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Thursday, December 01, 2005

Global Warming Causing Global Cooling

Possible impending global cooling is causing "alarm," says the UK's Guardian, and it may be caused by global warming.

That sounds silly, but actually makes sense. Massively oversimplified, the article refers to a phenomenon in which melting Arctic water slows a huge Atlantic Ocean current that delivers warm water from the topics north toward Europe, Iceland, northern North America and Greenland. The result of the slowing warm water current is a temperature reduction in the northern Atlantic and adjacent land masses.

This has happened before in human history, and may be one of the causes (natural cyclical changes in solar radiance being another) of the Little Ice Age, which lasted from roughly 1650 to 1850.

Interestingly, just as the Guardian is wondering if a disruption in the Atlantic current will cause some global cooling, some scientists believe the Earth may be nearing the end of a solar warming cycle. If so, that would be another factor possibly leading to some global cooling in this century.

The theory that human-produced carbon dioxide is causing the planet to warm -- popularly known as the "global warming" theory -- gets nearly all the press, but our planet's weather patterns are really quite complex. They are driven by forces more powerful than anything mankind has the ability to control.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:31 AM

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