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FloydHendershot

What happened to global warming?

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8299079.stm

What happened to global warming?

By Paul Hudson

Climate correspondent, BBC News

Average temperatures have not increased for over a decade

This headline may come as a bit of a surprise, so too might that fact that the warmest year recorded globally was not in 2008 or 2007, but in 1998.

But it is true. For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures.

And our climate models did not forecast it, even though man-made carbon dioxide, the gas thought to be responsible for warming our planet, has continued to rise.

So what on Earth is going on?

Climate change sceptics, who passionately and consistently argue that man's influence on our climate is overstated, say they saw it coming.

They argue that there are natural cycles, over which we have no control, that dictate how warm the planet is. But what is the evidence for this?

During the last few decades of the 20th Century, our planet did warm quickly.

Sceptics argue that the warming we observed was down to the energy from the Sun increasing. After all 98% of the Earth's warmth comes from the Sun.

But research conducted two years ago, and published by the Royal Society, seemed to rule out solar influences.

The scientists' main approach was simple: to look at solar output and cosmic ray intensity over the last 30-40 years, and compare those trends with the graph for global average surface temperature.

And the results were clear. "Warming in the last 20 to 40 years can't have been caused by solar activity," said Dr Piers Forster from Leeds University, a leading contributor to this year's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

But one solar scientist Piers Corbyn from Weatheraction, a company specialising in long range weather forecasting, disagrees.

He claims that solar charged particles impact us far more than is currently accepted, so much so he says that they are almost entirely responsible for what happens to global temperatures.

He is so excited by what he has discovered that he plans to tell the international scientific community at a conference in London at the end of the month.

If proved correct, this could revolutionise the whole subject.

Ocean cycles

What is really interesting at the moment is what is happening to our oceans. They are the Earth's great heat stores.

In the last few years [the Pacific Ocean] has been losing its warmth and has recently started to cool down

According to research conducted by Professor Don Easterbrook from Western Washington University last November, the oceans and global temperatures are correlated.

The oceans, he says, have a cycle in which they warm and cool cyclically. The most important one is the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO).

For much of the 1980s and 1990s, it was in a positive cycle, that means warmer than average. And observations have revealed that global temperatures were warm too.

But in the last few years it has been losing its warmth and has recently started to cool down.

These cycles in the past have lasted for nearly 30 years.

So could global temperatures follow? The global cooling from 1945 to 1977 coincided with one of these cold Pacific cycles.

Professor Easterbrook says: "The PDO cool mode has replaced the warm mode in the Pacific Ocean, virtually assuring us of about 30 years of global cooling."

So what does it all mean? Climate change sceptics argue that this is evidence that they have been right all along.

They say there are so many other natural causes for warming and cooling, that even if man is warming the planet, it is a small part compared with nature.

But those scientists who are equally passionate about man's influence on global warming argue that their science is solid.

The UK Met Office's Hadley Centre, responsible for future climate predictions, says it incorporates solar variation and ocean cycles into its climate models, and that they are nothing new.

In fact, the centre says they are just two of the whole host of known factors that influence global temperatures - all of which are accounted for by its models.

In addition, say Met Office scientists, temperatures have never increased in a straight line, and there will always be periods of slower warming, or even temporary cooling.

What is crucial, they say, is the long-term trend in global temperatures. And that, according to the Met office data, is clearly up.

To confuse the issue even further, last month Mojib Latif, a member of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) says that we may indeed be in a period of cooling worldwide temperatures that could last another 10-20 years.

Professor Latif is based at the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University in Germany and is one of the world's top climate modellers.

But he makes it clear that he has not become a sceptic; he believes that this cooling will be temporary, before the overwhelming force of man-made global warming reasserts itself.

So what can we expect in the next few years?

Both sides have very different forecasts. The Met Office says that warming is set to resume quickly and strongly.

It predicts that from 2010 to 2015 at least half the years will be hotter than the current hottest year on record (1998).

Sceptics disagree. They insist it is unlikely that temperatures will reach the dizzy heights of 1998 until 2030 at the earliest. It is possible, they say, that because of ocean and solar cycles a period of global cooling is more likely.

One thing is for sure. It seems the debate about what is causing global warming is far from over. Indeed some would say it is hotting up.

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no one calls it "global warming" anymore. Its referred to as "climate change." If the polar ice caps melt (which they are still doing despite an increase in global temperatures) then the ocean currents might change causing a global change in climate.

The only people who keep calling it global warming are people who want to debunk the theory by making a semantic argument against it.

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no one calls it "global warming" anymore. Its referred to as "climate change." If the polar ice caps melt (which they are still doing despite an increase in global temperatures) then the ocean currents might change causing a global change in climate.

The only people who keep calling it global warming are people who want to debunk the theory by making a semantic argument against it.

Is that your opinion or sumamry?

Climate change sceptics argue that this is evidence that they have been right all along.

According to research conducted by Professor Don Easterbrook from Western Washington University last November, the oceans and global temperatures are correlated.

The oceans, he says, have a cycle in which they warm and cool cyclically. The most important one is the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO).

