Why is there so much preoccupation with atmospheric CO2 concentrations and reducing anthropogenic CO2 emissions when it is well documented in the peer-reviewed scientific literature that the CO2 contribution to the overall greenhouse effect is so weak that it can be easily supplanted by small changes in clouds and water vapor, or natural climate-changing constituents?


Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Hold Fast, South Dakota – keep facile and destructive climate alarmism out of your schools!

An informative article in South Dakota's Argus Leader presents the dilemma facing education administrators in that State as they prepare to debate and decide on whether to adopt 'The Next Generation Science Standards' as released earlier this month..

The Argus Leader article notes

"A core idea in the standards is that “human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature (global warming).”

“That idea is not controversial among the 41 scientists and educators who wrote the standards. But many politicians consider man’s influence on global climate change to be unresolved.”

And goes on to note:

“Three years ago, the South Dakota Legislature passed a nonbinding resolution that urged public schools to take a “balanced approach” when teaching climate change. It asserted the science on the subject is unsettled, open to interpretation and prejudiced by politics.”

There is wisdom here.  But it is under threat from the new curriculum being offered to all States.  It may or may not be adopted in South Dakota:
"Mary Stadick Smith, deputy secretary for the Department of Education, said there is no timeline for the agency’s review of the standards.“We need to review them carefully and we’re going to move forward cautiously to make sure these are the right things for our students,” she said."

 She is being reasonable.

The simple-minded view that human contributions in particular, and rising CO2 levels in general, are major drivers of ‘global warming’ has received criticism for decades from scientists, and Mother Nature has helped them along by refusing to cooperate with the dramatically rising temperature plots produced, after a great deal of pampering, by global climate models (GCMs), and widely promoted by such as the IPCC.

Two reports published this month in Europe add yet more weight to the case for admitting the complexity of the climate system and the importance of many other factors influencing it.  Factors which by and large the IPCC claims little knowledge of, and which the GCMs can’t handle at all or can’t handle at all well. 

Here are the key points recently presented by 4 professors from universities in Belgium:

“The authors of this contribution were recently been granted the honour of presenting their point of view as climate sceptics at the Royal Academy of Belgium. During a series of six well-attended lectures we showed, among other things, that:
  1. The climate has always changed. This was true during ancient times and it has also been true since the beginning of the modern era. These climate changes have always been, and still are, independent of the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere;
  2. During Roman times and the Middle Ages temperatures were observed well in excess of those currently experienced. From the 16th till the 19th century a cold period referred to as the “Little Ice Age” predominated. All these changes took place without mankind being held responsible. We believe that the increase in temperatures that occurred during a certain part of the 20th century is the result of a recovery from this cold period. These various events can be explained by a combination of warm and cold cycles of different magnitudes and duration. Why and how this happens is not yet fully understood, but some plausible explanations can be put forward;
  3. The so-called “abnormally rapid” increase in global temperatures between 1980 and 2000 is not unusual at all. There have in fact been several such periods in the past, during which temperatures rose in a similar manner and at comparable rates, even though fossil fuels were not yet in use;
  4. Temperature measurements do not necessarily correlate with a building up or a decrease in heat since heat variations are energy changes subject to thermal inertia. Apart from heat many other parameters have an influence on temperature. Moreover the measurement of temperatures is subject to numerous large errors. When the magnitude and plurality of these measurement errors are taken into account, the reported increase in temperatures is no longer statistically significant;
  5. The famous “Hockey-stick” curve, known as the Mann’s curve and presented six times by the IPCC in its penultimate report, is the result among other things of a mistake in the statistical calculations and an incorrect choice of temperature indicators, i.e. proxies. This lack of scientific rigour has totally discredited the curve and it was withdrawn, without any explanation, from subsequent IPCC reports;
  6. Even though they look formidably complex, the theoretical models employed by the climate modellers are simplified to the extreme. In fact there are far too many (known and unknown) parameters that influence climate change. At the moment it is impossible to take them all into account. The climate system is extremely complex, containing not only chaotic components but also numerous positive and negative feedback loops operating according to various different time scales. Which is why the IPCC wrote in its reports that: “…long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible” (page 774, Third report). This is very true. To this day all the climate predictions based upon these models have turned out to be totally incorrect. Strangely, nobody seems to care;
  7. The relationship between CO2 and temperature, obtained from the Vostok ice cores, shows that a building up of CO2 occurs 800 to 1000 years after an increase in temperature is observed. Hence the increase in the concentration of CO2 is a consequence of the warming of the climate, not its cause;
  8. But the coup de grâce to the “warmists’ theory” – certainly not yet visible in the French and Belgian media – comes from the observation that for the past fifteen years or so the global temperature of the Earth has remained constant. During the same period CO2 emissions have increased by far more than in the past, reaching an unparalleled record this year. Honest climate scientists admit that this observation is an embarrassing inconvenience for their theory. However, attempts to make us believe that the Earth is continuing to warm up persist. Will we have to wait for another twenty, twenty-five or thirty years for the global warming advocates to finally admit that there is no unambiguous correlation between the global temperature of the Earth and human-generated CO2 emissions?
  9. The claim that Hurricane Sandy is due to human CO2 emissions is totally unfounded and has been vigorously contested by numerous meteorologists. This regrettable distortion of the facts has been denounced in an open letter, addressed to the General Secretary of the UN and signed by more than 130 world-renowned scientists, including one of the present authors;
  10. Finally the “abnormal” melting of the Arctic Sea ice, that made the headlines of numerous journals during this summer, was also observed during previous decades. Amazingly the record high increase in Antarctic Sea ice that occurred at exactly the same time has been completely ignored by the very same media. Moreover, no mention has been made of the current, particularly rapid, regeneration of the Arctic Sea ice.
These ten statements are facts. We would be ready to accept that they could be wrong, if evidence were presented to scientifically disprove them. In the meantime, and in view of the lack of coherence and unreliability associated with the numerous predictions made by the IPCC, it is time to set the record straight. The public and politicians must be informed about the hypothetical character of the predominant ‘consensus’ on climate change, which has been uncritically disseminated in the media for more than ten years. If it ever existed, this so-called “climate change consensus” has now been totally undermined by the facts."

Also this month, from further north in Europe, from Norway comes another report full of trenchant and well-supported criticisms of the simple-minded view of the climate system which has so exercised decent people as well as political and financial opportunists of many kinds over recent decades:

“To illustrate the way that scientific, political and ethical concerns are mixed in the debate on Anthropogenic Global Warming this report used the by now famous quote from Gro Harlem Brundtland, that ”doubt has been eliminated”, and that it is ”irresponsible, reckless and deeply immoral to question the seriousness of the situation” as a point of departure. 

The goal of the report was to enter this debate and “battlefield” of arguments and take stock of the debate about anthropogenic (man-made) global warming. Based on the present review of this debate there are several conclusions to be drawn. The first and simplest one is that considered as an empirical statement, the assertion that “doubt has been eliminated” on AGW is plainly false.“

Source: http://www.sintef.no/upload/Teknologi_og_samfunn/Teknologiledelse/SINTEF%20Report%20A24071,%20Consensus%20and%20Controversy.pdf

Hat tip for the two reports: Global Warming Policy Foundation.

Hat tip for the newspaper report from Dakota: Tom Nelson

1 comment:

  1. It would be reasonable for each state to set their own standards and ignore DO(P)E-{Department Of(Public} Education}- Alan McIntire