Dr. Willie Soon versus the Climate Apocalypse

More honesty and less hubris, more evidence and less dogmatism, would do a world of good

Dr. Jeffrey Foss

“What can I do to correct these crazy, super wrong errors?” Willie Soon asked plaintively in a recent e-chat. “What errors, Willie?” I asked.

“Errors in Total Solar Irradiance,” he replied. “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change keeps using the wrong numbers! It’s making me feel sick to keep seeing this error. I keep telling them – but they keep ignoring their mistake.”

Astrophysicist Dr. Willie Soon really does get sick when he sees scientists veering off their mission: to discover the truth. I’ve seen his face flush with shock and shame for science when scientists cherry-pick data. It ruins his appetite – a real downer for someone who loves his food as much as Willie does.

You have got to love a guy like that, if you love science – and I do. I’m a philosopher of science, not a scientist, but my love for science runs deep – as does my faith. So I cannot help but admire Willie and his good old-fashioned passion for science.

Willie Soon may one day be a household name. More and more he appears at the pointy end of scientific criticism of Climate Apocalypse. In two recent lawsuits against Big Oil, one by New York City and the other by San Francisco and Oakland, Dr. Soon is named as the “paid agent” of “climate change denialism.” As the man who – Gasp! – singlehandedly convinced Big Oil to continue business as usual.

Can you even imagine that? I can’t: Big Oil couldn’t turn off its taps in big cities even if it wanted to.

Putting such silly lawsuits aside, it is a big honor, historically speaking, for Dr. Soon to be the face of scientific rebuttal of Climate Apocalypse, since feeding the developed world’s apocalypse addiction is the main tool of a powerful global political agenda.

The IPCC – along with the United Nations and many environmentalist organizations, politicians, bureaucrats and their followers – desperately want to halt and even roll back development in the industrialized world, and keep Africa and other poor countries permanently undeveloped, while China races ahead. They want Willie silenced. We the people need to make sure he is heard.

Dr. Soon never sought the job of defending us against the slick, computer model-driven, anti-fossil fuel  certainties of Climate Apocalypse. Willie just happened to choose solar science as a career and, like many solar scientists, after nearly three decades of scientific research in his case, came to believe that changes in the sun’s brightness, sunspots and energy output, changes in the orbital position of the Earth relative to the sun, and other powerful natural forces drive climate change. In brief, our sun controls our climate.

Even the IPCC initially indicated agreement with him, citing his work approvingly in its second (1996) and third (2001) Assessment Reports. That later changed, significantly. Sure, everyone agrees that the sun caused the waxing and waning of the ice ages, just as solar scientists say. However, the sun had to be played down if carbon dioxide (CO2) was to be played up – an abuse of science that makes Willie sick.

Unfortunately for the IPCC, solar scientists think solar changes also explain Earth’s most recent warming period which, they point out, began way back in the 1830s – long before we burned enough fossil fuels to make any difference. They also observed the shrinking of the Martian ice-caps in the 1990s, and their return in the last few years – in perfect time with the waning and waxing of Arctic ice caps here on Earth.

Only the sun – not the CO2 from our fires – could cause that Earth-Mars synchronicity. And surely it is no mere coincidence that a grand maximum in solar brightness (Total Solar Irradiance or TSI) took place in the 1990s as both planets’ ice caps shrank, or that the sun cooled (TSI decreased) as both planets’ ice caps grew once again. All that brings us back to Dr. Soon’s disagreements with the IPCC.

The IPCC now insists that solar variability is so tiny that they can just ignore it, and proclaim CO2 emissions as the driving force behind climate change. But solar researchers long ago discovered unexpected variability in the sun’s brightness – variability that is confirmed in other stars of the sun’s type. Why does the IPCC ignore these facts? Why does it insist on spoiling Willie’s appetite?

It sure looks like the IPCC is hiding the best findings of solar science so that it can trumpet the decreases in planetary warming (the so-called “greenhouse effect”) that they embed in the “scenarios” (as they call them) emanating from their computer models. Ignoring the increase in solar brightness over the 80s and 90s, they instead enthusiastically blame the warmth of the 1990s on human production of CO2.

In just such ways they sell us their Climate Apocalypse – along with the roll-back of human energy use, comfort, living standards and progress: sacrifices that the great green gods of Gaia demand of us if we are to avoid existential cataclysms. Thankfully, virgins are still safe – for now.

Surely Willie and solar scientists are right about the primacy of the sun. Why? Because the observable real world is the final test of science. And the data – actual evidence – shows that global temperatures follow changes in solar brightness on all time-scales, from decades to millions of years. On the other hand, CO2 and temperature have generally gone their own separate ways on these time scales.

Global temperatures stopped going up in the first two decades of this century, even though CO2 has steadily risen. The IPCC blames this global warming “hiatus” on “natural climate variability,” meaning something random, something not included in their models, something the IPCC didn’t see coming.

This confirms the fact that their models do not add up to a real theory of climate. Otherwise the theory would be falsified by their incorrect predictions. They predicted a continuous increase in temperature, locked to a continuous increase in CO2. But instead, temperature has remained steady over the last two decades, while CO2 climbed even faster than before.

IPCC modelers still insist that the models are nevertheless correct, somehow – that the world would be even colder now if it weren’t for this pesky hiatus in CO2-driven warming. Of course, they have to say that – even though they previously insisted the Earth would not be as cool as it is right now.

Still, their politically correct commands stridently persist: stay colder in winter, stay hotter in summer, take cold showers, drive less, make fewer trips, fly less, don’t eat foods that aren’t “local,” bury your loved ones in cardboard boxes, turn off the lights. Their list of diktats is big and continuously growing.

Unlike the IPCC, Willie and I cannot simply ignore the fact that there were multiple ice ages millions of years ago, when CO2 levels were four times higher than now. And even when CO2 and temperature do trend in tandem, as in the famous gigantic graph in Al Gore’s movie, the CO2 rises followed temperature increases by a few centuries. That means rising CO2 could not possibly have caused the temperature increases – an inconvenient truth that Gore doesn’t care about and studiously ignores.

Unfortunately, through their powerful political and media cadres, the IPCC has created a highly effective propaganda and war-on-fossil-fuels vehicle, to herd public opinion – and marginalize or silence any scientist who dares to disagree with it. For better or worse, richer or poorer, my dear, passionate Dr. Soon is one scientist who is always ready to stand in the path of that tank and face it down: anytime, anywhere.

I’m frightened by the dangers to Willie, his family and his career, due to his daily battles with the Climate Apocalypse industry. I can’t get it out of my mind that the university office building of climatologist John Christy – who shares Willie’s skepticism of Climate Apocalypse – was shot full of bullet holes last year. But let’s not let a spattering of gunfire spoil a friendly scientific debate. Right?

Willie’s courage makes me proud to know him, and to be an aficionado of science like he is. When it comes to the long game, my money is on Dr. Willie Soon. We the people hunger for truth, as does science itself. And that hunger will inevitably eclipse our romantic dalliance with the Climate Apocalypse.

Dr. Jeffrey Foss is a philosopher of science and Professor Emeritus at the University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


180 thoughts on “Dr. Willie Soon versus the Climate Apocalypse

  1. Pseudoscience can’t be supported without cherry-picking or else erasing evidence. That’s why consensus climate science is pseudoscience.
    /end, stating the obvious

    • There are two types of science models, weak models and strong models. A strong model explains all of the observable evidence. Its correlation is strong which allows us to use it for predictive purposes. Weak models explain bits and pieces of the data, but far from all of it. The authors ignore the counter evidence, claim it is noise, or not important. These models have no predictive value. Most science models in all disciplines are weak models. Our understanding is incomplete, so the models predict a fraction of what is going on. It may be that it is a multivariate problem, so discerning cause and effect is not possible. The data may be too noisy. There may be many overlapping cycles and phenomena. There may be actionable regions of behavior, beyond which some phenomena shut off. It does not take conspiracy to have weak models, it just takes lack of time, undersampling, lack of data, bad data, and the social propensity to assemble things into series when series may not even actually exist. Atmospheric studies meet all the criteria of weak model science. This is different from climatology, which is statistics. It may suffer from spatial and temporal undersampling, or the wrong kind of sampling.

      • I agree there are two types of models. Those that have been used to do something demonstrably useful and those that have not.

