Global Warming

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Is Global Warming science another example of the dangerous effects of treating science as a body of incontrovertible truth?

polar-bear-block.jpg ‘Global Warming’ has become a political orthodoxy, with those resisting it described alternatively as ‘heretics’ or even ‘holocaust deniers’. Yet the simple fact is that there is a great deal controversial about the theory, and a lot of pointers that it just may be based on cherry-picked data and political opportunism - or even the greatest scientific hoax of all time. Here are some of the key issues and ideas that make up the 'real' debate.


Scientific Myths

Before examining the question in more detail, recall what Paul Feyerabend has aptly described as science as 'second-rate myth':

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Spending on 'climate research' has skyrocketed from $175 million to $5 billion annually

The 'Hoaxters' control many of the science journals, and "Peer Review" has generally become a laugh, as the Hoaxters now all review each other's work,

Most of the "climate scientists" now at work weren't even interested in the subject a few years ago,

Alec Rawls sums up the IPCC corruption like this: "What I found interesting in the IPCC report is how blatant the statistical fraud is, omitting the competing explanation from the models completely, while pretending that they are using their models to distinguish between anthropogenic and natural warming. These people are going to hang on to their power grab until the bitter end."

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Northward aerial view of sand dunes in the eastern Nebraska Sand Hills. The dunes, now stabilized by prairie grass, were formed only 800-1,000 years ago during droughts of the Medieval Warm Period. Credit: David Loope and Jon Mason, [WWW]http:i.livescience.com

Is Global Warming a Hoax?

'All the scientists agree...', 'The Glaciers and Ice Caps are melting...', 'Every year summer temperatures reach new records highs...' and so on and on ... Is it any wonder with the barrage of 'Global Warming' stories that it has now reached the status of scientific fact - not theory? Yet there are some strange features to this 'fact'.

photo.jpgThe Piltdown manSome climatologists consider Global Warming to be a scientific hoax, reminiscent of the lines of the Piltdown Man one back in 1912. What follows is this 'alternative story, ably set out by James Peden for the The Middlebury Community Network (In an article called The Great Global Warming Hoax?)

Global Warming science too starts with a remarkable discovery. In this case, the finding by Michael Mann, a paleoclimatologist (one who attempts to interpret the past climate through certain Paleolithic records, such as ice core samples, sea bed sediments, coral heads, and tree ring growth ), who submitted a paper to Nature magazine in 1998.
HOCKEYSTICK.jpgThe 'Hockey Stick' chart

This groundbreaking paper was not even subjected to peer review before publication.

In it, Mann offered a graph showing a dramatic and indeed alarming increase in recent years in temperatures, neatly paired with records of global carbon dioxide levels since around the tenth century. His graph soon became famous as the "hockey stick" chart.

Mann’s graph showing the earth's temperature as relatively constant for the past thousand years before suddenly shooting upward at the dawn of the 20th century.

The ‘interpretation’ (rather the message) of the paper was that human's production of CO 2 was responsible for the sudden increase.

There is, however, something odd about the chart.

1. Although it purports to represent ‘global’ temperatures it in fact only covers the Northern Hemisphere.

2. And as everyone - except the editors of Nature apparently - know, during the last thousand years there have been two striking events. The first is the "Medieval Warm Period" when temperatures, at least in Europe, were significantly higher. The second was the "Little Ice Age", a period in which the temperatures dropped so low the Thames River in London froze over.

No one disputes these climatic events. But the graph does not show them. Why? It turns out that Dr Mann used a statistical method which removed (ironed out) these ‘large’ temperature fluctuations leaving the last thousand years as having a completely regular climate, with temperatures ranging only between plus or minus half a degree. But this statistical trick belies reality. In fact, the temperatures ranged much wider. It is a gross example of how statistical manipulation distorts the data.

This chart became the foundation for the first report of the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change ( IPCC ), which in turn provided the summary information and recommendations to the world's governments.

