By David Rose
The Daily Mail (U.K.)
10th January 2010
The bitter winter afflicting much of the Northern Hemisphere is only the start of a global trend towards cooler weather that is likely to last for 20 or 30 years, say some of the world’s most eminent climate scientists.
Their predictions – based on an analysis of natural cycles in water temperatures in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans – challenge some of the global warming orthodoxy’s most deeply cherished beliefs, such as the claim that the North Pole will be free of ice in summer by 2013.
According to the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado, Arctic summer sea ice has increased by 409,000 square miles, or 26 per cent, since 2007 – and even the most committed global warming activists do not dispute this.
The scientists’ predictions also undermine the standard climate computer models, which assert that the warming of the Earth since 1900 has been driven solely by man-made greenhouse gas emissions and will continue as long as carbon dioxide levels rise.
They say that their research shows that much of the warming was caused by oceanic cycles when they were in a ‘warm mode’ as opposed to the present ‘cold mode’.
This challenge to the widespread view that the planet is on the brink of an irreversible catastrophe is all the greater because the scientists could never be described as global warming ‘deniers’ or sceptics.
Among the most prominent of the scientists is Professor Mojib Latif, a leading member of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has been pushing the issue of man-made global warming on to the international political agenda since it was formed 22 years ago.
Prof Latif, who leads a research team at the renowned Leibniz Institute at Germany’s Kiel University, has developed new methods for measuring ocean temperatures 3,000ft beneath the surface, where the cooling and warming cycles start.
He and his colleagues predicted the new cooling trend in a paper published in 2008 and warned of it again at an IPCC conference in Geneva last September.
Last night he told The Mail on Sunday: ‘A significant share of the warming we saw from 1980 to 2000 and at earlier periods in the 20th Century was due to these cycles – perhaps as much as 50 per cent.
'They have now gone into reverse, so winters like this one will become much more likely. Summers will also probably be cooler, and all this may well last two decades or longer.
Prof Tsonis said that the period from 1915 to 1940 saw a strong warm mode, reflected in rising temperatures. From 1940 until the late Seventies, the last [Pacific and Atlantic ‘multi-decadal oscillation’ (MDO)] cold-mode era, the world cooled, despite the fact that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere continued to rise.
Many of the consequences of the recent warm mode were also observed 90 years ago.
For example, in 1922, the Washington Post reported that Greenland’s glaciers were fast disappearing, while Arctic seals were ‘finding the water too hot’.
Like Prof Latif, Prof Tsonis is not a climate change ‘denier’. There is, he said, a measure of additional ‘background’ warming due to human activity and greenhouse gases that runs across the MDO cycles.
'This isn't just a blip. We can expect colder winters for quite a while'But he added: ‘I do not believe in catastrophe theories. Man-made warming is balanced by the natural cycles, and I do not trust the computer models which state that if CO2 reaches a particular level then temperatures and sea levels will rise by a given amount.
'These models cannot be trusted to predict the weather for a week, yet they are running them to give readings for 100 years.’
Prof Tsonis said that when he published his work in the highly respected journal Geophysical Research Letters, he was deluged with ‘hate emails’.
In March 2000, Dr David Viner, then a member of the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit, the body now being investigated over the notorious ‘Warmergate’ leaked emails, said that within a few years snowfall would become ‘a very rare and exciting event’ in Britain, and that ‘children just aren’t going to know what snow is’.
10 years on from the warmer's prediction of rare snow and the United Kingdom is locked in ice and snow as seen on NASA's Terra satellite view on Thursday (photo above).
If it's going to start warming up, many of us wish it would be soon, and not 30 years from now when the next Ocean cycle begins!