Climatologists have long known that earth has gone through periods of warming and cooling: some have been quite significant, and by various methods these climatologists have noticed a pattern (actually, patterns within patterns) in which the temperature of the earth fluctuates gradually over certain cycle. This cycle and its inherent epicycles seems to repeat in 140 million year intervals. To be clear, these patterns go down to as few as a tens of thousands of years, but the whole bit seems to reboot and start over every 140 million years.
In another department down the hall of Human Knowledge, astronomers realized that the sun kind of surfs up and down as it revolves around the galaxy. As it does so, it passes through the plane of the galaxy down, and up, and down, and up through clouds of gas and dust. Heck, from what we can tell of the size and shape of our galaxy, this appears to occur every 140 million years.
That caught the climatologistss attention. Coincidences? In science? Fairly rare. The climatologists asked the astronomers if it was plausible that the heating and cooling cycles could be tied to the sun (and earth) passing through the plane of the galaxy. The astronomers agreed it was quite possible, but frankly, we do not have very good data yet as to exactly when the sun goes through, or exactly when those cycles start and end. But certainly, there could be various mechanisms that could tie the two events together.
People on the there is no anthropogenic global warming! side (the anti-AGW crowd) were not surprised by this, and tried to use this as proof that global warming is a hoaxyou see, this can explain away every aspect of your so-called global warming nonsense. The people on the manking is cooking away the surface of the earth crowd (the AGW crowd) disagree: you cannot claim that this cycle accounts for all of it.
The third group, to which the Gormogons belong, says Not so fast. All this shows is that periodic temperature fluctuations are common on a long and short scale, and that we do not have nearly the evidence necessary to make conclusive claims yet for either position.
Meanwhile, the astronomers have been busy. New infrared technology and the impressive Spitzer Space Telescope have shown that the Milky Way (thats where most of us live) is a barred spiral galaxy. And our galaxy is much bigger than we thought. And it is much more massive. All these things were big surprises, by the way.
So the new study said Wait a minute. If our sun is now moving through a bigger, more massive spiral galaxy, we need to recalculate the frequency through which we go through that cycle. And based on the most reliable information, guess what? There is no correlation between galactic plane crossings and temperature fluctuations on Earth. No matter how they try to line it up, it aint there. And as data become more accurate, the correlation looks even less reliable.
So the Czar makes this prediction: the AGW crowd will say See? The study shows we are right: that this does not explain away manmade warming! The anti-AGW crowd will say See? There are even more factors causing historical changes than you realize!
Meanwhile, the study actually seems to say Not so fast. All this shows is that periodic temperature fluctuations are common on a long and short scale, and that we do not have nearly the evidence necessary to make conclusive claims yet for either position. Trust only in your Gormogons.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.