Monday, September 22, 2008

The Old Farmer's Almanac Responds

And now for something completely different...

Turns out I was wrong about Joe D'Aleo's article in the 2009 Old Farmer's Almanac (Is Global Warming on the Wane?) not representing the publication's official editorial stance. It does, as Editer Janice Stillman explains below:

MJ,

Thank you for your interest in The Old Farmer's Almanac.

The weather forecasts published in The Old Farmer's Almanac have been made using solar science and the study of sunspots, as well as climatology and meteorology, since the publication's founding in 1792. (Obviously, technology has changed in that time; over the centuries, we have utilized state-of-the-art technology and the latest data available in making our weather predictions. For more on how we make our forecasts, see almanac.com/weathercenter/howwepredict.php. For the current forecasts, go to Almanac.com/weathercenter.)

Weather cycles and the influence of the Sun and sunspots on Earth's climate have been the subject of numerous editorial features in The Old Farmer's Almanac. Notably pertinent to the global cooling story in the 2009 edition (and at Almanac.com/timeline) is the weather feature that ran in 1998. That year, we published an excerpt from the book titled The Sun, Changing Climate, and the Coming Ice by the late Clifford Nielson; the article is titled "Predicting the Weather for the 21st Century" and in it, Nielson forecast "a spell of cold, wet weather," based on "optimum" (lessor) and "minimum" (greater) periods of solar activity from 1040 to 2020. Interestingly, Mr. Nielson closed the article with this comment: "Given the record, it might almost be hoped that greenhouse warming would occur to help mitigate any coming cool period. A repeat of the 50 or so years of the Wolf Sunspot Minimum may bring about a recurrence, in the coming century, of some of the coldest weather of the p! ast millennium . . ."

The article by Joseph D'Aleo in the 2009 edition of The Old Farmer's Almanac and available to read at Almanac.com/timeline reflects the opinion of the Almanac editorial team, as well as its publisher and owners. We stand by the article and Mr. D'Aleo as its author (see almanac.com/timeline/author.php for more information on Mr. D'Aleo).

For the record, we also stand by our meteorologist, Michael Steinberg,and the following statement in his General Forecast in the 2009 edition and at Almanac.com/timeline/genweather_08_09.php: "Our study of solar activity suggests that as we enter solar cycle 24 we are at the beginning of a significant change. Over the coming years, a gradual cooling of the atmosphere will occur, offset by any warming cause by increased greenhouse gases."

You are welcome to print these comments on bigcitylib, but only in context, in their entirety.

Janice Stillman
Editor
The Old Farmer's Almanac

So this Xmas I'm switching to handing out copies of The Farmer's Almanac. Not the Old Farmer's Almanac. Similar looking. Slightly different title. Apparently newer.

2 comments:

Mike said...

Hey, throw a link to this potholer45 video too.

escapegoat said...

How about the Canadian version of the Farmer's Almanac?

http://store.farmersalmanac.com/product/1088/283