Global cooling predicted for the next 30 years

Dr. Norman Page says that “The earth is entering a cooling phase which is likely to last about 30 years and possibly longer.” See his detailed analysis here.

Page’s prediction is based on observation of the geologic record. He notes that there has been no net warming since 1997 even thought carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere has risen 8.5%. Page says that atmospheric temperature is driven by sea surface temperature (SST) which is, itself, solar driven. The oceanic oscillations control the general climate. There is good correlation between solar cycles and SST, but note that because of the enthalpy and thermal inertia of the oceans, there is a 10 – 12 year lag between solar cycle troughs and global SSTs. This lag time definitely establishes cause and effect similar to the lag in carbon dioxide changes following temperature changes in the major glacial cycles as shown in ice cores The graph below shows the variations in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), the major oceanic oscillation (the red line is actual measurement, the blue line is predictive modeling.) (Graph source here.)


 Page says than in the figure “an approximate 60 year cycle is obvious by inspection and this coincides well with the 30 year +/- positive (warm) and 30year +/- negative (cold) phases of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.” The graph “shows warming from about 1910 to 1940-45, cooling from then to about 1975, warming to about 2003-5 and cooling since then. Total warming during the 20th century was about 0.8 degrees C.” He also says that it is clear that we are entering the beginning of a 30-year cool phase of the PDO.

Page goes on to say:

“The major ice age climate cycles are controlled by the sun – earth orbital eccentricity, and the earth’s obliquity and precession. These cycles are approximately 100,000, 41,000 and 21,000 years in length respectively and are well documented in the ice core and geological record. It is useful to keep in mind that the warmest temperatures in the current interglacial occurred about 7500+/- years ago and the general trend is now a cooling towards the next ice age.”

“These long term cycles are modulated by quasi cyclic trends in solar activity which may be decadal, centennial, or millennial in length. Of particular interest in deciding where we are with regard to the solar cycles is the approximately 1000 +/- year cycle which produced successively the Roman Warm Period, the Dark Ages, the Medieval Warm Period, the Little Ice Age and the recent 20th century warming.”

These cycles are shown in the 2,000-year temperature reconstruction below (the white line is the smoothed curve):


 Page says that “A reasonable case can be made that the warming peaks of a 60 year PDO cycle and the 1000 year solar cycle coincided at 2000 +/- and we are likely on the cooling slope of both.”

For a broader view, the graph below shows a temperature reconstruction for the past 11,000 years:

CCIP fig1

 n his conclusion, Page says “Often the signal for a climate direction change is a see-saw effect between Arctic and Antarctic sea ice. The Arctic is still reflecting the peak in the warming trend with low summer ice values. The first indication of a cooling event is however the increase in Antarctic sea ice which has already occurred.” (See my post: The Arctic-Antarctic seesaw)

Page is not alone is his prediction. Two years ago I reported that NASA was also predicting a cooling period based on the same natural parameters. (See NASA Says Earth Is Entering A Cooling Period).

If this predicted cooling trend comes to pass, it will show, once again, that the forces of natural variation easily overcome the weak warming effect of carbon dioxide. And, by the way, if indeed the predicted cooling trend proceeds, atmospheric carbon dioxide will decrease because a cooler ocean can absorb more carbon dioxide.

This phase shift has some policy implications. It shows that curbing carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels is unnecessary and perhaps contraindicated. If you believe that such emissions do have a significant effect on global temperature, we should continue and perhaps even increase emissions to forestall or lessen the effect of the cooling trend lest we find ourselves in another “little ice age.”



  1. I totally just lol’d. This is the only news article on global cooling, and while I respect whatever research is being done and its conclusions related to climate science, I find an odd disconnect between this man’s conclusions and that of 97% of climate scientists. Not to mention the last paragraph detailing a need to pollute the atmosphere even further, regardless of its effect on global temperatures. Or the fact that in the meantime, independent research regarding issues seperate from climate science all reveal signs consistent with a warming planet. I wonder how much those that retweeted it actually know about climate change. Maybe they need to check the google news feed on it and see how long they can deny the science when almost every article seems to betray their understanding of this “psedo-science”.

    1. Bo,

      You might have noticed that in the 20th Century we experienced warming trends and cooling trends. The climate is always changing. The last warming trend was from about 1975 to about 2000. Also, you should know that the much touted claim of 97% of scientists supporting AGW actually represents just 75 climate scientists, see:
      And Bo, you should learn something about scientific consensus. About 500 years ago the consensus was that the Earth was the center of the universe and everything revolved around it. In the 1700s, the accepted view of combustion was that it was due to a substance called Phlogiston. Just because there is a consensus doesn’t make those believers right.

