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Global Warming or Global Cooling?

Mon, 08/24/2009 - 10:43am
by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor

EZ header Microchip 

Jason_Pic130Gentlemen, start your debating—according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the July average was the highest recorded ocean temperature in 128 years. July’s worldwide average of 62.6 will revive the global warming debates, inasmuch as some will cite this as evidence of climate change.

NOAA-logoJuly’s high water mark (pun intended) will certainly be repeated ad nauseum by politicians, journalists, and activists of all stripes. With reports of ocean temperatures topping 88 degrees, there appears to be clear evidence of global warming—at least one would surmise by the breathless media coverage. And if observers read the first line of the NOAA’s report—“The planet’s ocean surface temperature was the warmest on record for July,” and stopped there, they’d have no cause to think differently.

Read further and you’ll discover an inconvenient detail. The report states that, “Large portions of many continents had substantially warmer-than-average temperatures during July 2009.” But it also mentions that, “Cooler-than-average conditions prevailed across southern South America, central Canada, the eastern United States, and parts of western and eastern Asia.

One could argue that ocean temperature is more indicative of global climate trends. But this conflicts with one immutable fact—the Pacific Decadal Oscillation is locked in a cooling phase. Based on this, one could argue that we’ve entered a period of global cooling. But then, that doesn’t sound as sexy, with the cavalier indictment of industry. Obviously, if climate trends are cyclic, then “global warming” (as a persistent phenomenon caused by humans) is baloney. 

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