Why Some Scientists Say Global Warming Is Out and Global Cooling Is In
In a world riddled with climate-change doomsday predictions, a small but growing number of scientists are saying the highly touted climate models predicting steadily increasing global temperature due to humans’ carbon-dioxide emissions are wrong and that Earth could soon face something even more dire: global cooling.
One such climate scientist is Valentina Zharkova, an astrophysicist at Northumbria University in the United Kingdom. Zharkova and her team of researchers say that based on mathematical models of the Sun’s magnetic activity, it’s likely Earth will experience decreasing magnetic waves over a 33-year period beginning in 2021.
Zharkova is not alone. In 2017, researchers at the Physical Meteorological Observatory Davos, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, ETH Zurich, and the University of Bern published a model projecting a cooling period “in 50 to 100 years’ time.” Numerous other studies have made similar projections. Indeed, the website NoTricksZone lists hundreds of peer-reviewed papers that argue solar activity and solar cycles have a substantial influence on global climate change on decadal, century-long, and millennial time scales. Some of these papers even argue that solar activity is often the dominant factor driving climate change.
The researchers say reduced solar magnetic activity has previously been linked to historically cool periods in Earth’s history, such as the Maunder Minimum, a period of lower magnetic activity associated with a “mini ice age” that occurred from 1645 to 1715. During the Maunder Minimum, temperatures plummeted to such an extreme degree that Londoners held “frost fairs” on the frozen Thames River.
Writing for the New York Times, historian Geoffrey Parker notes, “The unusual cold that lasted from the 1620s until the 1690s included ice on both the Bosporus and the Baltic so thick that people could walk from one side to the other.”
Although Zharkova says her model’s accuracy is 97 percent, she’s not sure precisely how impactful lower solar magnetic activity will be, especially because it is believed there is a lot more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere today than in the seventeenth century, and many climate scientists believe higher CO2 levels cause additional warming.
Many of those convinced that humans are responsible for the higher global temperatures recorded over the past century have already started to dismiss Zharkova and others who say global temperature could soon level off because of solar activity. Michael Mann, a professor at Pennsylvania State University who created the controversial “hockey stick graph,” told the Washington Post in 2015 the effect of lower solar activity would be “a drop in the bucket” compared to the effects of carbon dioxide.
If Mann and others who believe that humans’ carbon-dioxide emissions are driving climate change are wrong and lower solar activity occurs and has a cooling effect on the climate, the results could prove disastrous for climate-change crusaders in the Democratic Party, United Nations, and elsewhere who desperately want to impose restrictions, punishments, or both on carbon-dioxide emitters -- which, it’s worth remembering, includes everyone in the world, including you. Not only would a cooling effect completely undermine virtually every single climate model predicting steady warming over the next century, it would highlight just how flawed mainstream climate science has become. After all, if climate alarmists can’t accurately predict a 33-year cooling period based on solar activity, why should we trust them to predict global temperature 100 years in the future?
Contrary to the dire warnings routinely issued by left-wing pundits and politicians such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), the debate over the causes and consequences of climate change is still very much alive. With that said, it’s worth pointing out just how ironic it would be if Zharkova’s reduced solar activity theory proves to be accurate and proponents of the theory that humans are responsible for climate change are right about mankind’s contribution to global warming.
If climate alarmists are correct, then the planet would be much cooler today than it is now if humans were never to have produced significant amounts of carbon dioxide. That means that whatever cooling results from decreased solar activity would theoretically be much more extreme without humans’ CO2 emissions. That’s incredibly important, because cooler global temperatures have historically been linked to deadly living conditions for humans, plants, and wildlife.
As Parker noted for the Times, “The deep cold in Europe and extreme weather events elsewhere [during the last mini ice age] resulted in a series of droughts, floods and harvest failures that led to forced migrations, wars and revolutions.”
The prestigious academic journal The Lancet published a paper in 2015 that considered health data provided by 13 countries. The examination of 74 million deaths in the study revealed cold weather indirectly or directly kills 1,700 percent more people than warm weather. This strongly suggests that even if humans are responsible for making global climate warmer, they will end up being much better off over the next 30–40 years than they would otherwise be in a colder climate, assuming Zharkova’s theory is correct.
Additional evidence also shows the warmer climate environmental radicals constantly lament has numerous benefits. A study published in 2017 found 1.2 billion acres of forests not previously counted, which Patrick Michaels at the Cato Institute says could be strong proof warming has caused significant greening.
Research published in 2016 in the journal Nature Climate Change found from 1982 to 2009, there was increased greening in 25–50 percent of the global vegetated area, while only 4 percent experienced browning. The researchers estimated 70 percent of the greening is a result of higher carbon-dioxide emissions.
If a global cooling period were to occur, how would climate alarmists react? More likely than not, by suggesting that the cooling period presents mankind with a final opportunity to avert global warming disaster by adopting radical energy policies, such as carbon trading schemes or carbon taxes.
Zharkova suggested as much during an interview with Sky News in December. “I hope global warning will be overridden by this effect [lower solar magnetic activity], giving humankind and the Earth 30 years to sort out our pollution,” Zharkova said.
“We have to be sorted by that time and prepare everything on Earth for the next big solar activity,” she added.
If climate scientists spent half as much time and energy trying to learn to live with a changing climate as they do attempting to predict what’s going to happen with Earth’s climate a century into the future, we’d all be a lot better off. Of course, then there would be fewer urgent “crises” to solve, and thus fewer opportunities to pass far-reaching laws that attempt to control every aspect of people’s lives. And we certainly can’t have that, can we?
Justin Haskins (Jhaskins@heartland.org) is executive editor and a research fellow at The Heartland Institute. H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., is a senior fellow at The Heartland Institute.