PM - Cooling climate claims enrage Australian scientists: "The idea that it's the sun's activity, not carbon, that regulates earth's temperature, has never entirely gone away. It figured heavily in the controversial documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle, debated on ABC TV last year.
Now an Australian-born former NASA astronaut is claiming that the recent lack of sunspot activity could actually portend a new ice age. Dr Phil Chapman - a geophysicist who lives in California - makes the prediction in an opinion piece in today's Australian newspaper.
But climate experts here are incensed. They say the evidence that carbon emissions cause global warming is irrefutable.
Emily Bourke reports.
EMILY BOURKE: It might be an unpopular view but Dr Phil Chapman is sticking to it. The geophysicist and former NASA astronaut says figures from four separate agencies show the global temperature dropped noticeably during 2007 and that the globe could now be returning to an ice age.
PHIL CHAPMAN: All the people who monitor the world's global temperature say that the temperature fell by something like 0.7 degrees Centigrade. We're talking about a very large drop that cancels out all the increase since 1930.
If this continues, then global warming will have to be, we'll have to admit that it's over.
EMILY BOURKE: He says the sun and sunspot changes have a bigger influence on the climate compared to carbon dioxide.
PHIL CHAPMAN: The variations in the number of sunspots and the time when they occur, how rapidly they build up, has a close correlation with previous changes in climate, in particularly back in the, around 1700 and again around 1790 when the sunspot cycle was delayed and those were two times it was extremely cold."
I credit my use of public transportation. I don't care what anybody says.