The climate realists at Creative Society have put together a short video with pithy statements skewering the CO2 theory of climate change. Above is the video and below a transcript with exhibits and the speakers’ identities.
Dr. Harold Burnett
Over time the atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide have radically fluctuated throughout the earth’s geologic history. They have been in the past as much as 5000 parts per million. Currently they are about 420 parts per million. So over long periods of time they have fluctuated, but in general they have fallen.
There doesn’t seem to be any correlation whatsoever with increasing CO2 and temperature. And in fact one of the things we’re being asked to believe is that our modern temperatures are unusual and unprecedented, as thought we’ve never seen temperatures like this in thousands of years. That’s just not the case.
Prof. Ole Ellestad
We have a map showing temperature changes over the last 11,000 years. These are Greenland ice cores and we can see a thousand years ago, about 2000 years ago and about 3000 years ago we had warm periods. And everything indicates that these were periods of global warming.
It was long before man-made CO2 emissions had any considerable volume. Therefore we know that the natural variability can be large.
In this graph we also show what the IPCC does. It prolongs more or less this curve going to infinite. So it becomes warmer and warmer because of the CO2 release or climate. And that’s what we think is wrong. Our prediction is that it will soon start Cooling and we have to be prepared for that.
The warming trend we’re in right now though started more than 300 years ago. But again 250 years of warming took place before we started adding CO2. But we’re asked to believe that those natural forces that have been driving temperatures since the dawn of time suddenly ceased in the 20th century.
CO2 is a gas that has very little effect on the climate. The IPCC models assume that the higher the CO2 level, the higher the water vapor level, and water vapor is a gas with the greatest impact on the climate. But the assumption that the more CO2, the more water vapor, has never been proved.
With some colleagues I have done experiments to see if CO2 can heat or carry heat. So we have built small greenhouses and tried to heat it by the sun outside or inside with artificial heating. We were able to show that carbon dioxide stops radiation, but we were not able to show any heating. So it’s a mystery how CO2 cannot heat, but what can heat is the water.
The water vapor temperature changes first and then CO2 levels follow that. It’s not the other way around. If man increasing CO2 is going to drive temperature, CO2 should change first and then temperature should change.
The blue curve is the temperature of the sea that is the ocean surface temperatures. The red is the land temperature which we get in this case from HadCRUT, which is an official temperature series. First comes the change in the sea temperature, a little bit later the land temperature (red) and then about one year, 10 or 11 months the carbon dioxide changes. And when temperature at the sea surface goes down, the carbon dioxide goes down 10 or 11 months later.
Well let me show you another table that might tell you a little bit about the CO2 content. Take a look: there are 3 000 billion tons of CO2 in the atmosphere and the total man-made emissions per year are 20 to 30 billion tons. But if you look at the ocean, it has far more CO2. So the exchange of CO2 between the ocean and the atmosphere totally overshadows human activity.
So a more detailed analysis telling that this red part here is apparently what anthropogenic yes or mankind produced carbon dioxide, which is about three percent of the increase from 1960. But nature produces the rest, this variable curve here. So 97 percent of the increase comes from nature, according to these scientists.
Prof. Ole Ellestad
The IPCC also claims that the sun has no effect on us. It’s a great paradox; not clear how they arrive at that. Moreover today we see that the warming is happening not only on our planet but also on other planets and on the moon too, where there’s a completely different atmosphere that has nothing to do with CO2. So clearly there is a sun factor which is missing in their model.
Well, the iIPCC if you look back on their charter it was formed to present the data that supports warming. They weren’t tasked to provide all the data. They started with an assumption and went from there. So if that’s their task, they’re doing a darn good job at it. You better have some good science behind you, and it’s just not there.
Dr. Harold Burnett
The world’s governments through the UN formed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Now you would think that would be studying climate change, but they specified that you study the human causes of climate change. So they ruled out all natural factors. They said no no: we’re not going to study whether the sun plays a role; we’re not going to study whether volcanoes play a role; we’re not going to study whether ocean current shifts play a role. And we really don’t understand clouds, so we’re not going to count them much. What we’re going to study is human CO2 emissions because that’s what we can get a handle on.
That’s not the way science is supposed to work. If you make faulty or incomplete assumptions, your models are going to be weak, because they’re only as good as the accuracy of the stuff that’s put in them. Now climate models have failed to accurately reflect past temperatures; they fail to accurately represent present temperatures; but we’re told we can trust their projections of future temperatures. That doesn’t seem reasonable to me.
If on the other hand, you like the scientific process, we’re not getting much data out there. Dr Will Happer is our chairman here at the CO2 coalition and he’s got a paper that he and Dr. Van Wijngaarden have done on climate sensitivities. They’re not able to get it in any prestigious journals, yet it’s a landmark study. They need to shut people like me down: I was just banned on linkedin, which should be a professional network, a social media network. I don’t talk those things that are controversial; I post scientific facts, and they were being removed. And they came back and said: No, you’re done. We don’t allow that kind of information on linkedin.
Prof. Ole Ellestad
This debate is so violent that if you go to the media you can express your opinion, but you will be strongly criticized, and then you won’t really have an opportunity to defend yourself. But most importantly, you won’t get into the media with your first articles.
This is what we see now in the academic world, for example at universities. Academic freedom is so endangered. I have to say that many people who joined the ranks of climate realists do so when they retire; because until retirement they just don’t dare. Researchers who claim something different don’t get grants; they don’t have their say in either published media or in edited journals.
Dr. Harold Burnett
First off you’re having a difficult time getting published because journals won’t hear it. Well, that affects your tenure track position and your colleagues are frowning at you. And you’re not getting government grants because government doesn’t give grants to study natural factors for climate change or to study things that prove humans aren’t causing climate change. Because government has a motive: expanding its its reach. I know researchers who’ve left the field because they feel like they can’t give their honest assessment and get it either published or get tenure.
Prof. Ole Ellestad
Climate and environment are often lumped together. But being against climate doesn’t mean being against the environment. That is, we are not against climate, but we are skeptical of CO2, which is not the same as being skeptical of the environment. So important environmental issues should be discussed and resolved.
Dr. Harold Burnett
That subsurface volcanic activity in Antarctica and even in parts of Greenland and Iceland are contributing to the melting of the glaciers there. That is not controlled by CO2. We don’t control the ocean currents; we don’t control the magnetism of the earth’s magnetic poles and how it shifts or can shift over time. We don’t control our orbit.
We don’t control those things and they’re really what’s driving things. That’s why we should study them, because they’re really what’s driving climate change. And if we think it’s bad, we should know that too.
I want an adaptable society. An adaptable society is one that does not lock us into solving the wrong problem.
The supercontinent Gondwana hundreds of million years ago at its primary stages, and the directions pieces drifted away
That question is the title of Ian Plimer’s Spectator Australia article What Climate Crisis?Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.
For more than 80 per cent of time, Earth has been a warm wet greenhouse planet with no ice. We live in unusual times, when ice occurs on continents. This did not happen overnight. The great southern continent, Gondwanaland, formed about 550 million years ago. It occupied 20 per cent of the area of our planet and included Antarctica, South America, Australia, South Africa and the Indian subcontinent.
Gondwanaland was covered by ice when it drifted across the South Pole 360-255 million years ago. Evidence for this ice age is in the black coal districts of Australia, South Africa and India.
If Antarctica is to lose its ice sheets to end the current ice age, plate tectonics must move the continent northwards or fragment Antarctica into smaller land masses. Parts of Antarctica are currently being fragmented which is why there are more than 150 hot spots and volcanoes in rift valleys beneath Antarctic ice. Plate tectonics must also widen the Bering Strait to allow more warm Pacific Ocean water to enter and warm the Arctic.
Arctic ice formed 2.5 million years ago when plate tectonic-driven volcanoes in central America joined North America to South America and stopped Pacific and Atlantic Ocean waters from mixing. This was exacerbated by a supernova explosion that bombarded Earth with cosmic particles to produce cloudiness and cooling.
Figure 16. The geological history of CO2 level and temperature proxy for the past 400 million years. CO2 levels now are ~ 400ppm. Source: Davis, W. J. (2017).
The Earth has been slowly cooling for the last 50 million years from times when life thrived and rapidly diversified. In these warmer times, there were no mass extinctions due to natural warming and, if the planet is warming today, the past shows us that life will thrive and diversify even more.
Once the Antarctic ice formed, ice sheets waxed and waned depending on whether Earth was closer or more distant from the Sun. Within these cycles there were smaller cycles driven by variations in energy emitted from the Sun producing many short warm spikes during long glaciations and very short cold spikes during short interglacials with average temperature rises and falls of more than 10°C a decade.
On a scale of tens of millions of years or more, the Earth’s climate is driven by plate tectonics.
On a scale of hundreds of thousands of years, the Earth’s climate is driven by orbital cycles which bring Earth closer to or more distant from the Sun.
On a scale of thousands of years to decades, the Earth’s climate is driven by variations in energy emitted from the Sun.
If governments, the UN or climate activists want to stop the normal planetary process
of climate change, then they need to stop plate tectonics, stop variations in the Earth’s orbit and stop variations in solar output.
Even the omnipotent, omnipresent Kevin Rudd couldn’t manage this!
