More Inconvenient Science on Global Warming
Al Gore's Hypothesis Debunked
Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth and his hypothesis about anthropogenic CO2 take a real beating from an examination of climate change history. The belief that humans burning fossil fuels create additional CO2 that is significantly warming the planet with disasterous consequences is completely debunked by real scientific analysis of climate change data and the role that CO2 and other greenhouse gases actually play in climate change.
Those who have watched and believed An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore’s film touting the hypothesis that anthropogenic CO2 is causing climate change, are probably of the following two opinions:
Climate change is strongly influenced by changes in the greenhouse gas CO2.
There is a 600,000-year record showing that when CO2 changes, climate changes (when CO2 goes up, global temperature rises; when CO2 goes down, global temperature decreases).
A few inconvenient scientific facts about Gore’s hypothesis:
CO2 and the greenhouse effect as a climate change force.
Scientific data have historically demonstrated the weak role atmospheric CO2 plays in the greenhouse effect, as well as the weak role of the greenhouse effect in climate change. Al Gore believes the politically-inspired summary reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a UN-created political group composed of a few subject-matter experts in the field of climatology together with other scientists in fields affected by climate change plus a host of politically-motivated panelists. That was Gore’s first mistake. His second was believing he was a climatologist.
What follows are the inconvenient facts about greenhouse warming and CO2 that Al Gore evidently failed to consider:
Water vapor is responsible for up to 95% of greenhouse warming (more at tropics, less at poles).
Greenhouse warming is not a strong climate change force.
After water vapor, CO2 is just one of the remaining minor greenhouse gases.
At the tropics, a change of just 5.25% in atmospheric water vapor content is sufficient to overwhelm the effect of all the rest of greenhouse gases combined (which includes CO2).
Anthropogenic CO2 is a small fraction of CO2 that (after water vapor) comprises the minor greenhouse gases, the vast majority of atmospheric CO2 coming from ocean outgassing.
As more CO2 is added to the atmosphere from whatever source, it has less and less of a greenhouse contribution (just like putting on more blankets will have diminishing returns warming you on a cold evening).
The paleoclimatological record over 500 million years shows that atmospheric CO2 concentration is not correlated with climate. The same can be said of the record during the past 100 years when CO2 consistently rose while global temperature experienced both warming and cooling periods over many decades. In fact, during one of the worst and most prolonged ice eras in Earth's climate history (about 450 million years ago), CO2 concentration was an order of magnitude higher than what it is today (about 15 times higher)!
Gore’s misunderstanding of the 600,000-year record of climate change and changes in atmospheric CO2.
Claiming in his film that it is too “complicated”, Gore fails to understand the correlation between atmospheric CO2 concentration and climate change over a 600,000-year ice core record. Gore presents a large chart that appears to show atmospheric CO2 and global temperature moving in lockstep together over that long time period. Trouble is, when the data were examined in detail, the change in atmospheric concentration of CO2lags temperature change by about 800 years! Oops!
In mathematics, one of the first things taught about testing a theory is that if you can find a single contradictory example, the theory fails. In the case of the CO2-temperature link, the theory that CO2 produces climate (temperature) change fails over a 600,000 year record! (To disprove the Gore claim, it need fail over only a short span of that record.)
Further pursuit of the soundness of a theory requires that, if there are no contradictory examples, then in order for a theory to be accepted, it needs to be explained. Gore offers the explanation that temperature changes in response to CO2 concentration because of the greenhouse effect (which demonstrates how little he understands of the greenhouse effect), but he offers no explanation for why the CO2 would increase and decrease so dramatically in the first place! His current explanation (the "Industrial Age") is hardly applicable over the 600,000-year record he cites.
However, the opposing theory (confirmed by the data record) that CO2responds to changes in temperature (climate) can be readily explained over that period, as can the reason why the temperature changes in the first place!
Here is the climate change record and the climate change science:
Temperature changes in response to solar activity cycles. The greater the solar activity, the warmer the climate; the lesser the solar activity, the colder the climate.
