Carbon Conservation & Energy Efficiency


Bruce Rowse & Team

Posts Tagged ‘la nina’

Is the globe really warming up?

Monday, October 19th, 2009

According to the UK’s Hadley Centre, the hottest year on record occurred during 1998 and since this time the global temperature has actually decreased.

“All four agencies that track Earth’s temperature (the Hadley Climate Research Unit in Britain, the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, the Christy group at the University of Alabama, and Remote Sensing Systems Inc in California) report that it cooled by about 0.7C in 2007
(Phil Chapman, “Sorry to ruin the fun, but an ice age cometh”, The Australian, Apr 23rd 2008)

Climate change sceptics have jumped on this fact as supporting their case that global warming is not caused by increasing levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

Researchers say the uncertainty in the observed value for any particular year is larger than these small temperature differences. What matters, they say, is the long-term upward trend.
(Roger Harrabin, “Global temperatures ‘to decrease’ ”, BBC News online, 4 Apr 2008)

The World Meteorological Organisation refers to the cooling as being due to the ‘La Nina’ effect, a cooling effect from the natural Pacific currents.  The opposite warming effect can also occur and this is called El Nina.

Another viewpoint is that the Earth’s climate is closely correlated with variations in the sunspot cycle.   The number of sunspots that are evident follow an 11-year cycle with the recent year’s showing minimum levels.  Without expected sunspot numbers on the increase the suggestion is the climate will enter a cold period that could last decades.

The next descent into an ice age is inevitable but may not happen for another 1000 years. On the other hand, it must be noted that the cooling in 2007 was even faster than in typical glacial transitions. If it continued for 20 years, the temperature would be 14C cooler in 2027
(Phil Chapman, “Sorry to ruin the fun, but an ice age cometh”, The Australian, Apr 23rd 2008)

The Climate Change Conference Copenhagen 2009 is approaching soon.  Does this notion of global cooling add to the uncertainty of human-induced climate change?  I don’t think so.  The science for human-induced climate change is well documented and administered through a highly transparent and robust framework managed by the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC).  The IPCC include solar variance in their calculations and have concluded its effect is minimal compared to the build up of emissions in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Even if we have global warming all wrong, it’s not going to do us any harm cleaning our act up.   Clean air, water and natural resources are crucial for a sustainable future on Earth so why all this fuss about us being wrong about climate change.  Improving our efficiency of natural resources through reducing our energy and water use and minimising waste generation are common sense if you ask me.  Sure, we may need to spend money to achieve a cleaner world, but we had no problem spending money to get where we are now.

If it’s a choice between being hot or cold, I’m sticking with hot!