GLOBAL COOLING: THE COMING CRISIS OF CREDIBLITY

Many politicians have so latched on to the alleged human cause of climate change that a crisis is looming when the data goes the other way. Evidence is now clear that we are experiencing global cooling. Unless the environmental movement and renewable energy business refocus the rationale for their policy arguments, a crisis is looming on the horizon. AccuWeather's Expert Senior Forecaster Joe Bastardi has stated: "People are concerned that 50 years from now, it will be warm beyond a point of no return. My concern is almost opposite, that it's cold and getting colder."

“… as North America emerged from its coldest and snowiest winter for decades, the US National Climate Data Center, run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a statement that snow cover in January on the Eurasian land mass had been the most extensive ever recorded, and that in the US March had been only the 63rd warmest since records began in 1895.” Christopher Booker, London Telegraph, May 4, 2008.

“…ice-cover around the Bering Strait and Alaska that month was at its highest level ever recorded. (At the same time Antarctic sea ice-cover was also at its highest-ever level, 30 per cent above normal).” Id.

“Snow cover over North America and much of Siberia, Mongolia and China is greater than at any time since 1966.” National Post (Canada), February 25, 2008. “The U.S. National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) reported that many American cities and towns suffered record cold temperatures in January and early February. According to the NCDC, the average temperature in January "was -0.3 F cooler than the 1901-2000 (20th century) average."” Id.

“NASA satellites found that last winter's Arctic Sea ice covered 2 million square kilometers (772,000 square miles) more than the last three years' average. It also was 10 to 20 centimeters (about 4-8 inches) thicker than in 2007. The ice between Canada and southwest Greenland also spread dramatically. "We have to go back 15 years to find ice expansion so far south," Denmark's Meteorological Institute stated.”

"Disconcerting as it may be to true believers in global warming, the average temperature on Earth has remained steady or slowly declined during the past decade, despite the continued increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, and now the global temperature is falling precipitously." Dr. Phil Chapman wrote in The Australian on April 23, 2008. "All those urging action to curb global warming need to take off the blinkers and give some thought to what we should do if we are facing global cooling instead."

From January 2007 to January 2008, earth surface temperatures measured by all of the separate global monitoring systems (Hadley, NASA's GISS, UAH, RSS) showed the largest decline in the history of their record-keeping. The drop measured with close agreement between the four systems is comparable to the entire temperature increase for the 20th century.



















Moreover, after recent adjustments in the data, official temperature records show no warming of surface temperatures since 1998, a fact conceded by the head of the UN IPCC Panel.

Lower atmosphere temperatures- where the greenhouse effect should show the most increase- have actually started a pattern also suggesting cooling is going on:



Professors John Christy and Roy Spencer, University of Alabama, Huntsville (a best-fitted spline curve represents longer term temperature trends).








Atmospheric data from the Hadley Climate Center up to August 2008 confirm the cooling trend.

National Public Radio reports instead of warming up over the past four or five years, oceans have actually been cooling slightly. According to NPR, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has been studying the ocean with a fleet of robotic instruments that can dive 3,000 feet down and measure ocean temperature. Since the "Argo" system was fully deployed in 2003, it has recorded no warming of the global oceans, but rather "slight cooling."

"The University of Alabama-Huntsville's analysis of data from satellites launched in 1979 showed a warming trend of 0.14 degrees Centigrade (0.25 Fahrenheit) per decade," Joseph D'Aleo, the Weather Channel's first Director of Meteorology, told me. "This warmth peaked in 1998, and the temperature trend the last decade has been flat, even as CO2 has increased 5.5 percent. Cooling began in 2002. Over the last six years, global temperatures from satellite and land-temperature gauges have cooled (-0.14 F and -0.22 F, respectively). Ocean buoys have echoed that slight cooling since the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration deployed them in 2003." (emphasis added).

