by Stephen Wilde
June 4, 2008
A GRAPH TO DEBUNK AGW
(Anthropogenic Global Warming)
has been a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society
since 1968. The first five articles from Mr Wilde were
received with a great deal of interest throughout the CO2
In Stephen Wilde’s sixth and exclusive article for
considers that the IPCC have failed to carry out any
risk analysis for the potential for global cooling
instead of global warming and that a repeat of the
Little Ice Age a mere 400 years ago would cause mass
The influence of the sun has been
discounted in the climate models as a contributor to the warming
observed between 1975 and 1998.
Those who support the theory of
global warming (AGW), now known
as anthropogenic climate change so that recent cooling
can be included in their scenario, always deny that the sun has
anything to do with recent global temperature movements.
The reason given is that Total Solar
varied so little over that period that it cannot explain the warming
that was observed. I don’t yet accept that TSI tells the whole story
because it is ill defined and speculative as regards it’s
representation of all the different ways the sun could affect the
Earth via the entire available range of physical processes.
Despite the limitations of TSI as an indicator of solar influence I
think there are conclusions we can draw from the records we do have.
Oddly, I have not seen them discussed properly anywhere else,
especially not by AGW enthusiasts.
The above image shows the pattern of TSI from 1611 to 2001.
It is true that, as the alarmists say, since 1961 the average level
of TSI has been approximately level if one averages out the peaks
and troughs from solar cycles 19 through to 23.
However, those solar cycles show substantially higher levels of TSI
than have ever previously occurred in the historical record. Because
of the height of the TSI level one cannot simply ignore it as the
IPCC and the modelers have done.
The critical issue is that having achieved such high levels of TSI
by 1961 the sun was already producing more heat than was required to
maintain a stable Earth temperature. On that basis alone the theory
of AGW cannot be sustained and should now die.
Throughout the period 1961 to about 2001, there was a steady
cumulative net warming effect from the sun. The fact that the TSI
was, on average, level during that period is entirely irrelevant and
It is hardly likely that such a high level of TSI compared to
historical levels is going to have no effect at all on global
temperature changes and indeed during most of that period there was
an enhanced period of positive Pacific Decadal Oscillation that
imparted increasing warmth to the atmosphere.
My link (1) below to article 1041
contains details of my view that the sun drives the various oceanic
oscillations which in turn drive global temperature variations with
all other influences including CO2 being minor and often
cancelling themselves out leaving the solar/oceanic driver supreme.
It could be said that the increase in TSI from a little over1363 to
a little under 1367 Watts per square meter over the 400 year
period shown is pretty insignificant.
However a square meter is a miniscule
portion of the surface of the planet so that even a tiny increase or
decrease in the heat being received on average over each such tiny
area translates into a huge change in total heat budget for the
entire planet. The smallness of the apparent range of variation is a
function of the smallness of the area subdivision used rather than
an indication of insignificance. It is fortunate for us that the sun
is not more variable.
The observation of a historically high level of TSI from 1961 to
2001 tends to fit with the theories set out in my other articles
about the real cause of recent warming and the real link between
solar energy, ocean cycles and global temperatures.
Global Warming and Cooling - The
The Real Link Between Solar Energy,
Ocean Cycles and Global Temperature
Amongst other things the above link (2)
shows how the negative
PDO (Pacific Decadal
Oscillation) from 1961 to 1975 cancelled out the warming effects
of solar cycles 18 and 19 and led to a cooling trend during those
years despite the relatively high TSI levels.
The switch to a positive PDO from 1975
to 2001 allowed the solar warming influence to resume. We now have
both a falling TSI and a negative PDO which is an entirely different
(indeed opposite) scenario to the one which led to the concerns
about runaway warming.
If the current scenario continues for a few more years then real
world observations will resolve most of the disputed issues. For the
past 10 years the real world has been moving in the direction
predicted by the solar driver theory and in my articles I have
described the oceanic mechanism that transfers solar input to the
atmosphere and then to Space.
If global temperatures were to resume warming despite a reduction in
solar activity and/or a negative PDO then the alarmist position
might be vindicated. The alarmist camp is predicting such a
resumption of warming. The
Hadley Centre suggested 2010 but
others have more recently suggested 2015. If there is no resumption
of warming by 2015 then AGW is dead as a theory.
