An important premise of settled climate science is that we should ignore the big hot yellow thing in the sky that supplies 99.99+% of all the thermal energy on Earth. Oh sure, it’s up there doing stuff. However as NASA’s Goddard Institute for Global Warming Alarmism recently insisted, “Our planet is constantly trying to balance the flow of energy in and out of Earth’s system. But human activities are throwing that off balance”. So imagine their annoyance when it turns out there’s new evidence Mr. Sun turns El Niño and La Niña on and off in the Pacific.
There are those, and again Michael Mann is near the front of the parade, who say evidence shmevidence, climate is basically all human CO2 and aerosols. But this position is silly since the planet had climate long before it had human influence, and the oceans clearly play a massive role, not only because they are massive carbon and heat sinks but also because they are very turbulent things forever rushing about moving that heat in ways that matter a great deal even if we struggle to understand let alone control them.
The issue of the sun and climate is also complicated by the fact that while the sun does experience cycles, the total amount of incoming energy doesn’t vary much at all, leading some to deny its importance to climate change. But others like Hans Svensmark and Fritz Vahrenholt (whom Wikipedia ridicules) and Sebastian Lüning (whom it ignores) have argued that the “solar wind” of charged particles, which does vary considerably over its cycles, helps screen Earth from cosmic rays that in turn tend to seed low-altitude clouds that reflect heat, so its strength or weakness has a major impact on climate although as computer modellers can’t cope with clouds they tend to ignore them and this effect.
Yes, it’s as bad as it sounds. And worse, because they also ignore it because orthodox climate science is the person with a hammer to whom everything looks like a nail. There’s no use having the sun determine climate because we can’t control the sun. (Mind you some, including Bill Gates, seem to think we can undertake a massive geoengineering project to bounce its life-giving warmth right back into space, no thanks, and predict and control the result so that nothing could go wrong such as, say, triggering a new glaciation.) For the same reason, climate science has remained largely uninterested in evidence of warming on other bodies in our solar system in the late 20th century, though it might have fascinated them had they been more interested in the solar wind theory.
For the same reason, though on a less cosmic scale, they might have found this evidence sooner had they been looking for it. According to Scott McIntosh of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), a co-author of the paper “Termination of Solar Cycle and Correlated Tropospheric Variability” aka When Sun Met Currents, although both solar cycles and El Niño/La Niña have been known for centuries, “the scientific community has been unclear on the role that solar variability plays in influencing weather and climate events here on Earth. This study shows there’s reason to believe it absolutely does and why the connection may have been missed in the past.”
That reason, he says, is that the 11-year cycles are a bit murky and they instead looked at the full 22-year “clock” of the Sun’s “magnetic polarity cycle”. Which is sort of true. But it’s also true, and important, that many scientists weren’t looking for it, especially in the last 30 years. They, and their government funders, were looking for proof that man-made CO2 was evil.