April 4th 2009

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Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL: A way out of the economic tsunami?

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Senator Steve Fielding's political challenge

COMMONWEALTH GOVERNMENT: Rudd Government's radical agenda by stealth

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: The Liberal Party faces moment of truth

QUEENSLAND STATE ELECTION I: Labor's Anna Bligh returns to power

QUEENSLAND STATE ELECTION II: Leading abortion campaigner defeated

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS: Can free trade theory survive the global slump?

ENVIRONMENT: Global cooling is here: Don Easterbrook

BIOETHICS: Plant liberation: Europe's next cause célèbre?

UNITED NATIONS: Voices for the unborn heard at UN session

OPINION: Granting scientists power to take innocent life

F.D. Roosevelt and Obama's strategies (letter)

Agriculture the best-performing sector (letter)

Increasing populations (letter)

CINEMA: Easy Virtue - Dark side of 'deliciously funny comedy'

BOOKS: SMACK EXPRESS: How Organised Crime Got Hooked on Drugs, by Clive Small and Tom Gilling

BOOKS: JOURNEY TO ETERNITY: Victim of Apartheid: a novel, by Eric Carman

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Global cooling is here: Don Easterbrook

by Peter Westmore

News Weekly, April 4, 2009
A prominent American earth scientist has concluded that the recent global warming cycle is over. Peter Westmore reports.

The Earth passed its global warming peak some years ago and is now in a 30-year cooling phase, a prominent American earth scientist, Emeritus Professor Don Easterbrook, has concluded.

Professor Easterbrook's findings were published by the Center for Research on Globalization, an American research organisation based in California.

He said that despite the fact that there had been no overall warming of the Earth for the past 10 years - and some places had experienced record-breaking cold temperatures in 2007-8 - the Intergovernmental Panel on Climatic Change (IPCC) and computer modellers who believe that CO2 is the cause of global warming still predict the Earth is in store for catastrophic warming this century.

IPCC computer models have predicted global warming of 1° F per decade and 5-6° C (10-11° F) by 2100, which would seriously affect human life, the natural habitat, energy and water resources, and food production. All of this is predicated on the assumption that global warming is caused by increasing atmospheric CO2.

Historical record

However, the historical record of alternate cooling and warming suggests a very different future.

Said Easterbrook: "Rather than drastic global warming at a rate of 0.5°C (1°F) per decade, historic records of past natural cycles suggest global cooling for the first several decades of the 21st century to about 2030, followed by global warming from about 2030 to about 2060, and renewed global cooling from 2060 to 2090."

Professor Easterbrook said that climatic fluctuations over the past few hundred years showed regular alternate cycles of warming and cooling, each lasting about 30 years.

On the basis of ice core data, he said global climate changes have been far more intense (12 to 20 times as intense in some cases) than those of the past century, and they took place in as little as 20-100 years.

"Global warming of the past century (0.8° C) is virtually insignificant when compared to the magnitude of at least 10 global climate changes in the past 15,000 years," he said.

None of these sudden global climate changes could possibly have been caused by human CO2 input to the atmosphere because they all took place long before anthropogenic CO2 emissions began.

Professor Easterbrook said that after several decades of studying alpine glacier fluctuations in the North Cascade Range in the state of Washington, "My research showed a distinct pattern of glacial advances and retreats (the Glacial Decadal Oscillation, GDO) that correlated well with climate records.

In 1992, Dr Nathan Mantua published the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) curve showing warming and cooling of the Pacific Ocean that correlated remarkably well with glacial fluctuations.

According to Easterbrook: "Both the GDA and the PDO matched global temperature records and were obviously related. All but the latest 30 years of changes occurred prior to significant CO2 emissions, so they were clearly unrelated to atmospheric CO2."

Using the pattern established for the past several hundred years, in 1998 he projected the temperature curve for the past century into the next century.

He said: "At that time, the projected curve indicated global cooling beginning about 2005 ± 3-5 years until about 2030, then renewed warming from about 2030 to about 2060 (unrelated to CO2 - just continuation of the natural cycle), then another cool period from about 2060 to about 2090. This was admittedly an approximation, but it was radically different from the 1° F per decade warming called for by the IPCC. Because the prediction was so different from the IPCC prediction, time would obviously show which projection was ultimately correct."

He added, "Now a decade later, the global climate has not warmed 1° F as forecast by the IPCC, but cooled slightly until 2007-08 when global temperatures turned sharply downward.

"In 2008, NASA satellite imagery confirmed that the Pacific Ocean had switched from the warm mode it had been in since 1977 to its cool mode, similar to that of the 1945-1977 global cooling period. The shift strongly suggests that the next several decades will be cooler, not warmer as predicted by the IPCC."

Professor Easterbrook said that the consequences of climate cooling could be severe.

"The ramifications of the global cooling cycle for the next 30 years are far-reaching - e.g., failure of crops in critical agricultural areas (it's already happening this year), increasing energy demands, transportation difficulties, and habitat change.

"All this during which global population will increase from six billion to about 9 billion. The real danger in spending trillions of dollars trying to reduce atmospheric CO2 is that little will be left to deal with the very real problems engendered by global cooling."

He concluded: "Global warming (i.e., the warming since 1977) is over. The minute increase of anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere (0.008 per cent) was not the cause of the warming - it was a continuation of natural cycles that occurred over the past 500 years.

"The PDO cool mode has replaced the warm mode in the Pacific Ocean, virtually assuring us of about 30 years of global cooling, perhaps much deeper than the global cooling from about 1945 to 1977. Just how much cooler the global climate will be during this cool cycle is uncertain.

"Recent solar changes suggest that it could be fairly severe, perhaps more like the 1880 to 1915 cool cycle than the more moderate 1945-1977 cool cycle. A more drastic cooling, similar to that during the Dalton and Maunder minimums could plunge the Earth into another Little Ice Age, but only time will tell if that is likely."

- Peter Westmore

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