Solving the Climate Puzzle the Sun’s Surprising Role

This article is a bit long but very much worth reading. It  presents key points from a superb distillation  of what the climate science literature says. The author, Javier Vinos, a Ph.D. scientist, spent nine years studying the scientific literature on climate change.  His dedication to understanding what the science says and doesn’t say is unwavering. He fairly and thoroughly presents the case of those who accept the mainstream narrative that climate change is mainly the result of human activity. I know of no better quick course in how the climate system really works. Based on his review of the evidence, he does not think that CO2, much less human-caused (anthropogenic) emissions of CO2, are a meaningful driver of climate change. He concludes that climate change is almost entirely driven by natural forces. While incoming radiation from the Sun is very stable, the outgoing radiation via heat transport to the poles is highly variable. The poles act as radiators that transfer heat into space.

Notes on Solving the Climate Puzzle: The Sun’s surprising Role

January 2024

Javier Vinos

  • Climate change is energy change, specifically a change in the energy content of the upper layer of the ocean, the surface, and the lower layer of the atmosphere.
  • Definitions
  • Solar cycle: an irregular 11-year period of varying luminosity as measured by the number of sunspots per month. The solar cycle is important only in the UV part of the spectrum which is absorbed in the stratosphere.
  • Insolation :solar energy received per unit area of Earth’s surface. Insolation decreases sharply with increases in latitude.
  • Insolation gradient: The difference in the amount of energy received between the poles and the equator. The insolation gradient drives the temperature gradient, which in turn drives heat transport.
  • Albedo: the reflection of shortwave solar radiation back into space.
  • ( Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ):  an area where warm, moist trade winds converge and rise by convection to form a band of clouds and storms that circle the Earth around the equator. The ITCZ is the planet’s climactic equator.
  • Net flux: the difference between thermal radiation received and emitted.
  • Radiative balance: the balance between incoming and outgoing energy.
  • Climatic forcing: any physical process that causes an imbalance.
  • Enhanced CO2 Effect Hypothesis: the theory that global warming is mainly due to feedback mechanisms that amplify the direct warming effect of CO2.
  • Polar Vortex: a wall of strong winds that surround the polar regions and restrict heat transport.
  • Quasi-biennial oscillation: equatorial winds in the stratosphere that change direction about every two years. The easterly phase weakens the polar vortex.

Part 1. Climate and Energy


Solar energy

  • The climate system receives 99.9% of its energy from solar radiation, which varies  by only 0.1% over a solar cycle
  • Solar energy drives the climate system.
  • The diversity of climates is caused by differences in energy reaching different latitudes.
  • What causes the seasons: a change in solar radiation caused by a change in the position of sun relative to the Earth’s axis.
  • Most of incoming energy falls on the tropics and subtropics.


  • highest at high latitudes.
  • Clouds are responsible for almost half of the Earth’s albedo.
  • Interannual variability is quite low.
  • The atmosphere reflects 7 times as much energy as the surface.

Solar energy distribution

  • The top of the atmosphere receives solar irradiance of 340 W/m2.
    • 29% is reflected energy
    • 23% is absorbed by the atmosphere
    • 48% is absorbed at the surface
  • Of the energy absorbed by the climate system,
    • 50% is absorbed by the ocean
    • 33% by the atmosphere
    • 17% by the land surface
    • 1.2% of the solar energy is received by the stratosphere, almost all in the UV part of the spectrum.
  • For the planet to maintain its temperature, all the energy it receives from the Sun must find its way back to the top of the atmosphere.


Outgoing Energy

  • Energy received from the Sun is radiated back into space as heat in the infrared end of the spectrum.
  • The tropics and subtropics receive more heat than they emit while the middle and high latitudes experience a deficit.
  • The transport of heat from the surplus to the deficit regions is the most fundamental feature of the climate.
  • If a body receives a different amount of thermal radiation than it emits, it will adjust its temperature until there is a balance between what is emitted and what is received.
  • The amount of energy radiated by the Earth increases when the Earth is cooler and vice versa.
  • The Earth’s atmosphere is highly opaque to infrared radiation due to greenhouse gases (GHGs) which absorb energy in the infrared spectrum. Consequently, it returns most of the energy received from the surface back to it.

