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"Is There Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years?" (Weekend Feature)


The controversial climate-change contrarian, S. Frederick Singer, a former space scientist and government scientific administrator, who holds PhD in Physics from Princeton University and is co-author of  Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Yearspresents the theory that global temperatures have been rising mostly or entirely because of a natural cycle.

Using historic data from two millennia of recorded history combined with natural physical records, they argue that the 1,500 year natural sunspot magnetic waves cycle that has always controlled the earth's climate remains the driving force in the current warming trend. Man created carbon dioxide has very little effect on the earth's climate.

Since the 1,500 year cycle was discovered in the early 1980's it's general characteristics have been confirmed by measurements in: tree rings (living, preserved and fossilized), pollen, coral, glaciers, boreholes, stalagmites, tree lines, and sea sediments. The most recent cycles have been recorded in human history with forced migrations, starvation, and disease during the cold portion of the cycle and greater population, expanded farm land, greater crop variety, and extra building during the warm portion.

The causes of the 1,500 year cycle are not well understood although 600 of them have been identified in the last million years. This permits the authors to be relatively confident that we have been moving into the warm phase of the cycle for the last 150 years. It also suggests that we may have one or two degrees more warming if we are to get to the typical high of the warm phase.

Although the warm phase of the cycle has been typically more regular than the cold phase, it does not move steadily to a peak and then fall off, but rather moves abruptly higher at the start of the warm phase followed by highly irregular (but modestly higher) temperatures for hundreds of years.

Singer explained that the recent warming the Earth has experienced is not dangerous and is not something humans could alter. Global warming activists such as Al Gore, Singer believes, are hyping the problem. He said that such activists have not come close to demonstrating that human-generated greenhouse gases are contributing to global warming.

If politicians truly wanted to make a change to affect energy use, Singer told the Stanford audience, they would have to increase taxes on gasoline, which would decrease use of vehicles. He believes that such taxes would hit people of low income the hardest.

Singer claimed that many businesses, such as the wind farm industry, are making money off the global warming hype. Singer said that it is essential to convince the proponents of global warming that what they are doing is counterproductive and will not make any difference to the climate.

What do you think?

The Daily Galaxy via Stanford University and


I don't know what to think. Even if, IF, global warming is tied to a natural Sun cycle, isn't it still worthwhile to move away from energy use that pollutes our earth?

Yep, what he said!

That the author chose to comment on the environmentalist wackos shows an agenda which discredits him some in my opinion. While it is comforting to think that we are witnessing a natural phenomenon and haven't destroyed our world, I always wonder how the release of carbon over a two hundred year period that was slowly accumulated over hundreds of millions of years wouldn't have any effects on climate.

Good article. I've long maintained that Global Warming is a natural cycle. The planet began heating up, on its own, to end the ice age. And we're still experiencing that warming trend. It wasn't Jim-Bob driving around in his gas guzzling SUV that caused the ice age to end. It should be self explanatory as to why that is. The "Greens" like to say it has been caused by humans, because I'm the one with the wallet. Not mother nature.

Its about time to call bullsh*t on these climate deniers. There is no longer any reasonable doubt on global warming, that is: the scientists who study this have reached the conclusion that it is happening and human activity is to blame. Here is a modest proposal: On an annual basis, get an actuarial estimate of the number, if any, of additional weather related deaths. Should there be a substantial and statistically verifiable increase then charge these people with crimes against humanity. That takes care of these mouthpieces. For the companies that generate the greenhouse gases, a special tax of 50% on profits, and 50% on all bonuses to execs. The money earmarked for research and development of 'green energy' and to offset the energy price increases for the poor. Enough talk, let's do something.

I'm with Tom. Regardless of whether global warming (which is certain) is caused or even aggravated by humans (which is not, though I personally lean toward the latter being the case), it only makes sense to move away from fossil fuels and toward sustainable, nonpolluting energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, fusion, and so forth.

For a balanced, rational perspective on this and other issues, I highly recommend "Physics for Future Presidents" by Richard A. Muller.

Also, even if global warming is tied to solar cycles, isn't it very, very likely that this cycle and future warming cycles will be *worse* due to the waste and chemicals we're dumping into the atmosphere, land and water? Maybe our contribution to global warming will cause a runaway you want to take that chance?

I'm with Fred.
He is using real data to support his theory. As an engineer I know you have to use real data or your bridge will fall down. You can't use politically manipulated data for whatever you think is right and good. We should be glad we didn't try to "fix" the coming ice age which was a consensus scientific opinion in the 1970's.
I'm with Fred.

I am pretty much in agreement with Bob. We are in natural warming cycle where the sun in the PRIME influence. Climate modeling is way too primative to even come close to taging CO2 or any other gas as having a major impact. That being said, the most abundant resource we have is coal - a very dirty fuel, dirty to mine, dirty to transport and dirty burn.
Until we can create a usable, sustainable fusion reactor the next best alternatives are, I think, natural gas (the Northern Hemisphere has LOT of that) suplemented by solar and geothermal.
I ave seen the wind farms in the Western states. These are not practical without heavy subsdies. In the Winter many of these wind farms consume more electricty than they generate because the oil in the gear boxes has to be kept warm.
Think how much electricity we could generate if we followed in Iceland's footsteps, and tapped the geothermal vents in the Yellowstone caldera.
Just a few thoughts.

