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Rushing to Judgment (Global Warming Questioned - Long but Good)
Wilson Quarterly ^ | Autumn 2003 | Jack M. Hollander

Posted on 10/16/2003 10:31:58 AM PDT by dirtboy

Is Earth warming? The planet has warmed since the mid-1800s, but before that it cooled for more than five centuries. Cycles of warming and cooling have been part of Earth’s natural climate history for millions of years. So what is the global warming debate about? It’s about the proposition that human use of fossil fuels has contributed significantly to the past century’s warming, and that expected future warming may have catastrophic global consequences. But hard evidence for this human contribution simply does not exist; the evidence we have is suggestive at best. Does that mean the human effects are not occurring? Not necessarily. But media coverage of global warming has been so alarmist that it fails to convey how flimsy the evidence really is. Most people don’t realize that many strong statements about a human contribution to global warming are based more on politics than on science. Indeed, the climate change issue has become so highly politicized that its scientific and political aspects are now almost indistinguishable. The United Nations Inter­governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), upon which governments everywhere have depended for the best scientific information, has been transformed from a bona fide effort in international scientific cooperation into what one of its leading participants terms “a hybrid scientific/political organization.”

Yet apart from the overheated politics, climate change remains a fascinating and important scientific subject. Climate dynamics and climate history are extraordinarily complex, and despite intensive study for decades, scientists are not yet able to explain satisfactorily such basic phenomena as extreme weather events (hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts), El Niño variations, historical climate cycles, and trends of atmospheric temperatures. The scientific uncertainties about all these matters are great, and not surprisingly, competent scientists disagree in their interpretations of what is and is not known. In the current politicized atmosphere, however, legitimate scientific differences about climate change have been lost in the noise of politics.

For some, global warming has become the ultimate symbol of pessimism about the environmental future. Writer Bill McKibben, for example, says, “If we had to pick one problem to obsess about over the next 50 years, we’d do well to make it carbon dioxide.” I believe that we’d be far wiser to obsess about poverty than about carbon dioxide.

Fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) are the major culprits of the global warming controversy and happen also to be the principal energy sources for both rich and poor countries. Governments of the industrial countries have generally accepted the position, promoted by the IPCC, that humankind’s use of fossil fuels is a major contributor to global warming, and in 1997 they forged an international agreement (the Kyoto Climate Change Protocol) mandating that worldwide fossil fuel use be drastically reduced as a precaution against future warming. In contrast, the developing nations for the most part do not accept global warming as a high-priority issue and, as yet, are not subject to the Kyoto agreement. Thus, the affluent nations and the developing nations have set themselves on a collision course over environmental policy relating to fossil fuel use.

The debate about global warming focuses on carbon dioxide, a gas emitted into the atmosphere when fossil fuels are burned. Environmentalists generally label carbon dioxide as a pollutant; the Sierra Club, for example, in referring to carbon dioxide, states that “we are choking our planet in a cloud of this pollution.” But to introduce the term pollution in this context is misleading because carbon dioxide is neither scientifically nor legally considered a pollutant. Though present in Earth’s atmosphere in small amounts, carbon dioxide plays an essential role in maintaining life and as part of Earth’s temperature control system.

Those who have had the pleasure of an elementary chemistry course will recall that carbon dioxide is one of the two main products of the combustion in air of any fossil fuel, the other being water. These products are generally emitted into the atmosphere, no matter whether the combustion takes place in power plants, household gas stoves and heaters, manufacturing facilities, automobiles, or other sources. The core scientific issue of the global warming debate is the extent to which atmospheric carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning affects global climate.

When residing in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide and water vapor are called “greenhouse gases,” so named because they trap some of Earth’s heat in the same way that the glass canopy of a greenhouse prevents some of its internal heat from escaping, thereby warming the interior of the greenhouse. By this type of heating, greenhouse gases occurring naturally in the atmosphere perform a critical function. In fact, without greenhouse gases Earth would be too cold, all water on the planet would be frozen, and life as we know it would never have developed. In addition to its role in greenhouse warming, carbon dioxide is essential for plant physiology; without it, all plant life would die.

A number of greenhouse gases other than carbon dioxide and water vapor occur naturally in Earth’s atmosphere and have been there for millennia. What’s new is that during the industrial era, humankind’s burning of fossil fuels has been adding carbon dioxide to the atmospheric mix of greenhouse gases over and above the amounts naturally present. The preindustrial level of 287 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased almost 30 percent, to 367 ppm (as of 1998).

Few, if any, scientists question the measurements showing that atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased by almost a third. Nor do most scientists question that humans are the cause of most or all of the carbon dioxide increase. Yet the media continually point to these two facts as the major evidence that humans are causing the global warming Earth has recently experienced. The weak link in this argument is that empirical science has not established an unambiguous connection between the carbon dioxide increase and the observed global warming. The real scientific controversy about global warming is not about the presence of additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from human activities, which is well established, but about the extent to which that additional carbon dioxide affects climate, now or in the future.

Earth’s climate is constantly changing from natural causes that, for the most part, are not understood. How are we to distinguish the human contribution, which may be very small, from the natural contribution, which may be small or large? Put another way, is the additional carbon dioxide humans are adding to the atmosphere likely to have a measurable effect on global temperature, which is in any case changing continually from natural causes? Or is the temperature effect from the additional carbon dioxide likely to be imperceptible, and therefore unimportant as a practical matter?

Global warming is not something that happened only recently. In Earth’s long history, climate change is the rule rather than the exception, and studies of Earth’s temperature record going back a million years clearly reveal a number of climate cycles—warming and cooling trends. Their causes are multiple—possibly including periodic changes in solar output and variations in Earth’s tilt and orbit—but poorly understood. In recent times, Earth entered a warming period. From thermometer records, we know that the air at Earth’s surface warmed about 0.6ºC over the period from the 1860s to the present. The observed warming, however, does not correlate well with the growth in fossil fuel use during that period. About half of the observed warming took place before 1940, though it was only after 1940 that the amounts of greenhouse gases produced by fossil fuel burning rose rapidly, as a result of the heavy industrial expansions of World War II and the postwar boom (80 percent of the carbon dioxide from human activities was added to the air after 1940).

Surprisingly, from about 1940 until about 1980, during a period of rapid increase in fossil fuel burning, global surface temperatures actually displayed a slight cooling trend rather than an acceleration of the warming trend that would have been expected from greenhouse gases. During the 1970s some scientists even became concerned about the possibility of a new ice age from an extended period of global cooling (a report of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences reflected that concern). Physicist Freeman Dyson notes that “the onset of the next ice age [would be] a far more severe catastrophe than anything associated with warming.”

Earth’s cooling trend did not continue beyond 1980, but neither has there been an unambiguous warming trend. Since 1980, precise temperature measurements have been made in Earth’s atmosphere and on its surface, but the results do not agree. The surface air measurements indicate significant warming (0.25 to 0.4ºC), but the atmospheric measurements show very little, if any, warming.

Briefly, then, the record is this: From 1860 to 1940, Earth’s surface warmed about 0.4ºC. Then Earth’s surface cooled about 0.1ºC in the first four decades after 1940 and warmed about 0.3ºC in the next two. For those two most recent decades, temperature measurements of the atmosphere have also been available, and, while these measurements are subject to significant uncertainty, they indicate that the atmosphere’s temperature has remained essentially unchanged. Thus, the actual temperature record does not support the claims widely found in environmental literature and the media that Earth has been steadily warming over the past century. (A new study that may shed more light on this question—one of a number sure to come—has been circulated but is being revised and has not yet been published.)

For the probable disparity between the surface and atmospheric temperature trends of the past 20 years, several explanations have been offered. The first is that large urban centers create artificial heating zones—“heat islands”—that can contribute to an increase of surface temperature (though one analysis concludes that the heat island effect is too small to explain the discrepancy fully). The second explanation is that soot and dust from volcanic eruptions may have contributed to cooling of the atmosphere by blocking the Sun’s heat (though this cooling should have affected both surface and atmospheric temperatures). In the United States, despite the presence of large urban areas, surface cooling after 1930 far exceeded that of Earth as a whole, and the surface temperature has subsequently warmed only to the level of the 1930s.

It’s frequently claimed that the recent increases in surface temperature are uniquely hazardous to Earth’s ecosystems because of the rapidity with which they are occurring—more than 0.1ºC in a decade. That may be true, but some past climate changes were rapid as well. For example, around 14,700 years ago, temperatures in Greenland apparently jumped 5ºC in less than 20 years—almost three times the warming from greenhouse gases predicted to occur in this entire century by the most pessimistic scientists.

Whatever the current rate of surface warming, there is little justification for the view that Earth’s climate should be unchanging, and that any climate change now occurring must have been caused by humans and should therefore be fixed by humans. In fact, as noted earlier, changing climate patterns and cycles have occurred throughout Earth’s history. For millions of years, ice sheets regularly waxed and waned as global heating and cooling processes took place. During the most recent ice age, some 50,000 years ago, ice sheets covered much of North America, northern Europe, and northern Asia. About 12,000 years ago a warming trend began, signaling the start of an interglacial period that continues to this day. This warm period may have peaked 5,000 to 6,000 years ago, when global ice melting accelerated and global temperatures became higher than today’s. Interglacial periods are thought to persist for about 10,000 years, so the next ice age may be coming soon—that is, in 500 to 1,000 years.

Within the current interglacial period, smaller cyclic patterns have emerged. In the most recent millennium, several cycles occurred during which Earth alternately warmed and cooled. There’s evidence for an unusually warm period over at least parts of the globe from the end of the first millennium to about 1300. A mild climate in the Northern Hemisphere during those centuries probably facilitated the migration of Scandinavian peoples to Greenland and Iceland, as well as their first landing on the North American continent, just after 1000. The settlements in Greenland and Iceland thrived for several hundred years but eventually were abandoned when the climate turned colder, after about 1450. The cold period, which lasted until the late 1800s, is often called the Little Ice Age. Agricultural productivity fell, and the mass exodus to North America of many Europeans is attributed at least in part to catastrophic crop failures such as the potato famine in Ireland.

A plausible interpretation of most or all of the observed surface warming over the past century is that Earth is in the process of coming out of the Little Ice Age cold cycle that began 600 years ago. The current warming trend could last for centuries, until the expected arrival of the next ice age, or it could be punctuated by transient warm and cold periods, as were experienced in the recent millennium.

A great deal of global warming rhetoric gives the impression that science has established beyond doubt that the recent warming is mostly due to human activities. But that has not been established. Though human use of fossil fuels might contribute to global warming in the future, there’s no hard scientific evidence that it is already doing so, and the difficulty of establishing a human contribution by empirical observation is formidable. One would need to detect a very small amount of warming caused by human activity in the presence of a much larger background of naturally occurring climate change—a search for the proverbial needle in a haystack.

Still, understanding climate change is by no means beyond science’s reach, and research is proceeding in several complementary ways. Paleo­climatologists have been probing Earth’s past climatic changes and are uncovering exciting new information about Earth’s climate history going back thousands, and even millions, of years. This paleohistory will help eventually to produce a definitive picture of Earth’s evolving climate, and help in turn to clarify the climate changes we’re experiencing in our own era. But we are far from knowing enough to be able to predict what the future may hold for Earth’s climate.

Mindful of the limited empirical knowledge about climate, some climate scientists have been attempting to understand possible future changes by using computer modeling techniques. By running several scenarios, the modelers obtain a set of theoretical projections of how global temperature might change in the future in response to assumed inputs, governed mainly by the levels of fossil fuel use. But like all computer modeling, even state-of-the-art climate modeling has significant limitations. For example, the current models cannot simulate the natural variability of climate over century-long time periods. A further major shortcoming is that they project only gradual climate change, whereas the most serious impacts of climate change could come about from abrupt changes. (A simple analogy is to the abrupt formation of frost, causing leaf damage and plant death, when the ambient air temperature gradually dips below the freezing point.) Given the shortcomings, policy­makers should exercise considerable caution in using current climate models as quantitative indicators of future global warming.

Scientists have long been aware that physical factors other than greenhouse gases can influence atmospheric temperature. Among the most important are aerosols—tiny particles (sulfates, black carbon, organic compounds, and so forth) introduced into the atmosphere by a variety of pollution sources, including automobiles and coal-burning electricity generators, as well as by natural sources such as sea spray and desert dust. Some aerosols, such as black carbon, normally contribute to heating of the atmosphere because they absorb the Sun’s heat (though black carbon aerosols residing at high altitudes can actually cool Earth’s surface because they block the Sun’s rays from getting through to it). Other aerosols, composed of sulfates and organic compounds, cool the atmosphere because they reflect or scatter the Sun’s rays away from Earth. Current evidence indicates that aerosols may be responsible for cooling effects at Earth’s surface and warming effects in Earth’s atmosphere. But the impacts of pollution on Earth’s climate are very uncertain. The factors involved are difficult to simulate, but they must be included in computer models if the models are to be useful indicators of future climate. When climate models are finally able to incorporate the full complexity of pollution effects, especially from aerosols, the projected global temperature change could be either higher or lower than current projections, depending on the chemistry, altitude, and geographic region of the particular aerosols involved. Or, it could even be zero.

In addition to pollution, other physical factors that can influence surface and atmospheric temperature are meth­ane (another greenhouse gas), dust from volcanic activity, and changes in cloud cover, ocean circulation patterns, air-sea interactions, and the Sun’s energy output. “The forcings that drive long-term climate change,” concludes James Hansen, one of the pioneers of climate change science, “are not known with an accuracy sufficient to define future climate change. Anthropogenic greenhouse gases, which are well measured, cause a strong positive forcing [warming]. But other, poorly measured, anthropogenic forcings, especially changes of atmospheric aerosols, clouds, and land-use patterns, cause a negative forcing that tends to offset greenhouse warming.” And as if the physical factors were not challenging enough, the inherent complexity of the climate system will always be present to thwart attempts to predict future climate.

