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December 06, 2007

Warren Miller Takes on Global Warming

Got sent a link to a new skiing blog today and was reviewing it. Came across this article from the Pimp Daddy of skiing, Warren Miller.

If you are to believe Nobel Prize winner Al Gore, who also received an Academy Award for his documentary about global warming, everyone should immediately sell any ski or snowboard equipment they own and give up their futile search for powder.

To that scenario I say, “Forget it, Al!” All weather is unusual and the snow will show up and everyone will forget all of the doom and gloom of last winter...

After many years of traveling the world, everywhere I’ve filmed the weather was always unusual. Do I think the unusual weather conditions during the last decade are based solely on internal combustion engines?

A resounding, “No!” ...

There are many other factors besides Al Gore that affect the overall temperature of our planet. Of great significance are solar flares and cosmic radiation. One solar flare explosion can be the equivalent of several dozen atomic bomb blasts. When the radiation collides with the earth’s atmosphere, it causes more clouds to form and they lower the overall temperature.

So put all of this information together and chances are you will be making your winter reservations at the same time based on when we had them last year. Scientific evidence relating to potential snow conditions is completely irrelevant to your winter vacation plans.

So get out in the garage and tune up whatever you will be riding on this winter, get your body in shape and try not to get freaked out by Nobel Prize-winner Al Gore. Even though he did invent e-mail and the science of global warming in the office of his air-conditioned, 22-room home, that is fortunately a very long way from any ski resort. Or, at least, it’s a short flight in his private jet.

Warren Miller makes movies too. Probably better documentaries than Al Gore does.

The UK Independent has this article on changes in solar activity that may just hold the key to Global Warming. Color me surprised when they point out that this gigantic ball of molten energy that appears for approximately half of each day and causes the hemispheres of the Earth to experience hot and cold cycles called “seasons” based on the amount of energy the receive from it may actually be more important to the temperature of the globe than the Carbon Dioxide emissions and “greenhouse gases”.

What is problematic is that the Independent's editors think that the prospect of a mini-Ice Age, starvation, and famine provide a "RAY OF HOPE" to combat global warming. I guess that perspective relies on you believing Global Warming is a major problem and not a cyclical event caused by the molten ball of gas we call a "SUN". I am afraid that the cure may be worse than the disease.

Sunspots – dark magnetic blotches on the Sun’s surface – come and go in a roughly 11-year cycle of activity first noticed in 1843. It’s related to the motion of super-hot, electrically charged gas inside the Sun – a kind of internal conveyor belt where vast sub-surface rivers of gas take 40 years to circulate from the equator to the poles and back. Somehow, in a way not very well understood, this circulation produces the sunspot cycle in which every 11 years there is a sunspot maximum followed by a minimum. But recently the Sun’s internal circulation has been failing. In May 2006 this conveyor belt had slowed to a crawl – a record low. Nasa scientist David Hathaway said: “It’s off the bottom of the charts… this has important repercussions for future solar activity.” What’s more, it’s not the only indicator that the Sun is up to something.

...Following the discovery of the cycle, astronomers looked back through previous observations and were able to see it clearly until they reached the 17th century, when it seemed to disappear. It turned out to be a real absence, not one caused by a lack of observations. Astronomers called it the “Maunder Minimum.” It was an astonishing discovery: our Sun can change. Between 1645 and 1715 sunspots were rare. About 50 were observed; there should have been 50,000.

Ever since the sunspot cycle was discovered, researchers have looked for its rhythm superimposed on the Earth’s climate. In some cases it’s there but usually at low levels. But there was something strange about the time when the sunspots disappeared that left scientists to ponder if the sun’s unusual behaviour could have something to do with the fact that the 17th century was also a time when the Earth’s northern hemisphere chilled with devastating consequences.

Scientists call that event the “Little Ice Age” and it affected Europe at just the wrong time. In response to the more benign climate of the earlier Medieval Warm Period, Europe’s population may have doubled. But in the mid-17th century demographic growth stopped and in some areas fell, in part due to the reduced crop yields caused by climate change. Bread prices doubled and then quintupled and hunger weakened the population. The Italian historian Majolino Bisaccioni suggested that the wave of bad weather and revolutions might be due to the influence of the stars. But the Jesuit astronomer Giovanni Battista Riccioli speculated that fluctuations in the number of sunspots might be to blame, for he had noticed they were absent.

Looking back through sunspot records reveals many periods when the Sun’s activity was high and low and in general they are related to warm and cool climatic periods. As well as the Little Ice Age, there was the weak Sun and the cold Iron Age, the active sun and the warm Bronze Age. Scientists cannot readily explain how the Sun’s activity affects the Earth but it is an observational correlation that the Sun’s moods have a climatic effect on the Earth.

This is hugely problematic. Global Warming is not a problem. We are at the top end of a solar cycle and the direction that things go from here is uncertain. Does the Earth continue to heat like a hockey stick, which is completely unsupported by both historic evidence and by the results of any scientific study? Historic evidence has very dire predictions for the Earth. Historic predictions are that the Earth will experience a cooling period like it has several times over the last several million years. And if it is like the mini-Ice Age, that may mean starvation and famines, not simply rising ocean levels and more storms.

Posted by Justin at December 6, 2007 11:46 AM