      • “Donald Kasper December 2, 2018 at 2:51 pm
        There are two types of science models, weak models and strong models. A strong model explains all of the observable evidence. Its correlation is strong which allows us to use it for predictive purposes.”

        And then, with caveats!!
        A) That the model’s prediction is not absolute is gospel!
        Models are used for general direction only and with full knowledge that long term predictions are weak!

        “Donald Kasper December 2, 2018 at 2:51 pm

        Weak models explain bits and pieces of the data, but far from all of it. The authors ignore the counter evidence, claim it is noise, or not important. These models have no predictive value. Most science models in all disciplines are weak models. Our understanding is incomplete, so the models predict a fraction of what is going on. It may be that it is a multivariate problem, so discerning cause and effect is not possible. The data may be too noisy. There may be many overlapping cycles and phenomena. There may be actionable regions of behavior, beyond which some phenomena shut off. It does not take conspiracy to have weak models, it just takes lack of time, undersampling, lack of data, bad data, and the social propensity to assemble things into series when series may not even actually exist.”

        Nor can “weak models” be run many times and then averaged to establish a weak model’s general prediction!!!

        Claims of 35 models, hundreds of runs, multi-model averaging, etc. are all straw man distractions meant to obscure model misuse.

        “Donald Kasper December 2, 2018 at 2:51 pm

        Atmospheric studies meet all the criteria of weak model science.”


      • I don’t think that I have _ever_ heard a climate ‘scientist’ say that their models are weak. Nor have I heard a climate ‘scientist’ say (apart from Lorentz ) that multiple iterations of a model with inaccuracies will lead to wild diversions from the correct answers. Indeed they argue the precise opposite – but put parameterised fingers on the scales in the models when values _do_ go wildly out of possible values.

        Either climate ‘scientists’ are misled in their claims, or more likely, they are deliberately trying to mislead the general population and importantly their funding politicians.

        • If they do 20 runs, and those 20 runs have 20 wildly varying results, they will declare that if you average these 20 wrong answers, you will get the right answer, with almost infinite precision.

        • After detailed quantitative encounters with more than two dozen climate modelers, I can say that they have no understanding of physical error.

          They think taking differences subtracts away all the error.

          They assign certainty to their conclusions that their models plainly cannot provide.

          They are, in short, not scientists and are not competent to evaluate their own models.

      • ” A strong model explains all of the observable evidence.”

        It is nothing other than pure hubris to think that anyone can understand a complex multivariate system like the Earth’s climate sufficiently to create what is defined above as a strong model.

        I guess most of the faith in computers models comes from attitudes developed in early childhood when one is first exposed to the wondrous actions of childhood games played on them. I have noticed that most people never get over that initial childish belief that computers are infallible, that anything they say can to be taken as gospel. Even when you finally realize that computers are nothing other than simple super fast adding machines, that they have been told what to say by fallible people in complex error prone languages, that those people often don’t know anymore than you do, it is hard to lose that initial trust.

        After many years of supporting, designing, developing, testing and applying computers and computer models I don’t fully trust any results I cannot duplicate on the back of an envelope, on a blackboard or on a hand calculator. If I can’t do that I don’t understand the problem enough to model it. If you cannot do that don’t come to me and say you have a working model that I should trust.

      • Donald
        You missed the most obvious problem:
        The computer games that are called ‘global climate models’
        are, in fact, not models of the climate on our planet.

        Since the causes of climate change are just a list
        of the usual suspects, it is impossible to construct
        a correct climate change physics model.

        Without that physics model,
        constructing a global circulation model
        is impossible.

        The so-called models in use today are failed
        prototypes — their underlying assumption,
        that CO2 levels control the average temperature,
        is obviously wrong.

        “Weak model” is a weak description for “models”
        whose simulations / predictions are equivalent
        to a pile of steaming farm animal
        digestive waste products.

        The government bureaucrats who play the climate
        computer games, and make wrong average temperature
        forecasts, don’t really care — they just repeat the same
        scary forecasts every year, based on a wild guess
        of the effect of increasing CO2 levels. from the
        1979 Charney Report, because that is what they
        are being paid to do — they are paid for
        climate scaremongering, not forecasting
        the future climate !

        My climate science blog:

  2. Willy’s an outstanding, courageous man. As Sam Carey once noted: 25 million people may believe in a fallacy, but it’s still a fallacy.

  3. “Sure, everyone agrees that the sun caused the waxing and waning of the ice ages, just as solar scientists say.”

    In that one sentence he destroys his credibility.

    • He doesn’t seem to understand what an ice-age is, and what is the cause of glaciations and glacial terminations within an ice-age. But again, he is not a scientist, but a philosopher. Philosophers were the closest thing to a scientist in the Ancient World, with a cutting edge knowledge of mathematics. Nowadays they are just humanities types with little knowledge of science. A philosopher of science is an incongruity. An exception can be made of Karl Popper, though.

      • Science and philosophy were once one and the same. That’s why science awards a doctor of Philosophy degree. Gradually one specific scientific discipline after another separated from the combined field. First physics, then chemistry and biology, later departments like economics and some so-called social sciences. In a few universities even separate logic departments exist. (When I took college philosophy long ago, logic was a major part of the course.) Only philosophy now remains. So philosophers look to these other science fields in order to philosophize.
        Mathematics and astronomy followed separate paths, the latter being connected to religion and agriculture in earlier times.

        • So it really is back to the Middle Ages with climate science – yep, thought so!

        • Philosophy judges the correctness (or not) of scientific statements.

          The ‘rules’ of logic and validation in science are studied and refined in Philosophy. They are inseparable. Any scientific claim rests on a philosophical foundation.

          Science is the application of philosophical rules. Science doesn’t have ‘it’s own rules’. Philosophers have a strong claim on scientists and judge their works.

          • Everyone has an opinion, be it right or wrong, and most will express theirs, ……. the only difference is, …… Philosophers get paid for expressing theirs.

            And just because Philosophers get paid for expressing their opinion doesn’t mean it is a correct one.

          • Any scientific claim rests on a philosophical foundation.

            Not correct, Crispin. Science fully departed from philosophy when it grounded its theories in the results of experiment.

            Science entertains no philosophical essences. Nor do its theories have any fixed assumptions. Science is not axiomatic.

            The rules of science are the required interplay of falsifiable theory and replicable result. The “result” part is unique to science. It is not found in philosophy.

            Karl Popper, by the way, grounded his view of science in Einstein’s comment that if the gravitational redshift were not observed, then his theory would be wrong.

            That is, Popper’s view of science is not based in some assumption about science. It’s based in a view of how science actually works – theory (e.g., Relativistic mechanics) and result (e.g., an observed gravitational redshift, or not).

            If science worked differently than theory and result, Popper’s views would be judged wrong on the empirical evidence of an alternative observed scientific methodology. So far, however, Popper remains correct.

            That makes Popper’s ‘philosophy of science’ closer to science itself than to philosophy; at least in its grounding.

      • Kuhn also pointed out just what is happening here.

        He stated the science operates inside a ‘paradigm’ – a general world view. So the Mediaevals believed the the local space around Earth was comprised of Spheres, Newtonian physicists believed that things moved because of mechanical forces described by laws of gravitation and motion and Einsteinian physicists believe that matter distorts space. Similarly, Climate scientists believe that CO2 drives planetary warming.

        All these paradigms are defended against change. When a contrary finding is made, it is explained away, or just plain ignored – as ‘an exception’. For instance, Newton’s laws could not explain Mercury’s precession – this was just ignored for 2 centuries. Eventually, the problems with a particular paradigm get too big to ignore, and a ‘scientific revolution’ takes place, during which a new paradigm is installed.

        And then the whole process begins again.

        The problem is that Kuhn just thought people held onto disproven facts due to conservatism. He didn’t reckon on trillions of dollars being at stake…

        • Kuhn used conveniently equivocal language in his description of science.

          I’ve been critically re-reading his “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” and now expect to show it’s wrong.

    • The author could be referring to changes to the solar insolation due to obliquity, eccentricity and precession.

      • I read it as including both the changes in output of the sun as well as orbital changes, which effectively changes the sun’t output relative to the Earth.

        • Not only did you read it wrong but your wording is also wrong. Orbital changes do not change the Sun’s output relative to the Earth as you say. It changes the amount of the Sun’s energy arriving at the surface. So you see what you say and how you say it does make a difference. That is one of the biggest problems with people being less than precise in their explanations.

          • Actually it mostly changes solar insolation (TOA) arriving at one hemisphere compared to the other, not total insolation.

