Inconvenient Truths about Global Warming Some "Global Warming" Myths Exposed
We live at a time when just about everyone recognizes the acheivements of science (unmanned missions to distant planets, the international space station, better surgical and diagnostic tools for the medical profession, home computers, vastly improved television picture quality, the incredible shrinking cost of electronic storage media, etc., etc.), yet few have a clear understsnding of science or the scientific process. How many people know any more about meteorology (the study of weather) or climatology (the study of climate) than what they hear on television or read in a newspaper or magazine? Probably very few. And what are the qualifications for those who report the news? Little to none. Yet buoyed by blustering politicians and shrill voices from Hollywood, many are all too willing to "go along with the crowd" when it comes to blaming carbon dioxide for climate change. But there is no credible, scientifically rigorous evidence to support the position that carbon dioxide resulting from the combustion of fossil fuels is causing the planet to warm to any significant (or dangerous) degree!
For many years, political opportunists in pursuit of votes have used a lack of depth in the public knowledge of a subject to exploit this subject by proposing solutions to a problem that, at face value, seem to be noble and laudable. The politicians' solution is given a catchy name (e.g., "national health care") and woe to those who dare stand against their solution. How cruel and selfish, we're told, of one who dares stand in the way of the politicians' solution to what is really a personal problem. We lose the distinction between appearances and reality. While "national health care" may appear to be a wonderful program, in reality what is usually proposed by the politicians would be a disaster to the best health care system on the planet.
Likewise, the general public's lack of basic scientific knowledge exposes them to being exploited by those who would subvert and distort science to their own political advantage. The vast majority of news reporters, television programs, films, environmentalists, college professors, and politicians sing in unison of the "consensus" about "global warming" and how terrible it is that humans are destroying the planet with their reckless pursuits. Those who dare to speak out against the chorus shouting "humans burning fossil fuels causes destructive global warming" are accused by some of being in the same class as those who deny the Holocaust. Yet a careful look at the scientific record will convincingly demonstrate that the claim that there is or will be significant anthropogenic global warming cannot be substantiated with scientifically valid data and methods.
Here, then, are a few more inconvenint scientific truths that shatter a few of the myths supporting claims of significant anthropogenic global warming.
Myth: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is composed of the world's best climate experts and its reports represent sound, peer-reviewed unbiased scientific consensus.
The very name, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, establishes a bias from the outset. An "intergovernmental" panel to investigate climate "change" carries with it presumptions that (1) humans are causing climate change, and, (2) humans can significantly affect climage change. The clear bias in these presumptions set the tone for what we've witnessed since the inception of the IPCC.
The IPCC is a creation of the United Nations. That fact alone speaks volumes. The United Nations includes representatives from every dictatorship across the globe (and there are many). Imagine representatives from Iran, North Korea, Libya, Venezuela, Cuba, etc., etc., determining by vote that humans are changing our climate and the United States is the chief culprit. Gee, what a surprise that would be!
The stated aims of the IPCC are to assess scientific information relevant to:
human-induced climate change,
the impacts of human-induced climate change,
options for adaptation and mitigation.
The IPCC Panel is composed of representatives appointed by governments and organizations. [What governments? Which organizations? Who decides these things? On what basis?] Participation of delegates with appropriate expertise is encouraged. [But "appropriate expertise" is not a mandatory qualification!] Plenary sessions of the IPCC and IPCC Working Groups are held at the level of government representatives. [Politicians and politically appointed scientists] Non Governmental and Intergovernmental Organisations may be allowed to attend as observers. [Independent scientists who may possess the best expertise are permitted to observe.] Sessions of the IPCC Bureau, workshops, expert and lead authors meetings are by invitation only. Attendance at the 2003 meeting included 350 government officials and climate change experts. After the opening ceremonies, closed plenary sessions were held. The meeting report states there were 322 persons in attendance at Sessions with about seven-eighths of participants being from governmental organizations.
The IPCC is led by government scientists, but also involves several hundred academic scientists and researchers. It synthesises the available information about climate change and global warming, has published four major reports reviewing the latest climate science, as well as more specialized reports.
The IPCC does not carry out research nor does it monitor climate related data or other relevant parameters. It bases its assessment mainly on peer reviewed and published scientific/technical literature.
Note in the last sentence above, "... mainly on peer reviewed and published scientific/technical literature." But not exclusively, as the discredited Hockey Stick chart of Mann, Bradley, and Hughes illustrates.
The IPCC, then, is at best a quasi-scientific group, consisting of appointees from various governments to sit on a panel whose stated purpose is to investigate anthropogenic global warming. The IPCC has a strong self-interest to find that which it is charged with investigating (significant anthropogenic global warming). The IPCC is both political and scientific (a potentially very bad combination from the outset since few politicians understand science very well and few scientists comprehend the mindset of the politician).
