Article in Science / Earth & Ocean / Weather & Meteorology
Three scientists at the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine are circulating a petition claiming that the global warming is caused by solar activity. My article suggests that melting ice-cap and glaciers have important balancing functions to stabilize Earth temperature within acceptable range.
 
 
 

Can the Earth protect itself from Global Warming?

The balancing function of the glaciers.

Sandor Balogh

I was working on a paper about the human body’s ability to heal it-self, when a friend sent me a link to a paper on global warming: http://www.petitionproject.org/gw_article/Review_Article_HTML.php

It is a major study by experts, disputing current fears about Global Warming (GW), and urging repudiation of the so called Kyoto protocol that calls for severe reduction in hydrocarbon based energy production, with severe economic consequences. Over 30,000 scientists have signed the document summarizing the study that was submitted to the government for consideration. “These scientists are … convinced that the human-caused global warming hypothesis is without scientific validity and that government action on the basis of this hypothesis would unnecessarily and counterproductively damage both human prosperity and the natural environment of the Earth.”

Being a philosopher, and working on the body’s ability to heal it-self project, I saw a similar ability in the Earth’s setup.

The argument of the paper is that the temperature on Earth depends mostly on solar activity, which is periodical and debunks the environmentalist argument that GW is caused by hydrocarbon use. They have collected data going back to 30,000 years, and discovered several cycles. The last cooling period culminated in a “Little Ice Age” in the 1500’s, and the Earth is warming ever since. At the present time we are still somewhat below the 30,000 year average.

What grabbed my attention was the statement rather early in the study, “The most recent part of this warming period is reflected by shortening of world glaciers, as shown in Figure 2. Glaciers regularly lengthen and shorten in delayed correlation with cooling and warming trends. Shortening lags temperature by about 20 years, so the current warming trend began in about 1800.”

The study deals with this shortening as a danger sign, and in a separate chapter mentions several proposals, other than reduction of energy use, to reverse or at least slow down GW, along with the shrinking of the glaciers and the polar ice-cap.

"WORLD TEMPERATURE CONTROL

"World temperature is controlled by natural phenomena. What steps could mankind take if solar activity or other effects began to shift the Earth toward temperatures too cold or too warm for optimum human life?

"First, it would be necessary to determine what temperature humans feel is optimum. It is unlikely that the chosen temperature would be exactly that which we have to day. Second, we would be fortunate if natural forces were to make the Earth too warm rather than too cold because we can cool the Earth with relative ease. We have no means by which to warm it. Attempting to warm the Earth with addition of CO2 or to cool the Earth by restrictions of CO2 and hydrocarbon use would, however, be futile. Neither would work.

"Inexpensively blocking the sun by means of particles in the upper atmosphere would be effective. S.S. Penner, A.M. Schneider, and E. M. Kennedy have proposed that the exhaust systems of commercial air liners could be tuned in such a way as to eject particulate sun-blocking material into the upper atmosphere. Later, Edward Teller similarly suggested that particles could be injected into the atmosphere in order to reduce solar heating and cool the Earth. Teller estimated a cost of between $500 million and $1 billion per year for between 1 ºC and 3 ºC of cooling. Both methods use particles so small that they would be invisible from the Earth.

"These methods would be effective and economical in blocking solar radiation and reducing atmospheric and surface temperatures. There are other similar proposals (99). World energy rationing, on the other hand, would not work.

"The climate of the Earth is now benign. If temperatures become too warm, this can easily be corrected. If they become too cold, we have no means of response – except to maximize nuclear and hydro-carbon energy production and technological advance. This would help humanity adapt and might lead to new mitigation technology. “

I believe such artificial control is not only potentially harmful, but is not necessary. It is uncertain, what non toxic material could be used, and what happens to this shield: would it stay in space and shield the Earth forever, causing unnatural cooling when solar activity is reduced, or would fall back to the earth gradually, adding to the environmental problems?

The study makes it clear that the glaciers shorten or lengthen periodically, in reverse direction to the solar activity: they grow in the cold cyle, and shorten in the warm cycle.

My idea is that the glaciers and the ice cap at the poles serve an important natural temperature-stabilizing function. As the solar activity increases, the melting ice cap and the glaciers help to keep the oceans and the atmosphere from overheating, and vice versa. Thus, the current shortening of the glaciers is nature’s way of automatically protecting the Earth from temperature extremes. Hopefully, the present supply of ice will last until the solar activity decreases. But even then, according to the study, global warming (within certain limits, of course) would have beneficial effect on agriculture.

So, the current shortening of the glaciers only proves that the balancing system works as it should.

June 20, 2009.

 
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About the Author 

Sandor Balogh
Ph.D. in political theory/political economics, minor in philosophy. Prof. emeritus. Hungarian refugee/freedomfighter of 1956 Hungarian Revol

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