SVENSMARK’s Force Majeure, The Sun’s Large Role in Climate Change

Reblogged from Watts Up With That:

GUEST: HENRIK SVENSMARK

By H. Sterling Burnett

By bombarding the Earth with cosmic rays and being a driving force behind cloud formations, the sun plays a much larger role on climate than “consensus scientists” care to admit.

The Danish National Space Institute’s Dr. Henrik Svensmark has assembled a powerful array of data and evidence in his recent study, Force Majeure the Sun’s Large Role in Climate Change.

The study shows that throughout history and now, the sun plays a powerful role in climate change. Solar activity impacts cosmic rays which are tied to cloud formation. Clouds, their abundance or dearth, directly affects the earth’s climate.

Climate models don’t accurately account for the role of clouds or solar activity in climate change, with the result they assume the earth is much more sensitive to greenhouse gas levels than it is. Unfortunately, the impact of clouds and the sun on climate are understudied because climate science has become so politicized.

Full audio interview here:  Interview with Dr. Henrick Svensmark

 

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. is a Heartland senior fellow on environmental policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News.

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Solar slump continues – NOAA: “we are currently approaching a Maunder-type minimum in solar activity.”

Reblogged from Watts Up With That:

Solar experts predict the Sun’s activity in Solar Cycle 25 to be below average, similar to Solar Cycle 24

April 5, 2019 – Scientists charged with predicting the Sun’s activity for the next 11-year solar cycle say that it’s likely to be weak, much like the current one. The current solar cycle, Cycle 24, is declining and predicted to reach solar minimum – the period when the Sun is least active – late in 2019 or 2020.

Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel experts said Solar Cycle 25 may have a slow start, but is anticipated to peak with solar maximum occurring between 2023 and 2026, and a sunspot range of 95 to 130. This is well below the average number of sunspots, which typically ranges from 140 to 220 sunspots per solar cycle.

Graph via Twitter from
NOAA’s Space Weather Workshop

The panel has high confidence that the coming cycle should break the trend of weakening solar activity seen over the past four cycles.

“We expect Solar Cycle 25 will be very similar to Cycle 24: another fairly weak cycle, preceded by a long, deep minimum,” said panel co-chair Lisa Upton, Ph.D., solar physicist with Space Systems Research Corp. “The expectation that Cycle 25 will be comparable in size to Cycle 24   means that the steady decline in solar cycle amplitude, seen from cycles 21-24, has come to an end and that there is no indication that we are currently approaching a Maunder-type minimum in solar activity.”

The solar cycle prediction gives a rough idea of the frequency of space weather storms of all types, from radio blackouts to geomagnetic storms and solar radiation storms. It is used by many industries to gauge the potential impact of space weather in the coming years. Space weather can affect power grids, critical military, airline, and shipping communications, satellites and Global Positioning System (GPS) signals, and can even threaten astronauts by exposure to harmful radiation doses.

Solar Cycle 24 reached its maximum – the period when the Sun is most active – in April 2014 with a peak average of 82 sunspots. The Sun’s Northern Hemisphere led the sunspot cycle, peaking over two years ahead of the Southern Hemisphere sunspot peak.

Solar cycle forecasting is a new science

While daily weather forecasts are the most widely used type of scientific information in the U.S., solar forecasting is relatively new. Given that the Sun takes 11 years to complete one solar cycle, this is only the fourth time a solar cycle prediction has been issued by U.S. scientists. The first panel convened in 1989 for Cycle 22.

For Solar Cycle 25, the panel hopes for the first time to predict the presence, amplitude, and timing of any differences between the northern and southern hemispheres on the Sun, known as Hemispheric Asymmetry. Later this year, the Panel will release an official Sunspot Number curve which shows the predicted number of sunspots during any given year and any expected asymmetry. The panel will also look into the possibility of providing a Solar Flare Probability Forecast.

“While we are not predicting a particularly active Solar Cycle 25, violent eruptions from the sun can occur at any time,” said Doug Biesecker, Ph.D., panel co-chair and a solar physicist at NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center.

