BOOKS: by Peter WestmoreNews Weekly
SOLAR CYCLE 24, by David Archibald
, April 18, 2009
The facts on climate changeSOLAR CYCLE 24
by David Archibald
(Perth, WA: Rhaetian Management Pty Ltd)
Paperback: 70 pages
Rec. price: AUD$25.00Solar Cycle 24, subtitled, "Why the world will continue cooling and why carbon dioxide won't make a detectable difference", will be a deeply unpopular book with the Federal Government's climate-change guru, Professor Ross Garnaut, Climate Change Minister Senator Penny Wong and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
For the author, David Archibald, shows that the main influence on the earth's climate is the sun, not the level of CO2 in the atmosphere.
Mr Archibald further shows that although atmospheric CO2 over the past two centuries has increased from 280 parts per million (ppm) to 380ppm, this has had only a very slight impact on temperatures on earth - far less than the impact of naturally-occurring variations in solar radiation.
And incidentally, ice-core data shows that current levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are well below the average of the last 500 million years.
Mr Archibald suggests that we should be closely watching what is happening to solar radiation, as there are disconcerting parallels between the present transition from Solar Cycle 22 to 23 to 24, with the transitions between solar cycles 3, 4 and 5 in the late 18th century.
Changes in solar activity have been observed since Galileo invented the telescope almost exactly 400 years ago, and observatories have kept records of sunspot activity for over 300 years, although their link with the earth's climate has only become obvious in recent decades.
There was a quite rapid decline in solar activity, which preceded a 22-year cold period now known as the Dalton Minimum, which stretched from around 1798 to 1820. In this period, much of the northern hemisphere was covered with snow, rivers froze and glaciers advanced, while crop failures led to widespread famine.
Whether the historical parallel eventuates or not, the fact is that the sun is currently passing through an extended period of low solar activity, as documented by the website, www.solarcycle24.com
, which was set up by radio operators to monitor solar activity, which can interfere with telecommunications.
This site has documented the decline in solar activity over the past couple of years, and the extended periods when the sun's surface has been free of sunspots, the electromagnetic storms which fire vast amounts of radiation into space, interfering with satellite and radio communications on earth.
One contributor noted recently: "Today should be about the 585th spotless day of this transition, meaning we are now less than 70 more spotless days from [Solar Cycle] C24 becoming the fifth longest transition since 1850. Perhaps we will see that come to pass in June of this year."
Mr Archibald discusses at length why his conclusions differ from those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other agencies, predicting that the Earth is facing catastrophic warming over the rest of the 21st century, which will lead, among other things, to increased floods, increased droughts, rising sea levels, melting of the polar ice-caps, etc., etc.
Mr Archibald shows that these conclusions are based on blind faith in computer climate models which ignore the impact of solar radiation, and exaggerate the impact of changes in the earth's concentration of CO2. Most alarmingly, they extrapolate the warming trend which occurred between about 1970 and 2000 for the next 100 years, even though there is overwhelming evidence that the earth undergoes warming and cooling periods of around 30 years.
The climate alarmism seen over the past 10 years or so is also highly lucrative for the climate scientists whose careers depend on it. People like the former US Vice-President, Al Gore, whose occupation before becoming a politician was as a lawyer, has built a new career (and won a Nobel Prize) by riding this particular hobby-horse for all it is worth.
Mr Gore's alarm about the impact of rising CO2 levels was not sufficient to deter him from carrying his message around the world in a private jet!Solar Cycle 24
is generously illustrated with numerous charts and tables, which illustrate many of the main points the author makes. It includes data showing that the average temperature over the past decade has been in decline, since the El Niño year of 1998; that global sea ice areas have remained almost unchanged over the past three decades; and that average temperatures are influenced by solar radiation and the length of solar cycles.
This is a book which will be invaluable to readers interested in a sound scientific analysis of climate change. It is endorsed by three leading contributors to the current debate on climate change, Professor Folke Stensen of the University of Helsinki, Professor Ian Plimer of the University of Adelaide, and Professor Bob Carter of James Cook University, North Queensland.
It also contains an illuminating foreword by Professor David Bellamy, the respected British environmentalist and broadcaster.