Latest posts by H. Sterling Burnett (see all)
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- Surveys Show Many Support Climate Action, But Only If It’s Really Cheap - October 22, 2019
- Save the Planet: Reform the Endangered Species Act - October 22, 2019
Two new studies are throwing cold water on the argument humans are causing dangerous climate change. One study exposes flaws in a recent report claiming the earths Oceans are warming far faster than any previous research or data had claimed and a second study, out of NASA, indicates a dearth of solar activity could soon cause the earth to cool despite increasing greenhouse gas emissions.
Researchers with the University of California at San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Princeton University have been forced to issue a major correction to a recent study published in Nature on October 31. Their study claimed ocean temperatures have risen roughly 60 percent higher than estimated by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The flawed paper got through Nature’s peer review process, but a climate realist—mathematician Nic Lewis, who publishes regularly on the Climate etc. blog—found methodological errors in paper.
Eschewing hard data recorded by the Argo array of robotic devices that float at different depths in oceans around the world recording actual temperatures, the study’s authors—Ralph Keeling, a climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Laure Resplandy of Princeton University—proposed a novel way of calculating temperature measurements based on the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide rising off the ocean, by filling round glass flasks with air collected at research stations around the globe.
The IPCC’s controversial recent report estimates net greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced 45 percent below 2010 levels by 2030, reaching net zero by 2050, to keep warming from exceeding 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, which it claims would result in dangerous climate changes. Based on their proxy temperature calculations Keeling and Resplandy estimated emissions cuts would have to be 25 percent steeper than IPCC called for in the coming decades to avoid exceeding the two degree cap.
Despite the idiosyncratic approach to calculating ocean temperatures and lack of confirmation or retesting from outside researchers, numerous mainstream-media outlets uncritically (and hysterically) reported the study’s conclusions. Although Keeling and Resplandy quickly acknowledged making the errors Lewis identified, many major media outlets have failed to cover the correction.
“When we were confronted with his insight it became immediately clear there was an issue there,” Keeling told various news outlets. “We’re grateful to have it be pointed out quickly so that we could correct it quickly.”
After correcting their mistake, Keeling found their margin of error range was far larger than they initially believed, between 10 and 70 percent, making their observations virtually worthless as a calculation of ocean temperatures.
“Our error margins are too big now to really weigh in on the precise amount of warming that’s going on in the ocean,” Keeling said according to the San Diego Tribune. “We really muffed the error margins.”
Which brings me to NASA’s study.
A pronounced lack of sunspots combined with data from NASA’s Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics Project indicates the Earth could be headed for a period of prolonged cold temperatures—the coldest period on record since the “Space Age” began.
Sunspots send ultraviolet radiation across the solar system, agitating particles in the Earth’s atmosphere, causing them to heat up, contributing to warming. Sunspots have been absent from the solar surface for most of 2018, causing the Earth’s upper atmosphere to lose heat quickly. This lost heat could result in temperatures in the thermosphere—a layer of gases around 60 to 180 miles above the planet’s surface—to plummet.
In an interview with Spaceweather.com discussing NASA’s findings, Martin Mlynczak, Ph.D., of NASA’s Langley Research Center said the lack of solar activity could bring record cold in as little as a few months.
“High above Earth’s surface, near the edge of space, our atmosphere is losing heat energy,” Mlynczak told Spaceweather.com. “If current trends continue, it could soon set a Space Age record for cold. We’re not there quite yet, but it could happen in a matter of months.”