Inconvenient Evidence of Climate Change in the Past

The Medieval Warm Period, of which the proponents of Anthropogenic Global Warming don't want you to be aware, was a period in which agriculture flourished, helping Europe emerge from the Dark Ages.

The Little Ice Age produced crop failures from too-short growing seasons leading to widespread hunger and even starvation in some more northern locales.

The farmers of the Norse settlements in Greenland were the hardest hit by the climate change. Like in much of northern Europe, crops failed and livestock died, leading to famine. Dependent mainly on fish and cattle, these settlements were plagued with poor hay harvests and a declining cod population due to colder waters. By 1370, the growing sea ice cut off communication with the outside world, leaving settlers to fend for themselves. A century later, German ships landed in Greenland to find the Norse population decimated.

Cold, Sick and Hungry
The cooler climate also affected the health of Europeans. Famine killed millions, and poor nutrition led to weakened immunity and increased susceptibility to a variety of diseases. Malnutrition aggravated an influenza epidemic in 1557-8 in England and hastened the spread of the bubonic plague throughout Europe. Cool, wet summers led to outbreaks of a bacterial illness called St. Anthony's Fire — the afflicted would suffer convulsions, hallucinations, gangrene, and even death. Grain stored in cool, damp conditions could develop a fungus known as ergot blight that can ferment and produce a drug similar to LSD. According to some historians, the symptoms of ergot blight caused the Salem witch hysteria. The increase in marshy grounds in England during the 16th century promoted the breeding of mosquitoes and even led to the spread of malaria.

References: Scientific American Frontiers: Hot Planet, Cold Comfort - [WWW]http:www.pbs.org/saf/1505/features/lia.htm
  • 1From his 1975 polemic Against Method

How could this be an accurate record of the last millennium?

A statistical analysis by one Steve McIntyre fed random data sets into the function used by Dr Mann to generate the graph - and discovered that no matter what data he fed it, the result was always the same. The arm of the "hockey stick" always came out straight.

McIntyre submitted his work to Nature Magazine but they rejected it, saying it was "too long". He then shortened it to 500 words, and re-submitted it, but again it was rejected, this time saying it was "too mathematical". However, his analysis was endorsed by The National Academy of Sciences which found Mann's graph to have “a validation skill not significantly different from zero” – i.e., the graph was useless.

When temperature fluctuations are included in the 100 years record, neither today's temperatures nor the rate of warming are particularly unusual compared to the historical record.

There are other ‘inconvenient facts’ being suppressed, like the historical climate change data.

Man-made CO2 is not physically capable of absorbing much more than two-thousandths of the heat that bounces back of the Earth’s surface waiting to be trapped in the ‘greenhouse Effect’ created by the atmosphere.

The heat that CO2 is capable of trapping is only a small proportion of the spectrum of reflected solar radiation - and this small proportion ‘real’ scientists think is already fully absorbed by the atmosphere.

If this solar radiation is already being trapped by the ‘normal’ CO2 levels in the atmosphere, then adding more CO2 to the atmosphere won't make any difference at all.

In short, the laws of physics don't seem to allow CO2 it's currently assumed place as a significant "greenhouse gas" based on present concentrations.

The percentage of oxygen in the atmosphere remains exactly the same at all heights up to about 85 km, and is about 20.9% by volume. Nitrogen (N 2) is the major component of the atmosphere at 78.1% But Oxygen and Nitrogen aren't even "greenhouse gases", so that leaves the principal greenhouse gas as…. Water Vapour. Not CO2.

Water vapour is responsible for the great majority of the current greenhouse effect, (that stops life on Earth dying) with oxygen and nitrogen playing no role and carbon dioxide’s role totally being insignificant… let alone if we restrict the role to the even smaller human-produced part.

But the UN IPCC reports don't like to mention water vapour. They leave the role of evaporation and cloud formation out of their calculations of climate!

