is not man-made.  Instead, Dr. Bruce West, with the Army Research Office, argues that “changes in the earth’s average surface temperature are directly linked to … the short-term statistical fluctuations in the Sun’s irradiance and the longer-term solar cycles.”

In the March, 2008 issue of Physics Today, West, the chief scientist of the Army Research Office’s mathematical and information science directorate, wrote that “the Sun’s turbulent dynamics” are linked with the Earth’s complex ecosystem. These connections are what is heating up the planet. “The Sun could account for as much as 69 percent of the increase in Earth’s average temperature,” West noted.

It’s a position that puts West at odds with nearly every major scientific organization on the planet. “The American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science all have issued statements in recent years concluding that the evidence for human modification of climate is compelling,” Science magazine observes. So has the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore, for their work on global warming.

West acknowledges that the IPCC and other scientific groups have “conclude[d] that the contribution of solar variability to global warming is negligible.” He argues that these groups have done a poor job modeling the Sun’s impact, however, and that’s why they have “significantly over-estimated” the “anthropogenic contribution to global warming.”

In recent days, the science and politics of climate change have once again taken center stage. NASA’s Inspector General just issued a report, acknowledging that political appointees “reduced, marginalized or mischaracterized climate change science made available to the general public.” Yesterday, the Senate began debating a bill that would cap carbon dioxide emissions — considered one of the leading causes of man-made global warming.

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30 thoughts on “Army Chief Scientist: “Sun’s turbulent dynamics” driving climate

  1. I watched some of the senate debate over warner-lieberman today. To say political appointees “reduced, marginalized or mischaracterized climate change science” is gross understatement.

    John Kerry sounded astoundingly idiotic. I wondered if the guy is actually retarded.

  2. I used Scafetta and West’s Phenomenological Solar Signal (PSS) from 1850 to 2007 as a base, then added documented effects of volcanic aerosols, ENSO, and AMO to see how closely they would match the current and soon-to-be-revised global temperature anomaly curves. Refer to:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/05/will-corrections-to-global-temperature.html

    Without the corrections to the 40s, 50s, and 60s, the adjusted PSS curve falls a little short, unless the PDO is added. With corrections, the PDO isn’t required and the adjusted PSS trend exceeds the trend of the corrected global temperature anomaly. The corrections I used were those first posted by Roger Pielke Jr, in his most recent exchange with RealClimate.

    We’ll just have to wait and see where the actual numbers shake out.

  3. Maybe someone should suggest/insist, that Dr.Bruce West be allowed to brief Mr. McCain.

  4. It is a good thing someone in the Army is looking at this. It helps them to anticipate the likely effects of this on geopolitics. Lots to get ready for.

  5. The science concerning the effect of the CO2 control proposal seems to be settled. Excerpts from a WSJ opinion:

    … The Lieberman-Warner bill (America’s Climate Security Act) represents the largest tax increase in U.S. history and the biggest pork bill ever contemplated with trillions of dollars in giveaways. …

    … We are certain of the huge negative impact on the economy as detailed by numerous government and private analyses. We are certain of the massive expansion of the federal bureaucracy. And we are certain the bill will not have a detectable impact on the climate. …

  6. I can just predict the calamity 10 years after the Lieberman-Warner bill is passed. With the PDO having flipped from positive to negative and the sunspots down to nil we’d be well on our way into the Maunder Minimum… lots of freezing Americans and Northern Europeans wondering WTF happened to global warming with James Hansen and Al Gore no where to be found.

  7. No Richard, Hansen and Gore will claim credit for their leadership shutting off the planet-threatening warming. They’ll say that now that we’ve saved the planet we need to increase the temps back a little and will call on Detroit to bring back the Hummer.

  8. PDO having flipped from positive to negative and the sunspots down to nil we’d be well on our way into the Maunder Minimum… lots of

    And the AMO. And the NAO. And the AO. And the AAO.

    freezing Americans

    Freeaing Americans. I like it. One ethnic group, united at last.
    The chattering classes?

  9. chattering classes

    Evan, you kill me.

    The Gilbert and Sullivan line elsewhere was brilliance.

  10. The chattering teeth classes more like.

    If the sun is responsible for 69% of the warming as this guy suggests – what is responsible for the other 31% ?

    My bet is on the oceans – not CO2. I think we’ve been lucky so far to have escaped a significant cold spell for a few generations – I think our luck has just run out.

