Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

24 December 2008

India Disputes Man-Made Global Warming Alarmism

Back in June 2008, India produced its National Action Plan on Climate Change in which it disputed the UN IPCC and Al Gore claim that man has caused global warming and it will become a disaster. Sensibly, India believes it is important to save its people from poverty and to join the developed nations such as the United States of America in producing the per capita CO2 emissions that translate into the good life. Indian scientists looked for reasons for concern in the actual climate of India and found nothing unusually alarming. They found no evidence for man-made warming.

Indian scientists noted that in a century, the average surface temperature had risen 0.4 degree, but did not think that reason for alarm. They examined the quantity of rain, floods, droughts, and the growth and recession of Himalayan glaciers. Al Gore specifically claimed that the recession of Himalayan glaciers was catastrophic. The Indian scientists found that some glaciers were retreating, but that others were advancing. They concluded that a number of hypotheses about why some were advancing and some were retreating simply needed yet to be evaluated.

V. K. Raina is India's leading glaciologist and he says only 5o of 9,575 glaciers in India have been studied carefully. However, nearly 200 years of general data seems to indicate to him that nothing abnormal has occurred with respect to the Himalayan glaciers. He believes that a few sensationalists are hyping the retreat of some glaciers to cause alarm.

The President of the Geological Society of India, B. P. Radhakrishna, believes that global warming has occurred as part of the natural glacial-interglacial cycle of the earth. He believes that man can and will adapt to such changes of the earth's climate as will naturally occur. He does not believe man can control the climate by reducing CO2 emissions.

Even the Indian engineer and economist Rajendra Pachauri, the UN IPCC Chairman has said that he will look into the "apparent temperature plateau so far this century."

I believe there are some wise men in India.


Bhuvan Chand said...

i really impress with you blog and plz keep writing for this blog.

Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D. said...

Bhuvan Chand,

Thanks. My writing has slowed a bit due to a backlog of work in my laboratory, but I will continue making the effort to comment on the things I am reading about and thinking about. I enjoy writing and the process does clarify my own thoughts. Clear thinking is important for all of us. Sometimes it also gives us a chance to make the exciting discovery of another clear thinker!

Charles Pierce said...

I was interested to find this blog. 20 years ago I had a book published on different economic concepts to point the way to a sustainable world economy. Someone who liked the book contacted me this year to suggest that I update and re-publish it as a blog. She set up the blog, and the book is now complete on the blog in a series of postings. There are now also additional pieces on global warming and other subjects. Here is the link:

With all good wishes,
Charles Pierce

Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D. said...

Charles Pierce certainly offers an alternative view to mine. The link he gives to a website may be of interest to some readers who are interested in sampling other viewpoints. I read some of it with interest myself. In the essay Global Warming - Is it too late? it is said there are four viewpoints.

(1) There is no global warming. He says this is believed by very, very few. My viewpoint is that there has been a long term global warming since the end of the Little Ice Age, but that there has been no global warming since 1998 and there is reason to believe there will be none until 2013 or 2015 or 2018. We frankly do not know whether there will continue to be a longer term global warming again after that, or will there be stasis, or cooling.

(2) "It’s happening but has causes other than anthropogenic increases in the atmospheric carbon dioxide content, for instance the precession of the nodes of the earth’s orbit and cyclical variations in the sun’s radiation." His further discussion of this emphasizes an idea that the warming of the earth then causes more CO2 to be emitted by natural processes and that increases the heat capacity of the atmosphere. Indeed, there is reason to believe that warming oceans emit CO2. However, he is technically wrong in attributing a substantial increase in heat capacity of the atmosphere to CO2 directly as heat capacity is usually defined per unit volume. The heat capacity changes in the atmosphere are dominated by its water vapor content and its density. Warming decreases its density and though it may increase the heat content, the heat capacity will go down, unless the humidity increases enough to compensate for the decreased density, which often happens. There is no simple relationship between CO2 concentration and heat capacity. However, I believe he is actually referring to the total heat energy of the total atmosphere here. Even so, very high prehistoric CO2 levels existed during the long glacial periods, so high CO2 is no guarantee of high temperatures. There are no claims that high CO2 tend to generate high cloud cover to counterbalance the effect of increasing CO2.

(3) "It is caused mainly by anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions and we can and must reduce these emissions in time to arrest the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide content and start to bring that content back to historical levels." He does not think this is the case.

(4) "It is caused mainly by anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions but it is too late, and not enough is being or will be done, to reduce these emissions in time to arrest the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide content and start to bring that content back to historical levels. Our efforts should be directed to getting an accurate idea of what will happen to the planet as a result of global warming, and developing ways of coping with these changes." This is the case according to Charles Pierce.

I know of no actual evidence for either proposition 3) or 4), other than that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and its concentration in the atmosphere is increasing. However, the earth's climate is determined by many very complex forces and many of them are much stronger than that of CO2. There are also responses of the complex system to any one force's contribution and we do not well understand them. We do know that CO2 concentrations have been much higher than now in the past and the earth survived, as did plant and animal life. In fact, higher concentrations of CO2 are generally good for plant life and that is generally good for man and other animals. Indeed, men tend to enjoy a warmer climate and seem to shun cold climates generally. An aging population in North America and Europe sure would prefer warming over cooling.