By Patrick McIlheran
Anastasios Tsonis is not a lunatic, and no serious person says he is.
He is a scientist, a mathematician at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee whose specialty is climate. He and a colleague say they've figured out why the Earth is cooling.
It has been cooling, since about 2001, and Tsonis and a colleague say temperatures may go on cooling for 10 or 20 more years. Climate, Tsonis said, is heavily affected by a few well-known oscillating systems — El Nino, in the Pacific, is one — and from time to time, four big oscillations synchronize.
When they do, he says, they become coupled, as if synchronized swimmers tried holding hands, and this messes up the dance. There is, then, a sudden shift in trends. If it had been getting hotter, it gets cooler, and vice versa. This happened in 1943, in the 1970s, in 2001, and it will happen again, he says.