This is not itself significant: annual or even decadal flucuations are meaningless in normal climate science. But the fact that the entire century of increase could be voided by a single year suggests that the century increase is not likely part of any major future trend. Combined with other data, however, the news may be embarassing for the Al Gore subculture of climate alarmists. We may well be posed on the verge of a relatively dramatic drop in global temperatures due to reduced solar activity. This development – if it proceeds as it now unfolding- will shake the foundation of much of the political hype supporting renewable energy. This result will be profoundly unwise in the long-run, since alternative energy development is critical to our future even if the global warming alarmism turns out to be “hot air.” 1

Arctic ice, which was widely reported as just melting away, has also recovered in the last year to its previous level. “Gilles Langis, a senior forecaster with the Canadian Ice Service in Ottawa, says the Arctic winter has been so severe the ice has not only recovered, it is actually 10 to 20 cm thicker in many places than at this time last year.” National Post, supra. Studies show that it is still more extensive than in the 1930s. One study shows no changes in Arctic ice thickness in the 1990s. Winsor, P. 2001. “Arctic sea ice thickness remained constant during the 1990s.” Geophysical Research Letters 28: 1039-1041.”Temperature anomalies also exist in Greenland, the largest ice sheet in the Northern Hemisphere, with cooling in the interior concurrent with warming at the coast.” “Direct temperature measurements on Greenland ice cores show a cooling trend between 1940 and 1995 [Dahl-Jensen et al., 1998].” Singer, “Human Contribution to Climate Change Remains Questionable,” supra. Finally, “the Northern Hemisphere would appear to be not much warmer now (and the extent of Barents sea-ice cover not much less now) than it was sometime during the 1700s, when the air’s CO2 concentration was on the order of 90-100 ppm less than it is now.” CO2 Magazine, citing data from Vinje, T. 2001. Anomalies and trends of sea-ice extent and atmospheric circulation in the Nordic Seas during the period 1864-1998. Journal of Climate 14: 255-267. Baffin Bay in Northern Canada has not displayed lower spring sea-ice levels over the last 70 years, but increases similar to ice age conditions. Grumet, N.S., Wake, C.P., Mayewski, P.A., Zielinski, G.A., Whitlow, S.I., Koerner, R.M., Fisher, D.A. and Woollett, J.M. 2001. Variability of sea-ice extent in Baffin Bay over the last millennium. Climatic Change 49: 129-145.

"Reports based on submarine sonar data have suggested Arctic sea ice has thinned nearly by half in only recent decades. Such rapid thinning is a concern for detection of global change and for Arctic regional impacts. Re-examining the inferred thinning while including atmospheric timeseries, ocean currents, rivers runoff, and modelled physics of ocean-ice-snow, we find that inferred rapid thinning was unlikely. Varying winds, which rapidly redistribute Arctic ice, create a difficult sampling problem, dominated by a recurring pattern where ice is expelled from the central Arctic while thickening in the Canadian sector." Is Arctic Sea Ice Rapidly Thinning? Greg Holloway and Tessa Sou, Institute of Ocean Sciences, Sidney BC, Canada.


"Analysis of records (Figures 2, 3) also shows that long-term ice trends are small and generally not statistically significant…" I. Polyakov, G. V. Alekseev, R. V. Bekryaev, U. Bhatt, R. Colony, M. Johnson, V. P. Karklin, D. Walsh, and A. V. Yulin , "Long-term ice variability in arctic marginal seas," International Arctic Research Center (2003). They conclude that variability is caused by observed wind circulation changes, not recorded temperature changes: "Previous studies showed that at time scales of up to decades sea-ice conditions are controlled by changes in the atmospheric circulation pattern. Our study extends this result, suggesting that even at interdecadal time scales winds remain the major contributor to ice-extent variation in the Siberian marginal-ice zone." Id. "Recent studies show sea conditions in the Arctic today are similar to conditions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, while average Arctic temperatures are rising almost to their levels of the 1930s." Christy and Spencer, Global temperature Report (2003) citing Przbylak, R., "Temporal and spatial variation of surface air temperature over the period of instrumental observations in the Arctic." International Journal of Climatology, 2000. 20: 587-614. Recent Arctic ice recovery, despite rising CO2 levels, seems to reinforce this analysis.

Left: Australian Antarctic data and best fit curve.

Antarctic ice is generally regarded as increasing. In any event, ice on both poles is still larger than the 1930s, which were the warmest period in recent history. “The latest measurements of Antarctic climate show that the main part of the continent is cooling, and has been for some time (Doran et al, 2002). Changes in Antarctic ice that we do observe are part of the normal post-Wisconsin interglacial process, not a recent artifact of human influence on climate (Conway et al, 1999).” Lee C. Gerhard, Principal Geologist, Kansas Geological Survey, Letter to The Professional Geologist August 2002. “ Our 14-year continuous weather station record from the shore of Lake Hoare reveals that seasonally averaged surface air temperature has decreased by 0.7 degrees Celsius per decade....The temperature decrease is most pronounced in summer and autumn. Continental cooling, especially the seasonality of cooling, poses challenges to models of climate and ecosystem change.” National Science Foundation Study, cited at Nature.com.


