NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Scientists Say There Is No Evidence of Catastrophic Man-Made Global Warming

November 8, 2001

Scientists from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics say the hypothesis that increases in carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere due to industrial activity have caused global temperatures to rise over the past century and, if unchecked, will cause catastrophic warming is incorrect.

In a new book published by the Fraser Institute, they find:

  • The increased surface temperature of about 0.5°C to 0.6°C over the last one hundred years is a natural phenomenon -- because 80 percent of the rise in levels of atmospheric CO2 during the twentieth century occurred after the initial major rise in temperature.
  • Surface temperatures (based on land and sea measurements) peaked by around 1940, then cooled until the 1970s; since then, there has been a surface warming.
  • The primary impact of the greenhouse effect of added CO2 is in the lower atmosphere (rather than at the surface), but accurate measurements of that layer of air by U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellites over the last 22 years have not shown any hint of global warming.

Concern that the continued increase in the concentration of CO2 in the air will lead to a disastrous rise in the global temperature stems mainly from computer-based simulations of the climate system.

The study shows that current models are not sufficiently accurate in forecasting future climate change. At present, it is impossible to isolate the effect of an increased concentration of atmospheric CO2 on climate.

Source: Willie Soon, Sallie L. Baliunas, Arthur B. Robinson and Zachary W. Robinson, "Global Warming: A Guide to the Science," Risk Controversy Series 1, October 2001, Fraser Institute, 4th Floor 1770 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC. V6J 3G7, Canada, (604) 688-0221.

 

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