In view of climate’s complexity and the limitations of today’s climate simulations, one might expect that pronouncements as to human culpability for climate change would be made with considerable circumspection, especially pronouncements made in the name of the scientific community. So it was disturbing to many scientists that a summary report of the IPCC issued in 1996 contained the assertion that “the balance of evidence suggests a discernible climate change due to human activities.” The latest IPCC report (2001) goes even further, claiming that “there is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.” But most of this evidence comes from new computer simulations and does not satisfactorily address either the disparity in the empirical temperature record between surface and atmosphere or the large uncertainties in the contributions of aerosols and other factors. A report issued by the National Academy of Sciences in 2001 says this about the model simulations:

Because of the large and still uncertain level of natural variability inherent in the climate record and the uncertainties in the time histories of the various forcing agents (and presumably aerosols), a causal linkage between the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the observed climate changes during the 20th century cannot be unequivocally established. The fact that the magnitude of the observed warming is large in comparison to natural variability as simulated in climate models is suggestive of such a linkage, but it does not constitute proof of one because the model simulations could be deficient in natural variability on the decadal to century time scale.

These IPCC reports have been adopted as the centerpiece of most current popularizations of global warming in the media and in the environmental literature, and their political impact has been enormous. The 1996 report was the principal basis for government climate policy in most industrial countries, including the United States. The IPCC advised in the report that drastic reductions in the burning of fossil fuels would be required to avoid a disastrous global temperature increase. That advice was the driving force behind the adoption in 1997 of the Kyoto protocol to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the near future.

In its original form, the protocol had many flaws. First, it exempted developing countries, including China, India, and Brazil, from the emission cutbacks; such countries are increasingly dependent on fossil fuels, and their current greenhouse gas emissions already exceed those of the developed countries. Second, it mandated short-term reductions in fossil fuel use to reach the emission targets without regard to the costs of achieving those targets. Forced cutbacks in fossil fuel use could have severe economic consequences for industrial countries (the protocol would require the United States to cut back its fossil fuel combustion by over 30 percent to reach the targeted reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 2010), and even greater consequences for poor countries should they ultimately agree to be included in the emissions targets. The costs of the cutbacks would have to be paid up front, whereas the assumed benefits would come only many decades later. Third, the fossil fuel cutbacks mandated by the protocol are too small to be effective—averting, by one estimate, only 0.06ºC of global warming by 2050.

The Kyoto protocol was signed in 1997 by many industrial countries, including the United States, but to have legal status, it must be ratified by nations that together account for 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. As of June 2002, the protocol had been ratified by 73 countries, including Japan and all 15 nations of the European Union. These countries are responsible, in all, for only 36 percent of emissions, but the 55 percent requirement may be met by Russia’s expected ratification. Nonetheless, the treaty is unlikely to have real force without ratification by the United States. The Bush administration opposes the treaty, on the grounds of its likely negative economic impact on America, and has thus far not sought Senate ratification. Even the Clinton administration did not seek ratification, despite its having signed the initial protocol, because it was aware that the U.S. Senate had unanimously adopted a resolution rejecting in principle any climate change treaty that does not include meaningful participation by developing countries.

With the United States retaining its lone dissent, 165 nations agreed in November 2001 to a modified version of Kyoto that would ease the task of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by allowing nations to trade their rights to emit carbon dioxide, and by giving nations credit for the expansion of forests and farmland, which soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. A study by economist William Nordhaus in Science magazine (Nov. 9, 2001) finds that a Kyoto treaty modified along these lines would incur substantial costs, bring little progress toward its objective, and, because of the huge fund transfers that would result from the practice of emissions trading, stir political disputes. Nordhaus concludes that participation in the treaty would have cost the United States some $2.3 trillion over the coming decades—more than twice the combined cost to all other participants. It does not require sympathy with overall U.S. climate change policy to understand the nation’s reluctance to be so unequal a partner in the Kyoto enterprise.

Though the political controversy continues, the science has moved away from its earlier narrow focus on carbon dioxide as a predictor of global warming to an increasing realization that the world’s future climate is likely to be determined by a changing mix of complex and countervailing factors, many of which are not under human control and all of which are insufficiently understood. But regardless of the causes, we do know that Earth’s surface has warmed during the past century. Although we don’t know the extent to which it will warm in the future, or whether it will warm at all, we can’t help but ask a couple of critical questions: How much does global warming matter? What would be the consequences if the global average temperature did actually rise during the current century by, say, some 2ºC?

Some environmentalists have predicted dire consequences from the warming, including extremes of weather, the loss of agricultural productivity, a destructive rise in sea level, and the spread of diseases. Activists press for international commitments much stronger than the Kyoto protocol to reduce the combustion of fossil fuels, and they justify the measures as precautionary. Others counter that the social and economic impacts of forced reductions in fossil fuel use would be more serious than the effects of a temperature rise, which could be small, or even beneficial.

Although the debate over human impacts on climate probably won’t be resolved for decades, a case can be made for adopting a less alarmist view of a warmer world. In any event, the warmer world is already here. In the past 2,500 years, global temperatures have varied by more than 3ºC, and some of the changes have been much more abrupt than the gradual changes projected by the IPCC. During all of recorded history, humans have survived and prospered in climate zones far more different from one another than those that might result from the changes in global temperatures now being discussed.

Those who predict agricultural losses from a warmer climate have most likely got it backwards. Warm periods have historically benefited the development of civilization, and cold periods have been detrimental. For example, the Medieval Warm Period, from about 900 to 1300, facilitated the Viking settlement of Iceland and Greenland, whereas the subsequent Little Ice Age led to crop failures, famines, and disease. Even a small temperature increase brings a longer and more frost-free growing season—an advantage for many farmers, especially those in large, cold countries such as Russia and Canada. Agronomists know that the enrichment of atmospheric carbon dioxide stimulates plant growth and development in greenhouses; such enrichment at the global level might be expected to increase vegetative and biological productivity and water-use efficiency. Studies of the issue from an economic perspective have reached the same conclusion: that moderate global warming would most likely produce net economic benefits, especially for the agriculture and forestry sectors. Of course, such projections are subject to great uncertainty and cannot exclude the possibility that unexpected negative impacts would occur.

As for the concern that warmer temperatures would spread insect-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever, there’s no solid evidence to support it. Although the spread of disease is a complex matter, the main carriers of these diseases—which were common in North America, western Europe, and Russia during the 19th century, when the world was colder than it is today—are most likely humans traveling the globe and insects traveling with people and goods. The strongest ally against future disease is surely not a cold climate but concerted improvement in regional insect control, water quality, and public health. As poverty recedes and people’s living conditions improve in the developing world, the level of disease, and its spread, can be expected to decrease. Paul Reiter, a specialist in insect-borne diseases, puts it this way:

Insect-borne diseases are not diseases of climate but of poverty. Whatever the climate, developing countries will remain at risk until they acquire window screens, air conditioning, modern medicine, and other amenities most Americans take for granted. As a matter of social policy, the best precaution is to improve living standards in general and health infrastructures in particular.

One of the direst (and most highly publicized) predictions of global warming theorists is that greenhouse gas warming will cause sea level to rise and that, as a result, many oceanic islands and lowland areas, such as Bangladesh, may be submerged. But in fact, sea level—which once was low enough to expose a land bridge between Siberia and Alaska—is rising now, and has been rising for thousands of years. Recent analyses suggest that sea level rose at a rate of about one to two centimeters per century (0.4 to 0.8 inch) over the past 3,000 years. Some studies have interpreted direct sea-level measurements made throughout the 20th century to show that the level is now rising at a much faster rate, about 10 to 25 centimeters per century (4 to 10 inches), but other studies conclude that the rate is much lower than that. To whatever extent sea-level rise may have accelerated, the change is thought to have taken place before the period of industrialization.

Before considering whether the ongoing sea-level rise has anything to do with human use of fossil fuels, let’s examine what science has to say about how global temperature change may relate to sea-level change. The matter is more complicated than it first appears. Water expands as it warms, which would contribute to rising sea level. But warming increases the evaporation of ocean water, which could increase the snowfall on the Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, remove water from the ocean, and lower sea level. The relative importance of these two factors is not known.

We do know from studies of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet that it has been melting continuously since the last great ice age, about 20,000 years ago, and that sea level has been rising ever since. Continued melting of the ice sheet until the next ice age may be inevitable, in which case sea level would rise by 15 to 18 feet when the sheet was completely melted. Other mechanisms have been suggested for natural sea-level rise, including tectonic changes in the shape of the ocean basins. The theoretical computer climate models attribute most of the sea-level rise to thermal expansion of the oceans, and thus they predict that further global temperature increase (presumably from human activities) will accelerate the sea-level rise. But because these models cannot deal adequately with the totality of the natural phenomena involved, their predictions about sea-level rise should be viewed skeptically.

The natural causes of sea-level rise are part of Earth’s evolution. They have nothing to do with human activities, and there’s nothing that humans can do about them. Civilization has always adjusted to such changes, just as it has adjusted to earthquakes and other natural phenomena. This is not to say that adjusting to natural changes is not sometimes painful, but if there’s nothing we can do about certain natural phenomena, we do adjust to them, however painfully. Sea-level rise is, most likely, one of those phenomena over which humans have no control.

Some environmentalists claim that weather-related natural disasters have been increasing in frequency and severity, presumably as a result of human-caused global warming, but the record does not support their claims. On the contrary, several recent statistical studies have found that natural disasters—hurricanes, ty­phoons, tropical storms, floods, blizzards, wildfires, heat waves, and earthquakes—are not on the increase. The costs of losses from natural disasters are indeed rising, to the dismay of insurance companies and government emergency agencies, but that’s because people in affluent societies construct expensive properties in places vulnerable to natural hazards, such as coastlines, steep hills, and forested areas.

Because society has choices, we must ask what the likely effects would be, on the one hand, if people decided to adjust to climate change, regardless of its causes, and, on the other, if governments implemented drastic pol­icies to attempt to lessen the presumed human contribution to the change. From an economic perspective at least, adjusting to the change would almost surely come out ahead. Several analyses have projected that the overall cost of the worst-case consequences of warming would be no more than about a two percent reduction in world output. Given that average per capita income will probably quadruple during the next century, the potential loss seems small indeed. A recent economic study emphasizing adaptation to climate change indicates that in the market economy of the United States the overall impacts of modest global warming are even likely to be beneficial rather than damaging, though the amount of net benefit would be small, about 0.2 percent of the economy. (We need always to keep in mind the statistical uncertainties inherent in such analyses; there are small probabilities that the benefits or costs could turn out to be much greater than or much less than the most probable outcomes.)

In contrast, the economic costs of governmental actions restricting the use of fossil fuels could be large indeed, as suggested by the Nordhaus study cited earlier on the costs of compliance with the Kyoto treaty. One U.S. government study proposed that a cost-effective way of bringing about fossil fuel reductions would be a combination of carbon taxes and international trading in emissions rights. Emissions rights trading was, in fact, included in the modified Kyoto agreement. But such a trading scheme would result in huge income transfers, as rich nations paid poor nations for emissions quotas that the latter would probably not have used anyway—and it’s not reasonable to assume that rich nations would be willing to do this.

Taking into account the large uncertainties in estimating the future growth of the world economy, and the corresponding growth in fossil fuel use, one group of economists puts the costs of greenhouse gas reduction in the neighborhood of one percent of world output, while another group puts it at around five percent of output. The costs would be considerably higher if large reductions were forced upon the global economy over a short time period, or if, as is likely, the most economically efficient schemes to bring about the reductions were not actually employed. Political economists Henry Jacoby, Ronald Prinn, and Richard Schmalensee put the matter bluntly: “It will be nearly impossible to slow climate warming appreciably without condemning much of the world to poverty, unless energy sources that emit little or no carbon dioxide become competitive with conventional fossil fuels.”

Some global warming has been under way for more than a century, at least partly from natural causes, and the world has been adjusting to it as it did to earlier climate changes. If human activity is finally judged to be adding to the natural warming, the amount of the addition is probably small, and society can adjust to that as well, at relatively low cost or even net benefit. But the industrial nations are not likely to carry out inefficient, Kyoto-type mandated reductions in fossil fuel use on the basis of so incomplete a scientific foundation as currently exists. The costs of so doing could well exceed the potential benefits. Far more effective would be policies and actions by the industrial countries to accelerate the development, in the near term, of technologies that utilize fossil fuels (and all resources) more efficiently and, in the longer term, of technologies that do not require the use of fossil fuels.

If climate science is to have any credibility in the future, its pursuit must be kept separate from global politics. The affluent nations should support research programs that improve the theoretical understanding of climate change, build an empirical database about factors that influence long-term climate change, and increase our understanding of short-term weather dynamics. Such research is fundamental to the greenhouse gas issue. But its rewards may be greater still, for it will also improve our ability to cope with extreme weather events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods, whatever their causes.

Jack M. Hollander is professor emeritus of energy and resources at the University of California, Berkeley. His many books include The Energy-Environment Connection (1992) and The Real Environmental Crisis: Why Poverty, Not Affluence, Is the World’s Number One Enemy (2003), published by the University of California Press, from which this essay has been adapted. Copyright © 2003 by the Regents of the University of California.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: climatechange; environment; globalwarming; globalwarminghoax
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1 posted on 10/16/2003 10:31:59 AM PDT by dirtboy
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To: dirtboy
bookmark
2 posted on 10/16/2003 10:40:45 AM PDT by jcb8199
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To: dirtboy
I think that, instead of worrying about silly things like pollution and all that, scientists should be trying to stop volcanic eruptions. Talk about spewing pollution straight into the atmosphere!
3 posted on 10/16/2003 10:43:33 AM PDT by jcb8199
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To: dalereed; farmfriend; George W. Bush; Blood of Tyrants; AAABEST; sauropod; Carry_Okie; Physicist; ..
globaloney warming ping
4 posted on 10/16/2003 10:44:55 AM PDT by dirtboy (Cure Arnold of groping - throw him into a dark closet with Janet Reno and shut the door.)
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To: dirtboy
Exactly what the discussion needs -- more light, less heat.
5 posted on 10/16/2003 10:48:35 AM PDT by SAJ
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To: SAJ
Political economists Henry Jacoby, Ronald Prinn, and Richard Schmalensee put the matter bluntly: “It will be nearly impossible to slow climate warming appreciably without condemning much of the world to poverty, unless energy sources that emit little or no carbon dioxide become competitive with conventional fossil fuels.”

