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 thinking, intelligent 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

22 July 2009

Some Perspective on the Last Few Decades of Temperature Change


The very interesting graph of temperature over the last couple hundred years at the Watts Up With That? website is shown above. There is a gradual, approximately linear temperature increase since the end of the Little Ice Age and there are multi-decadal oscillations in temperature about that. It is not well-understood why the linear increase since the end of the Little Ice Age, but there is no particular reason to believe that it has anything to do with man-made CO2 emissions. The alarmists have taken the rise in temperature since the last negative deviation from the linear increasing baseline at its lowest point and screamed that the rate of temperature increase is without precedent. Meanwhile we are now at the red dot which is pointed out with the green arrow. It appears that we have started the downward swing on the multi-decadal positive side of the normal oscillation and are in the process of returning to the slowly increasing baseline.

The box is from 1880 to 2000, and the total temperature change in that time was less than 0.5 degrees C. But, the UN IPCC projections of temperature change are implying a 2 to 6 degrees C increase by 2100, which is only 93 years after the release of the 2007 report, as shown in the graph in the pink area indicating the range of its projections. Already, the earth's global temperature lies well below the bottom edge of those projections despite rising CO2 in the atmosphere in the meantime. Comments by Dr. Syun Akasofu of the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks accompanying the graph above at Watts Up With That? add that the high IPCC temperature predictions for 2100
are simply an extension of the observed increase from 1975 to 2000, which was caused by the multi-decadal oscillation. The Global Climate Models (GCMs) are programmed to reproduce the observed increase from 1975 to 2000 in terms of CO2 effect and to extend the reproduced curve to 2100.
In other words, the normal multi-decadal oscillation effect caused by natural forces has been attributed instead to an increasing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, making that seem to be a very much more powerful effect than it actually is. As I have noted in earlier blog entries, the actual increase in temperature due to increasing concentrations of CO2 by 2100 is unlikely to be as much as 0.5 degrees C.

Akasofu also says:
The IPCC seems to imply that the halting is a temporary one. However, they cannot give the reason. Several recent trends, including the phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), the halting of sea level increase, and the cooling of the Arctic Ocean, indicate that the halting is likely to be due to the multi-decadal change.
In addition, the sun has entered a period of low sunspot activity, which surely is also causing some cooling. It is clear that the temperature is in the process of returning to the long-term slowing rising linear trendline and that it is likely to cross it once again to the negative side of that line. You might note that only the low end of the U.N. IPCC predicted temperature increase is a linear projection of the 1975 to 2000 temperature increase. The range above that is all predicated on a non-linear greater rate of temperature increase over time, despite the fact that more and more CO2 in the atmosphere has less and less effect in absorbing emitted infra-red radiation! But, they imagine that other effects will amplify the CO2 greenhouse gas effect. More recent research, however, actually shows that counterbalancing effects come into play to decrease, rather than increase, the warming effect of CO2 as a greenhouse gas.

So, meanwhile, we have a President and a Democrat Congress who are eager to put major restrictions on energy use and to increase taxes on its use in the name of preventing the global temperature increases predicted by the UN IPCC analysis. The G8 nations are also lined up to do the same thing. The U.N. is pushing all the countries of the world to get on board and take orders from the U.N. to solve this looming catastrophe. Of course, it wants the developed countries to feel most of the pain from the imposed restrictions on human lifestyles.

All of this is clearly a play for power based upon amateurish science. Some much better science has been done in the last decade and it is way past time for the federal government and many academics to understand that it is clearly the case that natural forces still dominate the climate and will still be the dominant cause of global temperatures in 2100 in all likelihood.

It is a measure of the strength of the lust for power that so much effort is made to manufacture a human catastrophe which might be averted by human action, if only directed by much more powerful governments, and that this scientifically slovenly work of the UN IPCC is still taken seriously by many. They just cannot give up the justification for their power grab, no matter how badly flawed and nonsensical it is.

This failure to correct actions based on arguments found to be wrong is characteristic of most politicians and of those of their backers who favor ever-expanding government. The health insurance and health care takeover, the ethanol subsidies, the financial bailout and controls, the takeover of GM and Chrysler, the increase in the minimum wage, the move to hand more businesses over to unions, the increased taxes on businesses under the guise of health insurance reform, the mandates and subsidies for alternative energy industries, and much more are cases of the desire for power motivating a pretense that the offered arguments are valid, even when those arguments are well-known to be false. The political animal is a very devious animal and has always succeeded in leading democracies into tyranny despite their very poor arguments for their acquisition of ever more power. This is why the Framers of the Constitution did what they could to minimize democratic elements in the form of our government. At our peril, we have undone much of what they wisely did.

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