Acton Institute Powerblog

Global Warming COOLING Consensus Alert: The Ice Age Cometh?

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THE scariest photo I have seen on the internet is, where you will find a real-time image of the sun from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, located in deep space at the equilibrium point between solar and terrestrial gravity.

What is scary about the picture is that there is only one tiny sunspot.

Disconcerting as it may be to true believers in global warming, the average temperature on Earth has remained steady or slowly declined during the past decade, despite the continued increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, and now the global temperature is falling precipitously.

All four agencies that track Earth’s temperature (the Hadley Climate Research Unit in Britain, the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, the Christy group at the University of Alabama, and Remote Sensing Systems Inc in California) report that it cooled by about 0.7C in 2007. This is the fastest temperature change in the instrumental record and it puts us back where we were in 1930. If the temperature does not soon recover, we will have to conclude that global warming is over.

The author of this story is Phil Chapman, a geophysicist, astronautical engineer, and the first Australian to become a NASA astronaut, just in case you were wondering. No word on whether he’s picked up his briefcase full of cash from Exxon yet or not. Perhaps our local independent media can do some checking on that…

Marc Vander Maas


  • enviro414

    The very popular perception of a greenhouse gas blanket trapping heat and causing the planet to heat up is totally wrong. Anyone who perceives that greenhouse gas increase causes global warming has been mislead by a misunderstanding or ignorance of the physics of radiation heat transfer in a greenhouse gas. This is readily understood by anyone with even modest experience in optical spectroscopy but apparently is unknown to many climate scientists. Graphs showing climate history are presented at The reason why increased greenhouse gas level has no influence on average global temperature is proven at

    A gas is called a greenhouse gas because it has spectral absorption lines that cause it to absorb heat radiated at those specific spectral frequencies from objects at earth temperature. What is usually unknown to scientists who are not knowledgeable in the field of optical spectroscopy (e. g. climate scientists) is that the absorption at spectral frequencies by atoms (the gas is transparent at non-spectral frequencies) is nearly all absorbed within about five meters of the radiating surface and very nearly all immediately transferred to nearby atoms by thermal conduction (the atoms bump into each other). Beyond a few meters from the surface, the greenhouse gas acts much the same as a non-greenhouse gas and the absorbed heat is carried up by convection currents. More greenhouse gas means only that the absorption takes place even closer to the ground. The convection process is unaffected. The end result is that climate is unaffected by increase in the amount of greenhouse gas.

  • Rasputin

    Yes, that is true.

  • ouzel

    Just as I’ve always suspected.

  • I firmly believe, there is more to global warming than some people realize, and it is not about “CO2 concentrations” but global justice!

    There have been many genocides committed on a global basis, that have “tainted the moral atmosphere to the point where “global judgments” are unavoidable, suppressing truth does not help, but makes them only worse!

  • Dodge

    Couple your discussion with the facts of global atmospheric heat transfer facts (e.g. why trade winds and westerlies exist)further underscores why there is something else pushing the global warming farse. I say, follow the money, and who profits from new industries now evolving to fight this fake threat. Poor America and the rest of the world.

  • Have you contributed to this ice age?

    Confess your sins online, anonymously at

  • Chapman’s column was debunked in The Australian a few days later:,25197,23612876-11949,00.html

    Some of the key points:

    “THE opinion piece by Phil Chapman (“Sorry to ruin the fun, but an ice age cometh”, Opinion, April 22) warns of an approaching ice age but contains a number of factual errors, misleading statements and incorrect conclusions.

    Chapman reports global average temperature cooled by 0.7C in 2007 and says: “If the temperature does not soon recover, we will have to conclude that global warming is over.”

    It is true that global data sets show a pronounced cooling from January2007 to January 2008 of slightly less than 0.7C. It is an error to state, as Chapman does, that this is unprecedented, as similar dramatic falls occurred from 1998 to 1999, and from 1973 to 1974. It should also be noted that the global average temperature has warmed substantially, by about 0.3C from January 2008 to March 2008. In addition, the annual average temperature for 2007 was within 0.1C of the average temperature in 2006 and 2005; no dramatic cooling there.

    So what caused this rapid cooling during 2007, and also from 1998 to 1999, and from 1973 to 1974? What was common to all those periods? In each case, the common factor was a rapid change from El Nino to La Nina conditions, from warm temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean to cold temperatures in the same region, which has a significant effect on global climate patterns and global average temperature. La Nina is associated with below-normal global average temperature, and because of its influence, 2008 is likely to be about 0.3C cooler than the average of the previous few years.

    Chapman did not consider La Nina as a cause of the cooling in 2007 and instead linked it to the minimum in the 11-year cycle in sunspot numbers: “The first sunspot appeared in January this year and lasted only two days. A tiny spot appeared last Monday but vanished within 24 hours. Another little spot appeared this Monday.”

    I don’t know where these sunspot numbers came from but they are in error. The best source of data for present sunspot numbers is the World Data Centre for Solar Terrestrial Physics at the National Geophysical Data Centre in Boulder, Colorado. According to it, the average number of sunspots a day last January was 3.4, followed by 2.1 in February and 9.3 in March. The minimum was in October2007.

    So, are variations in global average temperature directly related to sunspot numbers on a monthly, annual or decadal timescale?

    Certainly not on a monthly timescale and the effect, if any, on a year-to-year timescale is very small, as can be found by correlating the variations of global average temperature on monthly or annual timescales with the sunspot numbers. Any relationship between sunspot numbers and global average temperatures is much, much smaller than the clear relationship between inter-annual variations of equatorial Pacific Sea surface temperatures and global average temperatures, showing the effect of the El Nino-La Nina cycle.

    While those errors are bad enough, the main flaw in Chapman’s opinion is trying to infer long-term climate trends from short-term (one year) variations of global temperature. It is well known (among climate scientists) that there are large inter-annual variations of global temperature caused by a number of factors, including El Nino, big volcanic eruptions, or just the chaotic variability of the climate system. It is not possible to make conclusions about long-term climate trends from inter-annual climate variations. Many lines of evidence support the conclusion reached last year by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that “warming of the climate system is unequivocal”, referring to changes over the past 100 years. Even when we consider only the global average temperature during La Nina episodes, such as the present cool period, we find that we are experiencing the warmest global temperature of any strong La Nina episode in the past 100 years, again showing clear long-term global warming. “

  • Watchbird

    Here is a reference from

    Chilling News: “Sunspots May [All] Vanish by 2015”

    By William Livingston and Matthew Penn,
    National Solar Observatory, Tucson, AZ