‘Pundits like Al Gore, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Bill Nye “the Science Guy” then further exaggerate what is reported. Next, public school teachers repeat all of the misinformation to their students, relying on textbooks written by poorly informed authors, many with only a superficial knowledge of science. Alarmist theories are presented as fact. Is it any wonder our young people grow up believing humans are destroying the Earth?

Roy Spencer, ‘Global Warming Scepticism for Busy People’, 2018.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

The Augean Stables of Climate Materials for Schools - an example from the teaching of English language in Germany

So many people have been duped by climate dogma which insists on catastrophic effects from rising CO2 that signs of it appear in all sorts of places.  It can of course be found in geography and popular science books for children, and in many websites, but it can also be found in language lessons.  I myself came across it while studying French.  Here is an example from a textbook used for teaching English in high schools in Germany, well-annotated by critical observers from the policy think-tank KE Research:

Their conclusions are: 

# “Greenhouse gases” and clouds continuously radiate energy into outer space. Thereby they cool the atmosphere. This enables the atmosphere to cool the ground. This has been going on over billions of years.

#  Since IR active gases cool the Earth (at least indirectly), an increase in their concentration cannot cause a raise of temperatures. This constitutes a disproof of the CO2 warming hypothesis (yellow block in the “Green Tower” in fig. 1).

# All further claims of the climate dogma (computerized climate prophecy, apocalyptic consequences, need of political action and “climate protection”) would only make sense if the CO2 warming hypothesis is proven. But as the hypothesis is demonstrated invalid by our comparison with the Moon, the claims derived from it as well as the actions suggested make no sense. The entire CO2-based “climate research” proves to be pseudo science – or charlatanism.

# In certain countries, public education is misused by governments to implant fears in the brains of students – being the result of a wrongly built understanding of nature.

This is right at the heart of the debate, or rather it ought to be.  Instead these are amongst the so-called ‘sceptical’ views that are often ridiculed or ignored.  But the basic assertion that radiation in infra-red from the atmosphere to space is an important component of Earth’s cooling mechanism is correct.  Their second point is far more contentious.  It is not clear to me what the overall, or net effect of CO2 in the climate system is.  I can also go along with a modest warming contribution of CO2 thanks to it delaying heat loss from the surface to space by absorbing Earth radiation (in the relevant narrow bands for CO2) before re-emitting it in all directions.  Simple calculations suggest a value of the order of 1C for this warming for every doubling of ambient CO2 levels.  One day, perhaps we shall see computer modelling of CO2 in the climate system.  We do not have that at present.  Instead the GCMs have proven to be a rather expensive way of confirming that when you suppress heat loss from an exernally heated object, that object’s temperature will, all else being equal, rise.  This is done in the models by imposing an instantaneous drop in radiative heat loss at the outer edge of the atmosphere for a given increase in ambient CO2.  This paper by KE Research is one which suggests that the role of CO2 is more complicated than that.  The current GCMs cannot help resolve this since they work from a presumed net effect of CO2, i.e. they incorporate a conclusion rather than discover it from the model runs.

There is also a recent post by Roy Spencer, with discussion in the comments on the same topic: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/08/does-a-greenhouse-operate-through-the-greenhouse-effect/

The extract from the paper does not show up very clearly in the image above, so here is a higher-definition version just of the textbook page: