Global Warming Alarm: Continued Cooling May Jeopardize Climate Science And Green Energy Funding!
Larry Bell, Contributor
The past 17 years of flat global temperatures are creating a big chill for lots of global warming doom-premised industries. Those experiencing cold sweats must certainly include legions of climate scientists who have come to depend upon the many tens of billions of taxpayer bucks for studies that would have little demand without a big crisis for the public to worry about. And that amount pales in comparison with the hundreds of $ billions we spend on generous subsidies, lost tax revenues and inflated consumer costs for otherwise non-competitive “green energy” industries which depend upon those scary climate reports, or the insane economic penalties imposed upon all segments through EPA’s climate-premised regulatory rampage.
Cooler temperatures blow ill-winds for government bureaucrats, crony-capitalist rent- seekers, and other hucksters whose ambitions depend upon hot air. Even Western Europe, the cradle of carbon-caused climate craziness and cap-and-trade corruption, is feeling a cold draft. As Alister Doyle, reporting from Reuters in Oslo, recently observed: “Weak economic growth and the pause in warming is undermining governments’ willingness to make a rapid billion-dollar shift from fossil fuels. Almost 200 governments have agreed to work out a plan by the end of 2015 to combat global warming.”
In April, the Parliament in Strasbourg voted against artificially propping up the price of Emission Trading System carbon permit prices following the collapse of energy demand in connection with the Continent’s economic crisis. While the low price of carbon allowances is great for energy customers, you can be assured that it is viewed very differently by so-called “renewable” energy and carbon credit trading promoters who depend upon higher-than-market fossil fuel prices to stay in business. The Parliament’s veto reflects encouraging recognition that unwarranted, economy-ravaging carbon rationing is a feverish folly.
Gosh…Where Did All of Those Expensive Climate Models Go Wrong?
A scientist who commented in a Climategate email was badly mistaken when he observed: “It is inconceivable that policymakers will be willing to make billion-and trillion-dollar decisions for adaptation to the projected regional climate change based on models that do not even describe and simulate the processes that are the building blocks of climate variability.” As it turned out, our policymakers did make those horrendously costly decisions based upon highly speculative model projections, mostly reported by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Still, another researcher probably got it right, anticipating some very troubling consequences:“What if climate change appears to be just mainly a multi-decadal natural fluctuation? They’ll kill us probably…” Even Paul Ehrlich, best known for his 1968 doom and gloom book, “The Population Bomb”, recognizes this peril. Writing in a March 2010 Nature editorial that a barrage of challenges countering the notion of a looming global warming catastrophe has his alarmist colleagues more alarmed than usual, he said: “Everyone is scared s***less [fecally void], but they don’t know what to do.”
There is good reason for this cooling climate consternation. As David Whitehouse at the Global Warming Policy Foundation points out: “If we have not passed it already, we are on the threshold of global observations becoming incompatible with the consensus theory of climate change.”Whitehouse notes that there has been no statistically significant increase in annual global temperatures since 1997. He goes on to say: “If the standstill (lower temperatures) continues for a few more years, it will mean that no one who has just reached adulthood, or younger, will have witnessed the Earth get warmer during their lifetime.” (Since 1997, atmospheric CO2 has increased from 370 ppm to 390 ppm.)
These observed developments have prompted the U.K.’s Met Office Climate Center (the national weather service) to quietly revise its projections. They now say: “The latest decadal prediction suggests that the next five years are likely to be a little bit lower than predicted from the previous prediction.” The predicted increase from 2013 through 2017 was 0.43 degree Celsius above the 1971-2000 mean, while the previous prediction said temperature would increase 0.54 degree from 2012 through 2016. Simply stated, it will be cooler than they expected!
The London Daily Mail published a chart that, as they say, “reveals how [the IPCC’s] ’95% certain’ estimates of the Earth heating up were a spectacular miscalculation.” Comparing actual temperatures against the IPCC’s 95% certainty projections, the lines track closely until recent years, at which point the line representing the observed temperatures “is about to crash out of” the boundaries of the lowest projections. They were supposed to climb sharply after 1990.
