Sunday, December 16, 2007

The United States is Evil... NOT!

After all the grief given those in the government who have opposed signing the Kyoto Treaty, who'd have thunk that our carbon emissions are increasing at a slower rate than those who have signed the treaty.

The American Thinker has a piece about this, with a downloadable Excel file with the data, for the obsessives out there.

The Kyoto treaty was agreed upon in late 1997 and countries started signing and ratifying it in 1998. A list of countries and their carbon dioxide emissions due to consumption of fossil fuels is available from the U.S. government. If we look at that data and compare 2004 (latest year for which data is available) to 1997 (last year before the Kyoto treaty was signed), we find the following.

Emissions worldwide increased 18.0%.

Emissions from countries that signed the treaty increased 21.1%.

Emissions from non-signers increased 10.0%.

Emissions from the U.S. increased 6.6%.

So, is it better to sign, or not to sign?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Even the Pope!

The Daily Mail reports that the Pope has attacked "prophets of doom" who are creating fear of global warming based on ideology more than science.

The leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics suggested that fears over man-made emissions melting the ice caps and causing a wave of unprecedented disasters were nothing more than scare-mongering. The German-born Pontiff said that while some concerns may be valid it was vital that the international community based its policies on science rather than the dogma of the environmentalist movement.

God bless the Pope for telling it like it is.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Latest IPCC report still admits large uncertainty

Yes, yes. The text of the report claims scientists are 90% certain of the report's conclusions about global warming. But look at the actual data, supplied graphically in the 2007 report. (click image to enlarge)

Their estimate of man-made contribution to global temperature rise is expressed as somewhere between 0.6 watts/m² and 2.4 watts/m². That is a variance of a factor of four. It could be a little, it could be four times that amount!

Also, note that the level of scientific understanding of many important factors influencing global temperature is still admittedly low. On the column farthest to the right, the "LOSU" (level of scientific understanding) of aerosols, surface albedo (reflectivity), contrails, ozone, is all medium to low.

The IPCC claims to be 90% sure. Are they 90% sure that their understanding of these important factors is low? It would appear so. Here it is, in black and white (and red and blue) in the graph published in their report.

The BBC begins to tell the other side

No consensus on IPCC's level of ignorance

The BBC has been bearing down hard on the global warming alarmism for several years. Never was heard a skeptical word. Now, their tone seems to be softening somewhat. At least they are letting other voices be heard, voices of those who doubt the central thesis and wisdom of dire predications about climate. This article discusses the intertwining of political and scientific interests in the publication of the IPCC reports.
At an IPCC Lead Authors' meeting in New Zealand, I well remember a conversation over lunch with three Europeans, unknown to me but who served as authors on other chapters. I sat at their table because it was convenient. After introducing myself, I sat in silence as their discussion continued, which boiled down to this: "We must write this report so strongly that it will convince the US to sign the Kyoto Protocol." Politics, at least for a few of the Lead Authors, was very much part and parcel of the process. And, while the 2001 report was being written, Dr
Robert Watson, IPCC Chair at the time, testified to the US Senate in 2000 adamantly advocating on behalf of the Kyoto Protocol, which even the journal Nature now reports is a failure.

The author is a scientist who builds computer climate models -- of the type upon which the IPCC report's predictions depend so heavily. Models are designed to conform to past climate records. What we don't know is whether these models will perform well in the future. That will be the true scientific test.

Mother Nature is incredibly complex, and to think we mortals are so clever and so perceptive that we can create computer code that accurately reproduces the millions of processes that determine climate is hubris (think of predicting the complexities of clouds).

Of all scientists, climate scientists should be the most humble. Our cousins in the one-to-five-day weather prediction business learned this long ago, partly because they were held accountable for their predictions every day.

Answering the question about how much warming has occurred because of increases in greenhouse gases and what we may expect in the future still holds enormous uncertainty, in my view.

To counter overconfidence in computer modelling, the author offers an anecdote from his formative ears:

The best advice regarding scientific knowledge, which certainly applies to climate, came to me from Mr Mallory, my high school physics teacher.

He proposed that we should always begin our scientific pronouncements with this statement: "At our present level of ignorance, we think we know..."