Energy Budget

  • Outgoing longwave radiation has been increasing over the last 40 years; if the planet has warmed, it is due to an increase in shortwave radiation. Warming despite an increase in infrared radiation is not consistent with the greenhouse theory.
  • The primary way by which the surface heats the atmosphere is through evaporation.
  • There is no net heat flux from the atmosphere to the oceans.
  • The Earth’s energy imbalance is ~0.75W/m2 about 93% of which ends up in the ocean.

Greenhouse effect

  • Water is about 10x more abundant than all the other GHGs combined.
  • The greenhouse effect comes from the increased opacity of the atmosphere to infrared radiation.
  • The greenhouse effect is greatly diminished in the polar atmosphere in winter when water vapor and clouds, the primary drivers of opacity, are scarce.

Enhanced CO2 hypothesis

  • A doubling of CO2 would cause a temperature increase of about 1⁰ C (1.8⁰F) ceteris paribus.
  • The hypothesis proposes that
    • Almost all the warming since 1951 is due to the rise in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere;
    • Since the observed warming is greater than what would be expected from an increase in  CO2 concentrations alone, the hypothesis further proposes that feedback mechanisms amplify the direct warming effect.
  • The feedbacks, however, are impossible to measure because it is impossible to distinguish the feedbacks from the signal (CO2) observed.
  • The hypothesis is supported by computer models but not by evidence.


What we call climate is the transport of heat

  • The difference in the absorption of radiation between the equator and the poles causes a latitudinal temperature gradient which determines the climatic state and Earth’s average temperature.
  • The latitudinal gradient induces a meridional (poleward) transport of heat.
  • Climate is a manifestation of heat transport.
  • Moist air rises because it is less dense than dry air.
  • At low latitudes, winds flow easterly against the Earth’s rotation, thus reducing its rotational speed.

How heat is transported

  • The primary driver of heat transport is the atmosphere. Its importance increases with latitude.
  • About 1/3 of the Earth’s transported heat is carried by the ocean; the remaining 2/3 is carried by the atmosphere. Atmospheric heat transport becomes relatively more important at increasing latitudes.
  • Certain features of the Arctic make cause it to have an outsize effect on climate change:
    • It has the largest net radiation of any region on Earth.
    • The difference between summer and winter conditions is greater than anywhere else.
    • It is the most sensitive region on Earth to climate change.
    • Atmospheric circulation and poleward transport are much stronger in the winter hemisphere.
    • The Arctic is the largest heat sink (an environment capable of absorbing heat) on the planet in winter.

Heat Transport and Climate Change

  • Energy arrives from the Sun. Some is reflected (albedo); the rest is absorbed, transported within the climate system, and emitted at the top of the atmosphere.
  • Climate models assume that changes in atmospheric and oceanic heat transport balance each other out so it they do not affect climate change.
    • This assumption does not have empirical support.
    • Changes in poleward heat transport can affect climate change if they are big enough to affect the radiation balance at the top of the atmosphere by changing albedo and outgoing thermal radiation.


Tropospheric transport

  • Most of the heat in the atmosphere that moves toward the poles occurs in the troposphere, primarily over ocean basins.
  • Wind speed plays a critical role in heat transport as a driver of transport itself and a determinant of evaporation.

Stratospheric transport

  • Air from the troposphere (surface to about 3.7-6.2 miles) rises into the stratosphere (top of troposphere to 32 miles) in the tropics.
  • Planetary scale atmospheric waves originate in the stratosphere, mostly at 30-60⁰ north. These waves are “giant meanders in high altitude winds” (Wikipedia), caused by the Earth’s rotation. They move vertically when the stratospheric winds move eastward, providing energy and momentum in the stratosphere.
  • The ozone layer absorbs energy in the UV parts of the spectrum, heating the stratosphere from above.
  • Most of the heat transported in the stratosphere flows toward the winter pole. This transport is facilitated by a circulation system driven by the momentum of planetary waves, which act as a pump. The waves weaken the polar vortex in winter, causing greater heat loss to space from a warmer polar region.
  • The strength of these waves is modulated by the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation, a change of direction in the stratospheric winds every two years that significantly affects the troposphere. The easterly phase of the oscillation weakens the northern polar vortex. The Arctic experiences warmer temperatures during winter. A warmer Arctic means more heat is lost.

