Wednesday, April 23, 2008

"Warming"?? Wait A Bit

No, not for the upcoming snow-event due in Milwaukee late this weekend.

Wait for REAL cooling. Global cooling.

It is generally not possible to draw conclusions about climatic trends from events in a single year, so I would normally dismiss this cold snap as transient, pending what happens in the next few years.

This is where SOHO comes in. The sunspot number follows a cycle of somewhat variable length, averaging 11 years. The most recent minimum was in March last year. The new cycle, No.24, was supposed to start soon after that, with a gradual build-up in sunspot numbers.

It didn't happen. The first sunspot appeared in January this year and lasted only two days. A tiny spot appeared last Monday but vanished within 24 hours. Another little spot appeared this Monday. Pray that there will be many more, and soon.

The reason this matters is that there is a close correlation between variations in the sunspot cycle and Earth's climate. The previous time a cycle was delayed like this was in the Dalton Minimum, an especially cold period that lasted several decades from 1790.

Northern winters became ferocious: in particular, the rout of Napoleon's Grand Army during the retreat from Moscow in 1812 was at least partly due to the lack of sunspots.

These days, French invasions of ....anybody.... are not a concern. Scratch that off the list of things to worry about.

That the rapid temperature decline in 2007 coincided with the failure of cycle No.24 to begin on schedule is not proof of a causal connection but it is cause for concern.

(That's how a responsible scientist phrases things...)

It is time to put aside the global warming dogma, at least to begin contingency planning about what to do if we are moving into another little ice age, similar to the one that lasted from 1100 to 1850.

There is no doubt that the next little ice age would be much worse than the previous one and much more harmful than anything warming may do. There are many more people now and we have become dependent on a few temperate agricultural areas, especially in the US and Canada. Global warming would increase agricultural output, but global cooling will decrease it.

Millions will starve if we do nothing to prepare for it (such as planning changes in agriculture to compensate), and millions more will die from cold-related diseases.

There is also another possibility, remote but much more serious.
The Greenland and Antarctic ice cores and other evidence show that for the past several million years, severe glaciation has almost always afflicted our planet.

The bleak truth is that, under normal conditions, most of North America and Europe are buried under about 1.5km of ice.
[That will make weather forecasting a helluva lot easier.] This bitterly frigid climate is interrupted occasionally by brief warm interglacials, typically lasting less than 10,000 years.

Well, that's an interesting read, no?

HT: Clay Cramer

1 comment:

Jeff Miller said...

Considering that they have been changing the meme to Global Climate Change this fits in just fine. No matter what happens and whether temperatures go up or down it is all our fault.

Though it does give me nostalgia for the 4th grade as my teacher warned us about the coming ice age. Or back when I was a good libereal who would gather around the TV on the first "Earth Day" and watch the coverage on PBS. I even remember trash compacters and how muched they were promoted on PBS. Yes compacting trash into such a small cube that will last longer than uranium waste was another great liberal idea for ecology. Right up their with sending fleets of trucks to gather "recylables" to save energy that use more energy to convert.