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Intelligence²: Global Warming is not a crisis (radio debate)

In March, public radio aired a debate produced by the Rosenkranz Foundation on the proposition "Global Warming is Not a Crisis." Experts for and against the statement gave their views, and the audience voted. Comparing a poll of the audience before and after the debate, the number believing that we do NOT have a crisis increased from 30 percent to 46 percent.

When people learn more of the facts, they become more skeptical of the global warming crisis "consensus."

Read about the debate at, or download the MP3 audio file of the debate directly at this link.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Policy planning in an "atmosphere" of uncertainty

Let's return one last time to the Summary For Policymakers written in 2001 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the source many global warming alarmists cite as the "consensus" view that proves we must act to prevent further global warming.

The complete chart from that report showing influences on warming in the industrial era (since 1750), is reproduced here, and this time we want to pay particular attention to the very bottom of the chart. You can click on the chart at any time for a larger view.

The bottom of the chart represents the IPCC's estimate of our level of scientific understanding of each of the factors contributing to the warming of planet earth since 1750. They claim a "high" or "medium" scientific understanding of carbon dioxide (C02), nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4), halocarbons, and tropospheric ozone (O3) as warming factors. They also claim a medium level of scientific understanding of the cooling factor stratospheric ozone.

Now let's note what they admitted (in 2001) that science does NOT understand very well. Warming of the planet caused by solar radiation? They classify scientific understanding of solar-induced warming (over which man obviously has no control) as "very low." Similarly, they confess a "very low" level of understanding of the cooling effects caused by changes in land use, and the indirect effects of aerosols -- how tiny particles we release into the atmosphere affect cloud formation and precipitation, which cool the earth.

What else do we understand poorly? According to the IPCC, our understanding of global cooling from sulphates, organic carbon from burning of fossil fuels released as aerosols, and biomass burning. Also, the effects of aviation contrails, mineral dust, and carbon black from fossel fuel burning are poorly understood.

To summarize, of the major factors influencing the warming of the planet (according to the IPCC, the scientific "consensus"), we have a high level of understanding of greenhouse gases, a medium level of understanding of the effects of ozone, and a low or very low level of understanding of eight other factors: sulphate, carbon black, organic carbon, biomass burning, mineral dust, indirect effects of aerosols, aviation contrails, and the effects of the sun. I think this last item cannot be repeated enough: the IPCC admits to a "very low" level of scientific understanding of the role changes in the sun play in global warming in the industrial age.

Two global warming factors we understand well, eight factors we do not. How can accurate climate models even exist, when eight out of a dozen or so factors are poorly understood? This is a no-brainer. It is impossible to even create a reliable computer model to predict future climate and temperature when most of the major factors in such a model are poorly understood. Such was the admission of the 2001 report by the IPCC, clear to anyone who would examine their summary closely.

The "consensus" of climate scientists reports that we are heading for disastrous global warming. It does so on the basis of computer climate models. The models must take into account many factors for which our level of scientific understanding is admittedly "very low." Why should the public pay any heed to predictions that are based on such huge uncertainties?

Next time, we will update this information by examining the most recent IPCC report from 2007. The basic conclusions do not change. Their estimates are, by their own admission, subject to a very wide range of possible outcomes. The uncertainty of any such estimates is built-in, via computer models, which must necessarily take into account many things we understand poorly.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Human land use cools the planet

Examining a section of the same graph seen in the two previous entries, a graph from the 2001 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, note that humans change the surface of the earth, by planting or harvesting forests, by cultivating land for farming, by building cities, and other activities that change the reflectivity (albedo) of the earth's surface. If man takes a forest and plows it up to create a field of bare dirt, the blackness of the soil will absorb more of the sun's heat, and this creates a warming effect.
According to the scientists represented by the IPCC, however, the net effect of human activity on albedo is actually a cooling effect.
On the other hand, increased solar activity, the item on the right edge of the graph, is a warming influence. This graph was designed to compare the pre-industrial climate and conditions (circa 1750 A.D.) to the current day. Clearly the IPCC believes that increased solar activity is partly responsible for our slightly warmer global temperatures today compared with the climate 250 years ago.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Man-made global COOLING!

In 2001, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in their "Summary for Policymakers" showed the cooling -- yes, cooling -- effects of human activity.

Granted, humans burn fossil fuels releasing CO2, domesticated animals release methane gas, and we release Freon and other industrial chemicals that contribute to climate warming.