The UN IPCC says its role is "not well understood", even though it is responsible for almost all of the "greenhouse effect. Technically this can be justified by saying that it is not a "gas" in the atmosphere. Climatologist, Dr. Roy W. Spencer comments:

The 1995 IPCC report on 'The Climate Change Science' admits that "Feedback from water vapour remains a substantial uncertainty in climate models... Intuitive arguments [for positive feedback reinforcing the warming effects of CO2] are weak; observational analysis and process studies are needed...".

Actually, biologists say that if we could increase the CO2 content a little more, the planet would be ecologically much the richer… because plants love it, grow much larger with more of it, and we all like to eat. CO2 is a non-toxic, non-polluting, earth-friendly component that really is critical to our survival.

When Global Warming 'scientists' do consider the role of water vapour, they accept that it is the major element responsible for the 'Greenhouse Effect' that the atmosphere is recognised as creating for the Earth's surface. In fact, without this effect, the Earth would become a ball of ice.

While recognising this dominant role of water vapour in the Earth's climate, the Pew Centre for Climate Change offers this table of the 'The Main Greenhouse Gases':

http://www.pewclimate.org/docUploads/images/table1.gif

Spot anything? The 'main' Greenhouse gas is missing...

This is propaganda, not 'impartial' science.

Why do the experts leave all these factors our of their models?

See also Playing with Climate Models

Maybe its because of what is known as the problem of feedback. A climate model that includes all the factors destroys the possibility of a simple 'linear' (one to one) relationship between CO2 and global temperatures. It destroys that relationship because it does not exist in reality.

The Earth's climate is an enormously complex subject, spanning not only the "pure" sciences like physics and chemistry, but many of the "natural sciences", such as oceanography, meteorology, volcano logy, palaeontology, archaeology, solar science, and many others.

Annoyingly Unmeasurable Feedback Effects

Water vapor - Water vapor contributes the most to the greenhouse effect and occurs in the atmosphere as a result of the natural cycle of water. Despite being officially 'little understood', climate models assume that as surface temperatures rise, increased water vapour in the atmosphere traps more heat, thus multiplying the otherwise trivial effects of CO2. The alternative role of water vapour forming clouds and rain and thus 'dampening' temperature change is ignored.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) - Carbon dioxide also cycles naturally between the atmosphere and living organisms. Plants and algae remove CO2 from the atmosphere via photosynthesis, while all living things release CO2 via respiration (i.e., breathing). Carbon dioxide also cycles back and forth between water on the Earth's surface (freshwater and the oceans) and the atmosphere. In addition to these natural processes, humans release large quantities of CO2to the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels, deforestation, and other industrial processes.

Methane (CH4) - Methane is a natural byproduct of decomposition, but significant quantities are also produced via agriculture and animal husbandry as well as by fossil fuel production.

Nitrous oxide (N2O) - Nitrous oxide is released naturally from terrestrial soils and oceans, but substantial quantities are also generated from the use of nitrogen fertilizers in agriculture and through some industrial processes.

Source: Pew Centre for Climate Change

See 'Historical Levels of CO2' for explanation of another IPCC trick
This makes becoming a highly skilled "Climate Scientist" very challenging. So too, very easy. After the hockey stick was accepted virtually overnight without close examination, along comes Al Gore, a long-time "environmentalist", ( who made near-failing grades in science and math in college ) who decides to make a movie out of it.

Man hasn't been producing much CO2 in the past million years, hasn't simply been turning the greenhouse up and down at will. But temperatures have gone up and down. So what could really been driving climate change in the past? The obvious candidate is our old friend, the Sun.

Canadian climatologist Tim Patterson says

A Thought Experiment

CO2 is by far the heaviest of the major constituents, and the law of gravity applies to it as well. It sinks to the ground.. in fact, into the ground, and into the oceans, as well, because CO2 is very water-soluble and that's what puts the fizz in Ginger Ale.

Now our puzzle is complete, and we can visualise the whole thing.

1. The sun heats the earth, repository of most of the CO2 on the planet.

2. Some stored CO2 comes out by a process known as outgassing ( from the soil ) and the champagne effect ( from the oceans ). The oceans are by far the largest source.