No past warming events have been driven by an increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. No past cooling events were driven by a decrease in atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Six of the six most recent ice ages were initiated when the Earth’s atmospheric carbon dioxide was far higher than at present. Atmospheric temperature rise occurs before the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere rises. It has never been proven that human emissions of carbon dioxide drive global warming despite numerous requests to climate activist scientists for the published evidence. Trillion-dollar bankrupting decisions on energy policy are being made using invalid science.
The peak of the last orbitally-driven interglacialwas 7,000 to 4,000 years ago and for the last 4,000 years the Earth has been cooling as the climate changes from an interglacial into glaciation. There were solar-driven warm spikes such as the Minoan Warming, Roman Warming, Medieval Warming and the Modern Warming and cold spikes (e.g. Dark Ages, Little Ice Age) during this 4,000-year cooling trend.
Solar cycle 25 prediction, NOAA, July 2022
In 2020, we entered the Grand Solar Minimum which is calculated to end in 2053. Whether there will be a solar-driven cooling, similar to the Little Ice Age (1300-1850 AD), or a full-blown orbitally-driven glaciation, such as the last glaciation from 116,000-14,400 years ago, is unknown. The former cooling could last for hundreds of years whereas the latter would last for at least 90,000 years. If there was another period of sustained subaerial volcanism, cooling would be accelerated.
During the last glaciation, Europe was covered with ice north of the Alps, as was Russia; Canada and northern and alpine USA were covered by ice; southern South America and the Andes were covered by ice; Himalayan ice expanded to lower altitudes; and alpine Australia, Tasmania and the South Island of NZ were covered by ice as were the southern and elevated portions of Africa.
In the last glaciation, vegetation contracted and tropical areas such as the Amazon Basin only had copses of trees occupying some ten per cent of the area of the current Amazonian rainforests; large areas of inland Australia, China, India, USA and Africa were covered by sand deposited from cold dry cyclonic winds; inland lakes evaporated; sea level was 130 metres lower than at present; there was no Great Barrier Reef; sea ice isolated Greenland, Iceland, northern Russia and northern Canada; Antarctic sea ice extended hundreds of kilometres north and there was a reduction in rainfall and plant and animal species. Areas that now support pastoral and grain-growing activities were sandy wastelands during the last glaciation.
Humans struggled as hunter-gatherers around the edge of ice sheets and at lower latitudes.
We are putting all our efforts and wasting trillions of taxpayers’ dollars into trying to prevent mythical human-induced global warming, yet we still don’t prepare for the inevitable annual floods, droughts and bushfires, let alone longer-term solar – and orbitally – driven global cooling.
We have a crisis of single-minded stupidity exacerbated by a dumbed-down education system supported by incessant propaganda, driven by financial interests and political activist authoritarianism.
BizNews TV interviewed Dr. John Christy last week as shown in the video above. For those who prefer to read what was said, I provide a lightly edited transcript below in italics with my bolds and added images. BN refers to questions from the interviewer and JC refers to responses from Christy.
BN: Joining me today is Dr John Christy, climate scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and Alabama State climatologist since 2000. Dr Christy, thank you so much for your time. You’ve described yourself as a climate nerd and apparently you were 12 when your unwavering desire to understand weather and climate started. Why climate?
JC: Well I think it was more like 10 years old when I was fascinated with some unusual weather events that happened in my home area of California. So that began a fascination for me, and I wanted to try to figure out why things happen the way they did. Why did one year have more rain–that’s a big story in California, does it rain or not–and another year would be very dry. Why were the mountains covered with snow in one April and not another. In fact I have here April 1967 that I recorded as a teenager. This has been a passion of mine forever, and as it turns out now that I’m as old as I am, I still can’t figure out why one year is wetter than the other.
BN: Well you seem to be getting a lot closer than most people would. I think it was in 1989 when you and NASA scientist Roy Spencer pioneered a new method of measuring and monitoring temperature recordsvia satellites, since that time up until now. Why did you feel you needed to develop a new method to begin with, and how did it differ in terms of the readings of established methods at the time?
JC: Well the issue was we only had surface temperature measurements and they are scattered over the world. They don’t cover much of the world at all, actually mainly just the land regions and scattered places on the ocean. And the measurement itself is not that robust. The stations move, the instruments changed through time, and so it’s a very difficult thing to detect. In fact a small little change in the area right around the station can really affect the temperature of that station
So Roy Spencer and Dick Mcknight came up with an idea about looking at some satellite data. This is the temperature of the deep layer of the atmosphere, so this is like the surface to about 8000 meters. And so if we could see the temperature of that bulk atmospheric layer, we would have a very robust measurement, and the microwave sensors on the NOAA Polo orbiting satellites did precisely that. And so we were the first to really put those data into a simple data set that had the temperature, at that time, for month by month since about November 1978.
BN: Okay, and how do readings differ from the climate science at the time?
JC:First of all they differed because we had a global measurement. We really did see the entire Globe from satellite, because the orbit of that satellite is polar and the Earth spins around underneath. So every day we have 14 orbits as the Earth spins around underneath. We see the entire planet so that’s one big difference.
The other one is that the actual result did not show as much warming as what the surface temperatures showed. And we’re doing even more work now to demonstrate that a lot of the surface stations are spuriously affected by the growth of an infrastructure around them. And so there’s kind of a false warming signal there. You don’t get the background climate signal with surface temperature measurements; you get a bit of what’s happening in the local area.
BN: Your research has to do with testing the theories posited by climate model forecasts, so you don’t actually do any modeling yourself. But what criteria do you use to test these theories?
JC: That’s a very good question, because in climate you hear all kinds of claims and theories being thrown out there. For a lot of people who don’t really understand the climate system it’s a quick and easy answer just to say: Oh humans caused that, you know it’s global warming, something like that is the answer. When in fact the climate system is very complex, so we look at these claims and Roy Spencer and I are just a few of the people around the world that actually build data sets from scratch. I mean we start with the photon counts of the satellite radiometers, or the original paper records of 19th century East Africa, for example. We do all this from scratch so that we can test the claims that people make.
Once we build the data set, we test it to make sure we have confidence in the data set, that it’s telling us a truth about what’s happening over time. And then we check the claim. So for example, we make surface temperature data sets that go back to the 19th century. Someone will say: Well this is now the hottest decade, or that more records happen this decade than in the past. And we can demonstrate, in the United States especially, that’s not the case. You would need to go back to the 1930s if you want to see real record temperatures that occurred at that time.
And for climate models we like to use the satellite data set since it’s a robust deep layer measurement; it’s measuring lots of mass of the atmosphere, the heat content really. That’s a direct value we can get out of the climate model, so we are comparing Apples to Apples: What the satellite produces and observes is what the climate model also generates, and we can compare them one to one.
In a paper Ross McKitrick and I wrote a couple of years ago, we found that 100 of the climate models we’re warming the atmosphere faster than it was actually warming. So that’s not a good result if you’re trying to test your theory of how the climate works with the model against what actually happens.
BN: How much do you think the deeply over-exaggerated predictions of Doom and Gloom have to do with the methodology substantiated by confirmation bias?
JC: That’s an interesting question because we’re a bit confused as well. We have been publishing these papers since 1994 that have demonstrated models warm too much relative to the actual climate, and yet we don’t see an improvement in climate models and trying to match reality with their model output. Now I think a number of modelers understand that: yes the there is a difference there and the models are just too hot. But what is the process that’s gone wrong in the models is a difficult question for these folks. Because models have hundreds of places you can turn a little knob, change a coefficient, and that will change the result. It’s not a physical thing, it’s not based on physics; it’s the model parameterizations— the little pieces of the model that try to represent an actual part of the atmosphere. For example, when do clouds form? That’s a pretty big question. How much humidity in the atmosphere is required to create a cloud? Because once the cloud forms it reflects sunlight and cools the Earth. So that’s it that’s one of the big questions.
So in testing the models we like to use the bulk atmospheric temperature; it’d a very direct measurement that models produce and so we can then say there’s a problem here with climate models.
BN: To what degree did your observation on data differ from their forecasts?
Generally it’s about a factor of two. At times it’s been more, but on average the latest models (CMIP6) for the Deep layer of the atmosphere are warming about twice too fast, and that’s a real problem. I think when now we’re looking at over 40 years with which we can test these models, and they’re already that far off.
Figure 8: Warming in the tropical troposphere according to the CMIP6 models. Trends 1979–2014 (except the rightmost model, which is to 2007), for 20°N–20°S, 300–200 hPa.
So we should not use them to to tell us what’s going to happen in the future since they haven’t even gotten us to the right place in the last 40 years.
BN: Given that your real world data refuted what the forecasts were every time for decades, why then (and I recognize that this is conjecture) why are, let’s say, 97 or 99 % of scientists so firmly behind climate crisis narrative?
JC: Yeah I don’t know how many are really fully behind that crisis climate narrative. I saw a recent survey where about 55 percent might have been of the opinion that the climate warming was going to be a problem. Warming itself is not a problem: I mean the Earth has been warmer in the past than it is today, so the Earth has survived that before. And I don’t think putting extra plant food in the atmosphere is going to be a real problem for us to overcome. I do think the world is going to warm some from the extra CO2, but there are a lot of benefits that come from that.
