Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Global Warming: CO2 Facts and Myths

Contrary to what some people claim, for the subject of climate change (which really means global warming), the science is not settled. There is much contention amongst various groups of climate scientists over the issue as to how much impact human activity has upon the climate. Most scientists fall within the category of believing mankind has some impact upon climate, but that the measure of this impact can not really be determined. However, there is also an extremist group that believes mankind is almost completely responsible for the recent spate of global warming and that it will have catastrophic results upon the climate of the earth. This group is identified as those who adhere to Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW).

Unfortunately, this CAGW group has been given much media attention and this would only be natural, since the media loves to have sensational headlines to attract readers. For instance, a headline like this: “Climate Change Is Decimating Polar Bear Populations” is quite eye-catching. It doesn’t matter if it is true or not, but if a CAGW “scientist” sends out a press release with such a heading, the media will snap it up and “dig further” to juice up the details before publishing it.

The core of CAGW is the “excessive” presence of human contributed carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. CAGW claims that such contribution is warming up the earth to the point that we are heading towards major catastrophes such as our coastal cities flooding due to the melting of Arctic ice. Of course, this should be a concern for any thinking person. However, thinking persons should also know some facts about CO2, and these are facts that the CAGW will keep hidden from the public as much as it can.

Fact #1: Temperature/CO2 Correlation - Temperature Drives CO2

In 2006, Al Gore’s famous documentary, An Inconvenient Truth was launched. It won 2 Academy Awards, and was viewed by millions of people. Within this documentary, Al Gore showed some charts linking temperature with atmospheric CO2 content, and said that there was an obvious correlation, but he left it at that. It was true that there is a correlation between temperature and CO2 level, however, Mr. Gore neglected to specify what that correlation was, other than to hint that it was “complicated.” By 2003, scientists had been able to clearly identify what that correlation was from the Vostok ice core from Greenland taken in 1985. The correlation was that atmospheric CO2 is driven by temperature, and not the other way around. It was a very well-known scientific fact by 2006 that such was the case, but Mr. Gore chose to give the public a convenient half truth. When you take just a 50,000 year time span, like the chart below, the cause/effect factor of the correlation is quite obvious.

There is also a correlation between rain and umbrellas, but the goal of the scientist is to isolate from a correlation, the cause and effect. There is an old Jewish proverb that states: “A half truth is a whole lie.” This proverb is quite applicable to Mr. Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, which was the antithesis of being truthful.

Fact #2: CO2’s Impact upon Temperature is Logarithmic and not Linear

What logarithmic means here is that as the amount of CO2 increases in the atmosphere, its impact as a greenhouse gases diminishes at each level of increase. As a further explanation, as CO2 levels increase in the atmosphere, the impact upon temperature becomes less and less. The chart below demonstrates how this works.

Observe that when there is 20 ppm (parts per million) of CO2 in the atmosphere, this has an impact of raising the temperature by more than 1.5 C. However, when the amount is doubled to 40 ppm, the additional impact is only 0.3 C, which is an impact of 80% less. The percentage decline becomes greater as more CO2 is added. As for the meaning of the amounts in this chart and where we stand now, see the following chart.
Please note carefully that plant growth shuts down when atmospheric levels of CO2 are less than 150 ppm, for CO2 is essential for life to exist on the earth. Note especially that for our current level of CO2, around 395 ppm, any further increases will have a minimal effect; and with even a doubling of CO2 to pre-industrial levels, will mean a temperature increase by less that 0.2 C from where stand currently. This is something the CAGW will not tell the public, even though they know this is a fact.

To put this principle into a layman’s terms, if you were sleeping with 10 blankets over you in your bed, would adding an 11th blanket make you any warmer?

Fact #3: CO2 Has Minimal Impact Upon Climate, as Geological History Shows

This chart is most revealing:

This chart goes back to almost 600 million years and reveals the estimated atmospheric CO2. It shows that for 99% of the time, CO2 levels were much greater than they are today. At some points, CO2 levels were 20 times as much as we currently have. Did the earth reach a tipping point and destroy all life on the planet because of such high CO2 levels? No, it did not, and the reason for that is that CO2 is a very minor greenhouse gas. It has very little impact on temperature/climate. Even if CO2 did have a large impact on climate, it is nature itself that is producing the vast majority of CO2 annually, and not mankind. Mankind’s contribution to atmospheric CO2 per year runs from about 3% to 4%. Nature is responsible for the producing all the rest. This is another fact that CAGW will not tell you.

