By Dennis T. Avery, Hudson Institute
CHURCHVILLE, VAâ€”Three of the worldâ€™s major climate monitors have announced that the earthâ€™s temperatures dropped over the last 12 monthsâ€”by enough to virtually offset the entire â€œunprecedented warmingâ€ of the last century. This comes after nine years of no warming, and a net warming since 1940 of just 0.2 degrees.
Equally important, a drop in temperatures had been predicted by the sunspot index that foretells the earthâ€™s temperature changes with a log time of nearly a decade. Our temperatures have a 79 percent correlation with the sunspot index. The sunspot index turned downward in 2000.
Britainâ€™s Hadley Centre, NASA, and the University of Alabama/Huntsville say the temperature drop since January of 2007 was measured between 0.59 and 0.75 degree C. This includes an unusually cold winter in the Southern Hemisphere, and the harshest Chinese winter in a century. Part is due to a regional cooling in the Pacific called La Nina which appears every 4-5 years, but the strength and global scope of this cooling has been startling.
Additionally, the Arctic ice that seemed to disappear last summer is back this spring, and thicker, apparently affected last year more by wind currents than melting. The Antarctic ice is still record-large.
Does this mean a new Ice Age?Â Probably not, though one will appear eventually. Weâ€™re more likely to have a moderate decline in temperatures over the coming decades like the cooling that occurred from 1940 to 1975.
For the longer term, weâ€™re still controlled by the moderate, natural 1,500-year climate cycle that we discovered in the Greenland ice cores in 1984. It has since been confirmed in seabed and lake sediments, fossil pollen, cave stalagmites and ancient records around the world. The 1,500-year cycle raises temperatures in Washington and Paris by 1â€“2 degrees C for centuries at a time, and then drops them abruptly into â€œlittle ice agesâ€ that also last for centuries.
Humans may have contributed to the Modern Warmingâ€”but apparently not much. Most of the Modern Warming occurred before 1940, which is when we started really spewing CO2 from our smokestacks and autos. The net warming since 1940 is a tiny 0.2 degrees C.â€”and Iâ€™ll cheerfully give Mr. Gore half of that for the sake of debate.
Conservation is still and always has been a good idea, but the dangers of CO2 may have been radically overstated. Every wild species on the planet todayâ€”including the polar bearâ€”has been through these cycles before. Thereâ€™s been no acceleration of sea-level rise since the Modern Warming began in 1850.Â
Letâ€™s put a hold on David Suzukiâ€™s demand that recalcitrant politicians be jailed for not banning fossil fuels. Letâ€™s table in committee the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act that would eliminate about 85 percent of our current energy sources.
The past yearâ€™s temperature dropâ€”and nine years of non-warming since 1998 despite rising CO2 levelsâ€”raise serious doubt about the supposed link between atmospheric CO2 and our temperatures. Past temperatures show virtually no historic correlation between our temperatures and CO2, despite the claims of Al Gore and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The end of the 1976-98 temperature surge confirms that we have â€œtime to do the science,â€ as Al Goreâ€™s climate mentor, Roger Revelle, told us in his last public writing in 1991. But we must also now recognize that the computerized climate models are not science, theyâ€™re guesses. Itâ€™s too soon for our political institutions to blame a predetermined villain called humanity.<:p>
DENNIS T. AVERY is a senior fellow for the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC and is the Director for the Center for Global Food Issues. (www.cgfi.org) He was formerly a senior analyst for the Department of State. He is co-author, with S. Fred Singer, of Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Hundred Years, Readers may write him at PO Box 202, Churchville, VA 2442 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org