Debunking One “Global Cooling” Argument

By George Washington. Originally published on Washington’s Blog

Preface: Our approach is to build bridges in the climate debate (see the postscript, below).  But one of our duties as investigative journalists is to debunk unscientific claims, from whichever side they come from. This article helps to debunk one particular recent claim about global cooling.

Numerous websites have claimed that a new scientific paper by a high-level NASA scientist proves that the Earth is entering into a planetary cooling period.

Specifically, the paper says that reduced solar activity will likely lead to a substantial cooling in the Earth’s thermosphere … a layer of the atmosphere high above the Earth.

Should run out and buy warmer clothes?

Even though I studied environmental science at a good university as an undergraduate, I had no idea whether a cooling thermosphere would mean:

(1) It will get cooler down here on the surface of the Earth (the bottom portion of the atmospheric layer called the “troposphere”)

(2) There is no correlation

or

(3) As one wannabe “expert” proclaimed on the Internet, a cooler thermosphere will lead to a warmer climate on the surface

So Washington’s Blog asked one of the co-authors of the study, Dr. James Russell to help us understand what the study means …

Russell is a Professor of Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences and Co-Director of the Center for Atmospheric Sciences at Hampton University in Virginia. He received his PhD in “aeronomy” – the physics and chemistry of the upper atmosphere of planets – from the University of Michigan, and served as head of the Chemistry and Dynamics Branch and the Theoretical Studies Branch in the NASA Langley Atmospheric Sciences Division.

Dr. Russell told us:

My short answer is the cooling effects we are seeing in Earth’s thermosphere are a result of the current solar minimum conditions. The thermosphere is the layer of Earth’s atmosphere 65 miles above Earth’s surface and is highly sensitive to solar activity. There is no relationship between the natural cycle of cooling and warming in the thermosphere and the weather/climate at Earth’s surface.

I hope this helps clear up this serious misunderstanding. The recently published findings from analysis of SABER data by Mlynczak et al. (2018) do not imply there is a problem with global warming observations at the earth surface. There is no connection between the thermospheric and ground level observational results.

Postscript:  Many who are worried about global warming are promoting actions that actually may do more harm than good:

For my ideas on common ground on climate, please see:

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52 comments

  1. Henry

    Readers unfamiliar with the work of Charles Eisenstein may find his new book, Climate A New Story, provides a valuable perspective on this issue which I believe ties in well with many of the thoughts expressed in the discussions I’ve read on this site. You can read about the book, his essays, and soon read the book along with his others here: https://charleseisenstein.org/books/
    To me it was worth it its purchase price, but I would leave that judgement up to you.

    Reply
    1. John Wright

      Henry, maybe you can give a small summary/review of why this book is different and worth its purchase price to you?

      If an idea/set of ideas is significant and important, I would like to see a short paper or summary of the main ideas, rather than be encouraged to “buy the book” to find out.

      I searched on Amazon for reviews of the Climate book and while the reviews were largely laudatory, there was a 2 star review that was interesting..

      “But then his solution is that we must somehow regain this involvement with the natural world as a global movement of Interbeing that has everyone realign all of their priorities away from power, growth, competition and toward those valuing the health of the ecosystem as a whole. Then we will make good decisions. To his credit he seems to understand that this involves huge changes to most people’s lives.”

      “But, the book ultimately is utterly naive in imagining that this can actually happen given the immediacy of the environmental crisis, the current geopolitical state of the world, the historical evidence of human tribalism, and the terribly short time span in which things must change.”

      “While the book wants to present a hopeful and positive attitude and solution, it actually further proves the inevitability and severity of the coming disaster.”

      Reply
      1. Synoia

        the historical evidence of human tribalism greed, and the terribly short time span in which things must change.

        That’s why I personally believe there will be 6.5 Billion dead. We are dependent on petroleum to maintaining life as we practice it today, from energy to food to medicines.

        .