A new study is more conclusive: “overall, the total Antarctic sea ice extent (the cumulative area of grid boxes covering at least 15% ice concentrations) has shown an increasing trend (~4,801 km2/yr).” In addition, they find that “the total Antarctic sea ice area (the cumulative area of the ocean actually covered by at least 15% ice concentrations) has increased significantly by ~13,295 km2/yr, exceeding the 95% confidence level,” noting that “the upward trends in the total ice extent and area are robust for different cutoffs of 15, 20, and 30% ice concentrations (used to define the ice extent and area).” Liu, J., Curry, J.A. and Martinson, D.G. 2004. Interpretation of recent Antarctic sea ice variability. Geophysical Research Letters 31: 10.1029/2003GL018732. Another 2005 study found increased ice on the interior.

The most alarming graphic is rural US temperatures, which are a good measure of climate since they do not reflect urban heat island effects (which are localized warming from human activities, not climate change):
























So how do we reconcile recent data with Al Gore’s claims that ice core samples show temperatures correlate with greenhouse gas levels, which are increasing? Actually, the data that Gore uses does not support his conclusions at all. See Byrnes, “Facts and Fictions of Al Gore’s "An Inconvenient Truth."

First, we have to look at the data itself from the various ice cores where temeprature and gas levels were analyzed. By using a 50,000 year interval, Gore’s famous road show does show a correlation between temperature (blue) and greenhouse gas levels (green).

But if we use a finer scale and go to one thousand year ticks and superimpose the two lines, then the correlation changes somewhat: temperatures change and hundreds of years later greenhouse gas levels increase!



In summary, “major past climate changes were either uncorrelated with changes in CO2 or were characterized by temperature changes that preceded changes in CO2 by hundreds to thousands of years.” Testimony of Richard S. Lindzen, MIT, former chairman of NAS Climate Change Panel, before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on May 2. 2001. This feature is called the “lag” and shows up the same in all ice core samples taken from various locations in the world! Something causes temperatures to go up and then this causes greenhouse gas levels to increase. “[C]hanges in CO2 concentration cannot be claimed to be the cause of changes in air temperature, for the appropriate sequence of events (temperature change following CO2 change) is not only never present, it is actually violated in [at least] half of the record.” (Idso, S.B. 1998. Carbon dioxide and climate in the Vostok ice core, Atmospheric Environment 22: 2341-2342.) Petit et al. reconstructed histories of surface air temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentration from data obtained from a Vostok ice core that covered the prior 420,000 years, determining that during glacial inception “the CO2 decrease lags the temperature decrease by several thousand years” and that “the same sequence of climate forcing operated during each termination.” Petit, J.R., Jouzel, J., Raynaud, D., Barkov, N.I., Barnola, J.-M., Basile, I., Bender, M., Chappellaz, J., Davis, M., Delaygue, G., Delmotte, M., Kotlyakov, V.M., Legrand, M., Lipenkov, V.Y., Lorius, C., Pepin, L., Ritz, C., Saltzman, E., and Stievenard, M. 1999. Climate and atmospheric history of the past 420,000 years from the Vostok ice core, Antarctica. Nature 399: 429-436. Fischer et al. (1999) found that “the time lag of the rise in CO2 concentrations with respect to temperature change is on the order of 400 to 1000 years during all three glacial-interglacial transitions.” Fischer, H., Wahlen, M., Smith, J., Mastroianni, D. and Deck B. 1999. Ice core records of atmospheric CO2 around the last three glacial terminations. Science 283: 1712-1714. The latest study concluded: “the CO2 increase lagged Antarctic deglacial warming by 800 ± 200 years.” Caillon, N., Severinghaus, J.P., Jouzel, J., Barnola, J.-M., Kang, J. and Lipenkov, V.Y. 2003. Timing of atmospheric CO2 and Antarctic temperature changes across Termination III. Science 299: 1728-1731. The CO2 history over 500 million years in one study “exhibits no systematic correspondence with the geologic record of climatic variations at tectonic time scales.” Rothman, D.H. 2002. “Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels for the last 500 million years,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 99: 4167-4171.