Stratosphere-Troposphere interactions

  • The stratosphere plays an important role in determining mid to high latitude surface temperature and pressure patterns during winter and in influencing the location of tropospheric jet streams and storm tracks.
  • During winter, changes in the Arctic stratosphere occur that are strongly influenced by the solar cycle despite no solar radiance. This indicates that a solar effect on climate act through changes in atmospheric circulation.

Winter transport to the Arctic

  • Atmospheric wave activity increases stratospheric transport and weakens the northern polar vortex. Consequently:
    • The Earth rotates faster in winter so the rotation period is slightly shortened
    • The northern polar vortex becomes weaker and more variable.
  • Seasonal changes in heat transport are driven by large variations in atmospheric circulation since the atmosphere is the primary means of heat transport.
  • Stratospheric heat transport is responsible for 20% of poleward heat transport at70⁰ N in winter versus only 7% in summer. Almost all of this heat is lost as outgoing longwave radiation at the top of the atmosphere.
  • Atmospheric wave activity weakened polar vortex greater heat transport to the Arctic in the stratosphere.

Ocean transport is largely wind-driven

  • The ocean is the primary source of poleward heat transport in the tropics.
  • The ocean stores 96% of the energy in the climate system and receives 75% of the energy delivered by the Sun to the Earth’s surface.
  • The ocean contributes @ 25% of global poleward transport.
  • Winds play a critical role in ocean heat transport and the amount of heat transported by winds is proportional to the magnitude of wind stress. Implications:
    • Atmospheric circulation is primarily responsible for heat transport on a global scale, either directly or through its influence on oceanic transport.
    • Atmospheric and oceanic heat transport cannot compensate for one another because they are fundamentally linked by wind action which affects both in the same direction.
  • The effect of the solar cycle on the Sun is indirect, occurring through the atmosphere.
  • Winter atmospheric circulation and heat transport are more intense in the Northern hemisphere due to increased atmospheric wave activity.

Part 2. Natural Climate Change

Section 5. THE OCEAN

El Niño

  • El Niño is a climate pattern in the Pacific where heat is drawn from the subsurface of the equatorial ocean and transported poleward via the ocean and the atmosphere. It creates surface warming but a reduction of energy in the climate system due to higher outgoing thermal radiation.
  • El Niño only occurs when there is a high need for heat transport.

Ocean Oscillations

  • Since energy from the Sun in the tropics remains relatively constant, multidecadal change in the surface energy of large ocean basins must be due to poleward heat transport.
  • Internal climate variability is equivalent to variability in the magnitude and geographic distribution of poleward heat transport.


Why Earth was warmer in the distant past

  • The polar regions act as cooling radiators.
  • Over the past  millions of years, tectonic changes have transformed Earth from a warm, heat retaining planet into a cold, heat radiating climate.
  • Tectonic changes completely altered the poleward transport of heat through the atmosphere over the ocean basins. For example, as the tectonic plates slid over the Earth’s mantle, the Arctic Gateway began to open about  55 million years ago, initiating global cooling. Other tectonic plate-driven changes in the Earth’s geography that caused the Earth to lose more heat include the rise of the Himalayas and the closing of the Panama Gateway. Essentially, changes in the position and size of the Earth’s tectonic plates changed the efficiency with which the Earth radiated heat from its poles.
  • The more heat radiated from the poles, the greater the temperature gradient between the equator and the poles and therefore, the greater the heat transport.
  • How could the poles be warmer with less heat transport?

The less heat transported to the poles – and then radiated into space – the warmer the poles and the planet as a whole become. The poles are highly efficient radiators. The more heat transported, the cooler the system stays.

