Setting the stage for the main focus of Heartland’s 12th International Conference on Climate Change, the opening panel provided the scientific background for later discussions about climate policies the United States should adopt.
The panelists included atmospheric physicist S. Fred Singer, founder of the Science and Environmental Policy Project; geologist Don Easterbrook, contributing editor of the second edition of Evidence-Based Climate Science: Data Opposing CO2 Emissions as the Primary Source of Global Warming; and Willie Soon, an independent astrophysicist and geoscientist.
Analyzing the Data
Singer explored the purported steady global temperature rise from the late 19th century through the late 20th century. Singer noted there have been two distinct periods of warming recorded by the ground-based measuring systems during that period: a warming from the 1880s through the 1940s, and a warming from the late 1970s through the late 1990s.
The first period of warming came before the vast majority of humanity’s share of greenhouse gases was emitted and is entirely of a natural origin. The second period of claimed warming is largely an artifact of the datasets used, Singer said. The data utilized to show anthropogenic warming in the latter 20th century conflicts with eight other datasets, Singer added.
After showing how climate model temperature projections fail to reflect actual temperature measurements and the pause in temperature increases in the latter 20th and early 21st centuries, despite a continuing rise in carbon-dioxide levels, Singer concluded Earth’s atmosphere is much less sensitive to carbon dioxide than climate models assume and that there is no sound evidence of human-driven warming.
Easterbrook agreed with Singer’s claim carbon dioxide is not driving climate change. Copious amounts of research indicate solar activity, the rise and decline of sunspots, the increase and decrease in cosmic rays, and other cosmological and internal climate feedback mechanisms drive climate change, Easterbrook said.
In light of the current low level of solar activity, climate policy should be directed at responding to global cooling in the near future, but such a shift is unlikely to happen unless President Donald Trump replaces the director of NASA’s climate division, the heads of and lead staff at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Science Foundation, and replaces the “tampered” climate research they produced, Easterbrook said.
Cold, Hard Facts About Ice
Soon followed Easterbrook’s discussion by saying the decline in spring sea ice and snow in the Arctic is likely due to long-term solar cycles and is probably not unusual historically. In contrast to climate model predictions, Antarctica continues to add tens of thousands of tons of ice each year, Soon said.
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. ([email protected]), is a research fellow at The Heartland Institute.