My friend, Joe D’Aleo who runs ICECAP, had the opportunity this year to write an article for the 2009 Old Farmer’s Almanac. While I’m normally “skeptical” of the long term forecasts printed in the OFA, I’m not of this piece written by D’Aleo, who is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society and a Certified Consulting meteorologist.
With 3.3 million copies printed, his article, Is Global Warming on the Wane? , will get wide distribution in many venues. The subtitle “Some scientists believe that an extreme cooling episode, potentially a mini-ice age, is imminent. Others think that it may already be under way.” will probably raise a few eyebrows.
In this blog I often cite historical perspectives on how people and the press have perceived and written about climate in the past, such as this article from the New York Times that says “the Arctic will soon be an open sea” or this one from the 1933 Monthly Weather Review “IS OUR CLIMATE CHANGING? A STUDY OF LONG-TIME TEMPERATURE TRENDS.”, or this one from 1922 “Arctic Ocean Getting Warm; Seals Vanish and Icebergs Melt.”
The editors of OFA took a similar view for the beginning of D’Aleo’s article with this timeline of similar events:
D’Aleo relies heavily on UAH, HadCRUT, and Mauna Loa CO2 data to make his point, which is that climate change is mostly about cycles, oceans, and solar activity. Here is one of the graphs from the article that we’ve seen many times before:
D’Aleo’s also cites the work of David Hathaway, whom we often mention here, and his predictions of solar cycle 25 being weak, along with mentions of the PDO shift
Doug Hathaway, a solar physicist at NASA, believes that solar activity has diminished and will continue to do so for decades. In 2006, he predicted, based on observations of the slowing of the plasma flow on the Sun, that cycle 25 could be the quietest—thus, the coolest—in centuries. Also in that year, Khabibullo Abdusamatov, head of research for the Russian Academy of Sciences, issued an imminent mini-ice age warning based on expectations of a quieter Sun over the next 50 years. Our long-range forecasts also point toward cooling conditions.
These factors—the cooling Pacific, the yet-to-cool Atlantic, and the historical reduction in recent solar activity—suggest that a staggered cooling period could continue. Absent from most headlines about global warming is a discussion of measures suggesting that the warming has ceased and a cooling may have begun. For example, deep-ocean heat content has not increased during the past five years. Looking at just one year, from January 2007 to January 2008, we find that satellite-derived atmospheric temperatures indicate that Earth was about one degree Fahrenheit cooler at the beginning of 2008 than it was at the beginning of 2007. The United Kingdom’s Hadley Centre ocean and land temperature records show cooling in the last seven to ten years.
During the past 100 years, while temperatures have risen and fallen and risen yet again, carbon dioxide has been on a steady climb (see graph)—and, for that, mankind does bear some responsibility. However, we would be wise to also consider the cycles and synchronicity of the Sun and oceans in any discussion of the causes of climate change.
While I’m sure that many people whom are firmly entrenched in the CO2 based AGW theory will simply dismiss this out of hand, the simple fact remains that the Old Farmer’s Almanac is read by many, many people. This easy to understand article by Joe D’Aleo will reach many people whom have been “saturation bombed” with mainstream media stories that say otherwise.