An example of this occurred on July 23, 2012 when a powerful coronal mass ejection (CME) eruption missed the Earth but enveloped NASA’s STEREO-A satellite.

Powerful eruption from the surface of the sun captured on May 1, 2013. NASA

2013 study estimated that the U.S. would have suffered between $600 billion and $2.6 trillion in damages, particularly to electrical infrastructure, such as power grid, if this CME had been directed toward Earth. The strength of the 2012 eruption was comparable to the famous 1859 Carrington event that caused widespread damage to telegraph stations around the world and produced aurora displays as far south as the Caribbean.

The Solar Cycle Prediction Panel forecasts the number of sunspots expected for solar maximum, along with the timing of the peak and minimum solar activity levels for the cycle. It is comprised of scientists representing NOAA, NASA, the International Space Environment Services, and other U.S. and international scientists. The outlook was presented on April 5 at the 2019 NOAA Space Weather Workshop in Boulder, Colo.

For the latest space weather forecast, visit https://www.swpc.noaa.gov/

Researchers find that the sun’s magnetic field is ten times stronger than previously believed

Tallbloke's Talkshop


Another of the sun’s secrets comes into view.

The sun’s magnetic field is ten times stronger than previously believed, new research from Queen’s University Belfast and Aberystwyth University has revealed.

The new finding was discovered by Dr. David Kuridze, Research Fellow at Aberystwyth University, reports Phys.org.

Dr. Kuridze began the research when he was based at Queen’s University Belfast and completed it when he moved to Aberystwyth University in 2017. He is a leading authority on the use of ground-based telescopes to study the sun’s corona, the ring of bright light visible during a total eclipse.

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Global Cooling: The Real Climate Threat

From the American Thinker:

Climate alarmists constantly warn us that man-made global warming is making our world less habitable and that climate doomsday is fast approaching.  But a closer look at our climate reveals a surprising climate discovery that our mainstream media have conveniently ignored for decades: the role of the sun in determining Earth’s climate.

For the first time in humanity’s history, our leaders could be actively devising policies — based on their defiant and biased obsession with global warming — that will render us highly vulnerable to even the slightest cooling in our climatic system.

“We are causing irreversible damage to our environment,” “We are headed for a climate doomsday due to excessive warming,” “Climate change may wipe out humanity” — these are our everyday news headlines.

As a climate scientist, I find these headlines, and the stories they introduce, vague and full of hasty generalizations.  The repeated, one-dimensional doomsday cry about carbon dioxide’s role in global temperature blinds the public to other causes.

CO2 is just one of many factors that influence global temperatures.  Its role in recent warming is far from dominant.  Indeed, there is poor correlation between CO2 emissions and global temperature.  Between 2000 and 2018, global temperature showed no significant increase despite a steep increase in carbon dioxide emissions from anthropogenic sources.  The same was the case between the years 1940 and 1970.  When carbon dioxide concentration increases at a constant and steady rate and temperature doesn’t follow the pattern, we can be certain that carbon dioxide is not the primary driver of global temperature.

If not CO2, what?

Life on Earth is possible because of Earth’s perfect positioning in the solar system: not too close to the sun and not too far.  For centuries, academicians have acknowledged this, and climate scientists today know that the sun is the biggest influencer and driver of global temperature.

NASA’s page on solar influence clearly states that changes in the sun largely determine Earth’s atmospheric and surface temperatures.  Astrophysicists and climatologists measure these changes in the sun in terms of quantifiable phenomena such as sunspot activity and solar cycles.

However, in recent times, NASA has succumbed to pressure from climate doomsday proponents.  NASA’s original page on the sun’s impact on our climate system is now hidden from the public domain.

With the advent of dangerous man-made global warming theory, CO2 has taken the limelight, and the sun has been relegated to a mere spectator.

This could be warming-obsessed alarmists’ biggest mistake ever.

