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Global warming and cooling mimic Sun's magnetic activity, not CO2: a geological perspective

  • Geoclastica Ltd


Invited letter to Mr John Kerry, United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. Released August 1, 2021. 3 pages, 10 minutes. Originally posted online at … … scroll to 2nd item listed under 'UK'; contains hotlinks.
Dr. Roger Higgs
Geoclastica Ltd
Independent global
consulting geologist
To: Mr John Kerry, United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate
From: Roger Higgs (DPhil, Oxford, geology 1982-86), Geoclastica Ltd, UK
Date: 1st August 2021
Re: Global warming and cooling mimic Sun's magnetic activity, not CO2: a
geologist's perspective
Dear Mr Kerry,
In this letter I would like to explain how the IPCC has mistakenly blamed natural Sun-
driven global warming (1910-2016; see below) on human-made CO2, and why society
nevertheless needs to switch from fossil-fuel energy to nuclear.
A general public misconception is that the Sun warms the atmosphere which in turn
warms the land and ocean. This idea is 'backwards'. In fact the Sun warms the land
and ocean, which in turn warm the air (e.g. Wikipedia Greenhouse Effect ... diagram 1;
Higgs 2019 CO2 bullet points ... Bullet 5A).
The NASA-GISS and HadCRUT (UK MetOffice) temperature charts, used by the IPCC
and almost indistinguishable, show undeniable global warming of about 1°C from
1910 to 2016, interrupted by a 30-year cooling (1945-75) and a 14-year pause (1998-
2012) (NASA temp ... graph 2, global annual; HadCRUT temp!... graph 2).
Significantly the average rate (gradient) of warming does not noticeably differ for the
two main warming intervals, i.e. 1910-45 and 1975-98 (HadCRUT temp!... graph 2),
i.e. there is no obvious acceleration from one to the next (contrast CO2 continual
acceleration, see below).
Very tellingly, the charts show that the annual average 'land' (in fact near-surface air)
temperature and sea-surface (near-surface air proxy) temperature were for 85 years
the same (within error), and varied in lockstep, from 1900 (start of reliable network of
land and sea thermometers) to 1985 (NASA temp ... graph 3, land and ocean).
Consequently the separate temperature graphs for sea, land, and global (sea and land
average) are identical from 1900 to 1985, within error (compare graphs 2, 3 and 4 of
HadCRUT temp; note varying vertical scales). This equality, despite the land's much
larger annual (and daily) temperature range due to its much lower specific heat, such
that the land warms and cools much more quickly than the ocean (huge thermal
capacity), crucially proves that the ocean's average annual surface temperature
dictates that of the land (by advection of air). This is borne out by Humlum et al.
(2013): "Summing up, monthly data since January 1980 on atmospheric CO2 and sea
and air temperatures unambiguously demonstrate the overall global temperature
change sequence of events to be 1) ocean surface, 2) surface air [globally], 3) lower
troposphere", with an ocean-to-air lag of about 2 months (Humlum 2013; my
bracketed italic insertion).
Thus, on the NASA (graph 3) and HadCRUT charts, the indicated land- and sea
divergence after 1985 (land supposedly warmer than ocean; and warming faster) is
simply impossible and must reflect inadequate correction for the well known 'Urban
Heat Island' effect (e.g. Humlum climate website ... item 14 on menu bar). Due to this
artifact, land warming appears faster (higher gradient) in the second warming interval
(1975-98) than in the first (1910-45), whereas the sea is (slightly) the opposite
(HadCRUT temp ... graphs 3 & 4); thus by averaging the land and sea graphs, the
global warming rate incorrectly appears about the same for both intervals (HadCRUT
temp ... graph 2).
Earth's 1910-2016 punctuated warming (above) mimics the Sun's varying magnetic
output, believed to govern global temperature via cosmic-ray-controlled cloudiness in
the Svensmark Theory (Wikipedia Svensmark). A temperature lag of decades is
revealed by simple graphical cross-correlation (visual matching of zigzag bends; Higgs
2021 Geol Soc London climate conference ... slides 2, 5) and is readily attributable to
ocean thermal inertia ('ocean memory'), i.e. slowness of ocean warming/cooling due
to its vast thermal capacity and sluggish worldwide 'conveyor-belt' circulation
(Wikipedia AMOC).