        Reply
      2. Henry

        John, I can’t speak so eloquently as Newton has already in these comments, but I will add my perspective. First we dealing with science. Science was set up to eliminate models that don’t work and is not able to prove the “truth”. In fact I have a bumper sticker on my car that says, Question Reality, because that is our job as scientists. The real breakthroughs often come at the fringes and often by mistake. As much as one would like the science to be settled, that is not the way science works and while most of the ideas outside the consensus are wrong, that is where the real understanding will come from, either through rebuking these challenges with experiments or incorporating them. So those scientist shouldn’t be locked out of the conversation, but as long as they are present, doubts will always persist and there will always be an excuse those benefiting from the way things are, at least in the short term, not to act. So while I think the scientific models are our best bet at understanding the problem, getting a political consensus is likely to take a long time and not result in very good long term solutions.
        Second we rarely get anywhere by trying to prove who is right and who is wrong. If you don’t believe me try that in your marriage. What I think Eisenstein is suggesting is that we step back and look at what we can agree on. Then use what we agree on rather than debate the scientific model, which honestly I doubt many of us reading this are qualified to do, instead debate our own personal model of how we view the world. It is here where we are all qualified to participate and here where we can not only have a chance of solving the climate change issue, but also the abundance of plastic waste, the polluted waters, diversity loss, etc. Eisenstein argues and I would concur that all these problems stem from the current model in which we view the world, that is as humans are separate from nature. It is this viewpoint that allows us to look at nature as just resources for human consumption and measure progress in how much we have extracted from nature ignoring the other half of the cycle. While Eisenstein doesn’t minimize the challenges in addressing these issues, he is optimistic because rather than relying on politicians to act this is a bottom up approach in which we can all participate starting now. I can see just as the idea that the earth was not the center of the solar system, the idea the earth is more than just a resource for human use may take a while, particularly for those benefiting from that concept to accept change, but just as changing the frame of reference for the solar system made finding solutions much easier, I believe shifting the reference frame away from a human centered world will make finding the solutions much easier.
        I in no way did Eisenstein’s arguments justice, but at least this give you and idea of the concepts.

        Reply
        1. John Wright

          I’d like to see a short summary of the general principles of the Eisenstein climate book.

          The Bible’s old testament handled that with the 10 commandments.

          If the method depends on a bottom up approach, this has not been too effective in the USA in getting single payer, financial industry reform, avoiding very harmful wars, or preventing the decrease of civil liberties and privacy,

          If the book requires a large percentage of the population to understand they should consume less AND actually get a large percentage of the population to change their consumption habits, that seems to me a non-starter.

          If two readers of the book (Henry and Newton) can attest to the wisdom contained in the book without explaining the thrust of the book, then the message is apparently, not a simple one.

          That will make it even more difficult to sell to a distracted population,

          Reply
  2. The Rev Kev

    “Noam Chomsky has previously written that he would submit to fascism if it would help combat global warming”

    Seriously? Was this on his first day as a political commentator? If this happened then whatever authorities appointed would do whatever they wanted to solidify power for themselves which would probably not include combating global warming except in a cosmetic sense.
    Remember how in order to defeat fascist Germany, fascist Japan and fascist Italy the United States turned itself into a fascist country in WW2 in order to win against them? No, I don’t either. They did it as a unified, disciplined democracy. But Chomsky has no excuse not to remember as he lived through WW2 as a teenager. He may think that fascism is a means (which is why so many business people support it) but I think that he has forgotten that it is also an end in itself.

    Reply
    1. Robert Valiant

      The Chomsky quote is taken out of context. Chomsky prefaces his statement about fascism with the condition If we wait for an environmental disaster. He also clearly states that we must not wait for an environmental disaster. He isn’t advocating fascism as a solution to anything in any way – he is identifying it as a possible consequence of inaction.

      Google Books link: http://goo.gl/aS4cfU

      Reply
      1. Synoia

        I would suspect the Fascism would accelerate Global Warming, although it is difficult to determine if any system of Government could speed up global warming from its current rate.

        Reply
    2. TimR

      Who needs fascism when you can “manufacture consent”? Isn’t that what’s being done currently? And isn’t Chomsky part of the operation?

      Reply
  3. Darius

    It is ludicrous to think we can dial up or dial down the Earth’s carbon dioxide level without massive consequences.

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Don’t you think that if we could reduce the sky-carbon load and level back to what it was in 1900 that we might return the earth-surface heat budget back to what it was in 1900? And would that have massive consequences? Or counter-massive de-conseqences?

      Reply
  4. doug

    Thank you. I have seen the article mentioned elsewhere as proof there was no global warming.
    I don’t understand those who need to deceive….
    Glad this place exists.

    Reply
  5. Carolinian

    From one of Washingtonblog’s above links.

