Last week the Fourth Assessment Report of the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was issued. It was widely trumpeted as the “smoking gun” that proves global warming is occurring and is driven by human activities. But this is smoke without a gun. It is a 14 page “Summary for Policymakers” written by political appointees of the 150 countries in the IPCC; the 1,600 pages of scientific information supposedly underlying their summary will not be available until May 2007. As Senator James Inhofe, the ranking member of the Environment & Public Works Committee, put it: “This is a political document, not a scientific report, and it is a shining example of the corruption of science for political gain. The media has failed to report that the IPCC Summary for Policymakers was not approved by scientists but by UN political delegates and bureaucrats.”
The scientific corruption is provided for by the IPCC in its "Appendix A to the Principles Governing IPCC Work," which states: "Changes (other than grammatical or minor editorial changes) made after acceptance by the Working Group or the Panel shall be those necessary to ensure consistency with the Summary for Policymakers or the Overview Chapter." In other words, the “science” will be adjusted to agree with whatever the politicians and bureaucrats want it to say. It's happened before.
The First Assessment Report was changed after the scientists approved it—which led some scientists to sign petitions against the very report they allegedly approved! And Dr. Frederick Seitz, past president of the National Academy of Sciences, called the report the most disturbing corruption of the scientific process he had ever witnessed.
The Second Assessment Report also provoked controversy regarding its validity. In The Professional Geologist (January 1999) Professor Chris de Frietas wrote: "A hearing in August 1998 on the subject of global warming before the U.S. House Committee...revealed that the IPCC scientific report (Houghton /et al./, 1996 ) was deceptively altered to convey the misleading impression to the public that there is a "discernible human influence on climate" that will lead to catastrophic warming....[A paper] published in Nature (Michaels and Knappenberger, 1996)...showed the research on which the IPCC "discernible influence" statement is based used only a portion of the available atmospheric temperature data, with no scientifically defensible reason for not using the entire data set. When the full data set was used, the previously identified warming trend disappeared."
The research de Frietas refers to which used only a portion of the available data was by Santer, et al. The illustration below shows the differences compared to the full data set used by Michaels and Knappenberger, as explained by Dr. Arthur Robinson in Access to Energy (July 1997): “The solid points inside the oval in Figure 1 are those reported by Santer, et al. The open circles in Figure 1 are those added by Michaels and Knappenberger, who looked up the data. Since Santer's paper was published in 1996 and was used prior to publication to influence the IPCC report, there can be little doubt that he and his co-authors deliberately omitted data points to create the trend they reported. It is inconceivable that even the most incompetent scientist finding such a pronounced trend to support his hypothesis in the data between 1963 and 1987, would not, when writing in 1995 (published in 1996), look at the data between 1987 and 1995 to see if the trend continued. These data do not support the hypothesis. So, Santer clearly faked the result, circulated it during IPCC proceedings in order to influence world global climate policy, and later published it in Nature. Michaels and Knappenberger caught him, but their paper was published several months after his—long after the correction could undue the bias introduced by Santer into the IPCC report.”
On the same issue, noted climatologist Patrick Michaels wrote in Environment News (January 1, 2001): "When the United Nations held its second meeting of the 'Conference of the Parties' (COP-2) in Geneva in July 1996, the big question was whether or not our models of climate change were good enough to support eventual restrictions on the combustion of fossil fuel. Four days before the meeting began, the prestigious journal Nature published a bombshell paper by federal scientist Ben Santer purporting to show that the newest breed of climate models—which combined greenhouse effect warming and sulfate cooling—indeed tracked the climate over a long period, from 1963 through 1987. At that meeting, Santer’s paper was everywhere. Anyone who objected was heckled down.... Six months later, Nature published a paper [by Michaels and Knappenberger] showing that if Santer had used all the available data, his results would have fallen apart."
