FM newswire for June 5, interesting articles about geopolitics

Today’s links to interesting news and analysis. If you find this useful, please pass it to a friend or colleague.

  1. Latest forecast:  “Solar Cycle Prediction“, David Hathaway (NASA) for the Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Panel, 3 June 2010 — A maximum amplitude of aprox 70 in June 2013, down from May 2009 forecast of 90.  That would be lowest since Solar Cycle 16 peaked at 78 in 1928.
  2. The Killing of al-Qaeda’s No. 3: Does It Matter?“, Robert Baer, Time, 3 June 2010
  3. ’79 Gulf spill leaves sobering lessons for BP“, AP, 4 June 2010
  4. An interesting question you may never have asked:  why do white supremists love Lord of the Rings?  Here’s the answer: “Fear of a black hobbit“, Hopi Sen, 4 June 2010 — This is geopolitical, if Middle Earth is a place.

Classics you might have missed

Today’s Feature Article

Empirical evidence for a celestial origin of the climate oscillations and its implications“, Nicola Scafetta (Free Electron Laser Laboratory, Duke U), Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, in press — Abstract:

We investigate whether or not the decadal and multi-decadal climate oscillations have an astronomical origin. Several global surface temperature records since 1850 and records deduced from the orbits of the planets present very similar power spectra. Eleven frequencies with period between 5 and 100 years closely correspond in the two records. Among them, large climate oscillations with peak-to-trough amplitude of about 0.1 and 0.25°C, and periods of about 20 and 60 years, respectively, are synchronized to the orbital periods of Jupiter and Saturn.  Schwabe and Hale solar cycles are also visible in the temperature records.

A 9.1-year cycle is synchronized to the Moon’s orbital cycles. A phenomenological model based on these astronomical cycles can be used to well reconstruct the temperature oscillations since 1850 and to make partial forecasts for the 21st century. It is found that at least 60% of the global warming observed since 1970 has been induced by the combined effect of the above natural climate oscillations. The partial forecast indicates that climate may stabilize or cool until 2030–2040. Possible physical mechanisms are qualitatively discussed with an emphasis on the phenomenon of collective synchronization of coupled oscillators.

For more about the effect of the sun on Earth’s climate, see section 6 of the FM reference page Climate Wars – studies and reports.

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