The more magnetically active the Sun is, the more efficient it is at deflecting cosmic rays away from the Earth. The cosmic rays which do reach Earth's atmosphere form the radioactive isotopes carbon-14 and beryllium-10. Plants and trees absorb carbon-14 and beryllium-10 becomes incorporated into the layers which make up polar ice sheets. Solar activity can, therefore, be estimated from the levels of these isotopes in tree rings and ice cores.
Records extending back some 11,000 years have shown that periods of high solar activity last 50-100 years, then there is a crash. The Sun is currently in a 'boom' phase with a 'bust' expected soon. The sun's polar magnetic field is now at its weakest since measurements began (in the early 1950s) and the latest figures suggest that solar activity will be weaker during the next decade than it has been for more than 100 years.
A large reduction in sunspot numbers is expected for at least a decade which, if evidence from the past can be relied on, could result in a cooling of the Earth's atmosphere equivalent to the most optimistic predictions for the effects of the Kyoto greenhouse gas emission reductions between the present and 2050.
Professor M. Lockwood of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire, has published data showing that the Sun's magnetic field has been declining since 1985, which, he says, demolishes the theory that cosmic rays trigger formation of cloud layers, which reflect heat from the Sun, causing cooling of the Earth.
According to the cloud theory, the greater the influx of cosmic rays, the more low cloud is formed and the cooler the Earth becomes. The Sun's magnetic field deflects cosmic rays away from the Earth, which means that when the magnetic field is low, more cosmic rays hit the Earth and the temperature should be lower.
Prof. Lockwood's counterblast says that even though the Sun's magnetic field is low, global temperatures are going up by 0.2 degrees/decade and the top 10 warmest years on record have happened in the past 12 years.
Prof Lockwood offers his study as a nail in a coffin of the notion that solar activity is responsible for global warming. And yet, it does nothing to demolish the established correlation between sunspot numbers and global temperatures. Worse, the study stops at the year 2000 and it fails to explain the following observed facts about global temperatures:
Global temperatures fell between 1940 and 1975 despite huge post-war increases in carbon dioxide emissions;
Global temperatures rose between 1975 and 1998; and
Global temperatures remained constant then fell after 1998. The National Oceanic & Atmosphere Administration has published satellite data showing that they are now down to the 1983 level, even though atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are still rising, which means that global warming isn't happening right now!
As a further complication, Dr. Martin Sharp, a glaciologist at the University of Alberta, and his PhD student Joel Barker have examined of prehistoric DNA from trees, plants and insects in the ice beneath the Greenland glacier. Their results show that Greenland was much warmer during the last Ice Age than most people believed.
Dr. Sharp, a supporter of the idea that the current global warming trend is human produced, now believes that his research offers evidence that climate warming on the current scale is possible through natural processes. But he doesn't absolve the human race from blame entirely.
"It could mean that our current warming is the result of both natural processes and human influences, and we may be heading for even bigger temperature increases than we previously thought," he believes.
Guess what? It looks like the story on climate change; both how it's happening and how much is happening; is nowhere near as settled as the carbon conmen would have us believe. And we haven't even mentioned the contribution from UV radiation to atmospheric heating, which is another disputed area.
About all that is beyond dispute is that the Earth's climate changes. The evidence of billions of years proves it, and we don't have a problem with that.
What we DO have a problem with is people who don't know the HOW and the WHY of climate change telling us they can either stop it happening or make it go in a different direction.
The latest propaganda tactic from the Carbon Con-men is to get earnest young idiots (usually female), who know no better, to include in their sermons the lie that 'renewable' energy is cheaper than energy from fossil fuels. Not only are they saving the planet, they're also saving money. And if the truth becomes a casualty of the propaganda war, hey! what else is new?
How long energy-saving home improvements take to pay for themselves
Cavity Wall Insulation
Lagged Hot Water Cylinder & Pipework
The camera never lies? Well, the people who put captions on pictures sure do!
Poor old polar bears! According to the climate-change con-men, the ice is running out in the Arctic, their food supply is failing, their health has been declining over the last 30 years and the bears are dying out.
Strange, then, that the people who live where the bears live aren't seeing a drop in their numbers, and they're making lots of money as bear-guides out of the people who are rushing to see the bears "while they still have the chance". Which gives them a choice of going to Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Norway and Russia, all of which have polar bear populations.
Meanwhile, the climate-change con-men are rushing about looking for thin and miserable bears to film to 'prove' their case and keep the public money flowing into their pockets. And the picture of the poor old bears running out of habitat on a melting ice floe? That was taken in the middle of the summer of 2004 by marine biologist Dr. Amanda Byrd.
She thought the wind-eroded ice of the bears' perch made a dramatic picture. And the bears were within an easy swim of the Alaskan coast and not, as Al Gore later spun the image, being literally forced off the planet because their habitat is melting.
What's on the weather channel right now? China paralyzed by the heaviest snowfalls for decades; snow in Palestine, Syria, Jordan and Saudia; 120 dead in Afghanistan's freezing snow; and unusually severe blizzards in Canada and the United States.
The northern end of the Earth has suffered its coldest winter for ages and the Arctic ice cap has grown back from its dramatic summer 2007 thaw to where it was at this time last year. And newly published research shows that this pattern of thaw and regrowth of the ice has been repeated in every year since 1979.
Meanwhile, at the South Pole, the Antarctic sea ice is increasing in area year on year. So where's the evidence that melting ice will raise sea levels by 'a metre or more', to quote one set of alarmists?