This is exactly what the enviro-whackos want - to use Kyoto to force their vision of sustainable (i.e., severely diminished) development upon the First World.

6 posted on 10/16/2003 10:56:50 AM PDT by dirtboy (Cure Arnold of groping - throw him into a dark closet with Janet Reno and shut the door.)
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To: dirtboy; ancient_geezer; cogitator
Poing.

dirtboy, about that tagline... Conan meets Medusa?
7 posted on 10/16/2003 10:57:21 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (California: Where government is pornography every day!)
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To: Carry_Okie
dirtboy, about that tagline... Conan meets Medusa?

Nah, Conan meets Sasquatch. I wouldn't want to turn the governor-elect of California into a statue by tossing him into a closet with Helen Thomas, although even a statue of Conan would have been an improvement over Gray Davis.

8 posted on 10/16/2003 10:59:01 AM PDT by dirtboy (Cure Arnold of groping - throw him into a dark closet with Janet Reno and shut the door.)
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To: dirtboy
Sure is. Which is why we should cut them zero slack and need to, and frequently, every day.

They won't change, of course -- Marxists almost never do -- but those who are not ideologues and/or who have some rudimentary concept of empirical science and methods will sooner or later see the light of day, and it is these two groups who are and will continue to be the ''swing voters'' on the subject.

9 posted on 10/16/2003 11:17:23 AM PDT by SAJ
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To: Carry_Okie
Thanks.

Earth’s cooling trend did not continue beyond 1980, but neither has there been an unambiguous warming trend. Since 1980, precise temperature measurements have been made in Earth’s atmosphere and on its surface, but the results do not agree. The surface air measurements indicate significant warming (0.25 to 0.4ºC), but the atmospheric measurements show very little, if any, warming... Briefly, then, the record is this: From 1860 to 1940, Earth’s surface warmed about 0.4ºC. Then Earth’s surface cooled about 0.1ºC in the first four decades after 1940 and warmed about 0.3ºC in the next two. For those two most recent decades, temperature measurements of the atmosphere have also been available, and, while these measurements are subject to significant uncertainty, they indicate that the atmosphere’s temperature has remained essentially unchanged.

My schedule is getting better, but I still need a little more time to get everything together. Nonetheless, it bugs me that skeptics continue to repeat the mantra that "atmospheric [meaning lower troposphere] temperatures are not changing" when in fact the NASA group most widely quoted now finds about a +0.07 C /decade warming trend in the lower atmosphere -- and two other groups analyzing the same data find a trend that's about double that. And since they're analyzing a data record that's about 23 years long now, this record is now also showing a warming trend during the short period when the surface record shows a pretty dramatic 0.3 C increase. Note that if the alternate groups to NASA are believed, and they're some pretty sharp folks, their trend essentially matches the surface trend.

The post-1970s warming is the one most oft-cited as due primarily to human causes. The 1900s-1940s warming is usually at least partly attributed to solar forcing.

10 posted on 10/16/2003 11:29:00 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: SAJ
Keep in mind what Gorbachev is doing now...

With the failure of his communist empire he is now running an environmental organization.

The enviros - generally watermelons - figure if they can't delude you into obeying them with promises of a socialist utopia will try to frighten you into obeying them with incessant scare mongering. We've gone through how many environmental catastrophes that never actually happened now? Resource depletion, Malthusian starvation, global cooling, and now we are on global warming...

I wonder what will be next after global warming...maybe global superstorms? A failing sky? Mutant angry wolves attacking boys named Peter? Tinfoil hat shortages?
11 posted on 10/16/2003 12:10:46 PM PDT by swilhelm73
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To: swilhelm73
The upcoming water-wars will make the global-warming business look like chid's play.
12 posted on 10/16/2003 12:34:40 PM PDT by Old Professer
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To: cogitator

NASA group most widely quoted now finds about a +0.07 C /decade warming trend in the lower atmosphere

A statistical regression of a mere thirty years of raw data does not consitute a climate trend, especially concidering that data set spans several el-nino/el-nina events as well as volcanic events inducing error in regression measurements that would supposedly be attributable to a longterm "Global Warming".

Note the following data that until Feb 2002 exhibited a .04C/decade, only one additional el-nino event doubled the "trend" measure to that 0.07C/decade regression you are quoting.

 

Globally Averaged Atmospheric Temperatures
(NASA)

lower tropospheric temps chart

This chart shows the monthly temperature changes for the lower troposphere - Earth's atmosphere from the surface to 8 km, or 5 miles up. The temperature in this region is more strongly influenced by oceanic activity, particularly the "El Niño" and "La Niña" phenomena, which originate as changes in oceanic and atmospheric circulations in the tropical Pacific Ocean. The overall trend in the tropospheric data is near zero, being +0.04 C/decade through Feb 2002. Click on the chart to get the numerical data.

 

Such instability in regression measurement is a result of the more than 0.2C stand deviation noise in a short term measurement, not the effect of a secular change in Climate do to any effect of mankind.

 

Mankind's impact is only 0.28% of Total Greenhouse effect

" There is no dispute at all about the fact that even if punctiliously observed, (the Kyoto Protocol) would have an imperceptible effect on future temperatures -- one-twentieth of a degree by 2050. "

Dr. S. Fred Singer, atmospheric physicist
Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia,
and former director of the US Weather Satellite Service;
in a Sept. 10, 2001 Letter to Editor, Wall Street Journal

 

Anthropogenic (man-made) Contribution to the "Greenhouse
Effect," expressed as % of Total (water vapor INCLUDED)

Based on concentrations (ppb) adjusted for heat retention characteristics  % of All Greenhouse Gases

% Natural

% Man-made

 Water vapor 95.000% 

 94.999%

0.001% 
 Carbon Dioxide (CO2) 3.618% 

 3.502%

0.117% 
 Methane (CH4) 0.360% 

 0.294%

0.066% 
 Nitrous Oxide (N2O) 0.950% 

 0.903%

0.047% 
 Misc. gases ( CFC's, etc.) 0.072% 

 0.025%

0.047% 
 Total 100.00% 

 99.72

0.28% 

 

Even if one were so foolish as to accept such a raw statistic as representative, the change in temperature acoss a century of time would still amount to only 0.7oC(far less than the IPPC's model projections) with no causual connection with CO2(natural or manmade).

 

CO2-Temperature Correlations

[ see also: Indermuhle et al. (2000), Monnin et al. (2001), Yokoyama et al. (2000), Clark and Mix (2000) ]

[see: Petit et al. (1999), Staufer et al. (1998), Cheddadi et al., (1998), Raymo et al., 1998, Pagani et al. (1999), Pearson and Palmer (1999), Pearson and Palmer, (2000) ]

 

Global warming and global dioxide emission and concentration:
a Granger causality analysis

http://isi-eh.usc.es/trabajos/122_41_fullpaper.pdf


Here Comes the Sun

"Carbon dioxide, the main culprit in the alleged greenhouse-gas warming, is not a "driver" of climate change at all. Indeed, in earlier research Jan Veizer, of the University of Ottawa and one of the co-authors of the GSA Today article, established that rather than forcing climate change, CO2 levels actually lag behind climatic temperatures, suggesting that global warming may cause carbon dioxide rather than the other way around."

***

"Veizer and Shaviv's greatest contribution is their time scale. They have examined the relationship of cosmic rays, solar activity and CO2, and climate change going back through thousands of major and minor coolings and warmings. They found a strong -- very strong -- correlation between cosmic rays, solar activity and climate change, but almost none between carbon dioxide and global temperature increases."


13 posted on 10/16/2003 12:37:30 PM PDT by ancient_geezer
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To: swilhelm73
Exactly so, but don't forget to include in your list the unfortunately prosperous health-(s)care industry, most of whose ''practitioners'' have the identical mindset.

They know perfectly well that no nationalised medical scheme ever even can work, and none would ever be chosen by the populace in a democratic fashion, and so they creep it up on the nation via the diktat of unelected regulators and equally unelected activist alleged ''judges''.

This past January and February, I happened to have both of my lenses replaced (due to rapidly advancing cataracts) with silicon-polymer prosthetic lenses, the procedure called intraocular phaco-emulsification. Completely routine, 26 minutes per eye, local anaesthesia (which makes for a very neat and fascinating slow-motion 60s-style light show, too, because the eye, obviously, is open during the procedure), time from making the appointment to the surgery -- 11 days. Later, I asked an old friend in the UK to see how long the wait would be under their vaunted National Plan. Are you ready -- better sit down -- from 2 1/2 to 3 YEARS!

I didn't HAVE 2 1/2 years, I'd have been stone blind by then; hell's bells, I was legally blind as it was (20/2800), thank you, but am now back to 20/30, just -1.5 diopters in each eye. And yet, these nationalisation advocates would INSIST that I, and hundreds of thousands of others, wait around on THEIR pleasure, because the surgery was ''elective''.

Bleep them and the Marxist mule they rode in on.

FReegards!

14 posted on 10/16/2003 1:29:18 PM PDT by SAJ
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To: Old Professer
Right you are, professor! And we'll have at least one energy war within the next few decades, too -- unless, of course, we can manage to get the envirogorks and the no-nuke nuts off our backs and build a sufficient quantity of nuclear plants.

FReegards!

15 posted on 10/16/2003 1:32:57 PM PDT by SAJ
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To: ancient_geezer
A statistical regression of a mere thirty years of raw data does not consitute a climate trend, especially concidering that data set spans several el-nino/el-nina events as well as volcanic events inducing error in regression measurements that would supposedly be attributable to a longterm "Global Warming". Note the following data that until Feb 2002 exhibited a .04C/decade, only one additional el-nino event doubled the "trend" measure to that 0.07C/decade regression you are quoting.

Acceleration, AG, acceleration is the key that is the concern of climate scientists. The trend since 1975 is about 4x faster than the accepted warming of 0.6 C during the 20th century. Perhaps it's not a "climate trend", which is why a wait-and -see attitude is advisable. How long would you like to wait? 2010? 2015? And the atmospheric trend is not exactly zero or negligible. When the Spencer and Christy MSU data was flat due to erroneous analysis, the 22-year flat trend was widely touted by skeptics like Singer and Michaels as evidence that nothing significant was going on. Now that the trend is definitely upward, we hear that the record isn't long enough to be significant or that it's less than expected. That's a big change in tune, if you're listening.

Regarding that 0.28% contribution; the article cited is either being disingenuous or erroneous. Everybody knows that water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas; if it wasn't the Earth would be an uninhabitable -40 C world. BFD. The key is the forcing effect of the CO2 being added to the atmosphere, which in turn increases relative humidity (water vapor, of course) and has additional positive feedback effects. The climate sensitivity to increasing CO2 is the important factor, not the direct heating contribution of CO2. We've been over this before and I've posted the Hansen forcing diagram in response, but you keep regurgiposting the same stuff. It's somewhat pointless to try and discuss this with you when you post outdated information (such as the 0.04C/decade caption to your first figure) and you continue posting propaganda pieces.

Next: Regarding the time lag between warming and CO2 levels. I think we've been over this before, but due to the reservoir of dissolved CO2 in the surface ocean, there's no doubt that warming due to astronomical factors would definitely cause a CO2 increase. It's also a positive feedback mechanism: once higher C02 concentrations are in place, they contribute to the maintenance of a warmer climate, DUE to their radiative forcing contribution.

Next: The problem is, we're in a relatively stable climate regime, with no indications of astronomical warming/cooling factors (and anyway, they act on a much longer time scale than one or two centuries). So the increasing concentration of CO2 is hard to model in terms of climate effect, because it's the primary changing forcing factor. As Pat Michaels noted very recently (in an editorial in the Washington Times published today) there has been some convergence on the likelihood of a 0.75-1.0 C temperature increase over the next 50 years -- he quotes James Hansen on this and belittles the high-end IPCC projections, which are derived from model modifications designed to DETERMINE the potential maximums. What he doesn't point out is that Hansen also advocates a range of 2.0 - 3.0 for the entire next century (while admitting that the longer range is harder to predict due to the uncertainty of non-climate factors). If he thinks so highly of Hansen, why only push the lower 50-year prediction and not the accelerating (due to higher CO2 concentrations) century prediction? Partly because more significant detrimental ecosystem effects are expected to happen when global temperature rises more than about 2.5 C.

Plus, I think Michaels is misleading, based on this article:

Climate Change: 50 Years Past and Possible Futures

Quoting from introduction: "A new NASA-funded study used a computer climate model to simulate the last 50 years of climate changes, projects warming over the next 50 years regardless of whether or not nations curb their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions soon. If no emission reductions are made and they continue to increase at the current rate, global temperatures may increase by 1-2º Celsius (1.8º-3.6º Fahrenheit). But if the growth rate of carbon dioxide does not exceed its current rate and if the growth of true air pollutants (things that are harmful to human health) is reversed, temperatures may rise by only 0.75C (1.35F)."

Michaels is very consistent in always emphasizing the lower-bound estimates of future warming. So do we really expect that the growth rate of carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere won't increase?

Next: with regard to the Veizer article, I'm going to save time and refer to my own earlier discussion of it here on FR:

Here Comes the Sun Refer in particular to comments 12, 14, and 16. I will supply this quote from Dr. Kump in evaluation of Veizer's research. However, this is the full quote, not the excerpt from the FR thread I posted earlier:

"When we put everything we know into models of the carbon cycle", Lee Kump writes, "we predict changes in atmospheric CO2 that largely parallel inferred climate shifts. So the lack of close correspondence between climate change and proxy indicators of atmospheric CO2 may force us to re-evaluate the proxies, rather than disavow the notion that substantially increased atmospheric CO2 will indeed lead to marked warming in the future."

