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Sun’s Direct Role in Global Warming May Be Underestimated, Duke Physicists Report

Duke University – September 30, 2005

This is a fairly old report but it is important since it points out that global climate models still need to be updated to reflect the changes in solar activity. Many of the studies and predictions of climate models that we read about are based on models that are fairly old (some have been around for decades). This article points out that these models need to be re-examined.

At least 10 to 30 percent of global warming measured during the past two decades may be due to increased solar output rather than factors such as increased heat-absorbing carbon dioxide gas released by various human activities, two Duke University physicists report.


The physicists said that their findings indicate that climate models of global warming need to be corrected for the effects of changes in solar activity.


The Duke physicists also introduce new statistical methods that they assert more accurately describe the atmosphere’s delayed response to solar heating. In addition, these new methods filter out temperature-changing effects not tied to global warming, they write in their paper.


Lacking a standardized, uninterrupted data stream measuring any rising solar influence, those groups thus surmised that all global temperature increases measured during those years had to be caused by solar heat-trapping “greenhouse” gases such as carbon dioxide, introduced into Earth’s atmosphere by human activities, their paper added.


Willson and his colleagues concluded, rather that their analysis revealed a significant upward trend in average solar luminosity during the period.


Applying their analytical method to the solar output estimates by the Columbia group, Scafetta’s and West’s paper concludes that “the sun may have minimally contributed about 10 to 30 percent of the 1980-2002 global surface warming.”

Read the rest of the article here.

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