Thursday, February 28, 2008

Temperature Monitors Report Widescale Global Cooling

The "old climatology" which I was trained in and formerly taught in the universities, embraced the observed principles of homeostatic mechanisms -- or, self-correcting mechanisms -- by which both living system and larger ecological systems would adjust to compensate for changes.  Such was the foundation for Lovelock's "Gaia" theory of "Earth as living organism".  The generation which embraced Gaia has forgotten or never knew the science behind it, however, and instead has flocked to the CO2 theory of global warming.  But that theory basically ignores homeostatic mechanisms, and hundreds of years of empirically-developed climate science.

When you get hot, your body sweats and discharges heat by the mechanism of water evaporation from the skin surface.  Likewise, a global warming could trigger a global cooling by increases in evaporation from land and oceans, with subsequent increases in clouds and precipitation.  A global cooling always has been more dangerous given the predominance of increased glaciers, massive storms, shipwrecks, shorter growing seasons, failed crops, starvation and famine during such times.  Too much rains and ice can work a damage just as too little rains and heat.  Anyone who has read a bit about the Little Ice Age knows this, and doesn't necessarily fear a moderate global warming, which also happened in the past during the Medieval Warm Period, which was mostly a time of plenty and booming economies.  But the "new climatology" speaks of "tipping points", which is like saying, when your body gets hot, you don't sweat anymore.  Or when the atmosphere heats, clouds no longer form.  That could happen with a disturbed organism, or with a stagnated dor-choked atmosphere -- but that's not what is claimed by the advocates of Industrial CO2 greenhouse theory.  Irrespective of the theory one embraces, it is axiomatic that atmospheric warming evaporates more water, and from that, more clouds and precipitation as rain and snow. Snow on the ground then reflects sunlight back into space, and in a net sense the atmosphere cools.  Ergo, last year, and this winter -- breaking all records for snows and cooling world-wide, and confounding the predictions of the warming advocates.  Natural cycle?  Driven by solar variation (we are still waiting for the next solar cycle to start -- the sun seems to have the sunspot-switch turned off!)  Driven by cloudbuster operations within and surrounding the Saharasian Desert Belt, which suppresses the desert-drought heat-wave-producing dust-dor clouds?  Who can say.  In any case, here at OBRL Greensprings Center, we had a full 5 feet of snow on the ground by mid February.  Few here are old enough to remember anything similar.  Some photos from the 1930s suggest a similar snow condition, but not since.  It was literally up to the shoulders or the eyeballs, depending upon your height.  Nobody would believe it, so we made a short photo-essay, here:

This record snow was not merely local but was typical of many other places in the Northern Hemisphere.  The article below suggests, a dramatic global cooling is in progress.  Expect a rekindling of all the public debate.  Possibly it is a short cold transient from a larger trend of continued warming.  Or the trend could be reversing.  I suppose we will all hear the claimed rise in human-produced global CO2 is responsible for this as well, just as it was firstly blamed for Hurricane Katrina, and later blamed for the absence of the failed prediction for even more hurricanes.  If anything like the Little Ice Age developed, the UN would insist everyone return to coal burning, cross-ocean trade and travel would become a risky enterprise once again, and we would be burning all those textbooks to keep warm in the dark.

The article below is a great summary.  Go to the original to review the imbedded weblinks, which provide more info.

James DeMeo


Temperature Monitors Report Widescale Global Cooling
Michael Asher (Blog) - February 26, 2008 12:55 PM

World Temperatures according to the Hadley Center for Climate Prediction. Note the steep drop over the last year.

Twelve-month long drop in world temperatures wipes out a century of warming

Over the past year, anecdotal evidence for a cooling planet has exploded. China has its coldest winter in 100 years. Baghdad sees its first snow in all recorded history. North America has the most snowcover in 50 years, with places like Wisconsin the highest since record-keeping began. Record levels of Antarctic sea ice, record cold in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Australia, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Greenland, Argentina, Chile -- the list goes on and on.

No more than anecdotal evidence, to be sure. But now, that evidence has been supplanted by hard scientific fact. All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA's GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.

A compiled list of all the sources can be seen here.  The total amount of cooling ranges from 0.65C up to 0.75C -- a value large enough to wipe out most of the warming recorded over the past 100 years. All in one year's time. For all four sources, it's the single fastest temperature change ever recorded, either up or down.