You also might like to read this letter to the editor from the magazine New Scientist from noted climate modeler Stefan Rahmstorf, which I provide in its entirety:

"Stott claims that the paper by Shaviv and Veizer is important science that did not get enough attention from media and policy makers. The opposite is true: it received a disproportionate amount of media coverage due to the strong but unfounded claims the authors made in their press releases.

Shaviv and Veizer claim to have found a correlation between cosmic ray flux and temperature. Even if we accept their (questionable) data, it should be noted that this correlation was constructed by arbitrarily stretching the timescale to shift the maxima of cosmic ray flux by up to 20 million years, to make them coincide with temperature minima. The unadulterated data show no significant correlation - we have checked this. Shaviv and Veizer then proceed to estimate the climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 concentration through regression analysis, which for a number of reasons is not possible.

If it were, far better data is available for this analysis: the Antarctic ice core data. It is much more accurate, shows variations on more relevant timescales and closer to present CO2 levels, and applies to the present-day configuration of continents. Such an analysis would yield a climate sensitivity exceeding 10 °C, but no climatologist would suggest this is a viable method."

(Not exactly a ringing endorsement.)

That's about enough for today, and probably this week. I can probably manage one or two extended responses like this a week now. It takes time and I always do Web searches to back up my statements. So go ahead and respond to this, and you'll have to wait until next week for me to take it up again.

16 posted on 10/16/2003 2:58:58 PM PDT by cogitator
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To: dirtboy; AAABEST; Ace2U; Alamo-Girl; Alas; amom; AndreaZingg; Anonymous2; ApesForEvolution; ...
Rights, farms, environment ping.

Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from this list.
I don't get offended if you want to be removed.

17 posted on 10/16/2003 4:39:47 PM PDT by farmfriend ( Isaiah 55:10,11)
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To: cogitator

The climate sensitivity to increasing CO2 is the important factor, not the direct heating contribution of CO2.

There is no measurable climate sensitivity to increasing CO2 if there were, the average surface temperature of the earth in the following graphical presentation would have a curve similar to the CO2 curve.

Global Surface Temperature and Atmospheric CO2 over Geologic Time 

Late Carboniferous to Early Permian time (315 mya -- 270 mya) is the only time period in the last 600 million years when both atmospheric CO2 and temperatures were as low as they are today (Quaternary Period ).

Temperature after C.R. Scotese
CO2 after R.A. Berner, 1994

  •     There has historically been much more CO2 in our atmosphere than exists today. For example, during the Jurassic Period (200 mya), average CO2 concentrations were about 900 ppm or about 2.5 times higher than today. The highest concentrations of CO2 during all of the Paleozoic Era occurred during the Ordovician Period, exceeding 6000 ppm -- more than 16 times higher than today.
  •     The Carboniferous Period and the Ordovician Period were the only geological periods during the Paleozoic Era when global temperatures were as low as they are today.

    To the consternation of global warming proponents, the Late Ordovician Period was also an Ice Age, with CO2 concentrations nearly 15 times higher than today-- 5500 ppm. According to greenhouse theory, Earth should have been exceedingly hot. Instead, global temperatures were no warmer than today. Clearly, other factors besides atmospheric carbon influence earth temperatures and global warming.

We've been over this before

Yep, and I sure we will go over it again.

 

and I've posted the Hansen forcing diagram in response, but you keep regurgiposting the same stuff.

Why should the information change? What exists in the paleoclimatic record doesn't change merely for ones convenience or Hansen's forcing diagram; nor do the studies on CO2/Temp correlation and causality change from one month to the next. They are as applicable today as they have always been in defeating the base presumption built into the IPPC's models of CO2 "forcing" (i.e driving) atmospheric temperature.

The same stuff, is applicable, Hansens forcing curve is based in the same erroneaous presumptions of a "runaway" greenhouse, for which there is no basis as can be seen in the prior chart. The earth's temperature across the last billion or more years is self limiting and is clearly not a a function of atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

It's somewhat pointless to try and discuss this with you when you post outdated information (such as the 0.04C/decade caption to your first figure)

Not outdated at all, the link is current and the data set is complete to 2003, anyone may run the regressions on the data set to compute the results of 0.04C/decade through Feb 2002, with 0.07C/decade by adding in the data including the final el-nino even after Feb 2002. The web page linked by the way is the Current NASA page for the MSU graphic, and links to current dataset.

and you continue posting propaganda pieces.

So data contrary to your view of things is characterised by you as propoganda. Sorry, doesn't fly.

Now that the trend is definitely upward, we hear that the record isn't long enough to be significant or that it's less than expected.

What trend? There is no more than a short term raw dataset with a regression which is just as likely to change the other way in another 10-20 years data input.

The only upward overall trend on multi century basis is that of a natural tendency to the mean of the current era, not one measurably driven by any activity of mankind.

Ice Ages & Astronomical Causes, Fig 1-2

It is also abundantly clear we are in a multi-millenial down trend from somewhat higher temperatures earlier in a much older glacial cycle.

Ice Ages & Astronomical Causes, Fig 1-3

. Everybody knows that water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas; if it wasn't the Earth would be an uninhabitable -40 C world. BFD.

Casual dismissal of the variation in water vapor as a contributor of climate variation is hardly useful to the discussion, considering the fact that loss of water vapor in the atmosphere is one of the primary factors in deepening the earth's glacial cycle. "BFD" indeed.

The key is the forcing effect of the CO2 being added to the atmosphere,

Tch,tch, from whence this CO2 being added? warming of the oceans by solar activity, changes in earths orbit increasing bio activity and biomass, as well as release from CO2 trapped in ice, & solution in oceans. But more importantly increases in water vapor in much higher measure as a concequence of ocean warming.

which in turn increases relative humidity (water vapor, of course) and has additional positive feedback effects.

Kind backward in your causation I do believe.

Global warming and global dioxide emission and concentration:
a Granger causality analysis

http://isi-eh.usc.es/trabajos/122_41_fullpaper.pdf


Regarding the time lag between warming and CO2 levels. I think we've been over this before, but due to the reservoir of dissolved CO2 in the surface ocean, there's no doubt that warming due to astronomical factors would definitely cause a CO2 increase.

 

It's also a positive feedback mechanism:

There is no "positive feedback" the only energy input is solar, change in concentration of atmospheric gasses can only shift the absorption spectum but cannot create heat where there is none to begin with.

There is no runnaway effect whatsoever, in fact the effectiveness of atmospheric heat retention decreases exponentially with increasing concentration of water vapor and lesser greenhouse gasses, that is why the earth's surface temperature limits out at approximately 22oC of solar input instead of continual rise above that level that a supposed positive feedback, "runnaway" greenhouse scenario demands.

once higher C02 concentrations are in place, they contribute to the maintenance of a warmer climate, DUE to their radiative forcing contribution.

A presumption unsupported in paleoclimatic studies of causality.

Here Comes the Sun

"Carbon dioxide, the main culprit in the alleged greenhouse-gas warming, is not a "driver" of climate change at all. Indeed, in earlier research Jan Veizer, of the University of Ottawa and one of the co-authors of the GSA Today article, established that rather than forcing climate change, CO2 levels actually lag behind climatic temperatures, suggesting that global warming may cause carbon dioxide rather than the other way around."

***

"Veizer and Shaviv's greatest contribution is their time scale. They have examined the relationship of cosmic rays, solar activity and CO2, and climate change going back through thousands of major and minor coolings and warmings. They found a strong -- very strong -- correlation between cosmic rays, solar activity and climate change, but almost none between carbon dioxide and global temperature increases."

Nor is positive feedback/ runnaway greenhouse supported by the paleoclimatic record of CO2 concentration vs temperature represented in the first graphic above.

The problem is, we're in a relatively stable climate regime, with no indications of astronomical warming/cooling factors

Sorry, bad assumption:

Red Planet Warming;

Global Warming on Triton (Neptune's moon)

(and anyway, they act on a much longer time scale than one or two centuries).

Your opinion is not support by the paleoclimatic data, nor by correlations with known astrophysical perturbations of solar irradiation of the earth on millenial scales, as the actual changes from iceage to interglacial period and back are quite swift due to the actual external factors impacting the absorption of solar energy by the earth.

 

Ice Ages & Astronomical Causes, Fig 1-5

 

The issue is not so much one of variation of solar output, as it is the variation of the earth's ability to reflect solar radiation; mainly affected by reflection of high altitude cloud formations impacted by astrophysical effects of earth's path through space(both orbital)

 

Origin of the 100 kyr Glacial Cycle
by Richard A. Muller

Figure 2. Spectral fingerprints in the vicinity of the 100 kyr peak: (a) for data from Site 607; (b) for data of the SPECMAP stack; (c) for a model with linear response to eccentricity, calculated from the results of Quinn et al. (ref 6); (d) for the nonlinear ice-sheet model of Imbrie and Imbrie (ref 22); and (e) for a model with linear response to the inclination of the Earth's orbit (measured with respect to the invariable plane). All calculations are for the period 0-600 ka. The 100 kyr peak in the data in (a) and (b) do not fit the fingerprints from the theories (c) and (d), but are a good match to the prediction from inclination in (e). return to beginning


Far more important to our present analysis, however, is the fact that the predicted 100 kyr "eccentricity line" is actually split into 95 and 125 kyr components, in serious conflict with the single narrow line seen in the climate data. The splitting of this peak into a doublet is well known theoretically (see, e.g., ref 5), but in comparisons with data the two peaks in the eccentricity were merged into a single broad peak by the poor resolution of the Blackman-Tukey algorithm (as was done, for example, in ref 8). The single narrow peak in the climate data was likewise broadened, and it appeared to match the broad eccentricity feature.

***

Figure 3. Variations of the inclination vector of the Earth's orbit. The inclination i is the angle between this vector and the vector of the reference frame; Omega is the azimuthal angle = the angle of the ascending node (in astronomical jargon).. In (A), (B), and (C) the measurements are made with respect to the zodiacal (or ecliptic) frame, i.e. the frame of the current orbit of the Earth. In (D), (E), and (F) the motion has been trasformed to the invariable frame, i.e. the frame of the total angular momentum of the solar system. Note that the primary period of oscillation in the zodiacal frame (A) is 70 kyr, but in the invariable plane (D) it is 100 kyr.

 


 

(and through dust of the galactic spiral)

Shaviv and climatologist Ján Veizer of Ruhr University, Germany, reckon that the spiral arms of our galaxy hold the secret to the Earth's see-sawing climate. Every 150 million years, blasts of cosmic rays cool the planet on its stately passage through the cosmos, they argue2.

Cosmic rays thrown out by dying stars in the dust-rich arms of the Milky Way increase the number of charged particles in our atmosphere. There is some evidence that these may encourage low-level clouds to form, which cool the Earth.

Shaviv and Veizer have created a mathematical model of the number of cosmic rays hitting our atmosphere. They compared its predictions with other researchers' estimates of global temperatures and carbon dioxide levels over the past 500 million years.

They conclude that cosmic rays alone can account for 75% of the change in global climate during that period, and that less than half of the global warming seen since the beginning of the twentieth century is due to greenhouse gases.

 

Partly because more significant detrimental ecosystem effects are expected to happen when global temperature rises more than about 2.5 C.

Fortunately there is no substantive basis to presume that we are headed for 2.5oC. The IPPC's modelling is based in fallacious presumptions,

 

http://www.pacificresearch.org/pub/cap/2003/cap_03-02-20.html

"The Economist, which provides the best environmental reporting of any major news source, carried a small story last week about a simple methodological error in the latest U.N. global warming report that has huge implications. The article, "Hot Potato: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Had Better Check Its Calculations" (February 15 print edition), reviews the work of two Australian statisticians who note an anomaly in the way the IPCC estimated world carbon dioxide emissions for the 21st century."

......

"The IPCC's method has the effect of vastly overestimating future economic growth (and, therefore, CO2 emissions) by developing nations. The fine print of the IPCC's projections, for example, calls for the real per-capita incomes of Argentina, South Africa, Algeria, Turkey, and even North Korea to surpass real per-capita income in the United States by the end of the century. Algeria? North Korea? The IPCC must be inhaling its own emissions to believe this."

and the models themselves cannot even predict actual measurements. Looking outside the computer models for confirmation of their inputs & output, confirmation fails.

Global Warming Score Card

There is more than sufficient room for doubt as to any negative effect human created CO2, may have on our Climate future.

18 posted on 10/16/2003 6:36:19 PM PDT by ancient_geezer
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To: cogitator

Quoting from introduction: "A new NASA-funded study used a computer climate model to simulate the last 50 years of climate changes, projects warming over the next 50 years regardless of whether or not nations curb their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions soon. If no emission reductions are made and they continue to increase at the current rate, global temperatures may increase by 1-2º Celsius (1.8º-3.6º Fahrenheit).

If & mays based on a computer model that cannot predict measured weather factors, is a valueless exercise for the purposes of setting economic policy.

But if the growth rate of carbon dioxide does not exceed its current rate and if the growth of true air pollutants (things that are harmful to human health) is reversed, temperatures may rise by only 0.75C (1.35F)."

"true air pollutants" are now major GHG's? LOL kinda pushing the political envelope I see.

But then again 0.7oC is predictable without any regard to CO2 concentrations as a natural course of events and remains within the nominal variation of the current interglacial climate we now enjoy.

Ice Ages & Astronomical Causes, Fig 1-2

Let this model accurately predict mean monthly tropospheric temperatures over the next five years as measured by MSU, without tampering from current state then I might pay a little bit of attention. Until then don't bother to quote a paper based on a "computer climate model" that pretends to compute the earth's temperature for decades to come.

