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Archive for Monday, September 7, 2009

Global warming theory received coolly

Sunspot link to climate patterns overshadowed by CO2 research

Charlie Perry is a research hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. For decades he has been following the correlation of sun activity and climate.

Charlie Perry is a research hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. For decades he has been following the correlation of sun activity and climate.

September 7, 2009

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Sunspots scarce lately

The sun went 51 days without a sunspot recently. The drought is the fifth longest in recorded history for the sun. A local scientist is predicting a cold, wet winter in connection with the solar activity. Enlarge video

Charlie Perry is a research hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. For decades he has been following the correlation of sun activity and climate.

Charlie Perry is a research hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. For decades he has been following the correlation of sun activity and climate.

Most of us wouldn’t know by looking at it, but the sun has been in a record breaking mode lately for its lack of activity.

It’s a trend that Charlie Perry, a scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey, follows closely. For the past few decades he has been charting the correlation between droughts and floods in the Midwest and the activity of the sun.

It is from that research that Perry predicts that the current lack of sun activity could lead to a cooler winter this year and drought conditions around 2043.

The sun goes through a cycle of activity about every 11 years. And right now, it is going through what is known as a solar minimum, a time of little activity with few sunspots, solar flares and sun quakes.

Through Aug. 31, 51 days had gone by with no signs of a sunspot. It was the fifth longest period for days without sunspots in 150 years. And, it came close to breaking a record set in 1913.

The sun is still on track to break a record for the fewest number of sunspotless days over a three-year period.

“It’s pretty hard to ignore the big orange ball in the sky that produces all the heat the earth has. And, very small fluctuations in that can make a big difference in our earth and climate,” Perry said.

Explaining sunspots

Sunspots are the dark areas of cooler temperatures in the sun’s photosphere. During times that the number of sunspots are at their highest, temperatures are hotter and the sun is releasing more energy.

First seen by Galileo, sunspots have been tracked by humans since the 1600s.

From 1640 to 1715, when few sunspots were reported, the northern hemisphere experienced what was known as the Little Ice Age. Londoners ice skated on the frozen Thames and people could walk from Manhattan to Staten Island on ice.

Another period of few sunspots occurred in 1913.

“And, that is a time when old-timers talk about it being really cold,” Perry said.

Perry’s interest in weather began as a youth working on a farm in Douglas County during the drought of the 1950s.

“I would sit on the back of this old horse-drawn equipment and I would pray for rain and it would never come,” he said.

Perry, who has a background in physics, was a meteorologist for the Air Force and started working for the USGS in the 1970s as a hydrologist.

Since the early 1980s, Perry has been looking at patterns to see how the sun’s activity relates to droughts and floods in the Midwest.

What he knew was that the sun has an 11-year-cycle, there is a 22 year-cycle for magnetic polarity and major droughts in Kansas occur about every 20 years.

With that, Perry developed a thesis that when the sun is very active, it puts out more heat and causes fewer clouds. In turn, the oceans heat up and carry that warmth throughout the world, influencing local weather patterns.

The tricky part was figuring out the lag time between when the solar activity occurred and when the ocean currents reached North America to affect the weather system.

The 34-year link came by happenstance.

“I had (looked) at a three- or four-year lag. And I just happened to lay them down on a table, two sheets fairly far apart and looked at them and went ‘my gosh, it’s over a 30-year lag.’ And, I lined it up on the light table and it just fit like a glove,” he said. “I had a hard time explaining a three-year lag. So, how can I explain a 34-year lag? It’s been a slow process.”

An unpopular theory

Perry has traveled around speaking at conferences, gathering new ideas and information along the way. He says his work supports that of a renowned Danish physicist Henrick Svensmark.

Svensmark’s research shows that cosmic rays generate cloud formations. Therefore, during periods when solar activity is high, which slows down the number of cosmic rays entering the atmosphere, there are fewer clouds and the earth warms. This phenomenon, Svensmark has argued, contributed to the warming of the planet in the past century.

Perry and Svensmark’s work runs counter to the mainstream belief that carbon dioxide is the major cause of climate change.

Perry — a man who has an electric wind generator and once tried to make a solar collector out of 10,000 beer cans in the 1970s — still attempts to conserve energy for the sake of conserving energy.

“I’m a green guy,” he said. “It’s just that carbon dioxide has very little effect on our climate.”

The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change disagrees. The panel has stated that solar radiation plays a small part in the warming and cooling of the planet. But, the panel attributes a much greater contribution to the effect from the increase in carbon emissions over the past few decades.

When looking at fluctuations in the earth’s atmosphere, David Braaten, Kansas University professor of atmospheric science, said the largest factor has been the enormous increase in carbon dioxide versus the ebbs and flows of the sun’s 11-year cycle.

“Basically, we have a long record of little changes going on in the atmosphere and there is this other huge change of concentration of (carbon dioxide). To try to explain that it has nothing to do with (climate change) is crazy,” Braaten said.

Perry knows his and Svensmark’s theory isn’t a popular one.

Even the USGS’s official point of view is that carbon dioxide is unequivocally the cause of climate change. Because of that, much of the research Perry has done has been on his own time and without the aid of grants.

Despite the doubters, Perry said he is not giving up.

