So, the US Army’s research centre employs a climate-change denier as a scientist, and then sets up a blogger conference call with him. I’m less interested in the fact he’s a weirdo on the specific issue than the simpler point that he’s talking out of his arse.
Instead, Dr. Bruce West, with the Army Research Office, argues that “changes in the earth’s average surface temperature are directly linked to … the short-term statistical fluctuations in the Sun’s irradiance and the longer-term solar cycles.”
In an advisory to bloggers entitled “Global Warming: Fact of Fiction [sic],” an Army public affairs official promoted a conference call with West about “the causes of global warming, and how it may not be caused by the common indicates [sic] some scientists and the media are indicating.”
So it’s yer sunspot cycle, already. Christ. That was literally the very first denier document I ever read, way back in the 1980s – someone quoting an Australian radio DJ who reckon it was all about teh solar variance. And they’re still pushing.
But it’s quite simply wrong. Here’s a paper from the Proceedings of the Royal Society (pdf). The key bit is the following set of charts, which show several measurements of solar activity – sunspots, cosmic ray intensity, the abundance of certain radioisotopes, and total solar irradiance – and finally, the GISS and Hadley Centre temperature series. The multiple lines on the solar charts show results using a variety of different methodologies to smooth the 11-year solar cycle and noise, leaving the centennial trend.
Clear enough? Here’s the conclusion:
“There are many interesting palaeoclimate studies that suggest that solar variability had an inﬂuence on pre-industrial climate. There are also some detection–attribution studies using global climate models that suggest there was a detectable inﬂuence of solar variability in the ﬁrst half of the twentieth century and that the solar radiative forcing variations were ampliﬁed by some mechanism that is, as yet, unknown. However, these ﬁndings are not relevant to any debates about modern climate change. Our results show that the observed rapid rise in global mean temperatures seen after 1985 cannot be ascribed to solar variability, whichever of the mechanisms is invoked and no matter how much the solar variation is ampliﬁed.”
Well, what can you say? It looks a lot like someone here is another King’s bad bargain like George “The Memory Haunts My Resume” Deutsch.