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Global Warming...Cooling...Or Just Climate Change?

Samuel Staley
January 29, 2012, 8:24pm

According to new data released without fanfare from the University of East Anglia's (England) Climate Research Center, the Earth is not warming. It hasn't experienced meaningful warming since 1997. In fact, it might be cooling. Apparently, the culprit in the Sun, at least according to one scientist quoted by the Daily Mail (29 January 2012): 

Dr Nicola Scafetta, of Duke University in North Carolina, is the author of several papers that argue the Met Office climate models show there should have been ‘steady warming from 2000 until now’.

‘If temperatures continue to stay flat or start to cool again, the divergence between the models and recorded data will eventually become so great that the whole scientific community will question the current theories,’ he said.

He believes that as the Met Office model attaches much greater significance to CO2 than to the sun, it was bound to conclude that there would not be cooling. ‘The real issue is whether the model itself is accurate,’ Dr Scafetta said. Meanwhile, one of America’s most eminent climate experts, Professor Judith Curry of the  Georgia Institute of Technology, said she found the Met Office’s confident prediction of a ‘negligible’ impact difficult to understand."

So, if the Earth is not warming, and it might be cooling, but we really don't know, what's going on? Apparently, the only thing we really do know is that the Earth is changing. The policy implications are actually pretty straightforward in a climate change world, rather than a warming or cooling world: focus on mitigation and adaptation.

For more on Reason Foundation's work on climate change, check out our studies on transportation, innovation, and other related topics at our climate change page on reason.org.


Samuel Staley is Research Fellow


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