“I am having too much fun,” he said. “I am finding out something new that no one else is finding out.”

Comments

Richard Heckler 4 years, 7 months ago

Union of Concerned Scientists

Midwest to Suffer with Unchecked Climate Change

A new peer-reviewed study by UCS shows how four Midwest states (Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin) will suffer significantly if climate change continues unabated.

The report explores a business-as-usual vs. a lower emissions scenario to demonstrate how a combination of clean energy policies can help avoid the worst consequences of global warming.
Read More : http://www.ucsusa.org/

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jonas_opines 4 years, 7 months ago

"I suspect you've been the victim of a bit of journalism induced drama, creating more a conflict than really exists. That's just a guess, but it has that feel to me."

Say it ain't so!!! hahaha. I couldn't imagine a world where journalists induced drama for. . . say, ratings.

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gphawk89 4 years, 7 months ago

"Perry knows his and Svensmark’s theory isn’t a popular one."

...because it doesn't fit in with the left/green political agenda, nothing more, nothing less.

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Bill Griffith 4 years, 7 months ago

rdragon-you missed the period in my sentence between my statement concerning El Nino and my statement concerning Washington and Oregon. Do you want to make another attempt? As far as being spoon fed, your making an assumption in my case that is highly amusing and I will leave it at that.

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Chris Golledge 4 years, 7 months ago

Hi Charlie,

I was impressed by your work in the 1980s; it's nice to see you are still at it.

Had a few thoughts:

I suspect you've been the victim of a bit of journalism induced drama, creating more a conflict than really exists. That's just a guess, but it has that feel to me.

A 34-year lag is one heck of a thing to try to explain. But, to use a wave metaphor, I can imagine that if you overlay an ~11-year TSI cycle, the period of the rotation of the Pacific currents, the period of deep ocean upwelling, etc., you could come up with some odd harmonics. Some readers seem to have missed the nuance in that you are trying to predict NA moisture/weather patterns and they are applying it to global patterns.

Clouds. A lot of people have looked at the effect of more or less clouds. High altitude clouds look to have an opposite effect to low altitude clouds. Which dominates is really hard to tell. Plus, clouds at night act to retain heat and, of course, they reflect during the day.

Still, the mean temperature of any body is pretty much determined by the rate of energy coming in, the rate of energy leaving, and the, hmm, thermal mass of the body for lag between energy flux change and temperature equilibrium. Sure, you change the energy coming in, you get a delta T, but you also get a delta T if you change the rate at which it leaves. Hotter bodies radiate more energy and cooler bodies less; so, a state of equilibrium will be reached in time, but it will not be at the same temperature that it was before.

There are a number of posters here who seem to think either CO2 interacts differently with IR in the lab than it does in the atmosphere, or that you can increase one of the greenhouse gases by 50% (and rising) and have no change in the global energy flux. (Really, please explain how that could work.) Sure, CO2 is a low concentration gas, but its absorption band lies right it the fat part of the energy curve that the earth emits. The change in heat flux is small in terms of percent, but then, a 3 degree C change in global temperature is only about a 1 percent change of the earth's surface temp on the absolute scale.

However, in terms of what happens with evaporation from the ground and plants, there is quite a bit of difference between 38 C (100.4 F) and 41 C (105.8 F).

Anyway, hang in there Charlie. No doubt you are on to something; it's just hard to tell what it is at this time.

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Roland Gunslinger 4 years, 7 months ago

BigPrune (Anonymous) says… The Nazi-esque symbol for Obama's healthcare is on the money with a Gestapo pin.


Hey dummy... Obama's symbol for heathcare reform is the Caduceus. A common symbol used for medicine or physicians. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caduceus

The Caduceus was formally adopted by the Medical Department of the United States Army in 1902. After World War I the caduceus was employed as an emblem by both the Army Medical Department and the Navy Hospital Corps. Even the American Medical Association used the symbol for a time.

Get your head out of your arse and into a book.

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jonas_opines 4 years, 7 months ago

"Jonus, if you watched every video that I linked (the whole thing), - the first one is Obama giving a speech (not some 3rd Party) regarding his want to create a civilian paramilitary force. Get it right man."

Take your own advice. . . . man. He doesn't once in that entire (20 second) clip say anything about paramilitary, that is you drawing your own conclusions. If you had read the comments on that first page, and then looked a little deeper (you know, past clips by people with user names like liberalismisdisease and squawkboxnoise, you would see that this is a specifically edited cut of a speech about expanding the US diplomatic corps. In other words, using the diplomatic work of civilians abroad rather than just soldiers in order to protect our nation. a "Civilian's National Security Force." (that was his words)

As I said before, you are a joke. The only question is whether you are deliberately lying or just gullable enough to swollow this crap whole when it confirms your preexisting opinions, and I'm not presumptuous enough to try and answer that. Anyone can take a 20 second out of context clip and make an illusory and disengenous point, just like anyone can scour around to find some demonizing symbolic resemblance to do. . . whatever. Of all of those things, only two struck me as actually real enough to question, the ammo tax and the DC gun ban. And of course, neither of those have shown any inclination of actually happening.

Now run along. I have work to do today, and no more time to disprove your general godwinisms.

