Alternative explanations for climate change: some scientists have uncovered evidence that climate change is driven by forces that are not of this Earth.Outside the G8 Summit in Heiligendamm, Germany, a varied coterie of left-wing radicals, inflamed by socialist propaganda and organized by several fringe groups from the far left, blocked roads, attacked police with stones, and waved anti-capitalist signs and banners to protest the meeting of heads of state at the posh Heiligendamm sea resort. Inside, the leaders of the Group of Eight industrialized in·dus·tri·al·ize
v. in·dus·tri·al·ized, in·dus·tri·al·iz·ing, in·dus·tri·al·iz·es
1. To develop industry in (a country or society, for example).
2. nations, led this year by German Chancellor Angela Merkel [ˈaŋɡela doʁoˈteːa ˈmɛɐ̯kəl]) (b. worked toward a plan to confront the purported menace of (IPA: global warming global warming, the gradual increase of the temperature of the earth's lower atmosphere as a result of the increase in greenhouse gases since the Industrial Revolution. .
Merkel had set the stage for the summit's focus on global warming with a policy statement on May 24. Outlining her plans for the summit, Germany's new "Iron Chancellor" opined that climate change "is without a doubt a challenge for all mankind." As a result, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. an MSNBC MSNBC Microsoft/National Broadcasting Company report, she pledged "to secure U.S. backing for a pledge to halve emissions by 2050."
As a counterpoint to Merkel, the Bush administration--widely and wrongly believed to be opposed to regulations aimed at fighting global warming--was prepared with its own climate plan. In a summary of the plan made available by the White House, the Bush administration pledged its allegiance to the dangerous and unworkable Kyoto Accord that sought to impose caps on carbon emissions and that, as a result, would have constricted con·strict
v. con·strict·ed, con·strict·ing, con·stricts
1. To make smaller or narrower by binding or squeezing.
2. To squeeze or compress.
3. economic activity. "The U.S. remains committed to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change [the Kyoto Accord]," the summary said, "and we expect the new framework to complement ongoing UN activity." Legally, it should be noted, the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. does not have a commitment to the Kyoto agreement since it was never ratified by the Senate.
Nevertheless, Merkel and the other delegates to the G8 Summit, including Britain's Tony Blair Noun 1. Tony Blair - British statesman who became prime minister in 1997 (born in 1953)
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, Blair , who earlier asserted that he was the guy who could bring Bush around on global warming, welcomed the new Bush proposal on climate change. The Bush plan, Merkel said, was "an important step forward."
Evidently so, as it helped lead to a new agreement among the G8 leaders on emissions. On June 7, according to a press release from the summit, the leaders of the G8 nations reached a "breakthrough on climate protection" in the form of a non-binding agreement to cut greenhouse emissions in half by 2050, as Merkel had originally proposed. Though the agreement lacks the legal teeth to force G8 nations to actually cut emissions, it is a further sign that the Bush administration is continuing to move toward restrictions on U.S. industries. "The possibility is here for the first time to get a global deal on climate change with substantial cuts in emissions," gushed Tony Blair.
Highly touted by its supporters, the agreement is intended to serve as the framework for building a successor to Kyoto. In that sense it would be great for constricting con·strict
v. con·strict·ed, con·strict·ing, con·stricts
1. To make smaller or narrower by binding or squeezing.
2. To squeeze or compress.
3. industrial output and destroying economies. What it won't do is have an effect on the climate. That's because the real driver of climate change is far outside human control. In fact, the real engine behind the planet's climate, if a growing number of scientists are right, is a fiery orb that is a staggering 91 million miles away: the Sun.
Lessons of History
Though it gets little attention outside the scientific literature, variability in solar radiation solar radiation,
n the emission and diffusion of actinic rays from the sun. Overexposure may result in sunburn, keratosis, skin cancer, or lesions associated with photosensitivity. has been shown to have an effect on climate in the past. In 1999, a paper in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews pointed this out. The authors of the paper, a team of Dutch and Russian scientists, examined the relative levels of a carbon isotope that is more commonly created when the Sun is quiet and solar radiation is at a minimum. They found that substantial increases in the carbon isotope coincided with global-cooling events at about 850 B.C. and 1600 A.D. The latter date corresponds to the so-called Little Ice Age.
