Our Sun is due to go into “hibernation” in the year 2030 as it begins its Maunder Minimum (solar minimum) for around 15 years. This is likely to plunge the earth into a mini ice-age.
The mainstream scientific consensus since the early 1990’s has been that the Earth is experiencing a warming up (global warming), due to natural causes and the burning of fossil fuels.
But as scientists have recently pointed out, the Earth seems to have been begun cooling down in recent years, well ahead of the scheduled solar minimum, and as global cooling sets in for the foreseeable future could it be that conventional thinking on climate change has been completely wrong all this time?
CO2 is a greenhouse gas and its increase in the atmosphere could be dangerous, the panel claimed. Some of these scientists, particularly those working at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Britain’s Meteorological Office, have gone so far as to declare CO2 as the primary driver of climate on Earth. This modern “climate science” has stirred unprecedented controversy in the field. Sceptics, clinging to more traditional approaches, say the science has been corrupted by the billions of dollars in government funding for climate-change research and agencies and industries that claim to be “fighting climate change”. The counter-argument is that the sceptics are backed by the oil, gas and coal industries or are affiliated with conservative political groups.
The biggest bone of contention between the two groups is how the data are assessed. In the United States, the recorded temperature data go back to 1880, and elsewhere not even that far. Those data have to be “stapled on” to the ice-core data used to determine temperatures in earlier times. This has led to controversial representations, such as the infamous “hockey stick” graph released by the IPCC that gave the impression the world is hotter now than ever. Many scientists slammed the graph as wholly unrealistic, insisting that previous eras, such as the medieval warm period and the Holocene maximum were warmer than today.
Another issue is the urban “heat island” effect. Black asphalt roads and concrete structures absorb heat from the sun. Roy Spencer, a climatologist at the University of Alabama and former IPCC alumnus, charged in 2013 that the NOAA was “warming up” readings at rural temperature stations to match the urban ones rather than the reverse. A spokesman for the NOAA responded but stopped short of denying it.
In the 2009 “climategate scandal”, e-mails and documents from IPCC-affiliated scientists were leaked that indicated they had manipulated data and reports to jibe with the AGW theory. References were made to “hiding the decline” through the use of “tricks”. Then in 2012 Anthony Watts, a meteorologist and self-described whistle-blower, caught the NOAA changing temperature data from the 1930s to make the decade appear colder than it had been. Another whistle-blower, blogger Tony Heller, although clearly aligned with conservative groups like the Heartland Institute, has amassed impressive data. He claims that, since 1997, the world has actually been getting colder and Goddard and the NOAA are committing “climate fraud”. The NOAA has declined to respond.
Around 2000, the PDO Index started to blow cold again, possibly causing global warming to “pause”, as the mainstream scientists describe it. IPCC-affiliated scientists as well as Nasa and the NOAA attribute the pause to other factors. This is when the plot thickens.
Solar cycle 24 – two cycles prior the cycle that’s expected to bottom out into a Maunder Minimum – was weak. In 2013-14 it reached its maximum far below average. Meanwhile extreme cold-weather anomalies have occurred around the world. Last year “polar vortices” slammed into the central US and Siberia as a third hovered over the Atlantic. All 50 US states, including Hawaii, had temperatures below freezing for the first time in recorded history. Snowfall records were broken in cities in the US, Canada, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and elsewhere. Southern American states and central Mexico, where snow is rare, got heavy snow, as did the Middle East.
This past summer the cold didn’t let up, with more temperature records across the US and rare summer snows seen in Canada, the US and China. Birds have migrated early in the last two years. Antarctic sea ice set a new record in 2013 and it was broken again in 2014.
Not even Thailand was immune. In 2014 Bangkok hit its coldest low in 30 years, while 63 lives were lost in the North.
Scientists at the Climate and Environmental Physics and Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of Berne in Switzerland have recently backed up theories that support the sun’s importance in determining the climate on Earth. A paper published last year by the American Meteorological Society contradicts claims by IPCC scientists that the sun couldn’t be responsible for major shifts in climate. Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, rejected IPCC assertions that solar variations don’t matter. Among the many studies and authorities she cited was the National Research Council’s recent report “The Effects of Solar Variability on Earth’s Climate”.
Other researchers and organisations are also predicting global cooling – the Russian Academy of Science, the Astronomical Institute of the Slovak Academy of Scientists, the Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism Russia, Victor Manuel Velesco Herrera at the National University of Mexico, the Bulgarian Institute of Astronomy, Dr Tim Patterson at Carleton University in Canada, Drs Lin Zhen at Nanjing University in China, just to name a few.
For now nevertheless, the IPCC and other authoritative agencies are sticking to their CO2-dominant climate-forcing theory. They attribute the cold spells to a disruption in the jet stream caused by Anthropogenic Global Warming. Some of their theories have heads being scratched, for instance the “pause” in global warming they attribute to heat being absorbed deep into the oceans. When Antarctic ice reached record levels in 2013, scientists were “baffled” because the water beneath the ice was warm, they claimed. In climate science old and new, nothing is certain.