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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Yes, the Earth is cooling

Temperatures hit 100 in Poca, West Virginia, on Sunday and Monday, perhaps for the first time in my 30 years here. Across the river is the John Amos Power Plant which burns coal and produces carbon dioxide -- as it has for 60 or so years. Given the latitude of Poca -- the same as Athens and south of Barcelona and Rome -- this would be a common occurrence if carbon dioxide caused global warming.

In fact, scientists now have proof of global cooling.

From Bloomberg News:
One of the most rapidly warming places on Earth in the past half century actually cooled in the past 20 years.
Temperatures on the Antarctic Peninsula have reversed course, dropping by an average of about 0.5 degree Celsius per decade since the late 1990s while the rest of the world experienced record heat, 10 researchers from the British Antarctic Survey concluded in an article published in the journal Nature.
The report's authors didn't make a conclusion about what their findings mean for the debate about global warming, saying the changes they noticed could fit at the extreme end of natural climate variations. That suggests it may take years and further research to determine the direction of temperatures in the Antarctic and what they mean for the world. Climate scientists said the report should be treated with caution.
"That a very small part of the planet shows a short-term cooling is not in any way a surprise," said Ed Hawkins of the National Center for Atmospheric Science at the University of Reading in England. "It's what we expect from natural variation in the atmospheric circulation interacting with a long-term warming trend."
The findings will feed the debate about the significance of a slowdown in the pace of global warming seen since 1998.
Penguins are safe. The ice continues to form on Antarctica where temperatures dip below 70 degrees Fahrenheit -- the point where carbon dioxide becomes dry ice.

Now then, this fits a prediction by physicist Leona Woods Marshall Libby, who invented the carbon dating process from tree rings which determines climate conditions in the past millennia.

Woods predicted this in 1978.

From the St. Petersburg Times:
The forecast is for continued cool weather all over the Earth through the mid-1980s, with a global warming trend setting in thereafter for the rest of the century  - followed by a severe cold snap after 2000, a cold snap that might well last throughout the first half of the 21st century. 
That, at least, is the way that Drs. Leona M. Libby and Louis J. Pandolfi project the world's climate for roughly the next 70 years. They base their forecast upon a detailed analysis of past climatic patterns, as seen in several hundreds-year-old  trees, in samples of deep ice from Greenland and in sea floor cores taken from the Santa Barbara, Calif. Basin.  
Dr. Libby, an adjunct professor of engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Pandolfi, formerly a graduate student in Dr. Libby's laboratory and now a research scientist with the Global Geochemistry Corp. of Santa Monica Calif., have been interested in past, present and future climatic trends for several years now. 
Proceeding on the assumption that climate varies in a cyclic, repetitive way, the two researchers have sought to reconstruct past climatic conditions for a variety of clues. Specifically, they have made chemical analyzes of samples of tree rings ranging in age from a few hundred years to more than 1,800 years, since a tree lays down a new ring each year from the rainwater, carbon dioxide and other nutrients it absorbs during the course of that year. 
Tree ring sizes have long been interpreted as rough indicators of climatic conditions for any year - a wide ring suggesting ample supplies of water and nutrients, along with benign temperatures, for example - but Dr. Libby and Pandolfi's work, reported in 1976, extended this concept and refined it. 
They did this by calculating such factors as the ratio of certain isotopes (different forms of the same element) like oxygen-16 (O 16) to oxygen-18 (O 18) from a tree ring of say, 800 or 900 years ago, and comparing it to the ratio from a more recent ring for which the annual average temperature is known. 
Dr. Libby and Pandolfi have been able to work out the climatic trends of past centuries for which there are otherwise no records. 
The tree ring measurements reflect for example, the 'the Little Ice Ages' of the 15th and 18th centuries, when the annual average temperatures dropped only one to two degrees Fahrenheit. The average drops about 15 to 20 degrees during an Ice Age. 
Although seemingly small, that slight temperature drop was enough for glaciers in the Alps, Scandinavia, Alaska and New Zealand to extend much farther down into their valleys than they do now. 
Dr. Libby and Pandolfi have found additional evidence than not only corroborates their earlier work done on past climates, but also suggests climatic trends in the future. 
For example, there are plugs of ocean floor matter taken from the Santa Barbara Channel in which the concentrations of uranium and organic carbon can be seen to fluctuate in the same sort of way as oxygen isotopes in tree rings. 
In a report to be printed in a scientific journal, the two wrote, "In trees which grow on rain water, isotope variations in their (annual) rings should be climate indicators because the isotope composition in rain and carbon dioxide varies with temperature. 
Indeed, a trace of the isotopic variations in a series of very old trees from around the world coincides almost perfectly with a trace of temperatures made in England with mercury thermometers since the early 1700s. 
Both the isotope record and the thermometer record show neat agreement for the cold decades at the ends of the 17th and 18th centuries, when temperatures fell by 1-10th to 2-10ths of a degree. 
Is it a coincidence that so many of Europe's great palaces and chateaus were built during the early 1700s when temperatures - as evidenced in the tree ring data - were mild? Dr. Libby thinks not. 
She reasons that because there were many consecutive years of warm sunshine and abundant rain, there were ample supplies of food and other raw materials. 
More recently, the world  has enjoyed an agricultural boom during the past 70 years or so. The Earth's annual average temperature has risen by about 1 to 1.5 degrees, about as much of an increase as the decrease during the 'Little Ice Ages.'   
When she and Pandolfi project their curves into the future, they show lower average temperatures from now through the mid-1980s. 'Then,' Dr. Libby added, 'we see a warming trend (by about a quarter of 1 degree Fahrenheit) globally to around the year 2000. And then it will really get cold - if we can believe our projections. This has to be tested.' 
How cold? 'Easily one or two degrees,' she replied, 'and maybe even three or four degrees. It only takes 10 degrees to bring on an Ice Age.' 
Science is seldom settled.


