Saturday, March 29, 2008

Solar Power II

Proponents of human-caused global warming claim that CO2 is 7-8 times more powerful as a warming agent than the sun. Rather than making this dubious assertion they surely mean to argue that changes in CO2 volume are greater factors in climate change than changes in solar irradiance. Although this statement is still false it is more defensible than what was originally claimed.

Those who discount the sun’s influence focus only on solar irradiance while neglecting the solar magnetism that significantly compounds its actual effects. Recent studies have shown that cosmic rays can exert very large effects on cloud formation. As increasing amounts of cosmic rays enter our atmosphere, lower level cloud formation is increased which reflects solar radiation back into space. This exerts a cooling influence upon earth’s temperatures. When solar magnetic activity is higher, fewer cloud-forming cosmic rays are allowed to enter our atmosphere and warming of the earth increases.

Solar activity was at its highest levels ever recorded during the last 30 years of the 20th century until declining in the past decade. The global warming that occurred until late in that century has stopped and is now showing signs of a decline. The last twelve month period has shown temperature decreases of between .65 and .75 degrees Celsius as measured by the four primary measuring facilities; Hadley, NASA’s GISS, and satellite data calculated by Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) and University of Alabama-Huntsville (UAH). This represents the largest one year change ever recorded, up or down. It also is a figure that in absolute terms entirely offsets all of the global warming of the last century!

One year’s change does not prove anything and is only anecdotal in nature. But it does provide a strong rationale for questioning the actual warming effect of CO2 which has continued upon its linear increase in volume with no apparent effect on temperature. As should be expected, natural variation dwarfs any human signal that can be found in climate change.
Legislating policy that seeks to control a factor only marginally involved in climate change is not only folly, but extremely dangerous. If the signs we are seeing indicating a cooling trend are indeed accurate, our ability to produce food will be severely challenged. If anything, we should be seeking to increase, rather than eliminate, the atmospheric CO2 that promotes the growth of plants.

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