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.

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01 May 2010

The False Catastrophic Man-Made Global Warming Hypothesis

The continued barrage of claims that man's use of fossil fuels should be curtailed because they generate CO2 emissions has caused me to revise and add to an earlier posting on the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming hypothesis.  The EPA has declared CO2 a pollutant even though it is essential for plant growth and the present levels are less than optimal for plants.  It also has no known toxicological effects upon man unless it were to be at least 20 times more concentrated than it presently is.  Obama and many in Congress want to find ways to further reduce fossil fuel use in order to decrease CO2 emissions, or so they say.

Man clearly makes a contribution to global warming because there is a strong local warming effect in urban areas.  However, the contributions of man to warming on the global scale are still too small to even measure.  The anthropogenic global warming catastrophe hypothesis makes the following claims:

  • Man's use of fossil fuels results in CO2 emissions in significant amount.
  • The CO2 added by man to the atmosphere lingers there a long time, often said to be 100 years.
  • The greenhouse gas warming caused by these additions of CO2 is itself significant.
  • The warming caused by man's CO2 additions to the atmosphere causes a much stronger warming due to increased water vapor and its greenhouse effect.
  • The great increase in water vapor at 8 to 12 km altitude over the equator and the lower latitudes results in a hot zone in the atmosphere, which warms the entire globe.
  • The resulting warming causes catastrophic effects, such as droughts, heavy rains, low snowfall, heavy snowfall, increased numbers and severity of hurricanes and typhoons, increased malaria, increased parasites, a greater mortality of older people, the extinction of species, and a great rise in sea level.
This is all so much hogwash and bunkum.  Let us consider some of the reasons why CO2 emitted by man is not causing significant global warming:

1) The rise of atmospheric CO2 concentrations since 1850 to the level of 2008 made almost no difference in the infra-red radiation absorbed since almost all of the infra-red radiation was already being absorbed that CO2 can absorb in 1850.  The temperature increase due to the CO2 increase since 1850 is about 0.12C.  This is based upon the usual atmospheric CO2 concentration plot, but like the temperature hockey stick plot, this plot is now known to have been manipulated to make the rise of CO2 since the end of the Little Ice Age and the start of the Industrial Revolution look more dramatic than it really has been.

2) The residence time of man's CO2 emissions in the atmosphere is about 5 years when introduced high in the atmosphere (as in nuclear blasts or some volcanic eruptions [not caused by man despite the claims of certain Iranian clerics, but useful for studies of CO2 atmospheric dwell times]), not the 50 to 200 years claimed in one part of the UN IPCC AR4 report of 2007, but in agreement with another part of the same report.  Other studies of the low altitude introduction of CO2, where man's use of fossil fuels introduces the vast majority of it, show the half life in the atmosphere to be about 1 year.

3) The portion of the CO2 in the atmosphere due to man is estimated to be about 1.2% to maybe a couple of % based on other reasonable assumptions.  The seas and plants are the dominant factors determining the atmospheric concentration of CO2.  Warming seas increase the atmospheric concentration of CO2.  Increased CO2 causes more plant growth which uses more CO2.  Ocean animals with shells also use large amounts of CO2.  Higher atmospheric concentrations of CO2 also cause land minerals to react with more CO2 and bind it up.  Thus, plants and land minerals provide some negative feedback to increased atmospheric CO2.

4)  The hot spot from about 8 to 12 km altitude near the equator that should be found if CO2 is acting as strongly as a greenhouse gas and enhancing the greenhouse gas effect of water vapor as is claimed by the UN IPCC AR4 report has been searched for. The hot spot in the atmosphere is not present.  This is definitive proof that the UN IPCC computer models are wrong about the role of CO2.  This reason alone is not only an adequate reason to reject the man-made CO2 contribution to global warming being as large as that claimed by the UN IPCC report, but it requires a scientist to reject this hypothesis.  A theory cannot make so necessary a prediction and fail, and nonetheless still be claimed to be true.

5)  The temperatures on other planets and moons in our solar system are also rising, which is consistent with measurements of the solar cycle.

6)  Much of the claimed rise in land surface temperatures is due to the urban heat island effect, which has increased the reported temperatures in recent decades due to the closing down of more accurate rural weather stations around the world.  Few station sites follow the rules for good siting.  Urban stations should be entirely excluded when recording temperatures for global warming or cooling effects or assessing the effects of greenhouse gases such as CO2.  Instead, low altitude and urban stations have been given fallaciously high weight in the ground temperature records by extrapolating data taken from such warmer stations onto areas far from them but in higher altitude or more remote locations.  For instance, the temperature officially used for high altitudes in the Andes of Boliva are based on data from cities on the Pacific Ocean and hot jungles of the Amazon basin.  The cool Andes Mountains lie between these areas and are much cooler.  This trick has been used over and over around the world.