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bondmen 4 years, 7 months ago

Past ice ages have come and gone prior to man producing copious amounts of carbon, sun spots are big for a time then there are none for years, seasons change every 4 months most places on earth, volcanoes spew so much particulate matter into the atmosphere it cools the globe for years - climate change happens and it's a very good thing lest the environment stagnate and life's delightful variety decline.

It's time to quit cursing climate change and begin embracing climate diversity. Viva la change!

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barrypenders 4 years, 7 months ago

I agree Earl E. Had it not been for the progressive SUV's a few thousand years ago, the continent we're typing on would have been covered with too much ice to drive on.

whew!

Peach out

Darwin bless you all

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devobrun 4 years, 7 months ago

Earl_E, what metric will yield 5.5 year resolution over 10^5 years?

I say 5.5 years since Nyquist sampling requires two samples per cycle to characterize the period. I use 10^5 year range to match the time scale of interglacial warmings.

I don't believe we have any proxies that can yield such fine resolution over such a long period of time. Thus, the data cannot yield patterns of period 11 years. It doesn't mean that they don't exist. It means that we cannot measure them.

People who call themselves scientists form societies and call each other scientists. They get PhDs from universities. They hold meetings and conferences. They get government funding. They are treated by the public and press as being above the frailties and foibles of normal humans. And you get.......religion.

All this about climate is worthless. Hans Christian Andersen wrote "The Emperor's New Clothes" in 1837. Flim flam men exist today as they did then, but now the invisible clothes are replaced by computer programs about climate. We are being taken for a ride by charlatans.

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bjfisher 4 years, 7 months ago

Well, so much for the Loons on the Left and their Global warming theory. (Thank God)!

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BigPrune 4 years, 7 months ago

Jonus, if you watched every video that I linked (the whole thing), - the first one is Obama giving a speech (not some 3rd Party) regarding his want to create a civilian paramilitary force. Get it right man.

The Nazi-esque symbol for Obama's healthcare is on the money with a Gestapo pin. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ges...

Just pointing out similarities. It's really quite scary that this guy takes all these cues from history and nobody in the press questions it.

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Thats_messed_up 4 years, 7 months ago

Wow there are sooooo many smaaaaaart people in lawrence! (Judging by all the comments) Wow

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rtwngr 4 years, 7 months ago

I love the "Industrial Revolution" crowd out there. Can any of you explain the falling temperatures in the Earth's climate from 1945 to 1973? This was a period when the U.S. really ramped up post war industrial production and raped the daylights out of the environment. Additionally, if you look at the data, CO2 increases, historically, have followed temperature increases and not the other way around. The only inconvenient truth about Al Gore is he didn't invent the internet either.

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driedoregano 4 years, 7 months ago

bong hits for global climate change studies, we need them.

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Earl_E 4 years, 7 months ago

Sunspots are on an 11 year cycle. Ice ages last millions of years, interglacial warmings last a few thousand. No climate patterns across the millenia reflect an 11 year cycle, none what so ever.

This is fun to read again, these arguments have been made for several hundred years, each new student proud to claim the discovery...zzzzz

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M. Lindeman 4 years, 7 months ago

belexus73 (Anonymous) says…

Rdragon-in response to the cool summer we are experiencing locally, this is from El Nino which occurs every few years. Oregon and Washington have been experiencing record heat this year. Remember this is called “Global Warming”-not “What the World Must Be When Looking Out From My Front Porch”.

rdragon writes:

Now lets be realistic.... El Nino really has little effect on the upper peninsula ( uppper northwest). Lived there for a few years, and like every shere else. There Temps fluctuate every so many years. If you look at the facts, and not the talking points that are spoon fed to you. You then might start to think for yourself, and then realize that most are nothing but puppets or mouthpieces for the extreme. Come on people!! we may be the top of the food chain, but that doesn't make us the controller of this vaste planet we call earth.

So let's remove are ass's off our high horse's and try and use a little common sense, when it comes too what we can and can not control.

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blindrabbit 4 years, 7 months ago

I remember a joke that circulated in the late 1950's following Russia's successful Sputnik launch. I'll avoid the responses assigned to a specific country as not to offend anyone.

The question was asked each of 3 country's space programs, "What is your goal for space travel".

1 "We are planning on going to the Moon".

2 "We are planning on going to Mars"

3 "We are planning on going to the Sun"

Response to #3's answer by interviewer "You'll burn up", followed by #3's reply "We're going at night".

Based on this, how do sunspots mentioned in the lead story affect this proposed trip????

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Tom Shewmon 4 years, 7 months ago

The irony is, the hotter it gets, the more Kool-Aid the Kool-Aid drinkers drink. It's a vicious cycle. Gore knew this.

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jonas_opines 4 years, 7 months ago

UfoPilot: How do you know? You ever been to one?

B^)>

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UfoPilot 4 years, 7 months ago

The bottom line is... There's no money in sun spots.

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fouroclock 4 years, 7 months ago

Perry is first class and I'm glad he thinks for himself. He seems "green" to me, yet critically thinks about what our planet is really going through. Keep it up Charlie!

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jonas_opines 4 years, 7 months ago

lawrenceguy40 (Anonymous) says…

"Scientists say what they are paid to “conclude”!

It would be amusing to see who is paying this buffoon."

