In which we quote arguments that the Earth is cooling.
Well, of course the climate is changing. It always has, and it always will. Al Gore has made millions of dollars with his claim that we’re going to have a meltdown, because temperatures will keep going up. Crops won’t grow, so we’ll starve. The polar ice caps will melt. The oceans will rise, all by 2100. Miami will be under five feet of water. It’s all due to man’s carbon dioxide emissions. All this is claimed in his movie, An inconvenient truth. It’s based on the fear that a runaway positive feedback loop will occur: as more carbon dioxide enters the atmosphere, that will cause more water evaporation due to warmer temperatures, which will in turn create more evaporation and more carbon dioxide..
Carbon dioxide is said to be a “greenhouse” gas, yet it’s a natural part of the atmosphere. Animals breathe in oxygen and exhale it; plants breathe in carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen. Water vapor is also a greenhouse gas, as is methane. Man is burning fossil fuels, and thereby adding even more carbon dioxide to the air. It’s approaching 400 parts per million (For every million molecules of air, 400 will be carbon dioxide; 999,600 won’t be.)
Scientists don’t really know how greenhouse gases affect the Earth’s average temperature, because there are other major factors, such as cloud coverage, sea ice, snow cover, dust and smoke from volcanoes and human industries, ocean temperature variations and currents, and – maybe the biggest one: magnetic storms on the sun, also called sun spots. But climate is too complex to fully understand. Some of the factors cause negative feedback, cooling the Earth. Clouds, snow, and ice reflect much of the sun’s heat back into space. Dust and smoke prevent heat from reaching the ground, while heating the atmosphere. Water vapor condenses into clouds – the more water vapor, the more clouds and rain (which reduce the amount of vapor in the air.) Confusing?
Let’s focus on sun spots, which increase the sun’s output, heating the Earth; if there aren’t as many, less of the sun’s energy reaches the ground. They run in eleven year cycles, increasing to a peak then down to a minimum. It’s quite variable, however, and around 1350 or so, they dropped off to almost nothing (the so-called Maunder Minimum) and that resulted in “The Little Ice Age.” Europe cooled off a lot, the Thames River froze every winter, for example, but around 1850 the Earth began warming again as the sun spot frequency increased. From NASA Science website: “March 1, 2013: Something unexpected is happening on the sun. 2013 is supposed to be the year of Solar Max, the peak of the 11-year sunspot cycle. Yet 2013 has arrived and solar activity is relatively low. Sunspot numbers are well below their values in 2011, and strong solar flares have been infrequent for many months.” In other words, they were expecting a peak, but instead the numbers are falling. Around 2008 and 2009, at the minimum, they fell to almost nothing and cycle 11 seemed to be starting late. A NASA scientist says we may have a double peak, which would explain the present decline, but that remains to be seen.
Peter Ferrara, writing for the May 2013 issue of Forbes Magazine, goes even further in his article, To The Horror Of Global Warming Alarmists, Global Cooling Is Here.
He quotes NASA in January 2013: “Indeed, the sun could be on the threshold of a mini-Maunder event right now. Ongoing Solar Cycle 24 [the current short term 11 year cycle] is the weakest in more than 50 years. Moreover, there is (controversial) evidence of a long-term weakening trend in the magnetic field strength of sunspots. Matt Penn and William Livingston of the National Solar Observatory predict that by the time Solar Cycle 25 arrives, magnetic fields on the sun will be so weak that few if any sunspots will be formed. Independent lines of research involving helioseismology and surface polar fields tend to support their conclusion.”
He quotes the German Herald, March 31: “German meteorologists say that the start of 2013 is now the coldest in 208 years – and now German media has quoted Russian scientist Dr Habibullo Abdussamatov from the St. Petersburg Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory [saying this] is proof as he said earlier that we are heading for a “Mini Ice Age.” Talking to German media the scientist who first made his prediction in 2005 said that after studying sunspots and their relationship with climate change on Earth, we are now on an ‘unavoidable advance towards a deep temperature drop.’”
Another quote, from the UK: Christopher Booker explained in The Sunday Telegraph on April 27, 2013, “Here in Britain, where we had our fifth freezing winter in a row, the Central England Temperature record – according to an expert analysis on the US science blog Watts Up With That – shows that in this century, average winter temperatures have dropped by 1.45C, more than twice as much as their rise between 1850 and 1999, and twice as much as the entire net rise in global temperatures recorded in the 20th century.”
Booker adds, “Last week it was reported that 3,318 places in the USA had recorded their lowest temperatures for this time of year since records began. Similar record cold was experienced by places in every province of Canada. So cold has the Russian winter been that Moscow had its deepest snowfall in 134 years of observations.”
No one really knows. The Earth may be cooling or warming. Computer models of long-term climate simply don’t predict what will happen, because the Earth’s total climate is so complex and so little understood. As happened at the end of June of this year, the western US had high temperatures off the chart, while it was wonderfully cool in the midwest.
Many scientists are academics, and therefore predominantly liberal. They like to proclaim a “consensus” that man is causing global warming by emitting greenhouse gases, yet thousands of scientists have signed a statement saying either that they disagree or don’t really know. Whichever way they vote, nature will do what she will do. Their “consensus” is just propaganda, and may be correct or dead wrong. It increasingly appears they’re wrong.
Barack Obama, like many on the extreme Left, is a staunch opponent of global warming, and therefore of fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and natural gas. It’s too bad global cooling is so inconvenient for Obama and Al Gore.