Global Cooling is here

Mar 25, 2013 12:00 AM

Department of Geology, Western Washington University and Global Research 2 November 2008

[Article originally published by Global Research in November 2008]


Despite no global warming in 10 years and recording setting cold in 2007-2008, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climatic Change (IPCC) and computer modelers who believe that CO2 is the cause of global warming still predict the Earth is in store for catastrophic warming in this century. IPCC computer models have predicted global warming of 1° F per decade and 5-6° C (10-11° F) by 2100 (Fig. 1), which would cause global catastrophe with ramifications for human life, natural habitat, energy and water resources, and food production. All of this is predicated on theassumption that global warming is caused by increasing atmospheric CO2 and that CO2 will continue to rise rapidly.



Figure 1. A. IPCC prediction of global warming early in the 21st century. B. IPCC prediction of global warming to 2100. (Sources: IPCC website)

However, records of past climate changes suggest an altogether different scenario for the 21st century. Rather than drastic global warming at a rate of 0.5 ° C (1° F) per decade, historic records of past natural cycles suggest global cooling for the first several decades of the 21st century to about 2030, followed by global warming from about 2030 to about 2060, and renewed global cooling from 2060 to 2090 (Easterbrook, D.J., 2005, 2006a, b, 2007, 2008a, b); Easterbrook and Kovanen, 2000, 2001). Climatic fluctuations over the past several hundred years suggest ~30 year climatic cycles of global warming and cooling, on a general rising trend from the Little Ice Age.


Global climate changes have been far more intense (12 to 20 times as intense in some cases) than the global warming of the past century, and they took place in as little as 20–100 years. Global warming of the past century (0.8° C) is virtually insignificant when compared to the magnitude of at least 10 global climate changes in the past 15,000 years. None of these sudden global climate changes could possibly have been caused by human CO2 input to the atmosphere because they all took place long before anthropogenic CO2 emissions began. The cause of the ten earlier ‘natural’ climate changes was most likely the same as the cause of global warming from 1977 to 1998.

Figure 2. Climate changes in the past 17,000 years from the GISP2 Greenland ice core. Red = warming, blue = cooling. (Modified from Cuffy and Clow, 1997)

Climatic fluctuations over the past several hundred years suggest ~30 year climatic cycles of global warming and cooling (Figure 3) on a generally rising trend from the Little Ice Age about 500 years ago.

Figure 3. Alternating warm and cool cycles since 1470 AD. Blue = cool, red = warm. Based on oxygen isotope ratios from the GISP2 Greenland ice core.

Relationships between glacial fluctuations, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, and global climate change.

After several decades of studying alpine glacier fluctuations in the North Cascade Range, my research showed a distinct pattern of glacial advances and retreats (the Glacial Decadal Oscillation, GDO) that correlated well with climate records. In 1992, Mantua published the Pacific Decadal Oscillation curve showing warming and cooling of the Pacific Ocean that correlated remarkably well with glacial fluctuations. Both the GDA and the PDO matched global temperature records and were obviously related (Fig. 4). All but the latest 30 years of changes occurred prior to significant CO2 emissions so they were clearly unrelated to atmospheric CO2.

Figure 4. Correspondence of the GDO, PDO, and global temperature variations.

The significance of the correlation between the GDO, PDO, and global temperature is that once this connection has been made, climatic changes during the past century can be understood, and the pattern of glacial and climatic fluctuations over the past millennia can be reconstructed. These patterns can then be used to project climatic changes in the future. Using the pattern established for the past several hundred years, in 1998 I projected the temperature curve for the past century into the next century and came up with curve ‘A’ in Figure 5 as an approximation of what might be in store for the world if the pattern of past climate changes continued. Ironically, that prediction was made in the warmest year of the past three decades and at the acme of the 1977-1998 warm period. At that time, the projected curved indicated global cooling beginning about 2005 ± 3-5 years until about 2030, then renewed warming from about 2030 to about 2060 (unrelated to CO2—just continuation of the natural cycle), then another cool period from about 2060 to about 2090. This was admittedly an approximation, but it was radically different from the 1° F per decade warming called for by the IPCC. Because the prediction was so different from the IPCC prediction, time would obviously show which projection was ultimately correct.

Now a decade later, the global climate has not warmed 1° F as forecast by the IPCC but has cooled slightly until 2007-08 when global temperatures turned sharply downward. In 2008, NASA satellite imagery (Figure 6) confirmed that the Pacific Ocean had switched from the warm mode it had been in since 1977 to its cool mode, similar to that of the 1945-1977 global cooling period. The shift strongly suggests that the next several decades will be cooler, not warmer as predicted by the IPCC.