Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Solar/ temperature data from 1980 onwards

Martin Durkin defended his documentary the Great Global Warming Swindle after a debate which followed its airing in Australia failed to allow him to adequately respond.

He has modified his documentary several times. I think this is a good thing. There were several criticisms and presumably he sort to address them. He also removed comments by the Professor of Physical Oceanography at MIT, who said he had been misrepresented. Using someone's beliefs to show consequences in a documentary that they do not support is not misrepresentation nor quoting out of context, it is a situation of using a hostile witness. Of course hostile witnesses hate their ideas being used by the opposition, otherwise they would not be hostile. Using the data of another but putting forward one's own theory as to the explanation is completely legitimate. Nevertheless Durkin has complied with the request which is honourable given that he didn't misquote originally.

In a previous post I discussed the sun temperature graph. Merchant made some accusations about data manipulation that turned out not to be true. He initially acknowledged this on his home page but currently just shows graphs of the data extended beyond 1980.



It appears that the new documentary has an updated graph. This one shows data for the 20 years beyond 1980 and shows that the prediction continues to hold.



I am not certain how these graphs line up. Given that Merchant was unaware of how the graph was constructed the first time, I will give Durkin's men the benefit of the doubt for the time being.

There is obviously far more research to be done on the subject of the sun influencing the Earth's weather. And we must be careful against making too much of one graph. But the correlation is strong enough to encourage further investigation into solar activity and the weather.

Merchant may have reasons to think that CO2 is a bigger influence on the climate, but the solar data are enough to suggest the sun may have some influence; on the variation that is, everyone acknowledges it warms the planet.

It may turn out that the Earth's weather is influenced by that enormous object of burning gas in the sky—who would have thought?

4 comments:

  1. I love your last line here. I think society might be being taught to ignore the huge flaming fusion ball in the room....

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Anon, though it is a paraphrase of something I read in a comment section elsewhere.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The last paragraph is indicative of ignorance beyond even the paragraph before. You assume that not a lot is known about the all-important effect of the sun on the earth! Only from a state of deep ignorance could one make such a comment. The sun's output varies, those variations effect the global temperature, but what is really interesting is that increasingly the variations do not line up. THAT is evidence for another effect on the variations increasing beyond previously stable bounds (stable at least on the time-scale in the preceeding graphcs).

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anon, that a lot is currently known about the sun does not mean that much more is yet to be learned. It is not clear why sun spots have the effect they do on weather, nor exactly why they form, and the duration of their cycles, or the variation within cycles.

    And from the sun graph on the right the variation lines up roughly over 120 years, I would be interested if you had an updated solar graph including the last 10 years to back up your claim. Even divergence over 2000–2010 would unlikely show a mismatch greater than the CO2 graph to the left.

    ReplyDelete

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