Global warming has been the crisis of the last few decades. After a period of global cooling in the min 20th Century, the Century as a whole saw a global temperature rise between 1-1.4°F. Over the same time the volume of greenhouse gasses (Carbon Dioxide and Methane amongst others) increased to 389 parts per million against a background fluctuation between 180-300ppm in the previous 650,000 years.
Climate change proponents such as the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) believe that the rise in greenhouse gasses comes from human activities. Burning fossil fuels releases greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere – at the same time the reduction in forested land through logging or clearing for agriculture results in a loss of the natural carbon sink (trees absorb Carbon Dioxide). Man made global warming – they would have us believe – will be single handedly responsible for rising sea levels, melting glaciers, species extinction and any severe weather from tornadoes to ice-storms.
This view, supported by the mainstream media, has become the orthodox belief. Only a few scientists now admit to being sceptical about man’s role in global warming. Is the orthodoxy right? Here are the Top 10 Reasons Humans Are Not Causing Global Warming…
10. Global Warming Is Big Business
In the 10 years to 2009 the US Federal Government allocated $25bn to research on climate change. In 2013 the EU announced that at least 20% of its budget for 2014-20 would be spent on climate issues. Climate science has become politicized which has had the unfortunate effect of shutting down debate on the issue. Scientists who want research money and the respect of their peers must agree with global warming or loose their grant funding.
Al Gore famously said that ‘the science is settled’. Science is, however, never settled, there is always something more to learn. To assume that science on any one particular issue has gone as far as it can when grants are one sided and debate is shut down is both arrogant and dangerous.
9. There Have Been Warm Periods In The Past
Anecdotally we know that there have been times in the past when it was warmer. In mediaeval times it was so warm (approximately 1.8°F warmer than today) that Vikings were able to colonize and live in Greenland and even travel to the Americas. This Mediaeval Warm Period, as it is known, occurred at a time when the human contribution to greenhouse gasses was negligible (burning fires was about the only fossil fuel activity). Scientists have studied ‘proxy’ data such as tree ring samples or ocean cores to establish that this mediaeval warming did, in fact, take place. If there have been warm periods in the past it must surely be a fallacy to suggest that the global warming (if it exists) of the last few decades is down to human agency.
8. There Have Been Cold Periods In The Past
At the end of the Mediaeval Warm Period the earth experienced a period of prolonged cooling that has been colloquially termed the Little Ice Age. The Thames in London froze regularly between 1607 and 1814, the Golden Horn and part of the Bosporus in 1622 and New York Harbor in 1870. The Vikings left Greenland by the 15th Century, the cold making their way of life impossible. While the IPCC has said that they doubt the Little Ice Age was a global phenomenon and was limited to the Northern Hemisphere only, recent research has shown corresponding cold periods in the Southern Hemisphere. The Little Ice Age came to an end around 1900, it is not, therefore, surprising that global temperatures have risen. There is no reason to assume that they are connected with human activity.
7. Temperatures Today Are Not Unusual
Following on from points 9 and 8 you can see that there is a large natural fluctuation in world temperatures. Research using multiple different proxies for temperature (tree rings, boreholes, ocean sediment samples) has shown that temperatures in the past have varied more than previously thought – particularly when compared to research that used a single proxy. Temperatures today sit well within the temperature variations shown to have existed over the last 2,000 years before humans started to use fossil fuels.
6. Oceans Are Getting Colder
The apparent correlation between an increase in temperature and an increase in Carbon Dioxide levels meant that it was easy to assume that man is responsible for global warming. As such much of the research on global warming has been designed to investigate this with comparatively little invested in research on potential natural causes. However, correlation is not causation – just because something looks like it is related it does not mean it is.
In 2008 it was shown that both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans will be ‘cold’ for at least the next decade. Oceans go through periods when they are warm and when they are cold. Because they cover so much of the surface of the Earth (70%) what happens to the oceans has a big impact on global temperatures.
Ocean currents are powerful forces -the warm and cool periods of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (a change in atmosphere and ocean currents in the Pacific) seem to coincide with warm and cool periods over the last 100 years. The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation has been shown to be responsible for the warming and cooling periods experienced in the Arctic over a similar timescale (warm from 1910-40 and 70-2008 with a cool period in-between). NOAA has stated that changing weather patterns such as the rise in severe hurricanes like Katrina is down to changes in ocean currents and not global warming.