          • But when the hemispheres don’t reflect the same, the amount of solar energy received by the Earth changes when the Earth’s orbit changes. Also, the orbital changes involved varies the distance to the sun, so they also affect the amount of solar radiation absorbed by the Earth.

          • You are commenting on a non-scientific essay written by a philosopher, not a peer-reviewed scientific paper prepared by a team of scientists. There is no “credibility” to defend or deny.

            Remember also that the author is writing about a scientist who specializes in total solar irradiance, which accounts for everything related to the energy of the sun that arrives at earth. The “waxing and waning” he refers to is of that irradiance, not just the absolute emissions from the sun itself.

            Stop being pedantic.

          • The big difference is in the earth’s orbit The sun’s change by the IPCC was calculated to be 0.013% while the earth’s orbit, currently, is 3%. That may be subject to change, as well as the position of the earth’s equator relative to the sun. Orders of magnitude larger. At any given TSI, the temperature drop at aphelion is 4 C. No simple averaging will give you a clear picture.
            The earth’s orbit by as little change of +/- 0.5% would have a dramatic effect on temperature. What changes could do that? In fact, how much does the earth’s orbit change from year to year? Was that calculated in the IPCC’s models? I don’t think so.

        • Kurt, that is the way I read it also. TSI variations are just one part of the solar input changes that affect the Earth. The sentaence could have been worded better, however. Perhaps this is better:

          “Sure, everyone agrees that variations in the solar radiation and the distribution of the radiation striking the Earth caused the waxing and waning of the ice ages, just as solar scientists say.”

      • He could be but I doubt it. He seems to be just parroting something he thinks he heard somewhere.

        • I find nothing at all wrong with the statement that the author makes, and which you pick upon. You may be right that he doesn’t understand the orbital changes, but you cannot deduce that from the statement. Certainly no excuse for jumping on it. Plenty else to dicuss in this post, please don’t get hung up on this!

          But, yes, I tend to agree that (most) philosophy is bunk

          • As I replied to/Chris below, my point is that when you defend a person or a position and you make fundamental errors in your statements, it weakens your argument and gives fodder to your opposition. We don’t need those who oppose Dr Soon’s ideas to use this as another “non scientist who gets it wrong” example.

          • We don’t need those who oppose Dr Soon’s ideas…
            If said ideas are wrong [as they are] they should be opposed.
            It is the mark and prerogative of a true scientist to be wrong from time to time.
            Only believers in cult- and pseudo-science are always right.

      • Obliquity and precession do not change the amount of solar energy arriving at the Earth, only eccentricity does and by a very small amount. As hard as it might seem to some, the amount of insolation the Earth got during the Last Glacial Maximum was about the same as it gets today. What changed was what the Earth did with that energy, how it got distributed by latitude and season and how much got returned by albedo. The IPCC with all its energy budget calculations does not understand that it is not so much the amount of energy but what the planet does with it. The difference between a hothouse planet and an icehouse planet (like now) is in the temperature gradient between the equator and the poles, not in the amount of energy that arrives from the Sun. What matters for temperature is not its absolute value, but the gradients, as enthalpy changes as heat moves according to gradients. The stronger the gradient the more heat moves through it and the colder is the planet. As the gradient does not depend on GHGs, climate does not depend on GHGs, although they are needed for their greenhouse effect.

        So absolutely NO. Solar changes are not responsible in any way for glaciations. And the orbital changes are not due to the Sun. If the Moon and the planets did not exist the orbit of the Earth would have a constant ellipse without changes in eccentricity or obliquity. I am unsure about precession as changes in solar attraction related to the equatorial bulge, could still cause changes in precession maybe.

        The Moon and Jupiter are the main cause of the coming and going of glaciations and interglacials, one for being so close and the other for being the nearest giant. The importance of the Moon cannot be overstated. We probably wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the Moon that among other things stabilizes the axial tilt. If the axial tilt becomes too high there is no warm equator, and the climate becomes so unstable that complex life is not possible outside the oceans. Since the origin of the Moon was a lucky accident, one can only ponder about the contingency of intelligent life in this solar system, and how unlikely it might be that other planets like ours happen.

        • ” Obliquity and precession do not change the amount of solar energy arriving at the Earth, only eccentricity does and by a very small amount.”

          With eccentricity varying 0 to 5% in the ellipticity of orbit, I thought this was a major factor in ‘sealing the deal’, so to speak, for the 100,000 year time frame of current ice age lengths. The 3% of variance in solar irradiance is sort a big deal in the scheme of things, especially when obliquity and precession are factored into the mix. Especially if the Sun can vary by another 1% in luminance and irradiation. If it wasn’t for eccentricity, we would probably only have stadials and interstadials of much less severity. While I mostly agree with what you say, I think eccentricity is a significant issue in the scheme of things for the depth of the ice age when it is coincident with the other Milankovitch cycles.

          • I would bet you hard earned money that UV has more of an impact on warming ocean waters at depth than just VIBGYOR light, especially when solar storms and sunspots are prevalent, or they are not. There is more to this than your instruments measuring .1%, differential and the effect it has on warming the good Earth. You are sounding like an apologist for the IPCC these days.

          • With eccentricity varying 0 to 5% in the ellipticity of orbit, I thought this was a major factor in ‘sealing the deal’, so to speak, for the 100,000 year time frame of current ice age lengths.

            Actually not. The amount of insolation the Earth gets depends only on the average distance to the Sun, and as the ellipticity changes, the average distance changes very very little, and only because the speed of the Earth changes at aphelion and perihelion, so the Earth spends a little bit more time away from the Sun and a little bit less time close to it as eccentricity increases. That changes the average distance by a little bit. So the annually averaged insolation changes by less than 0.2% due to eccentricity. It is only through its effect on precession and obliquity that eccentricity becomes relevant. By itself it is a tiny forcing.

            Glaciation lengths do not follow a 100 kyr time frame, no matter what they say. There has been 11 interglacials in the past 800 kyr. They are: MIS 19, 17, 15c, 15a, 13, 11, 9, 7e, 7c-a, 5e, and 1 (Holocene). There is no way to slice 11 interglacials between 800 kyr and come up with a 100 kyr cycle. Interglacials follow the obliquity cycle, not the eccentricity cycle. By plotting temperature with 6.5kyr delay to obliquity it becomes absolutely clear:


            But most scientists are very obstinate and refuse to accept what the data says if it contradicts what they believe (Leif being an example). That is why it is still widely believed that interglacials follow a 100 kyr cycle when they don’t. It is also widely believed that solar variations have a tiny effect on climate, while the data is very clear that over time they have a huge effect.

          • Well, I am glad you picked on Dr. Svalbard and not me. He will be thrilled to hear you say that the Sun’s irradiance changes dramatically over long time durations. This should be self evident to a grade school science class, that at least we would never, ever say with any real conviction that it could only ever change .1% in luminance or irradiance. I am surprised anyone would ever make such a statement since I doubt that could ever be proven that it doesn’t. How much it changes is up for debate.

            Yes, I agree that 100,000 years is not exact and has been an approximation. Milankovitch forcing is more complicated than the few hundred words we used to describe things, but I think there is something going on more significant with eccentricity as we get into the nuts and bolts of Milankovitch Cycles and how the different cycles interact with each other. I have to ponder more your “average” distance in the eccentricity equation, as it relates to time spent in orbit at A&P.

            While we are currently in a Grand Precessional Winter, the NH summer receives almost 5 days more solar insolation on the Arctic Circle than it does in the SH Antarctic Circle while we are almost 3 million Km further to the Sun in our NH summer and of course opposite for the SH. And in the course of a year, the Earth already varies in distance to Sun by up to 5 Million Km on the round trip. Which will all change long term to respective hemispheres. This is what causes long term climate change, but also why one of the reasons that will limit the good Earth from getting too much warmer presently, irregardless of how much CO2 forcing we add. And we could even have another false start to an ice age like the LIA, as we get deeper into the Grand Precessional Winter, although the other cycles are not great for making much stick around for a full blown episode. As far as I know…

            This will of course all change and be opposite in 11,000-12,000 years, and so will have obliquity changed by then. It is very rare if ever we get the same mash up of cycles within the cycles (that will blow Leif’s mind) in any ice age sequence, since the periodicity of the cycles never line up well again for at least 400,000 years and then everything has changed including a bit of continental drift and perhaps a varying solar output. Fascinating subject how these wobbles, tilts and orbits change everything infinitely. But we can probably see the influence of the Sun varying within 1% total insolation over the ice age cycle and perhaps explains all the little wiggles in the graphs of stadials and interstadials and why nothing repeats exactly the same even within a same cycle. We will know more as we collect more data, on everything.