Remember, CAGW stands for Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. It is a collective mindset of just a few scientists, and a few public figures like Al Gore who use the media to distort the truth for whatever agenda they have in the back of their minds. I was never much given to conspiracy theories, but after exploring this area of the myth of anthropogenic global warming, I have considered changing my mind about the existence of conspiracies when it comes to “climate change.” AGW is not science, for as they claim that the “science is settled,” no true scientist would ever make such a claim, for science is never settled on anything.

Now let me explore some myths about CO2.

Myth #1: CO2 Initiates a Feedback to the Climate which Will Destroy the Earth

The CAGW suggests that CO2 creates a feedback by making the earth warmer, and thus this increases evaporation, which puts more water vapour into the atmosphere and this cycle will increase and kill us all. At least the CAGW admits that water vapor is the principal greenhouse gas, and that it is far more powerful than CO2.

However, the existence of this feedback system can not be demonstrated through scientific data, and in fact, the data refutes the claim. The American Meteorological Society published a paper: A Surface Water Vapor Pressure and Temperature Trends in North America during 1948–2010 completed in May 2012, concluded that in fact, relative humidity reduced by 0.5% per decade in that period - so much for CO2 causing a feedback by increasing atmospheric water vapor. Regardless, this does not stop the CAGW because it is the theory it believes in, and not the actual data. To me, CAGW sound more like a religion than science.

Myth #2: Atmospheric CO2 is Pollution or Poison

Contrary to the CAGW hype that CO2 is pollution or poison in the atmosphere, the exact opposite is true. CO2 is necessary for the growth of plant life, and without it, all life on the earth would die out. As a matter of fact, through the agency of NASA satellite monitoring, it has been discovered that the rise in CO2 has made the earth more green. In other words, plant life is thriving more than it was years ago, and mankind is benefiting from this growth in many ways.

This composite graph shows the Net Primary Productivity (NPP) from 1983 to 2003, a 20-year period wherein there was a net growth of plants by 6% worldwide. It is unfortunate that all CAGW can think of is dire consequences from its cockeyed theories of overheating of the earth through bogus feedback, and not see the benefits of more CO2. You will never hear this information about a greening earth from Al Gore and his like.

Myth #3: There Has Been Accelerated Global Warming in the Last 10 Years (the Obama Myth)

I was shocked to hear President Obama’s recent claim there has been accelerated global warming in the last 10 years. Anyone who has looked at the global temperatures would know that global warming ceased more than 15 years ago. This is a fact that even the IPCC admits, and the IPCC is a hardcore global warming fanatical organization.

So how does CAGW explain this pause in global warming over the last 15 years? Since CO2 continually rises in the atmosphere, why has global warming stalled? Its response is quite unique, as it says that the heat is being contained in the oceans of the world. Given that heat rises, which is a basic law of physics, its response is rather silly. Heat is not going to stay in the oceans for 15 years waiting for just the right time to jump out and burn us all alive, now is it? Well, those who adhere to CAGW have no better response than a stupid one like this. It is not surprising. Besides, the data is not showing warm water hiding in the oceans, for there are thermometers all of the places measuring temperatures. CAGW created its own myth, so it now creates another lie to bolster the original lie.

The Media is the Greatest Myth Maker

I would advise every thinking person to be very leery of the media and what it puts out there. Remember, the media is trying to get readership, and it is not going to achieve such a goal by producing boring headlines and photos. I will deal with the most recent myth created by the media, because it says it all.

Do you remember this story about how a lake formed at the north pole, with these two pictures, the “before” and “after” pictures? OMG! Right? The Arctic is melting away even at the north pole. We are all doomed!

Few would ever read a retraction from the media, but the truth behind these two pictures was that the “before” picture was taken at the north pole, and the “after” picture was taken almost 400 miles away by the same buoy. You see, these buoys travel around a lot up there in the Arctic Ocean. Here is an extract from North Pole ‘Lake’ Vanishes:

When the meltwater lake appeared in mid-July, the buoys were about 375 miles (600 kilometers) south of the geographic North Pole. Their journey from April to July put the buoys on parallel to the magnetic North Pole, which is currently west of Greenland.

The media is the great myth maker. I just wonder how many who read the original story about a lake forming at the north pole, found out it was simply a myth created by a lie, by overzealous newspersons. I am betting not many. One should be leery of the media, and the above is a classic example as to why.