Cha-am Jamal, Thailand

The history of the global warming scare Chapter 2: 1985-1990

Posted on: May 10, 2010

1985, GLOBAL WARMING COULD CAUSE FUTURE PROBLEMS, Roger Barry, Univ of Colorado data center for glaciology. Atmospheric CO2 will double by the end of the century due to burning fossil fuels. CO2 induced warming will be evident in the 1990s particularly in the melting of glaciers and polar ice caps. Glacial melting in the last century is explained primarily by global warming. There is a possibility of a seasonally open Arctic (after the summer melt) in the next century brought about by a doubling of atmospheric CO2 but it is unlikely because Arctic ice “is more stable than we thought”. The future is pretty scary all the same.

1985, WILL MOTHER NATURE’S SCREEN SAVE OUR CLIMATE? CO2 induced global warming is self correcting because warming increases cloud formation and clouds reflect sunlight back into space. Richard Somerville, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, UC San Diego.

1985, SAGAN WARNS, STOP GREENHOUSE EFFECT NOW, Carl Sagan testimony in Senate hearing. Global warming will flood coastal cities and turn Midwest farmlands into a dust bowl. The greenhouse effect makes life possible but too much or too little will kill it off.Use of fossil fuels is pushing earth into too much. The answer is to reduce fossil fuel consumption by switching to nuclear and solar.  If we do nothing we condemn our children and grandchildren to the effects of global warming. The greenhouse effect of fossil fuels is the most dangerous threat to mankind we have ever faced.

1985, RISING SEA LEVEL, The Polar Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences says that the sea level will rise 4-6 cm by 2000 and 12-27 cm by 2030 because global warming from the greenhouse effect will warm the oceans and melt glaciers and polar ice caps including Greenland.

1986, SCIENTISTS PREDICT CATASTROPHE IN GROWING GLOBAL HEAT WAVE, Scientists at Senate subcommittee hearing. The greenhouse effect will cause th earth to be warmer in he next decade than at any other time in the last 100,000 years and cause shoreline erosion, droughts, and other catastrophic changes just as the depletion of the ozone layer is doing.

1986, WARMING PANIC PREMATURE, presentation by NASA scientists to a Senate committee. The warnings of “greenhouse effect”  catastrophe by 2030 are overblown because the computer models used are not good enough to make those predictions. Northern hemisphere temperatures have declined in the last 50 years (since 1935). The National Research Council’s report of 1983 shows two warm years at the end of the record but that is not enough imply a warming trend. The Diaz and Quayle 1981 article in Monthly Weather Review shows a cooling trend from 1949 to 1979. The northern hemisphere temperature history detailed in the February 1986 issue of the Journal of Climate and Applied Meteorology does not show a warming trend. Although global warming is being promoted as “inescapable” and “undeniable” the caveat in the National Research Council’s 1983 paper says “we do not believe the overall pattern yet confirms temperature changes attributable to CO2”. The DOE’s 1985 report also makes similar caveats such as “the findings constitute insufficient evidence that the climate models are correctly projecting the effects of CO2 on climate”. Northern hemisphere ocean temperatures have not gone up since WW2. Since rising CO2 is not causing warming of the northern hemisphere there must be other more potent variables at work that are not in the model. An increase of 4% to 7% the formation of certain types of clouds could offset the heat effect of doubling CO2 (Bretherton and Coakley 1985). Yet, cirrus clouds are an unknown and not in the computer models.  Most of the computer models contain major limitations in oceanic heat transfer and changes in regional rainfall. The southern hemisphere is behaving differently and appears to be warming so perhaps the same will occur in the north eventually.

1988, GLOBAL WARMING HAS BEGUN, EXPERTS TELL SENATE: James Hansen of NASA tells the US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that “the earth has been warmer in the first five months of this year than in any comparable period since measurements began 130 years ago” and therefore that the effects of greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels are now palpable. The nightmare has arrived, “the greenhouse effect is here” with the NYT reporting that “humans, by burning fossil fuels , have altered the global climate in a manner that will affect life on earth for centuries to come”. Southeast and Midwest states in the USA will experience “frequent episodes of very high temperatures and drought in the next decade and beyond”.

