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Investing for Peak Oil Surviving Peak Oil financially is a problem we will all confront sooner or later.

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Old 12-30-2010, 03:45 AM   #1
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Default PO and a Mini Ice Age .

Investing during Peak Oil and a Mini-ice-age .

There are good reasons for fearing we may be headed for a new mini-ice
age .

Shown below is an overlay of current solar activity on the last mini-ice
age period , the Dalton minimum . ( We are in solar cycle 24 )



For those interested in doing further reading good summaries can be found
at ....
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/2...is-shaping-up/

with similar supporting documentation at
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/2...dex-hits-zero/

How will you survive this period financially ?

Some things instantly stand out , like investing in energy , but others are much less obvious .

For example , without an Ice age one might reasonably assume that assets requiring a lot
of oil to construct would appreciate in value due to their increased replacement value .

However some of those assets may not appreciate or even hold their value during a
simultaneous Ice Age . There are many areas where this effect may be manifest .

Example .... Infrastructure at higher latitudes ( populations will/may migrate )


As time progresses ( say 10 years ) populations are likely to decline so
all the old verities may become unreliable . Will mined commodities like
copper , steel that are energy intensive still retain their value in a world
with fewer humans and having much less disposable income ?

I am hoping this thread may become a vehicle for identifying
reasonably safe investments .
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Old 01-01-2011, 09:55 PM   #2
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If there is a new Dalton minimum unfolding how cold will it become ?
Contrary to my first impressions maybe not very cold if the following extract is accurate .


Extract ....
Quote:
Doing a little more research I found this paper published in the History of Meteorology.

Reconstruction of Late 18th Century Upper-air Circulation, Using Forensic Synoptic Analysis, Louis K. McNally, III
Quote:
... the early 1780s in eastern Massachusetts, in general, exhibit shorter growing seasons, more winter days with fair-sky conditions, more summer days with thunderstorms, and more winter snowfall days than the remainder of the decade. Both shorter growing seasons and more winter days with fair-sky conditions indicate a prevalence of clearer Arctic or polar air masses in both summer and winter.

... in reconstruction of temperatures for Toronto, Ontario, Canada, found . . . 1783-1785 are all within 1° of the 50-year running mean.

... Tree ring chronologies for the western part of North America developed by Lough (1992)
show no large deviation from a long-term (1602-1960) mean.

... Ogilvie (1992) studied sea ice records for the area around Iceland and shows that on a
decadal scale the 1780s contained the greatest amount of sea ice on record. The series extends back to 1501.

... In the western United States, Fritts and Shao (1992) reconstructed temperature and
precipitation from a variety of spatial arrays of sites. These areas included the Columbia Basin, the California valleys, intermountain basins, southwest deserts, the northern high plains and the southern high plains. Throughout the entire area, temperature and precipitation data for the period from 1750 to 1800 show very little variation from the norm, with the exception of the temperature reconstruction for the high plains data set. There is a colder than normal period which stretches from 1770-1790 and it is found only in the high plains data set.
Information source ...
http://ncwatch.typepad.com/.shared/i...lton_90_30.jpg
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:38 PM   #3
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The US Revolution was fought during the Dalton Minimum. This picture of George Washington crossing the Delaware River on Christmas Day 1776 looks like he was carving a new passage through the Arctic. Normally the Delaware - a wide river with a very strong current - does not freeze anywhere near Trenton. In fact, most years NJ doesn't even get snow until a few days before Christmas. A few miles north of the Delaware Crossing, in Morristown, Revolutionary soldiers froze to death in their bunks in uninsulated troop huts.

It was VERY cold in New England in the 1780's.
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:48 PM   #4
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How cold will it become if a new Dalton minimum is unfolding ?





An excellent but rather long article which contains temperature implications for the USA
can be found at .....
http://www.warwickhughes.com/agri/So...NY_Mar2_08.pdf


Quote:
It can get worse than a repeat of the Dalton Minimum. Ken Schatten is the solar physicist with the best track record in predicting solar cycles. His work suggests a return to the advancing glaciers and delayed spring snow melt of the Little Ice Age, for an indeterminate period.
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:51 PM   #5
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Thanks FB ... extremely interesting at all levels .
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:00 PM   #6
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We're not living in candle lit wooden houses, and traveling by foot or horseback. We have homes with central heat, and cars. The only thing a mini ice age will effect is agriculture, and honestly... I think it's going to be BETTER than it is now.

