Scientists continue to debate the role of human activity in climate change. Some scientists believe sunspots and other solar activity have the greatest effect on the earth’s temperature while others believe they have no significant effect. To understand the debate over sunspots and their role, one must look at both sides of the story.

 Scientists who believe that human activity remains the main cause of climate change understand that people are skeptical of this because local climates tend to vary from year to year. However they believe that the public has not committed to the reduction of greenhouses gases sufficently and that they can’t see how doing so has a major impact on the climate. They believe it will only be when they realize that their behaviour has negative consequences will they fully grasp how serious the problem is.

Oklahoma and Texas saw significant heat waves in 2011, heat waves this group of scientists and people directly attributes to the global warming trend which they keep say is taking place. This year, deadly tornadoes have affected Oklahoma and this has also been blamed on ‘global warming’. Fossil fuel burning is often blamed as the biggest cause of this climate change and this group of people who believe mankind controls the earth’s climate worry that there are limited options when it comes to stabilizing the climate. They want to significantly raise the price on carbon emissions, despite this having proved totally ineffective as a means of altering man’s behaviour, citing this as a way to convince  people  to move to cleaner energy sources. According to scientists who hold this position, solar activity has little bearing on climate change.

The other group of scientists, those who believe human activity plays little role in climate change, find a number of other reasons why global temperatures may be rising. One such cause that has received a great deal of discussion involves solar activity. The sun produces our light and our energy and without it the earth would be a dead planet, so of course the sun has a massive effect on what happens on the earth. Much of the weather over the last decade or so has been successfully predicted by those closely tracking sunspot activity. There is much still to be learnt about the combination of effects of changes in solar radiation and also effects on the oceans through solar activity which contribute to extreme weather we often observe but there is clear evidence that solar activity has the greatest effect on our climate . 

These scientists point to the medieval warm period when offering proof for their stance. The medieval warm period appears to have been as warm as, if not warmer, than what we are currently experiencing. As there were no greenhouses gases at that time, the scientists state that recent changes seen in the climate are due to the Earth naturally rebounding from the Little Ice Age which occurred after this medieval warm period and that nature is the main cause of global warming.

As the debate over climate change continues, humans need to realize that global temperature isn’t skyrocketing. Since the late nineteenth century, it has only risen by approximately one degree. At the same time, atmospheric CO2 levels have increased by more than 30 percent. 

Until scientific proof can be provided that shows one side of this debate is right, the discussion can and should continue but huge amounts of money should not be wasted trying to combat natural events.  The key is to keep researching until proof can be obtained and tested for its validity. This is normal scientific process. The most useful thing we can do in the meantime is to spend our money wisely. Mankind has always adapted to the planet. This period should be no exception. Instead of ploughing huge amounts of money into unproven technology such as windfarms we would be better making sure countries round the world could adapt to our constantly changing climate and help countries that were likely to get short of water for instance with proven technology such as desalination plants. That would be mankind at our best.