The daily observation from the Solar & Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) clearly highlights a potential global problem. In 2008, nearly every day of each of the first four months of the year has recorded an observation of sunspot activity that is equal to zero. In fact, there have been only two days in the last four months when there has been any sunspot activity at all and each small event disappeared very quickly.
The importance of sunspot inactivity is the continued confirmation that Sunspot Cycle 24 will be very weak or even delayed. The most recent solar minimum was in March of last year. The new cycle, No.24, was supposed to start soon after that, with a predicted gradual build-up in sunspot numbers. It has not yet happened. History would suggest that the longer the delay in cycle activity, the weaker this sunspot cycle will be.
Consider that the future implications of this lack of sunspot activity may be enormous. Sunspots can be historically correlated with temperature change on Earth. Weak sunspot activity correlates to colder temperatures on earth. In fact, low sunspot activity in the past has led to decades of extremely cold worldwide temperatures. Indeed, a lack of sunspot activity may already correlate to the global cooling of the planet seen in the last twelve months. Therefore, current sunspot inactivity may predict even more cooling of the Earth’s climate in the years to come.
Last year, a dramatic cooling of the planet was measured by all four agencies that track Earth’s temperature (the Hadley Climate Research Unit in Britain, the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, the Christy group at the University of Alabama, and Remote Sensing Systems Inc in California). It is now estimated that the Earth cooled by about 0.7C in 2007 which is the fastest temperature change on record. However, even as the planet was experiencing a dramatic decrease in temperature, the dubious ramifications of the misguided policies of the proponents of global warming could already be seen.
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the world’s poorest countries can expect the cost of imported food to rise by over fifty percent this year. The World Bank estimates that food prices have already risen by 83 percent in the last three years. Already, thirty seven countries face food crises and consequences like malnourishment, starvation, and civil unrest. Riots over the high price of food have recently broken out in Haiti, Egypt, Senegal and more than twenty other countries worldwide.
Biofuels are a major reason that the price of food continues to escalate throughout the world according to conclusions from several reports on the current global food crisis. “Globalization, climate change, and the mass production of biofuels are pushing up food prices worldwide, which could jeopardize the livelihoods of the world’s poorest”, according to a report by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
Similar findings have also been reported by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. In addition, these reports estimate that a global temperature increase of more than three degrees Celsius due to global warming could lift food prices by an additional 40 percent.
As can be seen in the reports, all the current planning is based solely on a future assumption of global warming. These reports continue to ignore the current low sunspot activity of Solar Cycle 24 and its potential correlation to an immediate future of cooling temperatures on the climate of the Earth.
The unfortunate truth is that if the planet continues to cool in the years ahead there will be less total global agriculture and much higher food prices than in these forecasts. A lack of proper planning for global cooling will result in millions of people starving due to a lack of food or from cold-related diseases because the world will not be prepared for the colder climate solution.
Consider that the daily report of sunspot activity may well be a signal of a future climate that is much colder than the world currently anticipates. In fact, in the years ahead, the world may even experience the extreme global effect of a mini ice age. Then, the misguided conversion of crops to fuel to save the planet from global warming would truly be catastrophic.
Therefore, agricultural and climate planning should include all possible future climate scenarios, both warm and cold. Like treating a sick patient, proper diagnosis of a problem is the first action in facilitating a cure. Science involves experimentation, observation, and hypothesis. It should not be a dogmatic crusade that is closed to debate.
Today, it makes little sense to starve the planet in a attempt to save it in the future through the use of biofuels. Tomorrow, it makes even less sense to plan and prepare for global warming if our future reality may require an increased use of fur coats as protection from the increased cold. That is why accurately taking the temperature of global climate change is crucial to the lives of millions of people in the years and decades ahead.
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