Evidence of the politicized atmosphere of the IPCC comes from the resignation of Christopher Landsea. From Wikipedia:
In January 2005 Christopher Landsea resigned from work on the IPCC AR4, saying that he viewed the process as both being motivated by pre-conceived agendas and being scientifically unsound.
Most people assume the Summary for Policymakers is just that, a summary that takes the science, distills it, removes some of the scientific jargon, and essentially says, “Here is the essence of what the scientific document says.” That couldn’t be farther from the truth. It was created by a completely different process in which each nation has one vote. So if enough nations decide that the earth is flat, for example, then the document shall read, “The earth is flat,” regardless of the science. So we have a situation where sometimes – and I will show you a couple of these cases coming up – the scientific document is completely at odds with what we see in the Summary for Policymakers.
Further testament to the concern of IPCC bias comes from the UK Parliament (2005):
We have some concerns about the objectivity of the IPCC process, with some of its emissions scenarios and summary documentation apparently influenced by political considerations. There are significant doubts about some aspects of the IPCC’s emissions scenario exercise, in particular, the high emissions scenarios. The Government should press the IPCC to change their approach. There are some positive aspects to global warming and these appear to have been played down in the IPCC reports; the Government should press the IPCC to reflect in a more balanced way the costs and benefits of climate change. The Government should press the IPCC for better estimates of the monetary costs of global warming damage and for explicit monetary comparisons between the costs of measures to control warming and their benefits. Since warming will continue, regardless of action now, due to the lengthy time lags.
The reality about the IPCC? It is little more than a biased politicized group whose agenda is designed to fulfill its charge: to find that humans are causing the planet to warm so that governments can exert more power over their citizens.
Why should any U.S. citizen take seriously the climate change conclusions of a politically-motivated, biased group whose very foundation arose out of an organization hostile to capitalism and the United States?
Myth: General Circulation Models (GCMs) used to predict future climate are sophisticated representations of how climate changes and can be relied upon for realistic predictions of future climate.
The signal that we get out of the model is ... much less than the uncertainty in the model. So if the model has more uncertainty than the signal it is simulating, it is very difficult to argue that the signal is significant.
But there is an even bigger problem. ... we are not really interested in changes in the mean per se, we are interested in changes in the extreme. [In] an article by Soden in the 2000 issue of the Journal of Climate ... Soden concludes that GCMs differ with respect to the observations and that they also lack coherence among themselves. We saw that in the spatial distributions between the Hadley Centre Model and the Canadian Climate Centre Model. The Climate Centre Model had lots of drying in the central United States, the Hadley Centre Model doesn’t. But Soden says, and this is important, “Even the extreme models exhibit markedly less precipitation variability than observed...”
If we want to determine how the extremes might change and our climate model doesn’t model the extremes, it is impossible to determine from that model how the extreme conditions are likely to change. Soden goes on, “if the GCMs are in error, this deficiency would presumably reflect a more fundamental flaw common to all models.”
Now, I further argue that those errors that we have seen in the models are not trivial. For example, if I take one millimeter of rainfall, condense it out of the troposphere, compute how much energy is given off by that millimeter of rainfall, and turn that into a temperature change, we find that one millimeter of rainfall is almost 0.4 of a degree temperature change in the troposphere. If you prefer English units, a tenth of an inch is 1¾ degrees Fahrenheit.
So, an error of just one-tenth inch of rainfall will produce a prediction error of nearly two degrees Fahrenheit. Imagine what a 1" error in rainfall prediction will produce!
To summarize, GCMs are notoriously short on their ability to evaluate climate change because:
The climate change science that needs to be modeled is not well enough understood to be modeled.
The methodology that does exist represents a simplified approximation and is driven by insufficient data.
A mere one-tenth inch of rainfall prediction error blossoms into a temperature prediction error of +1¾°F.
The reality about GCMs? While they're useful investigative tools, they are simply incapable of making accurate predictions for global climate change.
Myth: Humans burning fossil fuels are creating carbon dioxide in quantities sufficient to significantly cause global warming.
This myth is perhaps the most widely held, yet it rests on the weakest of foundations and relies upon public acceptance of the notion that the greenhouse effect is the most significant contributor to climate change.
The truth is quite different (sorry Al Gore, but it's just one of those "inconvenient" truths).
French Clilmatologist Dr. Marcel Leroux writes in his chapter "Causes of climage change" from Global Warming, Myth or Reality/The Erring Ways of Climatology:
According to the models and the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC), it would seem that the greenhouse effect, especially in its anthropic aspect, is responsible for all climatic changes. This is obviously a simplification, a caricature, because other factors are involved, and very much more effectively. These different factors act upon what is generally called the 'climatic system', a practical label but one which does not always imply the totality of the phenomena which need to be taken into account in our understanding of the dynamics of climatic changes.
