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Top 10 Climate Myth-Busters for 2007

“I’ve made up my mind. Don’t confuse me with the facts.” That saying most appropriately sums up the year in climate science for the fanatic global warming crowd.

As Al Gore, the United Nations, grandstanding politicians and celebrities, taxpayer-dependent climate researchers, socialist-minded Greens, climate profiteers and other members of the alarmist railroad relentlessly continued their drive for greenhouse gas regulation in 2007, the year’s scientific developments actually pointed in the opposite direction. Here’s the round-up:

1. Cracked crystal balls. Observed temperature changes measured over the last 30 years don’t match well with temperatures predicted by the mathematical climate models relied on by the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), researchers reported.

The models predict significantly warmer atmospheric temperatures than actually occurred, despite the availability of more and better quality data and improved modeling efforts since the late-1970s.

“We suggest, therefore, that projections of future climate based on these models be viewed with much caution,” the researchers concluded. Read more

2. The big yellow ball in the sky. The Sun may have contributed 50 percent or more of the global warming thought to have occurred since 1900, according to a new historical temperature reconstruction showing more variation in pre-industrial temperatures than previously thought.

The researchers found that “the climate is very sensitive to solar changes and a significant fraction of the global warming that occurred during the last century should be solar induced.” Read more

3. Pre-SUV warming. Another new temperature reconstruction for the past 2,000 years indicates that globally averaged temperature 1,000 years ago was about 0.3 degrees Celsius warmer than the current temperature. Since that climatic "heat wave" obviously wasn’t caused by coal-fired power plants and SUVs, the current temperature is quite within natural variability, deflating alarmists’ rash conclusions about the warming of the past 50 years. Read more

4. A disciplined climate. Runaway global warming -- the alarmist fantasy in which a warmer global temperature causes climatic events that, in turn, cause more warming and so-on in a never-ending positive feedback loop -- was cornered by new data from researchers at the University of Alabama-Huntsville (UAH). The new research sheds light on the mechanism by which the atmosphere self-regulates. Read more

5. A gnarly wipeout. Climate alarmists gleefully surfed a 2005 study that claimed greenhouse gas emissions would slow Atlantic Ocean circulation and cause a mini ice age in Europe. But an international team of researchers reported that the intensity of the Atlantic circulation may vary by as much as a factor of eight in a single year. The decrease in Atlantic circulation claimed in the 2005study falls well within this variation and so is likely part of a natural yearly trend, according to the new study. Read more

6. A pollution solution. A new study reported that the solid particles suspended in the atmosphere (called “aerosols”) that make up “brown clouds” may actually contribute to warmer temperatures -- precisely the opposite effect heretofore claimed by global warming alarmists.

“These findings might seem to contradict the general notion of aerosol particles as cooling agents in the global climate system …,” concluded the researchers. Read more

7. Lazy temperature? Researchers reported that the rate of manmade carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions was three times greater during 2000 to 2004 than during the 1990s. Since increasing atmospheric C02 levels allegedly cause global warming, the new study must mean that global temperatures are soaring even faster now than they did during the 1990s, right?

Wrong. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Climatic Data Center, ever-changing global temperatures are in no way keeping pace with ever-increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. Read more

8. Don’t plant that tree! Researchers reported that while tropical forests exert a cooling influence on global climate, forests in northern regions exert a significant warming influence on climate. Based on the researchers’ computer modeling, forests above 20 degrees latitude in the Northern Hemisphere -- that is, north of the line of latitude running through Southern Mexico, Saharan Africa, central India and the southernmost Chinese Island of Hainan -- will warm surface temperatures in those regions by an estimated 10 degrees Fahrenheit by the year 2100. Read more

9. The Tropical Arctic. Dutch researchers reported that during a period of intense global warming 55 million years ago -- when the Arctic Ocean was as warm as 73 degrees Fahrenheit -- there was a tremendous release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. But which came first, the warming or the greenhouse gases?

It was the warming, according to the researchers. Read more

10. Much ado about nothing. In a report to Congress, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency revealed greenhouse gas regulation to be quite the fool’s errand. In estimating the atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases 90 years from now under both a scenario where no action is taken to reduce manmade emissions and a scenario where maximum regulation is implemented, the estimated difference in average global temperature between the two scenarios is 0.17 degrees Centigrade.

For reference purposes, the estimated total increase in average global temperature for the 20th century was about 0.50 degrees Celsius.

That’s what researchers have reported this year. And let’s not forget the spanking a British high judge gave Al Gore’s movie for all its scientific inaccuracies and the thrashing non-alarmist climate scientists gave to alarmist climate scientists in a debate sponsored by the New York debating society Intelligence Squared.

Al Gore and the alarmist mob claim the debate about the science of global warming is “over.” Given the developments of 2007, it’s easy to see why they would want it that way.

Steven Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and DemandDebate.com. He is a junk science expert, an advocate of free enterprise and an adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

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