The Sun and the Climate

29 May 2016

At ... well there you have it. It's the Sun 'innit' - the big orb in the sky. It seems that climate scientists have studiously been avoiding putting data from the Sun into their models. They have been incessantly bleating the Sun has a constant effect and therefore could not possibly cause climate change or global warming. A convenient point of view I suppose and probably the number one reason why climate models do not seem fit for purpose. Why ignore the influence of the Sun? To answer that you home in on the real nature of the CAGW scare mongering - it is not scientific.

Pierre Gosselin tells us it is harsh times in the future for the nay sayers to the Sun driving the climate - they can ignore it at their peril. CERN has confirmed the impact of the Sun on climate change. Through the influence of ions from cosmic rays the effect increases ten to a hundred times - not to be sniffed at. Meanwhile, German scientists Luning and Vahrenholt have a paper on another way the Sun impacts on climate - UV radiation. Gosselin adds, the Sun has an entire bag of tricks when it comes to affecting climate on Earth (and we are only at the dawn of understanding). Gosselin then goes on to briefly review a rash of new studies on the role of the Sun on climate. The evidence is impressive - and they are only touching the crust of the issue. The real meat is yet to come.

The post at ... in which the title says it all. The warming of the 1980s and 1990s is far from unique. In the great scheme of things it is rather ordinary and not at all significant. In this post the interesting bit is that in 1739-1740 the temperature plunged by 3 degrees almost overnight. It sticks out like a sore thumb in tree rings - and in the Central England temperature record (as well as records in central Europe). It seems a volcano, possibly in Japan, was to blame. The odd weather led to spoilt crops in Scotland, famine and the 1745 'Rebellion' that led to the disaster at Culloden. The 'Great Irish Frost' of 1740 was directly attributable to the volcano it is alleged - leading to widespread famine and hunger. This is not the famous Irish famine of the 1840s but an earlier one - the last time famine was endemic across a wide swathe of Europe. Potatoes were particularly affected as they were stored in earthen clamps - and this was still practised at some farms until recently. Old gardening books still illustrate how to make a clamp to store potatoes and carrots etc. The cold was so severe the frost penetrated the clamps and ruined the potatoes - in Britain as much as in Ireland. It was a disaster in Ireland and many people died. It England it caused an agricultural 'downturn' - an economic term to disguise a tragedy. Large numbers of farmworkers were laid off and without money they could not buy food. Various schemes were inaugurated by local landowners to provide gainful employment for agricultural labourers (the worst affected). With crops growing in the field affected by frost and cool summer weather there was simply nothing they could do but prune the hedgerows or dig drainage ditches. Once that had been done they were out of work - and penniless. In western Scotland the cooler climate conditions led to crofting becoming unviable - simply because the summers were not warm enough. In turn this led to lairds shutting down their tenanted crofts and replacing them with sheep. This had happened in England following the Black Death, when a shortage of labour led to landowners re-evaluating the economics of arable farming and choosing sheep instead, removing their tenant farmers and turning the land over to pasture and often dismantling whole villages in the process. The problem in both instances was caused by the value of wool as a marketed commodity. The meat was secondary - but gave rise to a new industry in a way, the idea of an ordinary family of people eating a joint of beef or mutton from a Sunday dinner plate. Britain led the world in meat eating in the 18th and 19th centuries and it all stemmed from an over supply as a result of turning arable over to pasture and landowners making a fortune from the wool. The industrial revolution produced a class of people with money to purchase the meat and hey presto - a revolution in eating habits. In the 1740s the situation differed in marginal agricultural areas such as the Highlands and Islands, and Ireland. Crofts were small - little more than small holdings. The failure of the potato harvest had a devastating effect. As a result of these famines (in the 1640s, 1740s and 1840s) migration to the Americas and Australasia became a temporary tidal wave. Climate change really can be devastating - but mainly when the temperatures drop rather than when they go up.