NUKES so-called Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. No Evidence to Support Carbon Dioxide Causing Global Warming! Now, one might think that having an exclamation point in the title of a scientific paper (albeit one written by and for a layman) would tend to diminsh its gravitas. Please allow for exasperation, however. Some of us have been arguing against this since right about the time the idiots first proposed it and are getting heartily sick and tired of beating on this same dead horse.
Trouble is, the warmistas keep propping it up and waving the legs around, trying to pretend there’s life in the old nag yet.
For those of you who are late to the game, here’s the score.
In the early ’80s, James Hansen of NASA proposed that the earth was experiencing a period of global warming and that catastrophe could result. Massive climate shifts, animal and human migrations, coastline erosions due to rising sea levels from melting ice caps, drought, increases in severe weather, famine, disease run rampant, war as a result of struggles over increasingly scarce resources.
At the time, the planet had been in a cooling period since prior to WWII. Hansen’s landmark testimony before Congress came at a time when there had been perhaps three or four years of warming to indicate a “trend.” Since about 1998, all available data indicate yet another cooling phase is being experienced and, indeed, average temperatures — as measured (keep an eye on that concept for a moment or two) — have dropped enough to cancel out all of the warming experienced over the last 100 to 120 years. In other words, we’re not quite back where we started, but we’re damned close.
Oh, and by the way? The delta they were talking about to begin with was under one degree Fahrenheit. Depending on the time-scale you chose, it’s even under a half-degree. This is important because, up until very recently, thermometers were incapable of measuring more precisely than +/- .5 degrees. Not only that, but until the advent of digital thermometers, temperature records were kept in whole degrees. The fractional degree changes in averages are entirely the artifacts of statistical manipulation.
Further, of the temperature records even kept, the overwhelming majority are concentrated in developed countries, of those over half are in the continental United States, the vast bulk of those being in or near cities (guaranteed to have artificially elevated temperatures, thus skewing the putative global “average”). Close examination of individual stations by Anthony Watts’ Surface Stations initiative has revealed that a significant number of the stations in the U.S. (40%-plus) do not yield data of an acceptable precision for anything but coarse-grain weather forecasting and tell us nothing about global temperatures whatsoever.
It should also be noted that there is virtually no long-timescale temperature record of any reliability over 70% of the earth’s surface — the oceans. I have also gotten the impression that there is woefully inadequate coverage at high latitudes (above 70 degrees north or south). This latter is important, as a large part of the claimed effects of global warming are on the polar ice caps.
I submit that this shows that we do not even know the global temperature. I further argue that we cannot know the global temperature in any meaningful fashion, that even if we could construct a network of recording stations of sufficiently high resolution and reliability as to allow us to get an accurate record of global temperatures, the sampling would still be inadequate for determining with any degree of certainty a global “average” temperature, and that, still further, as such the very concept of such an average is thermodynamically meaningless.
As for carbon dioxide, the supposed villain of the piece. Yes, it’s true. There is carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere. The amount is approximately 3% of 3% (CO2 is 3% of greenhouse gasses, which are in turn about 3% of the atmosphere). That number is 0.0009 or 9/100s of one percent. This doesn’t quite fit the definition of minuscule, (it’d have to be a couple more decimals to the right with the jiggy digits), but it’s damned close. Even so, this tiny amount can have a disproportionate effect. It works about like this:
Starting from between 250 and 300 parts per million of CO2 at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, if you double CO2 concentrations, you’ll get about .7 degrees F increase in global temperatures — absent any negative feedbacks. (A negative feedback is one that has a damping effect.) However, that only works in that one case. If you double again, from say 500 to 1000, you don’t get a tenth of a degree. You have maxed out the effect CO2 can have on the system.
But even that is assuming that there’s no negative feedback. Such as… increased warming causes more evaporation of salt and fresh water, increasing clouds in the upper atmosphere, which have the paired effect of reflecting sunlight back into space (increased albedo) AND providing the release of stored heat energy from precipitation.
Now, it’s claimed that, at the moment, (some 250 years on), the global concentration of CO2 has risen to about 385 parts per million. But a global concentration map published this past year tells a different story. That 385 ppm figure is a maximum, recorded in a handful of spots around the globe, and large swathes of the atmosphere show little or no increase in CO2 at all.
Oh, and by the way? The principle source-of-record for CO2 values? On a volcano in Hawaii. In case you missed it, volcanoes release enormous amount of CO2. Way to measure that stuff accurately, guys.
And now. Temperatures have, as I said, dropped below what they were at the beginning of this panic, indeed, below what they were at any peak in the 20th Century. As far as we know, anyway.
But I keep hearing James Hansen and Al Gore lauded as prophets of global warming, and it sometimes seems that the entirety of western civilization has been turned to in a bootless attempt to ameliorate a warming trend that… is over.
So please excuse a little exasperation. Will you?
And go read that paper.
Cross-posted at Eternity Road