    If asked whether we should increase our reliance on caviar to fight world hunger, most people would laugh. Relying on an overly expensive commodity to perform an essential task spends too much money for too little benefit, while foreclosing more-promising approaches.

    That is nuclear power’s fundamental flaw in the search for plentiful energy without climate repercussions, though reactors are also more dangerous than caviar unless you’re a sturgeon.

    Useful advice for those in commentland who have been promoting nuclear power (much more at the link). A much better approach–particularly for profligate Americans–would be to start limiting our personal carbon outputs. We may need cars–at least for now–but we don’t need giant cars.

    Reply
    1. UserFriendly

      Please, the cost is high in the USA because we have killed the supply chain. It’s cheaper in South Korea and China because they don’t have entrenched oil oligarchs funding nuclear fear mongering. This is obvious as he points to the boogie man of Fukushima where almost all deaths from the incident were due to the frenzied evacuation during the Tsunami, but even if you tack those on to nuclears death toll wind and PV kill more people per kW. Nuclear has a much better EROI than wind and PV despite what he claims, and meta-analysis of studies show it releases much less CO2 than wind and PV. If I wasn’t out of town for the holiday I’d have links to back all that up.

      His article is so full of hedging and bad faith arguments like ‘all democracies are avoiding nuclear’ (good point, lets make all our decisions based on who has better propaganda) the fact that anyone would point to it as anything but confirmation bias is just sad.

      Reply
  6. Roger

    Mr. Washington, with all due respect to you and James Russell: Let us take your argument to an extreme; if the sun went out entirely, according to you two there would be no effect on the climate or weather on Earth!

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith Post author

      This is not “his argument”. This is the position of the author of the study.

      By your argument, since drinking large amounts of water is fatal, one should never drink water.

      Reply
      1. Synoia

        Ah your comment suggests a solution: What we need is a very large parasol! Perhaps one even bigger than Trump’s ego. /s

        Reply
    2. redleg

      This only makes sense if you don’t understand the different layers of the atmosphere.
      The atmosphere is very interesting. There are several layers that interact with their surroundings in distinct ways. I would highly recommend reading about the atmosphere as it is important to our individual and collective existence.

      Reply
  7. Newton Finn

    Let me second, enthusiastically, the recommendation of Eisenstein’s “Climate: A New Story.” What he gives us is a profoundly important reframing of the climate change/global warming crisis, a sensitive and perceptive analysis of why the denialists, the catastrophists, and those who stand somewhere in-between are ALL overlooking both the deeper cause of the climate crisis and the most effective and comprehensive mode of addressing it. Read this book with an open mind, and genuine, piercing insight will invade and alter what you thought you knew.

    Reply
    1. pretzelattack

      https://www.mediamatters.org/research/2015/11/04/nasa-scientist-warned-deniers-would-distort-his/206612

      A new study just published in the Journal of Glaciology is causing some buzz in climate circles, because it appears to claim that Antarctica — long thought to be losing ice at extremely alarming rates — is actually gaining ice. However, note the word “appear”. The reality is more complicated, and in the end the important aspect of this is that the study only talks about part of Antarctica, and only used data up to 2008. Both of these points are critical.

      They looked at data going from 1992 – 2008. Starting right around that time, mass loss due to melting ice in Antarctica (mostly in the west) has accelerated. It’s actually been speeding up for some time, but in recent years it’s really kicked in. Every year, about six billion more tons of ice are lost than the year before. In the past two decades, the loss rate has doubled.

      This is enough to easily outpace the mass gained by snowfall over East Antarctica. Using data taken by the Grace satellites (which measure how mass underneath them changes over time), we know that overall, Antarctica is currently losing more than 130 billion tons of ice per year, and again, that number is increasing every year. Since 2002 it’s lost about two trillion tons of ice. [Slate, 11/3/15]

      Reply
      1. Edward E

        Vulcanism related to the melting. Probably to some oceanic conditions. Borrowing some points from Javier b/c I’m short on time, “Anthropogenic warming is significant but imo is overestimated, while solar variability = underestimated. There is also an oceanic cycle detected in the Bond series and other proxies that may also have an external forcing. Plus to me the most important factor of all is Milankovitch forcing, that has determined that every millennia since 7000 BP has been colder than the previous one. Every time the rest of the coefficients turn around global warming is stopped in its tracks no matter emissions.”