Past Climate Change and CO2 levels

  • During the Pleistocene epoch (2.5 million to 11,700 years ago, temperatures dropped sharply for thousands of years while atmospheric concentrations of CO2 remained high. This would be impossible if the CO2 hypothesis were correct.
  • Over the past 10,000 years,CO2 and temperature have changed in the opposite direction.
  • Modern global warming began 180 years ago, well before the acceleration in emissions that has occurred since 1960.
  • Given the increase in emissions, the increase in temperature does not show the acceleration that would be expected if atmospheric CO2 were a significant driver.
  • During the Holocene epoch, which began 11,700 years ago, there were numerous abrupt climactic events, about 2 per millenium, which could not have been caused by changes in CO2 levels. The Holocene Climatic Optimum (9,500-5,500 years ago) was warmer than present.

Past solar activity and climate

  • The four periods of lowest solar activity during the Holocene coincide with four of the largest and most well-known abrupt climate events of the Holocene where substantial cooling occurred.
  • The present phase is supposed to be warm regardless of emissions due to increased solar activity since the end of the Little Ice Age (early fourteenth to mid-nineteenth century).
  • Historical events such as the Roman and Medieval warm periods, the Dark Ages cold period, and the Little Ice Age cannot be explained by the Enhanced CO2 Effect climate hypothesis.
  • Periodic long-term changes ins solar activity have caused profound climate changes in the past.
  • In short, past warming and cooling periods had little or nothing to do with human-generated emissions of CO2.

Section 7. VOLCANOS

Volcanos and climate change

  • Volcanic activity does not appear to play a major role as a climate forcing on centennial and longer time scales.
  • Their effect on temperature typically lasts a few years at most.
  • Changes in the frequency of volcanic eruptions correlate with changes in the tilt of the Earth’s axis.

Volcanic contribution to the Little Ice Age

  • The Law Dome Antarctic ice core shows that CO2 levels did not change from 1100 to 1500 by more than 3 parts per million (ppm). This disconfirms the supposed relationship between CO2 levels and temperature since during this period there was deep cooling. Temperatures can change for hundreds or even thousands of years without a corresponding change in CO2 levels.
  • The evidence is compelling that cooler temperatures coincide with solar minimums.
  • Volcanic activity during the Little Ice Age was extremely low for most of this period. CO2 cannot be a contributor to climate change if it remained constant during periods of significant cooling.

Section 8. THE SUN

Effects of a grand solar minimum

  • During the past 6,000 years, the largest abrupt climate changes coincide with three major 200-year grand solar minimums. This suggests that the Sun is the major driver of Holocene climate change.
  • Why scientists reject the idea that solar activity is a significant contributor to global warming:
    1. Changes in solar irradiance are too small to cause a change in the energy flux needed to cause climate change.
    2. Trends in temperature and solar activity have not coincided in recent decades.
  • Why scientists are wrong to dismiss the contribution of solar activity:
    1. Changes in total solar irradiance are not the only way that solar activity affects climate.
    2. The effect of solar activity does not result in a direct linear change in surface temperatures. Solar activity affects climate in a non-linear way.
  • The paleoclimate evidence suggests that solar activity, not CO2, is the primary driver of climate change on centennial and millennial scales.
  • What happens to the atmosphere where solar activity becomes low over many decades:
    1. The Arctic polar vortex weakens.
    2. There is an increase in the exchange of air masses between the Arctic and midlatitudes, resulting in very cold winters in the midlatitudes of the Northern Hemisphere.
    3. The poleward transport of heat, which is radiated into space from the poles, increases.
    4. A steeper temperature gradient between the equator and the poles directs more heat from the oceans and atmosphere, thus causing the planet to cool as it loses energy.
  • Climate models ignore this phenomenon.
  • The North Atlantic region is the main pathway for heat transport to the poles; therefore, it cools the most.

Known effects of the solar cycle

  • More solar heat remains in the ocean during periods of high solar activity because the atmosphere transports less of it.
  • The known dynamical effects of the solar cycle have one thing in common: they alter the transport of heat to the poles.
  • High solar activity means less heat transport to the poles and vice-versa.
  • The effect of increased solar activity is minimal in the tropics and weaker in the Southern Hemisphere.