According to the researchers, "It is well documented that periods of decreased solar activity ... often coincide with climatic change. The best-known example is the Maunder Minimum (1645-1715), a solar event that is coinciding with one of the coldest phases of the Little ice Age.... According to Lean et al. (1992) the sun during the Maunder Minimum was 0.25% less bright than it was during the solar minimum of 1985-1986. Climate model experiments indicate that such a decrease in solar irradiance ir·ra·di·ant
Sending forth radiant light.
[Latin irradi is capable of causing a global cooling of about 0.5[degrees]C." One-half degree Celsius corresponds to the increase in the global mean temperature compared to a century ago.
Based on the findings of their research, the Dutch and Russian scientists concluded that climate reacts strongly to small changes in solar radiation. "Accepting the idea of solar forcing of Holocene and Glacial climatic shifts has major implications for our view of present and future climate," they wrote. "It implies that the climate system is far more sensitive to small variations in solar activity than generally believed. For instance, it could mean that the global temperature fluctuations during the last decades are partly, or completely, explained by small changes in solar radiation."
Some scientists have claimed that the Sun has been more active in recent years. In 2003, another team of European researchers, led by Ilya Usoskin of the University of Oulu The University of Oulu (Oulun yliopisto in Finnish) is the second largest university in Finland. It was founded on 8th of July 1958. The university has around 17,000 students and 3,000 staff. in Finland, published a paper in the journal Physical Review Letters Physical Review Letters is one of the most prestigious journals in physics. Since 1958, it has been published by the American Physical Society as an outgrowth of The Physical Review. documenting an increase in solar activity based on sunspot sunspot
Cooler-than-average region of gas on the Sun's surface associated with strong local magnetic activity. Sunspots appear as dark spots, but only in contrast with the surrounding photosphere, which is several thousand degrees hotter. observations. "The most striking feature of the complete SN [sunspot number] profile is the uniqueness of the steep rise of sunspot activity during the first half of the 20th century. Never during the 11 centuries prior to that was the Sun nearly as active." They pointed out that periods of high solar activity corresponded with periods of warmth on Earth and that periods of low solar activity likewise correspond with periods of wet, cool weather. The researchers concluded that the "current high level of solar activity may also have an impact on the terrestrial climate. We note a general similarity between our long-term SN reconstruction and different reconstructions of temperature: both SN and temperature show a slow decreasing trend just prior to 1900, followed by a steep rise."
A U.S.-based team of scientists reached a similar conclusion in a study published in Physical Review E, a journal of the American Physical Society The American Physical Society was founded in 1899 and is the world's second largest organization of physicists. The Society publishes more than a dozen science journals, including the world renowned Physical Review and Physical Review Letters, and organizes more than twenty science , in February 2004. Led by physicist Nicola Scafetta of Duke University, the researchers concluded that their analysis suggests that the increase of the earth's temperature during the last 80 years is partially related to the increase in solar activity. While anthropogenic an·thro·po·gen·ic
1. Of or relating to anthropogenesis.
2. Caused by humans: anthropogenic degradation of the environment. added greenhouse gases may also have partially contributed to the increase of the earth temperature during the last century, we observe that natural phenomena like eruption of volcanoes and several side effects Side effects
Effects of a proposed project on other parts of the firm. of the solar variability can contribute to climate change. For example, the increased solar activity may favor an increase of the water vapor concentration in the air, which is known as one of the strongest greenhouse gases, as well as the melting of snow and ice, which will lower the reflection of the earth and increase the absorption of solar energy. The increase of the concentration of atmospheric C[O.sub.2] and other greenhouse gases may also be partially due to the fact that the warming of the oceans may reduce the uptake of these gases from the air.
The warming influence of a more active Sun in recent decades has been confirmed by other researchers, including Dr. Sami Solanki, director of the famed Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research The Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (abbreviation: MPS; German: Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung) is part of the Max Planck Society which operates 80 research facilities in Germany. in Gottingen, Germany. Summarizing his research for the London Telegraph in July 2004, Dr. Solanki noted: "The Sun has been at its strongest over the past 60 years and may now be affecting global temperatures." According to Dr. Solanki, "The Sun is in a changed state. It is brighter than it was a few hundred years ago and this brightening started relatively recently--in the last 100 to 150 years."
