Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sea level, the Sun and climate

(Note: this is my article for, May 18, 2010)

CHICAGO, USA – Sea levels are not rising, polar ice are melting and growing in annual cycles, the Sun is the main driver of the Earth’s climate, and people should get ready for the coming global cooling in this decade.

These are among the main messages of the scientific papers presented in Day 2, May 17, 2010, of the 4th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC) held at Marriott Magnificent Mile Hotel Chicago. There were plenty of participants, more than 700 people have registered and come. So after the breakfast and lunch speakers at the ballroom, participants can choose from any of the 4 simultaneous tracks or panel discussions happening in 4 different big rooms: two on science, one on economics, and one on public policy.

On day 2 morning sessions, I attended two science tracks. Track 1 had 4 speakers: Dr. Nils-Axel Morner of Paleophysics and Geodynamics department, Stockholm U.; Dr. Fred Goldberg of the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm; Bob Carter, FRSNZ, of James Cook U., Australia, and Dr. Don Easterbrook, emeritus prof. of Geology at Western Washington U.

Dr. Morner’s paper was straightforward, “No alarming sea level rise: nature against the IPCC, observation vs. models”. In his studies in Bangladesh, Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Venice, north-west Europe and other areas, sea level rise was 0 over the past 40-50 years. While satellite altimetry and “personal calibrations” showed rise in ocean level of 3 mm/year, while global loading models showed rise of 2 mm/year, eustatic component showed rise of 1 mm/year, observational facts (geology, morphology, coastal dynamics) showed no increase, 0 mm/year.

Dr. Easterbrook’s paper was also clear and direct, “The looming threat of global cooling – geological evidence for prolonged cooling ahead and its impacts”. He presented cycles in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) like warm PDO and cold PDO, solar cycles, historical and geological climate and global temperatures hundreds of thousand years ago, among others. His projection is clear: global cooling that could be similar to the last little ice age (LIA) in the 16th and 17th centuries will begin in 2 014, to peak sometime in 2040.

Readers, take note of this: while they projected only last year that global cooling will set in for the next two decades, this year they are projecting that cooling will last for 3 or more decades. This is not impossible, based on the Earth’s geological records. The “Maundeer minimum” in the 16th century lasted for about 7 decades of cooling. The Norwegian Vikings for instance, that occupied Iceland and Greenland during the medieval warm period (MWP) more than 1,000 years ago, either died or left those islands during the LIA. Severe cooling is more deadly than severe warming. For instance, people in the tropics (like the Philippines) can endure one or two month/s of really hot weather, but many people die with just one day of heavy rains and severe flooding. Remember typhoon “Ondoy” September last year.

The other science track that I attended that day had 3 speakers: Dr. Willie Soon, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian center for Astrophysics, Dr. Habibullo Abdussamatov, head of the Space Research Laboratory at the Pulkovo Observatory in Russia, and Dr. Craig Loehle of the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI). Dr. Soon’s paper, “The Sun, the Milky Way and the carbon dioxide monster” argued that solar forcing, not CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) forcing, has the most influence on the Earth’s climate, and CO2 is a useful gas as it is an important food plant, it is not a pollutant and evil gas. The Russian scientist’s paper is also straightforward, “The Sun dictates the climate” and also predicted global cooling in the coming decades. While Dr. Loehle’s paper is also very clear, “Natural climate cycles explain most of twentieth century warming”. Junk “man-made warming” claim by Al Gore and the IPCC.

Then I attended the track on Public Policy in the afternoon session with 4 speakers: Hans Labohm, an economist and former Dutch diplomat; Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), Dr. Laurence Gould, a physicist at the Univ. of Hartford, and Dr. Garth Paltridge of the Australian National Univ. They talked about the coming global climate bureaucracies, the new environmental regulations and taxation, the “scientific-bureaucratic complex”, and the myth of “settled” climate science.

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