You’re you’re dealing with a question about human nature and funding and so on. I think we all know that the more dramatic the story is, especially in the political world, the more attention you will get. Therefore your work can be highlighted and that helps you with funding and attention and so on. And part of what’s going on here. Then there’s the other real stronger political narrative: that there are groups and in the world political Elite that like to have a narrative that scares people, so that they can then offer a solution. And so it’s a simple way to say: elect me to this office and I will be able to solve this problem.
Then you are facing people like us who actually produce the data and we can report on extreme events and so on and say: Well you know there isn’t any change in these extreme events, so what’s the problem you’re trying to solve? And then we look at the other side of that issue and say: Okay if you actually implement this regulation or this law, it’s not going to make any difference on the climate end, so it’s a you kind of lose on two ends on that story.
BN: You’re a distinguished professor of atmospheric science and also director of Earth Sciences also at Alabama in Huntsville, these are prominent positions. How have you managed to hold on to them with climate views that are so divergent from the norm?
JC: Well the environment in the state of Alabama is different than what you have in Washington. I’m from California way across the country, and I tell people that one of the reasons I like to live in Alabama because in Alabama you can call a duck a duck; that you can just be direct about what’s going on and and you’re not going to be given the evil eye or cast out. As it is now in the climate establishment, you know, saying that all the models are warming too much and that there is not a disaster arising that causes great consternation.Because the narrative has been built over the last 30 years that we are supposed to be in a catastrophe. To come out and say, well here’s the data and the data show there is no catastrophe looming; we’re doing fine, the world is doing fine, human life is thriving in places it’s allowed to. So what’s the problem here you’re trying to solve.
BN:Did you ever manage to get your findings to policy makers that have influence to do something about it?
[An important proof against the CO2 global warming claim was included in John Christy’s testimony 29 March 2017 at the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. The text and diagram below are from that document which can be accessed here.
IPCC Assessment Reports show that the IPCC climate models performed best versus observations when they did not include extra GHGs and this result can be demonstrated with a statistical model as well.
Figure 5. Simplification of IPCC AR5 shown above in Fig. 4. The colored lines represent the range of results for the models and observations. The trends here represent trends at different levels of the tropical atmosphere from the surface up to 50,000 ft. The gray lines are the bounds for the range of observations, the blue for the range of IPCC model results without extra GHGs and the red for IPCC model results with extra GHGs.The key point displayed is the lack of overlap between the GHG model results (red) and the observations (gray). The nonGHG model runs (blue) overlap the observations almost completely.
JC: Well, I’ve been to Congress 20 times, testified before hearings. So the information is there and available, but I can’t force Congress to make legislation that matches the real world. The Congressional world is a political world, and things happen there that are kind of out of my reach and ability to influence.
BN: According to your research, you’ve also said that the climate models underestimate negative feedback loops. Can you explain to me what is this mechanism and the effect of overestimation of the loops on understanding climate for what it is?
JC: That’s a very complicated issue, and I don’t understand it all for sure, but we can say just from some general results and general observation what’s going on here. One of those General observations is that when a climate model warms up the atmosphere one degree Kelvin, it sends out 1.4 watts per metersquared so the air atmosphere warms up and energy escapes to space 1.4 watts. When we use actual observations of the atmosphere, when the real atmosphere warms up one Kelvin it sends out 2.6 watts of energy. That’s almost twice as much so that tells you right there that the climate models are retaining or holding on to energy that the real world allows to escape when it warms. So that’s a negative feedback: as the atmosphere warms for a bit the real real world knows how to let that heat escape; whereas the models don’t and they retain it and that’s why they keep building up heat over time.
BN: What other variables do you look at?
JC: The state climatologists I deal a lot get very practical questions that people ask. They want to know: is it getting hot or is it getting wetter. Are rain storms getting heavier and are the Hurricanes getting worse and so on. I actually wrote a booklet called a practical guide to climate change in Alabama. But it covers a lot of the country as well. It’s free, you can download it from the first page of my website The Alabama State climatologist. I answer a lot of these very practical questions and as we go down the list: droughts are not getting worse over time, heavy rainstorms are not getting worse over time, here in the Southeast in fact. Ross McKitrick and I also had a paper where we went back to 1878 and demonstrated that the trends are not significant. Hurricanes are not going up at all; in fact 2022 is going to be one of the quietest that we’ve had in a while. Tornadoes are not becoming more numerous, heat waves are not becoming worse. So one after another, the weather that people really care about, that if it changes could cause problem or catastrophe, we find those events are not changing, they’ve always been around.[Title below in red is link to Christy’s booklet.]
BN: Some of the biggest critics of climate skeptics say: okay yeah it’s not fair one extreme weather event doesn’t say much, but they argue that there are very particular trends that have been on the increase. Recently have you observed this at all?
JC: That’s exactly the kind of thing we build data sets to discover. For example there is a story, and there is some evidence for it, that in the last hundred years there’s been an increase in in heavy rain events in part of our country, not all of it just part of the country. So I built a data set that went back in fact back to the 1860s. And we looked at that very carefully, and found that when you go back far enough, there were a lot of heavy events back then. And so over the long time period of 140 years or more we don’t see an upward trend. It’s unusual in that sample of time 140 years that we don’t see a change in those kind of events. So that’s why I think it has great value to build these data sets so you can specifically answer the question and the claim that is being made
One of the worst ones was made by the New York Times when they were talking about how many record high temperatures occurred in a recent heat wave around the country. So I looked at that carefully, and they were allowing stations to be included that only had 30 years or even less than 30 years of data. Some had a hundred years but a lot of them just had 30 years. Well when you become very systematic, you say: I’m only going to allow stations that have a hundred years so that every station that measured in 2022 can be compared with the entire time series. Then their story falls apart because the 1930s and the 50s were so hot in our country that they still hold the records for the number of high temperature events.
The scary thing for me is that as much as it completely falls apart, there’s no logic to it,
yet it’s still firmly stands as what most people believe.
You have to credit those in the climate establishment and the media or whoever is behind all this, that they have been successful in scaring people about the climate. Because now you find that even in grade school textbooks. Almost every new story that comes out, and this is where this establishment is very good, they make sure every story has some kind of line in it about climate change. They don’t ever go back and talk to someone who actually builds these data sets who says is that really the worst it’s been was 120 years ago. They just make those claims.
Other than the fact that sea level is rising a bit, the extreme events are just not there to really cause problems now. We are in a problem of having greater damages occur because of extreme events, and mainly because we’ve just built so much more stuff and placed It In harm’s way. Our coastlines are crowded with Condominiums, entertainment parks and retirement villages, and so on. There’s so many more of them that when a hurricane does come, it’s going to wipe out a lot more and so for the absolute value of those damages has gone up. But the number of hurricanes, their strength and so on, the background climate has not caused that problem. It’s just that we like to build things in places that are dangerous.
We have records of sea level rise, and it’s on the order of about an inch per decade, except in places where the land’s sinking. You can find that on the Louisiana Gulf Coast and places like that, but otherwise it’s about an inch per decade. I tell folks that an inch per decade, two and a half centimeters a decade is not your problem. It’s 10 feet in six hours from the next hurricane that’s your problem. If you can withstand a rise of sea level of 10 feet in six hours then you’re probably going to be okay. But if you can’t then a hurricane can really cause problems, and so we just have more exposure to that kind of his situation now than we’ve had before.
BN: What about the trend with sea level rise? Should we be worried about future Generations having to deal with issues that might not affect us in our lifetime but eventually will threaten their lives?
I think your listeners would need to understand that sea level is a dynamic variable–It goes up, it goes down. It has been over a hundred meters lower than today just in the last 25,000 years, and there was a period from about 15 000 years ago to 8 000 years ago where the sea level rose about 12 centimeters per decade for seven thousand years. That’s a lot more than two and a half centimeters a decade as it’s doing now, so the world has managed to deal with rising sea levels before. If we go back to the last warm period about 130 000 years ago, the sea level then was higher than it is now by about five meters or so. So just naturally we would expect at least another five meters of sea level; it won’t happen tomorrow, it won’t happen this Century. But slowly it will likely continue to rise and so that should be placed in your thinking if you’re building a dock for say a military port or something you want to last a long time. Put a cushion in there, a way to handle another half meter of seat level rise in the next hundred years, and you should be okay.
BN: About your temperature records: How much has the Earth warmed let’s say over the last four years?
JC: Yes. With this November we finished 43 years of measurements. In that time the temperature has risen half a degree Celsius. And you might want to look at other things about the world. World agricultural production has expanded tremendously. Nations are now exporting grain more than they had before, because people are pretty smart and figure out how to do things better all the time. Growing food is one thing they figured out how to do better as time passed, so the climate warming of a half degree has not caused a a major catastrophe at all. Wealth has increased around the planet, now some governments are trying to prevent you from growing your wealth, but that’s a hard thing to stop people who like to have food; they like to have conveniences in their life and that’s hard to pass laws that say you can’t enjoy the life the way you want to.
BN:How much of the warming are you reliably able to say is as a result of human activity?
JC: Okay. The answer is none in the sense that you said reliably. I can’t come up with an answer for that reliably. Warming from humans assumes warming that is not due to El Nino; or warming that’s not due to volcanic suppression of temperatures earlier in the record, which comes up to about a tenth of a degree per decade.