Whereas the IPCC has predicted that temperatures will rise by 3 degrees Celsius by 2050 if CO2 doubles from pre-industrialized levels of 1750, The Research Council of Norway plugged in real temperature data from 2000 to 2010 and determined that doubling would cause only a 1.9 degree Celsius rise. Another study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences links temperature changes from 1750 to natural changes (such as sea temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean) and suggests “…the anthropogenic global warming trends might have been overestimated by a factor of two in the second half of the 20th century”.
Peter Stott, a researcher who authored the most recent IPCC report chapter on global climate projections, has found that climate model projections of an alarming temperature rise are inconsistent with past observations. When he and his colleagues at the U.K.’s Met Office forced the amount of global warming predicted by the models to equal the amount of warming actually observed, the projected future rise to accompany human greenhouse gas emissions dropped substantially. In other words, the better climate models match the past, the less scary the likely future looks.
Stott isn’t alone. Within the past two years, at least seven peer-reviewed studies published in the scientific literature have concluded that the influence of doubling the amount of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere is likely to be substantially lower than IPCC has determined and have ruled out the high-end projections.
James Annan, formerly a strong defender of Michael Mann’s infamously flawed alarmist “hockey stick” graph and an expert on “climate sensitivity” to CO2 and other influences, recently concluded in his blog that IPCC is increasingly acting in a wholly unscientific manner. He referred to a list of scientists polled as largely constituting “the self-same people responsible for the bogus analyses [he] criticized over the years, and which even if they were valid then, are certainly outdated now”.
Annan also said: “Since IPCC can no longer defend their old analyses in any meaningful manner, it seems they have to resort to an unsupported ‘this is what we think, because we asked our pals’…having firmly wedded themselves to their politically convenient long tail of high values, their response to new evidence is little more than sticking their fingers in their ears and singing ‘la la la I can’t hear you’.”
Those IPCC reports serve as the primary basis for EPA’s regulatory actions under the Clean Air Act…as are the president’s statements that his administration’s policies are based upon “the overwhelming judgment of science.” Asserting in his State of the Union Address that global warming played a role in fueling deadly and destructive storms like Hurricane Sandy, President Obama said: “We must do more to combat climate change…It’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods – all are now more frequent and intense.”
But there’s a big disconnect from facts here. In reality, there has been no increase in the strength or frequency of landfall hurricanes in the world’s five main hurricane basins during the past 50-70 years; there has been no increase in the strength or frequency in tropical Atlantic hurricane development during the past 370 years; the U.S. is currently enjoying the longest period ever recorded without intense Category 3-5 hurricane landfall; there has been no trend since 1950 evidencing any increased frequency of strong (F3-F-5) U.S. tornadoes; there has been no increase in U.S. flood magnitudes over the past 85 years; and long-term sea level rise is not accelerating.
Well Then, If IPCC Is Wrong, What About Those Recent Heat Waves?
Reacting to hot temperatures in much of the U.S. last summer, former NASA employee and eternal anti-fossil fuel activist James Hansen warned us that August was “the kind of future that climate change would bring to us and our planet.” Echoing this, Al Gore lamented on his website, “dirty weather is created by “dirty energy” …” a lot of people are saying out loud, ‘I’m too hot!’ “. Even NOAA said that the lower 48 had seen the warmest year on record in 2012.
Yet as well-known Climate Depot blogger Marc Morano, recognizes: “NOAA can only claim that 2012 was the warmest single year on record through statistical tricks…including “adjusting” raw data and adding data to the overall data set from stations that did not exist when the record first started being recorded. Absent these illegitimate actions, the measured temperatures from the 1930s still match or exceed the measured temperatures from the 1990s and 2000s.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, we haven’t heard much in the media about the fact that in June last year, 46 U.S. cities, including some in the Deep South, set or tied record lows…or that Alaska, which isn’t part of the lower 48, has been reporting some of the coldest winters on record since 2000. According to the Alaska Climate Research Center at University of Alaska-Fairbanks, that record has held true for 19 of 20 National Weather Stations sprinkled from one corner of the state to another.