          • ten times smaller: 0.1%
            That number is inconsistent with the reported changes in the Marian ice cap.

            Until the discrepancy can be resolved it would appear that our understanding of solar effects on planetary ice caps is at best incomplete and may well contain significant errors.

          • Yes, I agree that 100,000 years is not exact and has been an approximation.

            An even better approximation is 82,000 years, i.e. two obliquity periods.

            we are currently in a Grand Precessional Winter

            That concept is not useful. Precession is a second order factor. It is easy to see that by seeing how temperature varies over time with respect to precession in Antarctic ice cores, for example EPICA, and how global ice volume varies with respect to precession in the LR04 benthic stack. They both show a very small response in the 18-24 kyr band showing that precession has a small effect and there are no Grand Precessional Summers and Winters. Further information can be obtained by examining the 402-322 ka period, a time with similar eccentricity to the present, and see what happened at those Grand Precessional Summers then.

            It is obliquity, and it has always been obliquity. Interglacials cannot happen unless obliquity becomes >23°, and once obliquity goes below 23° the interglacial is condemned and it is only a question of time. In fact, since temperature shows a big delay to orbital changes, the orbital decision to end an interglacial is taken several millennia before glacial inception. It can be shown that, in the case of the Holocene, the orbital decision to end it was taken between 2400 and 1400 years ago. So it is just a matter of time, probably 2000-4000 years, before glacial inception. This warming is like turkey fattening for Christmas. It will end badly in a few centuries.

          • The Earth does get slightly more solar insolation when the orbit is more circular.

            It is not that much different and the 100,000 year cycle of circular-eliptical orbits does NOT match the ice age cycles at all.

            It is Albedo all the way.

          • Earth’s orbital velocity is less when it is further away from the sun, and faster when it is closest to the sun.
            The more elliptical the orbit the more pronounced this difference.
            As a result of this, the earth receives less solar energy, on average, when the orbit is more elliptical.

        • Javier, Thanks for the excellent description of what is happening with regard to orbital mechanics. There is one other factor in the pole-to-equator temperature gradient that is important. In the tropics, where the Earth receives the most radiation per square m., ocean evaporation carries away sufficient thermal energy from the ocean surface to balance the solar input at about 30 degrees C. Obviously, near land and in shallow water this can be different and currents can mess with this value, but generally the tropics max out at about 30 degrees during the day. Thus, as the Earth’s orbit changes the distribution of thermal energy input to the Earth’s surface, the tropics don’t change a lot over time, but the larger latitudes can change dramatically, this is how the equator-to-pole gradient varies.

    • “…changes in the orbital position of the Earth relative to the sun….”
      He listed orbital changes as a climate driver. Admittedly, it’s not very well phrased, but it’s obvious he does understand that. If anyone destroyed his credibility it certainly isn’t the author.

      I would also like to add my great appreciation of Dr Soon.

      • Chris,
        That is what Dr Foss attributed to Dr Soon. It is Dr Foss that later makes the incorrect remarks.
        I am not trying to be nit picky but my point is when you try to defend someone or a position you cannot make fundamental mistakes in your argument as it only weakens your defense and gives fodder to the opposing side.

    • Hi Tom
      Not necessarily, the sun indeed does it by having more impact due to Earth’s axes inclination and orbit elongation changes following planetary gravitational effects as reflected in Milankovic equations, better known as M’s cycles.
      thus, it is the sun that does it with a little help from Jupiter and Saturn.

  4. It sure looks like the IPCC is…so that it can trumpet…

    You can generalize that and turn it into a fill in the blank question with lots of different answers:

    It sure looks like the Climate Science is _________ so that it can trumpet _________ .

    • Ahhh yes. Good old CBC where grade 10 math disqualifies you from employment. Nary a one (well, they do have Johanna Wagstaff now, but she is young and may still learn to think critically) at the mother corp has ever read a scientific paper but they are oh so sure of their correctness (on so many levels). They were just as sure about Y2K, polar bear decline, the election of Hilary, the evils of fat and salt, the magical ability of marijuana to make everything better, and pretty much every other trend du jour. As with all zealots, repeated failure is no deterrent. How do we get people at CBC to read a scientific paper when they are only interested in emotional connections and data be damned.

      • I don’t know if grade 10 math skills disqualify you, it’s more that if you have grade 10 math skills, you have much better options available.

  5. “I keep telling them – but they keep ignoring their mistake”

    It’s not a mistake, Dr. Soon. They do it on purpose.

    • Regarding Dr. Soon’s statement which is in part: “Errors in Total Solar Irradiance,” he replied. “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change keeps using the wrong numbers!”

      Can someone post a link to these wrong numbers, the correct ones, and any necessary explanations?

        • +1

          But on the OP:

          That means rising CO2 could not possibly have caused the temperature increases – an inconvenient truth that Gore doesn’t care about and studiously ignores.

          This is oft-said, but misleading statement.

          The lagging in itself means CO2 did not initiate the warming, but it may still have caused some warming after the process started. So yes, it did not “cause the temperature increase”, but it caused some temperature increase.

          CO2 by means not the only or even very significant reason for glaciation swings. If it were, rising CO2 would prevent a new glaciation to come. The fact that glaciation comes sets some kind of upper limit on sensitivity on CO2 in interglacial state.

        • I just took a look at Figure 8, with four graphs of high solar variability on the left, compared to four graphs of low solar variability used in the CMIP5 models on the right. The graphs of high solar variability showed increase since the late 1940s (solar cycle 18) or the late 1950s (solar cycle 19) (They disagree with each significantly which of these was higher), ranging from slight decrease to an increase of about 1 W/m^2 out of 1366 W/m^2. They indicate that solar variability can’t account for most of the warming from the global temperatures we had during or shortly after solar cycles 18 and 19.

  6. Oh my, how can a big bright yellow thingy in the sky can vary its brightness?

    Such a claim is against all the wood, sand, shells, ice records that we had collected…

    Sun is the only constant thingy in our lives, we cannot let it be changed by a few crackpot astrophysicist /sarc

  7. Indeed, much respect to Dr. Soon. I feel like I can hear his irritated anger during some of his lectures. It is incredible the bullying he is privy to, and yet he endures, a strong lighthouse in a storm of superstition and hate. Soon stands for the devotion to the scientific method and the pursuit and preservation of truth, one of my intellectual heros.

  8. TSI variabiity is less interesting that spectral variability. UV radiation is a small component of TSI but it can vary 50% through a solar cycle. The change to atmospheric chemistry as well as changes to the tropopause is significantly understudied.

  9. They are not the wrong numbers because they give the ‘right result ‘ for the IPCC .
    Its not now nor has ever really been about the science so ‘useful numbers ‘ will always be picked over correct ones.

  10. “Willie Soon may one day be a household name. ”

    Willie Soon be? How Soon?

    [The mods idly wonder “How Soon Willie be known as a household word? .mood]

  11. Willie Soon is a great courageous scientist that should be an example of practical skepticism to all scientists. He is taking heavy fire for doing what any good scientist should do, which is to doubt anything that has not been demonstrated. He has some really great articles that should become more important as we begin to understand what climate change is about.

  12. There is clearly something else in play in long term changes in climate other than CO2 changes. The weakness of Soon’s case for solar influence is in measuring the changes in solar output. Some spectral bands do vary much more than overall output in instrumental measures, but finding how those change weather has been a bit difficult.

  13. After many studies and an in-depth research project by “top minds” in climate catastrophe studies, it was determined there is no way to tax the sun.
    So the sun is completely ruled out as a cause of climate change.

    • no way to tax the sun.
      After forcing everyone to switch from fossil fuel to solar a way to tax solar will be discovered.

      Everyone thought they would never be able to tax the air we breathe either.

      • Actually breathing air is a non-taxable event, unless you are a vehicle, or power plant, or any other persecuted mechanical minority that borrows air to allow for combustion.
        In an ironic twist in France, you are taxed for burning fuel in your car, but burning a car is a non-taxable event.

