(by Hayley Dixon, Daily Telegraph) – A cold Arctic summer has led to a record increase in the ice cap, leading experts to predict a period of global cooling.
There has been a 60% increase in the amount of ocean covered with ice compared to this time last year, the equivalent of almost a million square miles.
In a rebound from 2012’s record low, an unbroken ice sheet more than half the size of Europe already stretches from the Canadian islands to Russia’s northern shores, days before the annual re-freeze is even set to begin.
The Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific has remained blocked by pack-ice all year, forcing some ships to change their routes.
A leaked report to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) seen by London’s Mail on Sunday news, has led some scientists to claim that the world is heading for a period of cooling that will not end until the middle of this century.
If correct, it would contradict computer forecasts of imminent catastrophic warming. The news comes several years after the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) predicted that the Arctic would be ice-free in summer by 2013.
Despite the original forecasts, major climate research centers now accept that there has been a “pause” in global warming since 1997.
The original predictions led to billions being invested in green measures to combat the effects of climate change. [The pause – which has now been accepted as real by every major climate research center – is important, because the models’ predictions of ever-increasing global temperatures have made many of the world’s economies divert billions of dollars into ‘green’ measures to counter climate change. Those predictions now appear gravely flawed.]
The changing predictions have led to the UN’s climate change’s body (UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC]) holding a crisis meeting… The IPCC was due in October to start publishing its Fifth Assessment Report – a huge three-volume study issued every six or seven years. [It will now hold a pre-summit in Stockholm later this month.] The leaked documents are said to show that the governments who fund the IPCC are demanding 1,500 changes to the Fifth Assessment Report as they claim its current draft does not properly explain the pause.
The extent to which temperatures will rise with carbon dioxide levels and how much of the warming over the past 150 years (a total of approximately 1.4 degree Fahrenheit) is due to human greenhouse gas emissions are key issues in the debate.
The IPCC says it is “95% confident” that global warming has been caused by humans – up from 90% in 2007 – according to the draft report.
However, U.S. climate expert Professor Judith Curry has questioned how this can be true as that rather than increasing in confidence, “uncertainty is getting bigger” within the academic community, and explained “It’s now clear the models are way too sensitive to carbon dioxide. I cannot see any basis for the IPCC increasing its confidence level.”
Long-term cycles in ocean temperature, she said, suggest the world may be approaching a period similar to that from 1965 to 1975, when there was a clear cooling trend. This led some scientists at the time to forecast an imminent ice age.
Professor Anastasios Tsonis, of the University of Wisconsin, said: “We are already in a cooling trend, which I think will continue for the next 15 years at least. There is no doubt the warming of the 1980s and 1990s has stopped.”
The IPCC is said to maintain that their climate change models suggest a pause of 15 years can be expected. Other experts agree that natural cycles cannot explain all of the recorded warming.[Nonetheless, the belief that summer Arctic ice is about to disappear remains an IPCC tenet, frequently flung in the face of critics who point to the pause.
Yet there is mounting evidence that Arctic ice levels are cyclical. Data uncovered by climate historians show that there was a massive melt in the 1920s and 1930s, followed by intense re-freezes that ended only in 1979 – the year the IPCC says that shrinking began.
Professor Curry said the ice’s behavior over the next five years would be crucial, both for understanding the climate and for future policy. “Arctic sea ice is the indicator to watch,” she said.]
Reprinted here for educational purposes only. From a Telegraph news report, with excerpts added from the Daily Mail article. May not be reproduced on other websites without permission from the Daily Telegraph.
NOTE: Before answering the questions, read the “Background” and “Resources” below.
1. What had the BBC predicted about the Arctic several years ago, based on computer forecasts?
2. What has actually happened in the Arctic this summer?
3. What is the IPCC? What is its purpose?
4. What have the predictions of catastrophic man-made global warming caused world governments to do?
5. a) The IPCC says it is 95% confident that global warming has been caused by humans (in 2007 the UN organization was 90% certain). Why does climate expert Judith Curry question how this can be true?
b) What do long-term cycles in ocean temperature indicate, per Professor Curry?