So, since you tend to never say anything, I guess we can conclude that no one is paying you?

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jonas_opines 4 years, 7 months ago

Assuming I'm supposed to be "Janus," I don't recall you shooting my argument down at all. I recall you linking youtube videos that don't say at all what you say that they do.

As for Koolaid and open minds, I watched every one of your videos, which apparently is more that can be said for you, since you're clearly wrong that they give any proof for your assertions at all, past random people saying things they have no justification in saying. If pointing that out is emotional, then I wonder where it fits with linking a video that says Obama uses a nazi symbol, followed by several minutes of footage of Hitler. I assume that this is your definition of rational?

It also appears that you're a good and proper sexist, too. Good to know, I'll add it to the list.

/neither jonas or Janus are female names

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BigPrune 4 years, 7 months ago

I think Janus has been drinking too much koolaid. Open your mind man (or woman), whichever you may be! Though I'm leaning woman since you got so emotional when I shot your argument down.

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Mixolydian 4 years, 7 months ago

Does anyone have this article in braille? I can't read it because the predicted acid rain in the 1980's ate my eyes up.

Never mind, I just remembered the predicted coming global ice age from the 1970's gave me frostbitten fingers.

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Pay_N_My_Way 4 years, 7 months ago

Global warming is over rated. I think Washington politicians need to JUST keep us safe in America and give up on this global warming trend. Just sounds like something GE is pushing for. Maybe GE will go bankrupt if we give up on global warming.

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jimincountry 4 years, 7 months ago

Beware the "conventional wisdom" crowd on climate and "green", especially since liars and politicians(oops!, I'm being redundant) like Al Gore have based their newest scams on gullible followers to accept the newest thesis for the end of the world. The Panama Canal's construction was going to cause destructive flooding when the link was made between the oceans and Galileo wasn't exactly supported by the "university/intelligentia" crowd. "You can fool ALL of the people some of the time,...." (who said that?..lawyer, politician, con-man, snake oil salesman...oops, more redundancy) and that's what's happening with this latest worrisome fad for the end-is-near crowd like Gore. These are all theories folks and don't be among the college professor, know-it-all consensus followers without looking at the otherside of the argument.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 7 months ago

Quite right, LS09-- scaling back our emissions of greenhouse gases is the truly conservative approach to take.

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logicsound09 4 years, 7 months ago

"The problem being, if we accept the non-global warming line; once there is overwhelming proof enough to convince the naysayers, it will be too late to do something other than drastic measures. We have the technology to prevent much of the human induced the global-problem if we apply ourselves. Even if this is later found to be an error, just think what a positive step burning less CO2 producing fuels would be anyway."


This more or less sums up my feelings on the whole theory of man-affected climat change.

As far too few people have expressed on here, pretending to know the answers to this incredibly complex issue is foolish. The very people who study and research these issues have the sense to know that "knowing" doesn't really exist in the way most people think of it. They have a theory (or collection of theories) that is continually tested and becomes stronger--but never ironclad--with each test it passes. Such is the scientific method.

Given that inherent ambiguity, it only seems prudent to look at the stakes on each side of the issue.

1) Let's say man-affected climate change is wholly and categorically false and that we have no power to change the Earth's climate. We make changes in our energy consumption that reduces the extraordinary levels of CO2 emissions we produce at what cost? At worst, we sink investment money into developing forms of energy consumption that produce less emissions and potentially move away from finite energy sources like coal. In other words, we reap the benefits of our investment, meaning our net loss is negligible.

2) On the other hand, let's say that the theory of man-affected climate change is occurring. We make changes to reduce the emissions caused by our energy consumption and potentially save drastic and possibly irreversible changes from occurring to the only planet we have.

The cost of being overcautious and acting even though we don't fully understand the issue and don't have unassailable "proof" of it occurring? Time, effort and money.

The cost of failing to act in the face of an actual problem? Human lives...oh yeah, and time, effort and money.

It seems pretty simple to me.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 years, 7 months ago

blindrabbit, that is my opinion and it matters to no one except me.

There is a universal Divine power in the Universe that no one of us knows or understands regardless of all the centuries of religious voodoo and speculation. There are many religions that address the attempts to explain this Power, but none truly knows the nature of it. But their "faith" is usually sufficient to bash, dinigrate and trash anyone that disagrees with their "religion"

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logicsound09 4 years, 7 months ago

"Everything I have read on this points to sunspots." - BigPrune


Yes, the rest of us read the article too. We know what's in it.

Of course, some of us have read other material as well...

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Ray Parker 4 years, 7 months ago

So, after this very cold winter coming up, we are in for 11 years of solar warming - sunspots, flares, etc. Watch for the leftists and Marxists to blame SUVs, etc. for manmade solar warming.

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lawrenceguy40 4 years, 7 months ago

Scientists say what they are paid to "conclude"!

It would be amusing to see who is paying this buffoon.

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blindrabbit 4 years, 7 months ago

frwent: Your response reminds me about the story of the "ostrich who buried his head in the sand". Stand by and let the "creator" take care of things, "Sweet Jesus"!