      1. So, apparently you object to the idea that spewing massive quantities of a substance, that otherwise happens to clearly trap heat, continuously for almost a century after the human population went from 1 billion in the early 1800’s to 7 billion in 2011, followed by a clearly observed trend in warming, might lead to a change in the composition of the atmosphere and its abilities to release heat? What I’m saying is this consensus, which is definitely over 90%, is borne from reason, backed up by evidence backed up by evidence. See past 30 years of peer-reviewed scientific observations and experimentation. It would go against nature and physics on multiple levels to assume we didn’t have an impact. And, you know Jonathan, you should learn something about time periods. This is 2012. Like I mentioned, It’s been almost thirty years of models, predictions and observed effects. To do anything other than adapt and mitigate our effects on the environment would be to continue to pollute and affect our people and the planet they depend on.

      2. Bo,

        You need to put things in perspective. CO2 is only 0.039 percent of total atmospheric gases.

        CO2 represents less than 4 percent of total greenhouse gases (water vapor is the major greenhouse gas). Of the total CO2 flux, humans are responsible to about 3 percent, or put in another way, humans are responsible for about 0.12 percent of greenhouse gases as CO2. The natural contribution vastly outweighs the human contribution. As such, attempted mitigation by limiting our emissions will not make a difference.

      3. It may seem like 3% isn’t a lot, but it adds up. Imagine a faucet running water down the drain of a bathtub. The flow of water has been equalized in a way that the tub never fills because there is a balance. Over time, it adds up and disrupts the natural flow. The tub begins to fill. Makes sense to me. This is how the climate changes — by a cause. The global climate doesn’t just “naturally” change, it changes for a reason, whether it be solar activity, volcanic activity, or massive continuous emissions of a greenhouse gas.

  2. You, sir are a morally reprehensible proto-hominid masquerading as a credible journalist. Who is Dr. Norman Page and who does he work for? Care to provide some background info? You built your whole case on one guy’s perspective – classic. As far as I can tell, he appears to be a shill for the oil industry. Global warming and climate change are real, feeding the half-witted a steady diet of half-truths, distortions and outright BS is a swell way to make a living. You really should be ashamed of yourself.

    1. It appears that ad hominem argument is your last refuge. Why are you clinging with such obsession to theories that are falling apart under today’s current scientific scrutiny?

      1. No, I went ad hominem from the start for the simple reason that there are already far too many stupid people in the world as it is, and I hate it when I see people like Duhamel going out of their way to make more stupid people. Would you care to show me some hard, credible evidence that these so called “theories” are falling apart under “current scientific scrutiny?” Please, enlighten me.

      2. Well most of us are able to use a search engine, but here is a short paragraph from the first one that popped up for me.

        “Is the earth getting warmer? We should hope so for at least two reasons: First, the world emerged from the Little Ice Age in the 19th century, so it would be worrisome if it weren’t getting warmer. Second, all the history indicates that humans thrive more during warmer periods than colder ones. It is likely, though, that earth has warmed less than many official temperature records indicate for a variety of reasons, including: few long-term records from either the southern hemisphere or the 71 percent of the planet that is covered by water; distortions from the urban heat-island effect and other faulty siting (e.g., temperature sensors next to asphalt parking lots, etc.; the decline in weather station reports from Siberia after the fall of the Soviet government; the arbitrarily ceasing to include measurements from northern latitudes and high elevations, etc.) The most accurate measures of temperature come from satellites. Since the start of these measurements in 1979, they show minor fluctuations and an insignificant net change in global temperature.”

        The old hysterical warming theory is crumbling. The data used to support the theory was both bad in some cases and incomplete in others. When the data is unreliable, the old data processing saw holds true: Garbage in, garbage out. It really isn’t all that hard to grasp.

      3. look at the results you see when you do a search on climate change in google, clicking on the news link. Look at all of those articles, written by all of these crazy journalists and hoaxers. Look at the wikipedia page on climate change. Look at the most recent statement made by the American Meteorological Service on climate change. Look at reason — 7 billion people. Nearly a billion vehicles spewing out a heat-trapping gas. 70 years. Non-stop. Insurmountable evidence of a warming world at an unprecedented rate. It really isn’t all that hard to grasp.

      4. While you’re at it, I dare you to type in global cooling. Look at how many articles are actually about global cooling. And then type in climate change hoax and see what pops up. Everybody’s wrong but you two!

      5. Wow…you really have no idea what a weak response this is, do you? Are you aware of the difference between science writing and op-ed stuff? This piece originally appeared in Forbes, and was written by a columnist who writes about economics, politics and human interest stories. Going over his past stuff, it’s quite clear that Hendrickson is a red-baiting stooge for the Corporate State who has no real grasp of what’s going on in the world. Still dry-humping a dying idea – that a way of life premised on unlimited growth on a planet with finite resources is anything but a prescription for self-inflicted near-term extinction.

