Friday, November 20, 2009

Global Warming Seems To Have "Stalled Out" On The Eve Of The United Nations Climate Change Conference In Copenhagen; Catastrophists On The Defensive

On the eve of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, auspiciously scheduled to begin in Copenhagen, Denmark on December 7th, 2009, it appears global warming may have "stalled". Climatologists are puzzled as to why average global temperatures have stopped rising over the last 10 years. Some attribute the trend to a lack of sunspots, while others explain it through ocean currents. Full story published in Der Spiegel. Read Associated Press article about the conference HERE.

Although the planet's temperature curve rose sharply for almost 30 years, as global temperatures increased by an average of 0.7 degrees Celsius (1.25 degrees Fahrenheit) from the 1970s to the late 1990s, more recently the curve has flattened. "At present, however, the warming is taking a break," confirms meteorologist Mojib Latif of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences in the northern German city of Kiel. Latif, one of Germany's best-known climatologists, says that the temperature curve has reached a plateau. "There can be no argument about that," he says. "We have to face that fact." In addition, just a few weeks ago, Britain's Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research added more fuel to the fire with its latest calculations of global average temperatures. According to the Hadley figures, the world grew warmer by 0.07 degrees Celsius from 1999 to 2008 and not by the 0.2 degrees Celsius assumed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. And, say the British experts, when their figure is adjusted for two naturally occurring climate phenomena, El Niño and La Niña, the resulting temperature trend is reduced to 0.0 degrees Celsius -- in other words, a standstill.

This variability raise doubts about the predictive value of climate models, most of which predict change going up along a simple, straight line, without incorporating other factors. Billions of dollars in public investment are at stake, since the prevailing school of thought holds that human-caused carbon emissions are the primary culprit. Politicians worldwide have jumped aboard the cap-and-trade train. But other events cause deviations from the trend; after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in June 1991, world temperatures dropped by an average of 0.5 degrees Celsius.

Another difficulty is that the differences among individual regions of the world are considerable. In the Arctic, for example, temperatures rose by almost three degrees Celsius, which led to a dramatic melting of sea ice. At the same time, temperatures declined in large areas of North America, the western Pacific and the Arabian Peninsula. Europe, including Germany, remains slightly in positive warming territory.

Yet another difficulty is the sparse global temperature-monitoring network, consisting of only 517 weather stations. Each reading is only a tiny dot on the big world map, and it has to be extrapolated to the entire region with the help of supercomputers. Besides, there are still many blind spots, the largest being the Arctic, where there are only about 20 measuring stations to cover a vast area. Climatologists refer to the problem as the "Arctic hole." Scientists simply used the global average value for the hole.

Two other factors have slowed global warming. First, solar radiation activity seems to be weakening, as evidenced by the small number of sunspots on its surface. According to calculations performed by a group of NASA scientists led by David Rind, which were recently published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, this reduced solar activity is the most important cause of stagnating global warming. On the other hand, meteorologist Mojib Latif of the Marotzke and Leibniz Institute attributes the stagnation to so-called Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO). This phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean allows a larger volume of cold deep-sea water to rise to the surface at the equator. According to Latif, this has a significant cooling effect on the Earth's atmosphere.

Undoubtedly, carbon emissions, solar radiation activity, and deep-water oscillation all contribute to the phenomenon, occasionally interrupted by volcanic activity. The dilemma is in determining which takes precedence. Unfortunately, many world leaders, fueled by the catastrophism employed by carbon advocates, have preemptively decided that carbon emissions take precedence, despite the remaining uncertainties, and are prepared to expend billions of dollars in tax revenue and impose countless restrictions upon individual liberty to reduce carbon emissions. On June 26th, 2009, the U.S. House passed H.R. 2454, the "American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009", by a 219-212-3 vote. Among those courageously voting against it was Alaska's Very Own Congressman Don Young.

We are in danger of buying a pig in a poke. We should proceed cautiously on the carbon issue until we get more firm indications as to ALL the contributing factors to climate change.

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