Thursday, 28 February 2008

Global cooling?

Recent data confirms suspicions about winter in the northern hemisphere, that it was very cold. Which is interesting as we had a particularly nice summer, though our winter 6 months or so ago was colder than usual.


Not only did the world fail to continue warming after 1998, there has been a precipitous drop in the last year. The scale on the left says temperature, but I think it means difference in temperature (from some predefined point). The global temperature is about 15°C.

I am somewhat suspicious of global temperatures. Some stations are not ideally set up and there is a lot of data points unknown (like most of the Pacific Ocean). Satellite data is better but it is of shorter duration and represents non-surface temperatures.

Academically I find this pleasing. Of course I don't want a cooler earth, I want a warmer one, and I think that the complete loss of the northern polar cap would be beneficial allowing warmer seas in that area and possibly warmer winters in the northern hemisphere (but possibly cooler summers also).

It is pleasing because it may lead to increased suspicion about the anthropomorphic global warming theory.

I am aware that one cold summer does not discredit the theory—of course there are plenty of reasons pre-dating this summer that discredit it—general warming trends can theoretically have cooler spells. But the significant change may cause people to have second thoughts. And even if it doesn't change people's minds, giving them reason for increased doubt and an awareness that the data is not so certain is a good thing.

As beneficial as a warmer earth would be, it is not worth the political evil that is being enacted. So if we need to put up with a cooler earth until the naysayers have their theories cremated, so be it. Then we can hope for a sun cycle that gives us ice-free Arctic Sea and the benefits of more equitable climate.

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