The stratospheric pathway

An increase in solar activity leads to an increase in UV radiation relative to total radiation. The increase in UV radiation increases ozone production and raises temperatures by about 1.5⁰ in the tropical ozone layer. A warmer tropical ozone layer creates a larger temperature gradient between the tropical and polar stratospheres. The greater the gradient, the greater the speed of the zonal (east-west) winds in the stratosphere. Faster zonal winds influence planetary waves; specifically, they make it more difficult for planetary waves to reach the stratosphere. The polar vortex thus remains strong ,so less heat is transported to the poles and radiated into space. In sum the Sun affects climate not directly, but indirectly by changing the pattern of atmospheric circulation.

The solar cycle and Rotation of the Earth

  • Solar activity affects the Earth’s rotational speed by changing the strength of the meridional (north-south or south-north) circulation, which is responsible for heat transport to the poles.
  • Low solar activity increases atmospheric circulation, causing the Earth to rotate faster and directing more heat to the Artic in winter. The more heat transported to the poles, the greater the radiation into space.

Part 3. The Winter Gatekeeper Hypothesis


1976 is the year the climate changed

  • The most recent period of global warming began in 1976 when there was a sudden global climate shift due to changes in atmospheric circulation, characterized by an increase in zonal winds and a decrease in meridional winds. These changes reduced pole-ward heat transport.
  • Climate models cannot explain this shift.

Climate regimes and shifts

  • The climate system exhibits abrupt (italics added) changes on all time scales.
  • These abrupt changes are not significantly related to atmospheric concentrations of CO2, but instead seem to be related to changes in heat transport.
  • Abrupt climate shifts are reversible. The “tipping point” concept is not germane.

In 1997 The climate changed again.

  • Global warming paused.
  • Climate models cannot explain this.

Arctic warming is not amplification

  • For the Arctic to show increased winter warming, an increase in poleward heat transport is necessary.
  • Climate regimes, alternative stable states separated by abrupt transitions, are distinct states of atmospheric circulation with different levels of poleward heat transport.


  • Climate models do not reflect reality, so they are not scientific evidence.
  • The theory that global warming is caused mainly by a steady increase in man-caused emissions of CO2 is contradicted by numerous observations across many time scales. Examples:
    • The global climate experienced an intense warming in the early 20th century and a clear cooling in the middle of the 20th century.
    • At the end of the last interglacial period, about 124,000 years ago, temperatures decreased over 8,000 years while CO2 levels remained unchanged.

Internal variability is not well understood

  • Natural climate oscillations are not the result of random stochastic processes.
  • Multidecadal trends and synchronized phase changes across hemispheres suggest that the changes observed are manifestations of an underlying global driver.

Meridional transport variability is neglected

  • The weather and climate we experience outside the tropics are determined by differences in insolation and the varying amounts of heat and moisture transported to where we live.
  • Changes in global atmospheric circulation drive changes in global heat transport.
  • When the east-west (zonal) component of the circulation increases, there is a reduction in poleward heat transport; the climate warms.
  • Conversely when global atmospheric circulation increases in the north- south (meridional) direction, there is an increase in heat transport; the planet cools.

Unsolved solar question

  • The IPCC asserts that since the Sun’s energy output varies by less than 0.1%, its effect on climate is negligible. It holds this position despite exhaustive evidence that periods of low solar activity coincide with the most abrupt climatic events. For example there were no concurrent changes in CO2 levels or notable volcanic eruptions during the Little Ice Age (1300-1850). CO2 levels were largely unchanged during this period.
  • Why the idea that manmade emissions of CO2 drive climate change is false:
    1. There are numerous instances of past climate change that occurred independent of variations in the atmospheric concentrations of CO2.
    2. Multi-decadal trends, synchronized across hemispheres, disconfirm the idea that until man came along, climate change was a random-walk stochastic process.
    3. The “man-made CO2 drives climate change” hypothesis ignores a mountain of evidence that solar variations have a powerful influence on climate, but indirectly.


