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 Are Climate Changes Linked To A Hotter Sun?

By James Donahue

While world scientists have been zeroing in on the gasses from burning carbon fuels as a major cause of the dramatic climate changes slamming our planet, some physicists say some of the blame may be coming directly from our sun.

That burning ball in the sky is doing some strange things and people who study it say it appears to be burning hotter than it used to. They also say this may be a natural cycle and that it has all happened before.

For instance, NASA’s Mars satellites and rovers have determined that carbon dioxide “ice caps” on that planet are diminishing and the planet appears to be warming even as Earth is warming and losing its ice caps. This suggests a general heating is occurring throughout the solar system, not just on planet Earth.

And Dr. Bruce West, in a report published in a 2008 issue of Physics Today, argued 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.”

West, the chief scientists of the Army Research Offices’s mathematical and information science directorate, said he believed “the Sun’s turbulent dynamics” are linked with the Earth’s complex ecosystem and that this is what is causing the planet to warm. He wrote that “the Sun could account for as much as 69 percent of the increase in Earth’s average temperature.”

West found himself alone and rowing upstream with one oar on that report, in spite of the scientific thought that obviously went into it. Since Al Gore’s documentary pointing to industrial and automobile emissions and other human activities as a primary cause of climate change, most other scientific organizations have jumped on this bandwagon. There has been a global movement for the control of carbon emissions and repair of a planet stripped of its natural forests and ravaged environment.

Most world scientists agree that the evidence for human modification of climate is compelling. World leaders are calling for laws controlling carbon emissions that will reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere and the rush is on to find alternative energy sources to meet the world’s growing demands.

Henrik Svensmark of the Danish National Space Center and Nigel Calder also ruffled feathers in 2007 when they published their book The Chilling Stars: A New Theory of Climate Change.”  They proposed that cosmic rays from the Sun have more of an effect on climate than human activity.

Their theory, in a nutshell, is that during the last century cosmic rays were reduced by vigorous action by the Sun. Fewer cosmic rays meant fewer clouds on Earth, and consequently a warmer world. The book became the centerpiece for a controversial documentary film that countered the Gore film, titled The Great Global Warming Swindle.

A team of UK scientists conducted an extended study of this theory and found no significant link between cosmic rays and cloudiness.