Its not just flatulent bovine!
For many years the subject of climate change has never been far from the headlines and as an engineer who is responsible for designing energy efficient buildings I have always been fascinated by the various theories behind the cause.
An engineer pines for crystal clear answers but it seems at this moment in time that there is no definitive explanation and the best we have is that apparently a group of eminent scientists have in the majority agreed that it is extremely likely to have been caused as a result of human activity. This certainly fills me with confidence particularly as it is extremely likely rather than just likely, so clearly, they have been extremely thorough in their analysis.
The basis of their conclusion stems around the build up of greenhouse gases which have apparently accelerated since the mid 20th century. Some experts say that carbon dioxide emissions from human activity has increased globally by over 400% in the last 50 years. The main culprits in this phenomenon are the burning of fossil fuels, the use of aerosols, deforestation and even flatulent bovine have been blamed, although Iam not sure that the latter have only just discovered this natural expression of good food.
Whilst no one can deny that the climate has changed, certainly in my life recalling the annual snow ball roll from school in February to six weeks of blistering sun in the summer holidays; I am not satisfied that climate change is solely the making of man.
My likely cause rests with the sun, experts dismiss this on the basis that solar irradiance has marginally decreased in the last 50 years during the spell of warmer climes, however my theory considers the distance between the earth and the sun being more significant than irradiance and this is based on nothing more than simple maths, the essence of engineering.
The sun is at its closest to earth in January at a distance of 91 million miles and in July its at its furthest at 94 million miles, this is only a difference of 3.3%. If we consider the extremes in temperature between these periods in the year then the earth finds itself at exactly the optimum distance from the sun to sustain life and indeed it is more than a miracle that life actually exists at all, given this very small band.
On this basis, I don’t believe its beyond the realms of possibility that our orbit may have just strayed a fraction closer to the sun which is affecting our climate, resulting in temperatures which are more like the Sahara and less like the Arctic.
Whilst I am not suggesting that we should all recklessly abandon our strive to reduce greenhouse gases I cant help thinking that the earth has been around a lot longer than man and inevitably nature will look after itself.