NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


July 25, 2008

Natural variations in climate, driven by shifting ocean currents, could lead to another decade of cooling global temperatures, according to a peer-reviewed study in the scientific journal Nature.  The cooling temperatures would add to an ongoing cooling trend that has held sway for the past decade, says Bonner R. Cohen, a senior fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research.

Other major findings:

  • The average temperature of the sea around Europe and North America will cool slightly over the next decade while the tropical Pacific will remain unchanged.
  • Global surface temperature may not increase over the next decade, as natural climate variations in the North Atlantic and tropical Pacific temporarily offset the projected human-caused global warming.

The study's lead author, Noel Keenlyside, predicts that there will be no warming until 2015 but it will pick up after that.

The overall global temperature has been gradually decreasing since 1998, which was the warmest year since the end of the Little Ice Age a little more than 100 years ago.  If the Keenlyside study is correct, the ongoing cooling will have lasted for roughly 20 years by the time it ends. 

Global temperatures also cooled between 1945 and 1977, a period of 30 years.  Keenlyside's study indicates cooling temperatures will have dominated 50 of the 70 years since 1945, once the current cooling trend comes to an end.

Source: Bonner R. Cohen, "More Global Cooling Ahead, Study Says," Heartland Institute, August 1, 2008


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