But humans also create aerosols of various sorts. Aerosols are small particles that stay airborne and affect the properties of the atmosphere. Note this section of a chart from the 2001 IPCC report that identifies aerosols that can cause both warming (in the pink area, black carbon and mineral dust) and cooling (in the blue section, sulphate, organic carbon, biomass burning, and indirect effects). What are the indirect effects of small particles floating in the atmosphere? They tend to cause cloud formation, and clouds reflect solar energy away from the earth, thus cooling the planet by shading the earth from the hot, hot sun.

Therefore, not every activity of man contributes to global warming. Aerosols contribute to global cooling, and therefore they offset the warming of our carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. Have you heard this discussed in your newspaper? newsmagazine? television news report? talk radio? It is unlikely you have. Not only is the IPCC ignoring the data in their own report, almost everyone else seems oblivious to the implications as well.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Uncertainty of Warming Estimates

The Nature Reports: Climate Change website recently alerted readers to an oddity in the report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The IPCC is the source of the "consensus" on global warming/climate change that is often reported in the media.

At issue is something fundamental to any future planning we might do to deal with climate change. To make a long story short, Nature Reports, in the article "Quantifying Climate Change: Too Rosy a Picture?", suggest that the "consensus" conclusion doesn't take into account how uncertain science is about the factors that might warm or cool the planet.

The IPCC published this graph in 2001, showing how human activity is responsible for both warming and cooling effects on climate:

To start, notice that the chart is divided into pink and blue parts. The pink area is for warming effects, and the blue area is for cooling effects. On the left hand side we find carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), which are often blamed for global warming. Human activity also produces ozone, which is a cooling effect in the stratosphere (upper atmosphere), but causes warming in the troposphere (the lower atmosphere).

So ozone, carbon dioxide, and methane, plus a few other pollutants, are responsible for some warming of the planet, according to this graph published by the IPCC. There is a little bit of cooling from stratospheric ozone, but not enough to offset the warming from low-altitude ozone, CO2, methane, and other gases. Next time, we'll look at cooling effects, and also begin to note some of the uncertainty of the science. Even the "consensus" report of the IPCC admits the science is uncertain.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Journal Science Waffles on Warming

In the American Thinker, James Lewis comments on a News-of-the-Week feature in Science, the official journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The Science news item, Another Global Warming Icon Comes Under Attack, notes that "mainstream atmospheric scientists" are disputing the reliability of the computer models used to predict future warming, and " researchers are giving some ground."

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations committee, has produced a series of reports that have become a Holy Bible of sorts for the global warming alarmists. The reports contain an analysis of current computer global climate models.

The latest IPCC report averaged the results of 14 different computer models and compared the numbers to actual temperature readings throughout the last century. While there is a fair match between actual temperatures and some of the computer predictions, there are uncertainties factor unaccounted for in the IPCC's analysis.

Science's James Kerr writes, "Greenhouse gas changes are well known... but not so the counteracting cooling of pollutant hazes, called aerosols. Aerosols cool the planet by reflecting away sunlight and increasing the reflectivity of clouds. Somehow... modelers failed to draw on all the uncertainty inherent in aerosols so that the 20th-century simulations look more certain than they should."

Bottom line: Aerosols cool the earth. It is uncertain exactly how much they cool the earth. Climate models make predictions which are used to scare the public about global warming. However, the models do not account for the large uncertainty in the amount of cooling from aerosols, including clouds.

The warming effects of greenhouse gases are said to be well-understood and are widely reported. The cooling effects of aerosols are poorly understood, hardly ever reported, and this is not fully explained in the United Nations' official IPCC reports on climate change. What is wrong with this picture?

How can we make rational decisions about public policy when one of the major factors affecting global cooling is not well-understood and not properly taken into account in predictions of climate warming? The answer, obviously, is that we can't.

This new analysis is extremely important, and will be dealt with in one or more future installments on the Global Warming Swindle blog.

NOTE: What are aerosols? "Aerosols are tiny particles suspended in the air. Some occur naturally, originating from volcanoes, dust storms, forest and grassland fires, living vegetation, and sea spray. Human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels and the alteration of natural surface cover, also generate aerosols." (from Aerosols play an important part in cloud formation. Clouds exert a cooling effect by reflecting solar radiation back into space.

