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The Reality of Climate Change   April 26th, 2008
       

 
QUICK OBSERVATIONS

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Did you know that...
  • The earth hasn't warmed since 1998, and may even be cooling?
  • Naturally occurring water vapor (clouds) make up as much as 95% of all greenhouse gases?
  • Even if we eliminated all human-produced CO2, we'd only reduce greenhouse gases by 0.1% (i.e. one tenth of one percent)?
  • The U.S. is not the leading producer of CO2?
  • Not all scientists agree that climate change is primarily caused by human activity?
  • No-one can say that Katrina was definitely caused by climate change. In fact, higher global temperatures might actually reduce the number of hurricanes.
  • Global climate models that are used to predict horrific future climate catastrophes can't even accurately predict the current climate based on past data?

All of the above are indisputable facts. If you were not aware of these facts I would urge you to please continue reading this article to hear the truth about climate change that you are not hearing from Al Gore or the mainstream media.

The Truth of Climate Change is Not Being Reported

All of the points mentioned above are 100% established fact. They are not in dispute. The facts can be manipulated or downplayed by those involved in global warming scaremongering, but facts are facts.

The fact of the matter is that most people are not aware of these facts. The public has been lead to believe that the world is warming substantially, all scientists agree with the human-induced global warming theory, that we can reduce warming by reducing our CO2 production, and that global warming is already leading to such disasters as Hurricane Katrina, and that the science is settled and that all we need to do is follow Al Gore's recommendations (but not follow his lifestyle) and we can save the planet. Yet as amazing as it may seem to those that get their information from Al Gore or the mainstream news media, NONE of these statements are true.

The truth about the science of climate change is NOT being accurately reported by most of the mainstream media. Portraying climate change as a "global warming crisis" generates more interest which is good for the business of the mainstream media. Likewise, portraying climate change as a crisis allows certain political parties and organizations to ram their political "solutions" down the throats of society with little or no political debate.

Please take a few minutes to read the rest of the article where I will briefly discuss each of the facts mentioned above. Please consider forwarding a link to this article to your friends and family. I know the article is rather long, but it is important that the world make educated decisions based on sound science and established fact and NOT based on 30-second soundbytes or based on psuedo-documentaries produced by career politicians such as Al Gore.

FACT: The world hasn't warmed since 1998

Despite what you may have heard on the news or from Al Gore, the global temperature of the planet appears to have been largely stable since 1998. Consider the following graphic that originally came from NASA.



Note the blue line that I added from 1998 to 2007. During those 10 years, 9 years were the same temperature or cooler than 1998. Only one year was warmer and it was followed by two years of cooler weather. At the very least it would appear that the temperature has "maxed out" at approximately 1998 levels and, on average, may even be decreasing: The average temperature since 1998 is lower than the average temperature in 1998.

Keep in mind that global CO2 has been continuously increasing and we have been told by the IPCC, the news, and Al Gore that the additional CO2 is going to keep driving temperatures up by as much as 12 degrees in the next 90 years (by the year 2100)--and the temperature increases should only get worse and faster. If that's the case, why has the temperature increase essentially stalled for the last 10 years and possibly even gone down? And that happened even though we kept increasing our CO2 output every year.

Even if we assume that 1998 itself was abnormally high and omit using that as a reference point (since it was significantly warmer than 1997), it still appears clear that there hasn't been any significant warming since somewhere between 2001 and 2002.

It may be of interest that this was predicted by a researcher at Ohio State University who, in 2001, predicted that global warming may end within "10 to 20 years."

FACT: The Most Important Greenhouse Gas is Water

While Al Gore would like us to focus only on CO2, the reality is that CO2 is not a major player inasmuch as greenhouse gases. It turns out that water is by far the most potent greenhouse gas warming our planet . Consider the following graphic that shows just how much water vapor contributes to the greenhouse effect compared to CO2.



As the graphic shows, it is water that is the most abundant greenhouse gas . Even if we were to eliminate all CO2 (both natural and man-made), water vapor in the atmosphere would still provide anywhere between 60 and 98% of the greenhouse gases that already exist--the exact percentage contribution of water vapor to the greenhouse effect varies depends on the source, but even the IPCC in their first draft cited 60-70% .

