Cool, Cold and Frozen - The 100,000 yr. Cycle
The Sun - Take a basketball and a black felt pen. Using the felt pen place a dot on the basketball. You have just created an effective visual representation of the relative size of our Sun versus the size of our Earth.
The Sun is monstrously huge in comparison to the Earth. It is not an inert, thermostatically controlled simple ball of fire. It is a raging, seething mass of nuclear fusion increasing and decreasing in intensity and ranging from relatively quiescent periods of "calm" to explosive, volcanic eruptions that spill out into Space, leaping towards our Earth and throwing cosmic detritus and heat at our little planet. Why then, with a neighbour such as this, do we discount the concept that maybe, just maybe, the variations and cycles of the Sun could actually be reflected in the cycles of the Earth - something we now commonly call "Climate Change".
COOL - THE 11 YEAR SUNSPOT CYCLE - So what do we know about the Sun? We are aware it is not constant and that it revolves around an 11 year hot/cool cycle as well as a much longer 60 year hot / cold cycle that each generation will only experience once in a lifetime. We know that hot periods coincide with increased sunspots and solar flares and we know that these solar flares reduce cloud cover and rainfall overall - leading to dry periods and drought with accompanying consequences to human inhabitants.
The cycles be viewed in the image below. It demonstrates how our day to day and year to year weather is not constant but rather in flux with changes to the Sun's energy output levels (as seen by Sunspot levels). This means that we go through a natural cycling from years that are too hot and too dry to those that are too cold and too wet. These natural changes receive practically no media attention at all, in preference to C02 production and its effect on our skies.
Present day Sunspot activity shows a disturbing trend in which it can be seen that there is progressive weakening in strength of the Sunspot numbers and this means a weakening of the energy output of the Sun.
COLD -THE 350 YEAR SUNSPOT CYCLE - It has been shown that there is a longer cycle composed of 11 year Sunspot cycles that add up to around 350 years. These longer cycles correlate to documented climate extremes. Zharkova has shown how the Sun's magnetic field changes to form these 350 year patterns that correlate with Sunspot numbers and with major cold events within the Earth's history such as the Maunder and Dalton Minimums.
This 350 year cycle has been discussed thoroughly in the Zarkova based blog accessed by the button below.
The huge question mark indicated with the charts above is whether we are headed againfor a major minimum on the scale of the Maunder or the Dalton. Let's hope not.
BUT - THERE ARE BIGGER FORCES AT PLAY THAN SIMPLE SUNSPOT CYCLES...
THE ICE AGES
FROZEN - 100,000 YEAR ICE AGES - now let's really think about Ice. We're told that Earth's ice is melting, that it is our fault, and if we don't reverse our wasteful ways we will engulf our cities and towns in new seas that will rise to hideous heights and wash over our lands. Coincidentally, we can expect to melt our northern Permafrost and release massive stores of methane gas which, being 25 times more effective than carbon dioxide in its global warming potential, will hasten our destruction as we accelerate the atmospheric warming beyond our ability to ever have any reverse effect on its composition.
We know historically what the pattern of Glacial Ice versus Warm Periods is. Generally, we know that for the past 400000 years the Earth underwent periods of glacial Ice for as long as 100,000 years followed by warm periods that are around 15000 years in duration. When the Ice is present the oceans retreat and land mass increases, but this is of little value in the upper hemispheres of the Earth (Antarctica has been covered for 35 million years) as masses of ice, 3 to 4 kilometers thick, cover the Continent as low as California, making life (particularly as we know it) impossible. Man must survive in the central warmer areas of the earth at these times in order to survive as a species.
We know that man did indeed exist during the times of the last ice age, but we also must note that world populations were ridiculously low compared to today's 8.5 billion and any population of the totally frozen north was non existent as the migration did not begin until around 50000 years ago.
WHAT CAUSES THE ICE AGES - INTRODUCING THE MILANKOVICH CYCLES.
Up to this point we have focused pretty much totally on the effect of Sunspot cycles on the behaviour of the Sun and its effects on Earth's climate. The much slower and much bigger picture involves the movements and interactions of the planets themselves. Earth, Sun and other planets are not rigidly fixed into unmovable orbits or positions relative to one another. It is dynamic, in motion, and constantly occurring over thousands and even millions of years. The net effect of this dynamic behaviour is to change the ways that Earth relates to its Sun, in particular how and how much of its energy is it receiving at any point in time.
We've seen the effects of the Sun changing within itself over cycles such as 11 years or 350 years, both of which are extremely important to humans as they affect our climate. Ice Ages "may" relate to the changes in Earth's behaviour in relation to its physical positioning to its Sun. These have been documented and are commonly known as Milankovitch Cycles. We need to consider:
A BRIEF RESPITE FROM THE COLD - An Interglacial warming period is a transition period that the Earth passes through on its way from one Ice Age to another. It involves the melting of large masses of ice, the rise of oceans as they convert into water, and the retreat of the glaciers, releasing the land below it once again to the potential for growth and life. This continues until a trigger of some kind begins to move the Earth back to cold again. As stated a warm period is roughly 15000 years. We are roughly 12000 years into our present warming period, the Anthropocene period. 3000 to go!
Please note: these images and the discussions surrounding them are easily found on Google. I'm not even going to attempt to make a bibliography because this isn't a scientific paper, it's an opinion piece. If you doubt me go search them out. The exercise is quite revealing.