As I've said dozens of times in the past couple of decades in various columns including, of course, 'Gems,' I believe in CLIMATE CHANGES of the naturally occurring variety, but not anthropogenic global warming (AGW). It's a massive fraud in my opinion, a LIE, pure and simple.
There is no peer-confirmed scientific research that establishes a cause-and-effect relationship between increased atmospheric carbon dioxide and higher (or lower) global temperatures. This is a clever deception put forth by those attempting to impose a centralized, worldwide socialistic form of government headed by an empowered United Nations.
This far-reaching global warming industry, already making huge profits at taxpayer expense, has been given credence by most governments, the news media, political interests, fear-gripped citizens of the planet and much of the scientific community.
Some of the key scientists in the AGW movement have falsified historical data to make it conform to their agenda, which is decidedly anti-American (Western), anti-democracy and anti-capitalism.
Their methodology is to completely ignore the climatological facts that, since 1998, we've been in a pronounced cooling trend on a global scale that has completely wiped-out the warming that occurred from 1981 through 1997 that followed directly on the chilly heels of a prolonged colder period that began during World War II. Remember all the talk of a NEW ICE AGE at the doorsteps in the mid to late 1970s? Needless to say, it didn't happen either.
On the first Earth Day in 1970, a very prominent environmentalist, E.F. Watt, spoke out about the rising threat of global cooling. Watt declared, "If present trends continue, the world will be about 4 degrees colder by 1990 and nearly 11 degrees colder by the year 2000. This would be twice the cooling needed to put us in a new GREAT ICE AGE." Again, it didn't happen. This was climatological 'fear-mongering' that made millions of dollars for these so-called 'climate experts.' (I wrote articles against this "Ice Age Cometh" hysteria at the time. Now, I'm on the 'other' side of things.)
Again, as I've always claimed, CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL! BUT NATURAL! However, we have made things worse with the 'urban heat island effect' which added a bit to the warmer cycles.
The Earth's climate, like the rest of the planets in our Solar System, changes constantly in a 'natural response' to both terrestrial and extraterrestrial influences. These include solar rays, the sun is the big weather-maker, cosmic rays, radiation from exploding stars in our galaxy (supernovas), the moon and numerous other factors.
There have been several rather epoch climate changes since before the time of Christ, which AGW alarmists conveniently seem to ignore in their falsified climate models, like the Roman Warm Period (250 B.C. to 450 A.D.), the Medieval Warm Period (900 A.D. to 1300 A.D.), the Little Ice Age (1350 A.D. to 1850 A.D.), and the recent slow-warming from the mid 1800s through 1997.
This warming of the planet during the 20th Century was a mere 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit and, as I stated previously, was completely wiped out during the brief period from 1997-2011, especially after our 'sun went silent' in 2007.
Virtually the entire mid-latitude regions of both northern and southern hemispheres have had a series of very cold winters since 2007, as sunspot activity decreased to levels not seen since the 'Maunder Minimum' between 1645 and 1715, when frost fairs were celebrated on the frozen Thames River in London almost on an annual basis.
The years 2008 and 2009 experienced extremely low levels of sunspots. There were an amazing 266 (73 percent) days that were 'sunspot-free' in 2008 and 260 such days in 2009. Only recently have sunspot numbers increased to more normal levels. This cycle of higher sunspots should peak in late 2012 and then 'drop off a cliff,' no pun intended.
Next week in 'Gems,' I'll answer the many questions that I've received concerning 'CLIMATEGATE.' Stay tuned.
NORTH IDAHO WEATHER REVIEW AND LONG-RANGE OUTLOOKS
Sharon and I had a great time in Phoenix celebrating our granddaughter Nicole's high school graduation and 18th birthday during the Memorial Day weekend. We thank Randy Mann for covering for me on my May 30 article in 'Gems.' This 'workaholic' needed to get away from the daily grind.
Believe it or not, it was too chilly in Scottsdale, where we stayed with my son Brent and his wife Pam, to even go swimming in the solar-heated pool. Sharon and I dipped our legs into the water on the last day as temperatures warmed into the 90s. She came home sick with the flu, but that's life. We had 'fun in the sun.' There wasn't a cloud in the Phoenix skies all week, but it was very windy and dusty causing my allergies to kick up due to ragweed pollen.
Phoenix hasn't seen even a mere two inches of total precipitation thus far in 2011, probably the result of 'La Nina.' There was a lot of freeze damage from record cold temperatures in the teens and 20s this past winter season in Arizona. Many tropical plants literally 'bit the dust.'
Locally, May of 2011 was another in a long series of cold and wet months in North Idaho and the rest of the Inland Empire.
Our average (mean) temperature during the 31-day span was just 51.5 degrees, some 3.5 degrees colder than normal. Our afternoon highs averaged 63 degrees, five degrees below the normal of 68 degrees. There were a dozen days in the 40s and 50s for highs, quite unusual indeed for May. Record low maximum readings were set on May 16, when the mercury failed to surpass 45 degrees all day. Another record low maximum was established on May 24 at just 50 degrees. The month's warmest day was 81 degrees on May 14. The coldest reading was a frosty 31 degrees on May 2. Some early gardens were nipped.
As far as May precipitation was concerned, we nearly doubled our normal rainfall at 3.92 inches, which pushed our annual precipitation total to an incredible 19.73 inches, a whopping 6.27 inches above normal by May 31. No wonder we have lowland flooding in our region. Remember, we still have a lot of snow in the nearby mountains that has yet to melt.
Longer-term, after a wet and chilly start, this month of June will gradually turn warmer and drier with the approach of the summer season.
It won't be 'rainless' but, it should 'rain less often.' In other words, we should see more sun and less clouds.
Remember, I'm still looking for a HOTTER SUMMER than last year with lots of warm 90-degree plus 'Sholeh Days.' Think WARM ... our economy needs it!
Cliff Harris is a climatologist who writes a weekly column for The Press. His opinions are his own. Email email@example.com