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The persistent role of the Sun in climate forcing

Danish National Space Center – March 2007

Once again, we find that the scientific understanding of our complicated climate is evolving. I repeat my call for more effort and concentration in this area of science since it appears that causality of climate change is not fully understood (comments by a famous politician not withstanding).

This study points out that there appears to be something missing between the causes of solar activity and other influences. When you see a claim such as "one can only wonder about the quality of the surface temperature record" then you start to question what is missing.

Yet over the past 20 years the solar cycle remains fully apparent in variations both of tropospheric air temperature and of ocean sub-surface water temperature.


…cosmic-ray flux …is used as an index of solar activity. …shows an analysis of tropospheric temperatures for the European Space Agency’s ISAC project (Influence of Solar Activity Cycles). After the removal of confusions due to ElNino, volcanoes etc. … the negative correlation between cosmic-ray flux and tropospheric air temperatures is impressive. This is in keeping with the direct link between cosmic rays and cloud cover previously discussed.


…it is customary to attribute to greenhouse gases any increase in global temperatures not due to solar changes. While that is reasonable, one cannot distinguish between the effects of anthropogenic gases such as carbon dioxide and of natural greenhouse gases. For example, increased evaporation means that infrared radiation from water vapor, by far the most important greenhouse gas, will tend to provide positive feedback for any global warming, whether driven by anthropogenic or solar forcing. In any case, the most recent global temperature trend is close to zero.

You can read the entire report here.

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