I am a computer scientist. The CO2 Hypothesis appears to be BS to me.

Check out the graph "Global Temperature and Atmospheric CO2 over Geologic Time ". Present day is to the right. This means that most of the life in our seas evolved when CO2 levels were much higher than they are today. Also, the global average temperature appears almost constant at 25 C at this time scale, except during the extinction events, when the climate catastrophically cooled. No correlation between temperature and CO2 in this graph, even when CO2 ranged up to 7,000 ppm. In the past, CO2 appears to have had no effect on climate when it was between 1,000 ppm and 7,000 ppm, and now, it is supposedly very powerful at less than 400 ppm? How does that make sense?

That temperature graph is from Professor Christopher R. Scotese, Geology Professor at UT Arlington
Here is his CV

Here is his temperature graph

That CO2 graph appears the same as from this University web page

This is the same Fred Singer who has been claiming for decades that it isn't getting warmer; that it in fact has been cooling , and that the satellite data supports this. It doesn't - he's lying. I say lying because he's been told many times that the satellite data shows the same general warming trend as the instrumental record he just refuses to correct his mistake.

So in this book he says it's happening, and it's unstoppable. He's still saying out the other side of his mouth it isn't warming too, but I guess his followers aren't able to see the contradiction.
There is no 1500 year warming cycle, btw. There was a cycle in ice core data during the glacial period of the current ice age, where Greenland would show a warming while Antarctica simultaneously had a cooling event, and vice versa. It's a bi-polar see-saw, not a global warming event. There is no net increase in global temps. The whole premise of Singer's book is a crock.

this rolling stone article is written for anyone to understand in clear language

Just 1 question i have for everyone denying human involvement in climate change or its intensity.

Did the Sun put the hole in our Ozone layer? no....

Ok then don't sit around talking about how it would be just as bad if we had not sprayed countless billions of pounds of toxic chemicals into our atmosphere.

"This is the same Fred Singer who has been claiming for decades that it isn't getting warmer; that it in fact has been cooling , and that the satellite data supports this. It doesn't - he's lying."

The one lying here is you.

The satellite data is world wide and far more accurate. The observations station data is BS. See Anthony Watts report and pay particular attention to the historical data.

"The one lying here is you."

Not at all. The satellite record shows almost the same warming trend as the instrumental record. Here's UAH (Roy Spencer and John Christy's satellite product):

About .14C of warming a decade. Singer *still* claims it shows cooling. He's the one lying.

"The satellite data is world wide and far more accurate."

Not really, though it has some strengths that the instrumental record doesn't have. For instance, it doesn't suffer from the UHI effect or have other siting issues that ground based records have. It does however have some biases of it's own that have to be statistically worked out - drift of satellites for instance, or bleeding of temps from the stratosphere. It doesn't take the temp directly of course; the temp has to be figured out through mathematical models. Not better necessarily, but independent.

"The observations station data is BS. See Anthony Watts report and pay particular attention to the historical data."

Watts is a clown. He uses pictures of stations to make wild claims but actual analysis of the station data shows that the instrumental data is very accurate. As I said above, too, if you don't like the instrumental data, use the satellite data - it shows the same thing.

I doesn't matter whether GW is man-aggrevated or not. Using cleaner fuels that minimize environmental footprints is a respect thing, not a save-ourselves thing. The best part of evolution is that you maximize the resources from your niche in a better way then competitors ... less impact is better.

Natural mechanisms rule.

Just think of the early Carboniferous when CO2 levels were much higher than today. Huge amounts of Limestone were deposited to remove the excess CO2 and large deposits of coal removed carbon from the atmosphere. Rather than the greenhouse effect taking over, an Ice Age started in the late Carboniferous! In fact compared to other geologic times, the earth’s current atmosphere is CO2 impoverished. Just think of the methane and CO2 levels in the Precambrian. The earth did not heat up and destroy itself, plant activity was stimulated, extracting CO2 and pumping oxygen into the atmosphere.

Temperature changes (from ice cores) match changes in solar activity. Changing solar activity explains the dip after 1940 and the more recent rise. Surprisingly obvious that the Sun is driving climate change and CO2 is less or largely irrelevant. The graphs produced from ice core research seem to show if anything, that C02 rises lag behind temperature rises not the other way round. Probably C02 is being released by warming of the oceans.

In all the climate in the geological past seems controlled by solar activity (Milancovitch cycles and cosmic ray changes) and if there is a relationship between temperature rise and C02 rise it is certainly not a simple one.

