President Barack Obama on Tuesday declared that the debate over climate change and its causes was over, and announced a wide-ranging plan to combat global warming.
But despite the president’s warnings about the dire consequences of failing to act against global warming, the fact is that the planet basically has not been warming for the past 15 years.
Obama’s plan includes regulations aimed at reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from power plants, vehicles, and buildings.
Yet the Earth’s temperature has not risen significantly of late even though human activities have pumped some 400 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere over the past 15 years.
As a result of these emissions, “we should have seen temperatures rise by around [0.45 degrees Fahrenheit],” German climate scientist Hans von Storch said in an interview with Spiegel Online.
“That hasn’t happened. In fact, the increase over the past 15 years was just [0.11 degrees] â€” a value very close to zero.”
Storch is a professor at the Meteorological Institute of the University of Hamburg and director of the Institute for Coastal Research at the Helmholtz Research Centre in Germany.
He said: “So far, no one has been able to provide a compelling answer to why climate change seems to be taking a break.
“If things continue as they have been, in five years, at the latest, we will need to acknowledge that something is fundamentally wrong with our climate models.”
One explanation for the erroneous models could be that “greenhouse gases, especially CO2, have less of an effect than we have assumed,” he said.
Another possibility is that scientists “have underestimated how much the climate fluctuates owing to natural causes,” he added.
Obama, in his Tuesday speech, sought to debunk skepticism about man-made global warming by declaring: “We don’t have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society.”
But skeptic Marc Morano, founder of the Climate Depot website, said: “President Obama is still parading his ignorance on climate science, linking bad weather to ‘global warming,’ claiming a mythical 97 percent consensus, and implying that his executive actions can alter the globe’s temperature and lessen extreme weather events.
“The president has descended into the realm of medieval witchcraft by claiming he can combat global temperature rises and weather patterns through administrative action.”