Politics & Policy

Chill Out on Climate Hysteria

The Earth is currently cooling.

ustralia, the land where sinks drain the other way, has alerted Americans that we see Earth’s climate upside down: We’re not warming. We’re cooling.

“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. “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.”

Chapman neither can be caricatured as a greedy oil-company lobbyist nor dismissed as a flat-Earther. He was a Massachusetts Institute of Technology staff physicist, NASA’s first Australian-born astronaut, and Apollo 14’s Mission Scientist.

Chapman believes reduced sunspot activity is curbing temperatures. As he points out, “The reason this matters is that there is a close correlation between variations on the sunspot cycle and Earth’s climate.”

Anecdotally, last winter brought record cold to Florida, Mexico, and Greece, and rare snow to Jerusalem, Damascus, and Baghdad. China endured brutal ice and snow. Dr. Oleg Sorochtin of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Oceanology advised: “Stock up on fur coats and felt boots!”

NASA satellites found that last winter’s Arctic Sea ice covered 2 million square kilometers (772,204 square miles) more than the last three years’ average. It also was 10 to 20 centimeters (4 to 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.

“Snows Return to Mount Kilimanjaro,” cheered a January 21 International Herald Tribune headline, burying one of the climate alarmists’ favorite warming anecdotes.

While neither these isolated facts nor one year’s statistics confirm global cooling, a decade of data contradict the “melting planet” rhetoric that heats Capitol Hill and America’s newsrooms.

“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 degrees 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.”

As marine geologist Dr. Robert Carter of Australia’s James Cook University recently observed: “The real-world global average temperature…exhibits no significant increase since 1998, and the preliminary 2007 year-end temperature confirms the continuation of a temperature plateau since 1998, to which is now appended a cooling trend over the last three years.”

“I don’t make climate predictions because I don’t know what the Sun will do next,” says Dr. S. Fred Singer, University of Virginia emeritus professor of environmental sciences and founding director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service. “But analysis of the best data of the past 30 years has convinced me that the human contribution has been insignificant — in spite of the real rise in atmospheric CO2, a greenhouse gas.”

These researchers are not alone. They are among a rising tide of scientists who question the so-called “global warming” theory. Some further argue that global cooling merits urgent concern.

“In stark contrast to the often repeated assertion that the science of climate change is ‘settled,’ significant new peer-reviewed research has cast even more doubt on the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming,” 100 prestigious geologists, physicists, meteorologists, and other scientists wrote U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon last December. They also noted that “today’s computer models cannot predict climate. Consistent with this, and despite computer projections of temperature rises, there has been no net global warming since 1998.”

In a December 2007 Senate Environment and Public Works Committee minority-staff report, more than 400 scientists — from such respected organizations as Princeton University, the National Academy of Sciences, the University of London, and Paris’s Pasteur Institute — declared their independence from the global-warming “conventional wisdom.”

“Not CO2, but water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas,” asserted climatologist Luc Debontridder of Belgium’s Royal Meteorological Institute. “It is responsible for at least 75 percent of the greenhouse effect. This is a simple scientific fact, but Al Gore’s movie has hyped CO2 so much that nobody seems to take note of it.”

“The hypothesis that solar variability, and not human activity, is warming the oceans goes a long way to explain the puzzling idea that the Earth’s surface may be warming while the atmosphere is not,” explained Dr. David Wojick, co-founder of Carnegie-Mellon University’s Department of Engineering and Public Policy. “The public is not well served by this constant drumbeat of false alarms fed by computer models manipulated by advocates.”

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.”

It has become impossible to keep up with the naysaying on “global warming.” On April 30, Nature – one of the planet’s most respected scientific journals — reported that so-called “global warming” is taking a hiatus through 2015, due to natural climate variability. Despite Al Gore’s claim that mankind is demolishing the climate, something greater than us (Mother Nature?) is obviating his pet theory. In its dispatch on this devastating blow to warming fetishists, London’s Daily Telegraph reports further that computer models belonging to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the Vatican of “global warming”) do not include “actual records of such events as the strength of the Gulf Stream and the El Niño cyclical warming event in the Pacific, which are known to have been behind the warmest year ever recorded in 1998.”


How can anyone believe computer models that disregard the Gulf Stream, one of the key contributors to the Western Hemisphere’s weather and climatic events? This is akin to a map of the USA with Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas cut out of it. Even worse, ignoring El Niño in 1998, Earth’s hottest year, is like contemplating the mortally wounded body of Abraham Lincoln and looking away as John Wilkes Booth flees Ford’s Theater.

This is negligent “science” at best and utter flim-flam at worst.

If nothing else, all this obliterates the rampant lie that “the scientific debate on global warming is over.” That debate rages on.

Assuming that the very serious scientists cited here are correct, the “inconvenient truth” about global-warming is inconveniently false. If so, mankind should chill out and turn our thinking right side up.

NRO contributing editor Deroy Murdock is a columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.


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