Solar Output

The one theory that has dogged all debates on global climate has been the idea that solar output variation is possibly greater than it is at different times in our history. The fact is that the sunspot cycle is clearly associated with a 1.5 watt per square meter variation of energy arriving at the upper atmosphere out of a total of 1366 watts per square meter. To dismiss its effect as slight is appropriate and also reassuring. There can be no surprises there. And unless some nuclear mechanism exists for which we have no evidence, the sun will continue to burn hydrogen at the same rate - i.e. - full out, for a few billion years more.

In fact, the only way to reduce solar output is to remove yourself to very high latitudes were it is possible to grow a polar ice cap for two thirds of the year.

Of this incoming energy, some is reflected away, a lot is absorbed by the atmosphere and the rest is absorbed by land and sea. And yes ladies, I know that if it were not for the biosphere it would be a big ice ball.

What I want everyone to observe, is that the only part of this that can truly vary and respond in the short term is the atmosphere. Massive reforestation of the Sahara will change dynamics but will also require a century as would similar land based modifications, however desirable. The sea is a sponge for energy that shifts at the rate of perhaps 1500 miles per year. It must take several years for heat in the equator to be exchanged for polar cold.

Now the heat content of the atmosphere in the tropics is already maxed out, or should be. That means that if the atmosphere is to absorb more heat, it must naturally shift that heat towards the poles, as it may be doing.

We now enter the realm of the ongoing debate, driven only by the fact that the our apparent climate has warmed up slightly. These current variations are still within what we know of long term historical cycles. The debate is over humanity's contribution.

And here is where I draw the line. The use of the atmosphere as a CO2 dump and a particulate dump is wrong irrespective of any linkages to climate change. We have already discovered that we can resolve both problems completely and economically. We can even provide self sustaining livelihoods for a billion families using what we have discovered.

We need a global regulatory mandate to eliminate stack gas emissions, exclusive of CO2 and to convert agriculture over to Terra Preta practices for soil enhancement and carbon sequestration. And there needs to be no break for anyone. The biggest beneficiaries will be the developing world.

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