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Sun Not a Significant Driver of Climate Change

Unknown Lamer posted about 4 months ago | from the koch-brothers-say-no dept.

Earth 552

damn_registrars writes "Scientists from Edinburgh, Scotland have recently published a study based on 1,000 years of climate data. They have compared the effects of differing factors including volcanic activity, solar activity, and greenhouse gases to find which has the most profound effect on climate. They have concluded that the driving factor since 1900 has been greenhouse gases."

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552 comments

Way to state the obvious (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772177)

How shocking that drivers are the significant drivers of climate change, and not the Sun. Who knew, right?

Re:Way to state the obvious (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772245)

I'm not sure what that sentence means, but I think you are trying to sound superior.

Re:Way to state the obvious (3, Insightful)

rubycodez (864176) | about 4 months ago | (#45772347)

false, the Sun and insolation drives climate and climate change, greenhouse gas effects are secondary. First thing one learns in any serious geophysics course.

Re:Way to state the obvious (4, Insightful)

rubycodez (864176) | about 4 months ago | (#45772391)

You'll note this study does not cover any serious fraction of the Earth's history, a couple thousand years is a sneeze.

Re:Way to state the obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772487)

Not to mention "we looked at 1000 years but we're only speaking for 100."

Re:Way to state the obvious (4, Insightful)

dzelenka (630044) | about 4 months ago | (#45772525)

false, the Sun and insolation drives climate and climate change, greenhouse gas effects are secondary. First thing one learns in any serious geophysics course.

I made a mistake and read the referenced article. When will I learn...

I think what it says is that the computer models don't show significant change when the solar radiation input is modified. I don't think I'm splitting hairs here. They aren't saying that the climate is not affected by changes in solar radiation.

The computer models are just approximations for the climate. They have been proven to be bad at predicting the future (like the current 10 year lull in warming). Wake me up when the computer models account for the ice ages.

Re:Way to state the obvious (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772569)

hmm, false! Learn to differentiate time scales. That should be the first you should have learned in any geophysics course.

1000 years is not 1,000,000 years is not 1,000,000,000 years.

Geological timescale is on the right. The human timescale is on the left. The AGW is on the left.

In related news (5, Funny)

game kid (805301) | about 4 months ago | (#45772189)

In related news, angered Sun goes supernova, replies "I'm not a significant what!?"

Re:In related news (3, Informative)

rossdee (243626) | about 4 months ago | (#45772305)

Fortunately our sun can't go supernova, its too small, and has no close companion star to give it the extra mass needed.

However it is still a significant factor, after all if it wasn't there, this ball of rock would soon be covered in ice.

Re:In related news (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772349)

I'm pretty sure the OP stopped being rigidly scientific when he started anthropomorphizing the sun, Mr. Buzzkill.

Stop that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772591)

Astronomical objects hate being anthropomorphised.

What about the Little Ice Age? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772197)

c. 1350-1850 A.D. [wikipedia.org] Increased volcanic activity was noted but is only one of several (possibly compounding) possible factors.

Besides, changes in solar activity levels may have a delayed impact via ice melt, changes in atmospheric circulation, etc.

Re:What about the Little Ice Age? (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 4 months ago | (#45772237)

Besides, changes in solar activity levels may have a delayed impact via ice melt, changes in atmospheric circulation, etc.

May? The sun's effects may have a delay of over 1,000 years?
At what point are you going to stop grasping at straws and accept peer reviewed facts that are in front of you?

Re:What about the Little Ice Age? (3, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 4 months ago | (#45772353)

Oh, maybe when the peers stop denying the sole energy source for the planet has any effect.

Re:What about the Little Ice Age? (-1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 4 months ago | (#45772429)

sole energy source for the planet has any effect.

The operative word there is any, and that's where you're wrong. There's a significant difference between any, and significant.

