Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Is Global Warming on the Wane?

As I wake up on this crisp Autumn morning, I ask the question, "Is global warming on the wane?" Ok, actually it is not me that asks it, but this is the title of a great article I just read in the 2009 Old Farmer's Almanac. A condensed version can be found online at the almanac's website here, but it is worth finding a copy of the real thing and reading it.

The article speaks of how our planet's climate has been cycling for as long as we have been recording these things. Solar physicists believe that our sun has much to do with these cycles that cause the earth to either warm or cool. To quote the article, "Our Sun is a variable star. Its most notable variables are brightness, or irradiance; eruptive activity, including solar flares and geomagnetic storms; and cosmic rays. These variables manifest in cycles of 11, 22, 88, 106, 213, 429, and more years." It appears that these cycles have a much greater effect on global warming and cooling than do the carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere because although carbon dioxide levels have slowly risen over the last half century, the earth's climate has cycled from warmer to cooler to warmer to cooler several times.

Many scientist are now saying that we are most likely heading into the next ice age, relatively speaking. They are monitoring the ocean temperatures and can clearly see that they are holding less heat. It seems that we are heading into a cooling cycle.

There has been much hype in the media about global warming. We must remember that the news media makes it's money when they can stir the pot and get people upset. I do believe that carbon dioxide levels are higher today than they were a century ago. However, I think we, as humans, think much to much of ourselves to think that we play a major role in the earth's climate changes. There are things MUCH bigger than us that come into play (i.e. the Sun). And even beyond the huge cosmic factors affecting us, I also believe that there is something even bigger than anything we can see controlling everything - that is God, the Creator of it all. Yes, we have been charged with the task of caring for this planet, and we should do our best to do so, BUT I think we need to keep ourselves in perspective. We are so small compared to God and the forces in the universe. Let us remember this when the media attempts to strike fear into our hearts. Let us also remember that the Creator of everything is who is in control. He truly does "have the whole world in his hands."

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