Global, cyclic, decadal, climate patterns can be traced over the past millennium in glacier fluctuations, oxygen isotope ratios in ice cores, sea surface temperatures, and historic observations. The recurring climate cycles clearly show that natural climatic warming and cooling have occurred many times, long before increases in anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 levels. The Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age are well known examples of such climate changes, but in addition, at least 23 periods of climatic warming and cooling have occurred in the past 500 years. Each period of warming or cooling lasted about 25-30 years (average 27 years). Two cycles of global warming and two of global cooling have occurred during the past century, and the global cooling that has occurred since 1998 is exactly in phase with the long term pattern. Global cooling occurred from 1880 to ~1915; global warming occurred from ~1915 to ~1945; global cooling occurred from ~1945-1977;, global warming occurred from 1977 to 1998; and global cooling has occurred since 1998. All of these global climate changes show exceptionally good correlation with solar variation since the Little Ice Age 400 years ago.
The IPCC predicted global warming of 0.6C (1F) by 2011 and 1.2C (2F) by 2038, whereas Easterbrook (2001) predicted the beginning of global cooling by 2007 (� 3-5 yrs) and cooling of about 0.3-0.5C until ~2035. The predicted cooling seems to have already begun. Recent measurements of global temperatures suggest a gradual cooling trend since 1998 and 2007-2008 was a year of sharp global cooling. The cooling trend will likely continue as the sun enters a cycle of lower irradiance and the Pacific Ocean changed from its warm mode to its cool mode.
Comparisons of historic global climate warming and cooling, glacial fluctuations, changes in warm/cool mode of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), and sun spot activity over the past century show strong correlations and provide a solid data base for future climate change projections. The announcement by NASA that the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) had shifted to its cool phase is right on schedule as predicted by past climate and PDO changes (Easterbrook, 2001, 2006, 2007) and coincides with recent solar variations. The PDO typically lasts 25-30 years, virtually assuring several decades of global cooling. The IPCC predictions of global temperatures 1F warmer by 2011, 2F warmer by 2038, and 10F by 2100 stand little chance of being correct. “Global warming” (i.e., the warming since 1977) is over!
The good news is that global warming (i.e., the 1977-1998 warming) is over and atmospheric CO2 is not a vital issue. The bad news is that cold conditions kill more people than warm conditions, so we are in for bigger problems than we might have experienced if global warming had continued. Mortality data from 1979-2002 death certificate records show twice as many deaths directly from extreme cold than for deaths from extreme heat, 8 times as many deaths as those from floods, and 30 times as many as from hurricanes. The number of deaths indirectly related to cold is many times worse.
Depending on how cold the present 30-year cooling period gets, in addition to the higher death rates, we will have to contend with diminished growing seasons and increasing crop failures with food shortages in third world countries, increasing energy demands, changing environments, increasing medical costs from diseases (especially flu), increasing transportation costs and interruptions, and many other ramifications associated with colder climate. The degree to which we may be prepared to cope with these problems may be significantly affected by how much money we waste chasing the CO2 fantasy.