Re:What about the Little Ice Age? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772563)

The Difference Between “Significant” and “Not Significant” is not
Itself Statistically Significant
Andrew GELMAN and Hal STERN

It is common to summarize statistical comparisons by declarations
of statistical significance or nonsignificance. Here we discuss
one problem with such declarations, namely that changes in
statistical significance are often not themselves statistically significant.
By this, we are not merely making the commonplace
observation that any particular threshold is arbitrary—for example,
only a small change is required to move an estimate from
a 5.1% significance level to 4.9%, thus moving it into statistical
significance. Rather, we are pointing out that even large changes
in significance levels can correspond to small, nonsignificant
changes in the underlying quantities.

http://www.stat.columbia.edu/~gelman/research/published/signif4.pdf

Re:What about the Little Ice Age? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772515)

If I'm driving on the freeway, holding the gas pedal steady, and suddenly notice the car is speeding up, I don't think "gee, it must be the small fluctuations in the pressure I'm applying to the pedal, since the engine is the primary source of energy". I start looking at other factors, like a downward slope.

Do you understand? Of course not, because that would mean admitting you were wrong about this issue. If all the scientists in the world can't convince, no logic will ever get through.

Re:What about the Little Ice Age? (2, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 4 months ago | (#45772583)

I don't have mod points right now, so I'll just repost AC's comment:

If I'm driving on the freeway, holding the gas pedal steady, and suddenly notice the car is speeding up, I don't think "gee, it must be the small fluctuations in the pressure I'm applying to the pedal, since the engine is the primary source of energy". I start looking at other factors, like a downward slope.

Do you understand? Of course not, because that would mean admitting you were wrong about this issue. If all the scientists in the world can't convince, no logic will ever get through.

This is the best possible answer to all the "Of course it's the sun, stupid scientists!" posts on this and any related story.

no! no it hasn't! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772209)

weather stations near heat vents!

climatologists trying to make a buck off the rest of us!

anti free market hippies!

last time you said it was an ice age!

look at my linear fit to the last 4 years of data!

Re:no! no it hasn't! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772431)

Shaddap, before I hit you with a hockey stick.

Re:no! no it hasn't! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772441)

yes, sir!

sorry, sir!

Canned Conservative Response Already Ready (0, Flamebait)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 4 months ago | (#45772217)

I posted this same bit as a journal entry [slashdot.org] and it took very little time to see a standard conservative reply [slashdot.org] . I don't expect it will be long until we'll see the same one here.

Re:Canned Conservative Response Already Ready (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772273)

Probably in response to the intolerant religion of climate change.

Re:Canned Conservative Response Already Ready (2, Funny)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 4 months ago | (#45772633)

Probably in response to the intolerant religion of climate change.

When will these stupid liberals decide to get their science info from politicians, and ignore those pesky scientists?

Re:Canned Conservative Response Already Ready (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772715)

And by politicians we mean theocrats.

Re:Canned Conservative Response Already Ready (2)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | about 4 months ago | (#45772295)

Unfortunately, not sooner than we see a jackwagon comment making this thread political before it's political.

That's not a conservative reply (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 months ago | (#45772315)

I don't know what that was, but it was sarcastic rather that conservative or liberal.

Now a scientific mind, if one were actually interested in science - well a scientific mind would look at this study and say, well then I guess we can conclude the low period of solar activity we are in has nothing to do with the now decade long pause in global warming.

So even though we've poured many, many tons of CO2 into the atmosphere (well, other countries anyway, the U.S. having done their part in lowering emissions already) we still don't see significant warming increases.

I wonder, is it possible you can draw a scientific conclusion from these interesting facts in combination?

Probably not, for the religious fanatics never have been able to abandon their cherished gods, no matter how bitter the Kool-Aid becomes.

Re:That's not a conservative reply (5, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 4 months ago | (#45772407)

Exactly.
The pause in temperature rise has been written off as merely the effect of solar minimum. Now they would like to erase any effect of solar input. Have the cake and eat it too! Maybe the cake is a lie after all.

Re:That's not a conservative reply (2)

russotto (537200) | about 4 months ago | (#45772547)

The pause in temperature rise has been written off as merely the effect of solar minimum. Now they would like to erase any effect of solar input.

