The Sun beats down and warms the Earth.
Except! If the Sun’s rays hit clouds, they are reflected back into space.
But! Water vapor in the sky can’t just condense into clouds. The water vapor needs something to start condensing around. These “condensation nuclei” can be provided from aerosols, like volcanic emissions, salt spray from ocean waves, and fossil fuel burning.
But! There are other natural sources – extra-terrestrial sources – of the condensation nuclei. Danish physicist, Henrik Svensmark, has theorized that Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR), from the remnants of the
billions of super-novae in the heavens, cause a reaction in Earth’s upper atmosphere, which create condensation nuclei. (Svensmark’s theories are being tested at CERN, the European nuclear physics lab, and so far his ideas are holding up very well.)
Except! Our Sun constantly sends out particles in what’s referred to as the Solar Wind. The Solar Wind can deflect the GCRs before they have a chance to cause the reaction which makes the condensation nuclei.
Except! The strength of the Solar Wind varies. When the solar magnetism is high, the Solar Wind blows strongly. When there is less solar magnetism, there is less Solar Wind.
It turns out that the solar magnetism, and the Solar Wind, varies with the number of Sunspots on the Sun’s surface. More Sunspot activity means more Solar Wind, which means more deflection of GCRs away from Earth, and fewer condensation nuclei. Since there are fewer nuclei, that means less condensation and fewer clouds. Fewer clouds means less reflection of the Sun’s rays back into space, so more energy from the Sun reaches Earth, and the Earth gets warmer.
Astronomers have been tracking Sunspot activity since 1610, when Galileo made the first European observation of Sunspots. Daily records have been kept since 1849 and have been extended back to around 1750. Though the Sunspot regularly cycles from Max to Min and back to Max roughly every 11 years, there also are longer term ups and downs.
“Early records of sunspots indicate that the Sun went through a period of inactivity in the late 17th century. Very few sunspots were seen on the Sun from about 1645 to 1715” This is referred to as the Maunder Minimum, and the climate during those years came to be known as The Little Ice Age.
Several other periods of low Sunspot activity have been noted – eg. Dalton Minimum, Sporer Minimum – and they also coincided with global cold snaps. The record appears consistent: fewer Sunspots, then less Solar Wind, then less deflection, then more GCRs reaching Earth, then more nuclei, then more condensation and more clouds, then more of the Sun’s energy gets reflected back into space, then the Earth cools.
It turns out that right now, another period of low Sunspot activity has begun (tentatively called the Eddy Minimum). The current Sunspot cycle, showing very low activity, was forecast during the previous cycle almost 10 years ago. The forecast is for this Minimum to reach its low point around 2030, at a level which could approach the Maunder Minimum.
So, far from being a time when we need to be concerned with the Alarmist’s claims of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW), which so far has only shown great benefits for humanity, what really should concern us is how cold it might get.
At current climate levels, mortality records show clearly that more people are dying due to cold than are dying due to heat. (Is that part of why many Americans are moving to Florida, Texas, or Arizona?)
So, it’s likely that if the global climate gets a couple of degrees colder, many more deaths from the cold will occur at the same time there are fewer deaths from the heat. Certainly, for the next generation or so, CAGW hysteria can wait.
And with it, the Greens’ anti-energy agenda should be scrapped. It will take greater availability of affordable energy – fossil fuels! – to keep poor Americans from freeing to death in their homes during the Eddy Minimum.