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                                    CO2 vs. Sun and Oceans

Although the media reports that it is a proven fact that carbon dioxide (CO2) has caused the warming in the twentieth century, the fact is that CO2 and earth's temperature are very poorly correlated (R2=0.44 -- The higher the rs value the greater the correlation). Most of the temperature increase in the twentieth century came in the first half of the century, before the industrial expansion and when CO2 increases were very slow. Conversely, just when CO2 increases really were rising fast, earth's temperatures were actually declining, not unlike today. It wasn't until the period 1975-2000 that there was some correlation between CO2 increases and temperature increases. However, if there was a cause and effect relationship, the correlation should have been good throughout the entire period. It wasn't. And since 2000, the CO2 levels have continued to go up, while the temperature is going down.

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While the correlation between atmospheric increases in CO2 and earth's temperatures is poor (r2=0.44, see above), the correlation is much better for solar irradiance and solar activity (r2=>70 -- The higher the rs value the greater the correlation). It has long been known that solar irradiance by itself does not provide enough energy to cause the warming on earth experienced in the twentieth century. However, when combined with the type of solar irradiance that is emitted during periods of high solar activity every 11 and 22 years (the solar cycle), there is a poorly understood, but good correlation. Solar flares, coronal mass ejections and other solar activity reach a maximum during the peak of each solar cycle and somehow influence ocean temperatures and therefore climate. One of the leading theories on this interaction is the interaction between solar activity and incoming cosmic radiation on cloud formation, explained below.

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Research done primarily at the Danish National Space Center has show there is a very high correlation between incoming solar radiation and cloud formation. Cosmic radiation originates from exploding super novae. When the cosmic radiation enter the earth's atmosphere, they excite water vapor molecules, causing them to clump together (condense) into tiny water droplets which form low elevation clouds. These clouds then reflect the solar radiation back into space instead of warming the earth. This causes the earth to cool.  When the sun becomes more active more solar flares, coronal mass ejections and other solar activity dramatically increase the solar winds which push back cosmic radiation thereby preventing the cosmic radiation from reaching the earth's atmosphere and creating more clouds. Since there is less cloud formation, more solar radiation reaches the earth's surface and the earth warms. It is estimated that this phenomenon can account for 85 percent of the warming that occurred in the twentieth century.

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There is also a good correlation (R2=.85) between ocean oscillations and earth's temperature. The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) is a warming an cooling of the sea surface temperatures on a 25-35 year period. It is like the well-known El Niņo and La Niņa cycles, except they are much longer in duration. In fact, El Niņos are much more common during the warm phase of the PDO than in a cool phase of the PDO. The same with the AMO (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation), except it is somewhat longer in its cycle. It is not yet known if the solar causes the PDO and AMO to shift or if there is no connection. Many scientists argue that the ocean cycles could be completely independent of the solar cycles. In any event, the PDO shifted to its cool phase in the late 1990s, which seems to account for the cooling the earth has experienced since then. The rather strong El Nino that started in June, 2009, which is uncommon during the cool phase of the PDO caused a significant jump in earth's temperature. Time will tell what will happen next. The unfortunate thing is that almost no research funding (>$4 billion/yr) is going into the solar/ocean effects on earth's temperature because it is going into CO2 research which has the poorest correlations.

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