Man can produce greenhouse gases which warm the planet, and he also produces aerosols which lead to cooling. However, in both cases, man's contributions are less a factor in earth's temperature than nature itself, especially solar activity.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Unwarranted emphasis on CO2

If you listen to global warming alarmists for very long, you will get tired of hearing about carbon dioxide, CO2.

To put things into perspective, let us take as fact the speculation of the scientists at who are promoting the theory of man-made global warming.

In comment #17 of this page ("The lag between temperature and CO2"), we learn that Hansen, a NASA scientist who has been much in the news, has estimated that all the greenhouse gases put together account for 35-55% of total warming of earth's climate. CO2 is "roughly half of the total greenhouse gas change," so that brings the figure down to 17-27% of the warming.

The CO2 produced by man's activities is a fraction of the natural CO2 produced by the planet. It is hard to estimate the real impact of man-made CO2 in the atmosphere, but even using the calculations of global warming alarmists, man's contribution to global warming through CO2 is a fraction of the 17-27% already noted.

Obviously CO2 is a greenhouse gas -- it helps the atmosphere trap heat from the sun. But man's contribution to CO2 levels, even if all of the rise from the historic norm (say, 280 parts per million in the year 1000 AD up to the current level of 380 parts per million) was caused by man, is about one fourth of the total.

Man is responsible for 25% of the CO2 in the atmosphere. The CO2 in the atmosphere accounts for 17-27% of the warming, according to the most famous NASA climate scientist. Man's contribution to global warming through CO2 emissions is therefore between 4% and 9% (i.e. 25% of 17-27%).

Thursday, July 5, 2007

On, July 5, an AFP story, "Oldest DNA ever recovered shows warmer planet," details the results of boring 2 kilometers down into a Greenland glacier to discover much warmer temperatures in the past than had been expected. The DNA of ancient plants and animals indicated a "lush forest" environment. In Greenland!

DNA of trees, plants and insects including

butterflies and spiders from
beneath the southern Greenland glacier was

estimated to date to 450,000 to
900,000 years ago, according to the remnants

retrieved from this long-vanished
boreal forest.

The article also points out that temperatures were on average 9 degrees Fahrenheit higher than today during the period between ice ages 116,000 - 130,000 years ago.

Another paper from the premier journal Science, reports that ice cores from Antarctica, providing a record of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere going back 800,000 years, show a variation of 27 degrees Fahrenheit over this time span. In the previous ice age, temperatures were 18 degrees colder than today. At other times, temperatures have been up to 9 degrees higher.

Global warming alarmists are worried about a 1ยบ F temperature rise over the past 100 years. Given that temperatures have historically sometimes been much higher, and at other times much lower on the earth, is it time to panic about a one degree rise?

Climate change is a real phenomenon. Climate is always changing. The ice cores in Greenland and Antarctica prove this. Change is in the nature of climate, even in times when humans did not even exist, let alone burn any fossil fuels.

Religion versus science

This blog will compare the claims of global warming alarmists, especially those who blame the changes in climate on human activity, with scientific research.

Humans affect nature. At question is the type and the degree of the effect.

First, is the earth warming? If so, where? how much has it warmed? how fast is it warming?

Second, if the earth is warming, what might be the most likely causes of that warming? If humans are responsible for part of the warming, how much? 10%? 50%? 80%?

If humans are responsible, or even if they are not, can the warming be stopped? Should it be stopped? Are there benefits to a warmer earth? Would it be less expensive to adapt to climate change than to attempt to stop it?

All these are scientific questions. Some have claimed that the "debate is over" on climate change and global warming. We have caused it by burning fossil fuels and releasing CO2 into the atmosphere, they say. Yet scientists are encountering more and more evidence that does not fit this interpretation of global warming. Are we to ignore the new evidence?

A scientific explanation should be subject to revision as new facts come to light. If proponents of a particular theory cannot change or modify their position in the light of new information, we are dealing not with science, but faith. For some, human-caused global warming has become nearly a religion.

We reject this view. Facts are stubborn things. And many facts stubbornly refuse to fit with the explanations of global warming alarmists. Yet, perhaps they are right. Perhaps humans are causing the earth to warm. We must know for certain before we act, or we may be wasting precious resources. We might even unintentionally make the problem worse!

As future entries to The Global Warming Swindle will demonstrate, the debate is decidedly not over!