  11. I am a teacher in a school 11-18yo
    Every new text book is full of Global Warming and (hedging your bets in case it is not always warmer) “Climate Change”.
    The indoctrination is so great and the understanding of any of it so poor that I fear for future generations. Science in schools has become so politicised. No topic seems to be able to be taught in terms of factual content and understanding. It all has to have “relevance”. Not just application. It is argued that it is making science more accessible to the general population. It is just giving them a smattering of views without the complexity of any real situation. (Very unsatisfying to the brighter students) They do not get the chance to make their own informed opinions. The Government seems to want a “Science Studies” course. Discussion is the watchword! The trouble is that a discussion is only useful if it is based on something.
    My only hope is that it reminds me of ACID RAIN which was a topic that filled every programme and text book in the 80s. Where has that gone? At least there was a basis for that.
    The worst of it all is that it is done in such a patronising way. Mind you, our politicians in Britain seem to be intellectual minnows in terms of science. The only Prime Minister in our history who had a science degree was Margaret Thatcher (Chemistry..Oxford).
    Thank Goodness some people in positions of authority are still free to comment as Dr Bruce West has done. Will he be able to remain in post without recanting?
    Shades of Galileo…. yet it still cools, !

  12. Evan Jones wrote: “One ethnic group, united at last. The chattering classes?”

    Everyone’s teeth will be chattering, at least!

  13. I wonder if in ten years anyone will be allowed to criticize Richard Hansen or AlGore.

  14. Gaia thought she was doing us a favor by heating up. Beware the wrath of a Goddess spurned; she might freeze up on ya’.
    ===============================

  15. Kim: Oooh, yeah. Right you are.

    Ingratitude, thou marble-hearted fiend!

    And it gives us a proper theological basis for the current observations.

    You see, she gets what she wants
    ‘Cause she’s heart and soul
    She’s hot and cold
    She’s got it all

  16. “The indoctrination is so great and the understanding of any of it so poor that I fear for future generations. Science in schools has become so politicised.”

    It’s just as bad in 5-11 yr old education, Dennis. My kids have been bombarded with the “CO2 is a pollutant” belief repeatedly and to such an extent that when I explained that without CO2 we’d all be dead they were incredulous.

  17. After two centuries of warming the matching marble man and maiden nudes at opposite ends of a garden courtyard unbent and came to life. After all this time of gazing at each other, they had plans. But Gaia appeared as from a Baby’s Breath, and warned them that they had only an hour before the cold returned to still their yearning limbs. They hastily repaired to the bush, from whence grunts, moans and squeals of delight emanated for about fifteen minutes before they emerged hand in hand with big ::grins:: on their faces. Surprised, Gaia reminded them that they still had three quarters of an hour left before their fate returned. The one quickly turned to the other and said with ouright joy “Alright, this time you hold the pigeon down, and I’ll shit on it”.
    =================================

  18. RE: George Bruce (06:44:15) :

    You’ll be lucky if 10 years from now you are not on the run from invasion forces from the Eastern Hemisphere. Well, at long last there will be unity in the US … unity to survive as a people.

  19. Even on its worst day during a Maunder-like minimum, the USA is Eden compared with the northern 2/3 of Eurasia. And that fact will be noticed and acted upon. Same threat level in places like SE Asia, far Southern Europe, much of Africa, much of South America, all of Australia. Others will want what you have, and will act to exterminate you and take it.

  20. Hmm, the plot of the ACRIM data in the Scafetta and West article seems somewhat odd. Here is my plot of ACRIM over the past 30 years:

    And PMOD/GISS:

    Neither shows anything like the red line in S&W.

  21. Zeke: Those are not ACRIM and PMOD TSI curves. Those are the contributions of phenomenological solar signature (PSS) on climate for ACRIM and PMOD, which are what Scafetta and West calculate to be the effects on global temperature of those TSI sources. The paper and the references are reasonably easy reading.

  22. Bob,

    I realize they are using PSS. My question is how they get from a flat TSI to a positive PSS, as it is not discussed in this specific paper. I’ll take a look at N. Scafetta, B.J. West, J. Geophys. Res. 2007. to see if I can wrap my head around it.

  23. Prof. Dr. Werner K. Schmutz
    Director PMOD/WRC
    Davos, Switzerland

    Fractions of solar irradiance variations due to solar surface magnetism (lower limit estimates):
    Solar rotation time scale: > 90%
    Activity cycle time scale: > 90%
    Secular (centuries) time scale: ?

    Status: magnetic evolution can be modeled (contribution of other sources is unknown)
    UV modeling
    fair progress – not yet solved
    UV influence on climate
    ozone reaction understood
    tropospheric climate response only about 50% of the estimated solar influence

  24. Also:

    Note the effects of surface ozone, it’s almost equal to methane. This is however IPCC 2001, so the aerosol effect is biased as having a net cooling effect. Note their potential total forcing for solar.

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