You want to get rid of air polutants that's fine, but don't try to tie them in to global warming. Some of the most obnoxious forms actually act to induce cooling of the earth, not warming it.

"So the lack of close correspondence between climate change and proxy indicators of atmospheric CO2 may force us to re-evaluate the proxies, rather than disavow the notion that substantially increased atmospheric CO2 will indeed lead to marked warming in the future,"

LOL, reality don't fit "computer model" presumptions so we'll just fudge the physical measurements to make em fit the model. Seems to be a pretty standard gambit among the global warming bunch so far.

 

Global Warming Score Card


19 posted on 10/16/2003 7:21:02 PM PDT by ancient_geezer
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To: farmfriend
Oklahoma agriculture bump.
20 posted on 10/17/2003 3:08:09 AM PDT by E.G.C.
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To: farmfriend
Global Warming is a myth!
21 posted on 10/17/2003 7:03:39 AM PDT by blackie
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To: ancient_geezer
I want to initially concentrate on one point.

Tch,tch, from whence this CO2 being added? warming of the oceans by solar activity, changes in earths orbit increasing bio activity and biomass, as well as release from CO2 trapped in ice, & solution in oceans. But more importantly increases in water vapor in much higher measure as a concequence of ocean warming.

Are you SERIOUSLY suggesting that the increase in CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere is NOT anthropogenic? Please indicate if you maintain a) the majority of CO2 added to the atmosphere since 1850 is from human sources, primarily fossil fuels, or b) the majority of CO2 added to the atmosphere since 1850 is not anthropogenic.

I have to find out if you're credible on this point or not.

22 posted on 10/17/2003 7:04:23 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: ancient_geezer
Responding to little things:

So data contrary to your view of things is characterised by you as propoganda. Sorry, doesn't fly.

I was referring to the OISM hoax survey in this case. I'm glad you didn't post that tripe again.

23 posted on 10/17/2003 7:14:20 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: cogitator

indicate if you maintain

a) the majority of CO2 added to the atmosphere since 1850 is from human sources, primarily fossil fuels, or

b) the majority of CO2 added to the atmosphere since 1850 is not anthropogenic.

You left out choice "c)" which you know I maintain.

c) the measured increase in CO2 concentration, whatever its source, is insufficient to induce measureable increase in global temperature.

The issue is not change in CO2.

Variable solar absorption/reflectance(i.e. aldebo) & solar output are the dominant drivers of earths heat balance with water vapor the primary mediator of the earth's greenhouse system.

Minimal CO2-Temperature correlation with earth's surface temperature, and no causal link, as shown in the many studies cited above in reply #13 above, means nil effect on the earth's heat balance.

Any spectral absorption/reradiation of CO2 is totally overwhelmed by absorption/re-radiation of H20 concentration making up 95% of earth's total greenhouse capacity.

 

Anthropogenic (man-made) Contribution to the "Greenhouse
Effect," expressed as % of Total (water vapor INCLUDED)

Based on concentrations (ppb) adjusted for heat retention characteristics  % of All Greenhouse Gases

% Natural

% Man-made

 Water vapor 95.000% 

 94.999%

0.001% 
 Carbon Dioxide (CO2) 3.618% 

 3.502%

0.117% 
 Methane (CH4) 0.360% 

 0.294%

0.066% 
 Nitrous Oxide (N2O) 0.950% 

 0.903%

0.047% 
 Misc. gases ( CFC's, etc.) 0.072% 

 0.025%

0.047% 
 Total 100.00% 

 99.72

0.28% 

 

Climate Catastrophe, A spectroscopic Artifact?

"It is hardly to be expected that for CO2 doubling an increment of IR absorption at the 15 µm edges by 0.17% can cause any significant global warming or even a climate catastrophe.

The radiative forcing for doubling can be calculated by using this figure. If we allocate an absorption of 32 W/m2 [14] over 180º steradiant to the total integral (area) of the n3 band as observed from satellite measurements (Hanel et al., 1971) and applied to a standard atmosphere, and take an increment of 0.17%, the absorption is 0.054 W/m2 - and not 4.3 W/m2.

This is roughly 80 times less than IPCC's radiative forcing.

If we allocate 7.2 degC as greenhouse effect for the present CO2 (as asserted by Kondratjew and Moskalenko in J.T. Houghton's book The Global Climate [14]), the doubling effect should be 0.17% which is 0.012 degC only. If we take 1/80 of the 1.2 degC that result from Stefan-Boltzmann's law with a radiative forcing of 4.3 W/m2, we get a similar value of 0.015 degC."

Variation in CO2 concentration is simply not a substantive factor in variation of global temperature of the earth, water vapor overwhelmingly dominates the greenhouse balance.

The UN/IPPC models claim a hair on a dog's tail wags the dog.

You obviously have missed the significance of the following graphical presentation of CO2 vs Surface temperature:

 

CO2 fell from 7000ppm 600 million years ago to the 320ppm today, variation of earth's temperature, there is nil correlation in response to that change.

Where is the missing runaway greenhouse effect, the (CO2 everything else) multiplier that is the built in presumption of the IPPC Global Climate Models? It does not exist.

24 posted on 10/17/2003 9:39:15 AM PDT by ancient_geezer
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To: cogitator

I was referring to the OISM hoax survey in this case. I'm glad you didn't post that tripe again.

What survey? There is a petition supported by many in the scientific community in opposition to the claims of Kyoto, & UN/IPCC. The only thing fraudulent is the global warming hype mischaracterizing that petition but by no means countering its claim of "no convincing evidence".

This very debate proves the validity of that claim without a doubt.

Petition Project: http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p357.htm

During the past 2 years, more than 17,100 basic and applied American scientists, two-thirds with advanced degrees, have signed the Global Warming Petition.

Specifically declaring:

"There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate."

Signers of this petition so far include 2,660 physicists, geophysicists, climatologists, meteorologists, oceanographers, and environmental scientists (select this link for a listing of these individuals) who are especially well qualified to evaluate the effects of carbon dioxide on the Earth's atmosphere and climate.

Signers of this petition also include 5,017 scientists whose fields of specialization in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, and other life sciences (select this link for a listing of these individuals) make them especially well qualified to evaluate the effects of carbon dioxide upon the Earth's plant and animal life.

Nearly all of the initial 17,100 scientist signers have technical training suitable for the evaluation of the relevant research data, and many are trained in related fields.


25 posted on 10/17/2003 9:44:57 AM PDT by ancient_geezer
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To: cogitator
PS, missed an intended graphic illustrating the relative impact of H20 radiative forcing in comparison with CO2 radiative forcing:

Any spectral absorption/reradiation of CO2 is totally overwhelmed by absorption/re-radiation of H20 concentration making up 95% of earth's total greenhouse capacity.

 

 

The UN/IPPC hair wagging the dog assertion is quite simply a fallacious presumption that is core to their erroneous analysis.

26 posted on 10/17/2003 9:58:03 AM PDT by ancient_geezer
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To: ancient_geezer
You left out choice "c)" which you know I maintain.

c) the measured increase in CO2 concentration, whatever its source, is insufficient to induce measureable increase in global temperature.

The issue is not change in CO2.

You're avoiding the point and the question, and it is critical and central to this issue. Notwithstanding the debate regarding the potential climate effects of increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations (we'll get to that), I need to know if I first need to prove to you, incontrovertibly, that the increasing CO2 is primarily from human sources (primary among them being fossil fuel burning for energy production).

BECAUSE... you apparently alluded that the increasing CO2 concentrations might be a climate effect, i.e., a response to a natural climate trend. That's why I am asking for clarification. If you are harboring any sense that there is a possibility that the current trend of increasing CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere is not caused by humans, I need to dispel that completely.

You can easily say that a) is correct, and we can move on from there.

27 posted on 10/17/2003 11:43:03 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: dirtboy
In the early and mid '80s I participated in high school and (briefly) college debate. For those unfamiliar with this activity, much of it revolves around researching the esoteric nonsense and coming up with arguments that provide the biggest "impact" (effect, e.g. number of bodies you can pile up). I realized there are all sorts of tried and true arguments that appear year after year because they are familiar and are used to argue that whatever the other side wants to do causes war, depression, nuclear war, and all sorts of horrible deaths.

Anyway, global warming has been a mainstay in academic debate competitions for many years, at least since the mid '70s. This is because people like Paul Ehrlich wrote books and articles that give good sound bites, exactly the "evidence" debaters are interested in. As a debater, I didn't care if published sources that I used for evidence made any sense; all I cared about was whether it existed. If the affirmative team was arguing an anti-poverty initiative, for example, I wanted to find a way to link that policy with nuclear war. As dumb as that sounds, it was often easy to do so -- precisely because the idiots screaming about global warming are fanatics who write great debate evidence, but little else.

Global warming has only been at the periphery of mainstream news for a decade (if that) or so. I've know about global warming theories for over 20 years. It was BS then, and its BS now. To the extent it exists, man has virtually nothing to do with it.

28 posted on 10/17/2003 11:52:12 AM PDT by 1L
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To: ancient_geezer
I apologize for "thinking out loud" in your presence, but with my background this note intrigued me:

To the consternation of global warming proponents, the Late Ordovician Period was also an Ice Age, with CO2 concentrations nearly 15 times higher than today-- 5500 ppm. According to greenhouse theory, Earth should have been exceedingly hot. Instead, global temperatures were no warmer than today. Clearly, other factors besides atmospheric carbon influence earth temperatures and global warming.

The reason that I'm thinking out loud is that something we'll return to repeatedly as we consider paleoclimate evidence is the apples-to-oranges comparison trap -- a trap that I'd like to avoid. If we are going to figure out what is happening now and what might happen in the future, we have to make sure that what we are considering is relevant. OK -- there's no doubt that "other factors besides atmospheric carbon [dioxide] influence earth temperatures and global warming". The rate of plate tectonics is a first-order driver over millions of years (something Berner, whom you cite, has studied extensively). But if we are considering climate changes over millenial or shorter timescales, then considering plate tectonic processes is pretty useless. I hope you agree with that.

Having said that, what is known about the Ordovician paleoclimate? Here's a good description, from my Cal-Berkeley friends:

Ordovician: Tectonics and Paleoclimate

Read it at your leisure. Summary: continents were moving around, mountains were rising, ocean currents were totally different tha today, eventually Gondwanaland made it to the South Pole when the Ashgillian glaciation took place. You know how long the Ashgillian was? About 10 million years. All of the Pleistocene glaciations took place in less than 0.5 million years.

So does the fact that CO2 was much, much higher in the Ordovician, when there was an Ice Age, cause me consternation? Not a bit. Because this is an apples-to-oranges comparison; it's virtually meaningless and it does not instruct us regarding processes that are relevant today. Because I know that there are other factors that affect Earth's climate other than CO2, particularly when the timescales under discussion differ by several orders of magnitude. It's also apples-to-oranges in terms of the overall climate setting, i.e., where the continents were, where the ocean currents where, where the continental shelves were, what the ocean chemistry was (note the end of the second paragraph on the linked page), etc.

But there is still an important question regarding whether or not CO2 was a paleoclimate factor. I'll get to that next week. This will be the last post for today and the weekend, but I'll be working on next week's submission in the interim.

29 posted on 10/17/2003 12:33:31 PM PDT by cogitator
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To: cogitator

I need to know if I first need to prove to you, incontrovertibly, that the increasing CO2 is primarily from human sources (primary among them being fossil fuel burning for energy production).

You don't need to prove anything as the issue is irrelavent, CO2 concentration regardless of source of emmission is increasing, but does not induce substantive increase of temperature with a high water vapor content atmosphere, futhermore, most CO2 is derived from natural sources in any case by a factor of greater than 10 to 1

If you are harboring any sense that there is a possibility that the current trend of increasing CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere is not caused by humans, I need to dispel that completely.

Less than 10% of CO2 emmissions are due to mankind thus less than 10% of any residual effect of increasing CO2 is due to mankind:

Contemporary Climate Change

6.4.1.1. Sources of Atmospheric CO2

Sources of atmospheric CO2 can today be divided into two groups: natural and anthropogenic. Natural sources include the respiration of animals (60Gt per annum) and the surface ocean (90Gt per annum) (Schimel et al., 1995). Anthropogenic sources include the combustion of fossil fuels (power stations and transport) and cement production (5.5Gt per annum)and land-use changes (mainly deforestation) (1.6Gt per annum)

Heat sinks do not distinguish anthropogenic CO2 from natural sources.

6.4.1.2. Sinks of Atmospheric CO2

The surface ocean also acts as a natural sink for atmospheric CO2, with an annual removal flux of 92Gt carbon. The interaction of CO2 between atmosphere and surface ocean was more fully addressed in section 5.3.1.2 (Equations 14 to 17). The other major natural sink is the primary productivity of land vegetation (photosynthesis), which sequesters 61.4Gt carbon every year (Schimel et al., 1995). The regrowth of Northern Hemisphere forests represents the only major anthropogenic sink of atmospheric CO2, although enhanced fertilisation effects due to elevated CO2 concentrations and other climatic feedbacks have also been considered.

BECAUSE... you apparently alluded that the" increasing CO2 concentrations might be a climate effect, i.e., a response to a natural climate trend.

It, without a doubt, is. As a consequence of warming and release of watervapor with warming through variation of aldebo/reflection of solar flux, there is more biomass to produce CO2, greater release of CO2 from solution in oceans and glacial ices ....

You can easily say that a) is correct, and we can move on from there.

a) is incorrect as well as irrelevant due to lack of capacity to effect substantive change in earth's global temperature in comparison to the substantive affects of water vapor, and we can continue from there.

CO2-Temperature Correlations

[ see also: Indermuhle et al. (2000), Monnin et al. (2001), Yokoyama et al. (2000), Clark and Mix (2000) ]

[see: Petit et al. (1999), Staufer et al. (1998), Cheddadi et al., (1998), Raymo et al., 1998, Pagani et al. (1999), Pearson and Palmer (1999), Pearson and Palmer, (2000) ]


30 posted on 10/17/2003 4:39:26 PM PDT by ancient_geezer
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To: cogitator

The rate of plate tectonics is a first-order driver over millions of years (something Berner, whom you cite, has studied extensively).

