| Opinion/The Review

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

The 'settled' science of climate remains quite unsettled

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Sunday, July 21, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Global warming's “pause” over the past decade-plus is an inconvenient truth that blame-mankind, “settled science” climate cluckers struggle to explain. Here's another: Sunspot formation is weakening in ways reminiscent of conditions associated with a “little ice age” about 300 years ago.

The U.K.-based Global Warming Policy Foundation ( cites an Irish Times report on solar scientists' latest findings. Sunspot activity should be peaking in its regular 11-year cycle, averaging between 90 and 140 sunspots a month, but the actual figure is just 67.

Does that portend another “little ice age” like the one in the latter half of the 17th century and the early 18th century, when sunspot activity was even lower or nonexistent? Not necessarily.

In other media reports cited by the foundation, some scientists, citing unusually cold, snowy winters in 2009 and 2010 as evidence, say the Earth indeed is heading for a similar period of dramatic cooling — not warming. Other scientists say it's more likely that sunspot activity's current low levels are related to a known, less dramatic, century-long cycle.

Such disagreement shows that the science of Earth's climate and its relation to solar activity is anything but “settled” — and that the vastly powerful natural forces involved are poorly understood. Thus, it's sheer arrogance to single out human activity as any sort of climate culprit — and outright folly to base any public policy on such shaky evidence.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Editorials

  1. Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
  2. Greensburg Laurels & Lances
  3. Alle-Kiski Laurels & Lances
  4. Regional growth
  5. The Brady affair: Contract law
  6. The wind ruse: A failed policy
  7. The Thursday wrap
  8. Medicare @ 50: Sick, getting sicker
  9. Mon-Yough Laurels & Lances
  10. Sunday pops
  11. The Box