And then there was the Third Assessment Report. Its highlight or central feature was the “hockey stick” presentation by Michael Mann et al. It showed a thousand years of “reconstructed” global temperatures as a long horizontal trend looking like the long handle of a hockey stick—with a sharp rise since 1900 looking like the blade of the hockey stick, due to global warming. This spurious work has now been thoroughly discredited; even the IPCC no longer accepts or defends it. It survived only as long as it did because Mann refused to divulge his data or the computational code by which he arrived at the “hockey stick.” It is customary to make such information available so that others can check the validity of the computations, but Mann for a long time resisted on the grounds his work was proprietary even though it was paid for by the taxpayers though National Science Foundation funds. That should have been a red flag that his work was a fraud or a hoax. Eventually, Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick exposed an array of errors in both the data and the methodology. You can find at http://climatechangeissues.com/ McIntyre and McKitrick’s published articles on the subject in the respected scientific journals Energy & Environment and Geophysical Research letters. It is also significant that once Mann’s computational code was revealed, even random data plugged into it yielded a “hockey stick!” Even Mann conceded that his method would “find” a hockey stick even where there wasn’t one!
All this should lead us to be skeptical that this Fourth Assessment Report represents the definitive case for global warming and mankind's role as the driving force. After all, this is the fourth time we've heard that story. Though it is claimed that this time the evidence is stronger than ever, we've heard that before, too. Meanwhile, despite the relentless promotion by global warming proponents and the media, the evidence has continued to pile up against them. Hundreds of papers have now been published in scientific journals disputing the global warming hypothesis and the role of carbon dioxide. "If back in the mid-nineties, we knew what we know today about climate, Kyoto would not exist,” says Professor Tim Patterson, Ph.D., a paleoclimatologist at Carleton University, Canada.
The public has been led to believe that increased carbon dioxide (CO2) from human activities is causing a greenhouse effect that is heating up the planet. But CO2 comprises only 0.035 percent of our atmosphere and is a very weak greenhouse gas. Although it is widely blamed for greenhouse warming, it is not the only greenhouse gas or even the most important. Water vapor is by far the most important greenhouse gas, accounting for 97 or 98 percent of any greenhouse effect. The remainder is due to carbon dioxide, methane, and several other gases.
Furthermore, of the tiny percentage that CO2 contributes to the greenhouse effect, 97 percent of that is due to nature, not man. Termites, for example, produce CO2 emissions many times that of all the factories and automobiles in the world. (See Science, Nov. 5, 1982.) Combining the factors of water vapor and nature's production of CO2, we see that 99.9 percent of any greenhouse effect has nothing to do with carbon dioxide emissions from human activity. So how much effect could regulating the tiny remainder have upon world climate?
Then, too, keep in mind that: 1) anthropogenic emissions of CO2 are only one percent of the atmospheric reservoir of CO2; 2) they are an even smaller percentage of the reservoir of 40,000 billion tons of carbon in the oceans, dissolved as CO2 and in other forms; 3) the oceans receive large quantities of CO2 from volcanic emissions bubbling up from the ocean floors, most significantly from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge; and 4) the oceans are by far the dominant source of atmospheric CO2, with the equatorial Pacific alone contributing 72 percent of atmospheric CO2. Now, is it credible that these vast, global processes of nature can be altered by mankind's puny emissions of CO2? The global processes are so colossal as to overwhelm any human contribution. Furthermore, as Dr. Arthur B. Robinson has explained, “The turnover rate of carbon dioxide as measured by carbon 14 is too short to support a human cause [for a rise in CO2].” And Antarctic ice cores show increases in carbon dioxide follow increases in temperature—not the other way around. You can't have a cause-and-effect relationship where the effect precedes the cause.
The earth's temperature has risen about 1 degree F. in the past century. This is not “global warming” but normal fluctuation. The climate is always changing, and one would be hard pressed to find a century when the change did not amount to a degree or more in either direction. But temperature changes within the past century do not correlate with CO2 emissions. Most of the one degree temperature rise of the past century occurred before 1940, while 82 percent of the CO2 entered the atmosphere after 1940. From 1940 until 1975, carbon dioxide was strongly increasing but global temperatures cooled, leading to countless scare stories in the media about a new ice age commencing.
Correlations with the broader historical record are even more out of whack. During the Late Ordovician Period of the Paleozoic Era, CO2 levels were 12 times higher than today. According to greenhouse theory, the earth should have been really hot—but instead it was in an Ice Age! And now we are told that the planet will overheat if CO2 doubles. C'mon!
