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Friday, May 2, 2014

2014--Year Without a Summer?

Jeffrey Folks writes at the American Thinker:
For most in America, Europe, and Asia, the winter of 1815-1816 was the coldest in living memory. What followed in the spring and summer of that year was equally disastrous. It was an entire year of cold rains, crop failures, hunger, and economic collapse.

There were multiple causes for the extreme weather of 1816, but all of them were natural, not man-made. Chief among them, according to the Klingamans, was the massive eruption of Tamboro in present-day Indonesia. The force of the explosion was ten times greater than that of Krakatoa, which took place in 1883. Heightened volcanic activity sent ash particles into the atmosphere, blocking sunlight and disrupting the northern hemispheric jet stream. One after another, polar vortexes dropped south, not just in the winter, but throughout 1816, and to a lesser extent for years afterward.

The winter of 2013-14 bears a striking resemblance to that of 1815-16, and there is every reason to believe that what follows will repeat the pattern of earlier periods of extreme cold. The consequences will not be pleasant. As some have begun to realize, periods of extreme cold are far more destructive than periods of warming.

My prediction of a “year without summer” is based partly on the record of 1816 and other years of increased volcanic activity. Like 1815, 2013 saw significant volcanic activity, with major eruptions in Indonesia, Alaska, Italy, Argentina, and Japan. It was inevitable that this "particularly eventful year" of volcanic activity would be followed by a cold winter, just as it is inevitable that more cold will follow.

This prediction is backed up by the National Weather Bureau and other sources that predict an extended period of cold in the northeast and upper Midwest. This cold may have consequences for farm production since it would likely disrupt planting in the crucial corn- and wheat-growing regions.

The effects of a poor harvest would be higher prices for nearly all foods – not just for Americans, but for consumers in the global marketplace. And while affluent consumers in developed countries can accommodate higher prices, however painful that may be, the world’s poor cannot. For billions of human beings, even a slight increase in grain prices results in hunger. And along with hunger comes social unrest – the sort of unrest that helped trigger Egypt’s Arab Spring uprising in 2011.
 He also adds:
Indeed, global warming alarmists display all the symptoms of “recentcy basis.” Relative to 1850, global temperatures have indeed risen by some one degree Celsius, but that calculation compares current temperatures with those at the trough of a four-century cold spell. Relative to longer-term global norms, today’s temperatures are not unusually warm. They are comparable to temperatures that prevailed during the Medieval Climate Optimum of 950 through 1250 AD. During this period, a Norse settlement thrived in Greenland and even reached North America.

Like the Medieval Climate Optimum, the past 150 years of warming has actually been highly beneficial: it is no coincidence that the greatest period of economic improvement in human history has occurred precisely during the period of warming since 1850. The danger is that global temperatures may now be entering a new and ominous period of extended cold.

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