As we approach the 2012 Election and the cusp of a possible Grand Minimum it is important to know who the next President might be and their position on global warming and cooling.
The current Solar Cycle is number 24. It is expected to crest in 2013, right around the time the new president will be taking office and could be in office for the next 8 years as we slide toward Solar Cycle 25. The sunspot forecast for the next cycle is lower than Solar Cycle 24. One scientific team forecasts no sun spots by 2015.
Here is what I found in examining the position of the current candidates on global warming, in no specific order:
Bachmann – Science of global warming not settled, CO2 is essential to life on the planet.
Romney – Humans are partly responsible for global warming, but may be changing his position.
Cain – Does not think man-made global warming is real.
Santorum – Man-made global warming is “patently absurd.”
Gingrich – Our country must take action to address climate change, but now having some second thoughts, waffling would be a better word.
Paul – Greatest hoax I think that has been around for many, many years if not hundreds of years has been this hoax on . . . global warming.
Perry – The science is not settled on this. The idea that we would put Americans’ economy at jeopardy based on scientific theory that’s not settled yet to me is just nonsense. . .
Huntsman – To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.
Obama – If the international community does not act swiftly to deal with climate change that “we risk consigning future generations to an irreversible catastrophe.”
As these positions change in this election cycle I will be posting updates and adding declared candidates.
In 2016, we have obviously moved on from 2012, with Republicans now largely united in opposition to Global Warming hysteria and Democrats largely redoubling their efforts to promote it. That makes political choices very clear.
What is less clear is the direction of our climate. We know that the Global Temperature Anomaly has shown no trend in about two decades and only a small trend going back to the beginning of the satellite era in 1979. That says that there is no impending apocalypse or even a hint of one.
We are now experiencing another Super El Nino that is similar to the one in 1998 and just saw the largest temperature anomaly in the satellite record in February 2016. This is a seasonal ocean phenomenon that will wane within months.
But why did we warm from 1977 to 1997? That was surely an ocean cycle (Pacific Decadal Oscillation) similar to the run up to the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, modulated downward by large volcanic eruptions like Mt. Pinatubo.
But why did we begin this Modern Warm Period back about 1830? That was coincident with the Grand Maximum of solar cycles the earth has experienced over the last 200 years and probably similar to what occurred during the Minoan, Roman, and Medieval Warm Periods, although we do not have records of solar activity going back that far.
Going forward, we should expect the Pacific Decadal Oscillation to finally go negative and stay negative for a prolonged period as it did after the Dust Bowl. That means colder temperatures for decades. This should occur regardless of what the sun does. After the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, solar activity continued to rise (as did CO2 emissions from the industrialization after WW2) but our global climate cooled. This says that ocean effects dominated over periods of decades.
With solar activity now much decreased in the 2000s (but NOT as low as predicted above), we should also expect cooling perhaps similar to the Maunder and Dalton Minimums of the 1600s and 1800s. Much longer term, we are on the edge of another ice age that will last for 100,000 years. Ice ages are orbital effects that go by the name ‘Milankovitch Cycles.’
Remember that we are talking about relatively small natural changes that can easily be masked by the great variability of global weather. Hence, the best prediction over just a few years is more of the same.
Human caused climate effects are so tiny as to be insignificant.
If Republicans can learn a little science, Democrats should be able to learn too.
Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)
Corbett, Oregon USA