(From nasf.org, December 2008)
A very powerful case that the climate trend we’re currently seeing is part of a product of a solar-linked cycle that creates harmless naturally warmer conditions approximately every 1500 years is made in a recent book, Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years, by S. Fred Singer and Dennis T. Avery. It has 459 references, a glossary and an index. This well written book is one of the best books to date on the politics and science of global warming. In addition to presenting evidence for the 1,500 year solar cycle, first proposed by European researchers in the mid 1990s, the authors address both the Greenhouse and Solar/Cosmic Ray theories of climate change. (1) Singer and Avery maintain that there are natural cycles of cooling and warming going back at least a million years. These are small excursions of global temperature, much smaller than the ice ages, which is why they haven’t been noticed until the last 25 years or so.
This was reported in 1984 with the first analysis from the Greenland ice cores. Willi Dansgaard and Hans Oescher published their analysis of the oxygen isotopes in the ice cores extracted from Greenland. These cores provided 250,000 years of the Earth’s climate history in one set of ‘documents.’ The scientists compared the ratio of ‘heavy’ oxygen-18 isotopes to the ‘lighter’ oxygen-16 isotopes, which indicated the temperature at the time the snow had fallen. (2) As Singer and Avery report, “They expected to find evidence of the known 90,000 year Ice Ages and the mild interglacial periods recorded in the ice, and they did. However, they did not expect to find anything in between. To their surprise, they found a clear cycle—moderate, albeit abrupt—occurring about every 2,550 years running persistently through both. (This period would soon be reassessed at 1,500 years plus or minus 500 years.)” (3)
Since this early discovery, its fingerprints have been found all over the world, both in ice cores and sediments. (4)
- An ice core from the Antarctic’s Vostok Glacier, at the other end of the world from Greenland, was brought up in 1987 and showed the same 1,500 year climate cycle throughout its 400,000 year length.
- The 1,500 year cycle has been revealed in seabed sediment cores brought up from the floors of such far-flung waters as the North Atlantic Ocean and the Arabian Sea, the Western Pacific, and the Sargasso Sea.
- One seabed core near Iceland goes back a million years, and the 1,500 year cycle runs through the whole million years, roughly 600 of these moderate, natural cycles.
Over the last 1,200 years there has been a “Medieval Warming” (900-1300), when Greenland was green; a “Little Ice Age” (1300-1850), when New York harbor froze and people could walk from Manhattan across the ice to Staten Island a mile away (in 1780); and the current global warming (1850-??). Rather than ‘global warming,’ a better term for this phase of the solar cycle is “Modern Warming.” Since 1850, temperatures have risen 0.8 degrees C, most rapidly in 1850-1870 and 1920-1940. Temperatures in the 1,500 year solar cycle fluctuate within a 4 degree C range—two degrees above and two degrees below the norm. An added important point is that three-fourths of the present warming occurred before 1940, which was before most of the human emitted carbon dioxide we hear so much about these days.
So today’s global warming is part of a natural 1,500-year plus or minus 500-year cycle operating for at least a million years. The Earth’s climate has warmed and cooled nine times in the past 12,000 years in lock step with the waxing and waning of the sun’s magnetic activity. (5) The linkage with the sun has been verified by correlation between the Carbon 14 and Beryllium 10 isotopes in the ice with sunspot numbers.
The modern warming is not confined to this planet. Mars ice caps are melting and Jupiter is developing a second giant red spot, an enormous hurricane-like storm. Jupiter’s original Great Red Spot is 300 years old and twice the size of Earth. The new storm-Red Spot Jr. -is thought to be the result of a sudden warming on our solar system’s largest planet. Some parts of Jupiter are now as much as 6 C warmer than just a few years ago. (6) Neptune’s moon, Triton has heated up significantly since 1989. Parts of its frozen nitrogen surface have begun melting and turning to gas. (7) Even Pluto has warmed slightly in recent years, if you can call -230 C warmer than
All of this prompts Lorne Gunter to ask, “Is there something all these heavenly bodies have in common? Some one thing they all share that could be causing them to warm in unison? Hmmmm, is there some, giant, self-luminous ball of burning gas with a mass more than 300,000 times that of Earth and a core temperature of more than 20 million degrees C, that for the past century or more has been unusually active and powerful? Is there something like that around which they can all revolve that could be causing global warming?” (6)
Singer and Avery also cover a number of other issues:
- A particularly interesting chapter focuses on common sense regarding the extinction of species. The authors explain that most of the world’s animal species evolved 600 million years ago, so we know most of today’s species have successfully dealt with ice ages and global warming periods that have sent temperatures much higher and much lower than today’s temperatures. (8)
- The authors look at history and confirm that the frequency and severity of hurricanes, droughts, thunderstorms, hail and tornadoes have not increased in recent years. (9) John Christy of the University of Alabama at Huntsville, in testimony before Congress noted, ‘that the most significant droughts in the Southwestern United States occurred more than four hundred years ago, before 1600.’ He stated that before 1850, American’s Great Plains were called the ‘Great American Desert,’ and experts at the time said the region couldn’t be farmed. Weather just seems unusual and dangerous these days, said Christy, because of the increased media coverage of major storms.
Jay Lehr sums it up quite well, “Singer and Avery shatter the greenhouse gas theory, making it clear humanity’s modest addition to the atmosphere’s small amount of carbon dioxide does not hold up to a significant alteration in temperature. Obviously, all of this does not square with efforts to get us to reduce our use of cars, air conditioners, and fertilizer in order to reduce carbon in our atmosphere.” (10) So, regardless of what you do to reduce your carbon footprint, Mother Nature really doesn’t care.
1. S. Fred Singer and Dennis T. Avery, Unstoppable Global Warming, (New York, Rowman & Littlefield publishers, 2008), 24
2. W. Dansgaard et al., “North Atlantic Climatic Oscillations Revealed by Deep Greenland Ice Cores,” in Climate Processes and Climate Sensitivity, J. E. Hansen and T. Takahashi, Editors, (Washington, DC, American Geophysical Union, 1984) Geophysical Monograph 29, 288-90
3. S. Fred Singer and Dennis T. Avery, Unstoppable Global Warming, 2
4. S. Fred Singer and Dennis T. Avery, Unstoppable Global Warming, 3
5. Gerard Bond et al., “Persistent Solar Influence on North Atlantic Climate During the Holocene,” Science, 294, 2130, December 10, 2001
6. Lorne Gunter, “Breaking: Warming on Jupiter, Mars, Pluto, Neptune’s Moon & Earth Linked to Increased Solar Activity, Scientists Say,” National Post, March 13, 2007
7. J. L. Elliot, et al., “Global Warming on Triton,” Nature, 393, 765, June 25, 1998
8. S. Fred Singer and Dennis T. Avery, Unstoppable Global Warming, 163
9. S. Fred Singer and Dennis T. Avery, Unstoppable Global Warming, 201
10. Jay Lehr, “Careful Review of Science Refutes Global Warming Myths,” Environment & Climate News, 10, 12, March 2007