Sun is Responsible Again

Sun is Responsible Again

Once again, the sun has reached out and touched the Earth.

As many as forty low-earth orbiting satellites are falling to Earth after their launch.

There have been numerous well-documented examples of how the sun has affected the Earth, and this latest example should bring people’s attention to why the sun is probably the real cause of climate change.

Space-X launched 49 Starlink satellites into low-earth orbit on February 3, but a solar storm, the following day, caused 40 of them to fall to Earth. Each Starlink satellite is 10.5 by 5.5 feet in size, and weigh’s 573 pounds.

This picture may be of debris from the launch falling back to Earth.

Here is NOAA’s explanation as to why the satellites fell:

“During [magnetic] storms, the currents in the ionosphere, as well as the energetic particles that precipitate into the ionosphere add energy in the form of heat that can increase the density and distribution of density in the upper atmosphere, causing extra drag on satellites in low-earth orbit.”

And here is the scale for geomagnetic storms, from G1, rated as minor, to G5, rated as the worst:

This  flare was rated a G1. During the eleven-year solar cycle, NOAA expects there will be 1,700 minor G1 flares.

How has the sun affected the Earth in the past?

A direct linkage between the sun and climate was identified by William Herschel (1738-1822), an astronomer, when he established that the price of grains, such as wheat, correlated with the number of sun spots: High prices, few sunspots. Low prices, many sunspots.

As indicated by the above table, solar flares are fairly common.

However, the solar flare in 1859, i.e., the Carrington Event, wreaked havoc with the telegraph system. Then another solar storm in 1892 caused the newly invented telephone system to fail with clicking and ringing noises.

And another solar storm in 1989 created a 9 hour blackout in Quebec, Canada, and also caused a transformer in New Jersey to melt and fail.

The little ice age has been attributed to a dearth of sunspots, known as the Maunder Minimum, as shown in the next figure.

(The book Net-zero Carbon, the Climate Policy Destroying America, describes some of these events in greater detail.)

Why is there a fixation on CO2 levels when history has shown temperatures have not been dependent on CO2 levels? Temperatures have been higher than today for long periods over the past 10,000 years, while CO2 levels have remained relatively constant at 280 parts per million until the mid 1800s.

While the media harangues people about CO2, the numerous examples of where the sun has affected conditions on the Earth have been largely ignored. The falling satellites are news, so they couldn’t be ignored.

The sight of forty falling satellites is merely the latest example of how the sun affects the atmosphere.

. . .



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11 Replies to “Sun is Responsible Again”

  1. Good report. There are many indications that sunspot activity (and other solar cycles) correlates to global temperatures.

    • Thanks for reminding me that there are other solar cycles that affect how the sun affects the Earth periodically, not just during the 11 year cycle.

  2. (1) …”the sun is probably the real cause of climate change.”
    This statement lacks any evidence it is true in the past 300+ years. The last known, and very obvious, solar effect on the climate was during the coldest decade of the Maunder Minimum during the 1690s. There is no evidence after the Maunder Minimum of any solar effect on the global average temperature. There is no 11 year temperature cycle that correlates with the 11 year sunspot cycle. In addition, the long term climate changes that involve planetary geometry (Milankovitch Cycles) do not assume any change of energy being emitted from the sun. The solar energy emitted by the sun is not constant, but it has varied very little since the Maunder Minimum low solar energy period — not enough to have more than a tiny effect on the average temperature.

    (2) “The little ice age has been attributed to a dearth of sunspots, known as the Maunder Minimum”
    The Little Ice Age is far longer than just the Maunder Minimum period of about 70 years (1645 to 1715). Estimates of the length of the Little Ice Age range from several hundred years to five hundred years. During a 28-year period (1672–1699) within the Maunder Minimum, observations revealed fewer than 50 sunspots. This contrasts with the typical 40,000–50,000 sunspots seen in modern times over a similar timespan. Temperatures were unusually low during that 28 year period in Europe. There are not enough data to determine temperatures outside of Europe. So it is just a reasonable assumption that the global average temperature was cooler during the Little Ice Age centuries, based on what is known about Europe, not a fact.

    (3) “Temperatures have been higher than today for long periods over the past 10,000 years”
    This statement is an assumption, not a fact. We do not have accurate enough global average temperature measurements to support the claim. Climate reconstructions are very rough estimates, and the alleged warmer periods may be with the margin of error of the reconstructions. The Holocene Climate Optimum, from 5000 to 9000 years ago. was probably a little warmer than today. Based on climate reconstruction estimates, not a fact. The data for the past 5000 years are not accurate enough to be sure the global average temperature was ever higher than in the past decade (I’m assuming that’s what “today” means).

    • With respect to comment 1. You are correct re the Milankovitch Cycles.
      With respect to comment2: The Little Ice Age lasted until the mid 1800s which is long after the end of the Maunder Minimum. There was, however another period of low sunspot activity known as the Dalton Minimum from 1790 to 1830 which must be factored into the equation. You are not correct with respect to what is known about worldwide temperatures. There is ample evidence from China that temperatures were also colder there.
      With respect to comment 3: The data from ice cores in Greenland and Antarctica provide excellent evidence re temperatures over the length of the Holocene. You are claiming that this data is inaccurate. The temperatures established from ice cores are accurate enough to establish that it has been warmer than today several times over the past 10,000 years.

      No matter how inaccurate you claim the data to be, re the solar minimums and ice cores, it is far better and more conclusive than any data supporting global warming and climate change caused by CO2. I refer you to Dr Happer, Professor Emeritus of Physics, Princeton University, and his explanation of the effect of CO2 at

      The only conclusion that can be reached is that It is far more likely that the sun is the cause of warming than is the increase in atmospheric CO2 levels.