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blindrabbit 4 years, 7 months ago

liberty-one: Kinda narrow-minded to my first post; too bad knee jerked reactions besmerched your comments. I did not say that ALL "older" CO2 creating technologies were easily correctable, nor if all need to be replaced. However, if we consider ourselves technologically advanced enough to (Man to the moon, Computer tecnologial savy, Human genome discovering) why not realize that there is something to the global warming issue and strive to reduce the "bad guys"..

From you viewpoint, is there anything to the improved upper-atmosphere ozone depletion situation since CFC depleters were outlawed; or remarkable species recovery since DDT was banned, or environmental clean-ups at Love Canal, Times Beach, Kerr-McGee, and Brockovichs' California story. If these were left-up to the industries that created and profited from those, they would have never been solved.

I'm not at all opposed to business and profit making and lower costs; but let's strive to do it in a way that does not burden our future from a health and anti-improvement stance. Incidentally, many of the new "cleaner" technologies will actually be cheaper once they are "main lined". Kinda time worn out, but think about the legacy for future generations, including your family.

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Paul Decelles 4 years, 7 months ago

Actually the reporter is making an issue where there really isn't any. Scientists have been looking at correlations between sun spot activity and temperature at least since the 1950's. The problem is coming up with a plausible mechanism to explain the correlation and that is what Svensmark’s work attempts to do.

I really don't think the resistance to this idea is due to it being politically incorrect (at least among scientists) but rather skepticism about the reality of the correlations and the correctness of Svenmark's explanation.

That said, shame on Vertigo for trying to inject critical thinking into this otherwise logic free discussion.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 years, 7 months ago

Amzing information and even more amazing responses. The plain unvarnished fact is that there is some measurable climate change occuring, as there has been since the earth was born. And there are those who want to shut down the coal industry, the oil industry and other enterprises for their own political purposes. But no amount of wind whirlygigs and solar cells will erase the basic truth, change is happening, it is highly likely that humans have much to do with it, and nothing we do can change the course of cosmic forces. So rave on and grandstand with your politically motivated drivel, the Creator of the Universe has the basic control and all the posturing and pontificating from the political morons will not change anything, except the jobs that are destroyed and the blackouts that are coming.

A

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Liberty_One 4 years, 7 months ago

blindrabbit (Anonymous) says…

"The “loosers” [sic] if there are any will be the profiteers now polluting as a result of old dirty processes."

So pretty much anyone that benefits from lower energy costs. You know, like when you pay to heat and cool your house, drive yourself to work, etc. I guess everyone will be the losers.

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Bill Griffith 4 years, 7 months ago

Rdragon-in response to the cool summer we are experiencing locally, this is from El Nino which occurs every few years. Oregon and Washington have been experiencing record heat this year. Remember this is called "Global Warming"-not "What the World Must Be When Looking Out From My Front Porch".

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blindrabbit 4 years, 7 months ago

No doubt some truth to Perry's line, but when I read this, the first 2 thoughts that came to mind: what political party does he belong and what religious persuasion does he advocate. The are plenty of otherwise brilliant researches and scientists that get twisted around by politics and religion to the point that they loose their objectivity. Not saying this is so with Perry, but he is seeming to fly concurrently to the vast majority of his peers. Also should add who is paying his salary.

The problem being, if we accept the non-global warming line; once there is overwhelming proof enough to convince the naysayers, it will be too late to do something other than drastic measures. We have the technology to prevent much of the human induced the global-problem if we apply ourselves. Even if this is later found to be an error, just think what a positive step burning less CO2 producing fuels would be anyway.

The old lost jobs argument has also bunked by the non-warming, flat earthers is easily refuted.. In reality only the old "dirty" jobs will be affected, and replaced by a new cleaner technologies. The "loosers" if there are any will be the profiteers now polluting as a result of old dirty processes.

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hwarangdo 4 years, 7 months ago

Amazing ... a scientific theory prompts immediate political commentary ... what is the world coming to? Why can't the fact that the industrial revolution (burning of coal and later oil) has really contributed to the warming of the planet? After all, it began long before the big oil/gas industry became a powerful lobby. In 1990 KU Lecture series had a climatologist who had been studying climate change and temperatures for 10+ years and predicted that the earth's global climate was and would be warming up. Of course he was boo-hood by his colleages. Yet Galelao was also crushed by "the church" for his radical new views. Point is, why can't both theories be valid? Global climate warming brought on by CO2, and cooling by lack of sun spots. Oh, and yet another theory from past earth climate history: most major global warming events were followed by an ice age. So theories abound ... it is now obvious that at least some warming is due to the extreme increase in CO2 ... 99% of the world's scientists agree on this. Perhaps the biggest question is: why are some so absolutely stubbornly opposed to this theory? Because we are being confused and mislead by those who would profit the most from continued rampant release of CO2. It is the bread and butter of their profit$. The fact is, WE CAN do something about CO2 emissions, but we cannot do anything about what the sun is doing. Or are we living in the dark ages when any and all extreme ideas are crushed and silenced because we still believe the world is flat and that gravity doesn't exist? Have we grown into intelligent human beings, or are we still clamping our hands over our ears and eyes when someone comes up with a new idea? Perhaps ... yet one wonders what potential we as human beings would have if we would simply get our heads out of the sand ... oil sands? Hmm, well that's another perspective to discuss isn't it? Of course, there's also El Nino and La Nina effects ... and what drives them, and how that affects climate around the world ... ask any Aussie about ENSO ...

