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Global Warming Explained
Climate forecasts
What is wrong with the forecasts
The solar constant
The Little Ice Age
Is the Earth warming up or not?
Tree rings
Droughts, sand dunes, and wells that dry up
Greenhouse gases
Glaciers, polar ice and rising oceans
If only we had a bit of global warming

Global Warming Explained


  1. The Inconstant Sun — An experiment onboard shuttle mission STS-107 is monitoring the Sun's variable brightness. Scientists say it's crucial data for understanding climate change, [email protected], January 17, 2003 (original NASA article)

  2. Lamb (1995) describes a passage from Landnámabók, a book written in Iceland in the year 1125, that catalogs the settlement of Iceland. It was recorded that Thorkel Farserk, a cousin of Erik the Red who founded the colony, having no boat at hand, swam out across a fiord to fetch a sheep from the island of Hvalsey. The distance was over two miles. Lamb (1995) cites a medical endurance expert who established 10° C (50° F) as the coolest possible water temperature for a very strong man to survive swimming that distance. Given that the normal water temperature at present for that fiord in August is 6° [C], the story suggests a much warmer climate than present. Lamb (1995) and Tkachuck (1983) both refer to old Norse burial depths being much greater in the past than today which suggests the permafrost was deeper (warmer climate) than at present.  — Determining the Climate Record - Influence of Dramatic Climate Shifts ...Civilizations: The Rise and Fall of the Vikings and the Little Ice Age, Scott A. Mandia

  3. Impact on Wine Production:   People keep records of their most important crops, grapes for wine-making being no exception.  Ladurie (1971) notes that there were many "bad years" for wine during the LIA in France and surrounding countries due to very late harvests and very wet summers.  The cultivation of grapes was extensive throughout the southern portion of England from about 1100-1300.  This area is about 300 miles farther north than the areas in France and Germany that grow grapes today.  Grapes were also grown in northern France and Germany at that time, areas which even today do not sustain commercial vineyards.  In fact, Lamb (1995) suggests that during that period the amount of wine produced in England was substantial enough to provide significant economic competition with the producers in France. With the coming cooler climate in the 1400's, temperatures became too cold for grape production and the vineyards in southern England ceased to exist and do not exist even today. — Determining the Climate Record - Influence of Dramatic Climate Shifts ...Civilizations: The Rise and Fall of the Vikings and the Little Ice Age, Scott A. Mandia

  4. Global Warming — A Guide to the Science, by Willie Soon, Sallie L. Baliunas, Arthur B. Robinson and Zachary W. Robinson, The Fraser Institute, Centre for Studies in Risk and Regulation, Vancouver British Columbia Canada 2001, Risk Controversy Series 1 (download accessible in the press release in which the FI announced the guide, or go there directly: PDF file, 421kB)

  5. Ibid., p. 3

  6. Impacts of Future Climate Change on the Southern Canadian Prairies:
    A Paleoenvironmental Perspective,
      by D.S. Lemmen, Terrain Sciences Division, Geological Survey of Canada, R.E. Vance, S.A. Wolfe, Terrain Sciences Division, Geological Survey of Canada, and W.M. Last, Dept of Geological Sciences,University of Manitoba, Geoscience Canada, September 1997, Volume 24, Number 3, pp. 121-133


    Water and soil are critical to the prosperity of the southern Canadian prairies. Both have been strongly influenced by historic climate variability, and by even more significant climate changes that have occurred during the Holocene. These observations, together with general circulation model projections of increasing aridity in this region, raise concerns about the potential impacts of future climate change. Collaborative, multidisciplinary research conducted over the past 5 years as part of the Palliser Triangle Global Change Project has focussed on geoscientific aspects of climate change in the driest portion of the Canadian prairie provinces. Reconstruction of past climates, based on multiple paleolimnological indicators (plant macrofossils, diatoms, ostracodes, algal   pigments, sedimentology, mineralogy, and stable isotope geochemistry), demonstrates that the historic record of roughly 100 years does not adequately capture the range of climatic variability observed during even the last 2000 years. The response of hydrologic and geomorphic systems to past changes in climate documents a surprisingly dynamic landscape. The best analogues for projected future climates feature a regional water table more than 4 m below its present level and enhanced wind erosion. The paleoenvironmental record highlights the susceptibility of water and soil resources to climate-induced impacts that are likely to adversely affect human activities in the region over the next century.