Scientists quoted in a past DailyTech article link the cooling to reduced solar activity which they claim is a much larger driver of climate change than man-made greenhouse gases. The dramatic cooling seen in just 12 months time seems to bear that out. While the data doesn't itself disprove that carbon dioxide is acting to warm the planet, it does demonstrate clearly that more powerful factors are now cooling it.

Let's hope those factors stop fast. Cold is more damaging than heat. The mean temperature of the planet is about 54 degrees. Humans -- and most of the crops and animals we depend on -- prefer a temperature closer to 70.

Historically, the warm periods such as the Medieval Climate Optimum were beneficial for civilization. Corresponding cooling events such as the Little Ice Age, though, were uniformly bad news.

Update 2/27: The graph for HadCRUT (above), as well as the linked graphs for RSS and UAH are generated month-to-month; the temperature declines span a full 12 months of data.  The linked GISS graph was graphed for the months of January only, due to a limitation in the plotting program.   Anthony Watts, who kindly provided the graphics, otherwise has no connection with the column.  The views and comments are those of the author only.

If you did not get the photo image with this email, then go to the OBRL Blog to view it (url given below).


Forget global warming: Welcome to the new Ice Age
Lorne Gunter, National Post 

Snow cover over North America and much of Siberia, Mongolia and China is greater than at any time since 1966.

The U.S. National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) reported that many American cities and towns suffered record cold temperatures in January and early February. According to the NCDC, the average temperature in January "was -0.3 F cooler than the 1901-2000 (20th century) average."

China is surviving its most brutal winter in a century. Temperatures in the normally balmy south were so low for so long that some middle-sized cities went days and even weeks without electricity because once power lines had toppled it was too cold or too icy to repair them.

There have been so many snow and ice storms in Ontario and Quebec in the past two months that the real estate market has felt the pinch as home buyers have stayed home rather than venturing out looking for new houses.

In just the first two weeks of February, Toronto received 70 cm of snow, smashing the record of 66.6 cm for the entire month set back in the pre-SUV, pre-Kyoto, pre-carbon footprint days of 1950.

And remember the Arctic Sea ice? The ice we were told so hysterically last fall had melted to its "lowest levels on record? Never mind that those records only date back as far as 1972 and that there is anthropological and geological evidence of much greater melts in the past.

The ice is back.

Gilles Langis, a senior forecaster with the Canadian Ice Service in Ottawa, says the Arctic winter has been so severe the ice has not only recovered, it is actually 10 to 20 cm thicker in many places than at this time last year.

OK, so one winter does not a climate make. It would be premature to claim an Ice Age is looming just because we have had one of our most brutal winters in decades.

But if environmentalists and environment reporters can run around shrieking about the manmade destruction of the natural order every time a robin shows up on Georgian Bay two weeks early, then it is at least fair game to use this winter's weather stories to wonder whether the alarmist are being a tad premature.

And it's not just anecdotal evidence that is piling up against the climate-change dogma.

According to Robert Toggweiler of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at Princeton University and Joellen Russell, assistant professor of biogeochemical dynamics at the University of Arizona -- two prominent climate modellers -- the computer models that show polar ice-melt cooling the oceans, stopping the circulation of warm equatorial water to northern latitudes and triggering another Ice Age (a la the movie The Day After Tomorrow) are all wrong.

"We missed what was right in front of our eyes," says Prof. Russell. It's not ice melt but rather wind circulation that drives ocean currents northward from the tropics. Climate models until now have not properly accounted for the wind's effects on ocean circulation, so researchers have compensated by over-emphasizing the role of manmade warming on polar ice melt.

But when Profs. Toggweiler and Russell rejigged their model to include the 40-year cycle of winds away from the equator (then back towards it again), the role of ocean currents bringing warm southern waters to the north was obvious in the current Arctic warming.

Last month, Oleg Sorokhtin, a fellow of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, shrugged off manmade climate change as "a drop in the bucket." Showing that solar activity has entered an inactive phase, Prof. Sorokhtin advised people to "stock up on fur coats."

He is not alone. Kenneth Tapping of our own National Research Council, who oversees a giant radio telescope focused on the sun, is convinced we are in for a long period of severely cold weather if sunspot activity does not pick up soon.

The last time the sun was this inactive, Earth suffered the Little Ice Age that lasted about five centuries and ended in 1850. Crops failed through killer frosts and drought. Famine, plague and war were widespread. Harbours froze, so did rivers, and trade ceased.

It's way too early to claim the same is about to happen again, but then it's way too early for the hysteria of the global warmers, too.

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