Man-made global warming proved wrong — a report from the Heartland Institute’s New York conference.
The chief source of hysteria over possible man-made global warming has been the United Nations and its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The panel’s own climate models project that if man’s emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases were causing global warming, there would be a particular pattern of temperature distribution in the atmosphere, which scientists call “the fingerprint.” Temperatures in the troposphere portion of the atmosphere above the tropics would increase with altitude, producing a “hotspot” near the top of the troposphere, about 6 miles above the earth’s surface. Above that, in the stratosphere, there would be cooling.
All scientists, both the alarmist warm-mongers and the pacifist cooler heads, agree that this temperature pattern would result if man were causing global warming, reflecting the pattern of CO2 and other greenhouse gases that would prevail in the atmosphere. Warming due to solar variations or other natural causes would not leave such a fingerprint pattern. Higher quality temperature data from weather balloons and satellites now enable us to settle the man-made global warming debate definitively.
The observed result is just the opposite of the modeled global warming fingerprint pattern. The data from weather balloons shows no increasing warming with altitude, but rather a slight cooling, with no hotspot. The satellite data confirms this result, no increasing temperature with altitude, no hotspot, no fingerprint.
This was the most important point made by the brilliant scientists from around the world who attended the 2009 International Conference on Climate Change sponsored by the Heartland Institute in New York City last week. Those scientists included, among many others who deserve to be household names: S. Fred Singer, professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, and the founder and first director of the National Weather Satellite Service: Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, formerly a professor of dynamic meteorology and director of the Center for Earth and Planetary Physics at Harvard; Roy Spencer, principal research scientist at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, and U.S. Science Team Leader for the AMSR-E instrument flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite; Patrick Michaels, research professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, and past president of the American Association of State Climatologists; David Douglass, professor of physics at the University of Rochester, and winner of numerous prestigious Science awards, and Syun-ichi Akasofu, professor of physics and former director of the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska, winner of awards from the Royal Astronomy Society of London, Japan Academy of Sciences, American Geophysical Union, Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
There is no collection of scientists in the world smarter and better than these and the others who spoke at and attended the conference. Several argued further that the entire temperature pattern of the 20th century follows normal climate variations, rather than CO2 emissions. Temperatures in the U.S., which has the most thorough and consistent temperature record and historically the most CO2 emissions, were stable until 1920, increased some in the 1920s, and then soared to produce the hottest decade of the century during the 1930s. The climate then cooled during most of the period from 1940 until about 1977, except for a brief spike from about 1949 to 1953. Temperatures climbed upward from 1977 until 1998, except for a sharp downturn from about 1988 until about 1995. Temperatures are down over the past decade.
Yet CO2 increased continuously throughout the century, which should have produced a trend of consistent temperature increases if it were causing global warming. Several presenters at the conference argued that the more complex actual temperature variations were fully explained by natural, long-term temperature patterns. The temperature increases until 1940 reflected mostly the continuing recovery from the Little Ice Age, which ran roughly from the early 1400s to the late 1800s. The pattern since then is consistent with the variations of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), a 20 to 30 year up and down variation in sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean produced by deep sea ocean currents.
Moreover, several presenters argued that due to these natural variations we have already entered a period of long-term cooling that will last at least another 20 years, and maybe more. Indeed, satellite measured temperatures show that the global atmosphere has cooled over the last 10 years, with the decline in temperatures accelerating over the last two years. As Lord Christopher Monckton, who also spoke at the conference, has said, “Global warming stopped 10 years ago. It hasn’t gotten warmer since 1998….In fact in the last 7 years, there has been a downturn in global temperatures equivalent on average to about…one degree Fahrenheit per decade. We’re actually in a period…of global cooling.”
What portends longer-term cooling is that Pacific temperatures have now turned cold, which is likely to continue for another 15-20 years given past trends. Moreover, we have now experienced an extended period of minimal sun spot activity. If that continues, we may suffer an even longer cooling period, perhaps even a return to the Little Ice Age, as has happened in the past when sunspots declined for an extended period.
Just a couple of days ago, a separate, independent, peer reviewed study appeared in Geophysical Research Letters from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. It concluded as well that the temperature variations of the 20th century were all explained by natural causes rather than human CO2 emissions. The study also concluded that the warming period of the late 20th century is over and an extended cooling period lasting another 20 years or so has begun.
Several other presenters at the Heartland conference went on to explain in detail why the models used by the UN to predict global warming and associated catastrophes are so wrong. As one explained, slight exaggerations in each of several variables when multiplied together add up to huge final errors. Another explained that the models assume that heat resulting from increased CO2 reduces clouds, further increasing temperatures, but satellite data now show that the clouds sharply reduce heat produced by CO2, resulting in a strong negative feedback, which leaves increased CO2 too weak to produce significant global warming. Other variables expected to produce strong positive feedback effects increasing global warming resulting from CO2 were shown to have little or no effect, or even a negative effect.
Other well-known facts further support the careful, logical, soft-spoken scientists at the Heartland conference, whose presentations should soon be available on video at www.heartland.org. Global temperatures were warmer than today during the Medieval Warm Period, a span of several hundred years around 1000 A.D. Even higher temperatures prevailed during a period known as the Holocene Climate Optimum, which ran roughly from 8,000 years ago (6000 B.C.) to 4,000 years ago (2000 B.C.). In fact, temperatures were higher than today during most of the period from 9000 B.C. to the birth of Christ.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?