If you took a piece of tracing paper and laid it over the US, and colored the prime farmland with marker, you could pick up the paper and move it down one or two states, to farmland that is even richer. The crop will come in, just at a different time. If this is worldwide, at MOST, I'd expect us to go back to having certain foods unavailable when not in season locally. But big deal. It was that way when I was a kid.
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
We're not living in candle lit wooden houses, and traveling by foot or horseback. We have homes with central heat, and cars. The only thing a mini ice age will effect is agriculture, and honestly... I think it's going to be BETTER than it is now.
I am not so sure about that .

Some examples ....

# I look at the roof of my house and wonder if it can handle snow .
Probably not . How many millions of other home owners will have to
make modifications or change . And that is only home owners what about
all those commercial factories designed for warm climates .

# In PO batteries are likely to take a bigger role but they perform dreadfully in
cold climates. Meaning one of the most important alternatives to oil will be
unavailable to many . It is a similar story with solar heating and solar power .

# To move agricultural production several hundred miles closer to the equator
involves massive expense . There needs to be new infrastructure for water supply ,
new agricultural produce storage facilities , changes in transportation infrastructure etc .
However before that happens food prices are likely to soar due to shortages .

# Many industries are reliant on temperatures staying within current predictable ranges .
Great expense will be involved in either moving or modify to accommodate change .

# Many governments will be involved in a vast new array of expenses.
Example ... I live in Melbourne Australia and I doubt if there is a snowplough or
any snow moving device for for several hundred miles .

( Note ...I have not yet tried to workout what climate Melbourne
may have and whether there will be significant snow )



.
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:09 AM   #8
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If the Earth is heading into a significantly colder period, the tundra is going to start moving down into Canada's wheat belt.
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:20 AM   #9
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Ross, I spent the first 44 years of my life in the northeast, where winter temps bottomed out at -5 to -10F and most years we had enough snow between October and May to cancel school the 5 days that were allotted by the school board for inclement weather - and frequently a few more. Last frost date was June 15, and most of our veggies were harvested in early September, then ripened indoors. In other words, it is ALREADY cold there. Dropping another 15 degrees will not have a big effect.

I know because during the last mini ice age, I was hauling off to high school and college, got married, went to work every day... in temps colder than we have now, in a very cold region of the country, and we ALSO had a "gas crisis" in the winter of 1973, where gasoline and home heating oil were so scarce the President came on tv in a heavy sweater to urge us to turn our already low thermostats down, and we could only buy enough gas to drive to work every other day.

I feel like Grandpa saying, "Why in MY day, we walked ten miles to school barefoot, in a blizzard, all uphill!" Truth is, the mini ice age and gas crisis of the 1970s was taken in stride. It was cold, but it is cold every winter. We had a lot of snow, but we had shovels and knew how to use them. We had to turn the thermostat down but our homes were frigid and drafty anyway. It was 54F whether you set the thermostat at 54F or 90F. Instead of one bad winter, we had a string of them. Then we had a string of winters where it barely snowed at all and temps were warmer. We didn't sweat that, either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross View Post
# I look at the roof of my house and wonder if it can handle snow .
Probably not . How many millions of other home owners will have to
make modifications or change . And that is only home owners what about
all those commercial factories designed for warm climates .
1) There is a snow "belt" because conditions have to be right. Above a certain temperature it is rain, and below a certain temperature it just does not snow as much. As the snow belt moves south, the people north of that line will have increased cold but decreased snowfall (but that which does fall will stay, possibly year round, and become compacted - if the ice age lasts long enough this is how glaciers form).

2) Looking out my back window I don't see a single house that could not withstand a snowstorm - because they have been built to withstand hurricanes. We have codes requiring a home to withstand 135 mph winds and heavy slashing rain, and have insulation in the walls and ceilings.

