Skip to comments.David Whitehouse: Has global warming stopped?
Posted on 12/28/2007 12:40:59 PM PST by neverdem
'The fact is that the global temperature of 2007 is statistically the same as 2006 and every year since 2001'
Global warming stopped? Surely not. What heresy is this? Havent we been told that the science of global warming is settled beyond doubt and that all thats left to the so-called sceptics is the odd errant glacier that refuses to melt?
Arent we told that if we dont act now rising temperatures will render most of the surface of the Earth uninhabitable within our lifetimes? But as we digest these apocalyptic comments, read the recent IPCCs Synthesis report that says climate change could become irreversible. Witness the drama at Bali as news emerges that something is not quite right in the global warming camp.
With only few days remaining in 2007, the indications are the global temperature for this year is the same as that for 2006 there has been no warming over the 12 months.
But is this just a blip in the ever upward trend you may ask? No.
The fact is that the global temperature of 2007 is statistically the same as 2006 as well as every year since 2001. Global warming has, temporarily or permanently, ceased. Temperatures across the world are not increasing as they should according to the fundamental theory behind global warming the greenhouse effect. Something else is happening and it is vital that we find out what or else we may spend hundreds of billions of pounds needlessly.
In principle the greenhouse effect is simple. Gases like carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere absorb outgoing infrared radiation from the earths surface causing some heat to be retained.
Consequently an increase in the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases from human activities such as burning fossil fuels leads to an enhanced greenhouse effect. Thus the world warms, the climate changes and we are in trouble.
The evidence for this hypothesis is the well established physics of the greenhouse effect itself and the correlation of increasing global carbon dioxide concentration with rising global temperature. Carbon dioxide is clearly increasing in the Earths atmosphere. Its a straight line upward. It is currently about 390 parts per million. Pre-industrial levels were about 285 ppm. Since 1960 when accurate annual measurements became more reliable it has increased steadily from about 315 ppm. If the greenhouse effect is working as we think then the Earths temperature will rise as the carbon dioxide levels increase.
But here it starts getting messy and, perhaps, a little inconvenient for some. Looking at the global temperatures as used by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the UKs Met Office and the IPCC (and indeed Al Gore) its apparent that there has been a sharp rise since about 1980.
The period 1980-98 was one of rapid warming a temperature increase of about 0.5 degrees C (CO2 rose from 340ppm to 370ppm). But since then the global temperature has been flat (whilst the CO2 has relentlessly risen from 370ppm to 380ppm). This means that the global temperature today is about 0.3 deg less than it would have been had the rapid increase continued.
For the past decade the world has not warmed. Global warming has stopped. Its not a viewpoint or a sceptics inaccuracy. Its an observational fact. Clearly the world of the past 30 years is warmer than the previous decades and there is abundant evidence (in the northern hemisphere at least) that the world is responding to those elevated temperatures. But the evidence shows that global warming as such has ceased.
The explanation for the standstill has been attributed to aerosols in the atmosphere produced as a by-product of greenhouse gas emission and volcanic activity. They would have the effect of reflecting some of the incidental sunlight into space thereby reducing the greenhouse effect. Such an explanation was proposed to account for the global cooling observed between 1940 and 1978.
But things cannot be that simple. The fact that the global temperature has remained unchanged for a decade requires that the quantity of reflecting aerosols dumped put in our atmosphere must be increasing year on year at precisely the exact rate needed to offset the accumulating carbon dioxide that wants to drive the temperature higher. This precise balance seems highly unlikely. Other explanations have been proposed such as the ocean cooling effect of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation or the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.
But they are also difficult to adjust so that they exactly compensate for the increasing upward temperature drag of rising CO2. So we are led to the conclusion that either the hypothesis of carbon dioxide induced global warming holds but its effects are being modified in what seems to be an improbable though not impossible way, or, and this really is heresy according to some, the working hypothesis does not stand the test of data.
