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About Climate Change Reconsidered
Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) is the most comprehensive objective compilation of science on climate change ever published. It offers a “second opinion” to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published in 2007. Unlike that report, Climate Change Reconsidered finds global warming is not a crisis, and never was.
Principal findings of the book include the following:
- Climate models suffer from numerous deficiencies and shortcomings that could alter even the very sign (plus or minus, warming or cooling) of earth’s projected temperature response to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations.
- The model-derived temperature sensitivity of the earth--especially for a doubling of the preindustrial CO2 level--is much too large, and feedbacks in the climate system reduce it to values that are an order of magnitude smaller than what the IPCC employs.
- Real-world observations do not support the IPCC’s claim that current trends in climate and weather are “unprecedented” and, therefore, the result of anthropogenic greenhouse gases.
- The IPCC overlooks or downplays the many benefits to agriculture and forestry that will be accrued from the ongoing rise in the air’s CO2 content.
- There is no evidence that CO2-induced increases in air temperature will cause unprecedented plant and animal extinctions, either on land or in the world’s oceans.
- There is no evidence that CO2-induced global warming is or will be responsible for increases in the incidence of human diseases or the number of lives lost to extreme thermal conditions.
On June 2, as Congress debated global warming legislation that would raise energy costs to consumers by hundreds of billions of dollars, the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) released an 880-page book challenging the scientific basis of concerns that global warming is either man-made or would have harmful effects.
In “Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC),” coauthors Dr. S. Fred Singer and Dr. Craig Idso and 35 contributors and reviewers present an authoritative and detailed rebuttal of the findings of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), on which the Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress rely for their regulatory proposals.
The scholarship in this book demonstrates overwhelming scientific support for the position that the warming of the twentieth century was moderate and not unprecedented, that its impact on human health and wildlife was positive, and that carbon dioxide probably is not the driving factor behind climate change.
The authors cite thousands of peer-reviewed research papers and books that were ignored by the IPCC, plus additional scientific research that became available after the IPCC’s self-imposed deadline of May 2006.
The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) is an international panel of nongovernment scientists and scholars who have come together to understand the causes and consequences of climate change. Because it is not a government agency, and because its members are not predisposed to believe climate change is caused by human greenhouse gas emissions, NIPCC is able to offer an independent “second opinion” of the evidence reviewed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). NIPCC traces its roots to a meeting in Milan in 2003 organized by the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP), a nonprofit research and education organization based in Arlington, Virginia. SEPP, in turn, was founded in 1990 by Dr. S. Fred Singer, an atmospheric physicist, and incorporated in 1992 following Dr. Singer’s retirement from the University of Virginia.
Computer simulations of global climate change have
long indicated the world’s polar regions should show
the first and severest signs of CO2-induced global
warming. If the models are correct, these signs should
be especially evident in the second half of the
twentieth century, when approximately two-thirds of
the modern-era rise in atmospheric CO2 occurred and
earth’s temperature supposedly rose to a level
unprecedented in the past millennium. In this
subsection, we examine historic trends in Arctic
glacier behavior to determine the credibility of current
climate models with respect to their polar predictions.
In a review of “the most current and
comprehensive research of Holocene glaciation,”
along the northernmost Gulf of Alaska between the
Kenai Peninsula and Yakutat Bay, Calkin et al.
(2001) report there were several periods of glacial
advance and retreat over the past 7,000 years. Over
the most recent of those seven millennia, there was a
general retreat during the Medieval Warm Period that
lasted for “at least a few centuries prior to A.D.
1200.” Then came three major intervals of Little Ice
Age glacial advance: the early fifteenth century, the
middle seventeenth century, and the last half of the
nineteenth century. During these very cold periods,
glacier equilibrium-line altitudes were depressed from
150 to 200 m below present values, as Alaskan
glaciers “reached their Holocene maximum
The mass balance records of the 18 Arctic
glaciers with the longest observational histories
subsequent to this time, as the planet emerged from
the depths of the Little Ice Age, were studied by
Dowdeswell et al. (1997). Their analysis showed that
more than 80 percent of the glaciers displayed
negative mass balances over the periods of their
observation, as would be expected for glaciers
emerging from the coldest part of the past
millennium. Nevertheless, the scientists report that
“ice-core records from the Canadian High Arctic
islands indicate that the generally negative glacier
mass balances observed over the past 50 years have
probably been typical of Arctic glaciers since the end
of the Little Ice Age,” when the magnitude of
anthropogenic CO2 emissions was much less than it
has been from 1950 onward.
These observations suggest that Arctic glaciers
are not experiencing any adverse effects of
anthropogenic CO2 emissions. In fact, Dowdeswell et
al. say “there is no compelling indication of
increasingly negative balance conditions which
might, a priori, be expected from anthropogenically
induced global warming.” Quite to the contrary, they
report that “almost 80 percent of the mass balance
time series also have a positive trend, toward a less
negative mass balance.” Hence, although most Arctic
glaciers continue to lose mass, as they have probably
done since the end of the Little Ice Age, they are
losing smaller amounts each year.
Additional evidence that the Arctic’s glaciers are
not responding to human-induced warming comes
from the studies of Zeeberg and Forman (2001) and
Mackintosh et al. (2002), who indicate there has been
an expansion of glaciers in the European Arctic over
the past few decades.
Zeeberg and Forman analyzed twentieth century
changes in glacier terminus positions on north
Novaya Zemlya—a Russian island located between
the Barents and Kara Seas in the Arctic Ocean—
providing a quantitative assessment of the effects of
temperature and precipitation on glacial mass balance.
