Monday, April 10, 2006

What Global Warming?

Here's news for global warming panicmongers. The Telegraph reports that global warming stopped in 1998!

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.

The essence of the issue is this. Climate changes naturally all the time, partly in predictable cycles, and partly in unpredictable shorter rhythms and rapid episodic shifts, some of the causes of which remain unknown. We are fortunate that our modern societies have developed during the last 10,000 years of benignly warm, interglacial climate. But for more than 90 per cent of the last two million years, the climate has been colder, and generally much colder, than today. The reality of the climate record is that a sudden natural cooling is far more to be feared, and will do infinitely more social and economic damage, than the late 20th century phase of gentle warming.

4 comments:

cynical nerd said...

PR: Welcome back from your blogging hiatus. Hope you had a good trip.

As far as global warming is concerned, wait until those dozen shiny new 4000 MW coal-plants light up the Indian cities - should the nuclear deal fail ;-)

best,

Primary Red said...

Thanks, CN.

pennathur said...

Yeah right! No one ever landed on the moon. Check out www.realclimate.org...

W.NM. said...

Welcome back PR,

It is good to read your postings, again.

Regards,

W.NM.

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