  3. Climate reconstructions are local, not global. Even the ice core samples.
    They are good evidence the temperature varies, but not precise measurements of the global average temperature. Especially not accurate enough to declare any period in the past 5,000 years definitely had a warmer global average temperature then in the past ten years.

    The climate reconstructions for the Holocene Opitimum consistently reflect higher temperatures than today, but the likely margins of error in such climate proxies are too large to be sure about that. So a warmer climate optimum is a reasonable assumption, but not a proven fact.

    The warming periods after that optimum are just not large enough for climate proxies to be definitive proof, except for the lowest temperature decades of the Maunder Minimum period. When you average a number of local climate proxies to estimate a global average, the fluctuations tend to get smaller, making the “global” average even less reliable than any single local reconstruction.

    The Dalton Minimum (1790 to 1830), as reflected in the Central England temperature data, was not obviously different than the rest of the 1750 to 1850 period (based on those three local real time weather station measurements that showed a much larger effect from the Maunder Minimum. That Dalton Minimum was a nothing burger, to quote the great American orator Hillary Clinton.

    I read everything I find by Dr. Happer, but don’t recall him ever talking about climate reconstructions or changes in solar irradiance being the primary cause of climate change.

    So, even though I enjoy almost every article on your website, this one was a rare exception. So we’ll just have to disagree about the sun. Which means either I am right, or you are right, or we are both wrong and no one knows!
    No one knows is very common in climate science.

    Richard Greene
    Bingham farms, Michigan

    • Thanks for your comments. I’m glad you have enjoyed my other articles. Energy is my real expertise and I have become involved in climate science because of the effects that climate policies have on the development and use of energy.

      Dr. Happer has not, to my knowledge, discussed ice cores and temperature reconstructions. What he has said, is that CO2 is not an existential threat to mankind and that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 would have a very slight effect on temperatures.

      I haven’t mentioned solar irradiance. However, and my memory fails me at the moment, some studies have indicated that irradiance has been greater in recent years than acknowledged by the IPCC.
      There’s also Svensmark who has proposed that strengthening and weakening of the solar wind has either deflected or allowed cosmic rays to enter the Earth’s atmosphere thereby affecting cloud cover and temperatures.
      There is also the work done by Vahrenholt (The Neglected Sun).

      As you say, no one knows anything with 100% certainty, However, policy decisions must be made on the basis of uncertainty, and that is why I have been juxtapositioning the sun as a more likely source of climate change than CO2 emissions. From what I can determine, the sun is the most likely cause of climate change, although other factors also contribute.
      Net-zero policies will destroy the United States, which is why these policy decisions, made under uncertainty, are so important.

  4. Any solar or cosmic ray effect on cloudiness would change incoming solar energy. … How about this compromise? There are many causes of climate change. So many variables it is impossible to know exactly what each variable does. But we have been living with actual global warming since 1975. And it has been mild and harmless — actually h good news for those of us who live in colder climates such as Michigan. Our winters are much milder with far less snow than in the 1970s. No one here wants warming to stop.

    Climate change is wild guess predictions of the future climate that are not based on any past climate. The predictions call for 2x to 3x faster warming than the fastest rate of warming in the past 150 years — 1975 through 2020.
    These predictions have been wrong for about 50 years and there is no reason to believe they are accurate now.

    Conclusion: Humans have no ability to predict the future climate, with one exception: me! I made a climate prediction in 1997 that is still true today: “The climate will get warmer, unless it gets colder.” After 25 years of climate science and energy reading I still can’t do better than that.

    Concerning the articles here. There was only this one in a whole year that I had issues with. That is quite a high batting average. I don’t approve of articles I write myself that often, when I go back and re-read them months later. So you hitting a lot of home runs here — a higher batting average than any other writer I know of. I read about two dozen climate science and energy websites every day. … Besides, the world would be a boring place if everyone agreed with you 100% of the time.

    • I greatly appreciate your comments about my articles.

      It’s always been my goal to be accurate and factual. And to be trust worthy.
      As I mentioned previously, climate is an important energy issue because it affects the development and use of energy. Ultimately, it affects the survival of our country.

  5. Among other work in my past, I was the editor of a financial newsletter for 43 years. My interest in climate science began in 1997 when I realized the predictions of a coming climate crisis were getting louder. And would definitely affect the economy in the future (the predictions, that is, not climate change itself). My 1997 prediction — will get warmer, unless it gets colder — was mocking the 100 year climate predictions, which seemed like climate astrology to me.

    I still find it hard to believe that people have been living with global warming since 1975 — which we love here in Michigan — yet so many people fear future global warming. It’s like they had no idea they’d been living with global warming for up to 47 years, and never noticed no one was harmed.

    I started a climate science and energy blog in 2014 when it became obvious the climate alarmists wanted to redesign our electric grid. Eight years later all they have is a long-winded Net Zero vision statement. No plan. No timing schedule. No feasibility studies. No cost estimates. No successful local prototypes to prove the concept. Just a catchy slogan: Net Zero, which I call Nut Zero. I worked in product development for 27 years. I’ve never seen a project (Nut Zero) that seemed to be intentionally designed to fail. Or maybe that’s just the natural result of having politicians in charge, rather than engineers?

    • Thanks for you comments. I like the Nut-zero version.
      Politicians, who typically lack any scientific or engineering training, will always screw up legislating for issues such as these, i.e, energy and climate.

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