Reply to Lockwood and Froehlich - The persistent role of the Sun in climate Forcing
In a recent paper (ref. ) Mike Lockwood and Claus Froehlich have argued that recent trends in solar climate forcing have been in the wrong direction to account for "the observed rapid rise in global mean temperatures". These authors accept that "there is considerable evidence for solar influence on Earth's pre-industrial climate and the Sun may well have been a factor in post-industrial climate change in the first half of the last century." But they argue that this historical link between the Sun and climate came to an end about 20 years ago. Here we rebut their argument comprehensively. [...]
By Lockwood and Froehlich's own data, solar magnetic activity is still high compared with 100 years ago. As to when the recent easing of activity began, counts of cosmic-ray muons at low altitudes were historically low when the muon record-keeping ended in the early 1990s (ref. ). That implies an increase in relevant solar magnetic activity continuing till that time. A scarcity of muons can be linked to elevated global temperatures by a reduction in low cloud cover (ref. ) and low cloudiness was indeed at a minimum around 1992-93. By other solar indicators, like those cited by Lockwood and Froehlich, the minimum muon counts may well be a little higher in the current solar cycles. That would explain the pause in global warming evident in our Table as well as in Lockwood and Fr”hlich's own Fig. 1e.
That would explain the pause in global warming evident especially in the ocean (Fig. 1) and the troposphere (Fig. 3). The continuing rapid increase in carbon dioxide concentrations during the past 10-15 years has apparently been unable to overrule the flattening of the temperature trend as a result of the Sun settling at a high, but no longer increasing, level of magnetic activity. Contrary to the argument of Lockwood and Froehlich, the Sun still appears to be the main forcing agent in global climate change.
FULL PAPER here
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