New Paper: Solar Cycles Linked To Warming Pause
Long-Term natural cycles linked to the sun could explain the pause in global average surface temperatures and offer a better guide for coastal planners to predict sea level rises, storm surges and natural disasters.
Publication of the findings in Ocean and Coastal Management follows a decade-long struggle for the lead author, Australian scientist Robert Baker from the University of New England, whose work has challenged the orthodox climate science view that carbon dioxide is the dominant factor in climate change.
Dr Baker, a former chair of the International Geographical Commission on Modelling Geographic Systems, said what had been a purely scientific debate on climate change until 2005 had become political. His latest paper with his PhD student faced a series of objections from scientists close to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change but was published after an 11-member peer review panel voted 8-3 to publish. An editorial that accompanied the paper said it was an “excellent example of how to approach these complex issues that are now vulnerable to often irrational and heated debate instead of the required proper scientific discussion”.
The Baker paper suggests a hybrid model that allows future climate change to be estimated with or without human influences. The authors said this would provide a better legal foundation for decision making. Problems with coastal planning in NSW, based on sea-level predictions from climate modelling, were cited in the international paper.
The paper accepts that if there is a human influence on climate change, then it could result in a threefold increase in one-in-100-year extreme coastal events. But it says, as the hiatus shows, human influence can be overtaken by long-term natural cycles, making predictions less certain.