Eigil Friis-Christensen - Solar Activity and Climate Change

Solar Activity and Climate Change

Friis-Christensen's 1991 paper, "Length of the Solar Cycle: An Indicator of Solar Activity Closely Associated with Climate", published in Science, presented his findings on global warming and sun activity correlation. The New York Times reviewed the Science article on 5 November 1991, stating, "While the correlation established by Dr. Friis-Christensen and Dr. Lassen falls short of definite proof, a number of scientists nevertheless called it remarkable in its close fit between the solar and temperature trends." Subsequent work with updated data has found that the correlation has not stood up.

In 2009, a number of leading experts, including one Nobel laureate, concluded that the graphs of Friis-Christensen and Svensmark showing apparent correlations between global warming, sunspots and cosmic rays were deeply flawed. Friis-Christensen agreed that any correlation between sunspots and global warming that he may have identified in the 1991 study has since broken down. There is, he said, a clear "divergence" between the sunspots and global temperatures after 1986, which shows that the present warming period cannot be explained by solar activity alone.

In 1997, Friis-Christensen and Henrik Svensmark revived suggestions of a possible link between galactic cosmic rays and global climate change assisted by solar wind intensity variation, which they termed cosmoclimatology. In 2002, he became Lead Investigator of Swarm. Friis-Christensen gave the Birkeland lecture "Unrest on the sun - storms on the Earth. The magnetic connection" in Oslo on 27 September 2007 .

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