Natural causes of global warming are much more significant than manmade changes

1. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) wants to claim that the global average temperature has unexpectedly and abruptly increased during the 20th century after a gradual cooling from the year 1000, and that this unexpected increase of the temperature is mostly man-made-the greenhouse effect of CO2.

2. For their purpose, the IPCC ignored the fact that the Earth went through a cold period called "the Little Ice Age" from 1400 to 1800.

3. The Earth has been recovering from the Little Ice Age from 1800 to the present. A recovery from a cold period is warming. It is mostly this warming that is causing the present climate change and it is not man-made. If they admit the existence of the Little Ice Age, they cannot claim that the global average temperature unexpectedly increased from 1900.

3a. In addition to the steady recovery from the Little Ice Age, there are superposed oscillatory changes. The prominent one is called the multi-decadal oscillation.

3b. In fact, most of the temperature change from 1800 to 2008 can be explained by the combination of the recovery from the Little Ice Age and the multi-decadal oscillation. If the recovery from the Little Ice Age continues, the predicted temperature rise will be less than 1ยฐC (2ยฐF) by 2100, not 3~6ยฐC.

4. Because the warming began as early as 1800, not after 1946 (when CO2 in the atmosphere began to increase rapidly), the Little Ice Age was a sort of unwanted and inconvenient fact for the IPCC. (In their voluminous IPCC report, the Little Ice Age was mentioned casually only once, referring to it as "the so-called Little Ice Age.")

5. There are a large number of observations that the Earth has been recovering from the Little Ice Age from 1800 on, not from 1946 when CO2 is the atmosphere began to increase rapidly. For example:
  • Receding of glaciers in many part of the world
  • Receding of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean
  • Change in freezing/melting dates of northern rivers and lakes
6. There is no firm observational confirmation that CO2 is really responsible for the warming during the last century. It is simply and assumption or hypothesis that the IPCC has presented as a fact.

7. The IPCC claims that supercomputer studies confirm the hypothesis.

8. Supercomputers cannot confirm their hypothesis, since they can simply "tune" their computer programs so as to fit the observations.

9. Although the IPCC predicted that by the year 2100 the temperature will increase 3~6ยฐC, the temperature has stopped increasing after 2000 and shows even a decreasing sign.

10. Thus, their prediction failed even during the first decade of the present century, in spite of the fact that CO2 is still increasing.

11. This means that their CO2 hypothesis and computer programs are shown to be incorrect, proving that the program was tuned.

12. Why? Because they ignored natural causes of climate change, such as the recovery from the Little Ice Age and the multi-decadal oscillation.

13. The stopping of the warming is caused by the fact that the multi-decadal oscillation, another natural cause, has overtaken the recovery from the Little Ice Age.

14. In fact, the same thing happened in 1940, and the temperature actually decreased from 1940 to 1975, in spite of the fact that CO2 began to increase rapidly in 1946.

15. It was said at that time that a new ice age was coming even by some of those who now advocate the CO2 hypothesis.

16. If the IPCC could include the physical processes involved in the recovery from the Little Ice Age and the multi-decadal oscillation, they could have predicted the stopping of the temperature increase.

17. However, they could not program processes for the recovery from the Little Ice Age and the multi-decadal oscillation, because the causes of the Little Ice Age, or the recovery from it, or the multi-decadal oscillation are not known yet. There are many unknown natural changes, including the Big Ice Ages.

18. Thus, the present state of climate change study is still insufficient to make accurate predictions of future temperature changes. Climate change studies should go back to basic science, avoiding interference from special interest groups, including the mass media.

19. Unfortunately, I must conclude that the IPCC manipulated science for its own purpose and brought the premature science of climate change to the international political stage, causing considerable confusion and advancing the completely unnecessary "cap and trade" argument.

20. What is happening now at many climate change conferences is simply an airing of the struggle between the poor countries trying to seize money from the rich countries, using the term "climate change" as an excuse.

21. We should stop convening useless international conferences by bureaucrats and pay much more attention to environmental destructions under global capitalism. There is no reason to alarm the general public with predictions of catastrophic disasters caused by the CO2 effect; and the mass media should stop reporting premature science results.

22. Basically, what is really needed are effective energy saving efforts by all countries.

Footnote: The hockey stick figure, which played the important role in the IPCC report of 2001, has not officially been withdrawn yet, although it has since been found to be erroneous.

Syun Akasofu is with the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in Fairbanks, AK.