A Primer on Global Warming: Dispelling Myths

Published October 1, 2009

[Each month, Heartland Institute Science Director Jay Lehr, Ph.D. presents evidence that mankind has no significant impact on the Earth’s climate.—Ed.]

The National Aeronautic and Space Agency (NASA) has determined Mars, Pluto, Jupiter, and the largest moon of Neptune warmed at the same time the Earth recently warmed.

Two hundred million years ago, when dinosaurs walked the Earth, the average carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere was 1800 ppm, five times higher than today.

All four major global temperature-tracking outlets (Hadley UK, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, University of Alabama-Huntsville, and Remote Sensing Systems Santa Rosa) have released updated information showing in 2007 global cooling ranged from 0.65 degrees C to 0.75 degrees C, a value large enough to erase nearly all the global warming recorded over the past 100 years. This occurred in a single year.

NASA satellites measuring global temperatures found 2008 to be the coldest year since 2000 and the 14th coldest of the past 30 years.

Surface Stations Inaccurate

U.S. climate monitoring stations on the planet’s surface show less cooling, but most of the 1,221 temperature stations are located near human sources of heat (exhaust fans, air conditioning units, hot rooftops, asphalt parking lots, and so forth). The land-based temperature record is unreliable.

Although we hear much about one or another melting glacier, a recent study of 246 glaciers around the world between 1946 and 1995 indicated an overall balance between those that are losing ice, gaining ice, and remaining in equilibrium.

On May 1, 2007 National Geographic magazine reported the snows on Mt. Kilimanjaro were shrinking as a result of lower precipitation, not a warming trend.

The overall polar bear population has increased from about 5,000 in the 1960s to 25,000 today, and the only two subpopulations in decline are in areas where it has been getting colder over the past 50 years. Polar bears have survived long periods of time when the Arctic was much warmer than today. Yet alarmists say the bears cannot survive this present warming without help from government regulators.