        Researchers have suggested that as icecaps build on land, pressure on underlying volcanoes also builds, and eruptions are suppressed. But when warming somehow starts and the ice begins melting, pressure lets up, and eruptions surge. They belch CO2 that produces more warming, which melts more ice, which creates a self-feeding effect that tips the planet suddenly into a warm period. A 2009 paper from Harvard University says that land volcanoes worldwide indeed surged six to eight times over background levels during the most recent deglaciation, 12,000 to 7,000 years ago. The corollary would be that undersea volcanoes do the opposite: as earth cools, sea levels may drop 100 meters, because so much water gets locked into ice. This relieves pressure on submarine volcanoes, and they erupt more.

        https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2015/02/vast-ranges-of-volcanoes-hidden-under.html#kBdZXwXFMgQZtRs6.03

        Reply
        1. Synoia

          Oh, so in the second paragraph it suggests there is a positive feedback effect.

          Then I fail to understand the relevance of the first paragraph. Possible to describe the cooling part of a cycle?

          a

          nd eruptions surge. They belch CO2 that produces more warming

          Really, belch increased CO2? From where? Don’t volcanoes belch material from rock to dust, but not so much gas?

          Reply
          1. Edward E

            Yes the cooling part of a cycle. Milankovitch overrides the warmed ocean, the moisture to build vast glaciers has to come from somewhere. It can’t just suddenly get cold. Cold = dry. So there’s a vast seesawing as ice age proceeds until eventually deepening into extremely cold ice age conditions towards the last tens of thousands of years of that cycle.

            No volcanic eruption is the same, that’s how they can gather data on past eruptions. Some are rich in sulphur gasses, some are not. Some give an abundance of CO2, some not so much.

            Kinda like big Whigs flying around telling us the ways we need to live.

            Reply
          2. redleg

            Magma formation depends on CO2, H2O, SO2 to lower the melting point of the rock.
            The gas coming out of the molten rock is what creates the dust. Think of a bottle of warm root beer- liquid plus gas. The gas stays dissolved as long as the cap stays on, and if the gas is released quickly it takes the liquid with it when it escapes.

            Reply
        1. pretzelattack

          do any of the researchers assert that this in any way calls the scientific consensus on global warming into question? if not, what is the relevance? it is good to see science progressing, as it should. there is still a lot to learn about how climate change will play out, just as there is about gravity. nobody claims that everything is known, but the basic science behind it has been known for over a hundred years. nothing we have learned since suggests a better theory.

          https://michaelshermer.com/2015/12/consilience-and-consensus/

          Reply
  8. johnm33

    I’m on the fence here, but my understanding is that Valentina Zharkova developed a theory that the solar cycles are driven by wave harmonics in the near surface layers of the sun. The way the waves interact leads to long term variations in the magnetic output of the sun, output that we depend on to keep gamma radiation from penetrating the atmosphere. The reduction of the magnetic output also shrinks the thermosphere. Running the harmonics she’d discovered back in time she found similarities between the period we’re entering and the begginning of cool periods in the historical past, she predicted a 30ish period of cooling starting as soon as 2020 but since the thermosphere has begun to shrink it’s possible the cooling period, if it’s real, may be upon us.
    There’s a recent talk on you tube and the relevent papers are open source see what you think.

    Reply
    1. Synapsid

      johnm33,

      Google usoskin, v zharkova and scroll down to the item “The imminent mini ice age…” It’s an article by Dana Nuccitelli who is one of the better writers on climate change in part because there’s nothing phony about his work.

      The article gives responses to Zharkova’s position especially by Ilya Usoskin who is a worker in the same field. One criticism is that Zharkova’s model is based on 35 years of data, far too short a time to predict from, but more strongly critical is that her model treats the Sun as a simple system that’s inherently predictable where the history of observation of solar behavior shows there’s a strong stochastic component. Usoskin compares solar behavior to water flowing through a rapids: Throw three sticks in at the same spot, one after another, and they’ll wind up in three different places. That illustrates “stochastic.”

      Small point: The Sun’s magnetic field acts to shield Earth from cosmic rays, not gamma radiation.

      Reply
      1. Pft

        We only have 35 years of good data on climate – period, solar included. The rest is based on wildly uncertain proxies and measurements which were obtained in inconsistent fashion and lacked global coverage, yet here we are.

