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Solar Activity, Greenhouse Gas Levels and Climate Change on Our Earth

| 10/21/2010 3:19:56 PM

Growing up in the wide open spaces of Montana I spent a great deal of my time in the vast outdoors and developed an appreciation and understanding of nature and the environment.  Over the years, as a scientist, I have become concerned about the possible impact global warming could have not only on humans but all creatures great and small.

A major goal of this blog will be to explain how the planet has maintained a stable temperature for life for billions of years.  Next we will discuss how human-induced forces are making the job of the planet more difficult.  Then we will discuss how the planet attempts to adapt to these human induced forces through climate change and what the potential consequences of this climate change are.  We will also look at current weather events in the context of climate change. 

It is my hope that this blog will stimulate meaningful discussions on climate change so that individuals can make informed decisions pertaining to global warming.  I will also be writing an article for the MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine on climate change that will appear late next year.  Thus I would appreciate reader comments not only on my blogs but also thoughts for the magazine article. My first post for this blog appears below: 

Solar Activity, Greenhouse Gas Levels and Climate Change on Our Earth 

Two main mechanisms, the fluctuations in solar activity and the fluctuations in the atmospheric level of greenhouse gases have been proposed to explain current changes in our global climate, a topic much in the news these days as we become more concerned about global warming.  In this first blog posting, let’s consider these mechanisms in the context of how the planet regulates its temperature.  In actuality, both of the mechanisms do play a role in the planet’s climate.

It is well established that fluctuations in the intensity of solar activity trigger glacial and interglacial periods.  However, the change in solar intensity is too small to explain the different global temperatures seen during glacial and interglacial periods.  There must be additional forces involved in regulating global temperature.  In future postings we will examine some of these.

12/15/2010 12:05:50 AM

Man made climate change is the most serious issue facing mankind today. The time for action is now. Please see:

12/7/2010 1:27:30 PM

I'm not nearly the scientist you folks posting comments are, but, I watched a history channel or discovery channel program about underground lakes, under the norther African deserts. The gist of the program was that they were from a planetary cycle of about 20000 years due to the earth's wobble at the axis. As the planet tilts from one side to the other different parts of the earth are wetter/drier. The northern African desert was tropical rain forest at one time. Diana.

Royce Vines
12/7/2010 3:38:24 AM

The Earth has always cycled through "climate change", in fact, we are coming out of the mini ice age now. However, for most of the planets ascertained lifetime, it has NOT been a hospitable place to life as we know it. I read the 50% of the warming is natural. Of the anthropogenic forces that are accelerating warming, 40% of that has been caused because of the particulate and photo chemical pollution that has been cleaned up from transport, industry and power generation. A it more soot (Carbon) in the air, whilst not good foe asthmatics would effectively shield the surface from some short wave energy. Regardless of any warming or because of it, another ice age is coming. So what, it has all happened before and various species have survived. If not humans, another dominant species will emerge over the millennia. Get over yourselves humans. Best Regards, Royce R. Vines The beatings will continue until morale improves.

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