September 4, 2009
Global warming hysteria on the rocks
by Paul Mulshine
I've noted in the past the one big flaw in the global-warming theory: No one knows what the climate will be in the future.
For various reasons, including a recent absence of sun spots, we could be entering a cooling trend. In that case, a bit of human-induced global warming would be a good thing.
So I was amused when Assemblyman Mike Carroll of Morris County sent me a link to this New York Times article reporting that anthropogenic global warming may have the effect of preventing another ice age.
"In the very long term, the ability to artificially warm the climate, particularly the Arctic, could be seen as a boon as the planet's shifting orientation to the Sun enters a phase that could initiate the next ice age."
That article repeats all of the usual warnings about the short-term effects of anthropogenic global warming.
But what if we faced the threat of significant global cooling in the near future? Read this article quoting Matt Penn of the National Solar Observatory on the decline of sunspots.
"Sunspot magnetic fields are dropping by about 50 gauss per year," says Penn. "If we extrapolate this trend into the future, sunspots could completely vanish around the year 2015."
Historically, a lack of sunspots has led to global cooling. In that event, anthropogenic global warming would not be a bad thing. It would be a very good thing - unless you relish the prospect of year-round winter here in Jersey.
I covered that topic in this prior post on the unpredictability of climate. In it, I ran some quotes from my interview with Australia astrophysicist Phil Chapman. Here's an excerpt:
Chapman recently achieved some fame, or notoriety, when he authored an article for an Australian newspaper headlined "Sorry to Ruin the Fun, but an Ice Age Cometh." His thesis is that there has been an alarming absence of spots on the sun recently. A lack of sunspots has historically been accompanied by global cooling rather than warming. Ergo, we may face the threat of another ice age. The headline was a bit of an overstatement, Chapman said when I called him the other day. He's not sure that an ice age is coming. But he's not sure the planet is warming either.
"The uncertainties are enormous," Chapman said. "I would not claim cooling will happen or warming won't."