In central Europe, for example, temperature changes since 1990 coincided more with the changes in solar activity than with atmospheric CO2 concentration.  The same has been true globally, and across centuries.

The Maunder Minimum (1645–1715) and Dalton Minimum (1790–1830) — periods of low solar activity — were responsible for the coldest periods of the Little Ice Age.  England’s River Thames froze.  Whole civilizations collapsed as people starved because cold-induced poor harvests led to malnutrition that made people too weak to resist disease.  Likewise, increased solar activity in the Roman Warm Period (~250 B.C. to A.D. 400) and Medieval Warm Period (~A.D. 950–1250) brought warmer temperatures on Earth, and thriving crops led to greater nutrition and lower mortality rates.

Hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific papers affirm the overwhelming impact of solar activity on Earth’s temperature.

But will there be a cooling?

Observations of sunspot activity at the Space Weather Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) indicate that there has been a lull in solar activity during the past 18 years — the same period during which there has been no significant warming, confirming a direct correlation between solar activity and global average temperature.

Some climate scientists say another major cooling is likely soon.  Their claims are not outlandish.

Evidence for the lull in solar activity is so clear that even NASA admits the cooling trend.  Martin Mlynczak of NASA’s Langley Research Center commented, “We see a cooling trend[.] … High above Earth’s surface, near the edge of space, our atmosphere is losing heat energy.  If current trends continue, it could soon set a Space Age record for cold.”

Most recent scientific studies on solar cycles suggest that the next solar cycles (25 and 26) could be similar to the Maunder and Dalton minima that plunged much of the world into disastrous cold.

An article in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Astrophysics and Space Science last month warns that the solar minimum might already have begun.  Its authors also say there is a high possibility that it will be even colder than those of the Little Ice Age.

That is disturbing news.

Most of our current efforts — including the choice of our renewable energy technologies and our anti–fossil fuel developmental policies — are incompatible with fighting off the impacts of severe cold weather (localized and short-term), let alone long-lasting and global cooling like what happened with the solar minima of the Little Ice Age.

In the event of global cooling, people all over the world — the poor, especially — will be vulnerable.  Our vulnerability will be largely because of global warming alarmists’ neglect of climate reality and the power-hungry climate agenda currently dominating national and international politics.

Vijay Jayaraj (M.Sc., Environmental Science, University of East Anglia, England), contributor to the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, lives in Chennai, India.

Climate: In Case You Were Wondering

Reblogged from Watts Up With That:

Guest opinion by David Archibald

The global warming hysteria was reaching a crescendo in the lead up to the climate confab in Copenhagen in 2009 when a civic-minded person released the Climategate emails, deflating the whole thing. Those emails demonstrated that the science behind global warming was more like science fiction, concocted from the fevered imaginations of the scientists involved.

Nigh on 10 years have passed since then and we are currently experiencing another peak in the hysteria that seems to be coordinated worldwide. But why? Why now? The global warming scientists have plenty of time on their hands and plenty of money. Idle curiosity would have got some to have a stab at figuring out what is going to happen to climate. Do they see an imminent cooling and they have to get legislation in place before that is apparent?

The passage of those ten years has given us another lot of data points on the global warming. There are now 40 years of satellite measurements of atmospheric temperature and this is how that plots up for the Lower 48 States:

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What the graph shows is the departure from the average for the 30 years from 1981 to 2010. The last data point is February 2019 with a result of -0.03 degrees C. So we have had 40 years of global warming and the temperature has remained flat. In fact it is slightly cooler than the long term average. Is it possible to believe in global warming when the atmosphere has cooled? No, not rationally. Is it possible for global warming to be real if the atmosphere has cooled? Again no.

Now let’s look at carbon dioxide which is supposed to be driving the global warming, if it was happening. A lab high up on Mauna Loa in Hawaii has been measuring the atmospheric concentration since 1958. As it is the annual change in concentration that is supposed to be driving global warming let’s see how that plots up:

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What it shows is that the driving effect has been in a wide band from 1979 when the satellites to measure temperature went up but the trend is flat. Think about that – 40 years of forcing and no result in the actual atmospheric temperature. If it was ever going to happen it would have happened by now.