        Proxies do tell us there are a number of shorter/long term solar cycles. The effect of such cycles are uncertain. However we do know that reducing energy inputs probably is a good thing for cooling and vice versa.

        As for Galactic Cosmic Rays, low solar activity allows more of them to reach the troposphere. There is evidence GCR promote cloud formation which is believed to promote cooling by reflecting more sunlight back to space. Perhaps there are negative feedbacks as well. We dont know.

        Reply
        1. pretzelattack

          the scientists don’t think the ice core measurements are wildly uncertain. and thermometers were invented a lot longer than 35 years ago.

          Reply
        2. redleg

          Tree ring, stable isotope, biological distribution, and ice core gas data is used to research paleoclimate. When these pieces are put together, the results can be used to assess climate changes and estimate conditions going back hundreds of thousands of years or longer. All of these fields have been publishing research for more than 35 years.

          Reply
      2. johnm33

        Yes cosmic rays, thanks. Searched as suggested and read quite a bit more too, my veiw now is that Zharkova assumed a direct causal factor that isn’t backed by any physics, and nor does she claim any. I think her, and others, claims about the internal waves is really important and will give us some new insight into how the sun works, and that since they appear tuned to the suns movement around the barycenter of the solar system, which is driven by planetary orbits, they will prove to be true, and she says the model needs refining so will improve.
        It seems the connection to climate is more ‘opportunistic’ than direct. So if the cosmic rays were guided away by magnetism perhaps they will be channeled towards the poles. Increased cloudiness over the poles could cause a rapid melt and release of fresh water from Beaufort into the north Atlantic via Baffin, allowing a c.c. wise circulation around Greenland, pushing the gulf stream south, more evaporation from the arctic more snow wherever the winds blow that. So we have a 20-30 year window of opportunity to kick the climate into an alternate state for a while. We look primed for that, perhaps thats not true for every prolonged low sunspot cycle.

        Reply
    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I looked at Valentina Zharkova’s paper “PREDICTION OF SOLAR ACTIVITY FROM SOLAR BACKGROUND MAGNETIC FIELD VARIATIONS IN CYCLES 21–23” referenced in a WallPo article [http://computing.unn.ac.uk/staff/slmv5/kinetics/shepherd_etal_apj14_795_1_46.pdf]. Take a look at her paper and search for the word ‘cool’ — it does not appear in the paper. This is a paper about a curve derived to predict solar activity data. The solar activity discussed in the article is primarily related to — “This reduced appearance of [ ] sunspots [ ] in the current cycle 24 was not anticipated by many researchers before the cycle began.”

      Jump down to the conclusion of this paper: “In the current study, to predict the solar activity, we explore the PCs [principal components] derived from the SBMF [solar background magnetic field] measured with the WSO [Wilcox Solar Observatory] in cycles 21–23 by using the most advanced Eureqa approach developed on Hamiltonian principles … We show that the classic proxy for solar activity, averaged sunspot numbers, is strongly modulated by variations in the SBMF PCs, allowing us to use the SBMF PCs as new proxies for the overall solar activity.”

      “Solar irradiance before the 1970s is estimated using proxy variables, such as tree rings, the number of sunspots … Solar irradiance variation has been a main driver of climate change over the billion years of geologic time, but its role in the recent warming has been found to be insignificant. … The 2001 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Assessment Report (TAR) concluded that the measured impact of recent solar variation is much smaller than the amplification effect due to greenhouse gases, but acknowledged that scientific understanding is poor with respect to solar variation.” [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_activity_and_climate]

      Reply
  9. kernel

    I clicked through to the “Common Ground” Post on Washington’s Blog, and then read some other posts there about Global Warming. “George Washington” does not appear to be a useful source of information on this subject.

    In the Common Ground post, he claims that his “environmental credentials are solid by any measure”, but then the first sentence under his Rule#5 starts with…

    “Without taking a position on carbon dioxide (which I’ve been reading about for 30 years)… ”

    After wasting an hour trying to make sense of this, the most generous explanation I could venture would be that “George” is a well-meaning but deluded Stockholm-syndrome Democrat who still thinks we can somehow get concessions from the GOP by pretending that they are right.

    Unfortunately, it seems more likely that “George” is a (paid?) Concern Troll.