3. Sloppy "scientists" see the warming, and the CO2, but overlook the changes in the sun, don't see the fine differences in timing… and proceed to blame the increasing temperature on CO2 and mankind as the culprit in a classic knee-jerk reaction.

You can demonstrate this with a simple kitchen experiment. Pour a glass of ginger ale, sit it on the table, and see how long it takes to go "flat" at room temperature. Now pour an equal glass into a pan and put it on the stove on low heat, then time how long it takes to go flat. That's your homework experiment - to demonstrate that extra heat really releases CO2 a lot faster :-)>

Even for the recent data on temperature, in fact there may be something skewing the data. Berkeley, California, for example, was a sleepy little town back in 1857, when the data starts. Since that time, it has grown into a much larger city, with many miles of asphalt roads operating as near-perfect "black body" heat radiators. This is known as the "urban heat island" effect. There is serious doubt about the accuracy of even the 20th century section of the 'hockey stick'.

When global warming fanatic Al Gore used a picture of two polar bears purportedly stranded on melting ice off the coast of Alaska as a visual aide to support his claim that man-made global warming is doing great harm to Mother Earth, he chose, but didn’t offer to pay for right away, a photo of a polar bear and her cub out doing what healthy, happy polar bears do on a wave-eroded chunk of ice not all that far from shore in the Beaufort Sea north of Barstow, Alaska.

The picture, wrongly credited to Dan Crosbie, an ice observer specialist for the Canadian Ice Service, was actually taken by Amanda Byrd while she was on a university-related research cruise in August of 2004, a time of year when the fringe of the Arctic ice cap normally melts.

Today that photo, with credit given to photographer Dan Crosbie and the Canadian Ice Service, can be found all over the Internet, generally with the caption “Two polar bears are stranded on a chunk of melting ice”, after it distributed by a representative of Environment Canada to 7 media agencies, including the Associated Press,

With an enlarged version of Amanda Byrd’s polar bear picture on the screen behind him, Gore said, “Their habitat is melting… beautiful animals, literally being forced off the planet. They’re in trouble, got nowhere else to go.”

However, according to Ms. Bryd, when she took the picture, the mother bear and its cub didn’t appear to be in any danger and Environment Canada seems to have back-pedalled when quoted by Ontario’s National Post as saying that you “have to keep in mind that the bears aren’t in danger at all. It was, if you will, their playground for 15 minutes. You know what I mean? This is a perfect picture for climate change, in a way, because you have the impression they are in the middle of the ocean and they are going to die with a coke in their hands. But they were not that far from the coast, and it was possible for them to swim.”

And About those "melting glaciers…"

50 glaciers are advancing in New Zealand, others are growing in Alaska, Switzerland, the Himalayas, and even our old friend, Mt. St. Helens is sprouting a brand new crater glacier that is advancing at 3 feet per year. In general, we found growing glaciers outpacing melting glaciers by a good margin.

Last September, NASA satellites showed the Antarctic Ice Field to be the largest it has ever been in the 30 years it has been observed by satellite (based on an analysis of 347 million radar altimeter measurements made by the European Space Agency's ERS-1 and ERS-2 satellites).

Oceanographers tell us that the actual measured rise in average ocean levels is on the order of 1.6 millimetres (about the width of a match ) annually. There are 25.4 mm in an inch, so in 25 years, the oceans might be up about 1.5 inches or so if the trend continues. In a thousand years , it will be up a whopping 64 inches

Not to forget (although the Global Warming Hoaxers do) that there's another principle of physics at work here called thermal expansion . When you heat an object, it gets bigger. Since the oceans have been slowly warming over the past few centuries, the volume of the oceans has also been increasing a tiny bit, and that can possibly account for most, if not all, of the 1 mm per year rise in the average sea level.