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vega 4 years, 7 months ago

Regardless of whether there is a global warming or global cooling coming up and regardless of the main cause or additional causes being natural or triggered by CO2 emission, the climate does change and ANY climate change will affect our (global - not only Midwestern) way of life. No reason out there to cheer at all.

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canyon_wren 4 years, 7 months ago

You make some good points, jonas. But I think there is a world of difference between "Contaminated water that has destroyed the entire aquatic life-cycle. Contaminated air that poisons the population. Deforestation that has created a moving, encroaching desert that has spread over 200 miles in less than that many years" and assuming we have the power (if it can be called that) to alter global climate patterns.

I agree with you when you say "The point being that many people scoff at some of the more-heard and higher-concensus theories, and the people that blindly follow those, then when something comes out that gives them an alternative explanation, they see it and, rather uncritically, say 'finally, someone willing to speak sense in all the insanity!' or 'ha, it's not global warming, This is the right answer!' or some variation of that." That just seems like human nature--both for conservatives and liberals.

I still believe that it is presumtuous of man to read into his discoveries a broader application than they warrant.

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puddleglum 4 years, 7 months ago

right thinker sez-"The truth is that there is money in blaming carbon dioxide for global warming."

really?

isn't there more money to be made by just sticking head back in sand and continue to use cheap coal? oh yeah, see-China.

and global warming is a farce, since it is 70 degrees today and supposed to be summer. I am sure that it is going to be cold this winter, and then it may snow also.

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FreshAirFanatic 4 years, 7 months ago

OldEnuf -- You're exactly right. Years ago, I had a class Braaten taught...or was supposed to. He spent nearly the entire time in Antarctica doing research. In fact, I bet if we tallied up his time teaching versus time away, we'd find that he sees more penguins than students.

Follow the money people...

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jonas_opines 4 years, 7 months ago

"I've always felt it was pretty “puffed up” and presumptuous of mankind to assume we have a major effect on climate change."

But what factual information have you based that feeling on, Canyon Wren? There is plenty of highly visible evidence to support that we can have lasting impace on virtually everything else in the environment. There are places in China where they have done cataclysmic and likely irreversable damage to their environment as a whole. Contaminated water that has destroyed the entire aquatic life-cycle. Contaminated air that poisons the population. Deforestation that has created a moving, encroaching desert that has spread over 200 miles in less than that many years. Why is it such a stretch to believe that unrestrained human activity could fundamentally alter the climate? Even temporarily? If we, for instance, destroy the some of our major forests and jungles (Amazon, at current deforestation rates, is predicted to decrease by 40% in the next few decades, should they continue unabated) that would remove a substantial portion of the ability to convert CO2 into Oxygen in our atmosphere. How would that not have an effect on our climate?

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Tom Shewmon 4 years, 7 months ago

A few posters have touched on the idea, and I can only say again, global warming is the 'perfect storm', pun intended, for miserable far-left ideological zealots to drag the rest of America and the world for that matter, down with them.

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jonas_opines 4 years, 7 months ago

Jimbo: I don't dismiss anything out of hand, and I neither agree nor disagree with any scientific theory concerning the climate and if and how it is changing. I have said on multiple occasions that anyone who believes they know anything for certain is either fooling themselves or operating under a knowable bias. But for this article, if you'll recall, what I said was this:

"I won't say he's wrong, but anyone who read this article and thought: hey, this is a better explanation should think about personal bias, because there are as many holes in this as some of the other theories."

The point being that many people scoff at some of the more-heard and higher-concensus theories, and the people that blindly follow those, then when something comes out that gives them an alternative explanation, they see it and, rather uncritically, say "finally, someone willing to speak sense in all the insanity!" or "ha, it's not global warming, This is the right answer!" or some variation of that.

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canyon_wren 4 years, 7 months ago

Good, sensible article--and it's great to read about a scientist willing to pay for his own work just to explore an idea that isn't politically correct at present. I believe there was an article with a similar perspective in a Discover magazine about a year ago, and that scientist was ridiculed, as well, in letters to the editor. I've always felt it was pretty "puffed up" and presumptuous of mankind to assume we have a major effect on climate change--having said that, I still think efforts to conserve energy and be as "kind" to our atmosphere as possible are a good idea. I just don't think such efforts should be "mandated." Every day, there are more and more laws restricting our freedoms, and THAT'S scary!

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 4 years, 7 months ago

"“Basically, we have a long record of little changes going on in the atmosphere and there is this other huge change of concentration of (carbon dioxide). To try to explain that it has nothing to do with (climate change) is crazy,”"

So, the "Little Ice Age" doesn't influence his definition of "long record of little changes"? Translation: "I'm too invested in this other theory to even consider giving credence to any other idea."

So, who now is being irrational?

Cowards.

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Robert bickers 4 years, 7 months ago

This has been out there a while, but I'm glad the LJWorld is giving it the attention it deserves. Top o' the page, no less.

Jonas: There are a lot of smart people out there that have been working on sunspots for a long time. Don't dismiss this out-of-hand because you think otherwise. http://wattsupwiththat.com/

Esteshawk: This discussion's not about energy, it's about climate change. Clean energy is good, but you unless you've got a way to harvest energy from sunspots this is the wrong thread.

