New research published in 2011 & 2012 continues to build on a major 1999 study that found increased sun activity (solar flux, etc.) is a significant cause of modern global warming
While reviewing the bounty of solar and climate information found at the Global Warming Science site, we found the adjacent chart (this is the 'C3' revised version using annual HadCRUT global temperatures instead of monthly).
Clearly, there is a strong relationship between solar activity (magnetic solar flux) and global temperatures.
The relationship is not perfect but it represents a significant improvement over the incredibly lame human-CO2 and global warming / climate change relationship claimed by the IPCC's anti-CO2 Climategate scientists and alarmists.
Read here. From the original 1999 study:
"The solar wind, because it is an extended ionized gas of very high electrical conductivity, drags some magnetic flux out of the Sun, thereby filling the heliosphere with the weak interplanetary magnetic field. Magnetic reconnection - the merging of oppositely-directed magnetic fields such that they become connected to each other - between the interplanetary field and the Earth's magnetic field, allows energy from the solar wind to enter the near-Earth environment. The Sun's properties, such as its luminosity, are related to its magnetic field, though the connections are as yet not well understood. Moreover, changes in the heliospheric magnetic field have been linked with changes in total cloud cover over the Earth, which may influence global climate change. Here we report that the measurements of the near-Earth interplanetary magnetic field reveal that the total magnetic field leaving the sun has risen by a factor 1.4 since 1964." [M. Lockwood, R. Stamper, and M.N. Wild 1999: Nature]
Read here. From a 1999 review of this study:
"The authors examined measurements of near-earth interplanetary magnetic field to determine the total magnetic flux leaving the sun since 1868...authors were able to show that the total magnetic flux leaving the sun has risen by a factor of 1.41 over the period 1964-1996. Surrogate measurements of the interplanetary magnetic field previous to this time indicate that this parameter has increased by a factor of 2.3 since 1901...results of this study lead us to wonder just how much of the reported 0.6°C global temperature rise of the last century might be a result of the more than two-fold increase in the total magnetic solar flux over that period. We may now, at long last, be moving closer than ever in our effort to understand the importance of the sun in driving 20th century climate change."