A blog critical of the philosophies and doctrines of monistic scientism / materialism, positivism and related forms of facilitated Atheistic and Futilistic thought.
A blog about the weird, wonderful, and often the infernal.
"By him I’ll be great emperor of the world,
And make a bridge through the moving air
To pass the ocean with a band of men;
Doctor Faustus, I.iii.106-108
Lorne GunterMar 7, 2012 – 7:00 AM ET| Last Updated: Mar 6, 2012 5:06 PM ET
Ottawa’s giant skating rink on the Rideau Canal was closed in February due to thin ice caused by unseasonably mild temperatures. Yet, at the same time, ice blocked the canals of Venice for the first time in recent memory as temperatures in the exquisite Italian city dropped to -10C for more than a week. In the Netherlands, canals were closed to commercial boat traffic because ice made them unnavigable — another unusual development.
Also in early February, fountains in southern France froze over. Polish rail lines were chocked with metres of snow. Swiss villages were cut off by record accumulations this winter. In Japan, tens of thousands of residents were confined to their homes because there was too little removal equipment to clear all the white stuff. At one point three weeks ago, more than 140,000 people worldwide were reportedly stranded by snow.
So which is likely to be the new norm: North America’s mild winter, or Europe’s and Asia’s cold, snowy season?
To hear climate alarmists and environmentalists tell it, the world will soon be without winter. There will be no more backyard skating rinks or Arctic sea ice to sustain the polar bears. Snow will become a rarity in much of Europe, and tornados such as the ones that devastated large swaths of the American Midwest last weekend will become more commonplace.
But that’s not what some solar physicists are predicting.
Scientists who have made careers of studying the sun warn that our star is about to enter a less-active phase — a solar minimum that could last 30 years or longer. If that happens, some physicists see a worldwide return to the temperatures of the Little Ice Age (LIA). Not coincidentally, the deepest part of the LIA — during the late 17th century — was the last time our sun generated as few sunspots and as little geomagnetic activity as it appears set to generate for the next few decades.
Solid records of the connection between solar activity and Earth’s temperatures go back at least 300 years. If so-called proxy records are included — evidence from tree rings and ice-core samples, for instance — then the connection is thousands of years old.
The sun-temperature connection only makes sense. Which is warmer, summer or winter? Daytime or night? A sunny day or a cloudy one?
Sometimes I wonder whether our Neolithic ancestors understood better than modern climate alarmists what warmed the Earth. They didn’t build monuments that marked the summer and winter solstices because they worried the soot from their cooking fires was dangerously warming the planet. They built Stonehenge and the Goseck Circle and others to ensure the declining sun of winter would come back and prompt the return of spring and the plants and animals they relied on for their subsistence.
For years, now, the global-warming establishment has tried to minimize the effects the sun has on weather and climate. For instance, rough drafts of the UN’s next five-year report on climate change (which are already circulating) apparently devote just a single sentence to the sun’s role as a “driver” of temperatures on Earth, while page after page after page obsesses on the carbon-dioxide-temperature theory.
The fact is, scientists have studied the sun so thoroughly for so long that they can forecast with about 85% confidence what will happen to our temperatures if the number of sunspots rises or lowers from one cycle to the next and if the sun’s geomagnetic activity strengthens or weakens. They even know the effect on temperatures if one solar cycle — typically about 11 years — is longer or shorter than the cycle before it. And by studying the forces at work deep inside the sun, they can estimate with accuracy the length of the next cycle or two. This gives them a good idea of the sun’s influence on climate for the next few decades.
According to a recent study by three Norwegian scientists — Jan-Erik Solheim, Kjell Stordahl and Ole Humlum — the sun’s current cycle has lasted so long that the next, due to begin any time now, will see a decline in temperatures of 0.63C. And that cycle is expected to last so long that the cycle after that will witness a temperature drop of 0.95C.
Given that the planet has warmed only about 0.7C or 0.8C over the past century, that means all the warming Earth has experienced since 1900 could be wiped out in the next solar cycle, and in the cycle after that temperatures could retreat to levels not seen since the 18th century.
Start idling your full-sized SUVs in your driveways now. The planet may need all the global warming it can get.
I guess that puts a pin in the AGW debate. I think I'll go for a drive!