1988, CLIMATE CHANGE ALREADY HAPPENING, A buildup of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels  emitted by human activities into is causing the earth’s surface to warm by trapping infrared radiation from the sun and turning the entire earth into a kind of greenhouse – just as mathematical models had  predicted. Sometime between 2025 to 2050 the earth will be 3F to 9F warmer with higher latitudes 20F warmer. mathematical models had  predicted. Melting glaciers and polar ice and thermal expansion of the oceans will cause the sea level to rise by one to four feet by 2050.

1988, WARMEST YEAR EXPECTED, The hottest years on record occurred in the 1980s with the first 5 months of this year very hot. Just as the models had predicted, the rise in temperature is greater in high latitudes than in low, is greater over continents than oceans, and there is cooling in the upper atmosphere as the lower atmosphere warms up. Clearly, global warming by greenhouse gas emissions as predicted by these computer models has begun. “We can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause and effect relationship between the greenhouse effect and observed warming.” The snow is melting earlier each year and the rain belt is moving northwards.

1988, 35-NATION CONFERENCE ADDRESSES GLOBAL WARMING, A global warming meeting in Geneva will examine the scientific evidence. “The effort could lead to an international treaty to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide and other gases in the atmosphere that trap heat from the earth in a ”greenhouse effect” and to “justify actions by governments to limit and cope with climate change” . To mitigate global warming we must reduce the use of fossil fuels that produce carbon dioxide and also agree to further reductions in chlorofluorocarbons beyond the 50% reduction mandated in the Montreal Protocol. The global warming problem is real because ”We know that greenhouse gases are accumulating and in principle, they should lead to a global warming”.

1989, DEFORESTATION SPEEDS UP GLOBAL WARMING, Destruction of forests will speed up global warming because the drying forests will release carbon dioxide. We need a sharp reduction in the use of fossil fuels that produce carbon dioxide, and end to deforestation, and a program of reforestation. The re-development of nuclear power could also slow global warming. The world must immediately ratify a treaty to reduce the use of chlorofluorocarbons because they destroy ozone and contribute to global warming.

1989, GLOBAL WARMING STIRS STORM, “Despite Hansen’s assertions, there is widespread scientific disagreement over global warming trends. Some experts say there is no evidence that the climate has experienced any significant change over the past several decades.”

1989, FORECAST DISSENT ON GLOBAL WARMING, Skeptics are challenging dire greenhouse views” (NYT). Skeptics contend that forecasts of global warming are flawed and overstated and that the future might even hold no significant warming at all and that if the warming is modest, as they believe likely, it could bring benefits like longer growing seasons in temperate zones, more rain in dry areas and an enrichment of crops and plant life”. “It would be a mistake to take drastic and costly steps to limit emissions of carbon dioxide”. Much of the dissenters’ criticism is aimed at computerized mathematical models of the world’s climate on which forecasts of global warming are largely based. The critics also cite data on past climatic trends, and they say the theory of greenhouse warming has not yet been fully explored. “”We have an incomplete theory with a lot of bad science being done”. ” Current forecasts of global warming ”are so inaccurate and fraught with uncertainty as to be useless to policy-makers,” Richard S. Lindze.

1989, RACE TO ASSESS GLOBAL WARMING, Scientists are using powerful computers and advanced mathematical models to simulate the world’s climate. The computer models predict that the greenhouse effect will make the earth warmer. The resulting climate change will have “important consequences for life on earth”. One problem is that the models don’t agree on what areas will suffer drought and where there will be increased precipitation. The dilemma faced by policymakers is that they don’t have information that is precise enough to make policy but if they wait for more precise information it may be too late to take effective action.


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