The 12 days of climate change myths: #4, Solar activity & climate: is the sun causing global warming?


With contributions from Skeptical Science, Blue & Green Tomorrow debunks a different climate change myth each day over the Christmas period.

In this instalment, we expose the misconception that it’s actually the sun that is causing global warming.

The sceptic argument…

“Over the past few hundred years, there has been a steady increase in the numbers of sunspots, at the time when the Earth has been getting warmer. The data suggests solar activity is influencing the global climate causing the world to get warmer.”


What the science says…

Over the last 30 years of global warming, the sun has shown a slight cooling trend. Sun and climate are going in opposite directions. This has led a number of scientists independently concluding that the sun cannot be the cause of recent global warming.

One of the most common and persistent climate myths is that the sun is the cause. This argument is made by cherry picking the data – showing past periods when sun and climate move together but ignoring the last few decades when the two diverge.

Figure 1: Global temperature (red, NASA GISS) and Total solar irradiance (blue, 1880 to 1978 from Solanki, 1979 to 2009 from PMOD).

Many thanks to Skeptical Science for allowing us to republish their work. To view the original article, click here.