Global Climate Change in 2015?
In late January 2016, journalists and various television news reporters and President Obama announced that 2015 was the warmest year ever recorded. A closer look at the evidence used to make this claim seriously questions this claim. 2015 was most likely not near the hottest year on record.
Until June 2015, most scientists agreed that there had been no warming of the Earth since 1990. They believed that if there is a global warming trend over the last 100 years, it had taken a pause. This conclusion was radically altered by a U.S. governmental organization that decided to change how it documents climate data.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) changed how it collects and documents climate data. From the late 1970s up to the summer of 2015, the NOAA used satellite sea-surface temperatures to measure the climate. In the summer of 2015, the NOAA decided to throw out the satellite readings and use instead, among other sources, cooling-water-intake tubes of oceangoing vessels.
Taking temperature readings from cooling-water-intake tubes has many problems. A ship conducts heat, absorbs energy from the sun, and vessels have intake tubes at different ocean depths. For more information, read this scientific article. NOAA’s new measurement standard resulted in a finding that showed the Earth had had its warmest year on record. In the various climate reports that appeared in newspapers, on television networks, an in President Obama’s messages, no report of NOAA’s changes were made.
Not taken into account of the temperature readings was the “El Nino” effect. El Nino refers to the periodic change of Pacific trade winds and deep-ocean currents. During an El Nino year, water in the Pacific Ocean is warmer. This happened in 1998, as well. Once the El Nino effect ends, ocean temperatures will most likely come back down, as they did after the 1998 El Nino.
How do we know what the climate on Earth is? This is a very challenging task for those of us who are not scientists. But as historians, we can continue to try to read from various sources, and slowly and patiently form our opinions.
1. What was announced in January 2016 about climate change?
2. Until June 2015, how did the U.S.A. take climate records?
3. From the summer of 2015, what change did the U.S. government make in how it keeps climate records?
4. What are some problems associated with keeping climate records based on cooling-water-intake tubes of ocean-going vessels?
5. What is El Nino?
For our video on global warming, please go here.
On April 22nd, many around the world will celebrate “Earth Day,” a day set aside to focus on the environment and environmental awareness. Much of the current discussions regarding the environment and Earth Day deal with “Global Warming,” or, “Global Climate Change.” Based on which scientist or author you read, the environment is either in peril, or, there is really no problem. Is the environment worse than what it was four hundred years ago? Is the Earth in danger? These are scientific questions which can be answered through the scientific method. However, many leaders in America approach these questions not from a scientific viewpoint, but from a political agenda. Those who support the notion there is an environmental catastrophe occurring are heralded as heroes by some, while those who claim there is no real problem are called deniers and threatened with jail sentences. What should be a free and open discussion has become a battle for the freedom of speech.
History of Earth Day
On April 22nd, 1970, Americans celebrated the first “Earth Day,” a day to bring awareness to the public of the desire to promote governmental and personal policies that would bring about cleaner air, healthier food, and the protection of wildlife. Wisconsin U.S. Senator Democrat Gaylord Nelson, the founder of Earth Day, worked with Californian Republican Pet McCloskey to build Earth Day into a national movement. They hired Denis Hayes as national coordinator. In 1990, Hayes organized an international Earth Day, and since then it has become an event that is recognized throughout the world. For his work, Senator Nelson was awarded the highest award given to a civilian, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, by President Clinton in 1995.
Birth of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
On December 2, 1970, the EPA began as a result of an executive order signed by President Nixon. Part of the executive branch, the EPA has grown to a branch of over 15,000 employees. Regulations from the EPA can have the effect of law. This goes against the separation of powers principles instituted in the American constitution.
Climate Worries in the 1970s and 1980s
In the 1970s, at the dawn of Earth Day, a great number of national and international organizations reported that the Earth’s climate was on a dangerous cooling trend, and that a New Ice Age was coming. The National Academy of Sciences, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, many in American media, the Climate Research Unit – University of East Anglia, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) all reported that humans were in danger because of Earth’s rapid cooling. Many scientists believed that human production of carbon dioxide and aerosols would trigger an ice age that would destroy human life. The worry of global cooling continued into the 1980s.
Global Warming Worries Began in the 1980s
In late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher, who would become Great Britain’s first female Prime Minister, raised fears of the possibility of global warming. Thatcher was influential in bringing these theories to the international world, and she promoted the founding of the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, which would later be used by other organizations to promote the idea that global warming is an international danger.
Global Warming as a Political Issue and Not a Scientific Question
Throughout the 19900s, the 2000s, and 2010s, discussion about global warming have evolved more around politics than science. Those who believe in global warming paint those who question it as “Deniers” and unscientific, while at the same time these same global warming proponents do not allow any debate. Global warming proponents President Obama and former Vice-President Al Gore repeatedly state that the debate is over, that there is a scientific consensus that the Earth is warming and that it is due to man’s activities. However, thousands of scientists disagree and continue to point out the problems with the global warming data and conclusions. To read more on this discussion, go here.