Sites such as this one will tell you that this is irrelevant because the earth's system will automatically adjust to water vapor and will rain/snow it out of the sky within a week while CO2, supposedly, will stay in the atmosphere for centuries; further, they claim that adding CO2 will warm the atmosphere which will cause more evaporation which will cause more water vapor which will cause more warming--a supposed "feedback loop."

What that site--and most others--don't tell you is that those two claims (that CO2 will stay in the atmosphere for centuries and will contribute to a feedback loop that creates more water vapor over the longterm) are not established facts.

The fact is that CO2, like water, has an established cycle in our atmosphere. CO2 is generated naturally by animal life and other processes and is consumed naturally by trees and other plants and, perhaps surprisingly, by the ocean. The ocean is estimated to hold 98.5% of all CO2 in the atmosphere-ocean system . Further, the ocean actually consumes more CO2 than it releases . In short, CO2 readily dissolves in the ocean which covers three/fourths of our planet. CO2, like water, is in a constant cycle of production and consumption. There is no reason to believe that higher CO2 levels in the atmosphere would not be addressed by nature by consuming more. That assumption assumes CO2 increases while everything else on the planet remain constant--such an assumption makes no sense. Nothing on this planet is constant... and never has been.

We don't know that CO2 will remain in the atmosphere for centuries since that is only true if the current CO2 consumers ("carbon sinks" in scientific terms) remain constant. But it is absurd to make that assumption. When the rat population increases, so does the snake population until it overpopulates and eats all the rats--at which point the snake population falls. This is the case in all natural cycles and there's no reason to believe that the planet is incapable of dealing with increased CO2. In fact, CO2 levels during the Ordovician period (about 460 million years ago) reached 4400 to 7000 parts per million (about 10 to 20 times higher than today) completely naturally... and the CO2 level eventually came down, again, automatically as nature responded. Humans weren't there to increase the CO2 and we weren't there to reduce the CO2. Nature did both all by itself. Why would anyone assume that nature can't deal with our current 370ppm of CO2 when it was able to deal with ten or twenty times that amount millions of years ago?

FACT: Humans produce only one-tenth of one percent of greenhouse gases

As was shown in the previous chart, water vapor (clouds, humidity, etc.) make up as much as 95% of greenhouse gases. But let's look at just CO2. Of the CO2 released into the atmosphere each year, how much is produced by humans?



Note that human activity ("fossil fuels, cement production") is only 5.5 Gigatons per year. In comparison, nature alone generates 211.6 Gigatons of CO2 every year. Thus of the 219.3 Gigatons of CO2 produced each year, only 2.5% of it is due to humans. If we assume that water vapor makes up 95% of greenhouse gases (as explained above) and we assume CO2 makes up the remaining 5% (it actually makes up less), then 2.5% of 5% means our contribution to greenhouse gases is approximately one-tenth of one percent.

In other words, we could stop all human CO2 production and still only reduce greenhouse gases by about one-tenth of one percent. Does that really make a difference?

Global warming scaremongers will say "Yes, because nature absorbs the naturally occurring CO2 and there's a delicate balance--and that extra 5.5 Gigatons is more than nature can handle." Yet we already know that nature was able to reduce CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere from as much as 7000ppm (about 20 times current levels) down to "normal" levels all by itself hundreds of millions of years ago. CO2 concentrations went up and nature automatically responded by bringing those levels back down. There is absolutely no reason to believe that nature won't respond to our new CO2 levels by bringing them back down naturally. Just like it did millions of years before their were human beings on the planet.

FACT: The U.S. is Not The Leading Producer of CO2

Although it was reported in the news, most readers may have missed the fact that China now surpasses the U.S. in the production of CO2 . The mainstream media is quick to make headlines of environmental news that seems to condemn the U.S. and shame us, but they are very careful to under-report news that would appear to make us not the worst villain in the world. Yet in 2006 China produced 7% more CO2 than the United States did. Further, it is projected that China may produce as much CO2 as the entire rest of the world by the year 2030 .

