Global Warming or Global Cooling?


What are your thoughts on climate change? For the last two decades at lest we have been spoon fed a global warming agenda, "the Earth is burning up", our "use of fossil fuels is causing Co2 to spiral out of control". More recently the IPCC lead by the United Nations released a report saying we have to take immediate action to save the planet from catastrophe.

During the 90's I went along with this narrative. As a person who has always been interested in weather and the climate I have always followed the subject with much interest and like most people I went along with the idea that man was warming the planet due to his excessive use of fossil fuel causing Co2 to warm the planet.

More recently, and certainly over the last five years or so I have changed my opinion on what is going on. Over the years the narrative has changed from "Global Warming" to "Climate Change". Several new reports have been released stating we're heading for a "mini ice age". Like everybody else I was confused and baffled at the mixed message coming from scientists. Since the beginning of this "global catastrophe" I have wondered why the IPCC wasn't looking at why the earth had warmed in the past? Why we've had ice ages before? Why we've had extinction events in the past?

The more and more I look at it the more convinced I am that the climate doesn't follow a linear path, but it oscillates between hot and cold, wet and dry. The IPCC temperate graph showing the temperature spiralling out of control. It doesn't show the previous Maunder Minimum or the Dalton Minimum when the climate was significantly cooler. Sudden changes in the Earth's temperature have thought to have been linked to the Sun and solar activity. Currently we are in a solar minimum. Over the next year or so we climb out of a solar minimum into a solar maximum. This is measured by the number of sun spots. During a maximum, sun spots are plentiful but the opposite can be said during a solar minimum. You would expect this to be good news but the latest predictions for the new solar maximum is grim reading as the Science is pointing closer and closer to the planet heading rapidly into a "Solar Grand Minimum" ,similar to the Maunder Minimum.

Maunder Minimum 1645 - 1715.

Earlier this month Professor Valentina Zharkova of Northumbria University released her latest findings regarding sun activity which showed almost exact correlation between the suns activity and previous solar minimums. She makes some significant predictions during her findings.