  14. Interesting correlation between recent changes in Martian ice caps and Arctic ice caps on the Earth, if true. Even if not true, the accepted value of climate sensitivity (before feedbacks) of about 1 Celsius degree on doubling CO2 is too high for the following reason: the radiative forcing is based on net absorption of infrared (IR) radiation in 10 km of a cloud-free troposphere (see the MODTRAN spectrum at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiative_forcing ). But 62% of the Earth’s surface is covered by clouds. Clouds are composed of liquid droplets or ice crystals which act as Planck black bodies, absorbing almost all long-wave IR emitted by the hard-deck surface of the Earth, and re-emitting at a lower black body temperature. Thus the initial IR flux from the cool cloud-tops will be lower than that of the 288 K (15 Celsius) average temperature of the Earth’s hard-deck surface. Doubling CO2 below the cloud-tops will not change net absorption, because any net increased IR absorption by CO2 will mean exactly that much less available for absorption by the clouds. The total number of CO2 molecules that can absorb IR emitted from the cloud-tops to 10 km (the tropopause) will be smaller than that in the entire 10 km path length in a cloud-free troposphere. Because the absorption lines for the CO2 molecules in the vibrational ground state are essentially all saturated, the extra absorption is from the vibrationally first excited state (explaining why the difference between the blue and green CO2 MODTRAN absorption spectra -see above link – occurs only in small pockets to the left of 618 cm^-1 and to the right of 721 cm^-1). For these 3 reasons, net increased absorption by doubled CO2 for a 62% clouded troposphere will be significantly less than1 degree. In addition, doubling CO2 means that the net emission for the saturated lines centered at 667 cm^-1 will be from higher altitudes in the stratosphere which will be at higher temperatures due to the temperature inversion caused by absorption of incoming Solar UV radiation by ozone. Increased emission from the stratosphere means that there is less increased emission needed from the Earth’s surface for energy balance; i.e. less of a temperature increase is needed for the Earth’s hard-deck surface. So overall, climate sensitivity will be close to 0.6 degrees, not 1 degree, before feedbacks. Even if increased water vapor on warming by 0.6 degrees results in a 50% increase to 0.9 degrees, this is way lower than the long-quoted 3 degrees, and lower than the recently readjusted value of 1.5 degrees (which latter would imply at most a 50% water vapor feedback, assuming all historic temperature increases since 1850 were due to CO2 and related feedbacks). But increased water vapor would also increase cloud cover (e.g. a cloud-free dawn in the tropics is followed by increasing cloud cover as evaporation increases, until thunderclouds form in mid-afternoon). This is likely to reduce positive feedback so that climate sensitivity is back down to 0.6 to 0.7 degrees, a factor of 4 to 5 times smaller than the long-quoted “best value” of 3 degrees. Willie Soon is likely to understand this argument which vindicates his long-held position.

  15. Show us the IPPC numbers, and show us Willie’s numbers. Otherwise the article is just an opinion piece.

  16. Dr. Soon did a particularly excellent job of explaining the problems with measurement of sea-level by satellite altimetry, starting at 17:37 in this very informative hour-long lecture:

  17. The Good Guys have needed a Climate Warrior for a long, long time.

    Thank you Willie Soon! How can we help you, sir?

  18. UV radiation is a small component of TSI but it can vary 50% through a solar cycle
    The amount of loose change in somebody’s pocket can vary 100%, but has almost no effect on the total wealth of that person.

    In general, there is much confusion here about the difference between solar irradiance and solar insolation.
    Solar irradiance [and insolation as well] has almost not varied the past 50 years while global temperature has jumped up, up, and up.

    • Hi Leif. That’s a joke right, a few tenths of a degree is ‘up, up, and up’?

      The funniest thing I ever heard Willie Soon say was something like, and I’m paraphrasing, and imagine him saying this, ‘”The Sun is like Tom Brady, powerful, and CO2 is like Willie Soon, small… Tom Brady way more powerful than Willie Soon.”

      The funniest thing I heard Leif say was, verbatim, “my error bar have error bars” – regarding the next cycle strength prediction.

    • Solar irradiance [and insolation as well] has almost not varied the past 73 years (since ~1945) while global temperature has jumped DOWN, up, and SIDEWAYS.

      Earth cooled from ~1945 to ~1977, warmed from ~1977 for about two decades, and has not changed much since then, except for the up/down impact of two major El Nino events – all as atmospheric CO2 continued to increase.

      Much of the ~20 year warming observed after 1977 was natural, due to the Great Pacific Climate Shift of ~1977, and was also significantly shifted in time by the cooling impact and later dissipation of the aerosols from two century-scale volcanoes – El Chichon in 1982 and Pinatubo in 1991+.

        • No I do not disagree with Willie. He is a very intelligent man. So is Nir Shaviv. So is Jan Veizer.

          What drives the PDO? I suspect primarily Nature – probably mostly the integral of solar activity, and certainly NOT increasing atmospheric CO2 – since CO2 trends lag temperature trends at all measured time scales (MacRae 2008, Humlum et al 2013).

          Best personal regards, Allan 🙂

          • I published the following article in E&E in early 2005, in defence of legitimate climate scientists.

            We knew that the Mann hockey stick (MBH98 etc.) was false when it was published, because it contradicted the historical climate record, eliminating both the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age, in order to bolster global warming alarmism and promote costly, ineffective and destructive green energy schemes.

            Environmental harm from these green energy schemes included accelerated draining of the vital Ogalalla Aquifer for corn ethanol production in the USA and clear-cutting of the rainforests in South America and Southeast Asia to grow biofuels. These actions continue to cause huge environmental damage.

            Energy costs have been sharply increased, vital electrical grids have been destabilized, and Excess Winter Deaths have increased.

            Based on the evidence, including the Mann hokey stick and the Climategate emails, global warming and green energy are the greatest scams, in dollar terms, in the history of humanity. Many trillions of dollars of scarce global resources have been squandered on global warming/green energy falsehoods.

            A fraction of these wasted trillions could have put safe water and sanitation systems into every village on Earth, and run them forever. About two million kids below the age of five die from contaminated water every year – over sixty million dead kids from bad water alone since the advent of global warming alarmism.

            The remaining squandered funds, properly deployed, could have gone a long way to ending malaria and world hunger.

            Told you so, years ago.

            Regards, Allan

            The global warming debate heats up
            Allan M.R. MacRae, P.Eng.

            But such bullying is not unique, as other researchers who challenged the scientific basis of Kyoto have learned.

            Of particular sensitivity to the pro-Kyoto gang is the “hockey stick” temperature curve of 1000 to 2000 AD, as proposed by Michael Mann of University of Virginia and co-authors in Nature. Mann’s hockey stick indicates that temperatures fell only slightly from 1000 to 1900 AD, after which temperatures increased sharply as a result of humanmade increases in atmospheric CO2. Mann concluded: “Our results suggest that the latter 20th century is anomalous in the context of at least the past millennium. The 1990s was the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, at moderately high levels of confidence.”

            Mann’s conclusion is the cornerstone of the scientific case supporting Kyoto. However, Mann is incorrect.

            Mann eliminated from the climate record both the Medieval Warm Period, a period from about 900 to 1500 AD when global temperatures were generally warmer than today, and also the Little Ice Age from about 1500 to 1800 AD, when temperatures were colder. Mann’s conclusion contradicted hundreds of previous studies on this subject, but was adopted without question by Kyoto advocates.

            In the April 2003 issue of Energy and Environment, Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and co-authors wrote a review of over 250 research papers that concluded that the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age were true climatic anomalies with world-wide imprints – contradicting Mann’s hockey stick and undermining the basis of Kyoto. Soon et al were then attacked in EOS, the journal of the American Geophysical Union.

            In the July 2003 issue of GSA Today, University of Ottawa geology professor Jan Veizer and Israeli astrophysicist Nir Shaviv concluded that temperatures over the past 500 million years correlate with changes in cosmic ray intensity as Earth moves in and out of the spiral arms of the Milky Way. The geologic record showed no correlation between atmospheric CO2 concentrations and temperatures, even though prehistoric CO2 levels were often many times today’s levels. Veizer and Shaviv also received “special attention” from EOS.

            In both cases, the attacks were unprofessional – first, these critiques should have been launched in the journals that published the original papers, not in EOS. Also, the victims of these attacks were not given advanced notice, nor were they were given the opportunity to respond in the same issue. In both cases the victims had to wait months for their rebuttals to be published, while the specious attacks were circulated by the pro-Kyoto camp.