Their study showed a significant and accelerated post-
Little Ice Age glacial retreat in the first and second
decades of the twentieth century. By 1952, the
region’s glaciers had experienced between 75 percent
to 100 percent of their net twentieth century retreat;
and during the next 50 years, the recession of more
than half of the glaciers stopped, while many
tidewater glaciers actually began to advance.
These glacial stabilizations and advances were
attributed by the authors to observed increases in
precipitation and/or decreases in temperature. For the
four decades since 1961, weather stations on Novaya
Zemlya, for example, show summer temperatures
were 0.3 to 0.5°C colder than they were over the prior
40 years, while winter temperatures were 2.3 to 2.8°C
colder than they were over that earlier period. These
observations, the authors say, are “counter to
warming of the Eurasian Arctic predicted for the
twenty-first century by climate models, particularly
for the winter season.”
Other glacier observations that run counter to
climate model predictions are discussed by
Mackintosh et al. (2002), who concentrated on the
300-year history of the Solheimajokull outlet glacier
on the southern coast of Iceland. In 1705, this glacier
had a length of about 14.8 km; by 1740 it had grown
to 15.2 km in length. Thereafter, it began to retreat,
reaching a minimum length of 13.2 km in 1783.
Rebounding rapidly, however, the glacier returned to
its 1705 position by 1794; by 1820 it equaled its 1740
length. This maximum length was maintained for the
next half-century, after which the glacier began a
slow retreat that continued to about 1932, when its
length was approximately 14.75 km. Then it wasted
away more rapidly, reaching a second minimumlength
value of approximately 13.8 km about 1970,
whereupon it began to rapidly expand, growing to
14.3 km by 1995.
The current position of the outlet glacier terminus
is by no means unusual. In fact, it is about midway
between its maximum and minimum positions of the
past three centuries. It is also interesting to note that
the glacier has been growing in length since about
1970. Mackintosh et al. report that “the recent
advance (1970-1995) resulted from a combination of
cooling and enhancement of precipitation.”
In another study of the Arctic, Humlum et al.
(2005) evaluated climate dynamics and their
respective impacts on high-latitude glaciers for the
Archipelago of Svalbard, focusing on Spitsbergen
(the Archipelago’s main island) and the
Longyearbreen glacier located in its relatively dry
central region at 78°13’N latitude. In reviewing what
was already known about the region, Humlum et al.
report that “a marked warming around 1920 changed
the mean annual air temperature (MAAT) at sea level
within only 5 years from about -9.5°C to -4.0°C,”
which change, in their words, “represents the most
pronounced increase in MAAT documented anywhere
in the world during the instrumental period.” Then,
they report that “from 1957 to 1968, MAAT dropped
about 4°C, followed by a more gradual increase
towards the end of the twentieth century.”
With respect to the Longyearbreen glacier, their
work reveals it “has increased in length from about 3
km to its present size of about 5 km during the last c.
1100 years,” and they say that “the meteorological
setting of non-surging Longyearbreen suggest this
example of late-Holocene glacier growth represents a
widespread phenomenon in Svalbard and in adjoining
Arctic regions,” which they describe as a
“development towards cooler conditions in the
Arctic” that “may explain why the Little Ice Age
glacier advance in Svalbard usually represents the
Holocene maximum glacier extension.”
Climate change in Svalbard over the twentieth
century was a rollercoaster ride, with temperatures
rising more rapidly in the early 1920s than has been
documented anywhere else before or since, only to be
followed by a nearly equivalent temperature drop four
decades later, both of which climatic transitions were
totally out of line with what climate models suggest
should have occurred. The current location of the
terminus of the Longyearbreen glacier suggests that,
even now, Svalbard and “adjoining Arctic regions”
are experiencing some of the lowest temperatures of
the entire Holocene or current interglacial, at a time
when atmospheric CO2 concentrations are higher than
they have likely been for millions of years. Both of
these observations are at odds with what the IPCC
claims about the strong warming power of
atmospheric CO2 enrichment.
Bradwell et al. (2006) examined the link between
late Holocene fluctuations of Lambatungnajokull (an
outlet glacier of the Vatnajokull ice cap of southeast
Iceland) and variations in climate, using
geomorphological evidence to reconstruct patterns of
glacier fluctuations and using lichenometry and
tephrostratigraphy to date glacial landforms created
by the glacier over the past four centuries. Results
indicated that “there is a particularly close
correspondence between summer air temperature and
the rate of ice-front recession of Lambatungnajokull
during periods of overall retreat,” and that “between
1930 and 1950 this relationship is striking.” They also
report that “ice-front recession was greatest during the
1930s and 1940s, when retreat averaged 20 m per
year.” Thereafter, they say the retreat “slowed in the
1960s,” and they report “there has been little overall
retreat since the 1980s.”
The researchers also report that “the 20th-century
record of reconstructed glacier-front fluctuations at
Lambatungnajokull compares well with those of other
similar-sized, non-surging, outlets of southern
Vatnajokull,” including Skaftafellsjokull, Fjallsjokull,
Skalafellsjokull, and Flaajokull. In fact, they find “the
pattern of glacier fluctuations of Lambatungnajokull
over the past 200 years reflects the climatic changes
that have occurred in southeast Iceland and the wider
Bradwell et al.’s findings suggest that twentieth
century summer air temperature in southeast Iceland
and the wider region peaked in the 1930s and 1940s,
and was followed by a cooling that persisted through
the end of the century. This thermal behavior is about
as different as one could imagine from the claim that
the warming of the globe over the last two decades of
the twentieth century was unprecedented over the past
two millennia. Especially is this so for a highnorthern-
latitude region, where the IPCC claims CO2-
induced global warming should be earliest and most
The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) is the most comprehensive objective compilation of science on climate change ever published. It offers a “second opinion” to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published in 2007.