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The 'settled' science of climate remains quite unsettled

| 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 ( thegwpf.org) 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.

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