From IBD today:
As the British House of Commons debated a climate-change bill that pledged the United Kingdom to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 80% by 2050, London was hit by its first October snow since 1922.
Apparently Mother Nature wasn’t paying attention. The British people, however, are paying attention — to reality. A poll found that 60% of them doubt the claims that global warming is both man-made and urgent.
Elsewhere, the Swiss lowlands last month received the most snow for any October since records began. Zurich got 20 centimeters, breaking the record of 14 centimeters set in 1939. Ocala, Fla., experienced its second-lowest October temperature since 1850.
October temperatures fell to record lows in Oregon as well. On Oct. 10, Boise, Idaho, got the earliest snow in its history – 1.7 inches. That beat the old record by seven-tenths of an inch and one day on the calendar.
In the Southern Hemisphere, where winter was winding down, Durban, South Africa, had its coldest September night in history in the middle of the month. Some regions of the country had unusual late-winter snows. A month earlier, New Zealand officials reported that Mount Ruapehu had its largest snow base ever.
At the top of the world, the International Arctic Research Center reported last month, there was 29% more Arctic sea ice this year than last.
None of this matters, of course, to the warming zealots. It doesn’t matter if it’s too dry or too wet, too hot or too cold. All of it, they say, is caused by global warming.
We believe, however, as do many reputable scientists, that the warming and cooling of the Earth is a natural phenomenon dictated by forces beyond our control, from ocean currents to solar activity.
The latest warming trend, which appears to have ended in 1998, is the result of the end of the Little Ice Age, which extended from roughly the 16th century to the 19th. During that period, Muir Glacier in Alaska filled Glacier Bay. In fact, when the first Russian explorers arrived in Alaska in the 1740s, there was no Glacier Bay – just a wall of ice where the entrance would be.
As the Earth warmed, long before SUVs roamed the globe, Alaska’s glaciers also warmed and began to recede, starting in the 1800s. All that may be changing. During the winter and summer of 2007-2008, unusually large amounts of winter snow were followed by unusually cold temperatures in June, July and August.
“In June, I was surprised to see snow still at sea level in Prince William Sound,” says U.S. Geological Survey glaciologist Bruce Molnia. “On the Juneau Icefield, there was still 20 feet of new snow on the surface of the Taku Glacier in late July.”
It was the worst summer he’d seen in two decades.
As the Anchorage Daily News reports, “Never before in the history of a research project dating back to 1946 had the Juneau Icefield witnessed the kind if snow buildup that came this year. It was similar on a lot of other glaciers too.”
It’s been “a long time on most glaciers,” Molnia says, “where they’ve actually had positive mass balance.” In other words, more snow is falling in the winter than melts in the summer, making the glaciers thicker in the middle.
Glaciers can appear to be shrinking even as they are growing. Photos taken from ships can record receding edges even as mass is building inland. When they get thick enough, the weight forces the glacier to advance.
The U.S. may owe its ascension to a global power on the global warming that began with the end of the Little Ice Age, which almost doomed the American Revolution. George Washington’s famous winter at Valley Forge was part of that natural phenomenon.
As the climate warmed from 1800 to 1900, the U.S. tripled in size, spreading westward to straddle a continent. The population of the windy and very cold trading post known as Chicago grew from 4,000 in 1800 to 1.5 million by 1900, sitting on a great lake carved by glaciers long since receded.
Due to a decline in solar activity and other factors, the Earth is cooling and has been since 1998. And a peer-reviewed study published in April by Nature predicts the world will continue cooling at least through 2015.
Now, if only we could get the warming alarmists to face facts and cool it as well.