Now don't get me started on renewable energy . . . . lol

North Holland Province Says “No” To New Windparks: “Mega Money Pit With Virtually No Merit”: merit/

"Adding it all up, one must conclude that under the present conditions in the Netherlands a 100 MW (Megawatt) ‘name plate’ capacity wind development produces on average 23 MW because of the capacity factor. 4,6 MW (20%) of this has to be subtracted from the final net result because of initial energy investments. From the actual Statline production figures we know that 27% of this 23 MW = 6,17 MW represents the actual fossil fuel and CO2 savings. But from this figure we need to subtract the amount of energy invested in the construction works: 4,6 MW. The net total of fuel saving electricity provided by our wind turbines therefore is 6.17 – 4.6 = 1.57 MW on average over the year. That is ~ 1.6% of the installed capacity. It makes wind developments a mega money pit with virtually no merit in terms of the intended goal of CO2 emission reduction or fossil fuel saving."

"Just think of the early Carboniferous when CO2 levels were much higher than today."

And the Sun was radiating about 4% less energy then(25% when it was formed 4.6 billion years ago). You forgot about that part. When you take into account the significantly reduced solar irradiance, the higher CO2 levels from 400-500 million years ago do not seem quite as high as they would today, when the Sun is giving off 4% more energy.

"Changing solar activity explains the dip after 1940 and the more recent rise."

But solar activity didn't stop rising until the 60's, and it has if anything actually decreased a little (though very little indeed)over the last 40 years. Solar activity has gone in the opposite direction of temp during that time - we've had recent warming despite, not because, of what the Sun has been doing. What did rise very fast in the 40's until the 70's was aerosols from fossil fuel burning; this did of course dampen temperatures. By the 70's and 80's aerosols leveled off as governments in the West cleaned up their acts. In the meantime, CO2 kept rising, and the warming from rising GHG's overtook the cooling from the aerosols. Mostly the Sun has been irrelevant in the last half century as far as temperature change is concerned.

"The graphs produced from ice core research seem to show if anything, that C02 rises lag behind temperature rises not the other way round."

And that has not been happening now - CO2 is clearly rising much faster than the rise in temps could possibly explain. Nobody has claimed that only CO2 or other GHG's can change the Earth's energy balance. Far from it. Warming from changes in the Earth's orbit (Milankovitch cycles) caused the oceans to release CO2. This lead to more warming; it was a feedback, not a cause of the Holocene. Rising solar irradiance is considered responsible for about half of the rise in temps from the mid 1800's to the 1940's. CO2 is the forcing that is changing temps now however. There is no contradiction in CO2 being able to be a feedback or a forcing depending on circumstances.

"In all the climate in the geological past seems controlled by solar activity (Milancovitch cycles and cosmic ray changes)"

Milankovitch cycles have nothing to do with changes in solar activity. They have to do with various irregularities in our orbit that affect how solar radiation hits the Earth. They would happen just the same if the Sun had a perfectly stable output. They act on scales of 10's of thousands of years though and can not explain any of the warming we've seen recently. For one thing, the present configuration of the cycles should have been producing a very slow long term cooling. This is what was actually seen for the last 5K years or so.

As for cosmic rays, they have had a minimal effect on temperature, and have been going in the wrong direction (like solar irradiance and the sunspot cycles) over the last 40-50 years to explain the recent warming. There is as yet no experimental or observational evidence that shows GCR's have anything but the most minor influence on cloud cover.

"Now don't get me started on renewable energy . . . . lol"

Why would one? This article isn't about renewable energy.

HEY Climate Warming Deniers and other Conservative vendetta holders against why take chances? What if the these guys are wrong? And what's wrong with moving to an environmentally healthy and greener way of life even IF Gore and the other scientists are mistaken about what is happening?

Conservatives: Get the ---- off it, for crying out loud.

My 2 cents worth is regardless of weather the planet is heating or cooling, we need some new, different energy sources. Not just for the planet but for outer space also. Faster ways to break down water into hydrogen and oxygen would be a great start. And might even help hold back rising sea water (just a tiny bit). Solar and wind powers are great also and advancing along, just not cheap enough for all the world to share. But all of these help very little in space. And to move a crewed star ship as little as 10 light years will probably use more energy than man has created in all of his (and hers) existence.

You tell 'em smartypants!

Thank you Robert Murphy! Science rocks :D

The only way that human beings and a great number of other species on our planet will survive the next extinction event is to increase our energy production and use our technology to understand and control these events. The alternative is that we will suffer the fate of the dinosaurs and all the current BS being spoon fed to us through the media about environmentalism will then prove to be meaningless. Has no one here but myself considered that we as a creative species are meant to overcome these cyclical extInction events and thrust the biosphere we live in on to a higher plain of existence.

We need to prioritize our investments for the betterment of all mankind which includes all the the benefits that environmentalism promises but in reality now only tricks us into excepting our own demise to maintain a oligarchical empire. The future of humanity does not involve empire but instead sovereign nations cooperating with each other in the development of the earth and space for the betterment of all. Build NAWAPA and let the rest of the world follow our positive growth. The sky is literally the limit.

this is good to hear. I recently purchased a Dodge Ram with the 6.7L Cummins diesel engine, its been power pumped to 1000HP with the addition of two turbo chargers the size of washing machines, its a real 'black smoker' when I step on it, to know Im not indirectly killing polar bears or drowning grass skirt wearing tribesmen in the South Pacific is something of a relief.

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