A wind-walled ice realm

  • In winter a polar vortex forms. A  polar vortex is a natural phenomenon on all rotating planets with an atmosphere. Its winds are extremely strong and act as a barrier that restricts heat transport to the Arctic whence it is radiated into space via outgoing longwave radiation.
  • The strength of the vortex influences how much heat is transported poleward. The stronger the vortex, the less heat transport and vice versa.
  • The Arctic warms more in winters with a weakened polar vortex due to increased heat inflow.
  • Winter polar regions have a very low greenhouse effect because there is little atmospheric water vapor.  Since the greenhouse effect in the Arctic is much weaker than in other regions, the effectiveness of infrared radiative cooling is enhanced, and the energy content of the climate system is reduced. The greenhouse effect in the Arctic in winter is less than half that in the tropics.
  • The stratosphere contributes 20% of the atmospheric poleward heat transport  about 70⁰ N in winter.
  • Changes in heat transport change the Earth’s energy imbalance, the major driver of climate change.
  • The paleoclimatic evidence strongly supports the poleward heat transport (Winter Gatekeeper) hypothesis.

Multiple Gatekeepers

  • Factors influencing the strength of the winter heat transport through the polar vortex:
    • Volcanic eruptions
    • The Quasi-Biennial Oscillation
    • The El Niño Southern Oscillation, the multi-decadal ocean oscillations
    • Solar activity
  • The climatic impact of each of these “gatekeepers” varies over different time scales.
  • The atmosphere transports heat through two interconnected pathways: the stratosphere and the troposphere.
  • The balance between incoming solar radiation and outgoing radiation determines climate. Incoming radiation is pretty constant; outgoing radiation is determined by the strength of the polar vortex.
  • The ozone layer and the tropical ocean define the main energy entry points in terms of heat transport; the region surrounded by the polar vortex is the main exit point.
  • Without the ozone layer, the stratosphere would be 50⁰C colder. No other known planet has an ozone layer.

The sun as centennial gatekeeper

  • Scientists have long known that solar activity affects the strength of the vortex, , planetary rotation, and winter atmospheric circulation.
  • High solar activity leads to a reduction in poleward heat transport and vice versa.
  • The outcome of each winter is influenced not only by solar activity but by other gatekeepers as well.
  • When solar activity is high in winter, enhanced ozone heating from greater UV radiation contribute to a strong temperature gradient in the stratosphere. A higher gradient increases the strength of west to east winds, which in turn reduce heat transport to the pole. The climate is warmer.
  • It is ridiculous to argue, as the IPCC does, that the simultaneous occurrence of the longest period of high solar activity in at least 600 years and pronounced warming is purely coincidental.

Section 12. THE EVIDENCE

Solar gatekeeping evidence

  • Among the various natural causes of climate change on centennial time scales, solar variability is the most important.
  • Summary of effect of solar activity on climate:
    • Solar activity high
      • Amplitude of planetary wave decreases stronger polar vortex no strengthening  winter atmospheric circulation less heat reaching the Arctic.
    • Solar activity low:
      • Increase in planetary wave amplitude weaker polar vortex stronger atmospheric circulation acceleration of Earth’s rotation more heat reaching Arctic.

Heat transport modifies the energy budget

  • Since the solar energy received at a given latitude is remarkably constant, temperature variations are primarily due to differences in heat transport.

Part 4. A Better Hypothesis


Solving Climate Puzzles of the Distant Past

  • About 26.5 million years ago, the climate transitioned into what is known as the Late Oligocene Warming. This period spanned about 2.5 million years and witnessed a global temperature increase of about 2⁰C even as CO2 levels halved from 600 to 300 ppm.

Holocene climate puzzles

  • There were more than  20 abrupt climate events during the Holocene.
  • About 2,800 years ago, for example, there was an abrupt climate cooling. This cooling is unrelated to CO2 fluctuations, but does coincide with a solar minimum.

Explaining recent climate change

  • The Little Ice Age ended in the 1840’s and was followed by significant warming.
  • There was substantial warming and glacial retreat between 1845 and 1940. This period accounts for almost half the temperature change since the end of the Little Ice Age, even though only 10% of human CO2 emissions occurred during this period.
  • Most of the climate warming over the past 175 years is due to natural causes.


Blind men and the elephant

  • Climate models cannot capture global-scale multi-decadal variability. Consequently, scientists haven’t realized that this variability is a manifestation of global changes in poleward heat transport.