The opposite of global warming is global cooling. What are the chances of that? Pretty good in fact. Only one graph is need to show the potential for that – the aa Index which is a measure of the Sun’s magnetic field strength. Records of that have been kept since 1868:

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The second half of the 20th century had a solar magnetic field strength that was 50% higher than that of the last 60 years of the Little Ice Age. That ended in 2006. We are now back to the solar activity levels of the 19th century and that may bring the sort of climate our forbears had then.

And so it has come to pass. January-February had record cold over North America. Seemingly the polar vortex was everywhere because Japan also had record cold.

Waiting for global warming to happen is like Waiting for Godot. It is never going to happen and the wait is getting beyond tedious.

In the meantime there is no evidence for global warming and the opposite is happening, as shown by the record cold we have just experienced. It is time to stop giving global warmers the benefit of doubt – they are loons. That includes Rick Perry.


David Archibald has lectured on climate science in both Senate and House hearing rooms.

Satellite Evidence Affirms Solar Activity Drove ‘A Significant Percentage’ Of Recent Warming

Reblogged from the NoTricksZone:

In a new paper, two astrophysicists shred the IPCC-preferred and model-based PMOD solar data set and affirm the ACRIM, which is rooted in observation and shows an increase in total solar irradiance (TSI) during the 1980-2000 period. They suggest a “significant percentage” of recent climate change has been solar-driven.

Scafetta and Willson, 2019

I. The PMOD is based on proxy modeled predictions, “questionable” modifications, and degraded, “misinterpreted” and “erroneously corrected” results 

• “The PMOD rationale for using models to alter the Nimbus7/ERB data was to compensate for the sparsity of the ERBS/ERBE data and conform their gap results more closely to the proxy predictions of solar emission line models of TSI behavior.”
• “PMOD’s modifications of the published ACRIM and ERB TSI records are questionable because they are based on conforming satellite observational data to proxy model predictions.”
• “The PMOD trend during 1986 to 1996 is biased downward by scaling ERB results to the rapidly degrading ERBE results during the ACRIM-Gap using the questionable justification of agreement with some TSI proxy predictions first proposed by Lee III et al.(1995).”
• PMOD misinterpreted and erroneously corrected ERB results for an instrument power down event.”
• “PMOD used overlapping comparisons of ACRIM1 and ACRIM2 with ERBE observations and proxy models to construct their first composite. Other PMOD composites [17, 18] used different models of the ERBE-ACRIM-Gap degradation. The result of these various modifications during the ACRIM-Gap was that PMOD introduced a downward trend in the Nimbus7/ERB TSI data that decreased results by 0.8 to 0.9 W/m2 (cf. [18, 20]).”

II. The PMOD TSI composite “flawed” results were an “unwarranted manipulation” of data intended to support AGW, but are  “contraindicated”

• “The dangers of utilizing ex-post-facto corrections by those who did not participate in the original science teams of satellite experiments are that erroneous interpretations of the data can occur because of a lack of detailed knowledge of the experiment and unwarranted manipulation of the data can be made based on a desire to support a particular solar model or some other nonempirical bias. We contend that the PMOD TSI composite construction is compromised in both these ways.”
 “[O]ur scientific knowledge could be improved by excluding the more flawed record from the composite. This was the logic applied by the ACRIM team. In point of fact PMOD failed to do this, instead selecting the ERBE results that were known to be degraded and sparse, because that made the solar cycle 21–22 trend agrees with TSI proxy models and the CAGW explanation of CO2 as the driver of the global warming trend of the late 20th century.”
• “The use of unverified modified data has fundamentally flawed the PMOD TSI satellite composite construction.”
• “The consistent downward trending of the PMOD TSI composite is negatively correlated with the global mean temperature anomaly during 1980–2000. This has been viewed with favor by those supporting the COanthropogenic global warming (CAGW) hypothesis since it would minimize TSI variation as a competitive climate change driver to CO2, the featured driver of the hypothesis during the period (cf.: [IPCC, 2013, Lockwood and Fröhlich, 2008]).”
• “Our summary conclusion is that the objective evidence produced by all of the independent TSI composites [3,5, 6, 9] agrees better with the cycle-by-cycle trending of the original ACRIM science team’s composite TSI that shows an increasing trend from 1980 to 2000 and a decreasing trend thereafter. The continuously downward trending of the PMOD composite and TSI proxy models is contraindicated.”