Ooh, sunburn.

Re:That's not a conservative reply (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772607)

What journal are you publishing your findings in?

Re:That's not a conservative reply (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772463)

Now a scientific mind, if one were actually interested in science - well a scientific mind would look at this study and say, well then I guess we can conclude the low period of solar activity we are in has nothing to do with the now decade long pause in global warming.

Nice cherry-picking.

When one deals with anthropomorphic effects on climate, one can hardly restrict one's self to a decade's worth of data.

So even though we've poured many, many tons of CO2 into the atmosphere (well, other countries anyway, the U.S. having done their part in lowering emissions already) we still don't see significant warming increases.

W.T.F.??? [wikipedia.org]

I wonder, is it possible you can draw a scientific conclusion from these interesting facts in combination?

Probably not, for the religious fanatics never have been able to abandon their cherished gods, no matter how bitter the Kool-Aid becomes.

Magnificent. Enjoy your paycheck from the Koch brothers.

Re:That's not a conservative reply (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772577)

I agree with you but I gotta say that after this...

"Now a scientific mind, if one were actually interested in science - well a scientific mind would look at this study and say,"

I read the entire response in Zorg's voice...

Re:That's not a conservative reply (2)

dbIII (701233) | about 4 months ago | (#45772621)

with the now decade long pause in global warming

So that's the new lie from the science deniers is it? Reality does one thing and you idiots pretend something else is going on.

Re:That's not a conservative reply (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772627)

Increased smog over China? Smog (and natural cloud cover) is a known method for increasing the Earth's albido.

Perhaps the paper in TFA discusses this, it's a shame it's behind a paywall.

Re:Canned Conservative Response Already Ready (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772363)

Yeh stupid is pretty much the sceptics specialty. Every single point they raise has been thoroughly debunked, but they are not interested in evidence, their confirmation bias overrides their intelligence. I don't even bother reading past the first sign of denier
Or responding any more. Unscientific swill.

Without the sun there is no climate change at all. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772219)

Therefore, the Sun is always the #1 contributor\ driver for climate change. Any changes to the Suns output would significantly and directly impact climate models.

In other words, these guys are loons.

Re:Without the sun there is no climate change at a (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772337)

I see you did not actually look at the Nature paper they published. The title is: "Small influence of solar variability on climate over the past millennium". The key word is variability. As in variations in solar activity aren't a major driver in climate change, not the Sun itself.

In other words, you are the loon.

Re:Without the sun there is no climate change at a (-1)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 4 months ago | (#45772393)

As in variations in solar activity aren't a major driver in climate change, not the Sun itself.

Is this the best reasoning you can come up with? It doesn't even make logical sense.

Re:Without the sun there is no climate change at a (4, Insightful)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 4 months ago | (#45772601)

OK, so if we have a bowl of water under a heat lamp, and we turn the lamp on and off at a steady rate, say, toggle it twice a minute. Now we measure the temperature of the bowl of water, and it's average over the the week is pretty consistent. Now let's say we came in to measure it one day and there's some plastic wrap across the surface of the bowl. We measure the water and the temperature is increased. We say, Hey, the greenhouse effect caused by the plastic wrap is causing a change in temperature.

Then some morons say, "But the Steady Heat Lamp! The Heat comes from the Heat Lamp!" We're talking about an increase or change in temperature, and you're saying it doesn't make logical sense that variation in the heat lamp activity isn't a major driver of change to the climate because the heat lamp cycle is steady?

Please explain your troll logic, because I need a good laugh.

Variability in insolation insufficient (4, Informative)

turkeyfish (950384) | about 4 months ago | (#45772741)

Look at it this way. The variance in solar radiation over a thousand year period is less than 0.01% of the variability seen in global temperature increase during the same period. In other words, the variability in solar radiative output (insolation) is far too small to explain the wide range of variance in global warming since the onset of the industrial revolution. In contrast, increase in carbon dioxide, as expected from the physics of its absorbtion spectrum explains cha.nge in temperature quite well (in fact it explains it rather well over the past 500 million years if isotope data is evalatuated).