That my friend does not account for the total lack of variation in surface temperature with CO2 across paleological time frames.

So does the fact that CO2 was much, much higher in the Ordovician, when there was an Ice Age, cause me consternation? Not a bit.

Look again, remove the decreases to iceage conditions applicable to the Ordovician etc. tectonic movements. Where is the change that should be in place relating to your supposed CO2 driven warming/cooling? please point it out for us, somehow it seems to escape detection.

According to you, and the UN/IPCC modelers you support, a variation in CO2 should induce a commensurate change in global temperatures by a factor of several times the change that would be induce by CO2 alone. Where are these changes in the paleo-climatic record. Please point them out to us.

CO2 across the 500 million year period varied from 7000ppm down to less than 300ppm in an exponential decay, a factor of 35 to 1 that is about 5 doublings.

Look at the temperature line, flat lined except for occasional excursions into iceage conditions spread out along that flat temperature line.

Where is this alleged variation that should be present due to the 35 to 1 variation in CO2 across that geological record? There should be some evidence of that variation superimposed upon any variation you claim to be due to continental drift.

Taking the UN/IPCC's factors for a CO2 doubling of .75C to 4.5 degrees C according to the reported ranges of their models, we should see a decline of 3.75-12.5 degrees C superimposed on the temperature line below.

No such CO2 induced decline is evident, only declines clearly due to other factors than CO2 concentration are apparent in the data with no evidence of any response to changing CO2 concentrations.

 

 

Why? because atmospheric water vapor totally overshadows any marginal effects of CO2.

As pointed out the prior replies, atmospheric CO2 concentration has minimal correlation with the earth's surface temperatures and no causal link as is clearly demonstrated in paleo-climate studies and supported in analysis below:

 

Climate Catastrophe, A spectroscopic Artifact?

"It is hardly to be expected that for CO2 doubling an increment of IR absorption at the 15 µm edges by 0.17% can cause any significant global warming or even a climate catastrophe.

The radiative forcing for doubling can be calculated by using this figure. If we allocate an absorption of 32 W/m2 [14] over 180º steradiant to the total integral (area) of the n3 band as observed from satellite measurements (Hanel et al., 1971) and applied to a standard atmosphere, and take an increment of 0.17%, the absorption is 0.054 W/m2 - and not 4.3 W/m2.

This is roughly 80 times less than IPCC's radiative forcing.

If we allocate 7.2 degC as greenhouse effect for the present CO2 (as asserted by Kondratjew and Moskalenko in J.T. Houghton's book The Global Climate [14]), the doubling effect should be 0.17% which is 0.012 degC only. If we take 1/80 of the 1.2 degC that result from Stefan-Boltzmann's law with a radiative forcing of 4.3 W/m2, we get a similar value of 0.015 degC."

 

How about looking at the evidence in front of you nose for a change instead of the IPCC hype & flawed computer simulations. There is no CO2 dependant warming crisis.

31 posted on 10/17/2003 5:43:30 PM PDT by ancient_geezer
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To: cogitator

Having said that, what is known about the Ordovician paleoclimate? Here's a good description, from my Cal-Berkeley friends:

Ordovician: Tectonics and Paleoclimate

Read it at your leisure. Summary: continents were moving around, mountains were rising, ocean currents were totally different tha today, eventually Gondwanaland made it to the South Pole when the Ashgillian glaciation took place. You know how long the Ashgillian was? About 10 million years. All of the Pleistocene glaciations took place in less than 0.5 million years.

Which does not explain the reason for the radical and very rapid GLOBAL cooling at the end of the Ordivician. The article states only that such occurred initiating a mass-extinction.

I suggest you read the following at your leisure which explains not only the rapid onset of the late Ordovician Ice Age, but the distrubution of mass-extinctions that occured as well.

Slow continental drifts do not induce rapid switches into deep iceages from the conditions like that of the Ordovician climate.

Gamma Ray Bursts and other astonomical events involving earths motion through the galaxy offer insight to the Ordovician glaciations and later similar decents in global cooling as well, including the rapid decent into our own Tertiary/Quaternary Ice Age with its repetitive 100kyr interglacial periods with that correlate with earths orbital inclination.

New Scientist article 27 Sept 03: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-09/ns-dag092403.php

Previous theories blame the two extinctions that occurred in the late Ordovician period on the start and end of an ice age at the time. But it is hard to explain what triggered the ice age itself, which started very suddenly at a time when the climate was quite warm.

Continental changes would have taken too long, and climate models have not been able to replicate the ice age. But a GRB that blocked out the sun could have caused it, points out Pat Brenchley, a retired palaeoecologist from the University of Liverpool, UK, calling the idea" an interesting alternative.

PDF source paper on this subject: Did a gamma-ray burst initiate the late Ordovician mass extinction...,

page 1;

ABSTRACT
At least five times in the history of life, the Earth experienced mass extinctions that
eliminated a large percentage of the biota. Many possible causes have been documented,
and gamma-ray bursts (GRB) may also have contributed. GRB (Mészáros, 2001)
produce a flux of radiation detectable across the observable Universe. A GRB within our
own galaxy could do considerable damage to the Earth's biosphere (Thorsett, 1995;
Scalo & Wheeler, 2002; Dar & DeRújula, 2002). Rate estimates (Thorsett, 1995)
suggest that a number of such GRB may lie within the fossil record. The late Ordovician
mass extinction shows a water-depth dependent extinction pattern that is a natural result
of the attenuation of the strong ultraviolet radiation expected to result from a nearby
GRB. In addition, a GRB would trigger global cooling which is associated with this
mass extinction.
INTRODUCTION AND HYPOTHESIS
As mass extinctions have become well-documented, interest in them has grown, partly
out of concern for our current environmental situation. Extraterrestrial causes have been
more seriously considered in recent years, as the extent of their possible impact becomes
known. It seems likely that a GRB has affected the Earth, and should have had a
substantial effect upon living organisms. We have found patterns of extinction in one
event that match expectations of a GRB-initiated extinction.
*****
page 5;
This extinction has been related to alternating global cooling and warming, each
associated possibly with what may be the two pulses of the late Ordovician mass
extinction (Brenchley et al., 1994; Brenchley et al., 1995; Orth et al., 1986). We do not
dispute the role global cooling may have played in mediating this extinction. Instead, we
emphasize that there is a natural link between GRB and global cooling. There exists a
correlation (Shaviv, 2002) between ice ages and the timing of spiral arm passage, which
has been ascribed to increased cosmic ray flux associated with increased star formation
and supernovae. We note that since GRB probably arise from star-forming regions and
produce opaque nitrogen dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere they provide a mechanism for
global cooling. Paleoclimate modeling (Herrmann and Patzkowsky 2002; Herrmann et
al. 2003) has shown that late Ordovician glaciation would not have proceeded without an
impulse such as reduced solar insolation.

We suggest that the late Ordovician extinction may have been initiated by a GRB. The
oxygen level of the atmosphere was not greatly different from that of the present (Berner
et al., 2003), so that an ozone shield should have been in place. Its destruction would
almost certainly involve similar catastrophic consequences to those observed in modern
organisms (Kiesecker et al., 2001; Hader et al., 2003). A GRB could have triggered the
global cooling, while presenting a host of environmental challenges to life on the planet
through the effects of increased radiation reaching the surface, acid rain, etc., followed
shortly by global cooling; the result: a one, two punch for life on the planet. Notably, the
kind of water depth dependence found in the late Ordovician extinction pattern would
emerge naturally from the attenuation of the UV radiation.
ADDITIONAL ARGUMENT IN SUPPORT OF HYPOTHESIS

Supernovae are known to be correlated, probably going off in chain-reactions of star
formation and detonation, which produce the “superbubbles” found in the interstellar
medium. Given the probable linkage between GRB and supernovae, proximity to one
event would suggest an enhanced probability of a second. The late Ordovician extinction
seems to have occurred in two pulses about 1My apart.
IMPLICATIONS

This hypothesis suggests that a closer look be taken at the geographical distribution of
extinctions in the late Ordovician along the line of what Anstey et al. (2003) have done.
A strong initial muon burst might seriously irradiate only one side of the Earth to
considerable ocean depth, while the other side would mostly be irradiated by post-burst
solar UV due to ozone loss. This suggests an extinction pattern emphasizing depth-dependent
extinction predominantly in one hemisphere, with more complete extinction in
the other hemisphere. We stress however, that such a pattern is likely only if the GRB
emission is isotropic and the event nearby. While at present we only see strong reasons for
associating a GRB with the Ordovician mass extinction, the entire fossil record bears 
examination in this light. Given the uncertainty in the evolution of the GRB rate, it is
possible that such events were involved in more than one mass extinction, or that more distant
GRBs could have a stochastic effect, providing small impulses to evolutionScalo & Wheeler, 2002).
A major challenge for astrophysics is to evaluate the likely flux and spectrum of cosmic rays
accompanying a burst.

32 posted on 10/18/2003 7:01:55 PM PDT by ancient_geezer
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To: *Global Warming Hoax
Bump to mark for Global Warming list
33 posted on 10/18/2003 7:06:06 PM PDT by ancient_geezer
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To: ancient_geezer
Less than 10% of CO2 emmissions are due to mankind thus less than 10% of any residual effect of increasing CO2 is due to mankind:

Interesting way you put that. "Less than 10% of CO2 emissions are due to mankind." Perhaps that's true. However, why is atmospheric CO2 concentration increasing? You say (full exchange reproduced):

-----

cogitator: BECAUSE... you apparently alluded that the" increasing CO2 concentrations might be a climate effect, i.e., a response to a natural climate trend.

It, without a doubt, is. As a consequence of warming and release of watervapor with warming through variation of aldebo/reflection of solar flux, there is more biomass to produce CO2, greater release of CO2 from solution in oceans and glacial ices ....

cogitator: You can easily say that a) is correct, and we can move on from there.

a) is incorrect as well as irrelevant due to lack of capacity to effect substantive change in earth's global temperature in comparison to the substantive affects of water vapor, and we can continue from there.

-----

for review, "a)" states: "a) the majority of CO2 added to the atmosphere since 1850 is from human sources, primarily fossil fuels"

OK. Let me state this right up front. If you say that a) is incorrect, you're wrong. Totally and completely wrong. I had to figure out where your wrongness is rooted before I can address all the other areas you've brought up. However, I'm prepared to fight out this line if it takes all winter.

There are several different lines of evidence that indicate that the increase in atmospheric CO2 commencing about 1850 ("dawn of the Industrial Age") is almost entirely anthropogenic. They are discussed on this Web page:

Why does atmospheric CO2 rise?

I will provide summary statements of each separate line of evidence for the anthropogenic cause of increasing atmospheric CO2. You can read about them in the Web page for further elucidation. (I've edited a bit for brevity.)

1. Ice cores show that during the past 1000 years until about the year 1800, atmospheric CO2 was fairly stable at levels between 270 and 290 ppmv. The 1994 value of 358 ppmv is higher than any CO2 level observed over the past 220,000 years.

2. The rise of atmospheric CO2 closely parallels the emissions history from fossil fuels and land use changes [Schimel 94, p 46-47].

3. The rise of airborne CO2 falls short of the human-made CO2 emissions. Taken together, the ocean and the terrestrial vegetation and soils must currently be a net sink of CO2 rather than a source [Melillo, p 454] [Schimel 94, p 47, 55] [Schimel 95, p 79] [Siegenthaler].

4. Most "new" CO2 comes from the Northern Hemisphere. Measurements in Antarctica show that Southern Hemisphere CO2 level lags behind by 1 to 2 years, which reflects the interhemispheric mixing time.

5. ** Important point provided in entirety.* Fossil fuels contain practically no carbon 14 (14C) and less carbon 13 (13C) than air. CO2 coming from fossil fuels should show up in the trends of 13C and 14C. Indeed, the observed isotopic trends fit CO2 emissions from fossil fuels. The trends are not compatible with a dominant CO2 source in the terrestrial biosphere or in the ocean. [On the Web page, details of this point are provided in the next two paragraphs.]

Reviewing, you said: "As a consequence of warming and release of watervapor with warming through variation of aldebo/reflection of solar flux, there is more biomass to produce CO2, greater release of CO2 from solution in oceans and glacial ices .... "

I have now shown that this statement is clearly wrong. The page demonstrates beyond scientific doubt that the cause of increasing atmospheric CO2 since about 1850 is predominantly anthropogenic, primarily from fossil fuel burning. Do you now concede that this point is correct?

34 posted on 10/20/2003 9:29:47 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: cogitator

I have now shown that this statement is clearly wrong.

You have shown nothing actually, as the same article makes it very clear that anthropogenic additions to the atmosphere are less than 5% of total additions to the atmosphere.

Emmissions cited in the article:

2.1  Natural carbon fluxes
                                                                     GtC / year
    Terrestrial vegetation  -->  atmosphere         60  Respiration
    Soils & detritus  -->  atmosphere                 60  Respiration
    Surface ocean  -->  atmosphere                   90
===================================================
Total natural carbon emmissions to atmosphere        210 GtC

2.2 Anthropogenic carbon
     Carbon dioxide sources                             GtC / year
      Fossil fuel burning, cement production               5.5 (5.0-6.0)
      Changes in tropical land use                              1.6 (0.6-2.6)
==================================================
Total anthropogenic emissions                            7.1 (6.0-8.2)

The page demonstrates beyond scientific doubt that the cause of increasing atmospheric CO2 since about 1850 is predominantly anthropogenic, primarily from fossil fuel burning.

Hardly:

Do you now concede that this point is correct?

