July 9 (LPAC)—Even as the U.S. Senate and the Group of 8 nations meeting in Italy continue their endless jabbering about greenhouse gases, nature is not cooperating.
The global climate has entered a phase of cooling and reduced solar activity, which some experts believe could bring on serious crop failures and food shortages. The serious fear now is that the continued low activity of the Sun forebodes an extended period of cooling, perhaps enough to bring on another Little Ice Age. Anyone who is not addressing that reality is blowing bubbles in the wind.
The global average temperature for the Earth has been decreasing over the past 8 to 10 years. The cooling that was shown by the satellite temperature data for May 2008 negated the entire globally averaged temperature increase of 0.6 degrees Celsius for the past 150 years, which Al Gore says was dangerous global warming. The latest release of the global average satellite temperature data for June 2009 revealed another large drop in the Earth's temperature. This latest drop in global temperatures means, despite all of his scary stories of drowning polar bears and massive sea-level rise, the Earth's temperature has cooled 0.74 degrees Fahrenheit (0.39 degrees Celsius) since former Vice President Al Gore released his sci-fi horror comedy documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" in January 2006.
One of the ways of gauging the likely future behavior of the Sun is by looking at the length of the solar cycles. The Sun normally goes through an 11-year long cycle of increase and decrease in activity, as exhibited by such phenomena as the appearance of visible spots on the surface. Records of these sunspots go back four centuries to the advent of telescopes.
Solar cycles are normally 11 years long, but could be longer or shorter. The current solar cycle (number 23) is now 13 years long and solar cycle 24 has yet to start up in earnest. Historically, the last time a solar cycle was over 13 years in length was solar cycle 3, which preceded the Dalton Minimum, a cold period from 1796 to 1824 during what is called the Little Ice Age cause by low solar activity during solar cycle 4 and 5. During the Dalton Minimum, there were large crop failures and food shortages.
Solar researchers admit that our knowledge of the sun is limited, but there have been certain correlations found between solar activity and the Earth's temperature. The best correlation is between length of solar cycle and the temperature during the following solar cycle, which was first demonstrated in 1991 by two Danish researchers, Eigil Friis-Christensen and Knud Lassen. Australian geologist David Archibald, using this correlation, discovered that each 1-year increase in the solar cycle length will cause a 0.5 degree Celsius (C) decline in the Earth temperature during the following cycle. Based on Archibald's work, we could now expect a global average temperature decline of about 1.5 degrees C over the length of solar cycle 24. That is enough to cause serious climate change.
If similar conditions occur after this present ongoing solar minimum, and there is a large drop in temperature due to an inactive Sun, the world could see further stress on the food supply.
The recent continued inactivity of the Sun is consistent with forecasts that have been coming from Russia's Pulkovo Observatory in St. Petersburg, over the past 2 years. On Jan. 22, 2008, senior scientist Khabibullo Abdusamatov, head of the Space Research Lab at the Pulkovo Observatory, said in an interview with RIA Novosti that, "temperatures on Earth have stabilized in the past decade, and the planet should brace itself for a new Ice Age rather than global warming."
Abdusamatov warned correctly, at the beginning of 2008, that global temperatures would drop slightly that year, rather than rise, due to unprecedentedly low solar radiation in the past 30 years, and would continue decreasing, even if industrial emissions of carbon dioxide reach record levels. According to Abdusamatov's 2008 forecast, "By 2041, solar activity will reach its minimum according to a 200-year cycle, and a deep cooling period will hit the Earth approximately in 2055-60. It will last for about 45-65 years and by mid-21st Century, the planet will face another Little Ice Age."
It is just nonsensical for policymakers in either the U. S. Congress or the Group of 8 to be talking about global warming and not about the very real prospect of 20 to 30 years of global cooling that will cause major food shortages and add more challenges in the face of the onrushing global economic breakdown crisis. Enjoy the Summer while you can. The fun will not last long—as President Obama is also now learning.