Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The coming cool down?

From American Thinker:

Guess who wrote this.

"The Sun is the primary forcing of Earth's climate system. Sunlight warms our world. Sunlight drives atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns. Sunlight powers the process of photosynthesis that plants need to grow. Sunlight causes convection which carries warmth and water vapor up into the sky where clouds form and bring rain. In short, the Sun drives almost every aspect of our world's climate system and makes possible life as we know it.

"... According to scientists' models of Earth's orbit and orientation toward the Sun indicate that our world should be just beginning to enter a new period of cooling -- perhaps the next ice age...

"Other important forcings of Earth's climate system include such "variables" as clouds, airborne particulate matter, and surface brightness. Each of these varying features of Earth's environment has the capacity to exceed the warming influence of greenhouse gases and cause our world to cool. " [Emphases added.]
Lord Monckton didn't write that. Neither did physicist Richard Lindzen, physicist William Happer, or physicist Hal Lewis. Nor was it Steve McIntyre who blew the whistle on the "hockey stick." It was none of the usual suspects among the "skeptic" community.

It was NASA, home of our space program, the currently unmuzzled James Hansen and one of the major centers for collecting climate data and analyzing it. (HT: Ace.)

The NASA statement is simply astounding to me. It says, quite unambiguously, that our climate is dominated by the sun and our orientation to it. It also credits non-carbon sources as "important forcings" of our climate: clouds, particulate matter and surface brightness. Finally, it warns of coming global cooling!

Of course, the NASA statement still says there is human-caused warming. But, it will be swamped by these other forces to yield net cooling. In short, whatever man is doing to the climate, it is insignificant in the face of natural forcings.

The science "consensus" has not only collapsed, it has raised the white flag and confessed that the skeptics were right all along. I think we can stick a fork in the climate change agenda. A few nuts will continue to wander the streets, mumbling to themselves and each other. But as a significant political agenda, I think it's over. I sure hope it is.

It is all very amusing to see the left's favorite hobgoblin having the wind knocked out of its sails but the far more serious point is that the earth might very well be headed into the next ice age.

We are due for one and some scientists think we may already be in it but won't know for sure for a couple more decades.

This is a big deal.  While an increase in global temperatures would be a good thing overall (longer growing seasons, more land becoming productive for agriculture, less disease, less hunger, lower heating bills and so on) an ice age would be a global catastrophe of massive proportions.

Here is a map of what North America looked like during the last ice age:

Everything north of the heavy black line was covered with glaciers up to a mile thick.

That's all of Canada and Alaska and New England and the upper Midwest.  Tundra would extend south of the line of glaciation for more than one hundred miles in some areas.  The territory south of the tundra would have a much colder climate as far south as Florida and Northern Mexico.

Here is what Europe would look like:

While no one would miss Russia very much Great Britain and Ireland would be a different matter.

Growing seasons would be shorter.  World food production would drop and large numbers of displaced people would begin migrating south looking for warmer weather.

Some say that it would be the end of civilization as we know it.  I personally doubt that as I think that the human race is more resilient that that but it would unquestionably be the greatest disaster to ever befall the human race.