Now it’s global cooling: What’s the deal?
Vail, CO, Colorado
A small news item last week is blooming into a larger story now, fueled by press generated by a meeting of climate scientists to discuss a recent dip in global temperatures.
It seems that in just one year, temperatures at virtually all UN-certified weather monitoring stations worldwide have dropped almost a full degree Celsius. That’s a lot of chillin’. In fact, it’s about 100 years of global warming, deleted, in one year.
What the heck is going on?
Theories are already surfacing, the most common being a lowered output in power from the sun which, naturally, has a lot to do with global temperature. But a little research into this doesn’t seem to support the idea, since while the sun has been in a “quiet cycle” for the past 11 years or so and its output has, if anything, been slowly rising. The sun is perhaps the most observed star in the heavens; any significant decrease would have been noticed.
More likely, the amount of solar energy actually reaching the earth’s surface has decreased sharply due to an increase in albedo caused by an increase in tiny aerosol particles in the atmosphere. Volcanoes, wildfires, man-made pollution from everyday modern human activity such a fossil fuel burning, even the contrails produced by flying jet aircraft all increase albedo and as a result, less light and heat reach the planet’s surface. This has been demonstrated to cool things down worldwide, and cool things down very quickly. Remember Mount St. Helens in 1980? We had great skiing the year after she blew up.
Rapid industrial growth in China and Asia, combined with few western-style limits on pollutants, has been introducing a lot more particulate aerosols into the atmosphere. Recent worldwide droughts have also produced wildfires which have consumed millions of acres of trees and brush, producing millions of tons of smoke. The droughts also have reduced global evaporation and lowered the resulting atmospheric water vapor level, bringing down the level of water vapor, a major greenhouse gas.
And we can’t ignore the popular conspiracy theory claiming that various governments around the world are involved in secret climate modification activity using “Chemtrails” to dispense tons of aluminum oxide and barium sulphate into the stratosphere, by aerosolizing these materials in high-flying jet engine exhaust, to deliberately lower the planet’s temperature.
It’s actually plausible. The technology has been described by climate change doomsayer James Lovelock, who points out that a 0.05 percent decrease in sunlight would eliminate ” temporarily ” all man-made global warming to date. Lovelock has suggested introducing higher levels of sulphur into jet fuel, for a temporary fix.
Of course, this would be a fix with other consequences: acid rain which would harm trees which scrub CO2 from the air is the most serious known problem that would increase by adding sulphur to our air.
But some ” or all ” of these things combined may have reached a “tipping point” last year, delivering the coldest winter in the Northern Hemisphere in years.
The coming year will provide a lot more information regarding “global cooling” and its causes. For now, there is one given: the cost of energy will rise.
There are a couple of battles in progress, though. Politically, what to do about the climate? And in the atmosphere, a war rages between invisible carbon dioxide and microscopic particulates. One would cook us, the other bring on the best skiing in 20 years. We all will be watching.
Bill Sepmeier is chief technical officer of Grid Feeders, a solar energy company based in Eagle-Vail. To learn more, go to http://www.gridfeeders.com.
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