Complaint to Ofcom Regarding The Great Global Warming Swindle

2. Complete Transcript and Rebuttal

Page 53




In 1991, senior scientists at the Danish Meteorological Institute decided to compile a record of sunspots in the 20th century and compare it with the temperature record.

[Comment 59: A graph is shown plotting temperature (blue line) against solar (red line):

Temp & Solar Activity

Although the graph is attributed by the Channel 4 programme to Svensmark and Christensen it was first published in a paper by Friis-Christensen and Lassen, Science 254, 698 (1991), see

The number of sunspots change in a cyclical way over a time period of about 11 years, but this solar cycle length varies from cycle to cycle. The documentary reports that Friis-Christensen and Lassen found a good correlation between solar cycle length and temperature. However, the documentary does not mention that after corrections and updates to their original paper the correlation after 1975 disappeared (see for instance Kristjánsson, 2001,, PDF); with the temperature rapidly increasing while the solar curve remains flat. The solar (red) line in the documentary ends in 1975 before this break-down in the correlation began, presenting a deeply misleading picture.

These later corrections in the scientific literature are summarized by Damon and Laut in a paper in EOS, Transactions American Geophysical Union, 2004 (abstract at, full version at:, PDF). Damon and Laut summarise the findings of a number of peer reviewed papers, which show:

… that the apparent strong correlations displayed on these graphs have been obtained by incorrect handling of the physical data. The graphs are still widely referred to in the literature, and their misleading character has not yet been generally recognized.

Continued …

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Comment 59: 20th century Sunspot Activity / Graph from film: Temp and Solar Activity 100 Years]


Page 53 of 176

Final Revision

Last updated: 11 Jun 2007