It should be noted that there is no 18 years pause in global warming of sea temperature records. In fact, if one uses the arbitrary 18 year intervals to assess global atmospheric climate change, the record still shows global warming. Its just that within the last 18 years it has not been increasing as fast as the average over the last 100. Consequently, no one should be surprised that November 2013 proved to be the warmest November in recorded human history.

Re:Without the sun there is no climate change at a (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772501)

Because a millennium is suuuuch a long period of time.
Not.

Re:Without the sun there is no climate change at a (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772399)

Do you know how derivatives work? Probably not, so I'll remind you. The derivative of a function is its rate of change. The derivative of a constant is always zero, no matter how big that constant is. So if you have a small function that's rapidly fluctuating, it can have a big derivative, whereas a really large signal that's barely changing at all can have a small derivative.

Yes, almost all of the Earth's energy comes from the Sun. But that doesn't matter, because we're talking about climate change. Is the derivative of the Sun's output power big enough to explain the derivative of the Earth's temperature, and are the two at all correlated? Some people who are much, MUCH smarter than you, have looked at the data, and decided that the answer is no.

As an aside, this is why math education is important even for people not interested in STEM fields. You can't think logically when you don't understand such basic concepts.

Re:Without the sun there is no climate change at a (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772531)

So first you call people dumb. Then you go full dumb. You want calculate the derivative of the Sun's power output? Then how about you calculate it on a big enough period and not just 1000 years or whatever "fits". I'll tell you why you don't do that, or why you don't look at temperature, CO2 and biomes in other ages. It is because it fucks up their models so badly they can't mangle them enough to make the data fit what it should.

Re:Without the sun there is no climate change at a (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772573)

I don't need to calculate shit. The scientists did, and they're better at this than I am.

You don't know what you're talking. Seriously, you have NO FUCKING CLUE. Do you tell the contractors what thickness screws to use in your roof? Do you tell your electrician what gauge wire he should run? Do you tell your doctor which drug he should prescribe? So why the fuck do you think you can tell scientists how to better do their job?

This idiot culture, where we glorify "folksy wisdom" and condemn "book-learnin" is going to be the death of us.

Re:Without the sun there is no climate change at a (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772637)

How about a list of your publications on this topic?

Re:Without the sun there is no climate change at a (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772605)

You need to educate yourself. Start reading about the Jurassic period in Earth's history. Please check the CO2 levels and temperature throughout that time:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jurassic

Re:Without the sun there is no climate change at a (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772619)

What journal are you publishing your theories in?

Yet tiresome denialism will still reign supreme (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772233)

Because science is for chumps.

Re:Yet tiresome denialism will still reign supreme (3, Insightful)

Bartles (1198017) | about 4 months ago | (#45772271)

Yep. Science is now for true believers. The method has been abandoned. Anyone who disagrees or is skeptical is to be ridiculed and destroyed. Yay fascism, boo debate.

Re:Yet tiresome denialism will still reign supreme (0)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 4 months ago | (#45772457)

Well, there's this thing called the null hypothesis. Once it's significantly disproved, then we pretty much accept the science as is unless someone else comes along and proves the study wrong. I mean, you're free to hem and haw and be skeptical, but you forget the scientists have already gone through that -- The null hypothesis is the ultimate skeptic. So, yeah, folks will ridicule anyone who's irrationally skeptical for the same reason we laugh at folks who have no evidence for their beliefs. Having no evidence for your disbelief is the same thing. Don't forget, we're all looking for new answers and better information. Science isn't a fucking debate you twit, evidence is evidence. You want to have a dialog in the language of science? Bring me some fucking evidence and we'll talk.

Re:Yet tiresome denialism will still reign supreme (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772685)

Well, there's this thing called the null hypothesis. Once it's significantly disproved, then we pretty much accept the science as is unless someone else comes along and proves the study wrong.

Yes, publication bias is a pretty huge problem.