It would not count in favor of AGW if
any resumed warming were accompanied by increased solar activity or
a positive PDO because that would put the solar driver back in
My own view is that there is plenty of evidence currently available
that should demonstrate from an objective viewpoint that the
theory of AGW is already dead, namely:
Real world temperature
observations which are diverging from model expectations
more and more as time passes
The clear recent decline in
The return to a negative
(cooling Pacific Decadal Oscillation) which may last 30
years on past performances
A change in global weather
patterns which I noticed as long ago as 2000 whereby the jet
streams moved back towards the equator from the positions
they adopted during the warming spell. The observation that
a global warming or cooling trend can be discerned from
seasonal weather patterns seems to be unique to me and will
be dealt with in more detail in my next article.
Those who still believe in AGW have to
be able to show that any CO2 driver is powerful enough to
seriously disrupt the solar driver.
If all that the CO2 does is
to marginally raise global temperature over the period of a natural
solar driven warming and cooling cycle then there is nothing to fear
because the mitigating effect in cool periods will outweigh any
discomfort from the aggravating effect at and around the peak of the
In fact, it is possible that even the extra warmth around the
natural warm peaks will be entirely beneficial. There are other
interesting implications to be drawn from the TSI history referred
Applying a little logic it must be the case that at a certain level
of TSI the global temperature budget will be balanced i.e. neither
warming nor cooling. During the 400 years since the world
experienced the relatively low TSI levels of the 1600’s that point
of balance must have been crossed and re crossed many times as the
TSI numbers varied with time.
That is why the world has experienced
warming and cooling spells regularly over the centuries (though with
an average warming trend since 1601)
As it happens the chart shown covers TSI from the depths of the
Little Ice age to the recent warm spell so it is clear that the
point of transition from net cooling to net warming is somewhere
within the range 1363 to 1367 Watts per square meter.
Indeed on the basis of just a brief
glance at the chart that point of transition is obviously lower than
the average TSI between 1961 and 2001 hence my assertion that during
those years there was a steady solar warming effect which adequately
explains the observed warming without reliance on rising CO2.
This is such a simple and obvious point that I really do not
the IPCC and the modelers did not
The information that we need and which is critical to the whole
global warming debate is some idea of the level of TSI at which the
Earth switches from net warming to net cooling. It will be hard to
identify because, as I have mentioned in my other articles, the
filtering of the solar signal through the various oceanic cycles is
neither rapid nor straightforward.
In fact that point of transition will itself vary over time
depending on whether, at any given moment, the oceanic cycles are
working against or in support of the TSI changes. Similarly the
speed of response will vary for the same reasons.
I really do not see how any climate model can operate meaningfully
without that fundamental piece of information.
Clearly the ‘elephant’ is missing from the room.
Finally, in view of the widespread concerns about the involvement of
CO2 I should emphasize that if solar energy is the
primary driver of global temperature then the only consequence of a
stronger greenhouse effect is going to be a slight upward movement
of the prevailing temperature throughout the natural warming and
Because of the logarithmic decline in the greenhouse warming effect
of increased amounts of CO2 there is never going to be
enough greenhouse effect from any amount of increased CO2
to overturn the primary solar driver or the regular movements from
warming to cooling and back again.
The only ‘tipping point’ we need be concerned with is the level of
global temperature at which warming switches to cooling and vice
versa. Due to the much greater threat from natural cooling the
higher we can lift the global temperature at that tipping point the
better. On balance we need more CO2 rather than less.
The band of TSI in which the switch from warming to cooling and back
again is a variation of less than 4 Watts per square meter of heat
arriving at the Earth’s surface.
In view of the size and volatility of the sun we can be boiled or
frozen at any time whatever we do. The only reason the sun seems
stable enough for us to live with it is that in relation to
astronomic timescales our whole existence as a species is but a
flash of light in darkness.
The whole of modern civilization has been made possible by a period
of solar stability within a band of less than 4 Watts per square
meter. It will not be a result of anything we do if solar changes
suddenly go outside that band.
On a balance of probability it is more
likely that the TSI will soon drop back from the recent unusual
highs but remaining within the band of 4 Watts per square meter. It
would need the arrival of the next ice age to go
significantly below 1363 but even a reduction down to 1365 from
present levels could introduce a dangerous level of cooling
depending on where the tipping point currently lies.
A period several decades of reduced solar activity will quickly need
more emissions producing activity to SAVE the planet yet nonetheless
the populations of most living species will be decimated.
At present population levels a repeat of
the Little Ice Age a mere 400 years ago will cause mass starvation
Does anyone really think that the CO2
we produce is effective enough to reduce that risk to zero
when we have plenty of astronomic evidence of an imminent reduction
And, moreover, the real world temperature movements are currently a
good fit with the solar driver theory both as regards the warming
spell, the subsequent stall and the recent turn downwards.
The AGW risk analysis process (if anyone ever bothered with one) is