New studies throw cold water on warming theory

Published March 1, 2002

Two major new studies, as well as temperature readings from precise satellite measurements, have produced strong new evidence the Earth is not warming. The new information has sent global alarmists into confusion and has vindicated prior studies long ignored by the mainstream media.

Nature study shows dramatic Antarctic cooling

On January 14, Nature magazine published the results of a comprehensive study, involving all regions of the Antarctic continent, revealing that Antarctica has been cooling, dramatically, for the past 20 years.

Prior reports of an Antarctic meltdown had been largely based on temperature readings on a small peninsula where most Antarctic science stations are located. However, the new study’s authors began to suspect warming on the peninsula was a localized phenomenon, caused by a recent change in regional wind and sea patterns, when visits to other parts of the continent showed no sign of warming.

“A lot of people [co-authors] in the paper have been working in the valleys since the mid-’80s, and at first it seemed that lake levels were going up,” reported Peter Doran, a University of Chicago at Illinois scientist and lead author of the study.

“But two or three years ago, when we were waiting for the big summers, we noticed that they didn’t come. We were thinking that warm summers were the norm, and we were saying, ‘It’s going to get back to normal,’ but it never did.”

The authors then began analyzing long-standing temperature data recorded throughout the continent, weighing all areas equally, rather than giving undue weight to the temperatures on the isolated peninsula, as had been done in the past. The results showed that as a whole, Antarctica is cooling rapidly.

Just how much, and just how rapidly, has Antarctica been cooling? The study found that temperatures across the continent have dropped an average of 0.125 degrees Fahrenheit per year, or 1.2 degrees Fahrenheit per decade, since 1978.

The data are particularly stunning in that the rate of cooling dwarfs the rate of global warming predicted by even the most alarmist advocacy groups. Moreover, all computer models loaded with global warming assumptions agree the polar regions should warm much more rapidly than the rest of the globe.

“A drop in Antarctic temperatures is a puzzle because most climate models suggest that polar regions should respond first and most rapidly to worldwide temperature changes,” explained science correspondent David Derbyshire of the London Telegraph.

The study noted a cascade of ecological problems triggered by the pronounced cooling. The number of small organic soil organisms is falling by 10 percent every year. Biological productivity in ice-covered freshwater lakes is declining at 9 percent per year.

“The decline is alarming,” said study coauthor Diana Wall of Colorado State University. “These cooling repercussions may have a long-term effect. There is very little diversity here and the life cycles of these invertebrates is very slow.”

Science reports Antarctic ice sheet growing

Just three days after the Nature study was released, Science magazine published results of a study concluding that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has not only stopped melting, but is growing again.

Using precise satellite measurements, a team of California Institute of Technology scientists working at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory found “strong evidence of ice-sheet growth.”

The Ice Sheet has been steadily melting since the end of the last ice age roughly 10,000 years ago. Although very little of the overall melting has occurred since the dawn of the industrial age, a flurry of news reports in recent years has speculated that human-induced global warming will cause the thinning Ice Sheet to break off from the Antarctic continent and inundate the world’s shorelines with a drastic rise in sea levels.

The thickening represents a reversal of the Ice Sheet’s longstanding retreat, say researchers Ian Joughin and Slawek Tulaczyk, who authored the study. The thickening also throws cold water on the findings of British researchers, widely reported last December in the mainstream media, that the Ice Sheet has a 5 percent chance of breaking off in the next 200 years.

“Perhaps, after 10,000 years of retreat from the ice-age maximum, researchers turned on their instruments just in time to catch the stabilization or re-advance of the ice sheet,” observed Pennsylvania State University’s Richard Alley, who wrote an accompanying commentary to the Science article.

Once again, the Joughin/Tulaczyk findings are particularly noteworthy because global warming alarmists agree the polar regions will be the first to see pronounced heating in a global warming environment. The thickening of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet confirms the findings of the Nature study, reported above, that Antarctica is not only failing to warm, but is in fact cooling at a significant rate.

Global satellite readings report a very average year

Even as the Nature and Science studies were being released, data from precise satellite readings of the Earth’s lower atmosphere showed the year 2001 was a very average year for global temperatures.

In mid-December, the United Nations weather agency reported 2001 was the second-warmest year since global records began being kept 140 years ago. The news was trumpeted by the mainstream media as still further evidence of global warming.

However, the temperature readings were collected from ground stations, located in or near growing cities. The more cities grow around temperature reading stations, the more the stations produce false warming data.

The precise satellite data, collected from the entirety of the Earth’s lower atmosphere, showed 2001 was only the 9th warmest (and also the 15th coolest) year since satellite measurements began in the 1970s. Moreover, the 2001 readings confirmed prior satellite data indicating no appreciable warming has occurred since the 1970s.

With all the new data directly contradicting global warming theory, Nature study author Peter Doran summarized the global warming alarmists’ state of mind. “We’ve sort of hit a point where we’re a little confused.”