This group brings together the best thinkers on energy and climate. Join us for smart, insightful posts and conversations about where the energy industry is and where it is going.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Nuclear Power Policy Activist, Independent

I am a passionate advocate for the environment and nuclear energy. With the threat of climate change, I’ve embarked on a mission to help overcome the fears of nuclear energy. I’ve been active in...

  • Member since 2018
  • 6,979 items added with 261,315 views
  • Oct 14, 2020

From the newsletter of Dr. James Hansen, adjunct professor directing the Program on Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, and colleague Makiko Sato.

As the best scientists do, Hansen and Sato here acknowledge the effects natural phenomena which have nothing to do with the primary focus of their work, but might be falsely attributed to it. For the next ~2 years, global temperatures will be raised not only GHG forcing (heating), but by a natural uptick in solar irradiance which fluctuates over a 10-13 year cycle.

Right now we're well into an "up" cycle. So in simple terms, the sun will be getting slightly brighter for the next 2 years, then dimmer for 6 years, then brighter for 6 years, etc.

"The immediate suspect is human-made greenhouse gases and amplifying climate feedbacks, but that explanation does not work.  Yes, the growth rate of the greenhouse gas (GHG) climate forcing has experienced a disturbing uptick in the past several years (Fig. 2), starkly inconsistent with global pledges to reduce emissions, creating an enormous burden for today’s young people.[1]  However, there is another variable forcing that is being measured accurately: solar irradiance.

There is no significant trend in solar irradiance during the past half-century, but there is a solar cycle (10-13 year) with a full amplitude of about 0.25 W/m2 with annual changes within a range of about ±0.03 W/m2.  This cyclical solar variability is unimportant for long-term climate change, but it is important for interpretation of the global warming acceleration that has occurred over the past five years.

When we add the two well-measured climate forcings, GHGs and solar irradiance, we get the black curve in Fig. 3 for the annual climate forcing growth.  It is apparent that the measured climate forcings cannot account for an acceleration of global warming."

Sign up for monthly global temperature updates here.


No discussions yet. Start a discussion below.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Thank Bob for the Post!
Energy Central contributors share their experience and insights for the benefit of other Members (like you). Please show them your appreciation by leaving a comment, 'liking' this post, or following this Member.
More posts from this member

Get Published - Build a Following

The Energy Central Power Industry Network is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.

If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.

                 Learn more about posting on Energy Central »