Like every model since, the crude early models of greenhouse-driven climate change, with pixels the size of Kansas, predicted that warming would begin at the poles. This is because greenhouse warming only contributes a fraction of the total heat budget of temperate regions, which absorb a significant amount of heat by absorbing and re-emitting the sun’s light directly. Ice and snow at the polar regions reflect most incoming sunlight while absorbing almost none, leaving only greenhouse gases to catch solar heat before it reflects back into space. If the greenhouse contribution goes up, the polar heat budget (greenhouse alone) will go up significantly more than everywhere else (greenhouse + direct sunlight).
Similarly, climate models predict that greenhouse warming will make the nighttime less cold faster than it makes the daytime warmer. During the day heat comes both from the sun and from heat absorbed by the atmosphere, at night only the atmosphere contributes. This explains why humidity keeps the air warmer at night (water vapor has a high heat capacity and is a very effective greenhouse gas), and why cloudy nights are warmer (clouds act as an effective greenhouse layer).
These predictions make a convenient way to compare greenhouse-based models against less well supported theories based on the sun getting warmer. If solar input mattered more than CO2 heat retention then regions which absorb the most solar heat, for example the tropics, should warm up much the fastest. High-albedo polar regions, which send most solar illumation back into space, should warm up much more slowly.
Sadly, each week brings another story casting doubt on the sun-based climate “skeptics.”
Ice in north-east Greenland is melting an average of 14.6 days earlier than in the mid-1990s, bringing forward the date plants flower and birds lay eggs.
The team warned that the observed changes could disrupt the region’s ecosystems and food chain, affecting the long-term survival of some species.
[…] “We were particularly surprised to see the trends were so strong when considering that the entire summer is very short in the High Arctic – just three or four months from snowmelt to freeze-up,” said co-author Toke Hoye, from the University of Aarhus.
Needless to say these effects in the High Arctic dwarf the climate changes that we have seen anywhere else on Earth. But don’t worry too much about sunspot climate doubters. Like the creationists who inspire them, they’re a conclusion in search of evidence. As far as the money which supports such denial is concerned, one argument which puts off the inevitable reckoning is as good as any other.