For much of the 1980s and 1990s, it was in a positive cycle, that means warmer than average. And observations have revealed that global temperatures were warm too.

But in the last few years it has been losing its warmth and has recently started to cool down.

These cycles in the past have lasted for nearly 30 years.

So could global temperatures follow? The global cooling from 1945 to 1977 coincided with one of these cold Pacific cycles.

Professor Easterbrook says: "The PDO cool mode has replaced the warm mode in the Pacific Ocean, virtually assuring us of about 30 years of global cooling."

So what does it all mean?

Some research indicates we will have a period of cooling before it gets hot as hell again and the rub is a period of warming may be normal, or become more frequent and cooling less frequent or perhaps simply this is a blip on the radar and predicting the cycles is a fool's game.

If The oceans acting the way this research suggests then maybe greenhouse gases are clouding the atmosphere just enough that the ocean's aren't absorbing enough sun and its not global warmong we need to worry about rather cooling. :P

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Hopefully, in light of such evidence, some folks will pull their heads out of their asses and take those bald-faced lying commercials about polar bears off of my damn TV.

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Ocean temperatures have continued to rise even if surface temperatures have leveled off. The real problem will be the rising ocean levels. Hopefully, this wakes up all those skeptics who think the polar bears arent dying or that catastrophic climate change isnt real.

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Ocean temperatures have continued to rise even if surface temperatures have leveled off. The real problem will be the rising ocean levels. Hopefully, this wakes up all those skeptics who think the polar bears arent dying or that catastrophic climate change isnt real.

From what I have seen in documentaries about this issue, climate models show melting of ice caps, increased ocean temperatures and more chaotic weather behaviour: stronger hurricanes, longer drought and wet periods, and so on... seasons already appear to be starting/ending a month later than before. I believe we will be able to adapt and survive as a species, but there may be very large costs associated with dealing with this.

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I'd just like to point out that we're currently in a cold spell where temperature a are running about 20 degrees below normal (we've got late November/December temps in mid October), the entire summer was below normal, and hurricane season has been very quiet relative to years past.

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I think we do not have solid information one way or the other for the entire history of earth climate's data since last Ice age to really determine the trend of where the climate is going.

You cannot really predict trend based on 1% (100 years compared to 10,000 years) of the data to really understand what is going on. Statistics is not accurate mathematics, it is mathematics which changes with perceptions.

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Have the usual cloudless silver blue sky and mid 80s here...supposed to get warmer and have 97 by Friday, a bit high for October.

One set of predictions I read predicted that by 2040 or so the typical daytime July highs here could reach 140 instead of 115, and the Valley of the Sun's population could be 10 million people instead of 4.5 million now. I want to get of here by next year.

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I think we do not have solid information one way or the other for the entire history of earth climate's data since last Ice age to really determine the trend of where the climate is going.

You cannot really predict trend based on 1% (100 years compared to 10,000 years) of the data to really understand what is going on. Statistics is not accurate mathematics, it is mathematics which changes with perceptions.

Indded. What we do certainly has an effect on our surroundings, but trying to predict the future based one a comparatively small amount of data and claiming it as fact is when it gets nutty. Focusing on what we know and can do in the here and now is more important (reycling, using less paper products, energy efficient bulbs and appliances, etc.)

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Focusing on what we know and can do in the here and now is more important (reycling, using less paper products, energy efficient bulbs and appliances, etc.)

That's my feeling too. Even if it turns all this global warming stuff is all bunk, we still need to reduce consumption, and find more efficient alternatives to the things we already do; being ecologically conscious shouldn't be a reaction to climate change, but because it's the right thing to do.

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That's my feeling too. Even if it turns all this global warming stuff is all bunk, we still need to reduce consumption, and find more efficient alternatives to the things we already do; being ecologically conscious shouldn't be a reaction to climate change, but because it's the right thing to do.

+2. I know landfills are just real estate being wasted. I recycle as much as I can. I was surprised to see almost 80% of our daily stuff can actually be recycled. I wash those empty cans, bowls, of food and put them in recycle bins, rather than having them "dirty" and throwing into trash.

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+2. I know landfills are just real estate being wasted. I recycle as much as I can. I was surprised to see almost 80% of our daily stuff can actually be recycled. I wash those empty cans, bowls, of food and put them in recycle bins, rather than having them "dirty" and throwing into trash.

Thats why you need to buy stock in landfill mining, surely to be a monster in a decade or two.

I'm not convinced there is much to climate change... as others have commented, we don't have enough weather history to make such dire predictions, and I have more faith in the climate system. In the past, much more greenhouse gases have been released, and the earth coped. Sea levels rise and fall, species rise and fall... if we can't cut it we're yesterday's news.

Now, I'm not advocating eco sabotage, as there are definite benefits to conserving, recycling and low pollution... but I don't think any law that gets passed will actually change the climate much (example... clunker programs in Cali which allow the factories to buy up credits and pollute more.).

With our luck, we'll run everything clean and then the Yellowstone supervolcano will doom the climate anyway.