III. The ACRIM TSI supports the conclusion that “a significant percentage” of climate change in recent decades was driven by TSI variation

Graph Source: Soon et al., 2015
• ACRIM shows a 0.46 W/m2 increase between 1986 and 1996 followed by a decrease of 0.30 W/m2 between 1996 and 2009. PMOD shows a continuous, increasing downward trend with a 1986 to 1996 decrease of 0.05 W/m2 followed by a decrease of 0.14 W/m2 between 1996 and 2009. The RMIB composite agrees qualitatively with the ACRIM trend by increasing between the 1986 and 1996 minima and decreasing slightly between 1996 and 2009.”
• “ACRIM composite trending is well correlated with the record of global mean temperature anomaly over the entire range of satellite observations (1980–2018) [Scafetta. 2009]. The climate warming hiatus observed since 2000 is inconsistent with CO2 anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) climate models [Scafetta, 2013, Scafetta, 2017]. This points to a significant percentage of the observed 1980–2000 warming being driven by TSI variation [Scafetta, 2009, Willson, 2014, Scafetta. 2009]. A number of other studies have pointed out that climate change and TSI variability are strongly correlated throughout the Holocene including the recent decades (e.g., Scafetta, 2009,  Scafetta and Willson, 2014, Scafetta, 2013Kerr, 2001, Bond et al., 2001, Kirkby, 2007, Shaviv, 2008, Shapiro et al., 2011, Soon and Legates, 2013, Steinhilber et al., 2012, Soon et al., 2014).”
• “The global surface temperature of the Earth increased from 1970 to 2000 and remained nearly stable from 2000 and 2018. This pattern is not reproduced by CO2 AGW climate models but correlates with a TSI evolution with the trending characteristics of the ACRIM TSI composite as explained in Scafetta [6,12, 27] and Willson [7].”

IV. The Correlation:

Graph Source: Soon et al., 2015
Image Source: Smith, 2017

V. The Mechanism: Higher solar activity on decadal-scales limits the seeding of clouds, which means more solar radiation is absorbed by the surface, warming the Earth 

Image Source: Fleming, 2018

Image Source: Sciencedaily.com

VI. The radiative forcing from the increase in surface solar radiation: +4.25 Wm-2/decade between 1984-2000

Image Source: Goode and Palle, 2007

Image Source(s): Hofer et al., 2017 and Kay et al., 2008

FORCE MAJEURE–The Sun’s Role in Climate Change

From the GWPF:

Henrik Svensmark, 11 Mar 2019

Executive Summary

Over the last twenty years there has been good progress in understanding the solar influence on climate. In particular, many scientific studies have shown that changes in solar activity have impacted climate over the whole Holocene period (approximately the last 10,000 years). A well-known example is the existence of high solar activity during the Medieval Warm Period, around the year 1000 AD, and the subsequent low levels of solar activity during the cold period, now called The Little Ice Age (1300–1850 AD).

An important scientific task has been to quantify the solar impact on climate, and it has been found that over the eleven-year solar cycle the energy that enters the Earth’s system is of the order of 1.0–1.5 W/m2. This is nearly an order of magnitude larger than what would be expected from solar irradiance alone, and suggests that solar activity is getting amplified by some atmospheric process.

