In a remarkable development which could have implications for the highly disputed topic of global warming, scientists in Russia have announced that the earth is actually about to enter an extended period of global cooling.
The process, scientists at the Pulkovo Observatory in St. Petersburg said, was due to a decline in solar activity which in turn will cause the average yearly temperature to decline for a period of 200 to 250 years.
A period of low solar activity could start in 2030–2040 but it won’t be as pervasive as in the late 17th century, scientist Yuri Nagovitsyn was quoted as saying in Russian media.
“The past cold winter of course has nothing to do with climatic changes that occur over decades-long periods,” said Dr. Yuri Nagovitsyn, academic secretary of the Pulkovo Observatory
He was backed up by colleague Vladimir Kotlyakov, head of the Institute of Geography at the Russian Academy of Sciences, who said that there are “no grounds to claim that global warming will continue till the end of this century.”
Vladimir Radyuhin, another scientist at the observatory who has just finished a project which involved the study of hundreds-of-years-old Antarctic ice cores, said that the “early signs of cooling are already there and the trend may pick up in coming years.
“Human activity and industrial discharges do have a great impact on environment, but forces of nature are far more powerful.
“Climate moves in natural cycles of warmer and colder, drier and more humid times.
“But our forecast is that future generations will have to grapple with temperatures several degrees lower than those we have today.”
People living in the northern hemisphere will have noticed a particularly extended period of cold weather, and German meteorologists say that the start of 2013 is now officially the coldest in 208 years.
With all the conflicting scientific reports, allegations of fraud, political motivation, and underhanded activities of which many climate change “experts” have been found guilty, it has become increasingly difficult for the man in the street to determine what is fact and what is fiction about global warming.
One thing is for sure: the past winter has been severe, particularly in North America, and climate change scepticism, which was regarded as crankery only a few years ago, has grown in acceptance.
Ultimately, like the “great freeze” scare of the 1970s (which predicted a mini-ice age by 2000), or the “hole in the ozone layer” scare which predicted that everyone on earth would soon get skin cancer, time will ultimately reveal the veracity or otherwise of climate change.