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Hot News from the 17th Century

Colder climate = more storms.

By Kermit Frosch  |  August 12, 2008

We've often discussed the complete lack of evidence behind the global-warming scam.

One of the more fundamental problems with proving the existence of global warming, as opposed to local warming in one spot, is that before the recent invention of weather satellites, there was simply no way to take the temperature of the earth all at once.  There are, indeed, quite a few means of deducing historical weather patterns - measuring tree rings, taking ice cores, and the like - but all are rather limited as to exactly what they can prove.

There are other ways to track overall climate change, though, and recent research has disclosed an astonishingly detailed record, covering several hundred years and points all over the earth: the logbooks of British Navy ships in the days when the sun never set on the British Empire.  The Times of London reports:

Britain's great seafaring tradition is to provide a unique insight into modern climate change, thanks to thousands of Royal Navy logbooks that have survived from the 17th century onwards... A preliminary study of 6,000 logbooks has produced results that raise questions about climate change theories. [emphasis added]

That's an extremely tactful way to put it.  A more accurate expression, and one which the original authors of the logbooks might appreciate, would be that they "blow climate-change doomsayers completely out of the water" - on not just one, but many counts.

Storms Are Not Caused By Global Warming

Not a storm occurs anywhere on Earth but what we hear some degreed ignoramus blaming it on global warming.  Al Gore's notorious documentary An Inconvenient Truth was slammed by a British court for making this charge entirely without proof.  Thanks to the diligence of the officers of His Majesty's Royal Navy, we now have proof that this charge is entirely false.

One paper, published by Dr Dennis Wheeler, a Sunderland University geographer, in the journal The Holocene, details a surge in the frequency of summer storms over Britain in the 1680s and 1690s.  Many scientists believe storms are a consequence of global warming, but these were the coldest decades of the so-called Little Ice Age that hit Europe from about 1600 to 1850.  [emphasis added]

Understand what Dr. Wheeler is demonstrating here.  He is saying that during the decade at the very peak of the Little Ice Age, when world temperatures were at their coldest, which is far colder than they are today, there was a surge of storm activity.  This is the exact opposite of what global-warming alarmists claim: that a warming Earth will have more energy in it, and thus more frequent and severe storms.

Royal Navy officers, whose very lives depended on the weather in a way we can barely understand today, used the utmost care in accurately observing and recording what they encountered, and they certainly had far more pressing concerns than promoting any modern political agenda.  The contrast between what Gorish climate modelers predict and the actual facts as recorded could not be more stark.

It's All Happened Before

Not only do the alarmists blame storm activity in general on man's activities, but they also claim global warming causes stranger storm activity - that is, storms behaving in ways they did not used to.  The logs prove this isn't so: storms do occasionally do strange things, and always have; it's just that our observations and record-keeping is far more pervasive now than it ever used to be, and so we are more likely to take notice of them.  Again, the article:

It is commonly believed that hurricanes form in the eastern Atlantic and track westwards, so scientists were shocked in 2005 when Hurricane Vince instead moved northeast to hit southern Spain and Portugal.  Many interpreted this as a consequence of climate change; but Wheeler, along with colleagues at the University of Madrid, used old ships' logs to show that this had also happened in 1842, when a hurricane followed the same trajectory into Andalusia.

You sometimes hear the saying that every new generation thinks that they are the first to discover sex.  This is obvious nonsense; but to the new batch of teenagers, the joys of gender are new to them.

It's only because they themselves have not been around very long that they feel like there's anything actually new there; their older parents, and grizzled grandparents, had exactly the same fun some decades before, and so on all the way back through human history.  One would think that professional scientists would not be so prone to making the same mistake, but apparently they are: just because we, ourselves, have not noticed something before does not mean that it never happened before, as a little research often demonstrates.

Warming Without Industry

Most devastating of all, the naval logs show a very similar pattern of rapid warming to that which today's alarmists claim to see, and to blame on human industry - but this earlier warming at a time when there wasn't any human pollution to speak of, and which therefore must have been all-natural.

Wheeler and his colleagues have since won European Union funding to extend this research to 1750. This shows that during the 1730s, Europe underwent a period of rapid warming similar to that recorded recently - and which must have had natural origins.  Hints of such changes are already known from British records, but Wheeler has found they affected much of the north Atlantic too, and he has traced some of the underlying weather systems that caused it. His research will be published in the journal Climatic Change.

But now the bad news: as the article states, Dr. Wheeler is performing this research using government funding.  There are hundreds of thousands more logbooks to analyze and somebody has to pay the bills.  That somebody is a government entity which has already made up its mind on the subject.  Therefore, it's unsurprising but no less sad to hear that

Wheeler makes clear he has no doubts about modern human-induced climate change. He said: "Global warming is a reality, but what our data shows is that climate science is complex and that it is wrong to take particular events and link them to CO2 emissions. These records will give us a much clearer picture of what is really happening."

Why, yes, they certainly would - if you were able to listen to your own conclusions, which destroy the foundational arguments so beloved of Al Gore and his acolytes.  But Dr. Wheeler dares not actually say that, or he won't get his next check.

Well, at least he is honest enough to do the research and truthfully report it; we can publish our conclusions even if he cannot publish his.