Is there a new scientific consensus forming around global cooling? That’s what environmentalist Lawrence Solomon writes in the Financial Post, citing the fact that solar activity is decreasing at the fastest rate as anytime in the last 10,000 years.
“Now an increasing number of scientists are swinging back to the thinking of the 1960s and 1970s,” Solomon writes. “The global cooling hypothesis may have been right after all, they say. Earth may be entering a new Little Ice Age.”
Solomon adds that Columbia University’s George Kukla — who warned the U.S. government about the dangers of global cooling in 1972 — postulated that “[g]lobal warming always precedes an ice age… The warming we saw in the 1980s and 1990s, in other words, was expected all along, much as the calm before the storm.”
Recently, scientists have been looking to solar activity as a predictor of world climate. Low solar activity has been connected with cold periods in human history, while high levels of solar activity have been connected with warming periods, like the recent one from the 1950s to 1998.
The United Nation’s climate authority has tried to downplay the influence of solar activity on the Earth’s climate, but climate scientists have been more assertive that the sun plays a role in affecting global temperatures.
“Attention in the public debate seems to be moving away from the 15-17 year ‘pause’ to the cooling since 2002,” writes Dr. Judith Curry, the chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology.
Curry describes the period since 2002 as “scientifically interesting” because “it coincides with the ‘climate shift’” of roughly 2001-02. “This shift and the subsequent slight cooling trend provides a rationale for inferring a slight cooling trend over the next decade or so, rather than a flat trend from the 15 [year] ‘pause’,” she added.
Earlier this year, Professor Cliff Ollier of the School of Earth and Environmental Studies at the University of Western Australia presented a study that posited that the sun was a major controller of the climate.
“There is a very good correlation of sunspots and climate,” Ollier wrote. “Solar cycles provide a basis for prediction. Solar Cycle 24 has started and we can expect serious cooling. Many think that political decisions about climate are based on scientific predictions but what politicians get are projections based on computer models.”