The relationship between solar activity and climate is due to the following "cosmic connection" dynamics:
a) increased solar output increases the heat potential at Earth (duh!), though this in itself is insufficient to account for the magnitude of heat gain observed.
b) increased solar output also increases the "solar wind" that deflects a significant portion of cosmic radiation (neutrons & protons constantly bombarding the planet).
c) cloud formation is directly linked to cosmic radiation; the more cosmic radiation, the more cloud formation (as water vapor molecules interact with the shower of particles formed when cosmic radiation impacts the upper atmosphere).
d) reduced cosmic radiation (from greater solar wind due to greater solar activity) yields fewer clouds and allows more of the higher solar output to reach the Earth's surface, particularly the oceans, warming it more. This is a good example of positive feedback. The more potential heating, the fewer the clouds to reflect heat away. Greater cosmic radiation due to lesser solar wind/activity yields more clouds which reflect more of the reduced solar activity into space, thus preventing the oceans and land masses from warming as much (thereby producing relative cooling). This is a good example of negative feedback. Lesser potential heating (due to lower solar activity) allows more cosmic radiation to form more clouds, thus the diminished potential heat is reduced further as a consequence of clouds reflecting sunlight into space.
Over both long term (going back hundreds of thousands and hundreds of millions of years) and the short term (100 year record up to tens of thousands of years), the record of solar activity and climate change shows a strong correlation. On the other hand, CO2 and climate change are shown to be uncorrelated over any meaningful historic time frame.
As climate warms, the oceans (covering 70% of the Earth) absorb more heat, thus allowing them to release more CO2. As the single largest producers of annual atmospheric CO2, the oceans dwarf other natural CO2 producing processes, which, in turn, dwarf the anthropogenic annual CO2 output. As climate cools, the opposite effect is in play (colder oceans release less gas, therefore, they contribute less to atmospheric CO2).
The lag is due to the slow responsiveness of the enormous volume of the oceans. Just as a large pot of cold water put on the range will not heat to boiling instantly, the oceans take some time to heat up sufficiently to release greater amounts of CO2. Just as a boiling pot of water takes some time to cool when it is removed from the source of heat, the warmed oceans will continue to release CO2 for some considerable time after the climate has begun to cool.
So, in the one case, we have a rational, cogent, scientifically rigorous explanation for the climate-CO2 link that demonstrates changes in atmospheric CO2 are the result of climate change, and not the cause of it.
In the other case, we have a politician with no training in the sciences of climate, paleoclimatology, or climate change, who can offer no explanation for clear scientific data that flies in the face of his theory that atmospheric CO2causes climate change.
Which would you believe?
Given this evidence, are you still prepared to believe the Al Gore theory of climate change?
Global Warming, Myth or Reality?, Dr. Marcel Leroux, Springer-Praxis Books, 2005.
The Chilling Stars – A New Theory of Climate Change, Dr. Henrik Svensmark, Dr. Nigel Calder, Icon Books, 2007
Unstoppable Global Warming – Every 1,500 Years, Dr. S. Fred Singer and Dennis T. Avery, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2007.
Shattered Consensus – The True State of Global Warming, Edited by Dr. Patrick J. Michaels, a collection of articles by eleven authors, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2005.
The Satanic Gases – Clearing the Air about Global Warming, Dr. Patrick J. Michaels, Dr. Robert C. Balling, Jr., Cato Institute, 2000.
Meltdown – The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media, Dr. Patrick J. Michaels, Cato Institute, 2005.
Biography - Bob Webster
Bob Webster, a 12th-generation descendent of both the Darte family (Connecticut, 1630s) and the Webster family (Massachusetts, 1630s) is a descendant of Daniel Webster's father, Revolutionary War patriot Ebenezer Webster, who served with General Washington. Bob has always had a strong interest in early American history, our Constitution, U.S. politics, and law. Politically he is a constitutional republican with objectivist and libertarian roots. He has faith in the ultimate triumph of truth and reason over deception and emotion. He is a strong believer in our Constitution as written and views the abandonment of constitutional restraint by the regressive Progressive movement as a great danger to our Republic. His favorite novel is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and believes it should be required reading for all high school students so they can appreciate the cost of tolerating the growth of unconstitutional crushingly powerful central government. He strongly believes, as our Constitution enshrines, that the interests of the individual should be held superior to the interests of the state.
A lifelong interest in meteorology and climatology spurred his strong interest in science. Bob earned his degree in Mathematics at Virginia Tech, graduating in 1964.