Sometimes, as Al Gore claimed, the historical CO2 curves and the temperatures curves do closely match each other. But when you look closely at the CO2 and temperature data found locked in ancient ice core samples, you find that increases in CO2 are actually following increases in temperature and that CO2 doesn't cause warming - warming causes CO2 to increase.

Conclusion

• Polar Bear populations are not endangered, in fact current populations are healthy and at almost historic highs.

• There is no demonstrated causal relationship between hurricanes and/or tornadoes and global warming. This is sheer conjecture totally unsupported by any material science.

• Greenland is shown to be an island completely surrounded by water, not ice, in maps dating to the 14th century.

• The Antarctic Ice cover is currently the largest ever observed by satellite

• The Global Warming Panic was triggered by rubbish mathematics which has been thoroughly disproved. The panic is being deliberately nurtured by those who stand to gain both financially and politically from perpetuation of the hoax.

• Biofuel hysteria is already having a disastrous effect on world food supplies and prices, and current technologies for biofuel production consume more energy than the fuels produce.

Cooling.jpg






By Prof. Don J. Easterbrook, Professor Emeritus of Geology at Western Washington University

Despite no global warming in 10 years and recording setting cold in 2007-2008, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climatic Change (IPCC) and computer modellers who believe that CO2 is the cause of global warming still predict the Earth is in store for catastrophic warming in this century.

Global warming (i.e., the warming since 1977) is over. The minute increase of anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere (0.008%) was not the cause of the warming - it was a continuation of natural cycles that occurred over the past 500 years.

The Pacific Decadal Oscillation cool mode1 has replaced the warm mode in the Pacific Ocean, virtually assuring us of about 30 years of global cooling, perhaps much deeper than the global cooling from about 1945 to 1977. Just how much cooler the global climate will be during this cool cycle is uncertain. Recent solar changes suggest that it could be fairly severe, perhaps more like the 1880 to 1915 cool cycle than the more moderate 1945-1977 cool cycle. A more drastic cooling, similar to that during the Dalton and Maunder minima, could plunge the Earth into another Little Ice Age, but only time will tell if that is likely.

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More scarey science from the 1970s.
Popular science books (and this includes many books on the philosophy of science) spread the basic postulates of the theory; applications are made in distant fields, money is given to the orthodox, and withheld from the rebels. More than ever the theory seems to possess tremendous empirical support. The chances for alternatives are now every slight indeed.

Paul Feyerabend in Against Method

'Is it fair to call climate denial a form of treason? Isn't it politics as usual? Yes, it is – and that's why it's unforgivable... the deniers are choosing, wilfully, to ignore that threat, placing future generations of Americans in grave danger, simply because it's in their political interest to pretend that there's nothing to worry about. If that's not betrayal, I don't know what is.

Paul Krugman, who is an economist and can scarcely claim any knowledge of climate science (and has taken to calling himself a 'Nobel prize winning' economist, although these are not the 'original' 'Nobel prizes' distributed by the Swedes but some highly political other kind.)

'... what sentences judges might hand down at future international criminal tribunals on those who will be partially but directly responsible for millions of deaths from starvation, famine and disease in decades ahead'

- fulminates Mark Lynas, an historian with media connections, and a good line in pop 'Climate Change Disaster' books, such as High Tide: The Truth About Our Climate Crisis.

And finally, one James Hansen, a NASA scientist whose work on [Venus] (which everyone knows is cloaked in a blanket of heat trapping CO2) seems to have twisted his mind, and has also argued that the chief executives of large fossil fuel companies that actively spread doubt about climate change should be put on trial for "crimes against humanity and nature". 2

In October 2007, six Greenpeace activists were prosecuted for painting painted graffiti on a power station in Kent, England. Hansen was called upon to be a defence witness and about the dangers of climate change, which he readily did saying 'somebody needs to step forward and say there has to be a moratorium, draw a line in the sand and say no more coal-fired power stations!'


Citation

Part of an early version of this article draws on research for Martin Cohen's book 'Mind Games' (Blackwell 2010) and is used under the principles of 'fair use'.

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