Sections

Services

Information

UK United Kingdom

Solar forcing effect on climate change ‘extremely small’: IPCC scientist

Changes in solar radiation, known as solar forcing, have had only a very small effect on climate change, a member of the…

The effect of solar forcing on climate change is ‘extremely small’, an IPCC scientist said today. https://theconversation.edu.au/theres-always-the-sun-solar-forcing-and-climate-change-1878

Changes in solar radiation, known as solar forcing, have had only a very small effect on climate change, a member of the UN’s top panel of climate scientists said today.

The comment, made by a member of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), followed the leak of a draft IPCC report late last year, which included comments on the effect of solar forcing on climate change.

At the time of the leak, the climate change skeptics blog, Watts Up With That drew attention to what it described as a “game-changing admission of enhanced solar forcing” but co-chair of the IPCC’s Working Group 1, Professor Thomas Stocker said that solar forcing actually did not play a major role.

“As the scientific publications indicate, the assessment is not yet completed. We are looking at an extremely small effect here, that’s what one can say from the publications but I should stress the experts are still performing their assessment,” he said a press conference in Hobart today.

The person who leaked the report, blogger Alec Rawls, obtained the draft by signing up as an expert reviewer of the draft.

Professor Stocker said the IPCC was “interested to have a very wide range of experts” reviewing their draft reports.

“We don’t want to have quantitative bars on the reviewers, for example requesting a certain number of publications in peer reviewed journals. We rely on an honest self-declaration on why he or she is an expert,” he said.

Extreme events

Professor Stocker and other members of the IPCC’s Working Group 1 met today in Hobart, after a week of bushfires ravaged Tasmania and a heatwave swept Australia.

Professor Stocker said that previous IPCC reports had “clearly shown there is a connection between increased greenhouse gas concentration, changes in climate, in particular changes in frequency and intensity of extreme events.”

“The five hottest summers in Europe have all occurred after 2001 over the past 500 years. This is a very interesting observation,” he said.

Dr Scott Power from the Bureau of Meteorology and an IPCC Working Group 1 coordinating lead author, said bushfires and hot weather were part and parcel of living in Australia.

“What climate change does is increase the likelihood of such events and increase the intensity of such events,” he said.

“So far in Australia, we have seen warming of the climate of about 0.9 degrees Celsius since 1910 and that’s projected to go up; the increase is projected to be much higher than that if emissions aren’t brought down over the coming decades,” said Dr Power.

“So these sorts of events will become increasingly more common and the temperature records set will tend to go up with each passing decade.”

Dr John Church, a CSIRO scientist and Working Group 1 coordinating lead author also said that a newspaper story published today saying sea level rises were not linked to climate change was inaccurate.

“Sea level clearly is linked to climate change, it clearly is linked to greenhouse gases and that was in the paper quoted by The Australian. The quote is, I am sorry, inaccurate,” he said.

Sign in to Favourite

Join the conversation

31 Comments sorted by

Comments on this article are now closed.

  1. Sal Kennedy

    logged in via Facebook

    could these poor scientists be allowed to do science rather than continually having to explain the same thing over and over again now?

    report
    1. Benjamin Arrow
      Benjamin Arrow is a Friend of The Conversation.

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Sal Kennedy

      It's okay Sal, this effect:

      https://theconversation.edu.au/one-funeral-at-a-time-big-bang-denial-and-the-search-for-truth-11127

      will come into play.

      It saddens me those who take for granted all that science has ever given them, i.e. everything. Yet when the figures roll in to show that something may be awry, it's the science that is wrong and all those terrible scientists should burn.

      report
  2. Mark McGuire

    climate consensus rebel

    After sailing & riding bikes to Tasmania as to not appear like raging climate hypocrites, our intrepid UN-IPCC/CSIRO "climate scientists" could check their claims of sea level rise against The Lempriere-Ross mark:

    This Ordnance Survey Bench Mark engraved into a rock face on a little island near Port Arthur, Tasmania out there in 1841 by the famous Antarctic explorer Captain Sir James Clark Ross and amateur meteorologist Thomas Lempriere to mark mean sea level is still there today.

    Perhaps Sunandra…

    Read more
    1. Kieren Mitchell

      PhD Student

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      Do you have a source for that assertion, Mark?

      You might be interested to read "Hunter, Coleman & Pugh (2002) The Sea Level at Port Arthur, Tasmania, from 1841 to the Present". They use the Lempriere-Ross mark to calculate an average sea-level rise of 1.0mm (plus or minus 0.3mm) per year since 1841. That's an approximate increase of 17.2 cm.

      report
    2. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      @Mark McGuire

      The Lempriere-Ross mark was not a mark for mean sea level.

