Friday, August 25, 2006

Global Cooling

Global cooling could develop on Earth in 50 years and have serious consequences before it is replaced by a period of warming in the early 22nd century, a Russian scientist said Friday.

Environmentalists and scientists today focus on the dangers of global warming provoked by man's detrimental effect on the planet's climate, but global cooling - though never widely supported - is a theory postulating an overwhelming cooling of the Earth which could involve glaciation.

"On the basis of our [solar emission] research, we developed a scenario of a global cooling of the Earth's climate by the middle of this century and the beginning of a regular 200-year-long cycle of the climate's global warming at the start of the 22nd century," said the head of the space research sector of the Russian Academy of Sciences' astronomical observatory.

Khabibullo Abdusamatov said he and his colleagues had concluded that a period of global cooling similar to one seen in the late 17th century - when canals froze in the Netherlands and people had to leave their dwellings in Greenland - could start in 2012-2015 and reach its peak in 2055-2060.

He said he believed the future climate change would have very serious consequences and that authorities should start preparing for them today because "climate cooling is connected with changing temperatures, especially for northern countries."

"The Kyoto initiatives to save the planet from the greenhouse effect should be put off until better times," he said, referring to an international treaty on climate change targeting greenhouse gas emissions.

"The global temperature maximum has been reached on Earth, and Earth's global temperature will decline to a climatic minimum even without the Kyoto protocol," Abdusamatov said.

Dr. Abdusamatov he is "chief of the Space Exploration Department of the Central Astronomical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the supervisor of the Astrometria project of the Russian part of the International Space Station,

Mr. Abdusamatov's theory corresponds with the results of the research about the increase of Earth's temperatures in the 20th century, which makes many scientists continue the trend of the future warming. Abdusamatov has made an opposite conclusion about the cold period, which is to follow the warm era. However, both the possible cold and warm weather periods are characterized with a change of Earth's temperature by only one degree celsius.

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