Sun Not to Blame for Rising Temperatures

Greenhouse gasses 10 times more powerful than sun
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2010 1:33 PM CDT
The setting sun sinks into a fog bank over the jetty as seen from Crescent City, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2010.   (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

(Newser) – You can’t blame the warming planet on the sun. In a truly perplexing discovery, researchers have found that when the sun is at the dimmest point of its 11-year-cycle—like say, last December—the Earth is actually warmed the most. “When I first saw the results, I thought we had done the calculations wrong,” one physicist tells the Guardian. “We may have overestimated the sun’s role in warming the planet.”

The finding also damages the hypothesis, put forward by climate skeptics, that variations in the sun's brightness might explain the planet’s warming trend. “It does not give comfort to climate skeptics at all,” the physicist says. She now believes that greenhouse gases have a more dramatic impact on global temperatures than solar brightness—their effect is at least 10 times greater, by her calculations. Finally, the findings help explain why some regions have experienced colder-than-usual winters despite the warming trend.

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