Are there other factors that we can say for sure have played a role in the incremental warming of the planet over the last few decades. We see that we’ve had a couple of volcanoes in the first half of that period Eyjafjallajökull and Pinatubo and those cool the planet in the first half of that 40 years. So that tilted the trend up and that’s where I come up with a one-tenth per decade is the warming rate, which means the climate is not very sensitive to carbon dioxide or greenhouse gas warming. It’s probably half or even less as sensitive as models tend to report.
BN: So if CO2 exposure or insertion into the atmosphere were to double what would the results be?
JC: I actually had a little paper on that and we’re kind of expecting maybe about 2070 or 2080 it will be double from what it was back in 1850. And the warming of that amount uh will be about a degree, 1.3 C is what I calculated. The general rule I found about people is they don’t mind an extra degree on their temperature. In fact if you look at the United States the average American experiences a much warmer temperature now than they did a hundred years ago. Because the average American has moved South; the average American has moved to much warmer climates–California, Arizona Texas, Alabama, Florida and so on. Because cold is not a whole lot of fun. You know, skiing, snowmobiling and ice fishing and so on, that’s fine. But the average person likes it to be warm and so that’s why many people in our country have moved to warmer areas. So I don’t think that 1.3 Kelvin is going to matter much whether people really care about those extreme events and so on.
BN: What do you your temperature records tell you about previous hotter temperatures?
JC: Since 1979, what we see is an upward trend in the in the global temperature that I think is manageable. But it goes up and down the 1997-98 El Nino was a big event and in 2016 El Nino was a big event. We also see the downs that come from a volcano that might go off and cool off the planet. Those are bigger effects than that small trend that’s going up. The global temperature can change by two tenths of a degree from month to month when we’re talking about a tenth per decade. Then people say, you know a month to month we can handle but we can’t handle 20 years worth of a small change. That just doesn’t make sense and and the real world evidence is pretty clear that that humans have done extremely well as our planet has been warming a little bit, whether it’s natural or not.
BN: Can you tell me about the Milankovich Cycles?
Milankovich Cycles are the orbital cycles of the earth orbit around the Sun and its tilt of the axis and the distance from the Sun. It is not a perfect circular orbit around the sun, it’s kind of an ellipse and it changes through time. All those factors work together to put a little bit more solar energy in certain places and less than others. These cycles are likely related to the Ice Ages we talk about.
If you can melt the snow in Canada in the summer, then you won’t have an ice age. So the snow falls in the winter and if you can’t melt the snow in Canada in the summer because the Earth is tilted away a bit in July and August. Then the snow hangs around all summer long, the next winter more snow that piles up the next summer it doesn’t melt and so on the next year. You get this mechanism that adds and extends snow cover leading to an ice age
So the tilt of the axis and other parameters I just mentioned can moderate how much sunlight comes in the summertime in Canada. And it’s up to 100 watts per meter squared which is a lot of energy difference over time. That’s probably the strongest theory that has a good amount of evidence that those orbital changes can cause huge changes in the climate from ice ages to the current interglacial.
BN: There’s claims that the way that humans are living is causing daily Extinction of two to three hundred different species. Is this a natural course of Evolution?
JC: You know 99 % of the species that have ever lived are extinct, so extinction is is pretty natural. Obviously humans cause some extinctions. When you destroy the environment of a small place and that was the only place that particular species lived then yes you know humans caused that extinction Did climate change from humans cause any extinctions? I think that jury is still out because most species love the extra carbon dioxide. Plants do specifically and then everything that eats plants loves that, so you might want to say the extra carbon dioxide actually helped in some sense the whole biosphere.
But I think that what humans do to the surface and to water, if it’s not clean properly and if you just really poison the surface in the air, then that can cause some real problems for the species that are living out there. And that’s why we have rules about not putting poison in air or in the water.
BN: Does that qualify as climate change?
JC: No. To say carbon dioxide is a poison, you really have to scratch your head on that because plants love the stuff. It invigorates the biosphere. When did all of this Greenery evolve and the corals occur and grow and develop? it was when there was two to four or five times as much CO2 as is in the air now. Carbon dioxide invigorates the biosphere, so we’re just actually putting back carbon dioxide that had been in the atmosphere earlier. And I don’t think the world is going to have much problem with that in terms of its biosphere. The issue is about the climate going to become so bad that some things can’t handle it and I don’t really see the evidence for that happening.
BN: Critics of your views on climate have argued that you undercut your credibility by making claims that exceed your data and that you’re unwilling to agree with different findings. How do you respond to that?
JC: Show me a finding and let me look at it and if it’s a valid finding, fine I’ll agree with it. But you know you can find anything on the web these days about claims that someone might make but you show me the evidence. Let me see what you’re complaining about and we can have a discussion about that. I just had a paper published last week on snowfall in the western states of the United States that shows for the main snowfall regions there is no trend in snowfall. The amount of snow that’s falling right now is the same as it was 120 years ago. So snow is still falling out in the western mountains of the United States–that’s evidence, that’s data. And so when someone claims that oh my, snowfall is going away out in the west, I said well well here look at this evidence from real station data that people recorded back in 1890 to now.
So I can answer that question with real information. You don’t see many people like me in debates because they’re not offered to me. In fact I’ve been uninvited you know. Someone on a particular panel would say hey let’s get this guy to come here and speak to us, and then I receive the disinvitation because I was not going to go along with the theme of their climate change as a catastrophe presentation
BN: You referred to times in the past that CO2 levels were significantly higher than they are now. Do records show any negative effects as a result of such high CO2?
JC: Well when you say negative, that’s almost a moral question: good or bad that the dinosaurs went extinct? I think they’d the dinosaurs would have an opinion about that. Let me rephrase: If it had to be on those levels today would it negatively impact Humanity? We see carbon dioxide has increased as humans are producing energy so that their lives can be enhanced. There’s a direct relationship between how much carbon or energy you’re able to use and carbon is the main source today and your ability to thrive.
Think about it we didn’t leave the Stone Age because we ran out of rocks. We left the Stone Age because something better came along, you know, Iron, Bronze and so on. In terms of energy we didn’t leave the wood and dung age because we ran out of trees or excrement, we found a better source that was carbon: coal, oil and so on. And transportation: we didn’t leave the horse and buggy age because we ran out of horses. It was because Henry Ford made a vehicle that was cheap and affordable. My great grandfather who was in destitute poverty in Oklahoma in the 1930s had a Model T. And another thing about Henry Ford: He didn’t go around getting the government to kill all the horses so you’d have to buy his cars. Horses were still available for the poorest people you know. And he didn’t make the government go out and build gas stations or drill for oil, that was done at the market for the private level.
But today we have a government that says this is what we want for the energy structure, and so we’re going to be using your taxpayer money to put out all these charging stations and force you to buy electric cars or at least subsidize them tremendously, and put up all these windmills and so on at Great expense and great environmental wreckage.
I can assure you that without energy life is brutal and short, and so energy is a thing that has caused our lifespans to double so that children no longer fear about diseases that used to wipe out Millions. Because of the advances that energy has brought through electricity and experimentation and all the sciences that we have developed now. All that’s based upon that access to energy.
So yes developing countries are going to get their energy, they’re going to find the energy they need. I’m not making this as a prediction, just using this as an observation. Right now it’s carbon that’s the cheapest and most effective and very high density. So we will see these countries use carbon to advance and we should not stand in their way. Because they want to live like us who already have pretty big carbon Footprints.
If you want to have some comfort in that, remember the carbon dioxide we’re putting back into the atmosphere is invigorating the biosphere and it also represents people living longer and better lives. Just no question that as energy is made available and affordable people live longer and better lives. I think that’s going to ultimately be the the inertia that’s going to carry forward this issue past all the preaching about carbon dioxide problems.
Environmentalists would argue that they’re not against electricity and prosperity, they’re just advocating for a better cleaner way to do it. It’s a tremendous misconception that a windmill or a solar panel can somehow give you cleaner and more reliable energy than what you have now. That’s just not true. To build a windmill, there’s tremendous environmental wreckage that you have to go through in terms of all the minerals you have to yank out of the earth and process. And processing takes energy by the way. And then building all these transmission lines. The energy is so diffuse, it is so weak in wind and solar that you have to gather up huge amounts of land to put it together. Robert Price said it well when he called it the iron law of power: the weaker the source of energy the more stuff and material you need to gather it, to concentrate it and to make it useful.
You have to spend huge amounts of dollars in environmental cost to make a windmill or make a solar panel, which by the way doesn’t last forever. So this carbon that already has a tremendous amount of energy in a very small dense space means that its environmental footprint is much much smaller than what you have with solar or wind. In fact it’s about one to a thousand or two thousand in terms of the square footage you need.
Look at windmill and solar panel farms. Not only are they just ugly but they cause tremendous environmental damage in their construction and maintenance. What are the long-term effects decades from now? If we just continue to get our energy from fossil fuels how bad can it get?
Well start with how good it can get. People will have access to affordable energy so they’re going to live longer and they’re going to live better lives when you have access to this. The impact on the climate is about the only thing you can think of. Well the sea level is going to continue to rise since it’s been rising for several hundred years, and at a manageable rate by the way. And the atmosphere might warm some more, but certainly not in terms of some catastrophic effect that will cause us to lose our ability to thrive.
