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A geographer, reporting on his journey through the Alps in the mid 1700s, noted that he came upon large boulders in a valley. The boulders were out of place. They shouldn't be where they were.
The traveller was told by the locals that glaciers had once extended far down into the valley, which had probably brought the boulders with them.
With the 'discovery' of other such boulders in strange places, near glaciers, the idea began to dawn that a major, deeply cold glaciation period had occurred in the past, which the climate had recovered from. Thus, the boulders stand as sentinels of a historic period, termed the Little Ice Age, which was also reported in history books as an extremely harsh period with sparse agriculture, starvation, and population collapse.
Modern science now lets us see plainly what stands behind the Little Ice Ages and the global warming that pulled us out of them. It has become possible by measuring historic Carbon-14 ratios to produce a measurable value for historic solar activity, going back in time for more than a thousand years. This is so, because the Carbon-14 radioactive isotope is exclusively produced by cosmic-ray collisions with the Earth's atmosphere. Because the volume of cosmic-ray flux varies with the intensity of solar activity, the historic Carbon-14 ratios thereby stand as a proxy for the solar activity intensity at the time.
The scientific evidence that results from this type of measurement is extraordinary. It is so, because with these measurements, science presents us with on-the-ground physically measured evidence that the global climate warming that broke the Little Ice Age sequence in the late 1600s was entirely caused by the Sun.
The measured up-ramping of the Sun from the late 1600s, which increased for nearly 300 years, gave us 300 years of continuous global warming. Out of it came the wonderful warm climate that we enjoy today. Of course, human activity had nothing to do with this. Our actions simply don't affect solar activity. Nor did human activity cause the Little Ice Ages. It was the diminishing cycles of minimal solar activity that eventually culminated in the deep cold climate in the 1600s. It was all caused by the Sun.
That the up-ramping of the Sun stands behind the nearly 300 years of global warming that we enjoy the result of, is also evident in the number of sunspots that were historically observed.
In the late 1600s almost no sunspots were seen for 30 years. Then at the turn of the century the sunspots came back and increased in number, with the largest numbers having been counted in the 1960s.
Since sunspot activity is thereby also a measurable proxy for the intensity of solar activity, the sunspot numbers provide additional extraordinary evidence that the 300 years of global warming from the 1600s on, was caused by the Sun.
The sunspot numbers, which are evidence of solar activity cycles, have peaked in numbers in the 1960s, then dropped to half in the 1970s, recovered somewhat to a lower level in 1980s and 1990s, and diminished sharply thereafter.
With these diminishing sunspot cycles, the Sun itself provides extraordinary, physically measured evidence that the great global warming period that began in the late 1600s is over. It peaked in the 1960s, recovered, and then reversed sharply in the 1990s. In this peak period some large climate events happened.
That the measured weakening in solar activity still continues to the present day, is made plain by other types of extraordinary, physically measured evidence, with effects that cause global cooling and changing climate patterns.
Further extraordinary evidence exists that the solar activity fluctuations, which affect the climate on Earth, are imposed on the Sun by large external cosmic factors, which the Sun merely reflects. The reflection in turn is evidence of extraordinarily large dynamic processes of plasma astrophysics that are visible only by their effects.
The entire process of solar dynamics and their consequences for our climate, including that of the ice ages, are amazingly extraordinary. Some of the extraordinary aspects have been brought to light with physical measurements produced by the NASA/ESO spacecraft named Ulysses. The measurements by the spacecraft have produced extraordinary evidence of 'collapsing' solar activity at a fast rate during its mission between 1994 and 2008. Of course, that's another story altogether.
And this story is big. The story is big, because further extraordinary evidence exists that the cyclical process that had recovered the climate in the past from the solar minimum events, have diminished themselves into insignificance.
And the big recovery cycles, like the one that rescued us in the late 1600s, are out of range to affect us again in the near term. This means that the currently ongoing collapse in solar activity cannot be reversed again, but will continue with evermore-severe fringe effects, especially affecting agriculture, until the phase shift to the next full Ice Age happens, potentially in the 2050s. We are in the end phase of a process that nothing that we know of can reverse.
When the phase shift happens, we drop back into glacial climates fast. The fast collapse shown here was copied from 120,000 years ago when the previous interglacial period ended. The resulting pattern brought forward in time promises conditions and consequences that we have no experienced references for, which promise to be immensely severe. While the resulting conditions cannot be avoided, the consequences can be prevented by preparing our world for what is to come. And this we must do. The term 'must' applies in this case, for our continued existence of this planet depends on it. For the first time in history it is possible for humanity to rescue itself from the impact of an Ice Age and the conditions leading up to it. We have the means for it to do this. And we might yet do it. This amazing potential that we presently still have, impelled by extraordinary evidence in Plasma Physics, renders the science of Plasma Astrophysics extraordinary itself by all comparisons.
This is big. This is extraordinary. It is bigger than national security. It is for the security of life itself.