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Sun Flares and Spots, Not Pollution's Greenhouse Effect, Could be Behind Global Warming
2004 10 03

Comment: The Earth is NOT overpopulated, our resources might slowly running out, but that is NOT the issue. These kinds of articles are trying to make the "little folks" the crock and the bad guy... This article mentins NOTHING about the effect the Military Complex around this globe have our planet, there is NO informatin regarding how much the few trillion dollar wealthy
All over the world people became restless and started to move - but why?

Archaeologists have never found a clear answer, but now one scientist thinks the explanation may lie on the surface of the Sun.

Bas van Geel, a biologist from the University of Amsterdam, believes the Earth's climate took a dramatic turn about 2 800 years ago, due to a quiet period in the Sun's activity, making the tropics drier and the mid-latitudes colder and wetter.

Previously damp areas, like parts of the Netherlands, became flooded and uninhabitable, while very dry, desert-like areas, such as southern Siberia, became viable places to live.

Meanwhile, in the tropics, land dried out and created savannahs where lush forests had grown before.

"People living where the changes were most dramatic were forced to move," he explains.

Until now, scientists haven't taken too much notice of the Sun's changes, believing them to be small fry compared with the effects of greenhouse gases and wobbles in the Earth's orbit. But now a growing number of scientists are convinced that fluctuations on the Sun's surface (such as flares, sunspots and gas boiling off) may be amplified, seriously affecting the Earth's climate.

Van Geel has gone on to show how people are affected when the Sun decides to have a snooze.

Van Geel has been studying fossil plants in peats and muds from all over the world and checking carbon 14 concentrations, which are influenced by the Sun's activity.

By measuring the detailed variations of carbon 14 at different levels in peat deposits, he can estimate changes in activity on the Sun's surface.

He has shown that, about 2 800 years ago, there was an abrupt worldwide increase in carbon 14 levels, which occurred at the same time as climate change. He believes the increase in carbon 14 means that solar activity suddenly declined.

Solar activity theorists have come up with two possible mechanisms that might be transmitting the effects of fluctuations in activity on the Sun's surface.

The first is that changes in solar activity alter the level of cosmic rays hitting the Earth, which influences cloud formation, and in turn, sunlight, rainfall and weather.

Alternatively, changes in solar activity affect the amount of ultra-violet radiation leaving the Sun, which may have an impact on the amount of ozone in the atmosphere. Ozone influences how much solar energy is absorbed by the atmosphere, and, indirectly, affects atmospheric circulation and associated weather.

Teaming up with archaeologists has enabled Van Geel to back up his theory by showing that many people were migrating at this time.

Along with Dutch specialists, he has found that farming communities in west Friesland suffered increasing rainfall about 2 800 years ago. They resorted to building homes on artificial mounds, but eventually they were washed out of their farms and had to move to drier places.

Meanwhile, work in Cameroon has shown there was an arid crisis at about the same time. This dry patch caused some of the forest to die and savannahs to open up. These openings in the forest made it easier for people to move. Archaeological remains show that farming communities began to migrate inland.

He has also worked with Russian archaeologists to show that, about 2 800 years ago, the Scythian people took advantage of a wetter climate to explore the steppe landscapes that lie north of Mongolia. Prior to this, the land had been hostile semi-desert, but the extra moisture turned it into green, grassy steppes, enabling these nomadic tribes to travel towards both China and south-east Europe.

Without a doubt there was a change in climate about 2 800 years ago, and it seems that this encouraged, or even forced, many groups of people to move.

But was this a one-off change, or has solar activity played havoc with the climate at other times, too?

"Carbon 14 records show a major decrease in solar activity roughly every 2 300 years," says Van Geel.

"The most recent time this happened was during the 'little ice age', which peaked around 1650."

At this time frost fairs were held on the Thames, harvests were poor all over Europe and glaciers marched down European mountains.

Taking a look at the Sun right now reveals that we are in a period of high activity, with many sunspots, solar flares and an increasing magnetic field of the corona (the Sun's outer atmosphere).

Van Geel and other proponents of the solar activity theory believe this high solar activity could be behind the global warming we have experienced over the last 50 years.

"My impression is that there is an over-estimation of the greenhouse effect," says Van Geel.

It is controversial, but if he is right, then there is little we can do to control the Earth's climate.

Instead, we can make the most of the sunshine and, perhaps, start preparing for the next chill in western Europe - due to peak about AD3950.

Earth Changes TV

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