11:32 am - Monday May 28, 2012

Global Cooling

Global cooling was a conjecture during the 1970s of imminent cooling of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere along with a posited commencement of glaciation. This hypothesis never had significant scientific support, but gained temporary popular attention due to a combination of press reports that did not accurately reflect the scientific understanding of ice age cycles, and a slight downward trend of temperatures from the 1940s to the early 1970s. General scientific opinion is that the Earth has not durably cooled, but undergone global warming throughout the 20th century.

Causes of Global Cooling

The cooling period is well reproduced by current (1999 on) global climate models (GCMs) that include the physical effects of sulphate aerosols, and there is now general agreement that aerosol effects were the dominant cause of the mid-20th century cooling. However, at the time there were two physical mechanisms that were most frequently advanced to cause cooling: aerosols and orbital forcing.

Effects of Global Cooling

There are various effects of global cooling on earth surface.
1. Some Dead Trees
2. Animals Hibernate More
3. Cold Weather

Evidence of Global Cooling

Evidence continues to accumulate that we may have turned the corner on global warming. The earth may be entering a period of cooling. A group of solar physicists in Europe has found a strong association between solar activity and temperatures in central England in weather records as far back as the Maunder Minimum, a 50-year period in which there were no sunspots between about 1650 and 1700 A.D.1 The Little Ice Age in Europe coincided with the Maunder Minimum and has long been thought to have been associated in some way with sunspots.

Solutions of Global Cooling

There are an array of proposed quick-fix solutions out there and they range from the feasible to the downright wacky. Some of these include:

  • Sending thousands of computer-controlled satellites into orbit, each equipped with mirrors to deflect a fraction of the sunlight that would otherwise reach earth.
  • Fertilising the ocean with iron, creating algal blooms which could help absorb additional carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
  • Pumping nutrient-rich deep water to the ocean surface via networks of millions of pumps to help absorb carbon through sequestration.
  • ‘Green roofs’ - covering urban rooftops with vegetation to help cool dwellings and offset the “urban heat island” effect
  • Pumping sulphur particles into the atmosphere to mimic the cooling effect of a large volcanic eruption.
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