Re:Yet tiresome denialism will still reign supreme (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772479)

When those who disagree or are skeptical are funded by self-interested oil companies, or blend their criticism of scientific papers with simple political baggage, then yes, they are ridiculed.

When those who disagree or are skeptical do so in a way that raises a point which has already been addressed and discounted by experts in the field, then yes, they are ridiculed.

On the other hand, you are right to feel that the 'agree' side (for lack of a better word) has a mostly politicized and unthinking membership, too. For me, that problem manifests itself in the (as I see it) idiotic opposition to non-GHG-emitting power sources like fission, fusion, tidal, etc. on environmental grounds.

But you shouldn't let the existence of that mob blind you to the fact that the evidence to date supports the theory that human greenhouse gas emissions are warming the climate, and that a warmer climate will entail significant practical problems, on a human scale at least.

Re:Yet tiresome denialism will still reign supreme (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772497)

do you know how I know you're as dumb as a fucking bag of hammers, shit for brains?

Re:Yet tiresome denialism will still reign supreme (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772539)

You've chosen to ignore every fact that's been shown to you. It's become abundant clear, over the past several years, that you have no interest in any rational debate. So yes, you deserve ridicule. You deserve to be shoved aside so that the intelligent people can try to fix this problem before its too late.

Re:Yet tiresome denialism will still reign supreme (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772551)

Yay science is now a matter of opinion without proof outside of conjecture.

Re:Yet tiresome denialism will still reign supreme (5, Insightful)

dnavid (2842431) | about 4 months ago | (#45772597)

Yep. Science is now for true believers. The method has been abandoned. Anyone who disagrees or is skeptical is to be ridiculed and destroyed. Yay fascism, boo debate.

Honest skepticism is important to Science: scientific theories are considered reliable not because of the strong arguments in favor of them, but because they survive scientific challenge.

But its equally important to recognize that just because skepticism is important to Science, doesn't make all skeptical commentary equally valid, and more importantly it doesn't make all sides equally valid. Its important for scientists to continue to question General Relativity. But when the rubber meets the road, I'm trusting Relativity over any other skeptical invention intended to overturn it. Relativity has survived a lot of challenges. Upstart competitors haven't.

Climatology is an imperfect Science, and its being refined all the time. But Relativity didn't overthrow Newton: Newton is so well tested and established nothing is going to overturn Newtonian gravity because it explains too much of the world too accurately. Relativity *refines* Newtonian gravity in extreme situations Newton was never checked against. All competitors to Einstein are also competitors to Newton: we all know Newton was close enough in most cases: its extraordinarily unlikely anyone is going to discover a normal situation where Newton just plain fails. Anyone wanting to replace Einstein has to not only do better than Relativity, but also better than Newton. Similarly, Climatology is being refined, but the odds are not high that its going to simply fall apart one day. Thinking that will happen represents a complete misunderstanding of how Science itself works.

Every snowflake is special (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 4 months ago | (#45772665)

Let me see if I've got where you are coming from right.
Meanwhile every little snowflake holds in their heads the certainty of a true reality but thanks to relativism we can pretend that everyone is correct! Apart from the experts of course. Anybody with a clue has to be denied because then where does that leave the people that want to argue that white is just a lighter shade of black?

I'm sorry but I see such a fuzzy viewpoint as opportunistic bullshit and I'll go with the experts on this one.
Feel free to write something that shows you are not such an idiot as it seems from what you've written.

Sun Not a Significant Driver (5, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 4 months ago | (#45772243)

Yeah, ever since Oracle bought them . . .

Re:Sun Not a Significant Driver (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772473)

Yeah, ever since Oracle bought them . . .

Sad... this was the first thing I thought as well.

the answer is obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772257)

give total control over the economy to the politicians, it is the only way to appease mother earth

Geographers At The Gates (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772259)

Jeeze I wish these guys had studied physics. But then, THAT is why they are Geographers!

Another fail paper extolling the beautiful majestic wonders of the Mighty Anthropocene, which cannot be observed let alone measured.

The "Holy Ghost" is what Anthropocenists call it.

I'm not one of them for sure.

