There are so many things wrong with making promises about the weather, I don't even know where to begin. The recent meeting of the G-8 industrial nations included environmental issues. The group promised to prevent the global temperature from rising more than two degrees Celsius. They did not make any firm short-term goals, but plan on cutting carbon emissions 80% by the year 2050. As astonishing of a task that would be, guaranteeing the weather is a little arrogant and very dangerous. Trust me when I say dangerous. I am a TV forecaster with a science degree, and I know that the atmosphere is a chaotic system. We don't know everything. My colleagues and I take enough ridicule with daily or weekly thundershower forecasts, so how can a 40-decade forecast be done with a straight face? Besides, how much do you trust the seven day forecast?
Another problem with this claim is that there is some proof that the planet has been cooling for much of the past decade. Perhaps the G-8 leaders will try to take credit for the cooling in the near future, but according to some sources, the planet stopped warming in 1998 and has shown distinct cooling this decade.
Where is the proof? It is from satellite data, as seen here. The solid line at 0.0C is used to show how much temperatures have deviated from average between 1979 and 1998 (deviations are shown by the blue line). The measurements from June 2009 show that globally averaged temperatures have cooled back to that set average.
This data was collected by Dr. Roy Spenser, former NASA climatologist and currently Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He, along with Dr. John Christy, received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for their global temperature monitoring work with satellites.
They pieced together the temperature data from a total of eleven instruments flying on eleven different satellites over the years. As of 2008, our most stable instrument for this monitoring is the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU-A) flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite. According to Spenser, "The decadal numbers are +.12C, but the trend has been down since 2000."
A recent article from ICECAP's Dr. Joe D'Aleo points out that this past June was the 15th coolest since 1979, according to collected satellite data. You can read more about this cool June in my recent story, Poor pour chilly New York has some claiming global cooling. Other sources are a bit more robust and try to have a little fun. Check out the break down of this data in the slide show below from the website Algorelied.com. They point out the global cooling trend since the movie An Inconvenient Truth was debuted. Many others have pointed to The Gore Effect, which occurs when unusually cool weather coincides with a climate change event such as a speech or protest.
Of course, the AGW group may see this data as one-sided. So it's only fair to compare the data that they refer to. In the slide show below, I have posted a graph of Global Surface Temperature Anomalies from the National Climatic Data Center and NOAA. It does show a distinct increase in temperature since 1979. However, the chart goes back to 1880, during which time the number of thermometers in use and the ocean data were much less prominent. How can that be scientifically consistent? Other disputes regarding the so-called warming trend come from the reliability of the weather stations currently being used. According to surfacestations.org, 89% of weather stations in use are not up to NOAA standards and are influenced by artificial heat sources. A few demonstrations are in the slide show below.
So what are we to believe? One set of data shows warming, another set shows cooling. If we are basing changes in arctic sea ice on satellite data, then I believe we should use the same satellites and time frame (since 1979) to identify temperature patterns. I contend that this is too short of a time-frame to be scientifically relevant to climate, but it is all we have. If we stick to those standards, then it is clear that the planet is cooling. So will the G-8 claim credit? Should we be aggressive with policies based on potentially flawed data? I presented both sides here, and I know that there will be critics. All I ask is that the legitimate data be taken at face value. The planet is cooling, and that was not part of the Global Warming Theory...at least not until this past winter when some scientists back-peddled and said the planet may cool for up to 30 years before warming again. Is it fair to keep changing the details, or is it better to say that we don't know everything? Predicting the weather a few days out is hard enough, but a few decades... can that be done with a true promise from the government?
Source Link: examiner.com