Up north (the Rt 95 corridor which was just hit with the severe storm) the majority of houses were built between the victorian era and 1950's - when they simply ran out of land in the urban areas. While a house, or even a development, went up here and there they were a small fraction of the millions of existing homes. Those existing homes may be able to handle a high snow load, but they cannot cope with cold - they were built in an era of cheap heat, which means they have virtually no insulation. Over the years people added what they could, where they could, but it is not like incorporating insulation and tyvek wind protection into new construction.

The extreme South wasn't populated until after the invention of home air conditioning. While we have an abundance of mobile homes and trailers, they have very limited lifespans and will have to be replaced, ice age or not. The rest of the homes here are built to higher standards than northern homes - in fact the first floor of every house is concrete block, not wood.

Factories and malls in both areas almost always have flat tar paper roofs, which is why you hear of so many collapsing under a heavy snow load.

The only issue we've had during the hard freezes of the past few weeks is frozen pipes... outdoor faucets and underground sprinklers crack and leak because they were not built to withstand prolonged freezes.

Quote:
# In PO batteries are likely to take a bigger role but they perform dreadfully in
cold climates. Meaning one of the most important alternatives to oil will be
unavailable to many . It is a similar story with solar heating and solar power .
PO combined with a mini ice age will be a disaster. It will be a disaster without a mini ice age.

Quote:
# To move agricultural production several hundred miles closer to the equator
involves massive expense . There needs to be new infrastructure for water supply ,
new agricultural produce storage facilities , changes in transportation infrastructure etc .
However before that happens food prices are likely to soar due to shortages .
You assume new ground will have to be cleared and plowed and improvements put in before it can support a wheat crop. I see hundreds of thousands of acres of tobacco and other crops that will no longer grow well, becoming fertile ground for wheat and corn. Huge sections of the US are prairie, where livestock have grazed for millenia (bison and now cattle). The ground is rich black loam - but there isn't enough rain to support crops, so it is used for livestock. If that snow/rain belt is moved lower so there is more water going into that ground, you open vast areas to agriculture.

Quote:
# Many industries are reliant on temperatures staying within current predictable ranges .
Great expense will be involved in either moving or modify to accommodate change .
The tourist industry may take a hit - the bad economy has put it on life support. I guess we're all going to have to learn to love to ski.

Quote:
# Many governments will be involved in a vast new array of expenses.
Example ... I live in Melbourne Australia and I doubt if there is a snowplough or
any snow moving device for for several hundred miles .
Not much around Tampa, FL either.

I don't see an ice age descending upon us like Day After Tomorrow. I think we'll have a decade or two to adapt to increasing cold and changes in precipitation.

Quote:
( Note ...I have not yet tried to workout what climate Melbourne
may have and whether there will be significant snow )
I am far more worried about other areas of the globe than the US. The Caribbean, Mexico, South America, India, parts of SE Asia can be in dire trouble if global temperatures drop significantly. People who live in cardboard shacks and depend on locally grown rice to sustain them, are not going to be able to cope with heavy snow loads.
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Old 01-03-2011, 12:23 PM   #10
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added for reference.

The Dalton Minimum was a period of low solar activity, named after the English meteorologist John Dalton, lasting from about 1790 to 1830.[1]

Like the Maunder Minimum and Spörer Minimum, the Dalton Minimum coincided with a period of lower-than-average global temperatures. The Oberlach Station in Germany, for example, experienced a 2.0°C decline over 20 years.[2]
The Year Without a Summer, in 1816, also occurred during the Dalton Minimum.
The precise cause of the lower-than-average temperatures during this period is not well understood. Recent papers have suggested that a rise in volcanism was largely responsible for the cooling trend.[3]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalton_Minimum

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Old 01-03-2011, 05:37 PM   #11
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The effect of that ice age was less then the total effects of global warming around here translated into forcings. No way to know how it works out in the local climate and even harder to translate into possible investments.

Anyway , solar minima come and go over a couple of centuries while the CO2 concentrations keep changing the game.

As how any of this translates into investments, i don't know.

If we do get it it'll push up oil prices and then we'll see how nations will stand up to this.

