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Reader’s letter: Several causes of climate change

While it is indisputable that carbon dioxide concentrations are increasing, climate change may be a combination of several causes, since other phenomena have been measured and well documented.

For example, sunspots and solar flares with their associated Coronal Mass Ejections have been studied for centuries and are approaching a peak in their 11-year cycle.

They are currently occurring up to 150 times a year, posing a risk to communications and power grids on Earth.

Letters stock image
Letters stock image

We are largely protected from their huge energy releases by the Earth’s own magnetic field, which deflects them towards the north and south magnetic poles, creating the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis.

This represents a huge energy input to the polar regions. The Maunder Minimum period of low solar activity is thought to have triggered the Little Ice Age which chilled the Northern Hemisphere from about 1645 to 1715.

After remaining static several centuries in northern Canada, the Earth’s magnetic north pole has moved towards Siberia over 1,400 miles between 1900 and 2021, according to the US National Oceanographic and Aero-space Administration. It is accelerating and currently moving around 27 miles annually, as well as making the Northern Lights visible from many parts of the UK.

It is conceivable that huge energy inputs from solar flares are warming the upper atmosphere and affecting the jet streams, resulting in their varying patterns and climate change.

A second example arises from an article in the Daily Telegraph (October 29, 2023) — Mount Fuji Clouds May Be Formed By Plastics.

Claimed to be “the first to detect airborne microplastics in cloud water” it mentions nine types of plastic particles, many hydrophilic (water attracting) found in cloud banks associated with Japanese mountains, possibly nucleated by these particles.

Rain making by cloud seeding is a well known phenomenon, and long distance particle migration is illustrated by relatively coarse sand from the Sahara sometimes falling in the UK.

Almost 400 million tonnes of plastic are manufactured annually, and only a small proportion is recycled.

Contamination by micro-particles and nano-particles arising from their degradation under sunlight and mechanical friction has been found from pole to pole, although little work appears to have been carried out into their airborne concentrations.

Inorganic particles from combustion products (diesel engines, power stations etc.) and friction such as tyre and road wear add to this extremely fine dust.

Extensive cloud cover has been a feature of recent weather forecasts, while clouds absorb ten times more solar energy than carbon dioxide does. Hence airborne dust may be at least partly responsible for the recent unusual behaviour of heavily cloud laden and sun energized Jet Streams causing extensive flooding. — D. CAMERON, Southwell

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