    • Solar irradiance [and insolation as well] has almost not varied the past 50 years while global temperature has jumped up, up, and up.

      If you start by accepting that the Earth can be in a glacial state or in an interglacial receiving the exact same amount of energy from the Sun, then you would have to conclude that what matters most to determine temperature is what happens here on the Earth, not in the Sun, and therefore the change in solar output, however small, can have a disproportionate effect on the Earth, because if for the same solar energy the Earth can be covered in ice-sheets or enjoy a balmy interglacial, for a different solar energy, however small the change, it is certainly not impossible to see big effects.

      • and therefore the change in solar output, however small, can have a disproportionate effect on the Earth, because if for the same solar energy the Earth can be covered in ice-sheets or enjoy a balmy interglacial
        As you well know, it all depends on the distributions of the land masses and the earth orientation parameters, and not the sun. Your ‘argument’ is not worthy of further discussion.

        • Au contraire. Since the climatic effect depends on the Earth, the argument that solar variability is very small (0.1%) becomes irrelevant. What matters is what the Earth does with that change. And for that we have to ask the Earth. The answer is that if the change is maintained for decades or centuries, as it happened during the LIA, the climatic changes are profound.

          Solar activity has been low for just a decade, and we are starting to notice. Despite a big increase in emissions and CO2 levels, temperature has failed to respond, and summer Arctic sea ice has failed to melt. As the time with low solar activity continues over the next decade we might even see an actual small decrease in temperature respect the early 21st century. All thanks to papa Sun being less active.

          • The answer is that if the change is maintained for decades or centuries, as it happened during the LIA, the climatic changes are profound.
            Not at all. The Earth is radiating away such tiny changes. If you removed solar activity altogether forever, the temperature would fall less than 0.1 degrees, which I would not call ‘profound’.

        • Leif,

          From your last statement to Javier, I am deducing that you are a firm believer in the gravito-thermal theory of baseline celestial body temperatures? Am I correct in my deduction? If so, we agree.

          Since gravito-thermal is assumed to be correct, how would galactic cosmic radiation influence glacial and inter-glacial periods? Does the cloud seeding qualities of GCR have ice age inducing ability?

          If the sun has essentially constant output and the orbit of the Earth is stable, is GCR induced cloud cover the tipping point factor in initiating an ice age? Does a quiet Sun lead to increased GCR interaction with the atmosphere that in turn leads to increased cooling?

          I am only a healthcare professional. I follow climate issues as a hobby. Any information you can relay would be appreciated.

          • you are a firm believer in the gravito-thermal theory of baseline celestial body temperatures?
            I don’t know what that theory is. Have no idea.
            What I believe is that over long enough times [decades, centuries, …] the Earth is warmed by incoming solar radiation to a certain temperature and that the Earth radiates all that energy back to space in due time, so there must be a balance between incoming and outgoing radiation.
            The cosmic ray idea is falsified by the data: solar activity is falling so cosmic ray intensity is rising, which should cool the Earth, but the temperature has been rising, so GCR effect is not effective on the time scale of decades.

          • Thanks for you reply.

            Gravito-thermal theory is based on the Ideal Gas Law. If you know the atmospheric pressure at the surface (which accounts for the atmospheric mass and gravity) and the energy received at the top of the atmosphere, one can accurately calculate the average surface temperature of any celestial body with an atmosphere.

            Using Gravito-thermal theory, a body receiving zero sunlight would still have a baseline surface temperature above absolute zero. This temperature would be determined by the mass of the atmosphere and the gravity of the celestial body – essentially PV=nRT.

            This is why your statement to Javier about removing sunlight lead me to believe that you adhere to Gravito-thermal theory. Obviously my assumption was incorrect.

            As for the temperature of the Earth continually rising, we will agree to disagree. With the dearth of accurate historical data and tampering (adjusting, homogenizing, etc) with both current and historical data, I have zero belief in assertions that temps keep rising. The historical and current temp data are too inadequate and corrupted to make an assertion of ever increasing temps.

          • make an assertion of ever increasing temps.
            But there is no EVER increasing temperature. Only the past 100 years or so.
            And the increase is small.

            As I said, there are incoming radiation and resulting outgoing radiation and that balance sets the temperature.

          • Thanks for your replies.

            Even the assertion of a small increase in temps over the past 100 years is specious. The dearth of accurate temp data worldwide simply negates any such an assertion. Asserting even a small increase would fall outside even a modest margin of error, but I will grant you that Earth has likely warmed a small amount.

            We agree that the Earth will reach a balance of incoming and outgoing energy input from the Sun.

            As for Gravito-thermal, you must change your thinking about gravity to accept it as valid. Gravity is a force that performs constant work on a body. This is why it is measured in Newtons. Gravity is constantly performing work on the atmosphere. This leads to a baseline temperature above absolute zero due to the energy input from gravity. This baseline temperature exists with or without energy received from the Sun.

            Most folks cannot wrap their heads around gravity performing work. I get it. We are not taught that gravity performs work. It took me quite a while to accept it. But if gravity is not performing constant work on the atmosphere, what explains the fact that our atmosphere does not dissipate into space? If it is not performing work, then why measure it in Newtons?

          • Nikolov and Zeller do a much better job laying out the particulars of atmospheric versus solar contributions to GMAT than I ever could as a non-scientist. I did take two years of physics and several years of chemistry, but lack the depth of knowledge to adequately address your question. Here is a link to their paper that sold me on Gravito-thermal theory.


            You have most likely seen this paper and would most likely disagree with their conclusions. . Our fundamental understanding of gravity is severely lacking. Perhaps we should rethink our current understanding of gravity.

          • Perhaps we should rethink our current understanding of gravity.
            I really don’t think that is necessary.
            But, practically: what is the temperature that gravity would give us. I assume that
            Temp = Temp(gravity)+Temp(sun)+Temp(others)
            So, what is Temp(gravity)?

          • Nikolov and Zeller’s equation 10b includes the solar contribution to surface temp. Make the solar contribution zero and you have gravity’s impact.

            If you lack the desire to read the entire paper, jump to the discussion section.

            According to Eq. (10b), the heating mechanism of planetary atmospheres is analogous to a gravity-controlled adiabatic compression acting upon the entire surface. This means that the atmosphere does not function as an insulator reducing the rate of planet’s infrared cooling to space as presently assumed [9,10], but instead adiabatically boosts the kinetic energy of the lower troposphere beyond the level of solar input through gas compression. Hence, the physical nature of the atmospheric ‘greenhouse effect’ is a pressure-induced thermal enhancement independent of atmospheric composition. This mechanism is fundamentally different from the hypothesized ‘trapping’ of LW radiation by atmospheric trace gases first proposed in the 19th century and presently forming the core of the Greenhouse climate theory.

          • Nikolov and Zeller’s equation 10b includes the solar contribution to surface temp. Make the solar contribution zero and you have gravity’s impact.
            Does not do anything for me. What are the numbers?

            give me three numbers, please

          • Please read the entire paper. The authors discuss gravity’s contributions to GMAT. I have not read the entire paper in some time, but I recall the authors also break out gravity’s impact versus solar.

            Some parts of their paper stretches the limits of my knowledge, but should be a piece of cake for you to understand.

          • Please read the entire paper.
            Since they convinced you, you should be able to give me the three numbers we seek.
            If you cannot , why should we think that there is any validity in the idea.
            A simple thought experiment shows that the idea cannot work:
            remove all external sources [sun, etc] and let only gravity do its magic.
            So the Earth has a non-zero temperature. That means that it radiates and thus loses energy.
            If the atmosphere is stable, its gravity will not change, and the heating will always be there and we have the generation of energy out of thin thin. I think this violates some laws of thermodynamics, [in particular the 1st].

          • Like I wrote previously, if you do not believe that gravity can do work then you will not believe the gravito-thermal theory. No sweat off my back at all.

            I did the calculations well over a year ago. I cannot recall the exact contribution of gravity and other components. I could go back and do the calculations, but I am completely unmotivated to do so since I am not trying to convince you of anything. I find that folks must convince themselves. This can only be done after doing the work themselves.

            I found this paper conducting my own climate research, did the calculations and was convinced. I provided the paper to you. Perhaps you will do the calculations and convince yourself. Perhaps not. If you wish to prove me the authors in error, that should be easy to do if they are as badly mistaken as you believe. The calculations should reveal tbeir folly quite quickly.

