Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

15 August 2009

The Cooling Earth

The principal influence upon the global climate is always our Sun, though our galaxy can also have a major affect over the eons. Ocean currents respond to it. The oceans hold 99 times more heat than the atmosphere, so they in turn affect our climate. But it all comes back to the sun and the Milky Way galaxy. These are the big sources of energy and produce the big effects on cloud cover, at least aside from major volcanoes.

Astronomers Dr. William Livingston and Dr. Matthew Penn have long been measuring the Sun's magnetic fields. They have found that the magnetic intensity of sunspots has been decreasing for the last 15 years. If this continues, the Sun will have no sunspots in 5 years and its activity will be similar to the Maunder Minimum which is believed to have caused the Little Ice Age.

Other scientists measuring the solar wind, the plasma thrown off by the Sun, have found it to be weaker than at any previous time during the measurements which go back 40 years. This both indicates less solar radiation and less shielding of the Earth from cosmic rays. More cosmic rays create more cloud cover. More cloud cover cools all of the earth, except Antarctica. Antarctica actually warms with more cloud cover because its white snow and ice is more reflective even than clouds, which is not the case in Greenland.

Drs. Rachel Howe and Frank Hill of the National Solar Observatory have been tracking the path of a subsurface jet stream called the torsional oscillation which began near the Sun's pole, as such jet streams do in the Sun every 11 years. These streams travel east to west and slowly approach the equator of the Sun over a 17 year period. When they reach a critical latitude of 22 degrees, they generate sunspots. The torsional oscillation of the last Sun cycle took 2 years to make a 10 degree change of latitude, but the torsional oscillation of the present cycle has taken 3 years to do so. This slow rate of travel has extended the solar minimum, which is a cooler period for the sun.

Many solar scientists now believe the chances that the Earth will be cooling significantly exceed the chances of global warming.

Meanwhile, those dumb Democrats are still proclaiming loudly that there is a scientific consensus that catastrophe awaits us if we do not cut back drastically on fossil fuel energy use, even if it costs us a fortune, kills entire industries, and plunges the nation into economic depression. It is fearfully irresponsible of these people to turn to the use of government force to so harm the lives of other Americans without even doing their homework. But then, these are the same people who vote for House and Senate bills they have not read and the same president who tells us the bills do not contain the provisions that they do contain.

In fact, it is more likely we will need all the fossil fuels we can get to keep us warm. Any very modest warming we can get from generating more CO2 through a greenhouse effect will be welcome, though it will be a very small effect compared to the likely cooling brought on by a cooler Sun. With shorter growing seasons, any increased atmospheric concentrations of CO2 that man can contribute will be very helpful in fertilizing our food plants. So drill and drill some more. Nonetheless, the cooling of the oceans will probably cause a decrease in atmospheric CO2, so again, the effect of man will be puny.

With more than 6 billion people, it appears that the environmentalists will get their fondest wish. There will be mass starvation if we slip into another little ice age. If they are right that people are the problem, then there will soon be fewer of them. As always, the Democrats have misidentified the real problem.

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