Monday, December 8, 2008

Does the Universe Breathe?

Watching the weather in Iowa is somewhat of a pasttime, but it's also necessary. Here in the heart of the US, we get weather extremes. It's also important for agriculture to know what's coming. Today, we're waiting for freezing rain and then snow, which is to begin this evening probably right around rush hour. We already have about four inches of snow left from the last one a week or so ago. Looks like this winter is going to be a bit like last year, where we had so much snow our driveway got narrower and narrower and the sides got higher and higher. In the heart of Iowa, winters aren't always the same. As a child I remember ice storms and skating down the middle of the streets. Then lots of snow. Then a period of relatively mild winters, some even warm days of 50 degrees (F) or more.

It's the sun spots, according to some scientists. When there is a great deal of solar activity, the earth gets warmer. The solar activity has been a great deal less this past year, according to these scientists, thus making winters more harsh. So what about global warming being caused by human pollution? I believe we have a hand in it, but I'm also coming to believe the universe has its seasons as well. Perhaps it's a little like breathing. On the inhale, fewer solar bursts. We may just want to watch out for the next exhale.

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