Hmmm... Well the first thing that comes to mine... (1)

Noishkel (3464121) | about 4 months ago | (#45772263)

... is the question of whether anyone has bothered to do any studies of the southern hemisphere? This study seems to focus on the northern hemisphere. Which makes sense since that's where most of the industry has been set up.

... Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772277)

Seriously? Who didn't knew that already and thought instead the sun was somehow getting hotter?

Re:... Really? (0)

rubycodez (864176) | about 4 months ago | (#45772331)

because the Earth's average temperature was never warmer than it is now? Also, the Sun is in fact expanding and imparting more energy to earth over time, and the trend will only continue and increase while it does, Look it up.

Re:... Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772495)

I read a story recently that showed that the tree line was higher back in the early Roman times, which put it around 2.3C higher than it is today. So it's been much warmer than it is now.

Re:... Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772557)

> because the Earth's average temperature was never warmer than it is now

Hahaha good one

Oh wait. You were serious?

HAHAHAHAHAA! Oh the ignorance... Did you forget to add a "since we started to measure it" or some other silly clause? Gotta love these "climate change" pawns parroting off what they've been told.

And what was the driving factor before 1900? (4, Insightful)

thepainguy (1436453) | about 4 months ago | (#45772281)

How did the world warm up and cool down before then? Perhaps that is relevant?

Re:And what was the driving factor before 1900? (5, Informative)

dnavid (2842431) | about 4 months ago | (#45772499)

How did the world warm up and cool down before then? Perhaps that is relevant?

Over geologic times, lots of things have affected Earth's climate. On astronomical time scales the Sun has an impact: as it ages the Sun emits more radiation: it becomes warmer. But not on human timescales, or even moderate geological time scales. 600 million years ago the Sun was about 4% cooler. That means over the last 15 million years the Sun's radiation has probably increased by about 0.1%. Oceanic circulation has a major role: as continents move around they alter how the oceans transport and circulate heat. Volcanism also has a significant impact, but that impact is tricky to work out: increased CO2 adds to the greenhouse effect, but other volcanic emissions like dust and SO2 have a net cooling effect on the surface of the Earth. The Deccan traps, for example, is believed to have caused significant cooling during their formation.

Life, on long time scales, also causes an effect, Much of the petroleum the industrial revolution is burning and adding to current CO2 levels came primarily from the Carboniferous period. During that time Earth had a warm and humid climate promoting the development of huge rainforests worldwide. These plants photosynthesized so much carbon out of the atmosphere that CO2 levels dropped from something like 1400ppm to 400ppm. That caused the climate to cool significantly over a few hundred million years until it became colder and drier. The rainforests died off, and with the rainforests gone atmospheric CO2 began to rise again, increasing temperatures again.

Actually, over Earth's history the largest contributors to climate change have been atmospheric greenhouse gases, oceanic circulation currents, and the configuration of the continents. Two of the three are things human activity is demonstrated to be capable of altering on timescales many times faster than they have changed in Earth's history.

Re:And what was the driving factor before 1900? (2, Interesting)

thepainguy (1436453) | about 4 months ago | (#45772587)

And the Medieval Warm Period...? And do you honestly believe that the sun is a totally static object that hasn't changed over time?

Cm'on man! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772283)

'driving factor" - what _exactly_ does that mean?

Re:Cm'on man! (2, Insightful)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 4 months ago | (#45772409)

It is ambiguous for a reason. If you never define it, everything someone else lists can be claimed wrong. Much like 'climate change'.

These guys are Scottish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772301)

So they've never even seen the Sun.

Ouch!

wow (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772323)

after all these years on /. this is the summary that jumped the shark for me. i knew the editors were progressive but this is the kind of propaganda that would make daily beast, new republic & huff post blush. sad day.

Grasping at Straws (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772335)

Over the last 2 months the Drudge report has been full of climate news. All of it being evidence against AGW. Such as the US just had one of the 10 coldest years on record. The UK getting record snowfall despite AGWers claiming the UK wouldn't see snow after 2008. Antarctica getting within .5 degrees of the coldest recorded temperature on earth. Along with 2000 record low temperatures recorded over the last couple of months. Add that to the IPCC report showing no warming for 17 years.

