As Americans dig out from another bout of global warming, a new, peer-reviewed study sees decades of lower, not higher, temperatures ahead. AP View Enlarged Image
Climate Change: A peer-reviewed study by a respected Canadian physicist blames the interplay of cosmic rays and chlorofluorocarbons for 20th-century warming. The CFCs are now gone, and so is warming — perhaps for the next 50 years.
Much of the nation got a white Christmas this year, some in unprecedented quantities. A record-breaking storm deposited 12 to 30 inches of snow in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Many places set records for the most snow in a single December day as more than 50% of the U.S. was covered by the white stuff.
Scientists (and here we use the word loosely) at Britain's Climate Research Unit may have tried to "hide the decline" in global temperatures, but it's hard to hide two feet of snow. Their motto seems to be the immortal words of Groucho Marx: "Who are you going to believe, me or your own lying eyes?"
Qing Bin-Lu, a professor of physics and astronomy at Canada's University of Waterloo, is a believer in the value of drawing conclusions from observable data and not from selective data fed into computer models that are based on false assumptions and include "fudge factors."
In a peer-reviewed paper published in the prestigious online journal Physics Reports, Lu, who holds a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Newcastle, reports that CFCs, the compounds once widely used as refrigerants, and cosmic rays, which are energy particles originating in outer space, are mostly to blame for climate change, rather than carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
Lu puts the start of the cooling trend at 2002 and writes that "the observed data show that CFCs conspiring with cosmic rays most likely caused both the Antarctic ozone hole and global warming. These findings are totally unexpected and striking, as I was focused on studying the mechanism for the formation of the ozone hole, rather than global warming."
From 1850 to 1950, Lu notes, the recorded CO2 level increased significantly because of the Industrial Revolution; the global temperature stayed constant or rose only 0.1 degree Celsius.
"Most remarkably, the total amount of CFCs, ozone-depleting molecules that are well-known greenhouse gases ... decreased around 2000," Lu said. "Correspondingly, the global surface temperature has also dropped. In striking contrast, the CO2 level has kept rising since 1850 and now is at its largest growth rate."
Other reputable scientists have also predicted decades of cooling ahead to, er, varying degrees and for varying reasons. Earth's climate is affected by many things and is more complicated than the CRU computer models.
In a speech in September at the U.N.'s World Climate Conference in Geneva, Mojib Latif of Germany's Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University, one of the world's foremost climate modelers and a lead author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, acknowledged that the Earth has been cooling and is likely to continue to do so the next couple of decades.
According to research conducted by Don Easterbrook from Western Washington University, the oceans and global temperatures are closely related and have a natural cycle of warming and cooling that affects the planet.
The most important ocean cycle is the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO). Professor Easterbrook notes that in the 1980s and 1990s it was in a warming cycle, as was the earth. The global cooling from 1940 to 1975, which had some warning of an ice age, coincided with a Pacific cooling cycle.
"The PDO cool mode has replaced the warm mode in the Pacific Ocean, virtually assuring us of three decades of global cooling," said Easterbrook.
Such solar and ocean cycles explain why the Earth can cool and polar ice thicken even as carbon dioxide levels continue to increase.
We will leave it to better minds to decide for what reason and for how long the earth is cooling. We have some global warming to shovel.