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27 May 2015

A paper by Nils-Axel Morner in Energy and Environment, volume 22 No 3 (2011), 'Arctic Environment by the Middle of this century' (being the 21st century in question) which goes on to claim, contrary to the global warming hypothesis, that we are entering a cooler weather episode in the northern hemisphere. Morner is a CAGW hate figure – and very long in the teeth, so a certain amount of scepticism is desired as he appears to enjoy rocking the boat of settled science.

In 1984 it was suggested that angular momentum might be transferred back and forth between the solid Earth and hydrosphere and in so doing affecting the surface circulation of the main ocean currents – at that time considered to be a primary weather generator, and in some circles still regarded as more important than most other factors. This includes the well known currents such as the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic and the Kiro Siwa in the Pacific. These bring oceanic water masses from low to high latitudes (transferring tropical water to colder climes). Morner, as long ago as 1999, realised that solar wind might affect the rotation of the entire terrestrial system of ocean currents. He says he noticed that during solar minimums (where he is referring to historical data rather than observed present day data) correspond to periods of speeding up of the Earth's rate of rotation. He is of course referring to very small amounts of spin rate – so negligible that nobody might really notice. From this he extropolates the idea that as we are entering a cool phase (less solar activity than in the 20th century) cool weather has a connection with the spin rate. We may note that it is a projection that we are entering a solar minimum – the opposite side of the coin from the CAGW belief system which insists co2 is going to over-warm the Earth.

In other words, to slow down or speed up the Gulf Stream, it is necessary to vary the rate of rotation. I can see that adjustments to spin rate may affect global sea levels (and after all sea level research is Morner's particular field of knowledge) but do they affect ocean currents to any significant degree (particularly as the change in spin rate is so minimal). One to chew on.

Morner is looking at solar cycles. It remains to be seen if we are actually entering a solar minimum (vaunted by some) – or what the effects on our weather of a solar minimum might be (or have been). We may assume over-hype is involved – that is human nature at work. The connection between low solar activity and cool summers would appear to be somewhat tenuous, to say the least, as an opaque atmosphere would appear the most likely candidate for events such as the lows during the Little Ice Age (as explored many years ago by Clube and Napier). We shall see. 

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