I’m just very optimistic that people are clever and they can figure out how to adapt to whatever is going to happen. The real issues I deal with as a state climatologist are the extreme events that we know are going to happen that you’re not ready for. I mean that flood that happened 50 years ago is going to come back again. And it’s going to cause some real problems if you don’t build your infrastructure and put your houses or industry where they can be safe. If you don’t build up on the coast too much, so then you won’t be clobbered by a hurricane or something like that. It’s these kind of natural extreme events to which we’re far more vulnerable right now, rather than some small and gradual change that the climate system might undergo.
BN: I did read somewhere that someone has said, and I’m sure you must get it a lot, whether you get any funding from the fossil fuel industry. Do you?
JC: No I do not, and I made that decision way back in the early 1990s. I might make a fossil fuel company mad by some of them information I would produce, but so be it. I can put my head to bed at night and not be worried about: Did I accommodate some agenda somewhere? I’m just after what observations say. Can I build the best observational data sets to answer the questions of climate that we have, and that’s what I want to do.
BN: I suppose one of the biggest tragedies about it would be that it would discredit the real science and the fundamental research that you’re doing. Just that it’ll be a non-starter because people will immediately dismiss it.
JC: That’s unfortunate because the perception then is that, well if a fossil fuel company paid someone to do some research they really wanted to know the answer about something and this person was completely honest did the work properly and provided the answer to the fossil fuel companies is as. Well that answer would be tainted because it came from a fossil fuel company. Well hello: Think about what environmental advocacy groups and pressure groups do all of the time. They pay tremendous sums to people so they can come up with an answer that gives them their leverage in claiming this is a catastrophic problem. So I can at least take that perception off the table.
BN: Lastly are you aware of any ways in which geoengineering could possibly be affecting the natural balance of things? Is it being done more than we’re aware of and could it backfire?
JC: Anytime humansdo something they’re going to have an impact, no question about that. So you could call it geoengineering but inadvertently we have made some desert valleys cooler because now we irrigate crops. We have taken water that fell someplace and moved it to another place. So that’s a bit of geoengineering there. And by the way a lot of those places feed a lot of the world, so you can’t say it’s bad I suppose.
But the other question about geoengineering is:
Can we do something to prevent a perceived problem here?
And that’s the real danger I think, because you don’t know the consequences when you start tinkering with a very complex and dynamic system. And so I would say stay away from that. Suppose someone did a big geoengineering experiment and something bad happened somewhere. Well that country would sue the world and say: look you made this bad thing happen to us you are liable. And so then we’re getting nowhere in terms of preventing some problem on the planet.
Raymond at RiC-Communications has produced the above poster on the theme expounded in a previous post In Celebration of Our Warm Climate, reprinted below. The above image is available in high resolution pdf format at his website The last ice age and its impact.
Legacy and social media keep up a constant drumbeat of warnings about a degree or two of planetary warming without any historical context for considering the significance of the alternative. A poem of Robert Frost comes to mind as some applicable wisdom:
The diagram at the top shows how grateful we should be for living in today’s climate instead of a glacial icehouse. (H/T Raymond Inauen) For most of its history Earth has been frozen rather than the mostly green place it is today. And the reference is to the extent of the North American ice sheet during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM).
To see this geologically recent glacial period in perspective, consider the maps created by paleo climatologist Christopher Scotese, leader of the Paleomap Project.
The animation below shows how the planet surface changed over the past millions of years (Ma means Millions of years Ago).
Note that in 66 Ma Earth was a “hothouse” with little ice and green polar land masses. By 50 Ma cooling resulted in polar ice caps and glaciers. By 14 Ma both Greenland and Antarctica are ice covered. 18Ka a severe “icehouse” world is evidenced by the Laurentian icecap. Then the Modern world appears with the ice retreating, but still covering the two poles. Continental drifts are also shown by India starting as an island and later joining Asia, and by Africa isolated but later approaching Europe.
For further context consider that geologists refer to our time as a “Severe Icehouse World”, among the various conditions in earth’s history, as diagramed below by Christopher Scotese. Referring to the Global Mean Temperatures, it appears after many decades, we are slowly rising to “Icehouse World”, which would seem to be a good thing.
As of 2015 earth is showing a GMT of 14.4C, compared to pre-industrial GMT of 13.8C. According to the best geological evidence from millions of years of earth’s history, that puts us in the category “Severe Icehouse.” So, thankfully we are warming up, albeit very slowly. Moreover, progress toward a warming world means flattening the profile at the higher latitudes, especially the Arctic. Equatorial locations remain at 23C throughout the millennia, while the gradient decreases in a warmer world.
We have many, many centuries to go before the earth can warm up to the “Greenhouse” profile, let alone get to “Hothouse.” Regional and local climates at higher latitudes will see slightly warming temperatures and smaller differences from equatorial climates. These are facts based on solid geological evidence, not opinions or estimates from computer models.
It is still a very cold world, but we are moving in the right direction. Stay the course.
Instead of fear mongering over a bit of warming, we should celebrate our good fortune, and do our best for humanity and the biosphere. Matthew Ridley takes it from there in a previous post.
Background from previous post The Goodness of Global Warming
Climate change is creating a greener, safer planet.
Global warming is real. It is also – so far – mostly beneficial. This startling fact is kept from the public by a determined effort on the part of alarmists and their media allies who are determined to use the language of crisis and emergency. The goal of Net Zero emissions in the UK by 2050 is controversial enough as a policy because of the pain it is causing. But what if that pain is all to prevent something that is not doing net harm?
The biggest benefit of emissions is global greening, the increase year after year of green vegetation on the land surface of the planet. Forests grow more thickly, grasslands more richly and scrub more rapidly. This has been measured using satellites and on-the-ground recording of plant-growth rates. It is happening in all habitats, from tundra to rainforest. In the four decades since 1982, as Bjorn Lomborg points out, NASA data show that global greening has added 618,000 square kilometres of extra green leaves each year, equivalent to three Great Britains. You read that right: every year there’s more greenery on the planet to the extent of three Britains. I bet Greta Thunberg did not tell you that.
The cause of this greening? Although tree planting, natural reforestation, slightly longer growing seasons and a bit more rain all contribute, the big cause is something else. All studies agree that by far the largest contributor to global greening – responsible for roughly half the effect – is the extra carbon dioxide in the air. In 40 years, the proportion of the atmosphere that is CO2 has gone from 0.034 per cent to 0.041 per cent. That may seem a small change but, with more ‘food’ in the air, plants don’t need to lose as much water through their pores (‘stomata’) to acquire a given amount of carbon. So dry areas, like the Sahel region of Africa, are seeing some of the biggest improvements in greenery. Since this is one of the poorest places on the planet, it is good news that there is more food for people, goats and wildlife.
But because good news is no news, green pressure groups and environmental correspondents in the media prefer to ignore global greening. Astonishingly, it merited no mentions on the BBC’s recent Green Planet series, despite the name. Or, if it is mentioned, the media point to studies suggesting greening may soon cease. These studies are based on questionable models, not data (because data show the effect continuing at the same pace). On the very few occasions when the BBC has mentioned global greening it is always accompanied by a health warning in case any viewer might glimpse a silver lining to climate change – for example, ‘extra foliage helps slow climate change, but researchers warn this will be offset by rising temperatures’.
Another bit of good news is on deaths. We’re against them, right? A recent study shows that rising temperatures have resulted in half a million fewer deaths in Britain over the past two decades. That is because cold weather kills about ’20 times as many people as hot weather’, according to the study, which analyses ‘over 74million deaths in 384 locations across 13 countries’. This is especially true in a temperate place like Britain, where summer days are rarely hot enough to kill. So global warming and the unrelated phenomenon of urban warming relative to rural areas, caused by the retention of heat by buildings plus energy use, are both preventing premature deaths on a huge scale.
Summer temperatures in the US are changing at half the rate of winter temperatures and daytimes are warming 20 per cent slower than nighttimes. A similar pattern is seen in most countries. Tropical nations are mostly experiencing very slow, almost undetectable daytime warming (outside cities), while Arctic nations are seeing quite rapid change, especially in winter and at night. Alarmists love to talk about polar amplification of average climate change, but they usually omit its inevitable flip side: that tropical temperatures (where most poor people live) are changing more slowly than the average.
My Mind is Made Up, Don’t Confuse Me with the Facts. H/T Bjorn Lomborg, WUWT
But are we not told to expect more volatile weather as a result of climate change? It is certainly assumed that we should. Yet there’s no evidence to suggest weather volatility is increasing and no good theory to suggest it will. The decreasing temperature differential between the tropics and the Arctic may actually diminish the volatility of weather a little.
Indeed, as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) repeatedly confirms, there is no clear pattern of storms growing in either frequency or ferocity, droughts are decreasing slightly and floods are getting worse only where land-use changes (like deforestation or building houses on flood plains) create a problem. Globally, deaths from droughts, floods and storms are down by about 98 per cent over the past 100 years – not because weather is less dangerous but because shelter, transport and communication (which are mostly the products of the fossil-fuel economy) have dramatically improved people’s ability to survive such natural disasters.
The effect of today’s warming (and greening) on farming is, on average, positive: crops can be grown farther north and for longer seasons and rainfall is slightly heavier in dry regions. We are feeding over seven billion people today much more easily than we fed three billion in the 1960s, and from a similar acreage of farmland. Global cereal production is on course to break its record this year, for the sixth time in 10 years.
