Friday, April 25, 2008

Just passing by

The past year: snow, ice, and cold. Even Baghdad had its first snow in centuries this past winter, something I was unaware of.

Ice ages everywhere. There's some confusion here about "ice ages." The possible solar variability-driven cooling they're talking about is a "mini" or "little" ice age, like the Little Ice Age of 1350-1650 (with lingering aftereffects until the mid-19th century). It means a possible cooling of maybe 1 oC averaged over a year, perhaps a little more. (That's a noticeable change.) A real ice age results from the combination of astronomical changes (in Earth's orbit and spatial orientation) and movements of the continents. The continents are and have been in place for many millions of years; the astronomical conditions come and go. We're not due for it in the near future. Real ice ages mean temperature drops in polar and temperate regions of 5-7 oC up to 10-12 oC. These are much bigger than what's apparently caused by solar variability.

The Sun will have its say. Interestingly, the new NASA solar variability model is predicting a "strong" solar maximum in a couple years. Their new model is another one of those simplified and approximate models used in place of the full theory of solar magnetism, which is far too hard to solve. (Also, no one knows enough about specific conditions in the Sun to even state the full theory properly.) The model is "semi-empirical," which means its uses a mix of some theoretical principles with a lot of analysis of past solar cycles (just like weather prediction on Earth). Its validation is "retrodicting" past solar cycles, but that's not a controlled laboratory test. It's really educated guessing, because it's all we've got. OTOH, the sunspot cycle right now, as observed, seems exceptionally weak, although we've just passed the minimum. In any case, the correlation between Earth temperatures and solar magnetic activity continues to hold up very well, as it has for decades and centuries.

The fading "consensus." The notion that there is a "scientific consensus" on "global warming" - that apocalyptic worldwide warming due to human-emitted infrared-opaque gases is happening, has recently happened, or will soon happen - is a fraud. There's a wide range of opinion on the subject among scientists, shaky (at best) empirical basis for the belief, and scant theoretical basis either, apart from slipshod and mistaken analogies. In climate and closely-related sciences, the "global warming" fanatics are and have always been a small if loud and aggressive minority. Many fencesitters are beginning to grasp the magnitude of the hoax.

These books are more signs that the "consensus" is coming apart:
Contrary to the cult propaganda of Al Gore, these are voices of reason, facing a politically-motivated and imposed pseudoscientific fantasy pushed by vicious environmental activists, demagogic and bullying politicians, and unhinged ex-scientists, then incessantly repeated 24/7 by ignorant journalists.*

(Hat tip to Instapundit.)
* You can see examples of the vicious fanaticism of the enviro-wackos on the Web, with reviews that repeat non-facts (formerly known as "lies") about the authors of these books.

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