Imagine we have a really , really long and cold winter. Oil prices would go up steeply, this would be included in inflation and some should go into COLA. Then there are all those already at the edge.

I'm skeptical you can quantum ease out of a squeeze like that.

Maybe 'Guns & Barb wire' isn't that bad an investment advice. All the rest is guessing (with a nice doomer touch... imagine the paperwork needed to shift the food production. ).
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Old 01-03-2011, 07:23 PM   #12
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K:
Quote:
"The effect of that ice age was less then the total effects of global warming around here translated into forcings."
I love the way you make utterly baseless declarations like this as if they were simply 'fact'.
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:04 PM   #13
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Maybe, some of you will tell us when the year comes when the Arctic Ocean icecap and Greenland do not have a net-melt

or when the mid-latitudes of the hemispheres don't have unusually hot Summers.
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:20 PM   #14
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So long as Chinese coal-burning plants are pumping out massive quantities of soot, I would expect increased melting in the Arctic, but not the Antarctic every year, which is just what we are seeing. So far as the unusually hot summers, I suppose if you pretend the unusually cold winters do not exist, you can then pretend we have global warming. Or, you could simply acknowledge the fact that we are coming out of an unusually mild, stable climatic period back into the normal, more extreme weather the Earth has experienced for most of the last several millenia, according to written records.
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:43 AM   #15
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This estimate suggests Solar Cycle 24 will cause USA agricultural
productivity to decline 20%







Quote:
Information source ....By virtue of a lack of Solar Cycle 23 sunspots, solar minimum of the Solar Cycle 23 to 24 transition appears to have been in late 2008. This makes Solar Cycle 23 three years long than its predecessor. Consequently, using the 0.7° C per year of solar cycle length relationship, there will be a 2.1º C decline in temperature of the mid-latitudes next decade during Solar Cycle 24. Using the calibration provided by the climate shift caused by the

Solar Cycle 20 to 22 change in solar cycle length, the following shifts in climatic zones, and thus growing conditions, are estimated:

30° N 160 km southward shift
35° N 300 km southward shift
40° N 420 km southward shift

Assuming that two thirds of the productivity increase in mid-western states from 1990 to 2004 was climatically driven, then the productivity decline in this region due to Solar Cycle 24 is expected to be of the order of 30%. The total US agricultural productivity decrease would be less than that at possibly 20%
http://www.davidarchibald.info/paper...cle%2024.p df
Note : My short extract cannot encapsulate the full article . I suggest you read it in full .
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Old 01-06-2011, 07:06 AM   #16
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Australian Plant Hardiness zones as they stand in 2010 .




http://www.mygardenpal.com.au/help/g...s/image041.jpg

Current Australian wheat belt .


http://www.abare.gov.au/interactive/09acr_sept/
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Old 01-06-2011, 07:27 AM   #17
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Canada ... chart shows the effect of a 1 deg C drop ( another Dalton minimum
would prolly be more like 2.5 deg ( roughly )






Effect of ( of only ) 1 °C cooling on wheat limit in Canada.

A similar, though unpublished, study in the Environmental Systems Branch of
Environment Canada gave more attention to changes in the probability of ripening
(Winstanley, 1974, personal communication).
The study concluded that a decrease in mean annual temperature of 1 °C would
reduce the frost-free period in southern Canada by about 10 days but, by decreasing mean annual
degree day totals by 46 percent, would increase the time needed for ripening
by 46 days. This change would effectively reduce the frost-free period by
about 15 days, thus increasing the probability of frost kill before crop
maturity. Although slightly lower temperatures would tend to reduce moisture
stress in some areas and thereby increase average yields, a shorter growing
period would reduce the already small margin between maturity and first fall
frost, and thus greatly increase the risk of total crop failure.

http://www.icsu-scope.org/downloadpu...chapter14.html
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:48 AM   #18
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The discussion is very helpful for an investor who is thinking to invest his capital int he oil sector. In my personal opinion nobody can be in losses if he gets involved in the oil business unless he is insane or something.
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Old 01-21-2011, 05:11 AM   #19
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Wind farms may prove to be a negative investment.

http://www.energytribune.com/article...When-Cold-Hits

Britain’s Wind Farms are ‘No Spin Zones’ When Cold Hits

I have recently learned that when temperatures drop below freezing and there is no wind the turbines have to be electrically driven to prevent the gearboxes freezing up. This is another demand on a scarce resource during peak periods. (40% of UK coal fueled generating stations must be closed by 2015. EU requirement.)
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Old 05-14-2011, 11:31 PM   #20
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There is another interesting article by Archibald on the likely
cold decades ahead to be found at ....
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/1...um/#more-39776

Definitely worth reading wherever you live .



