ALARMIST'S WARMING PREDICTIONS WRONG, AGAIN
Dr. Michael S. Coffman Ph. D.
November 15, 2009
may remember newspaper headlines and TV news stories last spring that
the Arctic Ice Cap would likely disappear in 2008 for the first time
in recorded history. The entire global warming community was abuzz with
excitement and waited with bated breath for the certain event to occur.
They were salivating in the blogosphere at the prospect of having another
bombshell to drop on the world when the ice would disappear in the Arctic.
However, like an increasing number of their doom and gloom prophecies,
they were wrong. It never happened.
The Arctic Ice Cap has been gradually retreating every year since 1979 when satellite technology could finally measure it accurately. By the winters of 2005 and 2006, the Arctic Ice Cap had retreated by almost 23 percent from 1979. Then, in 2007, the bottom fell out. The Arctic Ice Cap retreated by over 50 percent (down to 2.85 million square miles) from 1979. This led to the wild predictions that 2008 would see the Arctic Ice Cap disappear altogether.
Unquestionably, the retreating ice cap did not follow the alarmists’ predictions for 2008. It retreated to 4.52 million square miles, which is 9.5 percent less than the record retreat of 2007. That is not great improvement, and one year does not make a trend. Yet the ice started reforming in early September 2008, weeks before it did in 2007, and reformed at a much faster rate during September and October than even the 1979-2000 average. The same is occurring in 2009. By the end of September 2009, the re-growth of the polar ice greatly exceeded that of 2008. If you recall, during October-November 2008, snow piled up to 8 feet deep in the Midwest and snow fell on London for the first time in decades. This was followed by approximately 8 inches of snow falling on December 11 in Southern Louisiana and Mississippi – the earliest and the most snow on record. Blizzards unheard of for decades swept across the northern plains in December, and Europe had record snowfalls.
The Arctic is not the only place that was showing signs of intensifying cold. While the Arctic Ice Cap showed record retreat in 2007, the Antarctic showed record growth of sea ice, called extent, surrounding the continent the same year. Even the volcanically active Antarctic Peninsula was nearly completely ice-bound. The 2008 ice extent was nearly the same as the 2007 record. 2009 is heading for another record ice extent. The ice also lasted longer than usual into the spring of 2007, which starts in September. That year, the cruise ship Explorer struck submerged ice just off the northwest tip of the Antarctic Peninsula on November 23, long after the point in the year when the larger icebergs have typically melted. While none of the 156 passengers and crew were injured, it represented yet another sign of a cooling earth.
As most readers understand, the earth has not warmed statistically since 1998 and, in truth, began cooling in 2001. It cooled dramatically in 2007 and early 2008, but warmed slightly early in 2009 and then cooled again during the summer. This variability illustrates the difficult nature of climate forecasting. If the warming continues, then the cooling since 2001 is merely a perturbation in the relentless increase in earth’s temperature resulting from unsustainable human use of fossil fuel. That is what the global warming alarmists would have us believe. Their rhetoric has become increasingly shrill this past year as prediction after prediction has proven false. That the temperature has begun to warm in early 2009, they claim, merely proves their point. However, as the earth began to cool again during the summer of 2009, these alarmists were once again mute.
In spite of the told-you-so proclamations of late-year warming by the alarmists, 2008 was still the coldest since 2000. Unbiased observers are beginning to ask why it is that the alarmists claim that every change in the weather, even earthquakes, is caused by global warming. If the earth warms to near record levels in one year, as occurred in 2005, alarmists claim it is proof of global warming. If the earth cools and it snows in places that have not seen snow for several decades, this too is somehow caused by global warming. Alarmists cannot have it both ways. Global cooling cannot be caused by man-caused global warming. Yet, that is exactly what the alarmists are trying to convince us is happening – so far they have been successful!
The theory of man-caused global warming is also incongruent with the fact that the earth cooled while CO2 continued to increase between 1935 and 1975. As a result, there is a very poor statistical correlation between CO2 and temperature from 1905 to 1995. The statistical correlation between CO2 and temperature since 1998 is even worse; it is near zero. Likewise, when it snowed in places that have not seen snow in decades, as has repeatedly occurred in 2007 and 2008, the phenomenon is not likely caused by global warming. While such inconsistencies do not faze alarmists, more rational people are increasingly questioning the theory of greenhouse-caused global warming.
No one, not even the alarmists, knows what is going to happen in the months and years ahead. However, an increasing number of scientists are saying man is not responsible for the warming during the last half of the twentieth century. Over 31,000 scientists in the U.S. signed a petition in May of 2008 affirming that “there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.” Over 9,000 of these scientists have Ph.D.s in a field that gave them expertise to properly evaluate the data. Amazingly, the 31,000 scientists is almost double the number that signed the same petition in 2001.
more persuasive, 650 Ph.D. scientists directly involved in climate research
have signed on to the U.S. Senate Minority Report. The report was given
to the UN Conference of the Parties for the Framework Convention on
Climate Change held in December 2008, in Poland. This 231 page report
harshly criticizes the fundamental assumption that greenhouse gas emissions
are the primary cause of global warming in the last quarter of the twentieth
century. This is 12 times more scientists than the 52 who were directly
involved in writing the 2007 UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s
so-called “consensus” Summary for Policy Makers. It turns
out that an analysis of the “consensus” of 2500 scientists
popularly reported is patently false. Actually, only 62 reviewed the
science chapter, and of those, only 4 agreed with the entire report.
