THE scariest photo I have seen on the internet is www.spaceweather.com, where you will find a real-time image of the sun from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, located in deep space at the equilibrium point between solar and terrestrial gravity.
What is scary about the picture is that there is only one tiny sunspot.
Disconcerting as it may be to true believers in global warming, the average temperature on Earth has remained steady or slowly declined during the past decade, despite the continued increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, and now the global temperature is falling precipitously.
Now I'll be the first to say, this needs more study, however, what he has to say makes much more sense, as in it seems more logical, than the lunacy of CO2 driven AGW. For instance:
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.
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.
Note, he's not saying Chicken Little should be warming up his tonsils, he's saying that given history and the data we now have, there appears to be cause for concern that the activity on the big yellow shiny thing that hangs in the sky each day may be having an effect on our climate, and that effect may not be what is predicted by the AGW crowd.
What should we be concerned with? Well here's the history:
The bleak truth is that, under normal conditions, most of North America and Europe are buried under about 1.5km of ice. This bitterly frigid climate is interrupted occasionally by brief warm interglacials, typically lasting less than 10,000 years.
The interglacial we have enjoyed throughout recorded human history, called the Holocene, began 11,000 years ago, so the ice is overdue. We also know that glaciation can occur quickly: the required decline in global temperature is about 12C and it can happen in 20 years.
The next descent into an ice age is inevitable but may not happen for another 1000 years. On the other hand, it must be noted that the cooling in 2007 was even faster than in typical glacial transitions. If it continued for 20 years, the temperature would be 14C cooler in 2027.
There is no question, given the "bleak truth" that Chapman points too, that a warmer climate would be a much better choice than a colder climate.
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.
What's clear is we really don't know, at this point, what the climate is going to do, but if history and cycles and sunspot activity (or lack thereof) are any indication, it isn't going to be what the AGW types are predicting.
Should we prepare for a new "Ice Age". Again, it is way to early to make that sort of determination. And even if we were able to decide, scientifically, that it was indeed coming, I'm not sure there's much we could do about it (although Chapman does give, what I would characterize as tongue-in-cheek ways to defeat it).
However, the real message of Chapman's piece is found in the conclusion:
We cannot really know, but my guess is that the odds are at least 50-50 that we will see significant cooling rather than warming in coming decades.
The probability that we are witnessing the onset of a real ice age is much less, perhaps one in 500, but not totally negligible.
All those urging action to curb global warming need to take off the blinkers and give some thought to what we should do if we are facing global cooling instead.
It will be difficult for people to face the truth when their reputations, careers, government grants or hopes for social change depend on global warming, but the fate of civilisation may be at stake.
In the famous words of Oliver Cromwell, "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken."
Having built the ’climate change’ bandwagon, and having hired the clowns to circle the wagons on the ’climate change’ tricycles, and preping the band to play the scary tunes, you can bet the ’changers’ are going to want to use this show, it’s just a question of figuring out how to package it.
"Ice Age, Warm Age, we don’t care, so long as you change your lives to suit our tastes".
Doesn’t matter what’s going to happen, what’s really important is exerting control.
“Two years ago this week, you [Pelosi] stated that House Democrats had a ‘commonsense plan’ to ‘lower gas prices,’ ” the letter said. “In light of the skyrocketing gasoline prices affecting working families and every sector of our struggling economy, we are writing today to respectfully request that you reveal this ‘commonsense plan’ so we can begin work on responsible solutions to help ease this strain.”
Professors Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunis at Harvard dared to point out the correlation between increased solar activity and surface temperature.
During the 20th century, temperatures increased from 1900 to 1940, then decreased from 1940 to 1970, then increased again from 1970 to 1998. These three periods corresponded to increased, decreased and increased solar radiance.
This solar activity hypothesis blows a huge hole in the AGW concept. While carbon dioxide levels increased at a near linear rate, warming before 1940 predates the global increase in energy consumption. Between 1940 and 1970, we fought a world war, industrialized the world and put millions of gas guzzling cars on the highways, yet temps went down. As fuel efficiency standards were imposed and power plants converted to cleaner fuels and emission controls, temps went up again. This defies green house effect logic.
Of course, Soon and Baliunis were thrown under the bus by the warmies.
There are other theories that foretell a coming ice age. One is an astrophysics theory called Milankovitch cycles - variations in Earth orbit and rotation. Looking back 1.5 billion years, this hypothesis seems to track.
I would like to see an honest, scientific (non-political) study of climate change. My guess is that our effect on climate is minimal.