Atmospheric CO2 levels, in contrast, match Earth's punctuated and non-accelerating
warming poorly. Instead, rising CO2 by human emissions since about 1850 (start of
Industrial Revolution) has progressively accelerated and lacks temperature's 1945-75
decline (UCSD CO2 curve ... hover on '1700-present' in blue menu bar).
These simple observations suggest that by pure chance human CO2 additions
accompanied Sun-driven global warming, the recovery from the ~1400-1900 Little Ice
Age (Higgs 2021 Geol Soc London climate conference ... slide 2), which was likewise
solar driven (Lean & Rind 1999). Additional CO2 is, by the laws of physical chemistry,
released by warming ocean water (i.e. product, not cause), as shown by changes in
temperature preceding changes in CO2 (by about 12 months; Humlum 2013).
Two further facts support the idea that CO2 made no contribution to warming: (1) the
Sun's variations show the same proportionality as Earth's temperature variations;
and (2) the recently ended phenomenal solar magnetic surge from 1700AD (near the
Little Ice Age nadir) until 1991, interrupted by downturns, was the strongest in at least
8,000 years and reached the highest value (1991; Higgs 2021 Geol Soc London climate
conference ... slides 2, 3).
These observations suggest (and require) that CO2's theoretically sound 'greenhouse
effect', already very near 'saturation', is compensated by overlooked negative
feedback(s), such as Biogenic Volatile Organic Compound (BVOC) feedback, whereby
forests, fertilised by additional CO2, release more solar-reflective aerosols (Higgs
2021 CO2 Greenhouse Effect Negated By Feedback). Overcompensation is more likely
than exact balance, implying, ironically, that rising CO2 may have an indirect net
effect of slight cooling, which is outweighed by solar warming.
The IPCC, whose hundreds-strong author teams inexplicably lack geologists (Higgs
2019 IPCC Author Teams Lack Geologists), excludes the following from its CO2-
centered climate models: BVOC; ocean lag; and solar-magnetic variations, which
more than doubled in the 20th century alone (Lockwood 1999), as opposed to the
negligible accompanying lockstep changes in 'total solar irradiance', a very different
property. The IPCC's latest (2013-14) major assessment report (AR5) subjectively
dismissed Svensmark's Theory in its 'Summary for Policymakers': "No robust
association between changes in cosmic rays and cloudiness has been identified. {7.4,
10.3, Box 10.2}", the bracketed items referring to sections of other chapters (IPCC
2013 SPM).
Correlations more detailed (work in progress) than in my Geological Society slide 5
(Higgs 2021 Geol Soc London climate conference) suggest that 'ocean lag' (between
magnetic- and corresponding temperature peaks) is currently 56 years, e.g. Earth's
2016 average global temperature, the highest yet recorded by the global thermometer
network (but exceeded numerous times in the last 10,000 years ... Higgs 2020
Strongest warming in 10,000 years ... slide 4), corresponds to the Sun's 1960
magnetic peak (Lockwood 1999 ... fig. 3 upper part). Thus, cooler temperatures are
predictable for about 20 years from 2016, corresponding to the two substantially
weaker solar cycles after 1960 (same fig. 3; supported by overall cooling since 2016 ...
NASA temp graphs ... graph 6, global monthly). Then warming should resume, to a
peak near 2045, lagging about 56 years behind the 1991 solar magnetic peak (even
stronger than 1960; same fig. 3). Then cooling should ensue for decades,
corresponding to the Sun's ongoing decline since its 1991 peak (e.g. see 1965-2021
cosmic-ray arrivals, inverse proxy for solar magnetic output ... Oulu Cosmic Ray
Station ... third chart).
In conclusion, based on my 35-year (since doctorate) geology career, and the last 5
years of intense private unpaid (impartial) literature research on all of the scientific
disciplines relevant to climate, I am very confident that CO2 is purely beneficial for
Earth, stimulating agricultural productivity (much needed for feeding 8 billion
people) and forest growth, and non-influential in climate change. Nevertheless,
petroleum reserves are dwindling, therefore the only way to ensure reliable future
energy is to transition swiftly to nuclear power, and to hasten the development of
clean fusion. We do indeed need to find alternatives to oil, but not because of CO2.
Carbon capture is a multi-trillion-dollar waste of money, "tilting at windmills", if
you'll pardon the terrible pun. There is no climate emergency.
Thank you for your time Mr Kerry.
Yours sincerely,
Roger Higgs
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