Global... cooling? -

Global… cooling?

Why we might be headed for another ice age


For all the geophysicists out there, last weekend was huge. A paper published in the American Geophysical Union’s journal Eos made the claim that the world may be plunged into another mini ice age. The climate-change culprit this time around? Not man, not machine—but the sun itself. According to the report, the sun appears to be returning to a state of low activity—as evidenced by a noticeable decline in sunspots [those dark spots you sometimes see on the sun’s surface] over the past few years. What’s a sunspot, anyway? Basically, it’s an area of strong magnetic activity that, in fact, causes the sun to emit more light than usual. Some models predict that we could continue to see a sunspot decline. The last time this happened was in the 17th century, when a “Little Ice Age” (or, Maunder Minimum) swept over Europe, lowering the global mean temperature by 0.4 degrees Celsius. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but scientists said it made a difference (and Europeans recorded some cool winters). But could cooler temperatures means a reversal of the global warming trends? Unlikely. Figures show that global warming would cancel out—and exceed—the effect of cooling. But still, some say a few degrees of cool could be just what we need. Says an article in Ars Technica: “even a relatively small effect may buy humanity valuable time in coming to grips with the CO2 we’re putting into the atmosphere.”

Ars Technica

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Global… cooling?

  1. Bad news for alarmists.

    Good science for the rest of us who feel there are far more pressing environmental issues then CO2 emmissions
    Can we focus on what we are doing to our oceans now?
    Pretty Please?

    • Read the article… fluctuations in the sun's output are well known to scientists, including climatologists. They do have an effect on global temperatures, but, as stated, global warming is a greater force, outstripping the changes of the sun cycle.

      You say not to focus on CO2 emmissions, but on what we're doing to our oceans, but they're one in the same at this point. Ocean acidification is causing a major shift in some marine ecosystems, particularly those in tropical zones, and, surprise surprise, ocean acidification is caused by an increase in atmospheric CO2. Not to mention that the entire arctic ocean is undergoing a dramatic shift as its polar ice cap loses tonnes upon tonnes of ice…

      • I am well aware of ocean acidification, perhaps you can enlighten me on it's detremental effects on ocean biodiversity.
        If a bunch of thin shelled mollusks is your best answer (or "I don't really know what the effects will be" is a more honest answer), then I would ask you to consider the following…

        Technology will help us overcome the CO2 problem (yes, I do consider it A problem).
        Technology allows man to overfish (whale, shark fin hunt), at even greater and greater levels.
        Once ocean biodiversity is gone, having taken 100's of millions of years to form, it's gone for good.

        Feel free to lump in every environmental issue with AGW, but you do a disservice to life on this planet.

        You also seem to have missed the memo a couple of years back…
        No more calling it "Global Warming", It's "Climate Change" that we now have to stop

        Remember when "Save the Rainforests" was the rallying cry of the environmental movement.
        Those were to good old days, before environmentalism became more about money and politics, and less about confronting the real issues, and damage done.

        • When did I ever say the other problems were unimportant? Just because there are other issues does not negate the detrimental effect of a dramatic rise in atmospheric CO2 on the oceans. Acidification has a notably negative effect on all calcifying organisms, most importantly coral, which is the backbone of many tropical marine ecosystems.

          You're right, CO2 isn't causing every hurricane, drought or wild fire, but just because some "environmentalists" are crying wolf doesn't mean we should ignore the actual problems CO2 is causing. Deforestation, overfishing, dwindling clean water sources are also important causes, and we shouldn't forget them. But we can't lose sight of the bigger picture and as much as I care about Atlantic Cod populations, if the arctic ice cap melts or entire coral reefs die due to lower ocean pH levels, we don't just lose species, but entire ecosystems. Both those problems are already occurring and have been well documented, both with a rather direct link to carbon emissions.

          Lastly, I still call it Global Warming, because nothing's changed – the only reason people starting saying climate change is because deniers would cry foul at every instance of local or temporary drops in temperatures.