Carbon dioxide being a weak greenhouse gas, computer simulations predicting environmental catastrophe depend on the small amount of warming from CO2 being amplified by increased evaporation of water. (Water vapor is a strong greenhouse gas.) But in the many documented periods of higher CO2, even during much warmer temperatures, no such catastrophic amplification occurred. So there is no reason to fear the computer predictions—or base public policies on them. They are clearly wrong.
The scaremongers of global warming try to alarm the public with threatening images of melting glaciers, huge chunks of ice breaking off the Antarctic and Greenland ice shelves, and rising ocean levels. But the predicted rise in ocean levels is trivial compared to the 400 feet they have risen in the last 18,000 years without any help from burning of fossil fuels or any other human contribution to CO2. Nautical records show ice shelves have been breaking off for centuries, long before the rise in atmospheric CO2 or the world became industrialized. And polar ice is not disappearing. The West Antarctic Ice Sheet lost two-thirds of its ice mass since the last ice age but is now growing. Side-looking interferometry shows it is now growing at a rate of 26 billion tons a year. How can this be when there are pictures of huge ice chunks breaking off and melting? While ice is disappearing at the perimeter, it is piling up inland. Most of the Antarctic ice is above 4,000 feet. As the ice increases there, it pushes the glaciers toward lower elevations at the edge of the continent, where they break off. The only part of Antarctica that is warming is the peninsula, which is furthest from the South Pole and comprises only 2 percent of Antarctica—but it is the part the news media focuses on when they talk about global warming in Antarctica. They never mention the other 98 percent that is getting colder, as can be seen from the measurements of the British meteorological stations there, which can easily be found on the internet.
At the top of the globe, the western Arctic is warming due to unrelated cyclical events in the Pacific Ocean while the eastern Arctic and Greenland are getting colder. According to a letter from Myron Ebell (quoted in TWTW of Feb. 3, 2007 at http://sepp.org/), the chairman of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment “redefined the Arctic in order to show a bigger warming trend and cut off the temperature record before 1950 so that they wouldn't have to explain why it was at least as warm in the 1930s as today in the Arctic (the reason claimed is a hoot: there weren't enough weather stations before 1950—even though there were more then than in recent decades).” The recent proposal to list the polar bear as “threatened” mentions areas of open water in the Arctic that were frozen solid 30 years ago. But these same areas were reported as open water by explorers in the early 20th century. These areas subsequently froze during several decades and have now merely returned to their previous condition. The Greenland ice mass has thickened by seven feet since it was first measured by laser altimetry in 1980 and continues to grow. (See our chart of 4,000 year temperature record form Greenland ice cores.)
What about the glaciers that are melting? For some glaciers around the world, historical records exist of their lengths over centuries. An intriguing study is “Extracting a Climate Signal from 169 Glacier Records” by J. Oerlemans (Science, April 29, 2005). As you can see in this chart from his work, glaciers have been receding since 1750, with the trend accelerating after about 1820. Henry Ford began assembly line production in 1913, but by then half of the glacier loss from 1800 to 2000 had already occurred. And 70 percent of the glacier shortening occurred before 1940, that is, before worldwide industrialization and the increase in atmospheric CO2 that we are told is causing the glaciers to melt.
Though glaciers have been receding world wide, they have not retreated back to their locations in the Medieval Warm Period. The Aletsch and Grindelwald glaciers (Switzerland) were much smaller between 800 and 1000 AD than today. The latter glacier is still larger than it was in 1588 and earlier years. In Iceland today, the Drangajokull and Vatnajokull glaciers are far more extensive than in the Middle Ages, and farms remain buried beneath their ice. Remember Oerlemans' chart the next time CBS, ABC, NBC, Al Gore, the Minneapolis Star Tribune or some politician tries to feed you that crap about “unprecedented” global warming, the “greatest threat to mankind,” or the disappearance of glaciers being “the worst in thousands of years” because of increases in carbon dioxide in recent decades.