Nature, too, will do generally better in a warming world. There are more species in warmer climates, so more new birds and insects are arriving to breed in southern England than are disappearing from northern Scotland. Warmer means wetter, too: 9,000 years ago, when the climate was warmer than today, the Sahara was green. Alarmists like to imply that concern about climate change goes hand in hand with concern about nature generally. But this is belied by the evidence. Climate policies often harm wildlife:biofuels compete for land with agriculture, eroding the benefits of improved agricultural productivity and increasing pressure on wild land; wind farms kill birds and bats; and the reckless planting of alien sitka spruce trees turns diverse moorland into dark monoculture.
Meanwhile, real environmental issues are ignored or neglected because of the obsession with climate. With the help of local volunteers I have been fighting to protect the red squirrel in Northumberland for years. The government does literally nothing to help us, while it pours money into grants for studying the most far-fetched and minuscule possible climate-change impacts. Invasive alien species are the main cause of species extinction worldwide (like grey squirrels driving the red to the margins), whereas climate change has yet to be shown to have caused a single species to die out altogether anywhere.
Of course, climate change does and will bring problems as well as benefits. Rapid sea-level rise could be catastrophic. But whereas the sea level shot up between 10,000 and 8,000 years ago, rising by about 60 metres in two millennia, or roughly three metres per century, todaythe change is nine times slower: three millimetres a year, or a foot per century, and with not much sign of acceleration. Countries like the Netherlands and Vietnam show that it is possible to gain land from the sea even in a world where sea levels are rising. The land area of the planet is actually increasing, not shrinking, thanks to siltation and reclamation.
Environmentalists don’t get donations or invitations to appear on the telly if they say moderate things. To stand up and pronounce that ‘climate change is real and needs to be tackled, but it’s not happening very fast and other environmental issues are more urgent’ would be about as popular as an MP in Oliver Cromwell’s parliament declaring, ‘The evidence for God is looking a bit weak, and I’m not so very sure that fornication really is a sin’. And I speak as someone who has made several speeches on climate in parliament.
No wonder we don’t hear about the good news on climate change.
Those who oppose economically destructive “climate” policies – like those promoted by the Biden administration and at the recent United Nations COP27 conference – will continue to fail to stop the advance of these policies so long as they continue to accept the false claim that warming of the planet and carbon dioxide emissions are harmful.
They are not. On balance, global warming and CO2 emission are beneficial.
Before getting to why that is, however, it is crucial to understand why accepting the false climate claim is so harmful.
When the destructiveness of climate policies is shown, the response is that the policies nevertheless are necessary to address what President Biden refers to as the “existential threat” of global warming and increased CO2 emissions.
When it is noted that these climate policies will at most microscopically and insignificantly reduce temperatures and CO2 emissions, climate policy mandarins push for even more draconian policies.
The result has been that since the 1990s, climate policies have become increasingly destructive and wasteful. Even worse, their continued intensification appears unlikely to be stopped until the public and policymakers are persuaded that global warming and CO2 emissions are not harmful. As Margaret Thatcher famously said: “First you win the argument, then you win the vote.”
To win this argument, it is necessary to focus on the scientific facts.
A warming planet saves lives.
Analyses of millions of deaths in recent decades in numerous countries, published in the British medical journal The Lancet, show that cooler temperatures killed nine times (July 2021 study) to seventeen times (In May 2015 study) more people than warmer temperatures. The planet’s recent modest warming (by 1.00 degree Celsius on average since 1880, as calculated by NASA) thus has been saving millions of lives.
A 2015 study by 22 scientists from around the world found that cold kills over 17 times more people than heat.
CO2 emissions do not pollute and instead are environmentally beneficial.
In 2017, over 300 scientists, including Richard Lindzen of MIT and William Happer of Princeton, signed a statement that made this point: “carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. To the contrary, there is clear evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is environmentally helpful to food crops and other plants that nourish all life. It is plant food, not poison.” Every one of us, indeed, also exhales carbon dioxide with every breath.
Spatial pattern of trends in Gross Primary Production (1982- 2015). Source: Sun et al. 2018.
Since 1920, deaths each year from natural disasters have decreased by over 90 percent.
And this happened, data from EM-DAT – The International Disaster Database presented by The University of Oxford show, not only as the planet has warmed, but as world population has quadrupled.
Global warming has not increased hurricanes.
A NOAA report, updated on November 28, 2022, states that “there is essentially no long-term trend in hurricane counts. The evidence for an upward trend is even weaker if we look at U.S. landfalling hurricanes, which even show a slight negative trend beginning from 1900 or from the late 1800s.”
The same report sums it up in bold: “We conclude that the historical Atlantic hurricane data at this stage do not provide compelling evidence for a substantial greenhouse warming-induced century-scale increase in: frequency of tropical storms, hurricanes, or major hurricanes, or in the proportion of hurricanes that become major hurricanes.”
Global warming also does not increase land burned by fires.
As environmental statistician Bjorn Lomberg has shown using data from the Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, Remote Sensing of Environment, and Earth’s Future, the percentage of global land burned per year in 1905-2021 has been declining.
Sea levels are rising – but only by a small fraction of an inch each year.
An EPA report updated on August 1, 2022, states: “When averaged over all of the world’s oceans, absolute sea level has risen at an average rate of 0.06 inches per year from 1880 to 2013,” including a slightly increased rate since 1993 of “0.12 to 0.14 inches per year.”
The UN climate models that President Biden, John Kerry, and other climate doomsters use to predict future global temperatures are so speculative and unreliable that they have been unable even to reproduce the 20th century’s temperature changes. This is a key point in the must-read book by Obama Department of Energy Under Secretary for Science Steven Koonin, Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters.
These kinds of facts should persuade the public and policymakers to stop accepting the false claim that global warming and CO2 emissions are harmful.
When this false claim is no longer widely accepted, policymakers will stop imposing climate policies that particularly impoverish the world’s poor.
They will stop holding international boondoggles like COP27 and that demand vast climate-related foreign aid programs.
They will stop spending hundreds of billions of dollars on domestic climate sinkholes.
And they will stop using purported “social cost of carbon” factors (even though the true social cost of carbon is zero) to regulatorily restrict domestic fossil fuel production, transportation, and use.
Hot, Hot, Hot. You will have noticed that the term “climate change” is now synonymous with “summer”. Since the northern hemisphere is where most of the world’s land, people and media are located, two typical summer months and a hot European August have been depicted as the fires of hell awaiting any and all who benefit from fossil fuels. If you were wondering what the media would do, apart from obsessing over the many small storms this year, you are getting the answer.
Fortunately, Autumn is on the way and already bringing cooler evenings in Montreal where I live. Once again open windows provide fresh air for sleeping, while mornings are showing condensation, and frost sometimes. This year’s period of “climate change” is winding down. Unless of course, we get some hurricanes the next two months. Below is a repost of seasonal changes in temperature and climate for those who may have been misled by the media reports of a forever hotter future.
[Note: The text below refers to human migratory behavior now resuming after being prohibited because, well, Coronavirus.]
Autumnal Climate Change
Seeing a lot more of this lately, along with hearing the geese honking. And in the next month or so, we expect that trees around here will lose their leaves. It definitely is climate change of the seasonal variety.
Interestingly, the science on this is settled: It is all due to reduction of solar energy because of the shorter length of days (LOD). The trees drop their leaves and go dormant because of less sunlight, not because of lower temperatures. The latter is an effect, not the cause.
Of course, the farther north you go, the more remarkable the seasonal climate change. St. Petersburg, Russia has their balmy “White Nights” in June when twilight is as dark as it gets, followed by the cold, dark winter and a chance to see the Northern Lights.
And as we have been monitoring, the Arctic ice has been melting from sunlight in recent months, but is already building again in the twilight, to reach its maximum in March under the cover of darkness.
We can also expect in January and February for another migration of millions of Canadians (nicknamed “snowbirds”) to fly south in search of a summer-like climate to renew their memories and hopes. As was said to me by one man in Saskatchewan (part of the Canadian wheat breadbasket region): “Around here we have Triple-A farmers: April to August, and then Arizona.” Here’s what he was talking about: Quartzsite Arizona annually hosts 1.5M visitors, mostly between November and March.
Of course, this is just North America. Similar migrations occur in Europe, and in the Southern Hemisphere, the climates are changing in the opposite direction, Springtime currently. Since it is so obviously the sun causing this seasonal change, the question arises: Does the sunlight vary on longer than annual timescales?
The Solar-Climate Debate
And therein lies a great, enduring controversy between those (like the IPCC) who dismiss the sun as a driver of multi-Decadal climate change, and those who see a connection between solar cycles and Earth’s climate history. One side can be accused of ignoring the sun because of a prior commitment to CO2 as the climate “control knob”.
The other side is repeatedly denounced as “cyclomaniacs” in search of curve-fitting patterns to prove one or another thesis. It is also argued that a claim of 60-year cycles can not be validated with only 150 years or so of reliable data. That point has weight, but it is usually made by those on the CO2 bandwagon despite temperature and CO2 trends correlating for only 2 decades during the last century.
