Stock up on fur coats and felt boots! This is my paradoxical advice to the warm world. Earth is now at the peak of one of its passing warm spells. It started in the 17th century when there was no industrial influence on the climate to speak of and no such thing as the hothouse effect. The current warming is evidently a natural process and utterly independent of hothouse gases. The real reasons for climate changes are uneven solar radiation, terrestrial precession (that is, axis gyration), instability of oceanic currents, regular salinity fluctuations of the Arctic Ocean surface waters, etc. There is another, principal reasonsolar activity and luminosity. The greater they are the warmer is our climate. Astrophysics knows two solar activity cycles, of 11 and 200 years. Both are caused by changes in the radius and area of the irradiating solar surface. The latest data, obtained by Habibullah Abdusamatov, head of the Pulkovo Observatory space research laboratory, say that Earth has passed the peak of its warmer period, and a fairly cold spell will set in quite soon, by 2012. Real cold will come when solar activity reaches its minimum, by 2041, and will last for 50-60 years or even longer. This is my point, which environmentalists hotly dispute as they cling to the hothouse theory. As we know, hothouse gases, in particular, nitrogen peroxide, warm up the atmosphere by keeping heat close to the ground. Advanced in the late 19th century by Svante A. Arrhenius, a Swedish physical chemist and Nobel Prize winner, this theory is taken for granted to this day and has never undergone any serious inspection. The greenhouse theory determines decisions and instruments of major international organizationsin particular, the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Signed by 150 countries, it exemplifies the impact of scientific delusion on big politics and economics. The authors and enthusiasts of the Kyoto Protocol based their assumptions on an erroneous idea. As a result, developed countries waste huge amounts of money to fight industrial pollution of the atmosphere. What if it is all a Don Quixote duel with a windmill? Hothouse gases may not be to blame for global warming. At any rate, there is no scientific evidence to their guilt. The classic hothouse or greenhouse effect scenario is too simple to be true. As things really are, much more sophisticated processes are on in the atmosphere, especially in its dense layer. For instance, heat is not so much radiated in space as carried by air currentsan entirely different mechanism, which cannot cause global warming. The temperature of the troposphere, the lowest and densest portion of the atmosphere, does not depend on the concentration of greenhouse gas emissionsa point proved theoretically and empirically. True, probes of Antarctic ice shield taken with bore specimens in the vicinity of the Russian research station Vostok show that there are close links between atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide and temperature changesbut we cannot be quite sure which is the cause and which the effect. Temperature fluctuations always run somewhat ahead of carbon dioxide concentration changes. This means that warming is primary. The ocean is the greatest carbon dioxide depository, with concentrations 60-90 times larger than in the atmosphere. When the oceans surface warms up, it produces the champagne effect. Compare a foamy spurt out of a warm bottle with wine pouring smoothly when served properly chilled. Likewise, warm ocean water exudes greater amounts of carbonic acid, which evaporates to add to industrial pollutiona factor we cannot deny. However, man-caused pollution is negligible here. If industrial pollution with carbon dioxide keeps at its present-day 5-7 billion metric tons a year, it will not change global temperatures up to the year 2100. The change will be too small for humans to feel even if the concentration of greenhouse gas emissions doubles... Carbon dioxide is not to blame for global climate change. Solar activity is many times more powerful than the energy produced by the whole of humankind. Mans influence on nature is a drop in the ocean... What cant be cured must be endured. It is wise to accept the natural course of things. We have no reason to panic about allegations that ice in the Arctic Ocean is thawing rapidly and will soon vanish altogether. As it really is, scientists say the Arctic and Antarctic ice shields are growing. Physical and mathematical calculations predict a new Ice Age. It will come in 100,000 years, at the earliest, and will be much worse than the previous. Europe will be ice-bound, with glaciers reaching south of Moscow. Meanwhile, rest assured. The Gulf Stream will change its course only if some evil magician robs it of power to reach the northbut Mother Nature is unlikely to do that. Oleg Sorokhtin, PhD Editors Note: Dr. Oleg Sorokhtin, Merited Scientist of Russia and fellow of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, is staff researcher of the Oceanology Institute.