Its become pretty obvious which side has been lying. Now they are grasping at straws to report ANYTHING that shows their side "might" be right. I'm going to ignore the alarmists and look at the evidence myself. If AGW was real, they wouldn't have to lie as often and at least ONE of their predictions would have happened.

Re:Grasping at Straws (2)

approachingZero (1365381) | about 4 months ago | (#45772433)

Good point, I believe the climate deniers are grasping at straws but a lot of very powerful people bet their reputations and fortunes on this scam so don't expect them to go down without a fight.

Re:Grasping at Straws (1)

mpthompson (457482) | about 4 months ago | (#45772485)

I'm waiting for an alarmist to sell me their soon to be worthless beach front property for pennies on the dollar. Unfortunately, none have taken me up on my offer.

Really had me laughing... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772341)

"The Sun is not the major driver of the climate..." wow this is not just borderline retarded, it is so full-on moronic, the idea must have come from 7th generation cloned array of mouse-brain cells embedded in a 'nutritive' substrate of polysorbate-80, coca-cola and the proto-testicular extracts from the pile of fetuses Melissa Gates couldn't carry to term.

It doesn't get any dumber than this, at least not without a papal edict. I'm sorry, you are going to have to enforce this inane belief at gun-point, no way anyone is going to buy into this.

Re:Really had me laughing... (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 4 months ago | (#45772481)

But-but- our computer model matches. Believe in the model!

Re:Really had me laughing... (0)

rossz (67331) | about 4 months ago | (#45772663)

You mean the computer model that has been predicting warmer temperatures for more than a decade that haven't happened? That computer model?

My dog doesn't agree (4, Funny)

Charcharodon (611187) | about 4 months ago | (#45772365)

"The sun is not a major source of warming"

Well tell that to my dog Max who only naps in the sun beams.

if the earth was 25% closer to the sun (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772367)

Our oceans and lakes would boil away.
Therefore I conclude that the sun certainly plays a role.

Will AGW deniers apologize or disappear? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772425)

I wonder if, in a decade or two, when evidence mounts to even greater certainties, whether AGW deniers will apologize to the rest of us for the damage they caused, or whether they will simply disappear into the mist like GWB supporters did.

Maybe they'll just go Tea Party, and become strident climate-change activists, whose plan of action somehow involves keeping Mexicans out.

Re:Will AGW deniers apologize or disappear? (5, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 4 months ago | (#45772631)

That's exactly what will happen. A while back, a friend of mine described the Five Stages Of Climate Change Denial:

1. It's not happening.
2. If it is happening, humans have nothing to do with it.
3. If it's happening and we're causing it, we can't do anything about it because that would cost too much.
4. It's happening and we're causing it, but that's a good thing.
5. If those damned liberals hadn't interfered with all their regulations, the market would have taken care of this problem!

Mostly we see #1-3 right now, but I've seen #4 too, and I'm sure #5 will be along any time.

Re:Will AGW deniers apologize or disappear? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772739)

Since humans are so bad for the earth, why don't you lead the way and kill yourself now?

110,000 year major glaciation Sun cycle (2, Informative)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 4 months ago | (#45772469)

The article's title is patently false and provable as such. Time to report reality.

The Earth's orbital changes around the Sun varies from more circular to more elliptical and its axis wobble changes and the net effect is that the different solar inputs are what causes the major climate shift on about a 110,000 year cycle.

The Sun rules. Eventually as the Sun becomes a Red Giant, the Earth will become hotter until all life and water evaporates and eventually the Sun will effectively consume the Earth.

In a very short period of time, other factors may cause climate changes including asteroids, volcanism, forest fires and mankind's creation of soot, CO2 and such.

Re:110,000 year major glaciation Sun cycle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772695)

The article's title is patently false and provable as such. Time to report reality.

The Earth's orbital changes around the Sun varies from more circular to more elliptical and its axis wobble changes and the net effect is that the different solar inputs are what causes the major climate shift on about a 110,000 year cycle.

