Global Cooling: The Real Climate Threat
Climate alarmists constantly warn us that man-made global warming is making our world less habitable and that climate doomsday is fast approaching. But a closer look at our climate reveals a surprising climate discovery that our mainstream media have conveniently ignored for decades: the role of the sun in determining Earth's climate.
For the first time in humanity's history, our leaders could be actively devising policies — based on their defiant and biased obsession with global warming — that will render us highly vulnerable to even the slightest cooling in our climatic system.
"We are causing irreversible damage to our environment," "We are headed for a climate doomsday due to excessive warming," "Climate change may wipe out humanity" — these are our everyday news headlines.
As a climate scientist, I find these headlines, and the stories they introduce, vague and full of hasty generalizations. The repeated, one-dimensional doomsday cry about carbon dioxide's role in global temperature blinds the public to other causes.
CO2 is just one of many factors that influence global temperatures. Its role in recent warming is far from dominant. Indeed, there is poor correlation between CO2 emissions and global temperature. Between 2000 and 2018, global temperature showed no significant increase despite a steep increase in carbon dioxide emissions from anthropogenic sources. The same was the case between the years 1940 and 1970. When carbon dioxide concentration increases at a constant and steady rate and temperature doesn't follow the pattern, we can be certain that carbon dioxide is not the primary driver of global temperature.
If not CO2, what?
Life on Earth is possible because of Earth's perfect positioning in the solar system: not too close to the sun and not too far. For centuries, academicians have acknowledged this, and climate scientists today know that the sun is the biggest influencer and driver of global temperature.
NASA's page on solar influence clearly states that changes in the sun largely determine Earth's atmospheric and surface temperatures. Astrophysicists and climatologists measure these changes in the sun in terms of quantifiable phenomena such as sunspot activity and solar cycles.
However, in recent times, NASA has succumbed to pressure from climate doomsday proponents. NASA's original page on the sun's impact on our climate system is now hidden from the public domain.
With the advent of dangerous man-made global warming theory, CO2 has taken the limelight, and the sun has been relegated to a mere spectator.
This could be warming-obsessed alarmists' biggest mistake ever.
In central Europe, for example, temperature changes since 1990 coincided more with the changes in solar activity than with atmospheric CO2 concentration. The same has been true globally, and across centuries.
The Maunder Minimum (1645–1715) and Dalton Minimum (1790–1830) — periods of low solar activity — were responsible for the coldest periods of the Little Ice Age. England's River Thames froze. Whole civilizations collapsed as people starved because cold-induced poor harvests led to malnutrition that made people too weak to resist disease. Likewise, increased solar activity in the Roman Warm Period (~250 B.C. to A.D. 400) and Medieval Warm Period (~A.D. 950–1250) brought warmer temperatures on Earth, and thriving crops led to greater nutrition and lower mortality rates.
Hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific papers affirm the overwhelming impact of solar activity on Earth's temperature.
But will there be a cooling?
Observations of sunspot activity at the Space Weather Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) indicate that there has been a lull in solar activity during the past 18 years — the same period during which there has been no significant warming, confirming a direct correlation between solar activity and global average temperature.
Some climate scientists say another major cooling is likely soon. Their claims are not outlandish.
Evidence for the lull in solar activity is so clear that even NASA admits the cooling trend. Martin Mlynczak of NASA's Langley Research Center commented, "We see a cooling trend[.] ... High above Earth's surface, near the edge of space, our atmosphere is losing heat energy. If current trends continue, it could soon set a Space Age record for cold."
Most recent scientific studies on solar cycles suggest that the next solar cycles (25 and 26) could be similar to the Maunder and Dalton minima that plunged much of the world into disastrous cold.
An article in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Astrophysics and Space Science last month warns that the solar minimum might already have begun. Its authors also say there is a high possibility that it will be even colder than those of the Little Ice Age.
That is disturbing news.
Most of our current efforts — including the choice of our renewable energy technologies and our anti–fossil fuel developmental policies — are incompatible with fighting off the impacts of severe cold weather (localized and short-term), let alone long-lasting and global cooling like what happened with the solar minima of the Little Ice Age.
In the event of global cooling, people all over the world — the poor, especially — will be vulnerable. Our vulnerability will be largely because of global warming alarmists' neglect of climate reality and the power-hungry climate agenda currently dominating national and international politics.
Vijay Jayaraj (M.Sc., Environmental Science, University of East Anglia, England), contributor to the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, lives in Chennai, India.