Unresolved climate regimes and their shifts

  • Climate regimes, stable climate states separated by abrupt shifts, are conspicuously absent from IPCC reports.
  • The angular momentum of the atmosphere experienced a sharp increase during the 1976 climate shift toward warming. This increase was associated with a strengthening of east-west circulation at the beginning of the period of reduced poleward transport, which lasted until 1997.
  • Climate regimes and shifts result from global-scale, multi-decadal variability in heat transport that is not captured by climate models
  • The atmospheric circulation and heat transport characteristics of climate regimes make them determinants of many aspects of climate.


What’s wrong with models?

  • Models tend to overestimate the cooling and the recovery time after volcanic eruptions.
  • Models fail to accurately represent the stratospheric response to solar changes.
  • Models fail to predict severe winter weather resulting from more warming in the Arctic than at mid-latitudes.
  • Models struggle to reproduce the cooling observed between 1945 and 1975.
  • Models fail to simulate climate shifts, such as the one in 1976.
  • Models fail to reproduce historical patterns of ocean warming.
  • Models fail to capture temperature trends in the tropical troposphere and stratosphere.
  • Models fail to predict the divergence of Arctic and mid-latitude winter temperature trends.
  • Models underestimate warming in the early 20th century and overestimate warming after 1998.Model predictions are inconsistent with observed changes in the sea surface temperature gradient in the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
  • None of the models accurately reproduces the increase in summer high-pressure blocking over Greenland.
  • Models lack global-scale multi-decadal variability.
  • All models show warming in the tropical upper atmosphere that is absent from observations.
  • Models predict an observed climate variability better than they predict their own variability.
  • Models show a cold bias in the equatorial cold tongue.
  • Models do not realistically reproduce the observed annual cycle of albedo.
  • Heat transport is climate-state invariant in models despite large changes in the temperature gradient.
  • Models produce ten times smaller interannual changes in ocean latent heat flux than observed.
  • Models simulate enhanced warming over Antarctica whereas no warming has been observed.
  • Given the large increase in anthropogenic CO2 emissions since 1950, the models predict an increased rate of warming which is not matched by observations.
  • The poor performance of the models is caused by wrong assumptions of how the climate system works. They fail to account for the response to solar variability via indirect effects that drive changes in poleward heat transport.

Climate model predictions are not useful to society

  • They have been wrong for decades and show no signs of improvement.


Two contrasting futures

  • Climate models show warming rates way beyond anything observed.
  • Current warming rates show no signs of acceleration and may even be declining due to natural variability.
  • Despite rapid increases in anthropogenic CO2 emissions, the warming rate has been 0.2⁰ C per decade and has actually declined in recent years, Since 1979, satellite measurements of lower tropospheric temperature data show a lower warming rate of 0.14⁰ since 1979.
  • What drives climate change are natural variations in heat transport to the Arctic pole during winter.
  • There are two natural climate drivers on a multi-decadal time scale: solar activity and multi-decadal ocean oscillations.
  • Warming, sea level rise, and Arctic sea ice loss have not accelerated in recent years.
  • The Enhanced CO2 Effect hypothesis says all these phenomena will occur.
  • The Winter Gatekeeper hypothesis predicts minimal temperature change, no significant loss of Arctic sea ice, and a sea level rise of only 3.5 inches by 2050.


    • The greenhouse effect is strong over the tropics, weak at the poles.
    • Increased heat transport to the poles makes the planet cooler because they act as radiators.
    • Increased heat transport in winter makes the Earth spin faster.
    • The climate shows decades-long heat transport regimes, separated by abrupt shifts. The regimes manifest as oceanic oscillations that reflect different transport intensities.
    • Heat transport and energy loss are determined by the strength of the polar vortex, which is undermined by planetary waves. These waves are modulated by multiple factors, including Quasi-biennial oscillation, multi-decadal ocean oscillations, El Niño, volcanic eruptions, and solar activity. The weaker the vortex, the greater is the radiation of infrared energy to space.
    • High solar activity in the 1933-1996 period was responsible for the retention of more energy in the climate system and global warming.

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  1. Michelle Sioson

    interesting! Love this blog!

    • Sam Mitchell

      I figured out how to access comments. Thanks


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