6. Those who believe in catastrophic man-made global warming say there is no debate: that it is a factual event rather than a theory that has two sides. Explain what you believe about changing global temperatures. If you believe in man-made global warming, how does the fact that there is a pause in warming affect your opinion?
Today, 193 of 194 national heads of state say they believe humans are causing dangerous climate change. The IPCC of the United Nations has been remarkably successful in convincing the majority of the world that greenhouse gas emissions must be drastically curtailed for humanity to prosper.
The IPCC was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environmental Program. Over the last 25 years, the IPCC became the “gold standard” of climate science, quoted by all the governments of the world. IPCC conclusions are the basis for climate policies imposed by national, provincial, state, and local authorities. Cap-and-trade markets, carbon taxes, ethanol and biodiesel fuel mandates, renewable energy mandates, electric car subsidies, the banning of incandescent light bulbs, and many other questionable policies are the result. In 2007, the IPCC and former Vice President Al Gore shared the Nobel Peace Prize for work on climate change.
But a counter position was developing. In 2007, the Global Warming Petition Project published a list of more than 31,000 scientists, including more than 9,000 PhDs, who stated, “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.” At the same time, an effort was underway to provide a credible scientific counter to the alarming assertions of the IPCC.
The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) was begun in 2003 by Dr. Fred Singer, emeritus professor of atmospheric physics from the University of Virginia. Dr. Singer and other scientists were concerned that IPCC reports selected evidence that supported the theory of man-made warming and ignored science that showed that natural factors dominated the climate. They formed the NIPCC to offer an independent second opinion on global warming.
Climate Change Reconsidered I (CCR-I) was published in 2009 as the first scientific rebuttal to the findings of the IPCC. Earlier this summer, CCR-I was translated into Chinese and accepted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences as an alternative point-of-view on climate change.
Climate Change Reconsidered II is a 1,200-page report that references more than one thousand peer-reviewed scientific papers, compiled by about 40 scientists from around the world. While the IPCC reports cover the physical science, impacts, and mitigation efforts, CCR-II is strictly focused on the physical science of climate change. Its seven chapters discuss the global climate models, forcings and feedbacks, solar forcing of the climate, and observations on temperature, the icecaps, the water cycle and oceans, and weather.
Among the key findings of CCR-II are:
- Doubling of CO2 from its pre-industrial level would likely cause a warming of only about 1oC, hardly cause for alarm.
- The global surface temperature increase since about 1860 corresponds to a recovery from the Little Ice Age, modulated by natural ocean and atmosphere cycles, without need for additional forcing by greenhouse gases.
- There is nothing unusual about either the magnitude or rate of the late 20th century warming, when compared with previous natural temperature variations.
- The global climate models projected an atmospheric warming of more than 0.3oC over the last 15 years, but instead, flat or cooling temperatures have occurred.
The science presented by the CCR-II report directly challenges the conclusions of the IPCC. Extensive peer-reviewed evidence is presented that climate change is natural and man-made influences are small. Fifteen years of flat temperatures show that the climate models are in error.
Each year the world spends over $250 billion to try to decarbonize industries and national economies, while other serious needs are underfunded. Suppose we take a step back and “reconsider” our commitment to fighting climate change?
The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change is a project supported by three independent nonprofit organizations: Science and Environmental Policy Project, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, and The Heartland Institute. (from washingtontimes .com)
Click here for a list of scientists who have stated disagreement with the theory of man-made global warming.
Read about the IPCC at the website ipcc.ch/organization/organization.htm.