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jonas_opines 4 years, 7 months ago

"Common sense Americans should be proud of the way they have been governmentally mandated to us their natural resources including coal, gas, oil, nuclear, and wind."

Fixed that for you. I agree very much that the We'zAllGonnaDie hysterics surrounding the debate cloud the issue. But you should be honest. The reason that we have less of an environmental issue than those countries is two-fold. First, we're a lot farther along in development than, say, China, and can afford to sacrifice some level of economic growth for greater environmental protection. Second, we have a lot of standards that production has to follow, in terms of clean outputs, output levels, conservation, etc. And we enforce them. Fuel emmission standards, factory output controls, etc. How many of those regulations were made by private companies?

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jayhawklawrence 4 years, 7 months ago

It really doesn't matter what kind of data is available to make a scientific analysis.

It only matters what your political party tells you to believe and what to say.

That appears to be the dominant theme in the country these days.

Objectivity on any subject would be a refreshing change.

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true_patriot 4 years, 7 months ago

It's ridiculous to argue in terms one or the other being the only real contributor. They both most likely contribute, and a real scientific debate would be over the ratios involved.

The current evidence would seem to indicate that we have a long pattern of sunspot-oriented cyclical behavior of a modest magnitude, and a huge exponential increase in the past century that coincides with the industrial revolution.

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Dan Eyler 4 years, 7 months ago

Thanks for the research. Global warming lost me once and for all when Al Gore and his UN buddies and these environmental nut cases in our government started selling us on the idea that we only have about 10 more years before the earth and it inhabitants will be doomed.

Another imaginary crisis created to take more government control. God willing I will be here in 10 years to watch another dooms day prediction fall flat on its face. I strongly suggest that the American Socialist travel out of their neighborhoods and go to any current socialist or communist state to see the effect of real man made ecological and environmental pollution, water contamination, poor air quality and on and on. Common sense Americans should be proud of the way they have learned to us their natural resources including coal, gas, oil, nuclear, and wind. If we want to be free of foreign energy imports than we need to step on the heads of the socialist and environmental dooms day cult. We will never be free of anything if we follow the global warming fraud.

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Lee Eldridge 4 years, 7 months ago

IBD (Investors Business Daily) has been writing articles on sun spots for quite some time, and their impact on our climate. But the mainsteam media of course hasn't touched this story. Good job LJW to even run it.

My point isn't that we don't contribute to climate change as well. We might. But there is certainly more and more evidence available, and actual debate, about the causes of climate change. Those who believe there is no legitimate debate on either side of this issue are close minded and likely politically driven towards their beliefs.

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jonas_opines 4 years, 7 months ago

Good, Big Prune, thank you for linking those so I can difinitively say that none of your sources actually support your assertions beyond vague innuendo of 3rd party, and that none of them have happened in any fashion. Hell, the one about arresting dissidents just throws it out in the opening seconds, and then not a single thing in the entire article says that ever again.

And a nice Godwin in there too, that's good.

Guess we're done here. You're a joke, and I can move on.

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M. Lindeman 4 years, 7 months ago

belexus73 (Anonymous) says…

I have read about the solar cycle becoming less robust. Climate scientists are concerned that it should be getting cooler during thiis period yet in fact the opposite has been occurring.

rdragon writes:

Really?!?! That must be why Aug was so damn hot again this year. I wish people would stop, step back and look at all the facts. I do think we human's can poison the water table and the soil. Don't you think it is kind of arrogant thinking humans could turn the earths thermostat up or down?

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rtwngr 4 years, 7 months ago

Well, I can't believe the LJW published an article that runs counter to the mainstream thought of this town. The truth is that there is money in blaming carbon dioxide for global warming. The left can portray the U.S. as an avaricious society that could not care less about the rest of the struggling economies of the world.

Thank you Mr. Perry for bringing some sanity to the argument.

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BigPrune 4 years, 7 months ago

Actually Jonas, I reached my opinion from watching Obama's speeches. A civilian paramilitary force as well equipped as our military - here's a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tt2yGz...

Calls for the arrests for any dissenters, here's a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltrzP9...

Calls for disarming citizens: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vKfL2...

Using his healthcare logo that looks just like a Nazi logo. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqSQ1p...

Obama had a snitch website (later to be removed): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-uQm6yKjuk

I had to find these, though I had read or watched everything coming from the mainstream press.

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fouroclock 4 years, 7 months ago

If we could only grasp how privileged we are to live on a special planet with 2 miles of atmosphere that sustains life which has not been found anywhere else in our universe. We have a perfect orbit around the sun, in perfect harmony with the moon which balances us, which regulates our tides, which cleanses our oceans, which regulates our tectonic plates, which regulates our carbon dioxide. Our sun is a yellow star, which only 10% of stars are, located between spiral arms of the the great Milky Way, far away from where the most dangerous comets pass, (and if they do Jupiter does a great job of blocking them or deflecting them as do other planets) We're in the perfect spot in the universe for life! I'm not an "eco-maniac" but we better respect this planet -- there's no place to move.

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Tom Shewmon 4 years, 7 months ago

'Hatred blinds, and rhetoric breeds ignorance. '

I know, we saw plenty of it 2001-2008.