The New York Times breathlessly reported: ”The temperature differences between years are usually measured in fractions of a degree, but last year’s 55.3degree average [in the contiguous U.S. states] demolished the previous record, set in 1998, by a full degree Fahrenheit.” But somehow they didn’t see fit to mention that 2008 was two degrees cooler than 2006, or that 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 were all cooler than 1998 by a larger margin than 2012 was hotter than 1998. And, by the way, don’t forget that the U.S. isn’t the globe. Those contiguous states, which omit Alaska and Hawaii, represent only 1.58% of the Earth’s surface.
During most of the 2011-2012 winter, the Bering Sea witnessed an ice extent between 20 to 30 percent above the 1979 to 2000 average, with the highest February expanse ever measured. Fellow Forbes contributor James Taylor reported that Antarctic sea ice also set record, with the largest amount of ice ever recorded occurring on day 256 of the 2012 calendar year. In fact Antarctic sea ice has been growing ever since satellites first began measuring it 33 years ago, and the expanse exceeded the 33-year average throughout 2012.
Hot and Cold Blasts from the Past; Be Careful What You Wish For:
Much of recent warming alarmism centered upon a temperature trend that began in the 1980s, occurring less than a decade after our planet came out of a three-decade cooling trend that led many to fear a coming Ice Age. As climatologist and fellow Forbes contributor Patrick Michaels recalls: “When I was going to graduate school, it was gospel that the Ice Age was about to start. I had trouble warming up to that one too.” Referring to recent alarmism, he observes: “This (greenhouse hysteria) is not the first climate apocalypse, but it’s certainly the loudest.”
As the late world-renowned atmospheric scientist Reid Bryson, formerly a leader in voicing Ice Age concern in the 1970s, said: “Before there were enough people to make any difference at all, two million years ago, nobody was changing the climate, yet the climate was changing, okay?” Bryson told the Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News in 2007 “All this argument is the temperature going up or not, it’s absurd. Of course it’s going up. It has gone up since the early 1800s, before the Industrial Revolution, because we’re coming out of the Little Ice Age, not because we’re putting more carbon dioxide into the air.” He went on to comment: “You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide.”
It might be worth mentioning that some heavyweight U.S. solar physicists are once again predicting that Planet Earth may very well be heading into a period of protracted cooling due to a lengthy spell of low sunspot activity…potentially another “Little Ice Age”. This announcement that came from scientists at the U.S. National Solar Observatory and U.S. Air Force Laboratory was based upon three different analyses of the Sun’s recent behavior.
One of the world’s leading solar scientists, Habibiullo Abdussamatov, head of the Russian Academy of Sciences Pulkovo Observatory in St. Petersburg and director of the Russian segment of the international Space Station, agrees that Planet Earth may be in for a long cold spell. He points out that deep cold periods have occurred five times over the last 1,000 years. Each is correlated with declines in solar irradiance, much like we are experiencing now.
Dr. Abdussamatov believes: “A global freeze will come about regardless of whether or not industrialized countries put a cap on their greenhouse gas emissions. The common view of Man’s industrial activity is a deciding factor in global warming has emerged from a misinterpretation of cause and effect.”He predicts that a new Little Ice Age will commence around 2013/2014, the depth of the decline will occur around 2040, and a deep freeze will last for the rest of this century.
The last Little Ice Age, which occurred in the middle of the 16th century, wasn’t broadly regarded as a good time. That period lasting about 150 years, killed millions in Europe, ending soon after Washington’s troops suffered brutal winter temperatures at Valley Forge in 1777, and Napoleon’s experienced a bitterly cold retreat from Russia in 1812.
Whether cooling continues or not, is there any reason at all to panic? No, and by the same token if, for any reason, global warming resumes as it probably will, again and again following intermittent cool-downs, let’s be grateful for the many human health and welfare benefits it brings. Let’s celebrate times when CO2-dependent agriculture flourishes over extended growing seasons, and when cold-related death rates decline.
Let’s accept the fact that climate changes for many reasons without permission or help from us…it always has…always will…and not always for the worse. And let’s be skeptical about advice from alarmists who obviously depend upon scare tactics to sell us a hot bill of goods.