Though Prime Minister Thatcher appears to have started the global warming discussion, in 2002, she wrote, “The doomsters’ favourite subject today is climate change. This has a number of attractions for them. First, the science is extremely obscure so they cannot easily be proved wrong. Second, we all have ideas about the weather: traditionally, the English on first acquaintance talk of little else. Third, since clearly no plan to alter climate could be considered on anything but a global scale, it provides a marvellous excuse for worldwide, supra-national socialism. All this suggests a degree of calculation. Yet perhaps that is to miss half the point. Rather, as it was said of Hamlet that there was method in his madness, so one feels that in the case of some of the gloomier alarmists there is a large amount of madness in their method.” (from her 2002 book Statecraft/ see link below)
1. When is Earth Day and when did this "day" begin?
2. What were many climate scientists worried about in the 1970s?
3. How did global warming begin as a political issue?
4. How do believers in global warming treat those who don't believe, or question, global warming?
5. What is your opinion about debating global warming? Should this be a topic that reasonable people can do research on and debate?
For the last thirty or forty years, there has been great disagreement among scientists about global warming. Global warming is the term that means the climate is becoming warmer. You may also hear the term climate change. Climate change is a term that can mean global warming, but it can also mean any change in the climate. Is the Earth’s climate warming? If so, is man the cause of the warming? If it is warming, what are the best policies for governments to take? If it is not warming, is it worth spending enormous amounts of money and resources battling climate change? How much influence can man have in making the Earth warmer, or in slowing or reversing a climate change? The above questions all involve science and policy making. However, much discussion and many decisions about climate policy are political. This means, politicians make decisions based on what will get them elected, or, what will give them more power, instead of basing their ideas in science. Unfortunately, it appears that many who do not question that man is destroying the climate use aggressive tactics, instead of science, to promote their ideas. These "climate alarmists" give the appearance to many in the United States that humans are in imminent danger of destroying the environment, even though there is much evidence against this theory.
One author has made many enemies among those who claim global warming is man-made. His name is Dr. Bjorn Lomborg. Dr. Lomborg was born in Denmark in 1965 and earned his Ph.D. in political science at the University of Copenhagen in 1994. While visiting the United States, he listened to a professor challenge those who argued that man is destroying Earth and that life is worse today than in the past. Wanting to research the truth behind these claims, Dr. Lomborg began a thorough study of the quality of life today versus one hundred years ago and discovered that in every category, the quality of life for humans has improved. More people have access to clean water; Life expectancy has increased worldwide over 30 years; Literacy is more widespread than ever. In his research, Dr. Lomborg also questioned why governments were spending massive amounts of money to slow global warming without analyzing the costs and benefits of the policies.
Two books that Dr. Lomborg has written are The Skeptical Environmentalist and Cool It. Cool It is also an interested documentary. Both books and the documentary make for interesting springboards for discussion. In his works, Dr. Lomborg points out that humans should focus their attention on the smartest solutions to problems on Earth, instead of throwing money to politicians who claim that their actions are good for the environment. Because of his work, Dr. Lomborg was initially treated with great disdain and hatred. In Denmark, he was sued for libel for claiming that man could not influence the climate as much as many politicians and journalists claimed. In the trial, it was decided that Dr. Lomborg was innocent, because he was not intelligent enough to be responsible for his ideas.
In an editorial published in the Wall Street Journal on February 1, 2015, Dr. Lomborg notes that there are many encouraging signs that humans need not be as worried about climate change as some would have us think. According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, temperatures have risen .09 degrees Fahrenheit in the last 15 years. This is 90% less of a rise than all of the climate alarmists had been predicting. The Arctic sea is melting, but, the Antarctic sea ice is increasing. A study has shown that the world is experiencing less drought since 1982. Landfalling tycoons have declined since 1950, according to a 2012 study. In the 2010s, the death rate due to natural disasters is 97% lower than at the beginning of the century.
Even though Dr. Lomborg has had great challenges arguing with climate alarmists who try to depict him as someone out of his mind, he has consistently brought enlightenment to the discussion on climate change. He is the director of Copenhagen Consensus Center, which brings together some of the world’s top economists to think of solutions to world problems. Dr. Lomborg’s commentaries have been published in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Economist, CNN, Fox, 60 Minutes, and many other publications and News Networks. The issues of climate and man’s influence on the climate will continue to be one of great debate. Professors such as Dr. Lomberg bring reasoned thought and research to the discussion.
1. What are some common questions asked about the climate and climate change?
2. What do climate alarmists claim?
3. Who is Dr. Lomborg?
4. What is some positive news Dr. Lomborg writes about involving Earth’s climate?
5. Ask as many college age students in your neighborhood, what they think is a greater danger to the U.S.A., Muslim terrorists or global warming? Ask them to explain their answer.
John De Gree
John De Gree writes the current events with a look at the history of each topic. Articles are written for the young person, aged 10-18, and Mr. De Gree carefully writes so that all readers can understand the event. The perspective the current events are written in is Judeo-Christian.
Receive Articles and Coupons in Your Email