One scientist in this field is Nicola Scafetta, who presents the basic concept this way:
“The theory is very simple in words. The solar system is characterized by a set of specific gravitational oscillations due to the fact that the planets are moving around the sun. Everything in the solar system tends to synchronize to these frequencies beginning with the sun itself. The oscillating sun then causes equivalent cycles in the climate system. Also the moon acts on the climate system with its own harmonics. In conclusion we have a climate system that is mostly made of a set of complex cycles that mirror astronomical cycles. Consequently it is possible to use these harmonics to both approximately hindcast and forecast the harmonic component of the climate, at least on a global scale. This theory is supported by strong empirical evidences using the available solar and climatic data.”
He goes on to say:
“The global surface temperature record appears to be made of natural specific oscillations with a likely solar/astronomical origin plus a noncyclical anthropogenic contribution during the last decades. Indeed, because the boundary condition of the climate system is regulated also by astronomical harmonic forcings, the astronomical frequencies need to be part of the climate signal in the same way the tidal oscillations are regulated by soli-lunar harmonics.”
He has concluded that “at least 60% of the warming of the Earth observed since 1970 appears to be induced by natural cycles which are present in the solar system.” For the near future he predicts a stabilization of global temperature and cooling until 2030-2040.
A Deeper, but Accessible Presentation of Solar-Climate Theory
I have found this presentation by Ian Wilson to be persuasive while honestly considering all of the complexities involved.
The author raises the question: What if there is a third factor that not only drives the variations in solar activity that we see on the Sun but also drives the changes that we see in climate here on the Earth?
The linked article is quite readable by a general audience, and comes to a similar conclusion as Scafetta above: There is a connection, but it is not simple cause and effect. And yes, length of day (LOD) is a factor beyond the annual cycle.
It is fair to say that we are still at the theorizing stage of understanding a solar connection to earth’s climate. And at this stage, investigators look for correlations in the data and propose theories (explanations) for what mechanisms are at work. Interestingly, despite the lack of interest from the IPCC, solar and climate variability is a very active research field these days.
For example Svensmark has now a Cosmosclimatology theory supported by empirical studies described in more detail in the red link.
Christelle Lagace-Babim, left, and Elise Lagace walk along Rue Jacques-Cartier Friday, after checking out their home in Gatineau, Que., as significant rainfall continues to cause flooding. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)
A lot of verbage about global warming/climate change is worse than useless because the parties are using terms whose meaning is vague or equivocal, and thus no meaningful interaction occurs. Alarmists/activists claim climate change is real, man-made, and dangerous (Obama tweet). Skeptics/doubters respond that climate is always changing, has been both warmer and cooler in the past, long before humans did anything.
Swollen rivers and streams have threatened hundreds of homes in the Outaouais thanks to recent heavy rainfall — three times the normal amount since April 1.
University of Ottawa climate scientist Paul Beckwith says that’s due to a changing climate, and says we’re seeing its effects “on a day-to-day basis” in weather patterns.
Beckwith points to an increase in extreme weather events across North America as proof. “We’ve changed the chemistry of the atmosphere and the oceans with our greenhouse gases, so we’re seeing the consequences of this now,” he added. “It’s only the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.”
Such reports mislead people to think of the climate acting like some kind of agent causing the weather to change in ways unfavorable to us. That confuses the relation between climate and weather, as we shall see below.
What is “Weather”?
Fortunately in science things get defined not theoretically but by observations and measurements. In science, weather is defined as the behavior we measure on a daily basis. In fact today’s automated weather equipment monitors the weather constantly. Let us consider an operational definition of weather to be the variables for which data is reported into global databases.
Each National Weather Service has its own additional particulars they track, but the common global definition of weather can be seen in the defined elements from the ECA&D weather data dictionary (European Climate Assessment & Dataset)
Weather Measurement Elements
What is weather: Eight variables are measured globally–Sunshine, Sea Level Pressure, Humidity, Cloud cover, Wind, Precipitation, Snow Depth, Temperature. With multiple measures of some variables, weather datasets consist of 13 common elements.
Sunshine (SS) in units of 0.1 hour. Total daily SS plus measures of hours for intervals during the day.
Sea Level Pressure (PP) in units of 0.1hPa Daily average PP plus measures for specific times and parts of the day.
Humidity (HU) in units of 1% of relative humidity. Daily average HU plus measures for specific times and parts of the day.
Cloud Cover (CC) in oktas (0 being clear sky, 8 being completely overcast). Daily average CC plus measures for specific times and parts of the day.
Wind Direction (DD) in degrees azimuth for the wind source (that is, a southerly wind comes from 180 degrees.) Daily average DD plus measures for different times of day, and the direction of maximum gust.
Wind Speed (FG) in units of 0.1 m/s. Daily average FG plus measures for speeds at different times and parts of the day.
Wind Gust (FX) in units of 0.1m/s. Daily average FX (24 hourly gusts) plus measures for maximums of different durations. (2 to 15 minutes).
Precipitation Amount (RR) in units of 0.1 mm. Daily total RR plus measures of amounts for intervals during the day.
Maximum Hourly Precipitation (MXR) in units of 0.1 mm. MXR for the day plus measures of amounts for intervals during the day.
Snow Depth (SD) in units of 1 cm. Mean daily SD plus measures of depths for intervals during the day.
Mean Temperature (TG) in units of 0.1C. Daily TG plus measures of various ways of calculating TG.
Minimum Temperature (TN) in units of 0.1C. Daily TN plus measures for different times and parts of the day.
Maximum Temperature (TX) in units of 0.1C. Daily TX plus measures for different times and parts of the day.
What is “Climate”?
Change in Frequency of Frost Days in Europe in the Period 1976-2006
To sort out the confusion between “weather” and “climate”, we can also look at how climate is measured and thereby defined. From the same ECA&D source is a climate indices database which is termed Indices of Extremes.
There is one datafile for each index. Each datafile gives information for all available stations in the ECA&D database. The indices are aggregated over the year, the winter-half (ONDJFM), the summer-half (AMJJAS), winter (DJF), spring (MAM), summer (JJA), autumn (SON) and each of the calendar months.
There are 74 indices grouped into twelve categories corresponding with different aspects of climate change. Some categories come directly from weather elements, while others are derivations.
The 74 indices are statistics built upon weather data, adding patterns of interest to humans. For example, temperature is greatly emphasized by adding various concerns with heat and cold on top of temperature records. Also, a compound category focuses on temperature and precipitation combinations and their favorability to humans.
What is Climate: Categories and Indices
Note that climate is operationally defined as statistical patterns of weather data. Some indices are simply averages of daily weather over long term periods. By convention, a 30-year average is used to define a climate baseline for a location.
Other climate indices are based on value judgments according to human interests. For example, heat and cold include many examples like growing days, good tourism days, heating degree days. In fact, a feature of climate is the imposition of human expectations upon nature, other examples being the sunshine indices Mostly Sunny and Mostly Cloudy days.
Andrew John Herbertson, a British geographer and Professor at Oxford, wrote in a textbook from 1901:
By climate we mean the average weather as ascertained by many years’ observations. Climate also takes into account the extreme weather experienced during that period. Climate is what on an average we may expect, weather is what we actually get.
Mark Twain, who is often credited with that last sentence, actually said:
Climate lasts all the time and weather only a few days.
The point is, weather consists of events occurring in real time, while climate is a statistical artifact. Weather is like a baseball player swinging in the batter’s box, climate is his batting average, RBIs, bases on balls, etc.
What is “Climate Change”?
The usefulness of climate indices is suggested by the last category called compound, where temperature and precipitation patterns are combined. In fact those two factors are sufficient to define distinctive local climate zones..
Based on empirical observations, Köppen (1900) established a climate classification system which uses monthly temperature and precipitation to define boundaries of different climate types around the world. Since its inception, this system has been further developed (e.g. Köppen and Geiger, 1930; Stern et al., 2000) and widely used by geographers and climatologists around the world.
Köppen climate zones as they appear in the 21st Century.
As an example, consider how the island of Hawaii looks with its climate zones indicated:
Note: This image comes from an interactive tool and uses a different color scheme than the global map above. The table below shows the thresholds by which zones are defined.
Tmin ≥ +18 °C
Tropical rain forest
Pmin ≥ 60 mm
Pann ≥ 25(100 – Pmin) mm
Tropical savannah with dry summer
Pmin < 60 mm in summer
Tropical savannah with dry winter
Pmin < 60 mm in winter
Pann < 10 Pth
Pann ≤ 5 Pth
Pann > 5 Pth
-3 °C < Tmin < +18 °C
Mild temperate with dry summer
Psmin < Pwmin, Pwmax > 3 Psmin, Psmin < 40 mm
Mild temperate with dry winter
Psmax > 10 Pwmin, Pwmin < Psmin
Mild temperate, fully humid
Not Cs or Cw
Tmin ≤ -3 °C
Snow with dry summer
Psmin < Pwmin, Pwmax > 3 Psmin, Psmin < 40 mm
Snow with dry winter
Psmax > 10 Pwmin, Pwmin < Psmin
Snow, fully humid
Not Ds or Dw
Tmax < +10 °C
Tmax ≥ 0 °C
Tmax < 0 °C
Köppen and Climate Change
The focus is on differentiating vegetation regimes, which result primarily from variations in temperature and precipitation over the seasons of the year. Now we have an interesting study that considers shifts in Köppen climate zones over time in order to identify changes in climate as practical and local/regional realities. The paper is: Using the Köppen classiﬁcation to quantify climate variation and change: An example for 1901–2010 By Deliang Chen and Hans Weiteng Chen Department of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Hans Chen has built an excellent interactive website (here): The purpose of this website is to share information about the Köppen climate classification, and provide data and high-resolution figures from the paper Chen and Chen, 2013: For more details on Chen and Chen see the post: Data vs. Models 4: Climates Changing
Summary: Climate Change Defined
Chen and Chen provide a data-based definition of “climate change”. Climate zones are defined by past temperature and precipitation ranges observed by humans. The weather datasets and climate indices inform us whether or not the patterns in a place are moving outside the norm for that location. Climate change appears as a shift in zonal boundaries so that one place starts to resemble a neighboring zone with a different classification. The table above shows the defined zones and thresholds.
