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Failing the debate

By Dennis Avery
web posted July 3, 2006

The National Academy of Sciences is flunking as the referee in the global warming debate.

The Academy was supposed to referee an acrimonious debate in Congress and the science community over the infamous "hockey stick" global warming studies. Those two studies, published in 1998 and 1999, were led by Michael Mann, now at the University of Virginia. They appear to find dramatic 20th century warming, after 900 years of supposedly stable world temperatures. The study is controversial because it appeared to wipe out the Medieval Warming and Little Ice Age, two of the most widely documented climate events in history.

Nevertheless, it was widely published by the Clinton Administration and the UN climate change panel as "proof" of man-made global warming. And now, the National Academy has announced that it is "plausible" that today's temperatures are the warmest in 1100 years, as Mann claimed.

Really?

Britain today has come out of the Little Ice Age which extended from 1400 to 1850, but it is essentially still too cold to grow wine grapes successfully. In 1068 AD, 938 years before today, Britain's tax officials reported in the Domesday Book that nearly 50 British vineyards were growing wine grapes. Nor are German wine grapes grown as high on the hillsides today as they were in the Medieval period. Wine grape vines are one of humanity's most accurate and sensitive indications of temperature in the pre-thermometer era.

More important, the Romans also reported growing wine grapes in Britain when they occupied that country in the 1st century. Thus we know that both the 1st and 11th centuries were warmer than today. Mann was wrong about the 21st century having "unprecedented warming."

The bigger scientific sin of both Mann and the National Academy is trying to hide the natural, moderate 1500-year climate cycle.

The top science journals since 1984 have widely reported on the 1500-year cycle, which was first discovered in the long Greenland and Antarctic ice cores in the 1980s. Since then, the 1500-year cycle has also been found in the seabed sediments of five oceans, in glacier advances and retreats worldwide, in ancient tree rings, and in historic documents from both Europe and Asia. It goes back at least a million years.

The 1500-year climate cycle has no correlation with CO2 in the atmosphere. It has had a strong correlation with the length of the sunspot cycles on the sun.

CO2 may be adding to the Modern Warming, but its impact is apparently not large. Remember that our warming started 90 years before human CO2 emissions began to surge about 1940. When human CO2 emissions did surge after 1940, global temperatures went down for 35 years! The Greenhouse Theory says the Polar Regions will warm first, but they aren't doing it. The Antarctic has been cooling since the 1960s, except for the tiny Antarctic Peninsula. The Arctic was warmer in the 1930s than it is today.

Is the National Academy of Science fearful that if the public understood the natural climate cycle, the science community would lose the billions of dollars the government now spends on the CO2 climate scare?

The National Academy has a massive conflict of interest that is truly disturbing.

Dennis T. Avery was a senior policy analyst for the U.S. State Department, where he won the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement. He is the co-author, with atmospheric physicist Fred Singer, of the forthcoming book Unstoppable Global Warming—Every 1500 Years, due in October from Rowman & Littlefield.

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