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Gingersnap
09-09-2009, 12:51 PM
World's climate could cool first, warm later

17:56 04 September 2009 by Fred Pearce, Geneva

Forecasts of climate change are about to go seriously out of kilter. One of the world's top climate modellers said Thursday we could be about to enter one or even two decades during which temperatures cool.

"People will say this is global warming disappearing," he told more than 1500 of the world's top climate scientists gathering in Geneva at the UN's World Climate Conference.

"I am not one of the sceptics," insisted Mojib Latif of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University, Germany. "However, we have to ask the nasty questions ourselves or other people will do it."

Few climate scientists go as far as Latif, an author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. But more and more agree that the short-term prognosis for climate change is much less certain than once thought.

Nature vs humans
This is bad timing. The UN's World Meteorological Organization called the conference in order to draft a global plan for providing "climate services" to the world: that is, to deliver climate predictions useful to everyone from farmers worried about the next rainy season to doctors trying to predict malaria epidemics and builders of dams, roads and other infrastructure who need to assess the risk of floods and droughts 30 years hence.

But some of the climate scientists gathered in Geneva to discuss how this might be done admitted that, on such timescales, natural variability is at least as important as the long-term climate changes from global warming. "In many ways we know more about what will happen in the 2050s than next year," said Vicky Pope from the UK Met Office.

Cold Atlantic
Latif predicted that in the next few years a natural cooling trend would dominate over warming caused by humans. The cooling would be down to cyclical changes to ocean currents and temperatures in the North Atlantic, a feature known as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO).

Breaking with climate-change orthodoxy, he said NAO cycles were probably responsible for some of the strong global warming seen in the past three decades. "But how much? The jury is still out," he told the conference. The NAO is now moving into a colder phase.

Latif said NAO cycles also explained the recent recovery of the Sahel region of Africa from the droughts of the 1970s and 1980s. James Murphy, head of climate prediction at the Met Office, agreed and linked the NAO to Indian monsoons, Atlantic hurricanes and sea ice in the Arctic. "The oceans are key to decadal natural variability," he said.

Another favourite climate nostrum was upturned when Pope warned that the dramatic Arctic ice loss in recent summers was partly a product of natural cycles rather than global warming. Preliminary reports suggest there has been much less melting this year than in 2007 or 2008.

In candid mood, climate scientists avoided blaming nature for their faltering predictions, however. "Model biases are also still a serious problem. We have a long way to go to get them right. They are hurting our forecasts," said Tim Stockdale of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts in Reading, UK.

New Scientist (http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17742-worlds-climate-could-cool-first-warm-later.html)

Rockntractor
09-09-2009, 03:03 PM
How many times does Al have to tell us the science settled! Don't start filling your head with a bunch of messy facts!

Bubba Dawg
09-09-2009, 07:28 PM
I don't have an issue with the science of cyclical warming and cooling of the globe. I am sceptical of the effect of human activity on it.

The last ice age ended maybe 12,000 years ago. Human activity could have had no effect on it beginning or ending.

Rockntractor
09-09-2009, 07:56 PM
I don't have an issue with the science of cyclical warming and cooling of the globe. I am sceptical of the effect of human activity on it.

The last ice age ended maybe 12,000 years ago. Human activity could have had no effect on it beginning or ending.
12000 years ago they were riding around on grass guzzling mastodons that farted enormous amounts of methane into the environment. The resulting cloud of gas caused the ice age!

Bubba Dawg
09-09-2009, 07:58 PM
12000 years ago they were riding around on grass guzzling mastodons that farted enormous amounts of methane into the environment. The resulting cloud of gas caused the ice age!

Tree Hugger....:mad::p

GRiver
09-11-2009, 08:28 PM
well, it will take at least 20 years for the politicians to indoctrinate the weak minded (like the current AGW freaks) and devise all kinds of new and wonderful regressive taxes to save us from the impending ice-age.