report in November from a group of students of the Arctic, "Arctic
Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) 2004," projects that warming of
the Arctic will lead to disastrous results for indigenous people
the report and its press release are internally inconsistent and
based on false assumptions and previously identified inaccurate
Winter temperatures in part of the Arctic have risen over the
last 50 years.
rise is the result of human fossil fuel consumption (see figure
1) -- a view challenged by Khilyuk and Chilingar, and myself.
temperature rise will accelerate over the next decades.
their scenario is correct, that the inevitable result will be
melting of the Greenland ice sheet and flooding of the world's
are based on the assumptions that:
The 2000 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report was
of the temperature data around the Arctic are of similar quality.
computer models used to make temperature projections accurately
simulate the processes at work and correctly project those 100
years into the future.
basis for the ACIA warming scenario, the validity of the IPCC report
is fundamental to the analysis performed by the ACIA. The IPCC report,
which assigned global climate change to human emissions from fossil
fuel use and agriculture, is presently being challenged by results
from an array of studies on the influence of variables such as solar
irradiance. Not least of these is a fundamental and critical reanalysis
of the work by Mann et al (1999), which provided the basis for the
interpretation of recent accelerated heating.
of research flew against recorded human history (Lamb 1995) and
was questioned by reviewers of the IPCC draft -- but not only was
it included by the IPCC, it became the centerpiece for concluding
that there was discernible human influence on climate.
literature has discredited that report and thus, the IPCC conclusion
(Esper et al 2002; Soon et al, 2003; McIntyre and McKitrick, 2004).
data varies in quality around the Arctic.
of Canada and the United States may be of good quality and internally
consistent, there is question about the data quality of the former
Soviet Union. The closing of weather stations there and the degradation
of data consistency -- and possibly quality -- raises concerns about
the surface station database used to determine recent temperature
data compiled for the Mys Smidta station on Russia's east Arctic
coast (table 1) illustrates the nature of data reported and used
for some Arctic locations in the last decade. In addition, although
the ACIA report concludes that there is general warming, the report
illustrates for the central and eastern Canadian Arctic, Greenland
and the adjacent seas (Sub-Region IV) that temperatures have cooled
by 2 degrees Celsius over the last 50 years.
that the temperature variability does not reflect a global or polar
trend, but rather can be related to data issues and redistribution
impact projections for these areas that data indicate cooling are
based solely on computer models that predict warming of 4-7 degrees
the ACIA projections are based on forward computer models, and therefore
the accuracy and reliability of these models are crucial to conclusions
drawn from their projections.
Circulation Models have not yet been successful in back modeling
of recorded climate history through the Little Ice Age and into
the Medieval Climate Optimum (to about A.D. 900). This inability
to model pre-industrial revolution climate change probably is a
result of not recognizing that solar and orbital variability, not
human emissions, drive climate change (for instance, see Bond et
al, 2001; and Zahn, 2002; also Fischer et al, 1999).
empirically fit to parameters in which greenhouse gases are the
primary drivers of climate change and will not be successful in
modeling past climates.
In an effort
to counter this argument, Mann et al (1999) claimed that there was
no global medieval warm period prior to the Little Ice Age -- a
claim now discredited by both restudy of their database and by new
studies (Esper et al 2002; Soon et al, 2003; McIntyre and McKitrick,
report presents a projection of impacts that would result if temperature
increases occur as projected by the modeled warming trend they adopted
from the IPCC. The understanding of potential impacts provides some
utility for planning possible response to global warming.
the computer models for predicting temperature increase, the amount
of temperature increase and the cause for temperature increase are
beyond the scope of the impact assessment and data and are still
very much involved in scientific examination, testing and debate.
and Northern Hemisphere civilization has arisen in the last 10,000
years in response to natural global warming. Trying to project where
further warming will change conditions provides utility but would
be more useful if it more thoroughly examined impacts presented
by a range of temperature change conditions -- including cooling,
moderate warming and even extreme warming.
the study did not address the impacts of continued cooling in the
Canadian Arctic sub-region if the cooling trends exhibited over
the last 50 years continue.
proposition that human activities and emissions control global climate
is proven, and it is quantitatively demonstrated how human activity
changes will affect climate (and concomitantly how those activity
changes will affect humans and the globe), the assignment of cause
and the prediction of the effects of mitigation efforts is questionable
and may have to bear responsibility for misdirecting resources needed
to deal with warming or cooling over which we have no control. It
is clear that the climate changes.
It is wise
for us to evaluate how possible climate changes may affect the environment
and our lives. It is potentially irresponsible to assign blame and
advise specific action before we have understanding.
are convinced that humans can prevent climate change simply by reducing
energy use, then no effective mitigation will result. People will
suffer, both in the Arctic and elsewhere, and we will have sacrificed
proper planning and mitigation to the altar of humanocentric theology.
references are available.