      Dr David Pugh, from the Southampton Oceanography Centre, UK. Dr Pugh has gone over Lempriere's original work which had been buried in the Royal Society's archives. The Southampton scientist is now assisting CSIRO in their current research programme.

      "From all the evidence we know it was the high water level at that time - it's like the difference between mid-tide and high-tide"

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/467007.stm

      Read more
    3. Mark McGuire

      climate consensus rebel

      In reply to Kieren Mitchell

      Thanks for your response Kieren Mitchell.

      The publication you refer to is interesting, though not a CSIRO publication.

      http://staff.acecrc.org.au/~johunter/bamos_pap.pdf

      Quotes:

      * It is one of the first such marks struck anywhere in the world for the scientific investigation of sea level.

      * Adjustment for land uplift yields an estimate of average sea level rise since the 1840s due to an increase in the volume of the ocean of 1.0 ± 0.3 mm/year, which is at the lower end of the rate…

      Read more
    4. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      You link to
      https://theconversation.edu.au/sea-levels-continue-to-rise-but-not-uniformly-csiro-2478
      but clearly you did not read it.

      The full quote is "CSIRO observations show the global sea level rise since 1993 has been between 2.8-3.2 mm per year, near the upper end of predictions made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said a CSIRO expert on coastal climate change, Dr Kathy McInnes.

      “But there is a huge amount of variability in the rate of rise,” said Dr McInnes…

      Read more
    5. Mark McGuire

      climate consensus rebel

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      Greetings Mr Mike Hansen.

      Thanks for your reply.

      Your first link doesn't work, but it appears it is thoroughly covered in my link below [http://staff.acecrc.org.au/~johunter/bamos_pap.pdf] though, I can't see John Hunter make any statement like your example from Pugh:
      "From all the evidence we know it was the high water level at that time - it's like the difference between mid-tide and high-tide."
      Either way, the Lempriere-Ross mark has not been inundated or submerged, contrary to alarmist…

      Read more
    6. Mark McGuire

      climate consensus rebel

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      Mike, your getting ridiculous.

      Your e360 yale link claims a sea rise:
      "As the world warms, sea levels could easily rise three to six feet this century."

      Yet your previous comment & link claims a rise of 1.0 mm a year.

      Which one is it?

      report
    7. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      Are you being intentionally dense?

      The 1.0 mm per year refers to the historical analysis done at Pt Arthur i.e. past sea level rise at a specific point, the 3-6 feet refers to potential global average sea level rise by 2100.

      I take it you did not read the article?

      You refuse to understand basic sea level science so you compound your ignorance by assuming that the world's oceans are like a bath tub. This of course is not unusual - the majority of deniers have a comic book understanding of science eschewing complexity for the comfort of the right-wing denier blog.

      BTW, both links work.

      Here is a CSIRO link with maps illustrating the regional differences in sea level rise.
      http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/sl_hist_last_15.html

      report
    8. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      Mark McGuire, did you mean this Lempriere-Ross mark?

      http://soer.justice.tas.gov.au/2003/casestudy/4/index.php

      "....knowing whether the mark was originally placed near mean sea-level or high water is crucial to being able to compare sea-levels of 1841 with today. This study has concluded that it is almost certain that the benchmark was originally placed near high water. The conclusion is based on other estimates of sea-level made later in the 19th century, and on the fact that, if the mark had originally been placed near mean sea-level, then the Penitentiary building would have suffered flooding every few years (there is no record of this having happened)...."

      Next?????

      report
    9. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      Oh - sorry Mark. When I posted that quote about the Lempriere-Ross mark I forgot to answer the question you posed:

      "....This is carved in STONE, not melting ICE. How inconvenient. Observed, emperical evidence. Who is in denial now?..."

      Well, given the evidence - the evidence that you provided - I am pretty confident that the person in denial would be............ you. Or are you going to accept the evidence and retract your original claim? (I'm betting that would be a no - but I am happy to be proved wrong)

      report
  3. Sean Lamb

    Science Denier

    "“As the scientific publications indicate, the assessment is not yet completed. We are looking at an extremely small effect [of solar forcing] here"

    That is only because they don't understand the ,mechanism of the correlation between sun spots and climate going back several centuries. It is not impossible for scientist to include factors that they don't understand in their models, but generally they find it psychologically difficult.

    Bring on IPCC 6 and the collectively horror as they face that gradual flat-lining temperature curve!

    report
    1. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      As the "science denier" explains, so far scientists have excluded magic as an explanation.