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Old 05-15-2011, 04:03 PM   #21
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The seasons seem to be lagging about 2 or 3 weeks behind. Cold today and yesterday and it is almost June. Last fall it seemed like October into November, and then the winter was brutal and freezing just as the summer had been brutally hot mid summer.

Loads of freezing rain. My yard was more than a foot deep in ice. I used a sharp tipped cane to make sure I didn't slip and fall on my ass most of the winter.
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:45 PM   #22
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We actually had a cold front (and some nasty storms) move through yesterday in Florida... very unusual... and there's another one forecast for Tuesday-Wednesday that will put the morning temps in the low 60s in our neck of the woods... again, very unusual for this time of year...

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Old 05-16-2011, 01:56 PM   #23
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We are having a week of thunderstorms and torrential rains. And I mean torrents of rain. All week long. It's going to be a dreary May.

Went to a library in town and sat in a chair. It was sopping wet. I didn't see any leak in their ceiling, though someone may have moved it from another spot. A new library shouldn't have a leaky roof. Either that or someone really has a problem with their kidneys. I mean a lot of water, a lot.

Lucky I had a change of clothes in the car, because the seat was soaking wet as well as the floor directly under it. They stuck a bucket there, and no one can figure out what was what. Don't see a problem in the ceiling.I'm going to wash those jeans just in case it isn't rain water.
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Old 06-21-2011, 06:14 AM   #24
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Quote:
MAJOR DROP IN SOLAR ACTIVITY PREDICTED --- National Solar Observatory

"We are NOT predicting a mini-ice age. We are predicting the behavior of the solar cycle.
In my opinion, it is a huge leap from that to an abrupt global cooling, since the connections
between solar activity and climate are still very poorly understood. My understanding is that
current calculations suggest only a 0.3 degree C decrease from a Maunder-like minimum,
too small for an ice age. It is unfortunate that the global warming/cooling studies have
become so politically polarizing."
My comments on the above

# Many organizations appear to discount the effect of sunspots on
cloud formation . It is unclear if he has made adequate compensation
for that effect in this calculations ( and /or other variables ) ??

# The oceans contain a lot of heat and will delay the onset of
any cooling effect.

The full article can be found at ...
http://www.nso.edu/press/SolarActivityDrop.html


Please note he is talking about a "Maunder-like minimum" not a Dalton minimum .
There was a substantial difference between the severity and duration of both events .
It is unclear if he used the word "Maunder" with clear intent to distinguish it from
a "Dalton" like minimum or that a forecast can pick such a difference this
far in advance . I think we must assume he chose his words carefully .




Joanne Nova talks about conditions at that time in the
link provided below ( Highly recommended reading ) and
she also seems to be calling a "Maunder minimum" .

http://joannenova.com.au/2011/05/the...t-irish-frost/
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Last edited by Ross; 06-21-2011 at 06:38 AM.
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:22 AM   #25
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Piers Corbyn calls "100 years of cooling"

Extract ...
Quote:
Piers Corbyn astrophysicist of WeatherAction.com long range weather and
climate forecasters
today (18 June) revealed a major breakthrough in climate forecasting and
predicted general
world cooling for the next 100 years in direct opposition to The Met office
and UN forecast announced
on the same day.


"World cooling is hear to stay and the new round of climate alarmism just
announced by
UK Government ministers and the Met Office of more extreme weather and
warming in coming
decades driven by mankind has no merit and is defied by the facts and
front-line science".............( Continued ) ,

http://www.weatheraction.com/display...e.asp?a=50&c=1
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