A brighter, more active Sun can have a substantial effect on the climate on Earth. In addition to a brighter Sun resulting in more solar radiation reaching the Earth. Henrik Svensmark of the Danish Space Research Institute The Danish Space Research Institute (DSRI) (Danish: Dansk Rumforskningsinstitut, short DRI) was a Danish sector research institute under the Danish Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation. and his collaborators have proposed a novel theory explaining another effect a brighter Sun might have on climate. Since the mid-1990s Svensmark has been doggedly researching the correlation between galactic cosmic rays and climate, despite ridicule from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “IPCC” redirects here. For other uses, see IPCC (disambiguation).
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established in 1988 by two United Nations organizations, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment (IPCC See IMS Forum. ) that his work is "scientifically extremely naive and irresponsible." Quite the opposite, in fact, is true, as Svensmark is a legitimate scientist who publishes his work in peer-reviewed journals. His results are controversial--but that alone does not disqualify To deprive of eligibility or render unfit; to disable or incapacitate.
To be disqualified is to be stripped of legal capacity. A wife would be disqualified as a juror in her husband's trial for murder due to the nature of their relationship. them; important scientific work has often been controversial.
In a highly watered down summary, what Svensmark says is that galactic cosmic rays--radiation originating outside the solar system--seed cloud formation and that when solar activity is high, less cosmic radiation reaches Earth, reducing cloud cover and allowing more of the Sun's energy to penetrate and warm the atmosphere. For this to hold, however, Svensmark would need to demonstrate a mechanism whereby cosmic radiation can initiate cloud formation. In a paper published in the journal Astronomy & Geophysics, Svensmark claims to have done just that. In the paper's abstract, Svensmark writes, "A recent experiment has shown how ... cosmic rays cosmic rays, charged particles moving at nearly the speed of light reaching the earth from outer space. Primary cosmic rays consist mostly of protons (nuclei of hydrogen atoms), some alpha particles (helium nuclei), and lesser amounts of nuclei of carbon, nitrogen, assist in making aerosols, the building blocks of cloud" formation. As a result, says Svensmark, "Variations in the cosmic-ray influx due to solar magnetic activity account well for climatic fluctuations on decadal, centennial and millennial timescales." In fact, the researcher concludes, "The changing galactic environment of the solar system has had dramatic consequences, including Snowball Earth episodes."
The work of scientists like Henrik Svensmark and others who are investigating solar and extra-solar influences on climate points to an important fact that is regularly overlooked, namely that the Earth's climate is a complex system that is not easily understood and that, as a result, requires dedicated, ongoing, and intense investigation.
Unfortunately, and likely to the detriment of us all, the world's ideologically motivated political leaders are willfully willfully adv. referring to doing something intentionally, purposefully and stubbornly. Examples: "He drove the car willfully into the crowd on the sidewalk." "She willfully left the dangerous substances on the property." (See: willful) ignoring the complexities and uncertainties of science in their mad rush to shackle shackle
a bar 2.5 ft long with an iron loop at either end, used in restraint of large pigs. A chain is threaded through the loops and around the lower hindlimbs of the pig. When the chain is pulled the pig is stretched and is cast with the limbs held wide apart. the United States and the world within the confines of a restrictive regulatory regime. If they succeed imposing their regulatory regime, by 2050 they will have had no effect on the Earth's climate--which will have scarcely changed from the climate experienced today--but the people enjoying the fine, mid-century weather will likely be poor, unemployed, and hungry as a result.
Andrew Grainger (Member):  12/7/2009 11:41 AM
I could not agree more. That the Earth is warming and climate is changing is beyond debate. However, I do not accept that this is solely due to mankind's activity. Since Channel 4's 'The Great Climate Change Swindle' programme 2 or 3 years ago, I ahve failed to hear one convincing counter argument for the questions posed there, one of which regarded solar flare and it's effects. I work in a medical science and am well aware how research can become fashion led and a situation of 'The Emperor's new clothes' develop as nobody wants to put their head above the parapet and say 'but what about that?'Scientists who challenge the accepted wisdom have been piloried and ridiculed and had funding removed. All of this mitigates against objective scientific thinking; and low and behold scientists at The University of East Anglia are caught exaggerating the stats in the past week. If they have been at it, then who else has, I would ask. It is time us doubters dared to speak up more against this hysterical movement that has developed over the past 15 years or so. We need a more expanded debate addressing how we are going to deal with what comes more than the current thinking of Canute.