Three main theories have been put forward to explain the solar–climate link, which are:

  • solar ultraviolet changes
  • the atmospheric-electric-field effect on cloud cover
  • cloud changes produced by solar-modulated galactic cosmic rays (energetic particles originating from inter stellar space and ending in our atmosphere).

Significant effort has gone into understanding possible mechanisms, and at the moment cosmic ray modulation of Earth’s cloud cover seems rather promising in explaining the size of solar impact.

This theory suggests that solar activity has had a significant impact on climate during the Holocene period. This understanding is in contrast to the official consensus from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, where it is estimated that the change in solar radiative forcing between 1750 and 2011 was around 0.05 W/m2, a value which is entirely negligible relative to the effect of greenhouse gases, estimated at around 2.3 W/m2. However, the existence of an atmospheric solar-amplification mechanism would have implications for the estimated climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide, suggesting that it is much lower than currently thought.

In summary, the impact of solar activity on climate is much larger than the official consensus suggests. This is therefore an important scientific question that needs to be addressed by the scientific community.

The PDF report is available here: GWPF

Declining Solar Activity

Reblogged from Watts Up With That:

BOB HOYE

In the 1990s, solar physicists, Penn and Livingston, called for a long decline in solar activity. This is the case and it is nice to see such work confirmed by events. Solar Cycles # 23 and 24 are the weakest since the early 1900s. The current run of consecutive Spotless Days is out to 33, or 75%, for the year.

The following table shows the record back to the minimum of Solar Cycle # 23 when the count was at 268 days, or 73%, for 2008.

So far this year, the count is out to 33 consecutive days, which is exceptional. So much so, that SILSO keeps a table of such long runs.

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Solar Cycle # 24 is expected to reach its minimum by late in this year.

For hundreds of millions of years such changes in solar activity have been associated with changes from warming to cooling. And back again. The long run to the recent peak in activity was the strongest in thousands of years. Despite this, temperatures were not as warm for as long as set during the Medieval Warm Period. The end to that long trend and turn to cooling in the early 1300s was drastic, causing widespread crop failures and famine in Northern Europe and England. A book by William Rosen, “The Third Horseman” covers it thoroughly. The die-off from 1315 to 1320 is estimated at some 10 percent of the population. Deaths of cattle, sheep and horses were severe as well. All due to the turn to cold and unusually wet weather.

The change to what some are calling the Modern Minimum is significant. In geological perspective, it is now a built-in cooling force.

The next chart shows that the satellite record is again approaching the flat-lying trend, which is out to some 20 years. The El Ninos of 1998 and 2016 were distinctive weather- warming events.

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NOAA’s Winter Forecast made on October 18th has been wrong on temperature and precipitation. North America has suffered a cold, snowy and lengthy winter, beyond what could be blamed upon the demon “Polar Vortex”.

Over time, diminishing solar activity has been likely to be accompanied by more cosmic rays and more cloud cover. Which would be associated with cooler and snowier winters. And possibly cooler summers, which the Danish Met Institute reported for 2018 and 2017.

A Critical Framework For Climate Change

Science Matters

This dialogue framework was proposed for a debate between William Happer and David Karoly sponsored by The Best Schools.  As you can see it reads like an high hurdle course for alarmists/activists.  There are significant objections at every leap in connecting the beliefs.

Happer’s Statement: CO₂ will be a major benefit to the Earth

Earth does better with more CO2.  CO2 levels are increasing

Atmospheric transmission of radiation: Tyndall correctly recognized in 1861 that the most important greenhouse gas of the Earth’s atmosphere is water vapor. CO2 was a modest supporting actor, then as now.

Radiative cooling of the Earth: Clouds are one of the most potent factors controlling Earth’ s surface temperature.