Another new, very thorough analysis of historical data throws a lot of cold water on the GHG hypothesis. Sixteen authors from six different countries looked at fifty globally distributed paleoclimate records to ascertain probable causes of what they dsecribed as rapid climate change (RCC) over the Holocene. Mayewski, P.A., Rohling, E.E., Stager, J.C., Karlen, W., Maasch, K.A., Meeker, L.D., Meyerson, E.A., Gasse, F., van Kreveld, S., Holmgren, K., Lee-Thorp, J., Rosqvist, G. Rack, F., Staubwasser, M., Schneider, R.R. and Steig, E.J. 2004. Holocene climate variability. Quaternary Research 62: 243-255. With respect to the causes of Holocene RCCs, the international team of scientists says that “of all the potential climate forcing mechanisms, solar variability superimposed on long-term changes in insolation (Bond et al., 2001; Denton and Karlen, 1973; Mayewski et al., 1997; O’Brien et al., 1995) seems to be the most likely important forcing mechanism.” In addition, they note that “negligible forcing roles are played by CH4 and CO2,” and that “changes in the concentrations of CO2 and CH4 appear to have been more the result than the cause of the RCCs.” (emphasis added).

As we are now seeing a weaker pattern of solar activity, many solar scientists are projecting Solar Cycle 24 to be weaker than those in recent history. “The surprising result of these long-range predictions is a rapid decline in solar activity, starting with cycle #24. If this trend continues, we may see the Sun heading towards a “Maunder”type of solar activity minimum -an extensive period of reduced levels of solar activity.”K.H.Schattenand W.K.Tobiska, 34th Solar Physics Division Meeting, June 2003, American Astronomical Society. "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.” Oleg Sorokhtin, Merited Scientist of Russia and fellow of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, is staff researcher of the Oceanology Institute. American Thinker (January 3, 2008). “Kenneth Tapping of our own National Research Council [Canada], who oversees a giant radio telescope focused on the sun, is convinced we are in for a long period of severely cold weather if sunspot activity does not pick up soon.” National Post, supra. See “Scientists Predict Solar Downturn, Global Cooling,” New Scientist magazine, 16 September 2006. “"After a period of exceptionally high activity in the 20th century, our Sun has suddenly gone exceptionally quiet." Sir David Whitehouse (2007). “Studies show that by the end of the 20th century the Sun's activity may have been at its highest for more than 8,000 years."” Whitehouse, supra.


Using recent projections of solar activity, Archibald comes up with this graphic projection of temperatures:


















Historical changes in the earth’s climate correlate well with solar activity levels. The two solar cycles on different time scales just converged to record a very high period in the last 100 years. Many solar scientists say that this period is over and the solar activity level is dropping. The January 2007-January 2008 period gives us some evidence that this might be true. Should the trend continue, we will see the climate alarmists scrambling for some explanation. See Dilley, "Global Warming -- Global Cooling, Natural Cause Found," (2008).


It is far better that they simply go dormant in my book. Let’s focus on real issues in alternative energy instead of climate change. The United States and Europe need energy that is not dependent upon Russia, the Middle East or South American dictators. The crisi in Georgia was a real reminder that the world is unstable and current energy supplies are not secure. Energy security is a real and pressing problem. We need to reduce sulfur emissions, which are harmful to health and property, and which stem from burning fossil fuels. We need to be positioned to successfully transition from oil and natural gas to other sources of energy in this century.

Achieving enough reduction in carbon dioxide to affect climate is an illusion, even under the United Nations IPCC models. We can, however, achieve enough alternative energy development to reduce foreign dependence, improve trade balances, foster the transition to other fuels over the long term, and to reduce real air pollution concerns (sulfur dioxide, mercury, NOx, fine particulates).

Please start looking at the other arguments for renewable energy and alternative energy sources. See "The American Energy Security Report" (2006). Let’s not make climate change, a dubious and flakey scientific proposition, the rationale for these otherwise sound and reasonable policies. The widespread collapse of the climate change alarmism may occur sooner than any of us thought possible. What will five or ten years of falling temperatures due to this alleged “consensus”?

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1) Cooling actually makes renewable energy spurces more important. The growing season is reduced, energy use to provide for food increases, transportation energy use increases, heating energy use increases, and more. “All of the above” will become even moe imperative.

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