No I do not, As I stated before, the earth cannot magically distinguish between Carbon from anthropogenic sources and Carbon from natural sources thus all carbon sinks must be taken in aggregate with respect to all sources of Atmospheric CO2 rather than attempting, as the article does, to separate "Anthropogenic" CO2 emmissions from "Natural" emmissions when evaluating Carbon sinks. You cannot take a "net" value of the Natural CO2, and then look at the whole value of Anthropogenic CO2 in evaluation of respective contributions.
Your point is based in a fallacy and without scientific foundation.

In fact, your point is indeed a mere strawman argument to boot to draw away from the essential factor,

Regardless of source of atmospheric CO2, the impact of changing CO2 concentration on the earth's Climate is nil:

As pointout in previous replies, and I will continue to point out:

CO2-Temperature Correlations

[ see also: Indermuhle et al. (2000), Monnin et al. (2001), Yokoyama et al. (2000), Clark and Mix (2000) ]

[see: Petit et al. (1999), Staufer et al. (1998), Cheddadi et al., (1998), Raymo et al., 1998, Pagani et al. (1999), Pearson and Palmer (1999), Pearson and Palmer, (2000) ]


 

Global warming and global dioxide emission and concentration:
a Granger causality analysis

http://isi-eh.usc.es/trabajos/122_41_fullpaper.pdf


Here Comes the Sun

"Carbon dioxide, the main culprit in the alleged greenhouse-gas warming, is not a "driver" of climate change at all. Indeed, in earlier research Jan Veizer, of the University of Ottawa and one of the co-authors of the GSA Today article, established that rather than forcing climate change, CO2 levels actually lag behind climatic temperatures, suggesting that global warming may cause carbon dioxide rather than the other way around."

***

"Veizer and Shaviv's greatest contribution is their time scale. They have examined the relationship of cosmic rays, solar activity and CO2, and climate change going back through thousands of major and minor coolings and warmings. They found a strong -- very strong -- correlation between cosmic rays, solar activity and climate change, but almost none between carbon dioxide and global temperature increases."

 


 

Again we revisit the Geophysical record of CO2 and it's correlation to global temperture, this time we remove the catastrophic initiations of ice ages due to factors clearly not associated with CO2 concentration.

From the geological record, we can see a remainder trendline of CO2 concentration with respect to temperature by running a trend through the peak global tempertures.

As you have acknowleged the initiation of the deep iceages are clearly due to other factors such as plate tectonics, Gamma Ray Bursts, Meteoric events, etc.which initiate atmospheric cooling incident to the creation of high altitude cloud cover & icefields altering the mean albedo of the earth. Such effects lower overall irradiation of the earths surface and hence cools the surface. Under such conditions the major multi-million year iceages are induced. Remove their effects on the overall record, and what is left behind is a residual that can be perceived, to the first order, as a correlation of CO2 and temperature if we assume an essentially constant Solar radiation flux, which the IPCC modellers insist as being true.

I bring your attention to the two redline additions to our favorite chart:

:

 

The upper horizontal red line represents a peak temperature of 22.8oC as represented at the chart Cambrian CO2 peak of 7000ppm. The second and descending redline is a rough approximation of the average peak temperatures which should be somewhat representative of any residual correlation between CO2 & temperature, we note that the downtrending redline terminates at approximately 21.6oC and today's 320ppm CO2 concentration.

It should also be noted here that the relationship between CO2 radiant absorption capacity varies logrithmically with concentration of the gas under consideration in the atmosphere. For any fixed multiplier of change in concentration there is a linear incremental change in absorbed energy of the gas. Thus doubling, or halving, the concentration of CO2 will result in a linear increment in the absorbed radiation at the wavelengths CO2 is responsive to where incident radiative flux is constant.

7000ppm/320ppm = 21.9 (~ 4.45 doublings) with 22.8-21.6 = 1.2oC change in temperature.

Overall atmospheric correlation between CO2 & increment of energy absorbed of necessity includes any temperature/concentration linkages that may actually occur in the atmosphere.

for 1.2oC & 4.45 doublings, CO2 doubles for ~ 0.27oC increase in global temperature

A value which is much less than the lowest 1.5to2.5oC/doubling estimate built into the UN/IPCC global climate models, which suggests the relationship between CO2 and temperature built into the IPCC models is substantially overstated and in error.

The geophysical coefficient of doubling of CO2 concentration for each 0.27oC increase in temperature, by the way, agrees well with many other means of computing the CO2 correlation.

A Lukewarm Greenhouse
"
The average warming predicted by the six methods for a doubling of CO2, is only +0.2 degC."


35 posted on 10/20/2003 2:28:37 PM PDT by ancient_geezer
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To: ancient_geezer
You need to learn to stay on point. Posting huge amounts of unrelated information over and over again does not further the discussion. I will not respond to ten points at once.

You have shown nothing actually, as the same article makes it very clear that anthropogenic additions to the atmosphere are less than 5% of total additions to the atmosphere.

And they account for the fact that atmospheric CO2 concentrations are increasing, AG. You're either accidentally or deliberately overlooking the point that fossil fuel CO2 emissions can be distinguished from natural sources -- didn't you read the part about 14C and 13C isotopes? You say that the Earth cannot magically distinguish between natural and anthropogenic CO2 -- but scientists can. That's why one of the major efforts to examine the Earth's carbon cycle has been to determine the size of the sources and the sinks.

Here's a simple analogy. You have a bathtub. You have the faucet on and the drain is open. The bathtub is completely full, but because the amount coming in from the faucet is the exactly the same as the amount going down the drain, the level of the water in the bathtub does not change. Do you see that??? Now, you take a thimble and once a minute you add a thimbleful of water to the bathtub.

What is going to happen to the level of the water in the bathtub, AG? It doesn't matter if the rate of water being added from the faucet, or the rate of water going down the drain, are 100x greater than the rate of water being added to the bathtub from the thimble.

Fossil fuel sources of CO2 to the atmosphere account for the increasing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, even though they are not nearly as large as natural sources and sinks. They are a new (since the mid-1800s) source of CO2. And all of the evidence that can be brought to bear on this issue indicates that.

This is not a strawman, nor does it detract from what you think is the main issue. You have to admit that this point is true, because it is directly related to the contention that CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing for some other reason. There is only one reason, and that reason is well-known. Do you admit it, or not? (I'll get to all the other points you raise in due time. But this is point 1.)

36 posted on 10/20/2003 3:27:29 PM PDT by cogitator
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To: cogitator

You need to learn to stay on point.

I am precisely on point and continue to be, though you choose to try to make the issue other than: Change in CO2 concentration has nil effect on global climate.

This is not a strawman, nor does it detract from what you think is the main issue.

Definition of a straw man is simply the introduction of an irrelavant factor to bypass the central the issue. The issue is global temperature and its relation to CO2 concentration. Increasing levels of CO2 is a strawman as Earth's global temperature is only marginally effected by changing CO2 concentration. Where there is minimal causality and correlation it does matter what change in CO2 concentration is or what direction it is going.

You have to admit that this point is true, because it is directly related to the contention that CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing for some other reason.

I don't have to admit to any point regarding changing CO2 concentrations until such time as it can be shown that CO2 is the dominant factor regarding changes in Earth's global climate.

I especially do not have to admit or otherwise acknowledge irrelavent strawman arguments.

A 21 fold decrease across the last 500million years can only be correlated with a 1oC decrease in global temperature.

I by no mean concede that changing "CO2" concentration has any substantive relevance to the issue at hand.

Fossil fuel sources of CO2 to the atmosphere account for the increasing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, even though they are not nearly as large as natural sources and sinks. They are a new (since the mid-1800s) source of CO2. And all of the evidence that can be brought to bear on this issue indicates that.

 

The issue is change in Earths average global temperature,

1) whether or not it is actually occuring,

2) if (1) is supported, then probable and significant causes global climate variation is of interest with CO2 somewhere near the bottom of the list of possibilities as a prime mover.

CO2 has been shown not to have an appreciable effect on Earth's average global temperature, this is true in a geophysical sense as shown from the information above as well as from other more direct measures as well:

A Lukewarm Greenhouse
"
The average warming predicted by the six methods for a doubling of CO2, is only +0.2 degC.

The dominence of water vapor, icefields and high levels clouds are the significant factors in regard to the greenhouse effect as manifested on the earth, along with variation of incident visible light and gamma ray effects on the atmosphere.

Anthropogenic CO2 (e.g. fossil fuel burning) rising or not rising is a negligible factor of less than 0.12% of the total greenhouse effect on the Earth.

Anthropogenic (man-made) Contribution to the "Greenhouse
Effect," expressed as % of Total (water vapor INCLUDED)

Based on concentrations (ppb) adjusted for heat retention characteristics  % of All Greenhouse Gases

% Natural

% Man-made

 Water vapor 95.000% 

 94.999%

0.001% 
 Carbon Dioxide (CO2) 3.618% 

 3.502%

0.117% 
 Methane (CH4) 0.360% 

 0.294%

0.066% 
 Nitrous Oxide (N2O) 0.950% 

 0.903%

0.047% 
 Misc. gases ( CFC's, etc.) 0.072% 

 0.025%

0.047% 
 Total 100.00% 

 99.72

0.28% 

 


 

Until you are prepared to accept the marginality of the role of CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere in regard to changing climate, you and I really have no basis on which to discuss this matter.

Atmospheric CO2 concentration is simply not a substantive causitive factor in changing Earth's climate.

37 posted on 10/20/2003 5:00:36 PM PDT by ancient_geezer
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To: ancient_geezer
I am precisely on point and continue to be, though you choose to try to make the issue other than: Change in CO2 concentration has nil effect on global climate.

That's your central contention; I'm aware of that. However, to address it we have to address the Earth's entire climate system. The indication that you thought/think that the currently increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations are a climate effect (rather than having a primarily anthropogenic cause) tells me that you have only a minimal understanding of Earth's climate system. I would like to introduce into this discussion a couple of papers by Berner (one very recent one) that are utterly at odds with your stated contention above. However, in order to do that I first have to be convinced that you comprehend the basics of what's happening now. And one of the basic things that's happening now is increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations due to energy production and land use changes. I will state that now as a postulate, so that we can move on to the next phase of the discussion. In essence, I'm going to have to ignore your intractability and take it as a sign of advancing senility. I'll do my best to work around it.

The issue is global temperature and its relation to CO2 concentration.

Precisely why it's important to know what is happening with atmospheric CO2 concentrations and why.

Increasing levels of CO2 is a strawman as Earth's global temperature is only marginally effected by changing CO2 concentration.

Not according to Dr. Berner. Here's a lead quotation from one of the papers I wish to introduce:

"Over Phanerozoic time a major control on global climate has been the CO2 greenhouse effect, and changes in CO2 have been a consequence of a combination of geological, biological, and astronomical factors."

That's totally at odds with your contention, AG. And you're an anonymous name to me. Dr. Berner is:

Robert A. Berner

Alan M. Bateman Professor of Geology and Geophysics (Yale University)

Member of National Academy of Sciences
Doctor Honoris Causa, Universite Aix-Marseille (France), 1991
Huntsman Medal in Oceanography (Canada), 1993
Goldschmidt Medal (Geochemical Society), 1995
Arthur L. Day Medal (Geological Society of America), 1996
Murchinson Medal (Geological Society-London), 1996

Lest you contend that this is an argument from authority, it's not. I am attempting to bring the published research statements of one of the most noted geochemists in the United States (and the world) into this discussion. And he basically says that your contention is wrong; that CO2 is a major climate factor.

I don't have to admit to any point regarding changing CO2 concentrations until such time as it can be shown that CO2 is the dominant factor regarding changes in Earth's global climate.

OK, then Dr. Berner's statement has been introduced into this discussion as a counterpoint to yours. Therefore, I state that is now relevant for you to admit the cause of increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations, because Dr. Robert Berner states that the CO2 greenhouse effect is a major control on global climate over Phanerozoic time.

The issue is change in Earths average global temperature,

1) whether or not it is actually occuring,

Global temperatures are currently rising.

2) if (1) is supported, then probable and significant causes global climate variation is of interest with CO2 somewhere near the bottom of the list of possibilities as a prime mover.

Reread the statement by Dr. Berner that has been introduced into the discussion.

CO2 has been shown not to have an appreciable effect on Earth's average global temperature, this is true in a geophysical sense as shown from the information above as well as from other more direct measures as well:

Your statement above is at odds with Dr. Berner's statement.

The dominence of water vapor, icefields and high levels clouds are the significant factors in regard to the greenhouse effect as manifested on the earth, along with variation of incident visible light and gamma ray effects on the atmosphere.

Interesting that you should bring up icefields. So does Dr. Berner when discussing Dr. Veizer's research results, of which you are so fond. Dr. Berner does not find them nearly so compelling.

Until you are prepared to accept the marginality of the role of CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere in regard to changing climate, you and I really have no basis on which to discuss this matter.

It's hard to dislodge a tree whose roots have grown so deep, AG. However, the statements of the esteemed Dr. Berner indicate that your contention regarding the marginality of atmospheric CO2 concentrations on Earth's climate is incorrect. Until such time as you allow discussion so that you can demonstrate why and how Dr. Berner is incorrect, I will accept his statement over your contention (particularly since it is so hard for you to admit a simple statement of fact, that the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentrations occurring since the mid-1800s is due to fossil fuel burning and land-use changes).

I don't care if you decline to continue this discussion. But if I comment on a global warming thread, or if I see your commentary, my next step will be to introduce Dr. Crowley and Dr. Berner's recently published paper regarding CO2 and climate change. I'm being eminently fair here; now you can look up this reference and see what I'm talking about. Or we can continue on this thread.

What do you want to do next, AG?

38 posted on 10/21/2003 7:31:15 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: ancient_geezer
By the way, AG, in an effort to get at some of your references, I went to your earlier post where it says this:

"Other studies periodically demonstrate a complete uncoupling of CO2 and temperature "

[see: Petit et al. (1999), Staufer et al. (1998), Cheddadi et al., (1998), Raymo et al., 1998, Pagani et al. (1999), Pearson and Palmer (1999), Pearson and Palmer, (2000) ]

All of the above are hyperlinked, but none of the links work. Would you mind getting me the titles and full author lists of these paper so I can look them up?