The Sun rules. Eventually as the Sun becomes a Red Giant, the Earth will become hotter until all life and water evaporates and eventually the Sun will effectively consume the Earth.

Ok,.. I'm going to go out on a limb here, but maybe the title was in reference to the 1,000 year period that the study was based on.

Out of scope (0)

dbIII (701233) | about 4 months ago | (#45772701)

They are looking at a much shorter time frame which does not include your "reality", so, while interesting it's not at all relevant. Such a thing should of course be obvious to anyone aware of it so I can only conclude that you have put it in to be silly or to try to fool the kiddies and make them think an irrelevant argument refutes what is in the TFA. So what is it - joker or slimy manipulator?
I'm really getting sick of this science denial bullshit that started with biology and geology but is spreading through everything like a cancer.

Only on anthropocentric time scales (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772471)

On a geological time scale there's the ongoing dilemma of what is known as the Faint Young Sun Paradox [wikipedia.org] . So yes, the sun did drive global warming... billions of years ago.

Nope (1)

E++99 (880734) | about 4 months ago | (#45772491)

They found that their model of weak changes in the sun gave the best correlation with temperature records, indicating that solar activity has had a minimal impact on temperature in the past millennium.

This methodology does not justify that headline.

Is Ahumanism a Thing Now? (0)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 4 months ago | (#45772527)

Heh, Look at all those moronic posters replying to the headline.

The study says that greenhouse gases were the most significant factor and that the sun was negligible in comparison, not that the sun has no effect on warmth. The sun would certainly tend to contribute heat but we're talking about CHANGE, not stable sources of warmth, over more time than the 11 year solar cycles.

Please tell me the oil companies are paying shills to post here, the posters are seriously challenging my faith in humanity otherwise.

If the sun ... (0, Redundant)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 4 months ago | (#45772535)

If the sun isn't the major driver of temperature then why is it colder at night?

Also why isn't the effect of carbon dioxide cumulative? How can we have colder years ... shouldn't every year have to be warmer than the past?

Somewhere, there are people who took the science out of science --- maybe to argue with religious people or something --- but this social consensus crap isn't how real science is done.

Re:If the sun ... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 4 months ago | (#45772617)

but this social consensus crap isn't how real science is done.

Sure it is! They just skip all that hard "rigor" stuff and go right into the "peer review"! Everyone on /. knows that the peer review is the most important part of science.

(FSVO "peer")

Thinking too much in "ipad" and "iphone" (0)

Shados (741919) | about 4 months ago | (#45772615)

Our issue at work as mainly been that our usability department thinks too much in term of specific devices instead of thinking in term of screen size and input type.

They think "Desktop", "Lap-top", "ipad", "iphone". Thats it.

That omits the fact that there's desktops with less screen than some lap-top, that some laptops have touch screens, some tablets have keyboards (and mouse!), that there's more than 1 kind of iphones, that sometimes desktop OS run on tablets, and the entire android ecosystem (which, while a minority in e-commerce, is still 1/3rd of our traffic).

We're pushing for responsive layouts that ignore what specific environment you're in, and instead adjust to screen size and input type, which will work regardless of what combination of resolution and touch/mouse you have, but its hard to make them understand, instead we end up with features that only work on very specific devices, and look like crap on everything else. And the moment Apple releases a different device form factor, its panic. The mini might be a similar resolution, but its physical size is different, making buttons hard to see/touch, etc.

*shakes head* (0)

Shaman (1148) | about 4 months ago | (#45772653)

................. what?

Really? The seasons don't have to do with our earth orbiting the sun in an oval pattern? Evening isn't relevant?

if this is the case (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45772687)

then we could destroy the sun, and our climate would be the same, without a sun.

Location, Location and Location (5, Funny)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 4 months ago | (#45772725)

Scientists from Edinburgh, Scotland have recently published a study showing that the sun is not a significant driver of recent climate change.

Of course they think that - there is no sun in Edinburgh.

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