Cool, or Not Cool?

January 28th’s blog, below, was titled Cool and gave the view that sun-spot activity is related to climate: when their activity is low, earth temperatures cool. The blog related this to events like the River Thames freezing over.

Sunspot-group_l  th  (New Jersey Institute of Technology;

Now, just a week later, a very different theory of the same phenomena was published in Nature Geoscience 7, 104-108 by AP Schurer, S Tett & C Hegerl: Small Influence of Solar Variability on Climate Over the Past Millennium. Their conclusion is that the temperature fluctuations on earth are mainly caused by volcanic activity and changes in greenhouse gas concentrations. Their curves show relatively little response to sun-spot variations.

ngeo2040-f1 (copyright Macmillan Journals)

Through the same week another case of opposing interpretations came with the 1910 watercolour thought by some to be by Marc Chagall.

_72715197_5590636-high_res-fake-or-fortune    _72696533_5590623-high_res-fake-or-fortune

BBC television announced that Martin Lang paid £100,000 for it. He is upset that The Chagall Committee, made up of the artist’s grandchildren, says it’s a fake. They want it burnt.

Such differences in perspective are not new or unusual. Shakespeare offered three different versions of Hamlet’s speech querying the manner of his father’s death.


Both science and art show different ways of seeing the same thing. Who is to say whether one is right or another wrong?