    The study report can be downloaded from the website of the Geological Survey of Canada. (PDF file, 1,058kB)

  7. In case you have never come across this site, look up the historical records of annual mean surface temperatures at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies.  A clickable global map serves as the index to records from around the world, which, when called up, are very quickly displayed in graphical format.
       Keep in mind that temperature records from urban areas are affected by the heat-island effect.  For an assessment of the extent of global warming, it would be best to look at records from rural areas only.  Weather stations are identified in the index as to whether they are in rural or urban locations.  Using the data available at the site, you can also determine how many weather stations there are in the Canadian Arctic or in any other region of the world.

    Update 2009 12 11:

    The GISS temperature record can no longer be trusted. 

    On or around about Nov. 14, 2009, GISS began to use a new global temperature data set that deleted temperature records relating to the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Not only that, but the temperature data that remained in use were adjusted downward for dates preceding the year 2000 (increasingly downward the farther back in the temperature record they go), thereby creating or exaggerating "warming" trends for individual locations.

    A discussion thread at http://wattsupwiththat.com details the nature of the data fiddling.

    From that discussion thread:

    ...See under “What’s New”:

    “Nov. 14, 2009: USHCN_V2 is now used rather than the older version 1. The only visible effect is a slight increase of the US trend after year 2000 due to the fact that NOAA extended the TOBS and other adjustment to those years.
    Sep. 11, 2009: NOAA NCDC provided an updated file on Sept. 9 of the GHCN data used in our analysis. The new file has increased data quality checks in the tropics. Beginning Sept. 11 the GISS analysis uses the new NOAA data set. ”

    The "visible effect" of the new, manipulated data set is far greater than the quoted note implies.  The data changes were without a doubt manufactured to create a warming trend where none exists or to exaggerate possibly existing warming trends.

    This is not the first time that the gate keepers of climate data were caught in the act of large-scale falsifying of existing data.

  8. CLIMATIC VARIABILITY AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE, Agri-Food Innovation Fund Project # 96000473, Final Report - May, 2000, by D.J. (Dave) Sauchyn. Ph.D., P.Geo., Department of Geography, University of Regina, [email protected]

  9. Possible solar forcing of century-scale drought frequency in the northern Great Plains, by Zicheng Yu, Department of Geology and Geophysics and Limnological Research Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Emi Ito Minnesota 55455, USA

  10. Global Warming — A Guide to the Science, Fraser Institute, pp. 5, 6

  11. The Carbon Dioxide Thermometer and the Cause of Global Warming, by N. Calder, Energy & Environment, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. 1-18, 1999. (The initial draft of that paper, originally published at John Daly's website, is accessible via a zip file at John Daly's site.)

  12. John L. Daly, Tasmanian Sea Levels: The `Isle of the Dead' Revisited, 2nd February 2003

  13. Comments on the Second Draft of the IPCC Third Scientific Assessment Report, by Vincent Gray (May 3, 2000)

  14. Inter-annual variations of Arctic multi-year sea ice, 1991-2001, by Robert Ezraty and Alain Cavanié, Département d’Océanographie Spatiale, IFREMER, Centre de Brest, BP. 70. 29280 Plouzané, France

  15. Variations and Long-term Climate Trends in Northern Alaska and the Adjacent Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, by R.S. Stone, Division of Cryospheric and Polar Processes, CIRES, University of Colorado,   p. 19

  16. What is the ‘Hockey Stick’ Debate About?
    By Ross McKitrick, Department of Economics, University of Guelph, April 4 2005


    The hockey stick debate is about two things. At a technical level it concerns a well-known study that characterized the state of the Earth’s climate over the past thousand years and seemed to prove a recent and unprecedented global warming. I will explain how the study got the results it did, examine some key flaws in the methodology and explain why the conclusions are unsupported by the data. At the political level the emerging debate is about whether the enormous international trust that has been placed in the IPCC [the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] was betrayed. The hockey stick story reveals that the IPCC allowed a deeply flawed study to dominate the Third Assessment Report, which suggests the possibility of bias in the Report-writing process. In view of the massive global influence of IPCC Reports, there is an urgent need to bias-proof future assessments in order to put climate policy onto a new foundation that will better serve the public interest.  (Full Text — PDF file)

Next Page: Blame sun for global warming

Back to Global Warming Index Page

Posted 2002 09 26 (page broken up into several pages)
2002 10 08 (added reference and link to N. Calder's paper on CO2 and global warming)
2003 01 17 (added reference to NASA's report on measuring variability of solar radiation)
2003 01 22 (added references 14 and 15)
2005 10 29 (updated citation and link in footnote 12)