It was a pity that the delegates at Bali didnt discuss this or that the recent IPCC Synthesis report did not look in more detail at this recent warming standstill. Had it not occurred, or if the flatlining of temperature had occurred just five years earlier we would have no talk of global warming and perhaps, as happened in the 1970s, we would fear a new Ice Age! Scientists and politicians talk of future projected temperature increases. But if the world has stopped warming what use these projections then?
Some media commentators say that the science of global warming is now beyond doubt and those who advocate alternative approaches or indeed modifications to the carbon dioxide greenhouse warming effect had lost the scientific argument. Not so.
Certainly the working hypothesis of CO2 induced global warming is a good one that stands on good physical principles but let us not pretend our understanding extends too far or that the working hypothesis is a sufficient explanation for what is going on.
I have heard it said, by scientists, journalists and politicians, that the time for argument is over and that further scientific debate only causes delay in action. But the wish to know exactly what is going on is independent of politics and scientists must never bend their desire for knowledge to any political cause, however noble.
The science is fascinating, the ramifications profound, but we are fools if we think we have a sufficient understanding of such a complicated system as the Earths atmospheres interaction with sunlight to decide. We know far less than many think we do or would like you to think we do. We must explain why global warming has stopped.
It’s global warming, because I said so!
Goodbye. David Whitehosue, We hardly knew ye. Good luck finding yourself a new job.......
Crucify the heretics!
Actually some readings show that the temperature has gone down a trace amount since 1998.
Despite the fact that we’ve had a decent southern Michigan winter so far, (rain snow mix today) I suspect I’ll feel different through Jamnuary and February.
The theory he alludes to regarding the cooling prior to 1970 is that sulpher compounds from burning coal reflected more heat than the CO2 trapped so we had net cooling.
This is never brought up by most Branch Algorians because it suggests a solution to global warming. The 70’s weren’t great, but they were better than the apacolypse the warmers are predicting, so why not allow just enough burning of high sulpher coal to counteract the co2? Problem solved!
Did it stop? It never started.......except in Al Gore’s mind and his bank account. He’s made over $40 Million dollars so far........not bad for a lie.
New!!: Dr. John Ray's
Ping me if you find one I've missed.
I wish. We're back to ACID RAIN!
Global Warming has increased quite a bit as of late...
We got several running for office and the gas they are venting is contributing to it.
[Since 2000, according to published reports, the former veep has transformed himself from a public servant with around $1 million in the bank to a sparkling private consultant with a net worth estimated to be north of $100 million. Hes a senior adviser to Google, a board member at Apple and now a newly minted general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the Silicon Valley venture-capital firm that made billions investing early in Netscape, Amazon and Google.]
The conservative movement REALLY needs to come to grip with AGW , or it’s going to end up looking like a collection of flat-Earthers.
Global temperatures have not increased since 2001. GWB became President in 2001. Coincidence? And algore gets the Nobel Prize?
He's probably being corrected as we speak. Then he'll be sent to a reeducation camp (i.e., Liberal college campus).
Spare us the links to the whacko-enviro websites, chicken little
The global warming hysteria reminds me of the stock market. Whenever a trend finally makes it to the cover of a national magazine, you can be certain that the trend is coming to an end soon. This includes individual stocks as well as bull and bear market trends. In addition, the global cooling phase of our earth promptly stopped in the 1970's right after it made the cover of Newsweek.
Talk about cherry picking. They are comparing at least 3 different sets of data here. Unbelievable. Then...how in the world do you average a global temperature from all this nonsense. The GISS has changed their numbers 4 times this year. They are pathetic.
Ha! What a laugh! That information that you linked to has already been discredited. By the same people who gave that information, NASA! Since you are not keeping up with the news, NASA recently, and quietly, completely revised their temperature data after it found errors.
Since you don’t read the news, I’ll help you..http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aBBQO5XgLQu4&refer=home
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.