    I’m a relatively recent contributor here, so there may be some history that I’ve missed. Sorry to go all ad hominem like that, but…
    – I like to eat.
    – I have a kid, and he REALLY likes to eat
    – Agriculture depends on stable regional climate conditions
    – Global Warming affects regional climate in ways which make agriculture less predictable
    – CO2 (etc) functions as a Greenhouse Gas, reducing outflow of solar energy from Earth’s surface
    – Burning Fossil Fuels increases the concentration of CO2 (etc) in the atmosphere
    – Many very profitable Corporations (etc) have strong short-term interest in Business-As-Usual
    – Many of those interests are quite willing to pay people to lie, to keep the Gravy Train rolling
    – We’re headed for a train wreck
    – Solution(s) must be collective & Global
    – It ain’t gonna be easy
    – For anybody who cares about people in the future (grand-children?), it’s worth it.
    – Anybody who doesn’t care doesn’t deserve food.

    Reply
    1. George Washington

      kernel,

      You may wish to learn a little from modern psychological insights regarding persuasion.

      Progressive linguist and UC Berkeley professor George Lakoff says that progressives try to win arguments with facts … but that many people decide based upon emotions, not facts.

      He said that if we try to beat the other side over the head with facts – without understanding where people are coming from and what language will reach them – we will fail to persuade them.

      Moreover, studies show that many people completely ignore facts which contradict their beliefs head-on.

      If you want to preach to the choir, you have every right to do so …

      But if your goal is to persuade people who think differently from you, subtlety is often the best approach, since slipping under the radar may not trigger their defense mechanisms.

      You may agree or not … but that is an explanation of my approach.

      Reply
      1. Jeremy Grimm

        I read through the points of common ground you cite. I wish those were points of common ground.
        1] “Harden Nuclear Reactors or Decommission Them” — several commenters on this site have argued for building more nuclear reactors.
        2] “Authoritarian Rule is Never Justified” — that’s fine except how authoritarian is an effort to address Climate Disruption like the effort to win World War II?
        3] “Let’s Not Do Something Rash Which Makes Things WORSE” — again several commenters on this site have discussed various sorts of geoengineering. The topic even had its own “Unforced variations:” open thread at realclimate.org because geoengineering kept showing up in the climate science thread.
        4] “Reduce the Carbon Footprint of War” — shutting down our many foreign wars and greatly reducing DoD’s budget is definitely popular with the commenters on this site — quite apart from concern to reduce the carbon footprint of war. I think most commenters here are agreed that CO2 is driving the ongoing Climate Disruption but notice several commenters [johnm33; Pft, Edward E] who seem unconvinced that CO2 is the primary driver for Climate Disruption.
        5] “Reduce Soot” — Anyone who has walked behind a bus should agree to this point for reasons unrelated to Climate Disruption but there is disagreement about the how.
        6] “Abandon Cap and Trade” — several commenters on this site have argued for cap and trade and the related Neoliberal idea of carbon taxes.
        “Both global warming activists and skeptics can agree on the 6 points of common ground discussed above.” I’m not so sure about that. Also what difference does it make if your assertion of a common ground were indeed true? The government is run by Corporate interests oblivious to all the points above except as they impact profits or might be exploited for profit.

        Reply
  10. Pft

    People should at least try and educate themselves about the climate change that has occurred throughout this current interglacial known as the halocene. Temperatures were higher and sea levels 20 meters higher only 6000 years ago, which was known as the halocene maximum. Since then temperatures have dropped and sea level declined. At the tail end of the last 1000 years , especially since the end of the Little Ice Age triggered by low solar activity, which coincided with what we term the industrial age, temperatures have increased very slightly and sea level have increased slowly, but well below the halocene maximum , and the change has been beneficial

    The climate history of the planet over the last 600 K years, which has seen a half dozen glacial/interglacial cycles , suggest this current interglacial period will end and it will get cold.
    Perhaps mans CO2 and other activities will delay that a bit, but thats not certain.

    Regardless if climate warms or cools, people and governments should direct their energies preparing for the inevitable change (hotter, colder, wetter, drier) , rather than futile efforts to prevent changes scientists have little understanding of , despite models with so many free parameters modelled elephants can be made to fly

    Enjoy the warmth friends, future generations might be cold and hungry. Last ice age wiped out the neanderthals. Next one would kill billions due to crop failures.

