Thursday, 15 October 2009

Is the Global Warming Debate Over?

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An article published by the BBC has shocked both sides in the global-warming debate because it quotes scientific research that disproves the claims of climate-change fearmongers.

In "What Happened to Global Warming?" the author, Paul Hudson, raised eyebrows by admitting that the Earth has been cooling since 1998. But don't be fooled by his white flag. Hudson gives less-than-equal coverage to skeptics and ends with quotes from global-warming proponents that seem to undermine the opposition.

He opens by explaining that global temperatures have steadily decreased over the past decade, despite rising levels of man-made carbon dioxide and climate models that predict the Earth will soon reach its boiling point. The warming trend in the last half of the 20th century seems to have ended in 1998, which comes as no surprise to climate-change critics since they attribute natural warming and cooling patterns to solar activity and ocean cycles.

Hudson reports that Piers Corbyn, a solar scientist with the forecasting company, WeatherAction, has evidence that activity of the sun is almost entirely responsible for fluctuations in global temperatures. However, both the Royal Society and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) say their research indicates average surface temperature over the last 20 to 40 years has little to do with solar activity (though the sun accounts for 98 percent of the Earth’s heat).

Research conducted by scientists at Western Washington University (WWU) also relates the Earth’s temperature to ocean cycles. Much of the planet's heat is stored in oceans which tend to oscillate from warm to cool in 30-year cycles. The latest oceanic cycles coincide with global surface temperatures, so WWU Professor Don Easterbrook forecasts 30 years of global cooling ahead. But scientists at the UK Met Office's Hadley Centre, who say their models already incorporate solar activity and ocean cycles to forecast temperatures, claim that trends in global temperature over the past century show the Earth's temperature rising despite short-term cooling periods. Professor Mojib Latif with the IPCC agrees. He admits a short cooling phase but ominously warns that "the overwhelming force of man-made global warming" will soon follow. Hudson describes Latif as "one of the world's top climate modelers."

The article closes with an admission that the debate is far from over. There is ample scientific evidence disproving the idea that global warming is man-made and that to avoid imminent eco-catastrophy, we must shackle ourselves with crippling government regulations to curb carbon emissions. Though Hudson's reporting is hardly objective, he at least gives voice and legitimacy to a modicum of that evidence. Most of his eco-savvy colleagues would not have that decency.