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From what I have read elsewhere the short-term variability in solar output (sunspot cycle?) has much less influence on climate than longer-term changes in the Earth's orbit. I don't think there is any evidence in the ice core data that supports a correlation with the sunspot cycle.
[mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf
Of John M Clement
Sent: Friday, April 04, 2008 11:03 AM
To: Forum for Physics Educators
Subject: [Phys-l] Climate change?
The debate over climate change seems to be extremely
polarized with a lot of money being thrown at it by vested
interests. Witness the recent polarized responses, with an
all or nothing point of view.
There are some journal articles which are guarded optimistic.
A recent paper in AJP claims that most climate predictions
ignore the sun's influence. They claim that there is
evidence for a significant fraction of current change being
due to natural cycles which have resulted in increase solar
output. They also claim that these cycles will produce a
countervailing dip in solar output which will in the short
term counteract some of the human influence.
This article does not claim, however, that the human
influence is negligible or that it should not be fixed in the
long term. So we do not know the exact percentage of human
influence, but it appears to be significant. We also do not
know the exact probability of runaway greenhouse, but it also
appears to significant. If you knew there were something
which could kill your children at what probability leve would
you take action?
John M. Clement
Forum for Physics Educators