“There is not even one experiment of any kind that demonstrates an effect on global atmospheric temperature from human activity,” writes Dr. Arthur B. Robinson. “This entire scenario is hypothetical—supported solely by computer models that are known to be so unreliable that their past predictions of atmospheric temperature have been uniformly wrong.”
The computer models all agree that the lower troposphere will warm more than the earth surface, but that has not happened. Satellite temperature measurements show the models are wrong. Dr. Chris de Frietas writes, “Greenhouse gases cannot warm the surface directly; they warm the atmosphere first. If there is no prior warming of the lower atmosphere, there can be no consequent enhanced greenhouse effect attributable to greenhouse gas emissions....Thus the satellite data is direct evidence against the IPCC global warming hypothesis.” (See http://friendsofscience.org/) The computer models are wrong on many other points as well. All of which has led many scientists to agree "observational evidence does not support today's computer climate models, so there is little reason to trust model predictions of the future." That quote is from a letter by 60 scientists urging the Canadian government to re-examine its decision to support the Kyoto treaty.
Since the greenhouse theory cannot explain global temperature changes, what does? The sun, primarily. (Cosmic rays from beyond our solar system also contribute.) Everyone knows the sun heats the earth, but that heat is not uniform. “Sunspot” cycles vary solar intensity. These correlate extremely well with shorter term cycles in global temperatures, as shown in this chart. Dr. Baliunas of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has extended the correlation back another hundred years by using the sun's magnetic cycle as a proxy for its brightness (irradiation.) Longer and more severe swings in global climate, such as the ice ages, correlate with changes in the earth's orbit around the sun.
Clouds have a hundred times stronger effect on climate than does carbon dioxide. A one percent increase in cloud cover would offset a doubling of atmospheric CO2. Yet from 1988 to 1990, cloud cover increased by 3 percent. And what determines cloud cover? The sun, through variations in cosmic rays and solar wind. In the words of Dr. Theodor Landscheidt of Canada's Schroeder Institute, “When the solar wind is strong and cosmic rays are weak, the global cloud cover shrinks. It extends when cosmic rays are strong because the solar wind is weak. This effect [is] attributed to cloud seeding by ionized secondary particles.”
Mars is undergoing global warming. Clearly this cannot be explained by the popular CO2 answer. What could possibly be causing Martian warming if not the sun? And if that's what is happening on Mars, why not on earth? After all, we share the same sun. Why is there such stubborn adherence to the CO2 hypothesis despite its failures?
In June 2006 the journal Nature published three separate papers on an expedition that extracted sediment samples just 50 miles from the North Pole. Based in part on specimens of algae that indicate subtropical or tropical conditions, the scientists determined that 55 million years ago the Arctic Ocean had a balmy Florida-like year-round average temperature of 74 degrees F. Warming of this magnitude could not have been produced by carbon dioxide, but scientists cling tenaciously to the popular but failed explanation. An article in the New York Times describes this Arctic discovery as offering insight into “the power of greenhouse gases to warm the earth.” It quotes several scientists as saying they still support the idea of greenhouse gases determining the planet's warming or cooling, even though they admit they don't understand what happened here.
Why is there such reluctance to admit the sun is responsible for changes in global climate when there is such strong evidence that it is? Why is there such emphasis on CO2 when the human contribution of it is trivial and water vapor is so much more important in greenhouse effect? Same answer to both questions: governments can only control people, not nature. If the sun is responsible for climate change, then there is nothing governments can do about it. If water vapor is the key to greenhouse warming, then there is nothing governments can do about it. For government to be relevant on this issue, it must have a cause that can be blamed on people, because people are the only thing government can control. And if government is not relevant on this issue, then there is no need for those political appointees from 150 nations to the IPCC. Nor is there a need for all the government grants to all the scientists and institutions for studies that keep trying to prove that increases in CO2 are causing global warming, in order to validate government intervention. Nor is there a justification for spending other people's money (taxpayer funds) for such purposes. Nor is there a need for the bureaucrats and governmental framework to study, formulate and implement regulations for controlling CO2 emissions, for extending the role of government over every aspect of people's lives. H.L. Mencken once said, “The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule it.”
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