            Like I wrote above, I am not trying to convince you of anything.

          • Using Gravito-thermal theory, a body receiving zero sunlight would still have a baseline surface temperature above absolute zero.
            Remove the internal heat source and the cosmic background radiation and the atmosphere would be frozen solid and be just another layer of the solid surface. The temperature at the surface of that solid layer would be at absolute zero.
            Now, add the sun, and the layer would eventually melt and the temperature would essentially depend on the added solar radiation: more radiation = higher temperature.

    • My apologies if you have addressed this elsewhere.. In any case curious what your thoughts are re:


      Quote from article:

      “The clouds in our skies develop from cloud condensation nuclei: that is, water vapour condensing on what are called aerosols – such as small bits of dust, ice, and salt in the atmosphere. This happens when the amount of water vapour and temperature conditions are just right.

      Then we have the cosmic rays, high energy radiation made from protons and the nuclei of elements including hydrogen and helium. These rays barrel through our entire Universe, ejected by the Sun and other stellar objects.

      We know that when cosmic rays hit Earth’s atmosphere, they produce a shower of electrically charged “secondary” particles or ions.

      What Svensmark and his colleagues are proposing is that these ions add extra material to the aerosols, ultimately forming bigger clouds, and impacting cloud cover and the temperature at ground level.”


      This article is from 2017, so may be old hat. If you have responded to it in depth elsewhere, would appreciate a link. Thanks!

  19. Dr.Foss,
    RE: “They want Willie silenced. We the people need to make sure he is heard.”
    How do we make sure Dr. Soon is heard…. and heeded?
    Seriously, we need a game plan. There are many here that will act in his support if an effective plan is put forth!

  20. I wonder how hard it was for Dr. Jeffrey Foss, who is a philosopher of science and Professor Emeritus at the University of Victoria, to put up with the likes of Dr. Andrew Weaver who was a ‘supposed’ climate scientist at UVIC, and was responsible for some of the hottest climate models for the IPPC that has led to all this mess? The mathematicians probably do the most damage to climate science, embellishing their handiwork with deceptive arithmetic.

    Not to mention that Dr. Weaver would just sue people like Dr. Tim Ball, (and lose) who didn’t agree with the fraudulent science that Dr. Weaver was peddling. And of course now Dr. Weaver is on a wrecking mission as Dear Leader of the BC Green Party, holding up the Socialist/Marxist hordes in a minority position, disguised as the NDP. Almost as bad as that other know it all, Dr. Michael Mann. What a disaster all of this IPPC evil has become. Don’t answer my hypothetical question Dr. Foss, in case Dr. Weaver sues you for your opinion of him. He is so shallow and thin skinned, it is pathetic.

  21. From the article: “I’m frightened by the dangers to Willie, his family and his career, due to his daily battles with the Climate Apocalypse industry.”

    I would like to hear more details about the dangers Dr. Soon is facing and the abuse he and his family are receiving from the alarmists.

  22. I have been told the missing warmth, and excess CO2, has all gone into the oceans…acidifying it, leading to the death of marine-life and coral like the Great Barrier Reef etc.
    There it waits…waiting the next big warm period where it will all be released into the atmosphere…causing climate catastrophe.

    …still waiting for that sea level to rise too…

  23. Regarding atmospheric CO2 lagging global temperature by a few centuries: For most of the past 400,000 years, the amount of carbon available for the carbon cycle in the sum of the atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere was relatively constant. Atmospheric CO2 was a positive feedback mechanism for temperature changes initiated by something else. In recent decades, carbon was transferred from the lithosphere to the atmosphere, and the hydrosphere and biosphere have been removing CO2 from the atmosphere despite the warming.

  24. When you read the wikipedia article on Ice Ages, the mentality seems to be dominated by CO2 atmosphere cause.
    It’s almost like they are forced to finally concede (after the CO2 stuff)

    “the match of glacial/interglacial frequencies to the Milanković orbital forcing periods is so close that orbital forcing is generally accepted.”


  25. What matters is indeed solar insolation, but not in terms of the global average or anomaly. Atmospheric conditions, a highly variable phenomenon little understood or consistently measured, and wth few proxies that might tell us what atmospheric conditions were in the distant path, likely are the elephants in the room but we don’t know which elephant is the most important one. Averaging all of them together makes no sense. The Earth is not a consistent ball of well mixed water and land components. And we haven’t yet determined where solar oceanic recharge is most important in terms of solar insolation anomaly that could be the lion’s share of measured Earthbound temperature swings.

    Indeed, we have warmed. A helluva lot since the last stadial period! And I am not focused on these current insignificant wriggles. That most recent fast rise out of the stadial was to a greater degree than can be blamed on solar variation. So it MUST be solar insolation changes due to atmospheric cycles of some kind along with slowly changing orbital mechanics causing changes in where the most important solar angle is hitting the oceans.

  26. As Willie knows, the reduction in high-end solar radiation TOA had a lag of maybe 10 years as Oceanic processes worked through. But about 2ya the steepening gradient to the Poles began to be obvious as the loopy jetstream. Stormier weather and greater extremes from it effectively quicken aerial energy loss to Space.
    Piers Corbyn, a brilliant Astrophysicist, had predicted this some time ago. A mini-LIA, he predicted.
    By such means we see how climatic change is leveraged in the Earth’s stunningly ‘”un-linear” systems. To open minds, it is such fun…..Brett

  27. From one Willie to another : How to reply to the IPCC— https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NM6I-pmV0RA&list=PLSpsqh2bQXYxxkOF7ZLkLkcRBYuIi_1Mk —- Science cannot prove or disprove that the Sun’s energy output in the not too distant past is equivalent to it’s present energy output , nor that the present in any way predicts the future . We reconstruct the past and predict the future , by extrapolation ,based our incomplete understanding of how our Universe works , a fact rarely acknowledged . The Sun is the control knob , directly connected to and the primary driver of all planets .But what drives the Sun ?

    • But what drives the Sun ?
      What drives the heat production of a compost heap?
      Decay processes inside the heap.

      For the sun the driver is fusion of hydrogen into helium inside the sun.
      That process is about as efficient as the compost heap.

      The magnetic field near the surface adds a tiny amount (up to 0.1%).

  28. MOD please correct the article posting

    “It sure looks like the IPCC is hiding the best findings of solar science so that it can trumpet the decreases in planetary warming (the so-called “greenhouse effect”) that they embed in the “scenarios” (as they call them) emanating from their computer models. ”

    The word “decreases” should be replaced by “increases”.

  29. I admire Willie Soon’s determination to keep going, in the face of personal attacks and vilification worse than that suffered by most cAGW skeptics. It must take no small amount of courage.

  30. Dr. Foss, you say:

    “And the data – actual evidence – shows that global temperatures follow changes in solar brightness on all time-scales, from decades to millions of years.”

    I’m sorry, but that is simply not true. Start with this one …

    And here’s a closeup of the last forty years:


  31. WUWT is going down the drain. That some people get to post figures on comments while the rest don’t is the last straw. This is a dysfunctional site.

    I’m outta here.

    • You’re leaving because you can’t post a picture?

      Have you talked to the management about this? Maybe there is a reason why noone can post pictures except for the people who write the articles.

      There was some kind of problem with the commenting software a few months ago which caused this inability to post pictures and obviously it hasn’t been fixed yet, but I assume the management is working on restoring these functions, although Anthony has been distracted by the California fire that affected some of his employees and their families.

      Perhaps you should ask the management what is going on. Don’t take it personal that you can’t post a picture. None of us can. And a lot of us would dearly love to do so. We have to settle for links at the moment. That doesn’t change the intelectual discussion on WUWT one bit.

    • Please don’t leave. I enjoy being educated by your posts, and I would bet I’m not the only one. Why don’t you try to sort it out with the mods.

    • Javier, I consider your posts among the most intelligent, concise and on point things to be found here. This is also a very important site for deseminating and digesting ideas and truths about the single most important scientific issue of our time. I urge you to stay in the fight on this important public forum.

        • What seems a little strange is before the new commenting software was installed, it was possible to post images on WUWT, but after the new software crashed (for whatever reason) and the software supposedly was reverted back to what it was before the new commenting software was installed, yet it is now not possible to post images. The old software would allow images to be posted, and we are suppoedly back on the old software, but now image posting doesn’t work. As I said: Strange.

