Some climatologists believe current rises in temperatures and melting icebergs are part of of the Earth's natural cycles, and not induced by man-made devices [EPA]

Concern over global warming has spawned such a highly charged and polarised political movement, that real science has become sidelined in favour of sound-bites and simple messages. The real science is not as 'settled' as some politicians would have us believe.
 
There is a significant minority of climate scientists who look at the data and conclude that we are dealing with natural cycles that are peaking just as they have done on a regular basis over centuries.

in depth

These scientists are heavily outnumbered by the proliferation of computer specialists who have created their own virtual planet – people trained in maths and physics who may never have handled an ice-core, tree-ring apparatus, sediments or stalagmites and all of the proxy indicators of past temperature cycles.

In my view, the UN secretariat has marginalised their careful assessment and warnings about natural cycles in favour of alarming future projections generated by the computer model.

These real climate scientists know that the last major warm period was a 1,000 years ago when the Vikings grew crops in Greenland – their graves are still solid in the permafrost.

In between then and now, Europe and China experienced a Little Ice Age – with widespread famine.

Reading the fine print

Taylor says satellite data debunks theories that climate change is unnatural
There is so much spin that you have to read the small print of the UN reports where they admit to not understanding natural cycles and what drives them.

Behind the scenes they acknowledge cycles are at work and contribute to the warming and that it is only from the model that they derive the dominance of carbon dioxide.

But the model does not easily simulate the poorly understood cycles. Satellites do a better job and having spent three years studying the data I conclude global warming is real but at least 80 per cent natural cycle and 20 per cent human emissions.

My conclusions are supported by recent climate shifts that run counter to model predictions. From the data on cycles I could predict that after 2007, when Arctic summer ice reached a record low, it would start to recover.

In 2008, it came back by 10 per cent. The majority expected it to continue its decline to ice-free status by 2015. In 2009, it grew by another 10 per cent.

Little Ice Age

The models beloved of the majority also predicted that the high-level winds, known as the jet-stream, would shift north as the globe warmed.

The jet-stream directs wet weather from the Atlantic and in 2007 they shifted south, bringing widespread flooding to Western Europe.

I have seen a minority report in Nasa's archives which shows that the jet-stream shifts south as the magnetic field of the sun falls and this was characteristic of the Little Ice Age.

In 2007, the sun's magnetic field fell to an all time low and this repeated through 2008 and 2009, as did the floods.

Many solar scientists point to a link between this magnetic field and climate on Earth and when the field is low, the Earth cools.

During the low in the 17th century the Thames in London froze every winter for 50 years and summers were a washout.

Chinese and Russian scientists have better knowledge of these cycles, because the cold periods induce widespread famine – and some of them see all the signs of a new Little Ice Age.

Perhaps that's why their governments' sovereign funds are buying huge tracts of productive land in the tropics – for food.

You may ask – if this is real science, how can the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ignore it and claim the warming is caused by carbon dioxide.

Global spin?

Taylor says scientists may have manipulated data on emissions [AFP]
In fact, the scientists only agreed the warming is "very likely not due to known natural causes acting alone" – and that is spun by the policy-makers and the world's media.

The not-known natural causes are subject to high-level research programmes because real scientists know they exist and are powerful. And no real climate scientist ever said natural causes are acting alone.

Up until the recent 'climate-gate' scandal, I accepted that the objective data could be trusted.

But it now appears scientists upon whom the UN relies were busy manipulating the data to produce a warmer globe and to eradicate what they call 'blips' (i.e. cycles) that they cannot explain.

To compound matters, they then sought to undermine the Freedom of Information Act and delete their records in advance of requests for the data.

The issue of causation is crucial. The poorest people are already at risk whether the globe warms or cools.

We need action on the real and immediate threats facing human support systems from unavoidable natural climate change – but less than one per cent of resources devoted to climate are spent on adaptation, the rest goes on what will be ineffective attempts to 'stop climate chaos'.

Peter Taylor is an ecologist and author of 'Chill: a reassessment of global warming theory'.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy.

Source: Al Jazeera