      6. You know, in all honesty, for the past 7 months I’ve rigorously educated myself on the subject of climate change, and doing what I’ve suggested every day since I realized climate change wasn’t the hoax cnn and fox news led me to believe. Every single time I ran across an article sourced to forbes, it was an article that leaned skeptical, or in denial of climate change. Every one. Besides being the world’s most powerful search engine, articles up to date regarding climate change would be much more dense concerning the fact that it was some widescale money-grabbing hoax, wouldn’t you think? And why the support by so many discussing things other than the reality of climate change, like the impact it’s currently having? Why does the science actually make a lot of sense, considering the fact that some things can kill you, some things taste nasty, and some substances trap heat? The same dirty substance that comes out of the tail pipe of up to a billion cars, continuously for the past 70 years, followed by evidence of a sharp increase in temperature in a short period of time correlating to a massive spike in human population growth? With a reason to believe why backed up by 30 years of eidence? The fact is we’ve acted ignorantly and recklessly in a lot of areas of life, and the course human history is on, if you haven’t noticed, doesn’t seem to be the brightest. That’s not because I’m a cynic, it’s because I’m a 25 year old young man who understood he’s been duped into thinking oh, war, famine, poverty in the billions, obesity, disease, pollution, religion, drug culture, poor educational systems in an interlinked global society dependent on resources and the predictability of services natural systems provide and the ensuing effects on a rapidly growing, dysfunctional global society, what of it? I think you guys need to wake up and for the sake of those already suffering the consequences of a fractured world you refuse to accept, open your mind to the possibility that there truly IS something happening to the environment we live in. It’s hard enough coping with complex situations under complex circumstances without humanity’s selfish arrogance getting in the way. Why actively contribute to the preventable disruptions of our way of life and the option to live peacefully? Because you’re scared some scientists want a pay raise and the entire world is just going to let the US economy burn to ashes?

      7. lol, I accidentally replied to your comment thinking it was Ado’s, Dave. And obviously read it wrong. Well, hopefully this spirited few will take a glance anyway.

  3. And one more thing – this debate is no longer limited to just CO2. As a result of CO2-induced warming, specifically in the Arctic which is warming much faster than the rest of the planet, huge quantities of methane – which traps even more heat than CO2 – are being released into the atmosphere as well. Please wake up and stop this absurd contrarian nonsense, Mr. Duhamel – it’s even worse than we think.|NSNS|2012-1911-GLOBAL|worseclimate&utm_medium=NLC&utm_source=NSNS&utm_content=worseclimate

  4. Readers will notice that some commenters are hypocritical; on one hand they strongly state climate change is real but deny climate change unless it is due to carbon dioxide. They proffer warming, an effect, as proof of the cause.

    We also see an unwarranted belief in the consensus myth. See this post on consensus in science:

    “The work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.”

    We also have a commenter who is so enlightened (in his own mind) that he is completely intolerant of other views and resorts to name-calling rather than refute my report with facts. He apparently also sees conspiracies everywhere.

    As a geologist, I have studied Planet Earth and its changes for a living. The views expressed in my posts are based on physical evidence and observation. It is, of course, possible to have several different interpretations of the evidence, and I present the one that seems to fit with Earth’s long history of changes. In my view, proponents of catastrophic global warming due to human carbon dioxide emissions have yet to present any compelling physical evidence to support their view. They keep claiming that the evidence is “overwhelming” but just can’t seem to come up with it. I remain skeptical of the predictions and scenarios of garbage-in-garbage-out modeling that ignores the physical evidence – computer modeling is not evidence; it is speculation.

  5. Burning fuel is an exothermic reaction (releases
    heat), so it is reasonable to assume it makes our planet a little warmer every time we burn something. Theories about greenhouse gases are theories, and scientists or laypeople can argue ad infinitum about whether CO2 or water vapor or methane or whatever “traps heat in” but the net effects of basic physics and chemistry are that when we burn something (or air condition, which generates more heat than it removes) we heat the planet. It is nihilistic to say “that is such a tiny fraction compared to what we get from the sun and reflect into space”. Tiny amounts add up, and because weather is inherently chaotic, by definition it only takes tiny changes in atmosphere or sea temperatures to cause massive changes in weather. All the rest of the discussion is people focusing on the wrong thing. By the way, trapping solar energy to make electricity would likely have a net effect of converting heat (in the form of radiant energy) into other forms of energy, thus cooling the planet. Similarly, plants converting CO2 and water to glucose and oxygen is endothermic (net cooling effect), and wind turbines turning wind into useful electric energy would have a net cooling effect (slowing down air movement to convert it into other forms of energy). All the talk about CO2 and greenhouse gases misses the point; CO2 is just a MARKER for exothermic reactions. That is, CO2 is released into the air when chemical reactions occur that release heat into the air. CO2 is taken out of the air (in general) when reactions occur that take heat out of the air (such as converting CO2 and water into plant material, that if stored for millions of years may turn into fossil fuel).

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