7)  Much raw temperature data has recently been pried loose from national temperature archives, often thanks to dogged requests under Freedom of Information Acts.  The rural stations in the U.S., Russia, Northern Europe, northern Australia, New Zealand, China, and some areas of Canada, Latin America, and Africa whose data has been examined carefully show little to no late 20th Century temperature increase.  The data used in the UN IPCC AR4 report of 2007 was heavily manipulated, in ways that make no scientific sense, to enhance a rapid rise of temperatures in the late 20th Century.

8)  There is much evidence that the Medieval Warm Period, the Roman Warming, the Minoan Warming, and the Halocene Warmings b and a and other warmings were warmer than the present time.

9) The rate of the temperature increase at the start of the Medieval Warm Period was similar to that we had in the late 20th Century using even the inflated and manipulated temperature data.  There was also a warming period around 1700 in which the temperature rose 2.2C in just 36 years, compared to the 0.7C temperature increase of the 20th Century.

10) The sea surface temperature data, the balloon data, and the satellite temperature data for the late 20th Century show much smaller temperature increases than does the manipulated land surface data used by the alarmists.  The oceans cover 70% of the Earth and the satellites read temperatures over the entire Earth.

11)  The atmospheric concentrations of CO2 follow temperature increases rather than preceding them, consistent with dissolved CO2 being emitted upon the warming of the oceans or dissolved when the oceans cool.  The solubility of CO2 increases greatly with lower temperature and higher pressure.  Due to high pressure and cold temperatures, the deep ocean waters hold huge amounts of CO2, but it takes a long time to warm those waters in response to solar irradiance changes due to the huge amount of heat energy needed to raise the temperature of water, the low amount of heat energy in the gaseous atmosphere, the huge volume of water, and the depth of most of the oceans.  Consequently, the rise in CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere will lag general warming events by long times, though there is observable response to warming El Nino events and cooling La Nina events.

12)  Despite a continued CO2 concentration increase in the atmosphere since 1998, the temperatures have not risen, which was noted as an embarrassment in the dumped CRU e-mails.  The much-touted computer models are baffled by this.

13)  Solar wind and solar electromagnetic fields are now known to have major effects upon the cosmic ray flux on the Earth and other planets in the solar system.  When solar sunspot activity increases, solar irradiance increases, but so also does the solar wind and the range and strength of the solar electromagnetic field.  This shields the Earth from cosmic rays and the reduced flux of cosmic rays causes less lower atmosphere (below 3.2 km) nucleation and growth of clouds.  The Earth's temperature decreases sensitively to the amount of cloud cover in the lower atmosphere, so when the sun is less active, there are more cosmic rays and they generate more lower atmosphere clouds, which has a strong cooling effect.  Contrary to the frequent claims of the global warming alarmists, solar activity has stronger effects upon the Earth's temperature than just that caused by the changes in solar irradiance.

14)  The predicted catastrophic changes due to warming do not seem to have materialized.  The failure here is widespread and should not be a surprise given that these calamities did not happen during the earlier warm periods such as the Medieval Warm Period given in 8) above.  The historical record indicates that man generally benefited from these warmer periods.

The case for the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming hypothesis is so poor, that it is clear that the real reason so many support this false hypothesis does not lie in the science.  There are ulterior political and unethical business motives for the constant claims that man's use of fossil fuels is going to be responsible for a global climate catastrophe.  Those who want reasons to increase the control of our use of energy, flock to this false theory.  Those who want to add further high taxes love the idea of something like cap and trade taxes.  Those who wish to subject the United States to more international control, say the United Nations, love this false theory.  Those who stand to make money from the trade of carbon credits love it.  Those who are pushing federal investment and mandates to create the smart grid love it.  Those who are working on electric cars, wind generation of electricity, solar power generation of electricity, nuclear power, thermal insulation, higher efficiency light sources, light materials for transportation, products made from recycled materials, and many others who stand to make money from throttling fossil fuel use very often support this false alarmist idea.

Disclaimer:  My laboratory works on projects for oil companies, solar power companies, wind generator companies, nuclear power plants, suppliers to the coal industry, low-weight materials for transportation companies, efficient light sources, improved thermal insulation materials, materials made from recycled materials, and energy from recycled materials.  My laboratory will prosper better with a strong private sector, a strongly growing economy, a limited government, and with widespread respect for science and what it can do for us to make our lives better.  Bad science and the disrespect for science that it will generate is bad for the future of my laboratory.

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