As Georgia digs itself out of a record-breaking winter storm that followed its first white Christmas in more than a century, people are starting to ask, “What happened to global warming?” After a series of mild winters, Georgia is experiencing its second harsh winter in a row. In the winter of 2009-2010, Atlanta received more than its average annual snowfall in one storm on February 12. Ironically, this was my son’s birthday and his party at Chuck E. Cheese was almost snowed out! There were several other snowstorms in addition to that one.
The trend seems to be one of bigger snowstorms in Georgia that occur earlier in the season than in the past. The trend seems to be one of harsher winters in many countries around the world, not just the United States. Records for cold weather are being set across the United States and around the world this winter.
As global warmists are fond of pointing out when cold weather strikes, local weather conditions do not necessarily disprove a global trend. Unfortunately, many of these same people are quick to point to local heat waves, droughts, and hurricanes as proof of global warming in other parts of the year.
As countries around the world experience record cold weather, as well as record hot weather, the term “global warming” has slipped out of favor. Instead, it has been replaced with the generic term “global climate change.” It is difficult to argue against global climate change because the global climate is definitely changing. It always has been and always will be.
When considering the possibility of global warming, we should ask ourselves a series of questions. First, is global warming actually occurring? If so, is it a natural phenomenon or is it caused by man? Whether is caused by man or not, is it a bad thing? Finally, if it is bad and if it is caused by man, is it possible to reverse it? If so, is it worth the cost?
As far back as 2005, global warmists such as Al Gore claimed that there was a consensus that global warming was occurring, was caused by man, and would be catastrophic if not stopped. More recently, this claim has been shattered, first as more and more scientists began to dissent from the prevailing viewpoint on global warming, then as hacked emails from prominent climate scientists revealed a pattern of deception. Global warming believers had faked much of the data that proved warming was occurring, covered up data that did not match their conclusions, and tried to discredit scientists who were skeptical of their claims.
The warmist claim that recent years are the hottest on record was shattered several years ago when it was learned that NASA’s algorithms for graphing temperatures suffered from a Y2K bug. Previously, 1998 was believed to be the warmest year on record for the US. With the new data, 1934 became the warmest year. As of 2007, five of the warmest ten years on record for the US were prior to World War II.
Further, more doubt was cast on the data itself by the website surfacestations.org, which is conducting a survey of automated weather stations in the US. Many were revealed to be improperly placed in a manner that could make their readings seem warmer than actual. For example, some stations are located adjacent to asphalt parking lots or near the exhaust of air conditioning units. If these types of errors are found in the United States, it is likely that they are also present in other countries, especially in the third world.
If it cannot be conclusively determined that the earth is warming, it also cannot be said that it is beyond a doubt that warming is anthropogenic, or caused by man. Another likely explanation is that global warming is caused by solar activity. The sun is on an eleven year cycle that peaked in 2000 and reached a second peak in 2002. Solar max is known to cause short-term climate change in the form of higher temperatures, increased clouds, and El Nino-like storms. We are currently experiencing a very deep solar minimum, the deepest in over a century. Solar activity has been at very low levels since 2008, which coincides with the onset of the harsh winters. Historical data on cosmic rays shows an almost perfect correlation with temperature over a period of three thousand years.
On the other hand, the relationship of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere with temperature is less certain. Far from carbon leading historical changes in temperature, carbon dioxide levels actually follow changes in temperature. According to historical data, carbon dioxide levels lag behind changes in temperature by about 1200 years. On the other hand, scientists do seem to agree that carbon dioxide can act to amplify temperature changes that are caused by other variables.
Further, increased volcanic activity may be contributing to the cold weather. Volcanic activity has been known to affect weather since 1816 when an eruption on the Indonesian island of Tambora, coupled with a solar minimum, caused record cold weather in the Northern Hemisphere. The year became known as “eighteen hundred and froze to death” and the “year without a summer.” Failing crops led to food shortages in many parts of the world. The dismal weather sparked emigration from New England to the American West and inspired Mary Shelley to write “Frankenstein.”
Recent years have seen an upsurge in volcanic activity in some areas as well. Undersea eruptions were revealed to be the likely cause of melting glaciers. Last year, an Icelandic eruption shut down air travel across the Atlantic and Europe, stranding thousands. In recent years, volcanic activity in Iceland has increased 30-fold. As demonstrated by Tambora, it would not take a worldwide increase in volcanic activity to affect weather patterns around the globe.
To be continued…
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