Little Iceage to hit Earth in 2020
A ‘Little Ice Age’ which caused severe winters in the 17th Century could return in five years’ time due to a predicted fall in solar activity.
This possibility was discussed during the National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno, Wales, by Prof Valentina Zharkova, of Northumbria University, alongside an international group of scientists including Prof Simon Shepherd, of Bradford University, Dr E Popova, of Moscow State University, and Dr Sergei Zharkov, of Hull University.
Prof Zharkova described the research as ‘the first serious prediction of a reduction of solar activity that might affect human lives’. If the decrease in solar activity takes place, it could result in a period similar to the ‘Maunder minimum’ of 1645 to 1700. During this period, there were only about 50 sunspots on the surface of the Sun instead of the usual 40-50 thousand, resulting in very severe winters and cold summers.
Several studies have shown that the ‘Maunder Minimum’ coincided with the coldest phase of global cooling, which was called the ‘Little Ice Age’. Due to the cold winters in Europe and North America, rivers such as the Thames and the Danube froze and the Moscow River was covered by ice every six months.
Prof Zharkova’s research is based on an analysis of solar activity. The Sun has its own magnetic field whose amplitude and spatial configuration varies with time. The formation and decay of strong magnetic fields in the solar atmosphere results in changes of electromagnetic radiation from the Sun, the intensity of plasma flows, and the number of sunspots on its surface, which varies every 11 years.
In the current study, the researchers analysed a total background magnetic field from full disk magnetograms by applying the so-called ‘principal component analysis’. As a result, the researchers uncovered a pair of magnetic waves in the Sun responsible for variations during 11-year solar activity. The scientists managed to derive the analytical formulae, describing these two waves and made first the prediction of magnetic activity in the current cycle, which gave 97% accuracy.
Inspired by this success, Zharkova and her co-authors extended the prediction of solar activity to future cycles. They discovered that the waves become fully separated into the opposite hemispheres leading to a sharp decline in solar activity in years 2020 t0 2050 – comparable with the conditions of the Maunder minimum in the 17th Century. This will lead to a reduction of the solar magnetic field and a noticeable decrease in solar irradiance.
Speaking about her confidence in her team’s work, Prof Zharkova added: “I am absolutely confident in our research. It has good mathematical background and reliable data, which has been handled correctly. In fact, our results can be repeated by any researchers with the similar data available in many solar observatories, so they can derive their own evidence of upcoming Maunder Minimum in solar magnetic field and activity.”
Following Prof Zharkova’s prediction at last week’s conference, the story has captured the public imagination with stories across the international press in the UK, USA, Australia, Germany, France, China, Russia, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore and many other countries including The Independent, The Telegraph, and Science Daily(UK), ABC News, USA Today, Washington Post, New York Times. Australia Today and numerous other newspapers and radio stations worldwide.
Prof Zharkova said: “The public imagination has been captured by the first serious prediction of a reduction of solar activity that might affect the human lives – as it did in the 17thCentury. Solar-terrestrial physics literarily enters everyone’s house – this is the main beauty of the event.”
Prof Zharkova, who works in the Department of Mathematics and Information Sciences at Northumbria, believes the research further positions the University as a leader in this area.
She said: “Yes, I think so, given what we have done so far. Previously, in 1998, we with Dr A Kosovichev, of Stanford University, USA, discovered quakes on the Sun associated with solar flares, which were reported in Nature covered by the worldwide media on five continents. This topic continues to be one of the most interested in for the past decade. Now we decided to report the new finding on solar activity at the National Astronomy Meeting to enhance the profile of the UK science and to emphasise the contribution of three UK collaborators, including Northumbria.”
Northumbria offers a range of courses across Physics, Astrophysics, and Mathematics disciplines and has recently announced investment of £6.7m in STEM facilities on campus. For more information about studying at Northumbria go to:
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I have been a great admirer of Sir David Attenborough all my life, and he is convinced about climate change I would follow that. The same view comes from Dr Brian Cox. We have to also remember that the burning of fossil fuels cause massive amounts of pollution in cities of India and China literally choking the people there.


Well my view is not that there is no climate change but more a view that the climate is changing naturallly because of cycles not because of Co2.

The climate has been changing for thousands of years fluctuating between warn and cold periods. Ice core samples from the Artic proves this.

If anything I believe it could be more dangerous for humanity to try to stop climate change which has been happening throughout the life of the planet not just since the Industrial revolution.

I too have a huge amount of respect for Sir David Attenborough who has highlighted some of man's worst traits such as the felling of rain forests and more recently the poluting of our oceans with plastics. It is a truly shocking state the planet is in.

I agree it can only be a good thing to move to a carbon nutral economy as a less poluting economy can only be good for all of us, but I believe cutting Co2 should not be seen as the holy grail of climate change. Poluting the planet is not the same as climate change in my opinion.
Firstly, I think it’s very important to use the term ‘climate change’, rather than ‘global warming’ or ‘global cooling’. Those latter two terms are far too simplistic to describe what is happening in Earths’ atmosphere.
I agree with Aviador that the climate doesn’t follow a linear path and that Solar cycles over the millennia have had a significant effect on atmospheric and sea temperatures.
As a Scientist (I have a Degree and Masters Degree in Chemistry) however, I’m convinced that there is a great deal more happening in the atmosphere that is more directly linked to Human rather than Solar activity.
It’s not just Carbon Dioxide (CO2 – for the record not Co2 as Co is Cobalt) that is acting as a greenhouse gas. Water Vapour, Methane (CH4), Nitrous Oxide (N2O) and Ozone (O3) all contribute significantly. These are all proven to retain heat in Earth’s atmosphere.
The burning of fossil fuels creates CO2 and in doing so, ties up Oxygen from the atmosphere.
Take the simplest hydrocarbon, Methane (CH4)

