Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Is global cooling back?

According to a Climate Care certificate that was pinned in the office kitchen today my employer has "offset 15 tonnes of carbon dioxide." I must say I'm, er, delighted. I guess if it makes your conscience feel better, then it's all right. Though it would make more sense to me if instead we kept the heating in the office a tad lower than the usual tropical levels...
Meanwhile in the real world:
Ironically, just as global warming scare-mongering reaches new heights, the global cooling hypothesis is making a come back. It should be recalled that the frightening images of imminent global warming disaster are of fairly recent vintage. After all, in the 1960s and 1970s various prominent climatologists held the view that it was not global warming that formed a mortal threat to humanity but global cooling.
Recently the astronomer Khabibullo Abdusamatov of the Pulkovo Astronomic Observatory in St. Petersburg declared that the Earth will experience a "mini Ice Age" in the middle of this century, caused by low solar activity. Temperatures will begin falling six or seven years from now, when global warming caused by increased solar activity in the 20th century reaches its peak. The coldest period will occur 15 to 20 years after a major solar output decline between 2035 and 2045, Abdusamatov said. This view is shared by the Belgian astronomer, Dirk Callebaut, who expects a "grand minimum" in the middle of this century, just like the Maunder Minimum (1650-1700), a period during which the Thames, the Seine and the Dutch canals were frozen in winter.
If these astronomers are right, the hundreds of billions of dollars the world will spend every year on the fight against global warming will have gone down the drain. But, of course, we are not sure of imminent global cooling. On the other hand, we are not sure whether there will be catastrophic global warming either.
Do read the whole thing. If it comes to that, skating on the Thames would be bloody good fun, and if they survived the colder clime in the 1600s I'm sure we will too.
And if you're thinking about the famed "scientific consensus" also read this and this.

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