A report in The Guardian newspaper stated that a research paper authored by a team led by Sarah Ineson at the U.K.’s Met (government meteorological office) concluded that a weak solar cycle could produce “decreases in global mean temperature” by 2050. However, lest the study be used as ammunition to prove that global warming is a natural periodic phenomenon rather something caused by anthropogenic (human) activity, the report is filled with cautionary comments.
Ineson, who serves as spokesperson for the team, is one of 10 researchers who co-authored the report “Regional climate impacts of a possible future grand solar minimum.” Five of them, like Ineson, are with the Met office, and the others are affiliated with various universities.
Ineson was quick to minimize the impact of the findings, and in a statement quoted by The Guardian maintained that man-made activities outweighed nature: “This research shows that the regional impacts of a grand solar minimum are likely to be larger than the global effect, but it’s still nowhere near big enough to override the expected global warming trend due to man-made change,” she claimed.
The “grand solar minimum” describes the portion of the naturally occurring solar cycle where sunspots are rare and the strength of the sun’s rays are at their weakest. Such a period, called the Maunder Minimum, took place from 1645-1715. This period coincided with the middle part of what has been called the Little Ice Age, which extended from about 1350 to about 1850. During those years, Europe and North America were subjected to extremely cold winters. In some years, frost fairs were held on the Thames when the river froze over, and during the Great Frost of 1683-84, the Thames was completely frozen for two months.
“Even if you do go into Maunder Minimum conditions it’s not going to combat global warming; the sun’s not going to save us,” insisted Ineson.
When Ineson referred to the “regional impacts” of the solar minimum and noted that they “are likely to be larger than the global effect,” her comments were exactly what might be expected: Areas of the globe such as Northern Europe and North America would experience a greater decline in temperatures than areas closer to the Equator and, consequently, greater than overall global temperatures that include the warmer, as well as cooler, regions into consideration.
Though the Met’s own researchers have tried to downplay the impact of the developing solar minimum, they cannot deny that the sun does have a great enough impact on global temperatures that this decrease in sunspot activity will likely result in lower temperatures, at least across northern North America and Europe. This should cast doubt on the assertion that global warming is caused mostly by human activities and by manmade carbon emissions.
There has been a great deal of evidence produced by reputable climate experts to indicate that the fluctuation of the Earth’s temperatures is part of a natural cycle that has little to do with human activity. As The New American noted in a recent article, a leading British climate researcher, Lord Christopher Monckton — who was chief policy advisor to the Science and Public Policy Institute and former special advisor to former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher from 1982 to 1986 — stated in a recent report that there has been no global warming at all for 18 years and six months.
Monckton wrote that “the predictions on which the entire climate scare was based were extreme exaggerations” and referred to data collected by a private research company called Remote Sensing Systems (RSS), founded in 1974 by Frank Wentz, who was a member of NASA’s SeaSat Experiment Team.
Monckton cited several points to refute that global warming was currently continuing, noting, in part:
The RSS satellite dataset shows no global warming at all for 222 months from December 1996 to May 2015 — more than half the 437-month satellite record.
The entire RSS dataset from January 1979 to date shows global warming at an unalarming rate equivalent to just 1.2 Cº per century.
Since 1950, when a human influence on global temperature first became theoretically possible, the global warming trend has been equivalent to below 1.2 Cº per century.
The pause in global warming was even mentioned almost three years ago by the very U.K. Met office that has just noted the solar minimum phenomenon. The Met office released a report in October 2012 acknowledging that “global warming” had actually stopped more than 15 years earlier, noting that there had been no discernible rise in global temperatures since 1997.
Even such an unexpected source as the Fifth Assessment Report in 2014 of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that the global surface temperature “has shown a much smaller increasing linear trend over the past 15 years [1998-2012] than over the past 30 to 60 years.” The more recent trend, noted the report, was “estimated to be around one-third to one-half of the trend over 1951-2012.”
That our climate changes is undeniable. We have seen that the Thames froze over for two months during the 1600s. However, preceding the Little Ice Age (from about 1350 to about 1850) was something called the Medieval Warm Period, lasting from about 950 to about 1250. Yet, no one has claimed that these wide ranges in temperature were caused by human activity. It was recognized that they were the results of the Earth’s natural cycles.
The worst danger resulting from the dubious belief that “global warming” is caused by carbon emissions is that to accept such a theory is to justify giving government the vast authority to regulate every aspect of human activity in the name of controlling those emissions.