Monday, June 25, 2007

R. Timothy Patterson is professor and director of the Ottawa-Carleton Geoscience Centre, Department of Earth Sciences, Carleton University.

Like many scientists in his field, Patterson has devoted a lot of time recently to the study of global climate change. His findings are quite interesting. Patterson has found a link between the earth’s base temperature and the output of radiation from the sun. Sounds fundamental to me. Here are some of Patterson’s findings:

“Our finding of a direct correlation between variations in the brightness of the sun and earthly climate indicators (called "proxies") is not unique. Hundreds of other studies, using proxies from tree rings in Russia's Kola Peninsula to water levels of the Nile, show exactly the same thing: The sun appears to drive climate change.”

“…the sun is brighter now than at any time in the past 8,000 years”

“In a series of groundbreaking scientific papers starting in 2002, Veizer, Shaviv, Carslaw, and most recently Svensmark et al., have collectively demonstrated that as the output of the sun varies, and with it, our star's protective solar wind, varying amounts of galactic cosmic rays from deep space are able to enter our solar system and penetrate the Earth's atmosphere. These cosmic rays enhance cloud formation which, overall, has a cooling effect on the planet. When the sun's energy output is greater, not only does the Earth warm slightly due to direct solar heating, but the stronger solar wind generated during these "high sun" periods blocks many of the cosmic rays from entering our atmosphere. Cloud cover decreases and the Earth warms still more.”

“The opposite occurs when the sun is less bright. More cosmic rays are able to get through to Earth's atmosphere, more clouds form, and the planet cools more than would otherwise be the case due to direct solar effects alone. This is precisely what happened from the middle of the 17th century into the early 18th century, when the solar energy input to our atmosphere, as indicated by the number of sunspots, was at a minimum and the planet was stuck in the Little Ice Age. These new findings suggest that changes in the output of the sun caused the most recent climate change. By comparison, CO2 variations show little correlation with our planet's climate on long, medium and even short time scales.”

“But the science of global climate change is still in its infancy, with many thousands of papers published every year. In a 2003 poll conducted by German environmental researchers Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch, two-thirds of more than 530 climate scientists from 27 countries surveyed did not believe that "the current state of scientific knowledge is developed well enough to allow for a reasonable assessment of the effects of greenhouse gases." About half of those polled stated that the science of climate change was not sufficiently settled to pass the issue over to policymakers at all.”

“Solar scientists predict that, by 2020, the sun will be starting into its weakest Schwabe solar cycle of the past two centuries, likely leading to unusually cool conditions on Earth.”

My position on global climate change has always been: we need more information. Patterson cites studies and comrades that agree that the science of climate change is in its infancy. The fact is, we don’t know what drives our climate change. But as the information comes rolling in, for example Patterson’s studies above, it seems to me that human behavior has a minimal if any effect on the global climate.

His theory is that the brightness of the sun has a more pronounced impact on the earth’s climate, and to me that is much more believable that the human-induced hysteria, which seems more political than anything else. My mind remains open, but the science seems to be moving away from the human-induced theory. For some reason, I don't think the "believers" share the same sentiment. No matter what evidence is presented, these people will never back away from their "people are killing the planet" position.

Why? Well, I've always felt that human induced climate change was more political than anything else, specifically anti-Americanism, and there is no group on this globe more anti-American than the ultra-left, which usually includes the enviro-nazis. So when a theory comes along that we are killing the earth, and thus killing the entire planet, and America is a primary player in that...well, it's an America-hater's dream. They'll never accept anything less, no matter what the evidence shows.


Robert M. said...

Sounds familiar. Some people at Duke University did a study and found nearly the same results.

By the way, I've changed my blog's name to Counter-Friction Libertarian, so if you've got the old name in the sidebar feel free to change it. The address is still


John Washburn said...

Seems a lot of studies are coming out with alternative explanations to human-induced climate change. Ever wonder why the mainstream media doesn't report on these?