Scientists have been studying solar influences on the climate for more than 5000 years. Chinese imperial astronomers kept detailed sunspot records, and noticed that more sunspots meant warmer weather. In 1801, celebrated astronomer William Herschel, the first to observe Uranus, noted that when there were fewer spots the price of wheat soared. He surmised that less “light and heat” from the sun resulted in reduced harvests.The authors then talk of "solar radiation, which supplies Earth with the energy that drives our weather and climate," and mention that "A strong sun-climate relationship requires mechanisms to exist whereby our sun can both cool and warm the Earth."
Recent work by NCAR senior scientists Drs. Harry van Loon and Gerald Meehl has also emphasized a physical relationship between incoming solar radiation and temperature. These scientists argue indirectly that, in testing for this relationship, daytime maximum temperature is the most appropriate criterion to use to characterize the temperature.
Nevertheless, recent analyses indicate that even small changes in incoming solar radiation can have a strong effect on Earth’s temperature and climate. In 2005, research by one of us (Soon) demonstrated the existence of a strong correlation between solar radiation and the anomalies in average temperature for the Arctic over the past 130 years (above right).Read more at Quadrant On Line (Link).
Willie Soon has been researching the relationship of solar radiation and Earth’s climate at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics for the past 22 years. William M. Briggs is a meteorology-trained statistician and former associate editor of the Monthly Weather Review. Bob Carter is author of the book Climate: the Counter Consensus, and an Emeritus Fellow of the IPA.