Monday, April 10, 2006

Global Cooling is Coming (Again)!!!

A new study of temperature data over the last 8 years shows global temperatures actually dropped slightly (but not a statistically significant amount). What happened to global warming??

Seriously, I think this shows we don't know enough about what causes the temperature to fluctuate (I read a report that the sun is more active than it has been in the last 300 years, could this be the cause of the rise in temps?)

This article takes a look at the new report and gives some context over the long term. Even the 100 yrs of the hockey stick is a blink of an eye in the history of the earth. Some key points:

For many years now, human-caused climate change has been viewed as a large and urgent problem. In truth, however, the biggest part of the problem is neither environmental nor scientific, but a self-created political fiasco. Consider the simple fact, drawn from the official temperature records of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, that for the years 1998-2005 global average temperature did not increase (there was actually a slight decrease, though not at a rate that differs significantly from zero).


Two simple graphs provide needed context, and exemplify the dynamic, fluctuating nature of climate change. The first is a temperature curve for the last six million years, which shows a three-million year period when it was several degrees warmer than today, followed by a three-million year cooling trend which was accompanied by an increase in the magnitude of the pervasive, higher frequency, cold and warm climate cycles. During the last three such warm (interglacial) periods, temperatures at high latitudes were as much as 5 degrees warmer than today's. The second graph shows the average global temperature over the last eight years, which has proved to be a period of stasis.


I am not convinced that humans are causing the raise in temperature we have seen. I think it is more likely this is just natural cycles.

6 Comments:

Blogger mkchicago said...

Did anybody else see the "In Search of" episode from the late 70's that featured In Search of the Coming Ice Age? I still remember freaking out at that as a kid.

2:37 PM  
Blogger JasonSpalding said...

Change is inevitable. The globe reached its peak temperature in 1998 want proof look at the data a link exists in my article.

3:32 PM  
Blogger Germanicu$ said...

"Seriously, I think this shows we don't know enough about what causes the temperature to fluctuate..."

But we do know that human activity has profound impact on the world around us. We know, for example, that overfishing is responsible for massive depletion of fish populations, which in turn has enormous detrimental impact on entire ecosystems. Similarly, our mining techniques, farming methods, and widespread use of landfills have seriously degraded the quality of our soil. We do know these things; it's not just sunspots of the flying spaghetti monster that are causing it.

Maybe driving our cars isn't the reason an abundance of CO2 has caused this giant hole to form in the ozone layer - maybe it is just cattle flatulence, as has been posited. Like hurtleg, or any other healthy skeptic, I don't just believe something because "science tells me it's so." However, given the massive amount of emissions our fuel-burning cars and power plants release into the air, it's certainly plausible.

The overwhelming majority of scientists holds with some degree of certainty that global warming is real, problematic, and directly attributable to human activity; it will take more than a Telegraph editorial referencing rogue scholars from The University of East Anglia to make me doubt the dominant paradigm.

What we know plenty about helps fill in the holes of what we don't know enough about. Natural resources are finite, and humans have the capacity to adversely affect the environment with our activities.

I think most of these challenges to the predominant theories of the human effect on global warming are based on a sad, deluded wishful thinking, rather than a healthy skepticism of the dominant paradigm.

6:39 PM  
Blogger John said...

Theories are a lot like theology in that they try to explain the inexplicable or the unknown.

Are humans accelerating the natural climate cycle?

Do we matter in the grand scheme of the universe?

Would the climate be warming if humans had not evolved?

The problem appears to me one of ignorance. We have no way of knowing for sure if we are having a significant impact on the climate. I would guess that we are, but how do we know for sure?

(Do you all remember after 9/11 when the airways were shut down and a study came out stating that with the absence of jet travel and the associated contrails, that the number of upper level clouds was lessened causing higher ground temperatures?)

The answer is we don't. We should work to cut pollution and emmissions and we should also start working on our culural mores with regard to public nudity because it is going to most probably get a bit warmer soon...

(The latter being a big problem since the people who know me probably shudder at the thought of seeing me naked) (laugh)

9:30 PM  
Blogger George W. Bush said...

Irregardless of the source of the warming (IMO it's irrefutably caused by Humans), we must heed the warnings. An increase in nudity won't be the only effect of the warming climate. It will disrupt the entire ecosystem, species will go extinct, disease will mutate, and the food supply will be altered and most likely dwindle. This will create increased competition for resources, and subsequently more war and more chaos making Hurt Leg gloriously happy, unless he's on the short end of the stick which probably would happen because of his said "hurt leg", he may be no match with the competition for scarce resources in the inevitable struggle for survival.

I don't see your simplified comparison of theory and theology as relevant, it's hard for me to equate faith and science. Theory is something that is tested, you can't test faith. Just don't see it.

10:11 AM  
Blogger John said...

Any major change in the climate whether precipitated by a natural cycle or man will indeed be a serious event.

I was comparing theory and theology because current and past technology does not allow us in my opinion to irrefutably prove (at this point) whether global warming or cooling is actually happening. How accurate were instruments available 100 years ago? Furthermore, in the grand scheme of things 100, 200, or even 500 years are simply a blink of the eye.

Also if you recall, I did say, “I would guess that we are, but how do we know for sure”? (Having a significant impact on our climate)

9:59 AM  

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