    Reply
    1. Synapsid

      Pft,

      What is your source for the statement that sea level was 20 meters higher 6000 years ago? What sort of evidence is given?

      Here’s an exercise: Work out where the Gulf Coast would be after 20 meters of sea-level rise.

      Reply
    2. Jeremy Grimm

      You are quite right. You should try to educate yourself about Cllimate Disruption [climate change is much too anodyne]. A good place to start is the paper “Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms: evidence from paleoclimate data, climate modeling, and modern observations that 2 ◦ C global warming could be dangerous”, Hansen et al. [https://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/16/3761/2016/]

      If you want to worry about a sudden turn to colder read about some of the data and speculations about the slowing [I’ve read about recent measurements of ~15% slowing] and possible shutdown of the AMOC.

      Reply
    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      Last Ice Age did not wipe out Neanderthals, it fostered and encouraged them.

      Ocean Acidation is a whole other reason to reduce carbon skydumping, and increase carbon skydraining through vastly increased and augmented plant growth and soil carbon restoration. Or we can just let carbon skydumping continue and let the oceans acidify from dissolving CO2 till all our favorite food fish go extinct in an acid ocean.

      And that is quite apart from the climate itself.

      Reply
  11. Jeremy Grimm

    After making a quick scan of the paper “Infrared Radiation in the Thermosphere Near the End of Solar Cycle 24” — paying attention to the abstract, “plain language summary”, and conclusions I am surprised this particular paper could feed the peculiar denialist feelings many people seem to have about Climate Disruption. To this layman this paper appeared like a very perfunctory report of an ongoing program of research most probably written as part of a contract requirement to create periodic publications of results. This particular paper was one of the least well-written research papers I’ve seen in publication. After wondering about the paper, I wondered about the editors of this relatively prestigious journal who published a paper of this quality in a subject area so fraught with hair-on-fire controversy. Dr. Russell was able to dispel all possible denialist claims about this paper with two short, well-written paragraphs written in what I think better exemplifies “plain language”.

    Reply
  12. The Heretic

    Climate change is real, but the phenomena should renamed/rebranded as Climate Chaos…

    The previous brand name ‘Global warming’ actually appealed to people in Northern Hemisphere… conversely ‘Climate Change’ has been potentially benign meaning, as it has been associates with technological progress and social progress… Although using the term ‘Climate Instability’ would also be narratively correct, ‘Climate Chaos’ sounds more threatening, and thus better conveys the danger to humanity’s wellbeing. Furthermore the narrative of Climate Chaos is supported by all the reported extreme weather events or weather driven events, or even weather pattern unreliability that is now occurring (California Fires, Crop failures due to unreliable or shifting rainfall patterns, rising sea level, shrinking lake /freshwater reservoir levels, more extreme Hurricanes, flooding in India, freezing temperature in Texas (last two years) etc….
    Furthermore Naysayers cannot use the onset of sudden cold weather to debunk the existence of climate chaos, since this is a phenomenom that Climate chaos also implies.

    Reply
    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I like that very much! “Climate Chaos” is much better than Climate Disruption. It’s shorter, has a better sound, and the word ‘chaos’ much better suggests the inclusion of the many societal impacts with the impacts on the climate. And I agree with the other impacts you listed.

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      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Or also “Climate Decay” or maybe also “Climate D’Chaos Decay” as words and phrases to try out and see how they work.

        Reply
        1. Jeremy Grimm

          Sorry — I plan to stick with Climate Chaos for now … if only for its sound. Climate Decay is nice and suggestive but loses the ties with societal chaos that Climate Chaos promises and envelopes in its spread of meaning.

          I really do like the coin ‘Climate Chaos’ and its ring. I am also concerned that social instabilities will lead to collapse long before the full bloom of the chaotic climate now looming.

          Reply
  13. Julia

    hile we are discussing what awaits us – global warming or global freezing, the weather demonstrates more and more surprises. Abnormal heat, anomalous frosts, storms, typhoons, tornadoes where there were none before, earthquakes of magnitude 5 and above, waking-up volcanoes, flooding and fires. One thing is clear that the climate is already changing and this will go on in the next few years. In the film “It Is Coming,” https://allatra.tv/en/video/it-is-coming it is stated that history repeats itself and each time approaching global climatic changes make a person face his/her personal choice. And if humanity wants to survive, then we must begin to act now.

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