CH4 + 2 O2 --> CO2 + 2 H2O

So each methane molecule reacts with 2 Oxygen molecules to give 1 CO2 and 2 water molecules.
Longer chain hydrocarbons such as petrol and diesel will tie up far more oxygen molecules.
We then have the problems of deforestation and warming oceans.
Plants undergo Photosynthesis, taking up water and CO2 and using sunlight convert them into sugar and O2 (the O2 being released to the atmosphere). With vast amounts of forests being cut down, there is less uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere.
As water warms, it has less capacity for storing dissolved gases. Therefore as the oceans warm (and all the evidence is that average sea temperatures have increased), more CO2 is being released into the atmosphere.
I believe that it’s very, very dangerous not to limit greenhouse gas emissions and try and stop atmospheric warming.
If we do take action and we are wrong there will be little consequence. If however we ignore the evidence on climate change and we are wrong on that, then the consequences could be disastrous. We only have one chance!

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I can't disagree with what you say @Kevin Farnell. We are polluting the planet, that is clearly the case. Earth is vastly over-populated and we are using up global resources fast. Whatever the cause of climate change whether natural or man-made it is obvious man needs to rein in it's activities. The global economy is based on requiring year-on-year growth and you have to ask how much longer can this be sustained?

I'm not a scientist and I don't profess to be one but I do read all the various climate change publications. I have a great deal of respect for Professor Brian Cox but he is missing the point. Co2 has always risen alongside temperature rises during warming periods, so in effect Co2 hasn't caused temperatures to rise but it has risen because of temperature rises. Your explanation regarding the sees absorbing gases supports this hypothesis.

I don't know if you've had chance to watch Professor Valantina Zharkova but during her presentation she says after the Grand Solar Minimum she predicts the earth's temperature will continue to rise for the next 500 years in the northern hemisphere because of where we are in our solar system.
It's fashionable these days for the older generation to be blamed for many of the ills in the world from Brexit to Climate Change to Inequality. In particular, the older generations is said not to have been 'green' in its day or worry about the environment.

I came across this passage in the magazine of a village near Bristol Airport reproduced on the village's website. The village is Wrington and I gratefully acknowledge the source of the piece which is below the link to the village website.

It makes the point that people then might not been consciously 'green' but acted in a 'greener' way than many do today. The author of the article himself acknowledges social media as the source for part of the article.

At the supermarket checkout, the young cashier suggested to the much older lady that she should bring her own grocery bags, because plastic bags are not good for the environment. The woman apologized to the young girl and explained, "We didn't have this 'green thing' back in my earlier days." The young clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations."

The older lady said that she was right -- our generation didn't have the "green thing" in its day. The older lady went on to explain:

Back then, we returned milk bottles, pop bottles and beer bottles to the shop. The shop sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bot- tles over and over. So, they really were recycled.

Grocery shops bagged our groceries in brown paper bags that we reused for numerous things. Most memorable besides household garbage bags was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our school books. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags.

We walked to the grocery shop and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two streets.

Back then we washed the baby's nappies because we didn't have the throw away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 240 volts. Wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days.

Back then we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the County of Somerset. But she's right; we didn't have the "green thing" back then.

Back then, people took the train or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mums into a 24-hour taxi service in the family's £45,000 SUV. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest takeaway.

But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the "green thing" back then?

Modern day society is driven by convenience. Its a throwaway culture where it's easier to throw away something than reuse it. Yes part of it is now becoming more aware and reuse things but lots aren't. I don't think society can blame the older generation because it's modern society eating half a pizza and throwing it away instead of keeping it for tomorrow, driving to the shops instead of walking and eating meat everyday instead of just once a week.
Not too mention being able to fly anywhere we want and wanting an airline to serve a route with jets when props would be more environmentally friendly!


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