Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Global Cooling?

Earlier this week a team of us from CARE joined hundreds of others from around the globe at the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change. With the new news about global cooling, many of the presenters had a good time with bringing up the change in the climate.

One of the treats for us at CARE was meeting so many of our Energy Counsel Members whom we had only talked to by phone or e-mail. One of those was the author of this piece: Dennis Avery (pictured here with CARE's Executive Director Marita Noon). Here you will read his take on the topic.

If you have not read an earlier posting in our Blog on the last great global cooling, please check it out. Here in the CARE Blog, you will also find many other pieces that present climate change views that are not normally found in the mainstream media. Do a search for global warming and you will find a selection of interesting reading on the topic.

Global Temperatures Have Dropped: Did Sunspots Predict It?
Three of the world’s major climate monitors have announced that the earth’s temperatures dropped over the last 12 months--by enough to virtually offset the entire “unprecedented warming” of the last century. This comes after nine years of no warming, and a net warming since 1940 of just 0.2 degrees.

Equally important, a drop in temperatures had been predicted by the sunspot index that foretells the earth’s temperature changes with a log time of nearly a decade. Our temperatures have a 79 percent correlation with the sunspot index. The sunspot index turned downward in 2000.

Britain’s Hadley Centre, NASA, and the University of Alabama/Huntsville say the temperature drop since January of 2007 was measured between 0.59 and 0.75 degree C. This includes an unusually cold winter in the Southern Hemisphere, and the harshest Chinese winter in a century. Part is due to a regional cooling in the Pacific called La Nina which appears every 4-5 years, but the strength and global scope of this cooling has been startling.

Additionally, the Arctic ice that seemed to disappear last summer is back this spring, and thicker, apparently affected last year more by wind currents than melting. The Antarctic ice is still record-large.

Does this mean a new Ice Age? Probably not, though one will appear eventually. We’re more likely to have a moderate decline in temperatures over the coming decades like the cooling that occurred from 1940 to 1975.

For the longer term, we’re still controlled by the moderate, natural 1,500-year climate cycle that we discovered in the Greenland ice cores in 1984. It has since been confirmed in seabed and lake sediments, fossil pollen, cave stalagmites and ancient records around the world. The 1,500-year cycle raises temperatures in Washington and Paris by 1–2 degrees C for centuries at a time, and then drops them abruptly into “little ice ages” that also last for centuries.

Humans may have contributed to the Modern Warming—but apparently not much. Most of the Modern Warming occurred before 1940, which is when we started really spewing CO2 from our smokestacks and autos. The net warming since 1940 is a tiny 0.2 degrees C.--and I’ll cheerfully give Mr. Gore half of that for the sake of debate.

Conservation is still and always has been a good idea, but the dangers of CO2 may have been radically overstated. Every wild species on the planet today--including the polar bear--has been through these cycles before. There’s been no acceleration of sea-level rise since the Modern Warming began in 1850.

Let’s put a hold on David Suzuki’s demand that recalcitrant politicians be jailed for not banning fossil fuels. Let’s table in committee the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act that would eliminate about 85 percent of our current energy sources.

The past year’s temperature drop--and nine years of non-warming since 1998 despite rising CO2 levels--raise serious doubt about the supposed link between atmospheric CO2 and our temperatures. Past temperatures show virtually no historic correlation between our temperatures and CO2, despite the claims of Al Gore and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The end of the 1976-98 temperature surge confirms that we have “time to do the science,” as Al Gore’s climate mentor, Roger Revelle, told us in his last public writing in 1991. But we must also now recognize that the computerized climate models are not science, they’re guesses. It’s too soon for our political institutions to blame a predetermined villain called humanity.
DENNIS T. AVERY is a senior fellow for the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC and is theDirector for the Center for Global Food Issues. He was formerly a senior analyst for the Department of State. He is co-author, with S. Fred Singer, of Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Hundred Years, Readers may write him at PO Box 202, Churchville, VA 2442 or email to


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