The more a person digs into the alleged data supporting man-caused global
warming, the more it turns out that it is based on little more than
hot air, data manipulation, or computer models using disproven algorithms.
What is, perhaps, the clearest evidence that nature, not man, caused the twentieth century warming was the discovery that the oceans are playing a far greater role than previously recognized. The tropical El Niño and La Niña phenomena have been well known since the early 1900s, but their significance was not realized until the late 1900s. As scientists began to appreciate the impact of each event on climate across the world, they also began to notice there was a larger oscillation within which El Niños and La Niñas occurred, extending well beyond the tropics. By 1997, scientists had named them the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO).
Like El Niño and La Niña, the PDO and AMO have warm and cold cycles. While El Niños and La Niñas last only a few months or years, the PDO usually lasts between 15 and 30 years, and the AMO, 20 to 40 years. In the case of the PDO, the warm phase has more El Niños while the cold phase has more La Niñas. Together, the PDO and AMO have a profound affect on earth’s climate and temperature. When compared to earth’s temperature, the correlation between the two and temperature soars dramatically compared to that of CO2 and temperature.
Scientists still do not understand what causes the PDO & AMO, nor do they know if the relatively high correlation between the two and earth’s temperature is a direct cause and effect relationship, or whether there is yet another factor that directly affects both the PDO/AMO and temperature. It may be both.
A growing number of scientists suspect that the driving force is the sun. The sun was initially discounted, and still is by the alarmists, because the change in solar irradiance simply does not provide enough energy to warm the earth. Even so, solar irradiance is somewhat better correlated to temperature than CO2. However, there is a stronger correlation between the number of sunspots and earth’s temperature. Sunspots are created during intense solar magnetic activity. The number of sunspots waxes and wanes on approximately an 11 year cycle, with the maximum number peaking in the middle of the cycle. The sun’s magnetic poles reverse every two cycles, or 22 years, which also seems to have an effect on earth’s climate.
When the sun is active with a lot of sunspots, it also has many violent solar flares and coronal mass ejections. Though the total solar energy output increases only slightly when the sun is active, the amount of solar wind increases dramatically. When this solar wind strikes the earth it interacts with earth’s magnetic field, creating the Aurora Borealis and interacting with the ionosphere where jet streams are formed. Changes in the jet stream are correlated with El Niños and La Niñas as well as weather patterns.
Solar winds are also known to push back cosmic radiation originating from super novas in deep space. There is a statistically significant correlation between the amount of cosmic radiation entering the earth’s surface and the amount of low elevation cloud formation. The more cosmic radiation the more low elevation clouds that are formed. The more clouds, the greater the amount of solar energy that is reflected back into space, and thus the earth cools. When the sun is very active and there is a lot of solar wind, there is less cosmic radiation reaching earth, fewer low elevation clouds are formed reflecting less solar energy, and the earth warms. This relationship itself can account for most of the warming in the twentieth century.
What concerns a growing number of scientists is that solar cycle number 24, the next 11 year cycle, should have started in 2007 and yet has not through September 2009. The sun has had very few sunspots so far, which has, in their opinion, caused the cooling over the past two years. Worse, the sun is the quietist it has been for over 100 years. Many solar scientists are alarmed that it might be heading towards the same type of minimum that occurred in the 1700 and 1800s, which resulted in what is known as the Little Ice Age. That’s not good, because massive crop failures can be expected in the shorter growing seasons, along with famines. We are not there yet, but the fact that an increasing number of scientists are cautiously discussing the possibility is alarming.
The PDO has shifted into its cold phase, which also means cooler global temperatures. Are we heading into another cooling cycle? Many scientists believe so barring another El Niño which occurred in July 2009. It becomes more likely with every passing day. But studies are inconclusive because so little of the $4-$5 billion being spent annually on climate research goes to solar, PDO/AMO, cosmic radiation, or jet stream research. Almost all of it goes towards CO2 research. Why, you ask? It is simply because global warming research has become entirely political, not scientific. Well over $50 billion dollars has been spent advancing this political agenda.
One thing scientists have learned is that CO2 is not the primary driver of climate change. For many alarmists, however, man-caused global warming has become a religion, and all the facts in the world will never convince them otherwise. They will continue to chant that the Arctic Ice Cap is destined to disappear and that the polar bears will become extinct, all because of CO2 emissions. They will continue their cry that unless onerous carbon cap and trade schemes are passed soon it will be too late and earth will be doomed. Yet, they will continue to be wrong about their predictions. Nonetheless, no one will hold them responsible for the inaccurate data they broadcast and publish.
For other alarmists, man-caused global warming is a means to making a fast buck selling newspapers, or air time, or carbon credits; billions of dollars are at stake. For still other alarmists, the ruse is a means of creating one more tentacle of global governance – controlling the activities of all humanity at the global level.
Regardless of the motives of the alarmists, the Obama administration has promised that his first priority, along with solving the financial crisis and health care, will be to reduce carbon emissions by 15 percent by 2020 and another 80 percent by 2050. The House has already passed economy-destroying cap and trade legislation in June, 2009, and the Senate’s bill has just come out. Both depend on technology that is extremely expensive or doesn’t exist at all. If that fails, the Environmental Protection Agency has already written a plan that will suck trillions of dollars out of our economy with absolutely no scientific justification whatsoever.
Why are we hell-bent to implement these economy destroying laws and policies if the science overwhelming shows that man is not causing global warming? Simple. It is not about science and reality, it is about power and control.
© 2009 Michael Coffman - All Rights Reserved