It's amazing that Al Gore and other scaremongers would expend so much energy trying to convince the Western World and the U.S. to reduce their CO2 production when the #1 producer of CO2 is China. It's also interesting that people that spend so much time lecturing the U.S. about our CO2 production endorsed the Kyoto Protocol--a treaty that would have given countries such as India and China a free pass in regards to CO2 production. Why would they endorse a plan that gave the upcoming #1 producer of CO2 a free pass? If their goal is the reduction of global CO2, that plan made no sense--which is why the U.S. Congress rejected it in 1998 and why President Bush pronounced it dead.

Of those countries that actually followed the Kyoto protocol, they pledged to reduce CO2 output by 116 megatons per year. But China's increase alone, from 2000 to 2010, is 600 megatons. That means that even if the Kyoto protocol made sense, China alone wiped out all of the advances made by the rest of the world that agreed to Kyoto.

It is clear that the U.S. is no longer the #1 producer of CO2 and that no environmental policy can give exemptions to any part of the world. Instead of focusing on the U.S., Al Gore should try to convince the Chinese to reduce their CO2 output. But I'm sure the Chinese would have the good sense to laugh in Al Gore's face. While the developed world apparently has nothing better to do than fuss about CO2 production, China is becoming an economic and military superpower. And they will succeed because we're wasting our time on non-issues such as CO2.

FACT: Not All Scientists Agree with Al Gore

Although Al Gore would have us believe that "the science is settled" and all scientists agree with his position, that is untrue.

Just in March 2008, over a hundred prominent environmental scientists gathered in New York City for the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change in which they presented papers that refute Al Gore's and the UN's IPCC assertion that there is a "consensus" among scientists regarding global climate change.

A survey of 530 climate scientists in 27 countries found that only 56% believe that it's mostly the result of human causes and only 35% believed that climate models can accurately predict future climate conditions .

No, Al Gore is wrong that his opposition is a fringe group. There is still very active debate among scientists about how much global warming is occurring, whether it is caused by humans, and whether or not the global warming scaremongers' main tool--the climate models--can be trusted.

FACT: Katrina Wasn't Definitely Caused by Global Warming

When New Orleans and the Gulf Coast was hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 there was much speculation that this was an unusually massive hurricane caused by global warming . Some even had the audacity to suggest that Katrina's rainfall was increased by a rather precise 7% due to global warming .

The reality is less spectacular. Hurricane activity in the Atlantic follows 20-30 cycles during which activity peaks and ebbs ; the 1950s and 1960s were another period of high hurricane activity in the Atlantic. There is no hard evidence that indicates that recent hurricanes are any stronger than past hurricanes, and certainly no evidence that strong hurricanes are a direct result of any supposed global warming. Others point out that while there was a period of increased Atlantic hurricanes, it was accompanied by a drastic reduction of hurricanes in the Asian Pacific .

In fact, new research even suggests that global warming--if it's occurring--might actually mean fewer hurricanes hitting the United States. It turns out that higher atmospheric temperature can lead to higher wind shear which it makes it harder for hurricanes to form, strengthen, and persist . So while those promoting a global warming agenda may claim that global warming may lead to higher ocean temperatures which would theoretically lead to more and stronger hurricanes, it turns out reality is a lot more complicated than simple ocean temperature.

Indeed scientists have predicted above-average hurricane seasons every year since the 2005 season that included Katrina. 2006 came and went with fewer hurricanes than forecast and not a single one hit the United States . 2007 was predicted to be a "very active" season with 17 named storms of which 9 were to become hurricanes and 5 to develop into category 3+ storms . Once again 2007 defied scientists' expectations with only 14 named storms, 6 hurricanes, 2 of which were major. Only one hurricane hit the United States .

The reality is that if global warming is occurring and if global warming actually produces stronger and more frequent hurricanes, there isn't any reliable evidence that supports any of it. If there's any correlation between global warming and hurricanes, that correlation seems to be far overpowered by more mundane tendencies that humans have absolutely no control over.

FACT: Global Climate Models are Notoriously Inaccurate

All the dire predictions of our globally-warmed future (floods, droughts, rising sea levels, changes in crop growing seasons and locations, etc.) are all the results of models. And these models are not evidence of anything, nor are they particularly reliable.