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  1. Another fun fact is that excess carbon dioxide will cause plants to bloom, while the plants convert CO2 to oxygen. The planet will take care of itself while we humans find creative ways to die off.

  2. Somebody, perhaps mah boy David Burge (IowaHawk) tweeted a year or two back, Yes, there's a reason why the temps are so hot right now. It's called summer.

    Sunspot activity has measurably decreased in the last several years. That is not good news for we Earthlings.

    But yeah, Big D, yesterday was a face melter. 98 on our screened porch! NEVER seen that junks before...

  3. There will always be local variations and unexpected years-long trends in both the short term and the long term, but ultimately all weather and climate on the planet Earth is caused by the Sun. It can make us hotter or it can make us colder, but it's all simply the planet's response to Sol- Elric

  4. Global cooling was a huge deal back in the Seventies; TIME magazine had a cover story on it and everything. That was back in the days when TIME was actually relevant and before Al Gore declared the science on global warming settled and that anyone who disagreed had to be a racist Bible-thumping gun-toting right-wing redneck homophobe. Ah, the good old days...

  5. "Across the river is the John Amos Power Plant which burns coal and produces carbon dioxide -- as it has for 60 or so years."

    Another 60 years living that close to that power plant and you'll be dead.

    1. At 120 years of age... Heh!

    2. Carbon dioxide ... only Leftie wingnuts could get exercised about plant food.

    3. As it happens 60 years is somewhat of a magic number. The PDO and several other climate indices have a period of about 60 years. The Antarctic Peninsula has been cooling nearly 20 years because the PDO went into its 30 year cooling phase around 1995.

      The IPCC modellers don't include the cycle in their models because it accounted for nearly half of the warming last century. If they did include it CO2 would be shown to be harmless.

  6. The first unit to be fired up at John Amos was in September 1971, so we are nearing the plant's 45th year of operation. - Elric

  7. I have been saying for some time that the climatologists of the 1970s got it right and we are likely heading into a long period of global cooling. Maybe even a mini ice age. That's because the climatologists of the 1970s paid attention to what the Sun does, unlike the ones of today who pay attention to what man does. And what the Sun does trumps what man does here on Earth.

  8. There was a book about twenty-five years ago, a sci fi one spoofing global warming. I think it was called "Fallen Angels". In it, green governments' efforts to cool the planet succeed beyond their wildest dreams, and tip the Earth into a new encroaching Ice Age.

    There's some major send-ups of Leftist political figures in it. Such as the crazed one who doesn't believe you can freeze to death, because ice is a crystal, "and crystals are healing".

  9. The oceans are rising, they screech. Yeah, maybe, and even if they were, it's at about one-thousandth the rate of the incoming tide.

    I think I'll be able to outrun it, dude!

  10. Our regional government agencies are studying what to do when I-95 is submerged in DE cutting off our major north/south highway route. And they are serious.

  11. Our regional government agencies are studying what to do when I-95 is submerged in DE cutting off our major north/south highway route. And they are serious.