Jonathan Lesser’s February 2014 “Energy and the Environment” column is now available
February’s column, “New Data May Indicate a Pause in Global Warming,” examines sunspot activity and global temperatures. The observed pause in warming temperatures in the past 15 years may be linked to this decline in sunspot activity, just as low sunspot activity during the “Maunder Minimum” over 300 years ago took place during the so-called “Little Ice Age.” Moreover, new research suggests the Sun may be entering a new Maunder-like extended period of low activity. Although individuals who believe in human-caused climate change say “the science is settled,” science is never settled. The inability of current climate models to explain the lack of warming over the past
15 years, plus predictions that the sun may be entering a prolonged period of low activity, suggest that much more analysis must be done before we impoverish
ourselves by choking off economic growth. Don’t put that winter coat in storage quite yet.