There's a chill in the air
By E. Ralph Hostetter
Is global warming over? Let's take a peek at what's been happening around the world in the past year.
Michael Asher of Daily Tech reports, "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 snow cover 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 and the list goes on and on. All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA's GISS, UAH, RSS) all show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously."
The Daily Tech report continues: "The total amount of cooling ranges from 0.656 up to 0.75 degrees C. — a value large enough to wipe out all the warming recorded over the past 100 years. It's the fastest temperature change ever recorded, either up or down."
The New York Post headline reads: "July 8 storm brings snow to city just north of Gotham." That same day the high temperature at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago was 65 degrees, Chicago's coldest July 8 since 1891, while in Melbourne, Australia, temperatures have remained 10 degrees below normal.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Earth System Research Laboratory in Mauna Loa, Hawaii, has measured carbon dioxide for the past 50 years. In December 1958, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere was 314.67 parts per million. In December 1998 at about the time global cooling reappeared, CO2 had increased to 366.87 ppm. By December 2008, CO2 had advanced to 385.54 ppm, a 5.088% growth in just one decade. CO2 concentration continues to rise.
That increase has benefits for the planet. Crop yields are increasing. The planet is greener.
However, as a measurement of world temperatures rise and fall, it may not have the effects that have been predicted.
Looking at the record, NOAA in its State of the Climate Report for 2008 observed, ". . . since the end of the 1970s, the average surface temperature has warmed 1 degree F.; the earth's surface is currently warming at a rate of about 0.29 degree F. per decade or 2.9 degrees F. per century; the warmest year being 1934."
According to Tony Pann, Baltimore weather examiner, "The planet stopped warming in 1998 and has shown distinct cooling this decade."
D. Bruce Merrifield, writing for the American Thinker, observed: "Solar activity is now believed to have the greatest influence on climate change as global temperatures rise and fall. Solar activity is measured in cycles.
"Cycles include the 100,000 year cycle, a 41,000-year cycle, a 23-year cycle and an 11-year sun spot cycle wherein solar radiation increases and then declines. Superimposed on the latest 100,000 year peak have been six secondary warming periods, and each has been coincident with massive surges of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere, vastly greater than the amounts currently being generated by burning fossil fuels.
"Each of these previous warming periods was warmer than the current warming period, and current temperatures are below the median for the last 3000 years."
Merrifield continues: "Most remarkably, civilization first emerged in the Tigris, Euphrates and Nile River Valleys about 3400 B.C. in that period of great warming, and even more remarkably, each of these secondary surges of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses (none of human origin), has also been coincident with the rise of a major civilization."
It was during this period that agriculture was invented.
"Interestingly, starting about two decades ago (1988), the total increase of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere has abruptly stopped, in spite of increased burning of fossil fuels."
The Babylonian Era emerged 3,000 years ago in the 1000 B.C. warming period. After a period of 500 years, the Greek civilization appeared. Next the Romans arrived some 400 years later. A 1,000-year cold period followed, leading into the dark ages. Crop failures caused mass starvation and freezing cold killed millions more.
If, in fact, America is entering a cold period, global warming will be remembered with the thought that warmer is better, regardless of all the "envirocrat" threats of drought, famine, storms and tornadoes.
E. Ralph Hostetter, a prominent businessman and publisher, also is an award-winning columnist and Vice Chairman of the Free Congress Foundation Board of Directors. He welcomes e-mail comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get weekly updates about new issues of ESR!