Syun-Ichi Akasofu has a forecast for the average global temperature during the next few decades-cool.
Akasofu, the former director of the University of Alaska Fairbanks' Geophysical Institute and International Arctic Research Center, was known as an aurora expert for most of his career. Now, people are citing his opinions on global warming. Rush Limbaugh and syndicated columnist Cal Thomas recently mentioned Akasofu, who thinks it's likely that the planet will cool down until about 2030, and then warm slightly thereafter. That notion is contrary to the prediction of steadily increasing warmth made by members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Unlike those scientists, Akasofu thinks natural forces affect climate much more than carbon dioxide, which warms the globe by trapping heat.
Akasofu, who gave a recent presentation on his ideas in Fairbanks, bases his cooling prediction on his studies of climate records that go back several centuries, such as the breakup date of a lake in Japan that people have documented since the 1400s. He looks back to the distant past to try to see patterns of natural changes that have been occurring before levels of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere began skyrocketing after World War II.