      • global warming is a greater force, outstripping the changes of the sun cycle

        What a crock. That statement is based on no evidence whatsoever.

    • Bad news for alarmists.

      Not at all. Doesn't matter what the disaster is as long as there is one.

  2. But Al Gore said the end was near! How can the prognosticator of prognosticators be wrong?

    • I suspect you didn't even bother to read the article after the title, Dakota.

      • Where in the article does it say the end is near? Maybe your tin foil hat was preventing the blood from reaching your brain.

        • Ladies and Gentlemen, I present you Dakota. A naysayer to anything that goes against the thin fabric of logic or possible objectivity floating around in said brain. Example: Using 'tin foil hat' in every rebuttal. Do us a favour and log off.

  3. Al Gore, time for a new movie and Nobel prize.

    Instead of polar bears starving the alarmists can whine about sun bears freezing. And we can declare ice an enironmental pollutant and start a new ice trading scheme, or an snow tax, and ice offsets, where you pay inuit people to create less ice in exchange for plugging in your refrigerator.

  4. …the rest of the story. Climate is changing and always will. The climate celebrities, however, are linking climate and the economy. Yes, there has been warming to end the Pleistocene. Climate is a multiple input, multiple loop, multiple output, complex system. The facts and the hypotheses, however, do not support CO2 as a serious 'pollutant'. In fact, it is plant fertilizer and seriously important to all life on the planet. It is the red herring used to unwind our economy. That issue makes the science relevant.

  5. As I understand it, the hypothesis of the Danish National Space Center goes as follows:
    Quiet sun allows the geomagnetic shield to drop. Incoming galactic cosmic ray flux creates more low-level clouds, more snow, and more albedo effect as more is heat reflected resulting in a colder climate.
    Active sun has an enhanced magnetic field which induces Earth's geomagnetic shield response. Earth has fewer low-level clouds, less rain, snow and ice, and less albedo (less heat reflected) producing a warmer climate.
    That is how the bulk of climate change works, coupled with (modulated by) sunspot peak frequency there are cycles of global warming and cooling like waves in the ocean. When the waves are closely spaced, all the planets warm; when the waves are spaced farther apart, all the planets cool.

  6. Although the post 60s warming period appears to be over, it has allowed the principal green house gas, water vapour, to kick in with more humidity, clouds, rain and snow depending on where you live to provide the negative feedback that scientists use to explain the existence of complex life on Earth for 550 million years. Ancient sedimentary rocks and paleontological evidence indicate the planet has had abundant liquid water over the entire span. The planet heats and cools naturally and our gasses are the thermostat. Nothing unusual going on except for the Orwellian politics.
    Check the web site of the Danish National Space Center.

    • The crazy is strong in this one.

      • Almost as crazy as blaming every hurricane, drought, and wild fire on CO2 gas,
        but I digress…

  7. Consider it Mother natures way of rebooting the earth!

  8. So let's see here…

    It's a really hot day. A broil. People are fanning themselves and AC units are failing all over and the polar bear is swatting flies on his shrinking ice floe right next to the picnic goers in Greenland.

    OK. So the world is supposed to be warming. Hellfire and brimstone, but wait!

    No, it will be a Laodicean hellfire. Lukewarm–due to a cooling overlay due the Sun.

    I realize all this is technically possible, but is there any verification of some baseline of AGW that suggests that instead of being hot as hell, being merely a little toasty in July is still cause for alarm and action against the Carbon Whores of industry and the SUV, due to the fact of Global Cooling as the dressing on this salad?

    How would we know? I'm not suggesting by any stretch the Sun has no large part in all this, or compared to carbon emissions, is just some cameo bit actor by comparison.

    But please. This is getting asinine.

  9. For the non scientists – The globe started cooling in 2004 it cooled to a large degree to 2009. There is no Global warming anymore. Sattelite imagery of the polar caps indicate that the ice is back to where it was pre 1980. Natural cycles. Plastics and hoemones are in fact the biggest and most dangerous polutants.