Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

February 9, 2014

ED VASICEK: Ice Age or global warming?

Theories are subject to wait-and-see test

Kokomo Tribune

---- — My mind keeps play-ing back Dean Martin singing, “Oh the weather outside is frightful; inside, it’s so delightful ... Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!” I love the cold weather and some snow, but my snow quota was met a few weeks back! Dean, you gotta stop singing that!

I am writing this article Monday evening; we are expecting another snow Tuesday. Earlier today, the Weather Channel predicted we would experience about 1 inch of snow. The National Weather Service said 1-3, while WISH-TV predicted 6 to 10 inches! I could not believe the discrepancies between these forecasters. Maybe we really do not know as much about weather as we think? Maybe this is true in the long term, as well. With this harsh winter, many folks are reconsidering their perspective on global warming.

Anomalies (rule breakers) can be hard to detect. Have the past few decades of warming been an anomaly within a longer cycle, or is this winter an anomaly within the context of long-term global warming? Personally, I think we should keep an open mind in both directions. The weather, I believe, is largely out of our hands.

When I was a teen, the conventional wisdom was that we were heading into another Ice Age. Maybe we should revisit that possibility? Let’s begin with the polar ice caps.

A few years ago, Al Gore predicted the polar ice caps could disappear by 2014; he was not alone in this gloomy viewpoint. This year, however, the opposite is happening. According to the Daily Mail (from the U.K.), “A chilly Arctic summer has left 533,000 more square miles of ocean covered with ice than at the same time last year — an increase of 29 per cent.

“The rebound from 2012’s record low comes six years after the BBC reported that global warming would leave the Arctic ice-free in summer by 2013. Instead, days before the annual autumn re-freeze is due to begin, an unbroken ice sheet more than half the size of Europe already stretches from the Canadian islands to Russia’s northern shores.”

Let’s move on to something more theoretical. Consider the possibility global temperatures are mainly affected by the sun. That does not seem too bizarre an idea, does it? At least one scientist has suggested this obvious correlation. According to a post at Red Ice Creations in 2010, “All data points to the sun as the primary source of short-term and long-term climate change on Earth ... The first inkling that something had changed with the sun was the recognition of an abnormal sunspot cycle. Then, astronomers noted that all the planets were heating up — even little Pluto on the outskirts of our solar system.

“While climatologists on Earth massaged the data to make it seem like man-made global warming was real, major climate changes were occurring on Mars.

“Habibullo Abdussamatov, an astrophysicist and head of space research at St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in Russia, stated ... ‘The long-term increase in solar irradiance is heating both Earth and Mars.’ The scientist, accurate in past predictions, has recently pronounced his belief that Earth will enter a ‘little Ice Age’ as early as 2014 and lasting as long as two centuries. The last one occurred between 1650 and 1850 and accounted for many crop failures, outbreaks of famines and mass migrations.”

World Net Daily documents that his work appeared before Congress when it was debating global warming, and National Geographic published his perspective in 2007. This year, it seems, people are taking note. Are we entering a cool-down, or is this just a statistical freak?

All our theories are subject to the “wait and see” test. We really do not know. If Abdussamatov is correct, however, we will need to teach our Hoosier neighbors to wear hats, cover their ears, and trade in their wimpy jackets for real coats!

Ed Vasicek is pastor of Highland Park Church and a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at edvasicek@gmail.com.