|The fire this time|
Blizzard conditions and heavy snow swept western Kansas, including 14 to 20 inches in Colby in the northwestern quadrant of the No. 1 winter wheat state in the nation, said the Weather Channel.
“We lost the western Kansas wheat crop this weekend. Just terrible,” tweeted Justin Gilpin, chief executive of the grower-funded Kansas Wheat Commission.I suspect that over the coming months and years it's going to become much harder for acolytes of Albert Gore's Traveling Circus and Subsidy Vacuum to keep claiming that currentYear() is the hottest year ever. Eastern and southern Europe have been getting freak snowstorms one after the other this spring and the good old USA just got one in my neck of the woods*. While it will be weeks before the final damage is counted, it's safe to say that there are fewer acres of wheat and more dead baby cows in the world than there were this time last week.
But what do snowstorms have to do with global warming? Very little, I suspect. About 18 months ago, I dropped a cryptic little note in my year-end prognostication:
If we get hit (we won't) it will be by something coming out of the sun that we do not see until hours before impact. But sunspots are disappearing, the Earth's magnetic shield is weakening, and Jupiter's centuries-old storm is dying. Something is happening, and it's bigger than 50ppm of CO2.Obviously, I don't know for sure, but I suspect that we are on the cusp of a grand solar minimum, a naturally-recurring phenomenon that humans neither cause nor can avoid.
It's been long-noticed that our sun's activity is cyclical, up and down, noisy and quiet, on about a 12-year cycle. But it's less well-known that those cycles also have cycles. Every 200 years or so, the sun gets really quiet, the global temperature drops, crops are destroyed in large numbers**, people starve and suffer and overthrow their entire social order. A good time is had by all once it all washes out a couple decades later.
For the record, Cycle 24 looks like we could be getting ready for that kind of a quiet period:
|The NASA Website is good for something.|
But, you might wonder, if we are on the cusp of such a minimum, won't that get in the way of the Global Climate Progress that we have been allegedly enjoying for the last 40 years? "Fear not," says peer-reviewed science, the great god CO2 has a wonderful plan for your life: A grand solar minimum would barely make a dent in human-caused global warming.
So who is going to win the royal rumble between that big glowing ball in the sky and and an extra 50 ppm of CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere? I suspect that we will find out for sure in the next 5 years or so.
* Rancho d'El Borak didn't get snow, but we did get about 8" of rain over 3 days. Five Boys' Mom will have a more accurate count, I'll bet.
** Not from lessened x-ray or ultraviolet directly. A quieter sun allows more cosmic rays to reach the lower atmosphere from space. Those cosmic rays instigate cloud formation. And those cloud formations do the darnest things to stuff on the ground.