The climatic system has five major components:
The atmosphere. The most unstable and changeable component of the system: the modification of its constituents is considered to be the essential phenomenon in the greenhouse effect, thanks to the properties of its emissive gases, principally water vapour, to which must be added solid and liquid particles in suspension (aerosols), and clouds.
The hydrosphere. All liquid water, inclluding water underground; freshwater in rivers, lakes, and aquifers; salt water in oceans and seas (which are both sinks for and sources of carbon dioxide); and water/vapour and/or liquid in suspension in air.
The lithosphere. Land masses and their distribution and relief (altitude and disposition), soils, vocanic and terrigenic dust in the form of aerosols.
The cryosphere. Sea ice (icefields), ice on land (the inlandsis of Greenland and Antarctica, glaciers on mountains, permafrost), snowfields, and ice crystals in high clouds.
The biosphere. On land and at sea, represented by vegetation, and particularly by extensive entities such as large areas of forest, not forgetting plankton fields.
The noosphere (noos, intelligence) - which may be added to these major components. Representing the actions of the human race (though this does not always correspond to a definition of those actions).
These tightly interwoven components are influenced (or forced) by processes both internal and external. Internal processes are interactions affecting climate and depending upon it, and external ones are factors which affect climate but are independent of it. To these more or less direct actions, we can add retroactive (feedback) processes. Positive feedback intensifies the original effect of a forcing event, and a negative feedback reduces it. As an example of positive feedback we may recall that an increase in water vapour is induced by a rise in temperature, and further encouraging warming, water vapour being the principal greenhouse gas. However, an increase in water vapour content may also contribute to increased cloud cover, causing negative feedback.
... by omitting movements of the air and oceans, [the IPCC] sees climatic changes as essentially driven by human activities. Almost its only concern seems to be the 'identification of a human influence on climate change'.
Leroux describes how the IPCC "seems to recognise two different types of climatic variability. Variation can be the result of [IPCC] 'natural fluctuations of the climatic system', for example variations in the intensity of incident solar radiation, or modifications in the concentration of aerosols after a volcanic eruption. Also, [IPCC] 'natural climate variations can likewise occur in the absence of modification of external forcing, through the effect of complex interactions between the diverse components of the climatic system, particularly ocean-atmosphere interaction. The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon is an example of this natural internal variability on interannual weather scales'. So it seems therefore (if the 'interaction' mentioned is only an 'internal' process) that there are variations in the climate ... because of the climate (i.e., with no apparent cause!). What might natural internal variability' be, if it is not responding to some (external?) forcing? Could there be 'natural' modifications, and also 'supernatural' ones not derived from fundamental, long recognised causes (or even causes as yet undervalued)?"
Leroux continues: "This would seem to be the case, because alongside causes that were identified long ago, such as the Sun and volcanoes, we also find 'oscillations' promoted to real players at the forefront of the meteorological stage. Consider this: as a result of a [IPCC] 'quasi-periodically varying ENSO phenomenon, caused by atmosphere-ocean interaction in the tropical Pacific ... the resulting events have a worldwide impact on weather and climate' (IPCC 2001). So the ENSO phenomenon, not linked with any external forcing, and which the IPCC deems completely 'independent' of the climatic system, becomes a cause in its own right of world climate change (although it is obviously only a consequence)! Another example is that of the 'North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)' which [IPCC] 'fluctuates on multi-annual and multi-decadal timescales, perhaps influenced by varying temperature patterns in the Atlantic Ocean' and which 'has a strong influence on the climate of Europe and part of Asia' (IPCC, 2001). Similarly there is the 'Antarctic Oscillation' or the 'Arctic Oscillation' ... Here we have phenomena whose origin is not well defined, and which are considered to be causes of climate change! Is this justifiable, or are these things promoted to the rank of 'cause' because of a too-frequent tendency to make a deus ex machina out of a phenomenon whose initial cause is unclear, or merely inexplicable, or whose exact place in the chain of processes (i.e., in general circulation) cannot be determined?"
Leroux summarizes with: "Confusion is therefore rife: there is polarisation on the subject of the greenhouse effect, inconsistent application of other climate change factors, and the classification as causal of phenomena whose mechanisms are not clear. So the IPCC report cannot be said to allot the greenhouse effect its proper place compared with other factors. It is therefore necessary to look again at possible causes of climatic variations, and thereafter in any case to indicate mechanisms through which possible modifications brought about by these causes are distributed around the world by general circulation. Leaving aside the hypothetical greenhouse effect, the principal causes of climate change covered here are orbital variations in radiation, variations in solar activity, and volcanism."
Leroux then proceeds to describe other factors that the IPCC minimizes or ignores in its desire to blame human consumption of fossil fuel on climate change.