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No one, I think, denies that there are fluctuations in the climate. Duh. But the simplest way to garnering support & funding would be to prove man's contribution and by how much.

{~crickets chirping~}

$66,000,000,000 spent ($36B on direct science) in the last 10 years WRT 'climate change', yet not a single piece of empirical evidence to prove man's actions have any measurable effect. How much more will we spend merely seeking the proof ?? How much after that to legislate, mandate, R&D, test, produce, train, educate & implement... to 'counteract' it ??

The most recent 'hot button' is CO2... yet how will science separate industrial CO2 emissions from human / animal CO2 emissions and their respective effects ?? Ahhh, nevermind any effect.... you can measure industrial CO2 output.... and charge for it.

'Climate change' (and from my observation, the terminology only changed this year because the weather wasn't co-operating and those using the term were starting to feel foolish) is all about 1 thing and 1 thing only : money. Since there's no science to follow - follow the money trail.

Edited by balthazar
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'Climate change' (and from my observation, the terminology only changed this year because the weather wasn't co-operating and those using the term were starting to feel foolish) is all about 1 thing and 1 thing only : money. Since there's no science to follow - follow the money trail.

The overall global warming that was causing the polar ice caps to melt at a higher rate dumped massive quantities of freshwater into the North Atlantic and ended up shutting down the billion gigawatt heatpump called the Gulf Stream. The effect was substantially cooler temperatures in most of Europe. So yes, I can see why the term "Global Warming" would confuse people. "Global Climate Change" is a more semantically accurate term.

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I think we do not have solid information one way or the other for the entire history of earth climate's data since last Ice age to really determine the trend of where the climate is going.

You cannot really predict trend based on 1% (100 years compared to 10,000 years) of the data to really understand what is going on. Statistics is not accurate mathematics, it is mathematics which changes with perceptions.

+1

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I think we do not have solid information one way or the other for the entire history of earth climate's data since last Ice age to really determine the trend of where the climate is going.

You cannot really predict trend based on 1% (100 years compared to 10,000 years) of the data to really understand what is going on. Statistics is not accurate mathematics, it is mathematics which changes with perceptions.

ice core samples

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That's my feeling too. Even if it turns all this global warming stuff is all bunk, we still need to reduce consumption, and find more efficient alternatives to the things we already do; being ecologically conscious shouldn't be a reaction to climate change, but because it's the right thing to do.

Bingo.

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No one, I think, denies that there are fluctuations in the climate. Duh. But the simplest way to garnering support & funding would be to prove man's contribution and by how much.

{~crickets chirping~}

$66,000,000,000 spent ($36B on direct science)

Too bad we spend it on that when who knows what other good would have come from that money. hell, if we're so opposed to fossil fuels, spend it on nuclear power and recycling. not that i want my taxes spent from the hands of economic planners.

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The overall global warming that was causing the polar ice caps to melt at a higher rate dumped massive quantities of freshwater into the North Atlantic and ended up shutting down the billion gigawatt heatpump called the Gulf Stream. The effect was substantially cooler temperatures in most of Europe. So yes, I can see why the term "Global Warming" would confuse people. "Global Climate Change" is a more semantically accurate term.

Cooler Europe means a cooler ice cap, which pulls fresh water out of the ocean to build up the ice. This is the system in action... of course, it takes time to work.

Of course, we also had a cool North America this year... but I didn't hear of tremendous heat problems at the equator... if the gulfstream didn't remove the heat from the equator to the two large northern land masses, where did it go? Did the Earth get less sun this year?

ice core samples

You must know where all the secret ice caps in Hawaii and New Jersey are, then.

The ice core samples can give data on the poles, and give us a pretty good idea of global CO2 content, but they don't give us much info outside the poles. Climate change can occur in ways that don't effect the poles much, when convection like the gulfstream is interrupted. As best it is a vague indicator.

I'm not discounting the ice core sample data... it is valuable, but some folks think it can tell us precisely the temperature in Florida on Oct 15, 25000 BC. Just not the case.

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I think we do not have solid information one way or the other for the entire history of earth climate's data since last Ice age to really determine the trend of where the climate is going.

You cannot really predict trend based on 1% (100 years compared to 10,000 years) of the data to really understand what is going on. Statistics is not accurate mathematics, it is mathematics which changes with perceptions.

I agree. I think the comment about long term trends was funny. What does that person consider a long term trend? 50 years? The Earth has been around for billions of years, and weather has just started being measured recently. If you want trends you need to look at thousands of years or longer, not 50 years.

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Honestly people in California shouldn't worry so much about climate change as they should about a catastrophic earthquake that no one could predict. There are cold spells and heatwaves and the in between. You want to take the last few years and extrapolate a greater theorem be my guest but next year when it doesn't fit the equation "you" can't change your original premise.

There's a great deal to be said for prudence, conservation and efficiency and we should leave it at that. Anyone wonder how much juice those recycling plants resources the extra garbage haulers suck up? The Greenies should look in their own backyards before knocking on our front doors.

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