Saturday, July 5, 2008

"There is a much better correlation between sun activity and temperature"

Shortly after I wrote my first post on global warming, a commenter noted that "there is a much better correlation between sun activity and temperature." I've read other blog discussions on the topic, and this seems to come up from time to time.

So I decided to put the data in scatters to see if there's any merit to this claim. I'm not going to standardize the data in any way. These will be straight plots of existing data.

First, let's look at a scatter (Figure 1) of atmospheric CO2 concentration vs. global temperature anomalies 8 years later from 1959 to 1999 (corresponding to 1967 to 2007 for temperature).

Why 8 years later? This is the best lag I found in my initial analysis of CO2 emissions vs. temperature anomalies. Even without this lag, you will find a similar association. The 8 year lag is probably an underestimate when we're talking about long-term increases in CO2. That was a lag applicable to a fluctuating trend. (And yes, this is bad news).

Finally, let's look at a scatter (Figure 2) of SunSpot number vs. global temperature anomaly, between 1881 and 2007.

Is that what they call a "much better correlation"?

1 comment:

paulm said...

Joseph, Here are some comments about this post from an Accuweather blog. You may want to address.

The related links are:

Bob Tisdale :

paulm: The author of the post at your Residual Analysis link regarding "sun activity and temperature" fails to also consider the impacts of natural SST oscillations and volcanic aerosols. He also mistakes sunspot number for solar irradiance. Two entirely different things.

Just so happens I finished a rework of an earlier post this morning. Click on my name. It appears the instrument temperature record can be matched with natural forcings. You don't need anthropogenic greenhouse gases to make the curves fit.