If there are new page links to those and other papers, you may wish to update them so that your information is more informative.

"Considered in their entirety, these several results present a truly chaotic picture with respect to any possible effect that variations in atmospheric CO2 concentration may have on global temperature. Clearly, atmospheric CO2 is not the all-important driver of global climate change the climate alarmists make it out to be."

39 posted on 10/21/2003 7:53:35 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: ancient_geezer
I didn't know if this would work or not. But it did. Here's some more figures for discussion of CO2 and climate.
Figure 3.2: Variations in atmospheric CO2 concentration on different time-scales. (a) Direct measurements of atmospheric CO2 concentration (Keeling and Whorf, 2000), and O2 from 1990 onwards (Battle et al., 2000). O2 concentration is expressed as the change from an arbitrary standard. (b) CO2 concentration in Antarctic ice cores for the past millenium (Siegenthaler et al., 1988; Neftel et al., 1994; Barnola et al., 1995; Etheridge et al., 1996). Recent atmospheric measurements at Mauna Loa (Keeling and Whorf, 2000) are shown for comparison. (c) CO2 concentration in the Taylor Dome Antarctic ice core (Indermühle et al., 1999). (d) CO2 concentration in the Vostok Antarctic ice core (Petit et al., 1999; Fischer et al., 1999). (e) Geochemically inferred CO2 concentrations, from Pagani et al. (1999a) and Pearson and Palmer (2000). (f) Geochemically inferred CO2 concentrations: coloured bars represent different published studies cited by Berner (1997). The data from Pearson and Palmer (2000) are shown by a black line. (BP = before present.)
40 posted on 10/21/2003 8:22:00 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: cogitator

All of the above are hyperlinked, but none of the links work. Would you mind getting me the titles and full author lists of these paper so I can look them up?

Complete working hyperlinks to paper summaries for the cites are on the source webpage:

-->CO2-Temperature Correlations

Apparently the authors of the website have reorganized it's structure somewhat. I'll see what I can do to update links. Thank you for alerting me to the changes.

Here are is the reference listing from that webpage for full titles

References
Cheddadi, R., Lamb, H.F., Guiot, J. and van der Kaars, S.  1998.  Holocene climatic change in Morocco: a quantitative reconstruction from pollen data.  Climate Dynamics 14: 883-890.

Clark, P.U. and Mix, A.C.  2000.  Ice sheets by volume.  Nature 406: 689-690.

Fischer, H., Wahlen, M., Smith, J., Mastroianni, D. and Deck, B.  1999.  Ice core records of atmospheric CO2 around the last three glacial terminations.  Science 283: 1712-1714.

Gagan, M.K., Ayliffe, L.K., Hopley, D., Cali, J.A., Mortimer, G.E., Chappell, J., McCulloch, M.T. and Head, M.J.  1998.  Temperature and surface-ocean water balance of the mid-Holocene tropical western Pacific.  Science 279: 1014-1017.

Indermuhle, A., Monnin, E., Stauffer, B. and Stocker, T.F.  2000.  Atmospheric CO2 concentration from 60 to 20 kyr BP from the Taylor Dome ice core, Antarctica.  Geophysical Research Letters 27: 735-738.

Indermuhle, A., Stocker, T.F., Joos, F., Fischer, H., Smith, H.J., Wahllen, M., Deck, B., Mastroianni, D., Tschumi, J., Blunier, T., Meyer, R. and Stauffer, B.  1999.  Holocene carbon-cycle dynamics based on CO2 trapped in ice at Taylor Dome, Antarctica.  Nature 398: 121-126.

Mann, M.E., Bradley, R.S. and Hughes, M.K. 1999. Northern Hemisphere temperatures during the past millennium: Inferences, uncertainties, and limitations.  Geophysical Research Letters 26: 759-762.

Monnin, E., Indermühle, A., Dällenbach, A., Flückiger, J, Stauffer, B., Stocker, T.F., Raynaud, D. and Barnola, J.-M.  2001.  Atmospheric CO2 concentrations over the last glacial termination.  Nature 291: 112-114.

Mudelsee, M.  2001.  The phase relations among atmospheric CO2 content, temperature and global ice volume over the past 420 ka.  Quaternary Science Reviews 20: 583-589.

Pagani, M., Authur, M.A. and Freeman, K.H.  1999.  Miocene evolution of atmospheric carbon dioxide.  Paleoceanography 14: 273-292.

Pearson, P.N. and Palmer, M.R.  1999.  Middle Eocene seawater pH and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.  Science 284: 1824-1826.

Pearson, P.N. and Palmer, M.R.  2000.  Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations over the past 60 million years.  Nature 406: 695-699.

Petit, J.R., Jouzel, J., Raynaud, D., Barkov, N.I., Barnola, J.-M., Basile, I., Bender, M., Chappellaz, J., Davis, M., Delaygue, G., Delmotte, M., Kotlyakov, V.M., Legrand, M., Lipenkov, V.Y., Lorius, C., Pepin, L., Ritz, C., Saltzman, E. and Stievenard, M.  1999.  Climate and atmospheric history of the past 420,000 years from the Vostok ice core, Antarctica.  Nature 399: 429-436.

Raymo, M.E., Ganley, K., Carter, S., Oppo, D.W. and McManus, J.  1998.  Millennial-scale climate instability during the early Pleistocene epoch.  Nature 392: 699-702.

Staufer, B., Blunier, T., Dallenbach, A., Indermuhle, A., Schwander, J., Stocker, T.F., Tschumi, J., Chappellaz, J., Raynaud, D., Hammer, C.U. and Clausen, H.B.  1998.  Atmospheric CO2 concentration and millennial-scale climate change during the last glacial period.  Nature 392: 59-62.

Steig, E.J.  1999.  Mid-Holocene climate change.  Science 286: 1485-1487.

Yokoyama, Y., Lambeck, K., Deckker, P.D., Johnston, P. and Fifield, L.K.  2000.  Timing of the Last Glacial Maximum from observed sea-level minima.  Nature 406: 713-716.


41 posted on 10/21/2003 8:27:10 AM PDT by ancient_geezer
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To: cogitator
I was referring to the OISM hoax survey in this case.

If you are referring to the Petition Project, then it is neither a hoax nor a survey.

Human induced global warming works well as a scare-mongering technique in the media and in politics, however, as the Petition Project demonstrated, human induced global warming is simply not a well accepted scientific concept.

42 posted on 10/21/2003 8:38:27 AM PDT by kidd
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To: cogitator
Yes CO2 does vary in response to interglacial warmings, variation in solar irradiation of the earth's surface, and other climate factors as is obvious from the charts.

Strange how that happens when the biomass changes in response to climate factors isn't it?

The issue is not the variation of CO2 concentration. The negligible effect of CO2 concentrations on temperature leave CO2 changes to be of only academic interest as regards climate change.

43 posted on 10/21/2003 8:54:07 AM PDT by ancient_geezer
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To: cogitator
Yes CO2 does vary in response to interglacial warmings, variation in solar irradiation of the earth's surface, and other climate factors as is obvious from the charts.

Strange how that happens when the biomass changes in response to climate factors isn't it?

The issue is not the variation of CO2 concentration. The negligible effect of CO2 concentrations on temperature leave CO2 changes to be of only academic interest as regards climate change.

44 posted on 10/21/2003 8:54:32 AM PDT by ancient_geezer
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To: kidd
the Petition Project demonstrated, human induced global warming is simply not a well accepted scientific concept.

The Petition Project was based on a hoax. The paper accompanying the mailing was made to look like a PNAS paper, when in fact it was not a peer-reviewed paper at all, but rather a private publication.

In fact, the NAS had to publically distance themselves from the hoax.

That's all. It's irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

45 posted on 10/21/2003 9:15:37 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: ancient_geezer
I posted the plots primarily to display figure (b), but eventually I'd like to discuss the correlated variation of CO2 and temperature in the Vostok ice core with you -- if you're willing.

Yes CO2 does vary in response to interglacial warmings, variation in solar irradiation of the earth's surface, and other climate factors as is obvious from the charts.

That has never been in dispute.

The negligible effect of CO2 concentrations on temperature leave CO2 changes to be of only academic interest as regards climate change.

Then why did Dr. Berner say:
"Over Phanerozoic time a major control on global climate has been the CO2 greenhouse effect, and changes in CO2 have been a consequence of a combination of geological, biological, and astronomical factors," hmmm?

And why does Dr. Lee Kump of Pennsylvania State University say:

"There are good reasons to suspect that atmospheric pCO2 (the partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere) has been a primary climate driver in the geologic past. Numerical carbon cycle models and atmospheric pCO2 proxies generally support the suspected relationship between climate and atmospheric pCO2. Moreover, there are good correlations among CO2, paleotemperature, and orbital forcing factors on glacial-interglacial timescales of the last 400,000 years, indicating an important role for CO2 in the climatic response to changes in solar energy input."

Why do these esteemed geological scientists say that atmospheric CO2 concentrations are a major factor (a "control" or "driver") on global climate if CO2 concentrations have a negligible effect on temperature? Is there some other way that atmospheric CO2 concentrations would significantly affect global climate, AG?

46 posted on 10/21/2003 9:23:53 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: cogitator
The paper was prepared in a technical paper format. It was not necessarily a PNAS format. I have prepared several papers for EPRI sponsored symposiums using that same format. Both the author and the intended audience are technical people and thus it was appropriate to prepare it as such. It was a well referenced paper that was well written. The authors did not purposely try to deceive the readers.

Are you trying to imply that the 17,000+ scientists and engineers who signed the Petition took one look at the format and said to themselves - "Gee, this looks really official - I'd better sign it!"???

That's absurd.

47 posted on 10/21/2003 9:55:21 AM PDT by kidd
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To: cogitator

While you were at it you should have shown us the UN/IPCC pretended projections of what happens under a mere 2x change in CO2 concentration, (in comparison to the 21x change in CO2 concentration of geophysical record that could only move global surface temperatures 1 degree C)

From your UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme) site:

UN/IPCC  projections of global warming (UNEP)

21. Using the IS92 emission scenarios, projected global mean temperature changes relative to 1990 were calculated up to 2100. Climate models calculate that the global mean surface temperature could rise by about 1 to 4.5 centigrade by 2100. The topmost curve is for IS92e, assuming constant aerosol concentrations beyond 1990 and high climate sensitivity of 4.5 °C. The lowest curve is for IS92c and assumes constant aerosol concentrations beyond 1990 and a low climate sensitivity of 1.5 °C. The two middle curves show the results for IS92a with "best estimate" of climate sensitivity of 2.5 °C: the upper curve assumes a constant aerosol concentration beyond 1990, and the lower one includes changes in aerosol concentration beyond 1990. (It is assumed that the Greenhouse effect is reduced with increased aerosols.)

Note: In IPCC reports, climate sensitivity usually refers to the long- term or equilibrium, change in global mean surface temperature following a doubling of CO2-equivalent atmospheric concentrations. More generally, it refers to the equilibrium change in surface air temperature following a unit change in radiative forcing (°C/Wm-2)


48 posted on 10/21/2003 10:01:52 AM PDT by ancient_geezer
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To: kidd
It was not necessarily a PNAS format.

Yes it was.

Oh fergoshsakes, read what the NAS said about it.

STATEMENT BY THE COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES REGARDING GLOBAL CHANGE PETITION

April 20, 1998

The Council of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS; http://www2.nas.edu/nas/) is concerned about the confusion caused by a petition being circulated via a letter from a former president of this Academy. This petition criticizes the science underlying the Kyoto treaty on carbon dioxide emissions (the Kyoto Protocol to the Framework Convention on Climate Change), and it asks scientists to recommend rejection of this treaty by the U.S. Senate. The petition was mailed with an op- ed article from The Wall Street Journal and a manuscript in a format that is nearly identical to that of scientific articles published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (http://www.pnas.org/nas/). The NAS Council would like to make it clear that this petition has nothing to do with the National Academy of Sciences and that the manuscript was not published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences or in any other peer-reviewed journal.

The petition does not reflect the conclusions of expert reports of the Academy.

In particular, the Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (http://www2.nas.edu/cosepup/) of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) conducted a major consensus study on this issue, entitled Policy Implications of Greenhouse Warming (1991,1992; see http://www2.nas.edu/climate-change/). This analysis concluded that " ...even given the considerable uncertainties in our knowledge of the relevant phenomena, greenhouse warming poses a potential threat sufficient to merit prompt responses. ... Investment in mitigation measures acts as insurance protection against the great uncertainties and the possibility of dramatic surprises." In addition, the Committee on Global Change Research of the National Research Council, the operating arm of the NAS and the NAE, will issue a major report later this spring on the research issues that can help to reduce the scientific uncertainties associated with global change phenomena, including climate change.

If it didn't look enough like a PNAS article to cause confusion, why would the NAS council publish a statement worded like this?

49 posted on 10/21/2003 10:22:50 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: ancient_geezer
We'll get to predictions in due time. Is it so much to ask for you to concentrate on one or two points at a time? You seem to specialize in the pizza toss form of debate -- toss a pizza at your opponent and see what sticks.

Point one: atmospheric CO2 concentration increase since the mid-1800s is due to fossil fuel burning and land-use changes.

Point two: prominent geochemists indicate that atmospheric CO2 concentrations are a significant controlling or driving factor for global climate change over Phanerozoic time. This point indicates that the CO2 effect on global temperatures is significant, rather than negligible.

Are we in agreement on point one, or do you wish to continue discussion of it? Are we in agreement on point two, or do you wish to continue discussion of it? I would like agreement on point one and continued discussion of point two -- we have yet to evaluate what Berner and Kump say about the Ordovician glaciation and the Miocene warm period.

50 posted on 10/21/2003 10:34:38 AM PDT by cogitator
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