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Sunday, June 20, 2010
Heartland Conference Establishes Post-Climategate Consensus

By Marc Sheppard, American Thinker

“New scientific discoveries are casting doubt on how much of the warming of the twentieth century was natural and how much was man-made, and governments around the world are beginning to confront the astronomical cost of reducing emissions. Economists, meanwhile, are calculating that the cost of slowing or stopping global warming exceeds the social benefits.”

So spoke Senator James Inhofe on the Senate floor on May 17th, reading into the record the mission statement of the climate conference he was scheduled to be speaking at that very moment. Rather than addressing the Monday lunch session of Heartland’s Fourth International Conference on Climate Change, the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works remained in Washington, responding to the prior week’s Kerry-Lieberman “climate bill” proposal. 

The Oklahoma Republican, who had assured attendees of last year’s ICCC on Capitol Hill that no cap-and-tax bill would ever pass the Senate, now stood before C-SPAN’s cameras doing what only one major news organization - Fox—had done before him: acknowledging the existence and significance of the 700-plus scientists, economists, policymakers, and concerned citizens gathering some 600 miles away in Chicago. And their collective objective to “build public awareness of the global warming ‘realism’ movement,” so that “sound science and economics, rather than exaggeration and hype” might “determine what actions, if any, are taken to address the problem of climate change.”

Had the mainstream media acted responsibly, then every word spoken at the first major post-Climategate climate colloquium would have indeed built public awareness of the implausibility of manmade global warming and, consequently, any job-killing legislation, treaties or regulations designed to “control” it.  But ours is an agenda-driven MSM - brazenly toting water for a president and Hill Democrats shamelessly rolling out the Gulf-coast disaster crash-cart to reanimate their flat-lined “climate” bill. 

Mine is the task of summarizing - to the best of my ability—the current state of climate reality, as espoused before me one month ago by no less than the greatest minds analyzing the subject today.  And yours is the opportunity to quickly absorb the collective wisdom of over 75 experts speaking at 5 plenary and 20 breakout sessions, and countless marvelous conversations, all spread over 3 days.  And to discover or affirm the myriad inconvenient truths behind the “global warming” hype.

Let’s begin with arguably the most significant but unquestionably the most conference-ubiquitous.

Currents and Current Cooling

For years now, alarmists have arrogantly ignored the cooling we’ve experienced worldwide since 1999, continuing their demands that we sacrifice everything - jobs, money, comfort, progress and ultimately, freedom—to halt fictitious “runaway global warming.” Such unfounded hysteria seems all the more inane after hearing the unvarnished truth from the experts at ICCC-4, beginning with their predictions that the global cooling will likely continue for the next few decades. 

Geologist Don Easterbrook was one of many attending scientists attributing natural climate variations to solar irradiance and deep ocean currents.  His ICCC-4 announced paper, The Looming Threat of Global Cooling, noted the undeniable link between the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) shifting to its warm mode in 1915 and 1977 and global warming resulting both times.  Conversely, in 1945 and 1999 the PDO moved to its cool mode and the globe cooled right along, despite a rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 during the period. What’s more, climate changes in the geologic record show a regular pattern of alternate warming and cooling with a 25-30 year period for the past 500 years.  Easterbrook thereby concludes that we should “expect global cooling for the next 2-3 decades that will be far more damaging than global warming would have been.”

Fig. 1 - From Don Easterbrook (enlarged here).  Since 1900, global temperatures have closely correlated with the PDO Index.  This belies AGW and portends a coming big chill.

Easterbrook noted a strong correlation between PDO and solar activity, as did geophysicist Victor Manuel Velasco Herrara, who believes an even longer cold spell (60-80 years) has begun—triggered by a decrease in solar activity. Habibullo Abdussamatov agrees, and illustrated how the 18 Little Ice Ages that occurred in the past 7500 years can all be attributed to “natural bicentennial variations in the average annual values of the total solar irradiance (TSI)” and its secondary subsequent feedback effects (natural changes in the albedo, water vapor abundance, etc.).  Abdussamatov demonstrated that each time the TSI reached a peak (up to 0.2%) a period of global warming began “with a time lag of 15 plus or minus 6 years defined by the thermal inertia of the Ocean (despite the absence of anthropogenic influence).” Contrarily, “each deep bicentennial descent in the TSI caused a Little Ice Age.” Based on the present cycle, the astrophysicist expects “the beginning of the new Little Ice Age epoch approximately in 2014.”

Hurricane specialist William Gray also brought along some mighty convincing charts proving that most of the warming experienced in the past thousand years can be attributed to deep ocean circulations, strengthened and weakened by century-scale salinity variations. While the relationship of Sea Surface Temperatures to evaporation, rainfall and wind patterns, albedo and, ultimately, air temperature is complex and beyond the scope of this article, suffice it to say that this translates to ocean - not carbon—driven global temperatures. 

Gray believes the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) was a result of a multi-century slowdown of the Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC), similar to that experienced in the 20th century and corresponded to similar warming. Conversely, the Little Ice Age (LIA) was a period of stronger than average MOC, as we are beginning to see today.  Gray, too, predicts that strengthening ocean currents portend global cooling over the next few decades, even as carbon dioxide levels continue to climb. 

So how is it that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center just declared this year’s January-May period the warmest on record?

“If we torture the data long enough, it will confess”

AT readers are no doubt well aware that, thanks in large part to the efforts of WUWT’s indefatigable Anthony Watts, we’ve known for years that over 90% of American stations misreport temperature data by between 1C and 5C.  Furthermore, “smoothing” adjustments to “homogenize” station data to that of surrounding stations and dismissal of the biasing phenomenon known as the Urban Heat Island Effect have grossly exaggerated 20th-century warming.

Not coincidentally, Dr. Craig Loehle concluded that after subtracting UHIE and other measurement artifacts, a 59 year natural cycle of warming and cooling remains.  And while that cycle matches that of the PDO to a tee, the MSM respond as though only “deniers” could possibly suggest a link.

But last November we learned just how far ideologues at England’s Climate Research Unit were willing to go when glaring evidence that its scientists had doctored climate data to remove previous warm periods from the history books while exaggerating modern warming and suppressing modern cooling surfaced (enlarged here). 


And that’s just the beginning.  As Joe D’Aleo explained, “homogenization and other adjustments blend the good with the bad, usually cooling off early warm periods, producing a warming where none existed.” For instance, NOAA removed UHIE adjustments from US Data in 2007, which “changed a cooling trend since 1940 to a warming trend.”

This section’s heading is a quote from Ronald Coase, fittingly cited by D’Aleo during his presentation. For more details on why Joe concludes that “the surface data and models should not have been used for decision making by the EPA or the congress,” and that any proclamations of “warmest months,” “warmest years,” or “warmest” anything are utterly meaningless. Of course, the instrumental data manipulated by the US agencies is accepted as gospel by climate agencies worldwide.

Read much more here.

NOTE: Heartland has the presentations and powerpoints posted for the Heartland ICCC IV.  If you could not go, there is plenty to see there.

Posted on 06/20 at 06:53 PM
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