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esteshawk 4 years, 7 months ago

Why can't Cons see the bigger picture? We are dependent on the middle-east for our carbon based economy. Until we "go green" our economy is at the mercy those across the ocean. We would be a much stronger country if we reduce our carbon footprint. It's a national defense issue as much or more than anything. Also, we KNOW that oil is a finite product. What sane person would act as if it will last forever? Hatred blinds, and rhetoric breeds ignorance.

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superpooper 4 years, 7 months ago

my personal opinion is that there is so many fat people around the world that cant stop farting, there farts heat up the earth

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superpooper 4 years, 7 months ago

in 100 years people are going to look at the final desion like they did with the thery that all the planets rotate around the sun, not the earth.

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Pilgrim2 4 years, 7 months ago

The Apocalypse Cult simply can't tolerate a natural, non-man-made explanation for one of its pet means of gaining more control over our lives and behavior. Charlie Perry must have been paid off by Big Oil to come up with such a reasonable theory. This simply cannot be allowed to stand. Algore will be flying in on his 747 to personally upbraid this renegade and strip him of his scientific education degree(s).

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Bill Griffith 4 years, 7 months ago

I have read about the solar cycle becoming less robust. Climate scientists are concerned that it should be getting cooler during thiis period yet in fact the opposite has been occurring.

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Tom Shewmon 4 years, 7 months ago

Al Gore's global warming hoax is the gift that keeps on giving to liberals. Curiously, we had a "green czar", Van Jones, a self-professed communist, and our "climate czarina" a hypocrital Gore worshiper of the highest order Carol Browner, has socialist ties and likes to pick and choose whose 'science' supports her agenda.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Put-nothing-in-writing-Browner-told-auto-execs-on-secret-White-House-CAFE-talks-50260677.html

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jonas_opines 4 years, 7 months ago

Everything you've read also makes you suggest that Obama will bring out the jackboot thugs, take away our guns and all of our liberties, and turn us into a fascist police state, because he's the anti-Christ. You'll pardon me if I've come to distrust whatever sources it is that you read.

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BigPrune 4 years, 7 months ago

Everything I have read on this points to sunspots. I've been pointing this out for years, but the Koolaid drinkers think otherwise.

I am always suspect since the popular thought among scientists throughout the 1970's said we were on the verge of another 10,000 year ice age!

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jonas_opines 4 years, 7 months ago

One guy saying something that sounds more like something that I would like to believe = sanity. Interesting.

"It is from that research that Perry predicts that the current lack of sun activity could lead to a cooler winter this year and drought conditions around 2043."

So let's all remember to mark 2043 on our calendars, as we only have this winter and then that year to check the accuracy of these given prediction.

I won't say he's wrong, but anyone who read this article and thought: hey, this is a better explanation should think about personal bias, because there are as many holes in this as some of the other theories.

There was a lack of sunspots in 1913, the same year Old-timers. . . . said was really cold. That's in the article, his words.

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BigPrune 4 years, 7 months ago

Wow! Some sanity coming from the island of the insane. I'm with labmonkey.

I think this guy is onto something. It's really quite logical.

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RoeDapple 4 years, 7 months ago

I blame the lack of sunspots on global warming....

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labmonkey 4 years, 7 months ago

There is nothing to be gained politically or monitarily if global warming is caused by sunspots. How dare this guy show evidence that is contrary to the current, politically correct belief.

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Roland Gunslinger 4 years, 7 months ago

Really MOST of the Earth's heat comes from within? Is that why when our hemisphere is tilted away from the sun we have what we call winter? And when our hemisphere is tilted towards the sun we have summer?

If MOST of our heat comes from within wouldn't it make sense that our temperatures wouldn't be so extreme between the summer and winter? I would think the temperatures would stay roughly the same if MOST of our heat came from within. Regardless of time of year and geography.

If the inner heat were really the dominant factor, then surely the day-night cycle would not be what it is, nor would you expect such variation in climates over seasons and latitudes. How can the south pole be covered with thousands of meters of ice with all this heat supposedly bubbling up from the surface? Why would a little lower angle of sunlight cause the average temperature to drop from 100° in the summer to 20° in the winter?

The fact of the matter is, solid rock is an extremely good insulator and the heat from the mantle propagates up very slowly and diminishes very quickly (at about 20°C/km) to almost nothing by the time it is at the surface. At the surface, the earth is releasing less than one-tenth of one Watt/m2. Not a lot of of juice when you compare it to the sun, which provides on average some 342W/m2 of energy to the earth's surface.

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Andreas Moeller 4 years, 7 months ago

Whether CO2 triggers the current change of climate or not is apparently a difficult question to answer, because the climate is changing naturally anyway. And in major ways, the Earth covered completely in ice at times and no ice at all at others times. Other factors may contribute. But it is sad to read that somebody with that background apparently said: "....the big orange ball in the sky that produces all the heat the earth has." That is just wrong. Most of the heat in the Earth comes from within. If Earth was only warmed by the sun we it would be pretty cold. I thought the "whacko news" time of summer was over....?

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Roland Gunslinger 4 years, 7 months ago

Sounds reasonable... the thing that heats the Earth might just possibly be the thing that's causing the Earth to heat up!

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