NOAA Announced 2016 Is Still the Hottest Year on Record – Dr. Peter Ward's Research Claims Major Global Warming in Future Decades is Unlikely

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Dr. Peter Ward says once again, greenhouse-warming theory cannot explain observed changes in global temperatures, while ozone-depletion theory can explain these changes in detail.

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The contemporaneity of large basaltic lava flows with periods of major global warming throughout Earth history is most impressive.

NOAA and NASA have just announced that 2016 remains the hottest year on record, followed by 2019, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Thus, annual average surface temperatures are falling at the same time that concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are rising steadily, year after year. Climate models that assume global warming is caused by increasing emissions of greenhouse gases are predicting temperatures that are higher than observed.

“This is reminiscent of the infamous Global Warming Hiatus from 1998 through 2013,” according to Dr. Peter L. Ward, a 27-year veteran of the U. S. Geological Survey. “During those 15 years, temperatures did not change much, while emissions of carbon dioxide continued to rise. Hundreds of peer-reviewed papers were published trying to explain why, without much agreement.”

“There was another well-known Global Warming Hiatus from 1950 to 1970,” Ward explains, “and we seem to have entered a third Global Warming Hiatus in 2016. Warming is clearly not related directly to increases in greenhouse-gas emissions. Meanwhile, atmospheric scientists just keep reiterating general excuses for this mismatch, claiming Earth’s atmosphere is a very complex system, there are many complex feedbacks, and we should expect statistical variations.”

Global warming started to increase around 1970 as humans began manufacturing large amounts of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) for use as spray-can propellants, refrigerants, solvents, and foam-blowing agents. By 1974, scientists determined that when these very inert chemicals reach the upper stratosphere, they can be broken down by solar ultraviolet radiation, releasing atoms of chlorine.

Starting around 1970, both depletion of the ozone layer and average global surface temperatures began to increase. In 1974, scientists showed that one atom of chlorine in the stratosphere, under very cold conditions, can lead to destruction of more than 100,000 molecules of ozone. They received the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work concerning the formation and decomposition of ozone.

With discovery of the Antarctic Ozone Hole in 1985, scientists realized ozone depletion was progressing much faster than anyone had assumed. They worked with political leaders at the United Nations to write and implement the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. This protocol mandated cutbacks in CFC production when it became effective in 1989.

Sure enough, CFC emissions stopped increasing in 1993. Ozone depletion stopped increasing in 1995. Global, average, surface temperatures stopped increasing in 1998. Humans had unintentionally carried out the most definitive experiment ever, showing how an increase in emissions of CFC gases could cause long-term warming of the planet by nearly one-degree Fahrenheit. The ozone layer is expected to recover on its own within 30 to 50 years while temperatures should fall to pre-1970 levels.

Chlorine is also released during volcanic eruptions. Large explosive eruptions are well-observed to explode megatons of water and sulfur dioxide high into the lower stratosphere where they mix to form aerosols that reflect and scatter sunlight, causing global cooling of nearly one-degree for a 2 to 4 years.

Large effusive volcanic eruptions, on the other hand, do not explode much into the stratosphere. They simply extrude basaltic lava flows over land covering tens to millions of square miles. Basaltic lava flows contain ten-times-more chlorine than explosive magmas. The chlorine appears to be convected rapidly into the stratosphere above these very hot lavas, causing ozone depletion and related global warming.

In August 2014, basaltic lavas began flowing from the volcano Bárðarbunga in central Iceland. Within 6 months, the lava covered an area of 33 square miles, the size of Manhattan, the largest basaltic lava flow since 1783. Temperatures rose rapidly half a degree, making 2016 the hottest year on record.

Temperatures fell in 2017 and 2018, but beginning in March 2018, basaltic lava began pouring out of the East Puna Rift on the island of Hawaii, covering nearly 14 square miles within 3 months, 41% of the area covered by flows from Bárðarbunga. This provides an explanation for why 2019 was the second hottest year on record.

“Throughout Earth history,” Ward explains, “whenever we find a large flow of basaltic lava, we find evidence for global warming. One such flow in Siberia, 251 million years ago, covered an area almost as large as the lower-48 United States. Imagine lava flows covering all the land from New York City to San Francisco—from Seattle to Miami. Ocean temperatures rose to hot tub temperatures. Nearly 96% of all marine species and 70% of terrestrial vertebrate species become extinct.”

The Roman Warm Period, 2250 years ago, when Hannibal was able to drive his elephants over the Alps to attack Rome from the north, was contemporaneous with the last major eruption within Craters of the Moon National Monument in south-central Idaho covering only 300 square miles.

The Medieval Warm Period began around 939 AD, the time when the largest basaltic lava flow in human history flowed from Eldgjá volcano in south-central Iceland.

“The contemporaneity of large basaltic lava flows with periods of major global warming throughout Earth history is most impressive,” according to Ward.

When the ozone layer is depleted, less solar ultraviolet-B radiation is absorbed by the ozone layer, cooling the ozone layer. More solar ultraviolet-B radiation is observed to reach Earth. This is the hottest solar radiation reaching Earth where it causes sunburn, skin cancer, and mutations. Ultraviolet-B radiation penetrates oceans hundreds of meters and is thus completely absorbed, raising ocean heat content as observed. Ultraviolet-B also dissociates ground level ozone pollution, warming air efficiently.

Ward explains numerous reasons for why greenhouse-warming theory is not only mistaken, it is not even physically possible at He challenges anyone to find any mistake on this webpage that could change his conclusions.

Dr. Ward is a respected senior geophysicist who led a group of 140 scientists, helped develop a major national research program, testified twice before Congress, and chaired a committee at the White House. He has worked full time in retirement since 2006, at his own expense, carefully re-examining all the assumptions made regarding the physics of global warming.

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