      In IPCC 6 if the deniers have their way and good old Rupe stays alive to steer the Murdoch barge of science denial, then magic will replace the scientific method in assessment of climate change.

      CO2 will cease to be a greenhouse gas. Following circus clown Monckton's lead** all temperature and sea level rise graphs will be required to be tilted on their side enough to flat line temperature/sea level rise.

      Monckton's tilted graph is on p33 here
      http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/co2_jan_2011.pdf

      report
    2. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      "....That is only because they don't understand the ,mechanism of the correlation between sun spots and climate going back several centuries...."

      Then how about you write a paper for publishing in a journal explaining it to everyone?

      "....Bring on IPCC 6 and the collectively horror as they face that gradual flat-lining temperature curve!..."

      And your explanation for this is..........?

      Thanks Sean - but I think I will go with the scientists on this one. You know - the people who spent years at university studying the subject, then went out and collected data over decades, and published their results in peer reviewed journals where their conclusions were carefully scrutinised by other people who know what they are talking about - rather than an ignorant self identified science denier who is parrotting talking points from the denier echo-chamber.

      report
    3. Sean Lamb

      Science Denier

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Never underestimate the madness of [scientific] crowds, Mr Swinbourne.

      report
    4. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      I would never underestimate the madness of any crowds Sean.

      And I never underestimate the cognitive dissonance of people who continue to deny reality, even in the face of overwhelming evidence.

      And I especially never underestimate the ability of people who have no idea what they are talking about, from believing that they know more about a subject than those that do.

      report
    5. Sean Lamb

      Science Denier

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      "And I especially never underestimate the ability of people who have no idea what they are talking about, from believing that they know more about a subject than those that do."
      You mean like these people?
      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/fun-with-correlations/

      Can I put to you a modest proposition and suggest that if climate and solar activity interactions are as meaningless as that with election of Republican senators, then climate models will likely work quite well. But if there is a meaningful relationship then there is a greater probability that their models won't work?

      report
    6. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      "You mean like these people?"

      I think you know who he means.

      report
    7. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      Never underestimate the manifest desperation of a trite pseudo-gnomic little piece of meaningless like this. Mr Lamb.

      report
  4. Chris O'Neill

    Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

    The subject of solar forcing is a prime candidate for misrepresentation by those who wilfully misunderstand it. e.g. the smallness of variation of solar output is not the same thing as the sensitivity of climate to variations in solar output. The misrepresenters conflate the two.

    report
    1. Sean Lamb

      Science Denier

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Can you point to any instances of this conflation?
      Would you agree with this statement, the measure of the success of a model is the ability of it to make predictions, not the glittering qualifications of those who created it?
      Another modest proposition, but surprising difficult to get climate scientists to endorse.

      report
    2. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      Sorry Felix, but I think you are confused about Sean Lamb.

      He would much rather make irrational statements based on ideology that he has trawled from the denialist echo chamber, than sully his posts with anything as dirty as evidence.

      Evidence has no place in the denier universe, so why would you think that he would be able to back up a claim like that?

      report
  5. Aden Date

    Service Learning Coordinator at University of Western Australia

    I am seriously starting to wonder if these climate responses to the same recycled handful of irrelevent contrarians are doing us any good. The media has been rightfully accused of presenting issues as two-sided: Do we do any good to give 9/11 "truther" Alec Rawls the respect of a response on TheConversation?

    Let the scientests get on with the science, please.

    report
    1. Garry Claridge

      Systems Analyst

      In reply to Aden Date

      Aden,

      "scientests" is an interesting word, and perhaps has a place. Sometimes accidents produce interesting results :)

      report
  6. John Nicol

    logged in via email @bigpond.com

    The statements that the effects of changes in solar "forcings" have a minimal effect on global warming overlooks a wealth of scientific evidence which looks at details far beyond the simplistic ideas considered by climatologists subscribing to the IPCC. One has to acknowledge that the known variations in total solar output which are of the order of 0.3%, will not be likely to cause significant changes in global temperatures.

    However, what this ignores is the many indirect ways in which the…

    Read more
    1. In reply to John Nicol

      Comment removed by moderator.

  7. Michael Shand
    Michael Shand is a Friend of The Conversation.

    Software Tester

    Great Article thanks for posting,

    I always enjoy the denial crowd when they state things like "What the scientists dont understand is that this piece of information that I learnt from scientists means that the scientists are completely wrong and simplistic" - Yes Mr Denial, what the sceintists dont take into account is the information that the scientists gave you

    report