Well, according to a story by Stuart Clark in the New Scientist, this radical notion could be exactly what is happening, i.e., that the huge ball of fire in the sky is actually having as much or more of an impact on our climate than human activity. It talks about the Little Ice Age in the second half of the 17th century and another that preceded it by some 200-300 years. “Curiously”, it says, “both these mini ice ages coincided with prolonged lulls in the sun’s activity – the sunspots and dramatic flares that are driven by its powerful magnetic field.”
So could the sun be to blame for higher temperatures three rocks away? Says the article:
“Global average temperatures have risen by about 0.6°C in the past century, and until recently almost all of this has been put down to human activity. But that may not be the only factor at work. A growing number of scientists believe that there are clear links between the sun’s activity and the temperature on Earth… ‘A couple of years ago, I would not have said that there was any evidence for solar activity driving temperatures on Earth,’ says Paula Reimer, a palaeoclimate expert at Queen’s University, Belfast, in the UK. ‘Now I think there is fairly convincing evidence.'”
“Fairly convincing evidence?” That’s good enough for us. Wonder if this will make its way to the WaPo. We’d hate to wreck the global warming buzz. Hey — maybe Al can add this to his slide show.
Expected Gallic scolding aside, the showing of “An Inconvenient Truth” in France may prompt some healthy discussion in the United States about technology’s role in addressing climate change. Nearly 80 percent of France’s electricity is produced by emissions-free nuclear power, so the French could well say, “We’ve done our share.” C’est vrai.
UPDATE: Here’s a link to a National Post (Canada) piece from September 16 on the topic of the New Scientist story.
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