Siberia's Lake Baikal is the world's deepest lake. It contains more water than all five of North America's Great Lakes combined. Fed by over 300 rivers and far from the moderating effects of any ocean, it offers a pristine, uninterrupted sedimentary record that permits a highly accurate reconstruction of temperatures over a broad area. Based on this sedimentary record for the last 800,000 years, Anson Mackay of the Environmental Change Research Centre, University College, London, has found that this region was often warmer than at present. Moreover, the recent warming trend began about 250 years ago—long before the Industrial Revolution and the resulting increase in greenhouse gases. In his words: “Warming in the Lake Bailkal region commenced before rapid increases in greenhouse gases.”
According to Mackay's work, increased biogenic silica in sediments correlates with warmer temperatures. Here is a graph showing temperature changes from the Baikal sedimentary record:
The recent warming trend—which the scaremongers would have us believe portends global “catastrophe”—is the puny upturn at the far right of the graph. Note that previous upward spikes are numerous and indicate much warmer temperatures in the past.
Prior to the Industrial Revolution, water power was the primary source of industrial power. Around 1775, all the coal-burning steam engines combined burned only about 3 percent of what a single average coal plant now burns. The electric light bulb had not even been invented (Thomas Edison was not even born yet), and the world's first commercial electric power plant would not be built for more than 100 years.
Most coal plants today are in the 1000-4000 MW range. The largest of these burn more than 40,000 tons of coal per day. A significant increase in man-made carbon dioxide emissions did not occur until the worldwide expansion of industrial development after World War II. It didn't really take off until after 1950. The increase in atmospheric CO2 in the last fifty years is 650% greater than the amount added in the previous 150 years. But according to Professor L.L. Van Zandt of the physics department at Purdue University, if every molecule of human-released CO2 stayed in the atmosphere, it would take another 200 years at the current rate of emissions just to equal the increase since 1950. Obviously, therefore, the big increase in atmospheric CO2 since 1950 cannot be blamed on human activity. Natural, nonhuman sources are far more significant. Besides, CO2 does not remain in the atmosphere for long; it is constantly being recycled out, with most studies indicating a half-life in the atmosphere of about ten years. That is, half of new emissions will be recycled out in ten years, with half of the remainder disappearing in each subsequent ten year period. So even if the current rate of human CO2 emissions were continued for 200 years, the result would fall far, far short of equaling the increase in atmospheric CO2 that has taken place since 1950.
Mackay's work is not the only one that places the beginning of the current warming trend before the Industrial Revolution and the increase in carbon dioxide emissions. His findings are mirrored in research studies in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and northwest Russia, which show positive temperature trends from 250 years ago (Jones, 2001), (Naurzbaev and Vaganov, 2000). A study of sediments from the Sargasso Sea (Keigwin,1996) also identifies the warming as beginning around 1750. All of these correlate with the ending of the Little Ice Age about 250 years ago. Dennis Avery of the Hudson Institute has counted over 500 research papers published in peer-reviewed scientific journals which refute the current global warming scare and claims about carbon dioxide's effect on the earth's temperature changes.
Joseph D'aleo, first director of meteorology, the Weather Channel, has stated, “If the atmosphere was a 100-story building, our annual anthropogenic (man-made) contribution today would be equivalent to the linoleum on the first floor.” After reviewing a recent study from the Brookhaven National Laboratory, astronomer Dr. Ian Wilson declared, “Anthropogenic global warming bites the dust.” Changes is carbon dioxide levels are largely irrelevant to global temperature changes, which are due to solar and cosmic ray variations.
In the past century, the earth's climate has warmed about 1 degree F., but 70 percent of this increase occurred before 1940, that is, before the worldwide industrialization blamed for increasing carbon dioxide. Reid Bryson, founding chairman of the Department of Meteorology at the University of Wisconsin, recently quipped, "You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide."
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