The Schwarzschild equation:  The observed intensity I of upwelling radiation comes from the radiation emitted by the surface and by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere above the surface. The rate of change of the intensity with altitude…

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Amid the dimmest Sun since 1978 – a month without sunspots

Reblogged from Watts Up With That:

The sun today is cue-ball blank, a perfect unmarred sphere:

Solar Dynamics Observatory HMI Continuum


The sun has just passed an entire calendar month with no sunspots. The last time this happened, in August 2008, the sun was in the nadir of a century-class Solar Minimum. The current stretch of blank suns shows that Solar Minimum has returned, and it could be as deep as the last one.

The last time a full calendar month passed without a sunspot was August 2008. At the time, the sun was in the deepest Solar Minimum of the Space Age. Now a new Solar Minimum is in progress and it is shaping up to be similarly deep. So far this year, the sun has been blank 73% of the time–the same as 2008.

Solar Minimum is a normal part of the solar cycle. Every ~11 years, sunspot counts drop toward zero. Dark cores that produce solar flares and CMEs vanish from the solar disk, leaving the sun blank for long stretches of time. These minima have been coming and going with regularity since the sunspot cycle was discovered in 1859.

Full story at Spaceweather.com


Here’s the sunspot data:

SIDC sunspot data Graph source: http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1975

Meanwhile, the sun is putting out less solar energy towards the Earth, as this graph of PMOD composite monthly total solar irradiance (TSI) data shows:

TSI in watts per square meter Graph source: http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/pmod/from:1975

What is most interesting is in the PMOD ( Physikalisch-Meteorologisches Observatorium Davos (PMOD) composite ) TSI data, measured by satellites, and endorsed by NOAA, shows a drop of 2 watts per square meter since it’s peak around 2003, to the present in 2019, where in the last month, it has literally dropped like a rock, creating the lowest value in the dataset so far.

The estimate of increased solar forcing from increased carbon dioxide and other GHG’s in Earth’s atmosphere could be up to 3 watts/square meter if model estimates are to be believed:

Changes in radiative forcing of long-lived greenhouse gases between 1979 and 2012.

This graph shows changes in radiative forcing of long-lived greenhouse gases between 1979-2012. These gases are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), chlorofluorocarbon-12 (CFC-12), CFC-11, and fifteen other minor, long-lived, halogenated gases. The 15 other halogenated gases are CFC-113tetrachloromethane (CCl4), trichloromethane (CH3CCl3); hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) 22141b and 142bhydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) 134a152a23143a, and 125sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), and halons 12111301 and 2402). The graph does not include other forcings, such as aerosols and changes in solar activity. Summary Total forcing in 1979 was 1.712 watts per square metre (W.m-2), and has steadily increased over time to 2.873 W.m-2 in 2012. Between 1979-2012, the largest contributors to radiative forcing have been CO2 and CH4. In 2012, the percentage contributions of each gas to total forcing was approximately: CO2: 64% CH4: 18% N2O: 6% CFC-12: 6% CFC-11: 2% 15 minor gases: 4% Forcing data are briefly summarized below. All the data are available in a later section as comma-separated values. The first value is the year, followed by forcing values (in W.m-2) for CO2, CH4, N2O, CFC-12, CFC-11, the 15-minor halogenated gases, and total forcing, respectively: 1979: 1.027, 0.419, 0.104, 0.092, 0.039, 0.031, 1.712 1980: 1.058, 0.426, 0.104, 0.097, 0.042, 0.034, 1.761 1990: 1.293, 0.472, 0.129, 0.154, 0.065, 0.065, 2.178 2000: 1.513, 0.494, 0.151, 0.173, 0.066, 0.083, 2.481 2010: 1.791, 0.504, 0.174, 0.170, 0.060, 0.106, 2.805 2012: 1.846, 0.507, 0.181, 0.168, 0.059, 0.111, 2.873References: Butler, J.H. and S.A. Montzka (2013-08-01) THE NOAA ANNUAL GREENHOUSE GAS INDEX (AGGI)[1], NOAA/ESRL Global Monitoring Division

It seems the sun has dimmed more than the usual amount at the end of solar cycle 24, and it could be a factor in the severe winter we are experiencing in many parts of the northern hemisphere.