Hot, Hot, Hot. You will have noticed that the term “climate change” is now synonymous with “summer”. Since the northern hemisphere is where most of the world’s land, people and media are located, two typical summer months (June was not so hot) have been depicted as the fires of hell awaiting any and all who benefit from fossil fuels. If you were wondering what the media would do, apart from obsessing over the many small storms this year, you are getting the answer.
Fortunately, Autumn is on the way and already bringing cooler evenings in Montreal where I live. Once again open windows provide fresh air for sleeping, while mornings are showing condensation, and frost sometimes. This year’s period of “climate change” is winding down. Unless of course, we get some hurricanes the next two months. Below is a repost of seasonal changes in temperature and climate for those who may have been misled by the media reports of a forever hotter future.
[Note: The text below refers to human migratory behavior now prohibited because, well Coronavirus.]
Autumnal Climate Change
Seeing a lot more of this lately, along with hearing the geese honking. And in the next month or so, we expect that trees around here will lose their leaves. It definitely is climate change of the seasonal variety.
Interestingly, the science on this is settled: It is all due to reduction of solar energy because of the shorter length of days (LOD). The trees drop their leaves and go dormant because of less sunlight, not because of lower temperatures. The latter is an effect, not the cause.
Of course, the farther north you go, the more remarkable the seasonal climate change. St. Petersburg, Russia has their balmy “White Nights” in June when twilight is as dark as it gets, followed by the cold, dark winter and a chance to see the Northern Lights.
And as we have been monitoring, the Arctic ice has been melting from sunlight in recent months, but is already building again in the twilight, to reach its maximum in March under the cover of darkness.
We can also expect in January and February for another migration of millions of Canadians (nicknamed “snowbirds”) to fly south in search of a summer-like climate to renew their memories and hopes. As was said to me by one man in Saskatchewan (part of the Canadian wheat breadbasket region): “Around here we have Triple-A farmers: April to August, and then Arizona.” Here’s what he was talking about: Quartzsite Arizona annually hosts 1.5M visitors, mostly between November and March.
Of course, this is just North America. Similar migrations occur in Europe, and in the Southern Hemisphere, the climates are changing in the opposite direction, Springtime currently. Since it is so obviously the sun causing this seasonal change, the question arises: Does the sunlight vary on longer than annual timescales?
The Solar-Climate Debate
And therein lies a great, enduring controversy between those (like the IPCC) who dismiss the sun as a driver of multi-Decadal climate change, and those who see a connection between solar cycles and Earth’s climate history. One side can be accused of ignoring the sun because of a prior commitment to CO2 as the climate “control knob”.
The other side is repeatedly denounced as “cyclomaniacs” in search of curve-fitting patterns to prove one or another thesis. It is also argued that a claim of 60-year cycles can not be validated with only 150 years or so of reliable data. That point has weight, but it is usually made by those on the CO2 bandwagon despite temperature and CO2 trends correlating for only 2 decades during the last century.
One scientist in this field is Nicola Scafetta, who presents the basic concept this way:
“The theory is very simple in words. The solar system is characterized by a set of specific gravitational oscillations due to the fact that the planets are moving around the sun. Everything in the solar system tends to synchronize to these frequencies beginning with the sun itself. The oscillating sun then causes equivalent cycles in the climate system. Also the moon acts on the climate system with its own harmonics. In conclusion we have a climate system that is mostly made of a set of complex cycles that mirror astronomical cycles. Consequently it is possible to use these harmonics to both approximately hindcast and forecast the harmonic component of the climate, at least on a global scale. This theory is supported by strong empirical evidences using the available solar and climatic data.”
He goes on to say:
“The global surface temperature record appears to be made of natural specific oscillations with a likely solar/astronomical origin plus a noncyclical anthropogenic contribution during the last decades. Indeed, because the boundary condition of the climate system is regulated also by astronomical harmonic forcings, the astronomical frequencies need to be part of the climate signal in the same way the tidal oscillations are regulated by soli-lunar harmonics.”
He has concluded that “at least 60% of the warming of the Earth observed since 1970 appears to be induced by natural cycles which are present in the solar system.” For the near future he predicts a stabilization of global temperature and cooling until 2030-2040.
For more see Scafetta vs. IPCC: Dueling Climate Theories
A Deeper, but Accessible Presentation of Solar-Climate Theory
I have found this presentation by Ian Wilson to be persuasive while honestly considering all of the complexities involved.
The author raises the question: What if there is a third factor that not only drives the variations in solar activity that we see on the Sun but also drives the changes that we see in climate here on the Earth?
The linked article is quite readable by a general audience, and comes to a similar conclusion as Scafetta above: There is a connection, but it is not simple cause and effect. And yes, length of day (LOD) is a factor beyond the annual cycle.
It is fair to say that we are still at the theorizing stage of understanding a solar connection to earth’s climate. And at this stage, investigators look for correlations in the data and propose theories (explanations) for what mechanisms are at work. Interestingly, despite the lack of interest from the IPCC, solar and climate variability is a very active research field these days.
For example Svensmark has now a Cosmosclimatology theory supported by empirical studies described in more detail in the red link.
A summary of recent studies is provided at NoTricksZone: Since 2014, 400 Scientific Papers Affirm A Strong Sun-Climate Link
Ian Wilson has much more to say at his blog: http://astroclimateconnection.blogspot.com.au/
Once again, it appears that the world is more complicated than a simple cause and effect model suggests.
Fluctuations in observed global temperatures can be explained by a combination of oceanic and solar cycles. See engineering analysis from first principles Quantifying Natural Climate Change.
For everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1 and 1:9)