A climate model is essentially a computer program written by computer programmers and/or climatologists. The idea is that the user of the climate model program enters all the information about current global atmospheric conditions, then enters information about future scenarios (such as how much CO2 will be generated by humans), then the climate model program is allowed to run and--in theory--can tell us what the climate will be like at some point in the future.

The reality, however, is that climate models are only as good as the people that develop them. And those people are only as good as our knowledge of the climate and what affects it. Considering our scientists can't even accurately predict an above or below average hurricane season each year, the unescapable truth is that there's a lot about the climate we still don't understand.

Ignoring the fact that we are still struggling to understand the complex relation between greenhouse gases, cloud cover, temperature, and incoming solar relation, one would hope that climate models could be provided with past climate conditions (such as from a thousand years ago) and could be given information about CO2 production over the years and, starting from a thousand years ago, accurately predict the climatological conditions of today. After all, if the models are accurate then they should be able to predict today's conditions based on conditions from hundreds or thousands of years ago just as easily as predicting future conditions based on today's conditions. If a climate model can't do that then there's absolutely no reason to believe its future predictions.

And the shocking truth is that climate models cannot accurately predict today's climate conditions based strictly on past conditions. Instead, the programmers of the models must include "fudge factors"--or, in the words of climate politicians, "flux adjustments"--to make their models predict current conditions correctly. That basically means that if the model takes data from 1850, runs, and predicts today's temperature should average 120, the model will introduce a "flux adjustment" of -60 degrees so that it produces the right answer. In other words, they cheat!

Not only that, climate scientists run their models over and over--and they often get different results each time. They then make conclusions based on the most "common" results. So if they run a climate model four times and one time it says the planet will cool by 4 degrees, two times it says it will warm by 2 degrees, and once it says it will warm by 8 degrees, they'll assume that +2 degrees is the consensus of the model. That doesn't mean the answer is right, it's just an average of multiple runs of a potentially inaccurate model. Averaging lots of wrong answers doesn't magically make the answer right.

And as amazing as it may seem, the two most significant components of daily temperature--clouds and the sun--are not properly modeled in climate models simply because we still do not know exactly how those two most important components impact the climate!

In short, the global warming scaremongers are basing all their dire predictions and scaremongering on models that simply are not known to be accurate. With our own lack of understanding of the effect of the sun and clouds on the climate, how can we expect our rather primitive models to produce reliable predictions?

We can't.

Conclusion

The only reasonable conclusion we can draw is that the planet is not following the predictions of climate models, the atmosphere's temperature is not consistently warming year after year--in fact, it seems to have been steady or cooling for the last decade. Dire predictions are based on inherently limited knowledge of some of the most important components of the climate process, and based on climate models that are inherently inaccurate. Human-generated CO2 contributes a very small percentage of all greenhouse gases and climate history suggests that, far from this pushing us beyond a tipping point, the earth has shown that it is more than capable of recovering from CO2 content 10 to 20 times as high as what we are currently experiencing.

The current situation requires calm and rational evaluation and investigation of the facts, not frenzied knee-jerk political responses to "solve" a problem that may very well not exist.

As citizens of the United States and of the planet, we must ensure that our politicians do not institute radical legislation under the banner of "saving the planet" based on completely inadequate evidence. Already far too many political agendas are being pushed through as legislation without adequate rational analysis simply because proponents raise the specter of destructive climate change and their opponents immediately shut up and refuse to oppose the legislation because they are afraid to oppose anything that is, supposedly, designed to save the planet.

Not too long ago the scaremongerers referred to the situation as "global warming." A number of years ago they started calling it "climate change" because they realized that the concept of global warming was a hard sell when people experienced unusually cold winters or mild summers; and they realized that calling it "global warming" would be undermined as soon as the temperatures stabilized--as they since have.

We must continue to treat the issue of climate change as a scientific issue. It needs to be studied further without political pressure to produce a pre-established conclusion of future global catastrophe.

We need a real impartial scientific consensus, not a biased political consensus.

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