Global warming is an important issue to understand. The theory that man’s use of fossil fuels (burning coal, oil and gas for energy, which produces carbon dioxide, or CO2) is causing an imminent catastrophic change in the climate – global warming– is believed to be true by many scientists, climatologists, citizens, the mainstream media and Hollywood celebrities, and was made popular by former Vice President Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth.” People who believe in this theory say we must reduce the amount of carbon dioxide produced by limiting/reducing the amount of fossil fuels we use, or by purchasing offsets.
The belief that man’s activities are not causing an imminent catastrophic change in the climate is held by many other scientists (see MIT’s Professor of Meteorology Dr. Richard Lindzen’s commentary in Newsweek here [note: Newsweek has removed this commentary]). This view is very unpopular in the media and widely condemned by those who believe man-made global warming is fact. See Newsweek magazine’s online presentation “The Global Warming Deniers” here [unfortunately also removed by Newsweek]. Those who do not believe man is causing the global temperature to rise don’t believe it is necessary to reduce the production of CO2 by reducing our use of fossil fuels or to purchase carbon offsets.
- Greenhouse gases are components of the atmosphere that contribute to the greenhouse effect. Some greenhouse gases occur naturally in the atmosphere, while others result from human activities such as burning of fossil fuels such as coal. Greenhouse gases include water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone. (from wikipedia.org)
- Carbon offsetting involves paying others to remove or [contain] 100% of the carbon dioxide emitted from the atmosphere – for example by planting trees – or by funding ‘carbon projects’ that should lead to the prevention of future greenhouse gas emissions, or by buying carbon credits to remove (or ‘retire’) them through carbon trading. These practices are often used in parallel, together with energy conservation measures to minimize energy use. (from wikipedia.org)
ON CAP AND TRADE LEGISLATION: Read an article about the proposed legislation here.
- Democrats in the House and Senate have worked to advance climate change legislation (a top Obama administration priority) aimed at reducing carbon emissions. The House bill (known as cap and trade) would force companies to reduce their carbon emissions by 17 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050, from 2005 levels.
- Under cap and trade, U.S. industries would receive permits to release less and less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere over the next four decades.
- Meanwhile, utilities, steel mills, oil refineries and a range of manufacturers could sell those permits to each other on an as-needed basis.
- Republican Senator James Inhofe warned of rising consumer prices if companies are forced to switch to more expensive alternative fuels. “Once the American public realizes what this legislation will do to their wallets, it will be soundly rejected,” Inhofe predicted.
The opposing viewspoints on global warming are:
- The earth’s climate is warming as a result of human actions; an extreme change in the earth’s climate is going to occur, caused by greenhouse gas emitted by the world’s use of fossile fuels (coal, oil, gas). This temperature change will result in catastrophic problems in the environment. Humans must drastically reduce the consumption of fossile fuels immediately. To prevent this man-made climate change, countries need to restrict energy use (reduce use of gas and oil).
Liberals generally hold this view. Check out two liberal organizations which defend this viewpoint:
Natural Resources Defense Council and Greenpeace.
- Human activity does not affect the earth’s temperature. Burning fossil fuels (gas, coal and oil) does not cause climate change. The earth’s climate changes naturally, but not so much that it will cause a change of catastrophic proportions. An extreme change in the earth’s climate will not happen. There are natural warming and cooling trends over time. In the 1970′s a coming ice age was predicted, but now that scare has been replaced with the current global warming scare.
Conservatives generally hold this view. Two conservative organizations which support this view are:
FriendsOfScience.org and Junk Science.
NOTE: The UN climate conference (of Dec. 2007) met in Bali to discuss global warming met strong opposition from a team of over 100 prominent international scientists, who warned the UN that attempting to control the Earth’s climate was “ultimately futile.” The scientists, many of whom are current and former UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) scientists, released an open letter (Dec. 13, 2007) to the UN Secretary-General questioning the scientific basis for climate fears and the UN’s so-called “solutions.”
Read the complete letter at: ScienceandPublicPolicy.org.
Daily “Answers” emails are provided for Daily News Articles, Tuesday’s World Events and Friday’s News Quiz.