A researcher at Russia’s oceanology institute says global warming has peaked — and the planet is now headed for a cooling period that will last through the end of the century.

Oleg Sorokhtin is a fellow of the Russian academy of natural sciences. He writes in an article for the Russian news and information agency that a cold spell will set in by 2012. He believes an even colder period will begin as solar activity reaches a minimum in 2041 — and that it will last 50 to 60 years.

Sorokhtin says warming and cooling are entirely natural processes — independent of human activity. He says the current warming trend is due to changes in things like solar activity, ocean currents, and salinity fluctuations in Arctic waters.

Meanwhile, British weather experts say 2008 will be the coolest year since 2000 because of a drop in sea surface temperatures off the western coast of South America — known as La Nina. But they say this year will still be one of the 10 hottest years on record.

I’ll personally believe things when I both see and feel them.  Last year was the coolest summer on record.  We didn’t reach the 90’s but a handfull of times as opposed to having 60 days of 100+ degree temperatures here in Abilene.