Those factors include:
Variation in the eccentricity of the Earth's orbit
Variation of the angle of inclination of the Earth's polar axis
Variation of the orientation of the polar axis (precession of the equinoxes)
Orbital parameters and the evolution of insolation
The sunspot cycle and solar activity
Solar activity and climate change
Volcanic emissions and ejecta: silicates and sulphates
Radiative and thermal effects of aerosols
After extensive examination of these factors, Leroux concludes "The greenhouse effect is not the cause of climate change."
Leroux identifies the most likely causes of climate change as:
Well-established orbital parameters on the palaeoclimatic scale, with climatic consequences slowed by the inertial effect of glacial accumulations.
Solar activity, thought by some to be responsible for half of the 0.6°C rise in temperature, and by others to be responsible for all of it, which situation certainly calls for further analysis.
Volcanism and its associated aerosols (and especially sulphates), whose (short-term) effects are indubitable, and,
Far at the rear, the greenhouse effect, and in particular that caused by water vapour, the extent of its influence being unknown.
Not only is the greenhouse effect the least of the contributors to climatic change, the most significant (by far) greenhouse gas, water vapor, receives little attention from the IPCC. Instead, the IPCC focuses on the small annual contribution to global carbon dioxide production attributed to humans burning fossil fuel!
The burning of fossil fuels by humans is a very small contributor to the annual global budget of carbon dioxide production. The primary greenhouse gas, water vapor, is responsible for the vast majority of greenhouse warming. As for climate change, when the greenhouse effect is put into its proper place and one considers the relatively insignificant contribution of anthropogenic emissions to total annual natural CO2 production, it is clear that the IPCC, politicians, government scientists, and reporters are responsible for a grossly exaggerated myth that has demonized carbon dioxide emissions from humans burning fossil fuels!
It is the nature of climate to be in a state of change. Until we better understand the mechanisms for climate change (and get an historical climate perspective), the shrill voices calling for governmental actions should be ignored. We cannot afford to allow psuedo-scientific processes produced by a quasi-political body to influence actions which are going to be prohibitively expensive and, in the end, ineffective.
Most important, there is little likelihood that natural climate warming will be detrimental to humanity. Far more damaging will be the eventual return to a glacial phase of an ice age.
 Christopher Landsea is Science and Operations Officer at the National Hurricane Center. He is a member of the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society. Landsea earned his doctoral degree in Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University.
 David R. Legates is an associate professor at the University of Delaware and is known for his systematic examination of the scientific method used in climatological studies. He is credited with exposing the weaknesses of general circulation models (GCMs). He has also been involved with attempts to validate data and conclusions of climate change studies. Legates is the Delaware State Climatologist. Legates received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Geography, a Master of Science degree in Geography-Climatology and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Climatology, all from the University of Delaware.
 Marcel Leroux describes his qualifications on the subject of climatology thus: "Doubly a doctor, from University and from the state, in Climatology, I am a member of the Société Météorologique de France and of the American Meteorological Society. As a Professor of Climatology, my employer is the French Republic, which has adopted the official religion of 'climate change', to which I do not adhere. I am not beholden to any 'slush fund' and my Laboratoire de Climatologie, Risques, Environnement (LCRE), in spite of its links with the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), has never received any funding from this state institution, certainly by reason of heresy. I am neither a militant nor an amrchair 'eco-warrier', but I live in the countryside, near the little village of Vauvenargues, near Aix-en-Provence, on the 'Grand Site Sainte Victoire' (immortalised by the painter Paul Cézanne), a listed and protected area of mountains and wild forests. I grow vegetables in my (small) 'organic' kitchen garden. I am naturally inclined to question things, and I am basically a Cartesian, living by René Descartes' primary precept of 'never assuming anything to be true which I did not know evidently to be such' (Discours de la Méthode, 1637)."
Global Warming, Myth or Reality/The Erring Ways of Climatology by Marcel Leroux, 2005.
Shattered Consensus/The True State of Global Warming edited by Patrick J. Michaels, 2005 (a collection of papers authored by Ross McKitrick, Robert C. Balling, Jr., John Christy, Randall S. Cerveny, David R. Legates, Oliver W. Frauenfeld, Robert E. Davis, Sallie Baliunas, and Eric S. Posmentier & Willie Soon)
Meltdown/The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media, by Patrick J. Michaels, 2004.
The Chilling Stars - A New Theory of Climate Change, by Henrik Svensmark & Nigel Clader with Foreward by Eugene Parker (discoverer or the solar wind), 2007.
Unstoppable Global Warming - Every 1,500 Years, by S. Fred Singer and Dennis T. Avery, 2007.
Bob Webster, a descendant of Daniel Webster's father, Revolutionary War patriot Ebenezer Webster, 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.