January Was Coldest Month Ever

January Was Coldest Month Ever
July 1, 1997

Despite the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over the last few decades, January 1997 was the coldest January ever measured by the system of highly accurate climate satellites orbiting the earth.

The unusually cold weather experienced by hundreds of millions of people in the first few weeks of the year was all the more significant given the lack of any recent volcanic activity or appearances of cold sea-surface conditions associated with La Niña.

"We must ask ourselves several questions," commented Dr. Robert Balling, director of the office of climatology at Arizona State University and a participant in the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). "As climatologists, we must wonder why has the planet cooled while the greenhouse gases have increased exponentially in recent years--we are working on that one. As observers of the global warming debate, we must wonder why the press has not covered this remarkable measurement. Be assured that if January 1997 had been the warmest on record, the story would have received front page coverage around the world."

While it would be premature to draw far-reaching conclusions from an unusually frigid month, such temperature readings further call into question widely publicized forecasts of dramatic warming predicted by climate models. According to Dr. Sallie Baliunas, senior scientist at the Washington-based George C. Marshall Institute, computer simulations of global temperatures for the 21st century already have been revised downward three times since 1990.



PF: For a copy of "IPCC scientist says January '97 coldest on record," which appeared in the March 3, 1997 issue of eco-logic Bonn, published by Sovereignty International Inc., call PolicyFax at 847/202-4888. Request document #2329707.