  32. CO2 and O3 play a huge role in the lower stratosphere, where ozone and carbon dioxide are exchanged into water vapor.
    The highest rate of carbon-14 production takes place at altitudes of 9 to 15 km (30,000 to 49,000 ft) and at high geomagnetic latitudes.
    The rate of 14C production can be modelled, yielding values of 16,400[12] or 18,800[13] atoms of 14C per second per square meter of the Earth’s surface, which agrees with the global carbon budget that can be used to backtrack,[14] but attempts to directly measure the production rate in situ were not very successful. Production rates vary because of changes to the cosmic ray flux caused by the heliospheric modulation (solar wind and solar magnetic field), and due to variations in the Earth’s magnetic field.

    A minimum atmospheric temperature, or tropopause, occurs at a pressure of around 0.1 bar in the atmospheres of Earth1, Titan2, Jupiter3, Saturn4, Uranus and Neptune4, despite great differences in atmospheric composition, gravity, internal heat and sunlight. In all of these bodies, the tropopause separates a stratosphere with a temperature profile that is controlled by the absorption of short-wave solar radiation, from a region below characterized by convection, weather and clouds5,6. However, it is not obvious why the tropopause occurs at the specific pressure near 0.1 bar. Here we use a simple, physically based model7 to demonstrate that, at atmospheric pressures lower than 0.1 bar, transparency to thermal radiation allows short-wave heating to dominate, creating a stratosphere. At higher pressures, atmospheres become opaque to thermal radiation, causing temperatures to increase with depth and convection to ensue. A common dependence of infrared opacity on pressure, arising from the shared physics of molecular absorption, sets the 0.1 bar tropopause. We reason that a tropopause at a pressure of approximately 0.1 bar is characteristic of many thick atmospheres, including exoplanets and exomoons in our galaxy and beyond. Judicious use of this rule could help constrain the atmospheric structure, and thus the surface environments and habitability, of exoplanets.

      • Love your atmosphere updates, ren. Keep them coming. 🙂

        Here’s a link to nullschool showing a portion of the jet stream blowing across the middle of the United States. When the jet stream is blowing in this direction, it enhances tornado formation and strength. When the jet stream blows more southwest to northeast, it makes even stronger tornadoes.

        This particular jet stream confirguration spawned a tornado in Oklahoma last week that traveled over 60 miles on the ground, which is farily unusual, especially for this time of year. This same weather system caused numerous tornadoes in other parts of the country as it moved to the east over the last few days.


        • The tornado that struck in Oklahoma happened last Friday and I heard a report yesterday that said the tornado was on the ground for 25 miles instead of 60 miles. I’m not sure why there was such a discrepacy.

          That makes more sense. Usually, if you get a tornado with a 60-mile path on the ground it will be spawned from a big outbreak of very powerful tornadoes. In this case, Oklahoma only had about two or three tornadoes, of which the subject was one, and it was only an EF2. As the jet stream angle pushed further east it caused numberous tornadoes to break out. Oklahoma was on the back side of where the jet stream was pushing into the air to the east.

          Again, thanks ren for your posts. I don’t understand a lot of what I am looking at as you have introduced some new atmospheric subject matter to me, but I understand more than I did, thanks to you. 🙂

    • What’s the connection to solar cycles and Earth’s climate? Cosmic rays don’t change the pressure and temperature at tropopause.

      • The relationship between climatic parameters and the Earth’s magnetic field has been reported by many authors. However, the absence of a feasible mechanism accounting for this relationship has impeded progress in this research field. Based on the instrumental observations, we reveal the spatio-temporal relation�ship between the key structures in the geomagnetic field, surface air temperature and pressure fields, ozone, and the specific humidity near the tropopause. As one of the probable explanations of these correlations, we suggest the following chain of the causal relations: (1) modulation of the intensity and penetration depth of energetic particles (galactic cosmic rays (GCRs)) in the Earth’s atmosphere by the geomagnetic field; (2) the distortion of the ozone density near the tropopause under the action of GCRs; (3) the change in temperature near the tropopause due to the high absorbing capacity of ozone; (4) the adjustment of the extra�tropical upper tropospheric static stability and, consequently, specific humidity, to the modified tropopause temper�ature; and (5) the change in the surface air temperature due to the increase/decrease of the water vapor green�house effect.

        (PDF) Geomagnetic Field and Climate: Causal Relations with Some Atmospheric Variables. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281441974_Geomagnetic_Field_and_Climate_Causal_Relations_with_Some_Atmospheric_Variables [accessed Dec 03 2018].

    • Interesting post, ren.

      I think we have a lot to learn by comparing our atmosphere with those of other planets.

    • Nice work ren. UV intensity about 50 times IR. Hence a sunburnt Aussie in 20mins almost a way of life. No monnshine or back/upwelling/downwelling radiation can do that.
      Gotta love the pressure generated by ozone to create mass flow gradient that Moves things around.

  33. “Global temperatures stopped going up in the first two decades of this century, even though CO2 has steadily risen.”
    “But instead, temperature has remained steady over the last two decades, while CO2 climbed even faster than before.”

    Does he believe that or does it matter what the evidence shows?

    (Hint: the temperature trend seems to be continuing upwards)

    “They predicted a continuous increase in temperature, locked to a continuous increase in CO2.”

    Again, any proof or just a belief once more?

    • That trend started over a hundred years ago. Are you claiming it didn’t, or are you claiming it was caused by increasing CO2 over a hundred years ago?
      Our CO2 production was very meager during the first half of the century, compared to the second half. Trying to square that circle has been a “worse than we thought” problem. Thousands of adjustments, and it just won’t go away.

      • That trend started over a hundred years ago
        And solar activity went up until the 1950s and then down to where it now is at the same level as it was back a century ago, so the temperature trend is obviously not due to solar activity, cosmic rays, or anything else depending on solar activity [sunspots].

      • “That trend started over a hundred years ago. Are you claiming it didn’t, or are you claiming it was caused by increasing CO2 over a hundred years ago?”

        No, I am not claiming anything.
        I am wondering how the writer of this post can claim, firstly, that global temperatures ‘stopped going up in the first two decades of this century’; and, secondly, that ‘temperature has remained steady over the last two decades’. When you look at the temperature trend since 2000, it has gone up and is at a higher level now than then.
        How can anyone write what this man has written and be taken seriously enough to get to post on this website? Does it matter what any of the lead posts say, as long as they write “No, it’s not warming, it’s getting colder and, anyway, it’s not CO2”?

  34. Based on the paleoclimate record and the work done with models, one can conclude that the climate change we are experiencing today is caused by the sun and the oceans over which mankind has no control. Despite the hype, there is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate and plenty of scientific rationale to support the idea that the climate sensitivity of CO2 is zero.

    The AGW conjecture is based on only partial science and cannot be defended. For example, the AGW conjecture depends upon the existence of a radiant greenhouse effect caused by trace gases in the Earth’s atmosphere with LWIR absorption bands. No such radiant greenhouse effect has ever been observed, in a real greenhouse, in the Earth’s atmosphere, or any where else in the solar system for that mater. The radiant greenhouse effect is science fiction so hence the AGW conjecture is nothing but science fiction.

    • Based on the paleoclimate record and the work done with models, one can conclude that the climate change we are experiencing today is caused by the sun
      No one cannot just ‘conclude’ that as sun and climate has moved in opposite directions.

  35. A comment from a few months ago referenced this talk by Dr. Willie Soon discussing a the causes of early Medieval cooling period.
    In it he gives his definition of climate.

    An understanding of climate requires a amalgamation of mathematics, astronomy, solar physics, geology, geochronology, geochemistry, sedimentology, tectonics, palaeontology, paleoecology, glaciology, climatology, meteorology, oceanography, ecology, archaeology and history.

    I count 17 disciplines required to understand climate. He then goes through a discussion of the period discussed in literature as the Blue Moon. If you can follow his arguments through his humorous and off-handed approach to extremely complex subjects, you may (as I did) be completely awed by his understanding of how complex climate is. Have a watch and let me know your response.

    • Oops. Made a coding error so my comment appears as nested quote. The event is not a Blue Moon but Blue Sun.

  36. I was waiting for someone with better credentials to say this, but I haven’t seen it.

    Most of the CO2 that we see is due to the temperature recovery from the Little Ice Age (LIA) with a lag of 300 years . Coincidentally, a much smaller amount is being added by humans. It’s an accident that warmists, the IPCC and their much-amplified propaganda machine have taken advantage of.


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