The Chen and Chen analysis shows that almost half of climates around the world will get a year of weather outside of their normal ranges. Getting a decade of abnormal weather is much rarer. True climate change would be a shift enduring over a 30 year period which has been observed in less than 10% of all climate zones.
Summary: The Myth of “Global” Climate Change
Climate is a term to describe a local or regional pattern of weather. There is a widely accepted system of classifying climates, based largely on distinctive seasonal variations in temperature and precipitation. Depending on how precisely you apply the criteria, there can be from 6 to 13 distinct zones just in South Africa, or 8 to 11 zones only in Hawaii.
Each climate over time experiences shifts toward warming or cooling, and wetter or drier periods. One example: Fully a third of US stations showed cooling since 1950 while the others warmed. It is nonsense to average all of that and call it “Global Warming” because the net is slightly positive. Only in the fevered imaginations of CO2 activists do all of these diverse places move together in a single march toward global warming.
This post was focused on the distinction between weather and climate, so extreme weather events were not discussed, since by definition such events are weather. Still the quote at the beginning shows that activists are working hard to attribute attention-grabbing events as proof of global warming/climate change.
Mike Hulme wrote a series of articles describing the unsuccessful effort to link extreme weather to climate change and said this: In recent decades the meaning of climate change in popular western discourse has changed from being a descriptive index of a change in climate (as in ‘evidence that a climatic change has occurred’) to becoming an independent causative agent (as in ‘climate change caused this event to happen’). Rather than being a descriptive outcome of a chain of causal events affecting how weather is generated, climate change has been granted power to change worlds: political and social worlds as much as physical and ecological ones.
How long have we been talking about climate change now? On a grand scale at the latest since James Hansen’s appearance in the US Senate in 1988, when he explained that mankind’s use of fossil substances is causing the atmosphere to warm up. At least since this statement, climate change has been discussed as the greatest danger to mankind. But is the discussion on the right track or are we talking past key issues? Science would also like to clarify this question in a binding manner for so-called skeptics. To date, both groups are far from it. 12 years ago the Heartland Institute (HI), a voice in the skeptic camp,published a booklet on “7 Theories of Climate Change”, and the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) a corresponding text, (updated: (08/19/22): “ Human Versus Natural Causes”.
Both explanations do not in any way indicate that they sufficiently take into account the fundamental mechanisms for short-term and long-term changes in atmospheric weather processes.
For analyzing the situation, the question is not about James Hansen’s 1988 Congressional testimony on CO2 induced global warming, or meanwhile the reasoning of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2021) that “it is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land”. The issue is: whether this point can be sufficiently understood, when the discussion is by far too narrow to address all actions by man with a potential of affecting the atmospheric system.
To do this, it is necessary to know how CO2 warming is currently differentiated from other potential causes and then to ask oneself whether this is sufficient to ensure a comprehensive risk discussion.
1. Bio-thermostat — rising temperatures and levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere trigger biological and chemical responses that have a cooling effect, like a natural thermostat.
2. Cloud formation and albedo — changes in the formation and albedo of clouds create negative feedbacks that cancel out all or nearly all of the warming effect of higher levels of CO2.
3. Human forcing besides greenhouse gases — mankind’s greatest influence on climate is not its greenhouse gas emissions, but its transformation of Earth’s surface by clearing forests, irrigating deserts, and building cities.
4. Ocean currents — global temperature variations over the past century-and-a- half and particularly the past 30 years were due to the slow-down of the ocean’s Thermohaline Circulation (THC).
5. Planetary motion — natural gravitational and magnetic oscillations of the solar system induced by the planet’s movement through space drive climate change.
6. Solar variability — changes in the coronal ejections and magnetic fields of the sun cause changes in cloud formation, ocean currents, and wind that cause climate to change.
(A)The topics in comparison
The topics (a-e) and (1–6) are widely comparable in substance, but only partly so in more precise individual points. With the topics (a+b and 5+6) one can ask oneself to what extent these are of importance in the upcoming discussion. Earth’s rotation is about hundreds of thousands of years. Also, the solar radiation does not fluctuate to an extent that causes significant climate changes in relatively short periods of time (50–200 years). The EPA states that satellites measured the amount of energy the earth has received from the sun since 1978 have not shown a net increase in the sun’s output, even as global surface temperatures have risen.
By and large the topics ( c) Changes in the Earth’s Reflectivity and (d) Changes in Naturally Occurring Carbon Dioxide Concentrations are differently presented, but address the same subjects as the HI topic 1+2.
Surprisingly HI doesn’t mention EPA’s point: Volcanic Activity (d); whereas it mentions instead (point 3): Human forcing by clearing forests, irrigating deserts, and building cities. Both areas are extraordinarily important for understanding the earth system, but do not reach the dimension of CO2-induced warming by far. Even the last great volcanoes, Tambora (1815) and Krakatoa (1883), brought weather changes only over a few years. Man will not be able to prevent volcanic activities. But the world should be prepared for that.
The points raised by HI in (3) are a far less dangerous aspect than vulcans; although one should nevertheless understand the connections. For example, the Romans certainly endangered their breadbasket in North Africa by cutting down forests from Spain to Turkey, and the deforestation large areas of the Northern Hemisphere since the 18th century, most likely contributed to the end of the Little Ice Age around 1850 and to the rise in global temperatures. As far as irrigating deserts and building cities are still relevant today, this hazard potential is far below that of a larger volcanic eruption.
(B)What is missing? Water in the Air! Water in the Ocean!
The great deficiency of the current ‘climate debate’ is the missing focus on water. We mean all water in the air, soil and the oceans. The ratio is that the ocean hold about 1000 times more than the atmosphere and the soil. Only mentioning the “Ocean currents” (Heartland point (4)) is only a minor aspect in the overall system that drives the enteral weather pattern. The EPA fails to mention this at all.
Understanding climate change without trying to understand global water masses
is like trying to bake a cake without flour.
This shortcoming also leads to constant reference to ‘natural causes’. The atmospheric system is governed by the laws of physics, nothing is natural. Instead, it would have to be more correctly admitted that the full mechanism is not (yet) understood. As it is unlikely that we will ever succeed in fully understanding the entire global water system, but that should not be an excuse to deny the priority of the water complex.
The discussion, as represented by the IPCC and EPA, but also by the so-called skeptics, such as the Heartland Institute, is still far away from this.
Fig. 7.1. Changes in the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and solar activity are consistent with temperature changes. Top, above average solar activity reduces poleward transport causing warming. Bottom, the ascending half-period of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation causes an even bigger reduction in transport and has a bigger temperature effect. Middle, temperature evolution for the past 120 years is consistent with the effect of these two factors on transport. Data from SILSO sunspots (top), HadCRUT4 deseasonalized temperature (middle), and AMO deseasonalized (bottom), have been smoothed with a gaussian filter.
A recent post was Seven Theories of Climate Change, summarizing an array of explanations for fluctuations in temperatures and precipitation over Earth’s surface. Now, thanks to Javier Vinós & Andy May, we have a new hypothesis combining solar variability with oceanic/atmospheric oscillations to explain the climate record. An introduction to their findings is published at Climate Etc. The Winter Gatekeeper Hypothesis (VII). A summary plus Q&A. Excerpts in italics with my bolds and some added images. My first exposure to meridional cooling was provided by Clive Best, and later on is a repost of that understanding consistent with Vinós & May.
Update September 24, 2022 at end Richard Lindzen Weighs In
A synopsis of the Winter Gatekeeper hypothesis
The IPCC assessment reports published since 1990, reflect a scientific consensus that natural forces, including solar activity and ocean-atmosphere oscillations, like the Atlantic and Pacific multidecadal oscillations, had a net zero effect on the observed global average surface temperature changes since 1951. The IPCC consensus does not allow for changes in the poleward (meridional) transport of energy to have significantly affected this average temperature over the past 75 years.
The Winter Gatekeeper hypothesis proposes that changes in the meridional transport of energy and moisture are the main way the climate changes now and in the past.
Meridional transport variability has many causes and forces that act simultaneously and in different time frames on the climate system. They integrate into a very complex poleward energy transportation system. Among these are multidecadal ocean-atmosphere oscillations, solar variability, ozone, stratospheric-reaching tropical volcanic eruptions, orbital changes, and changing luni-solar gravitational pull. Meridional transport is therefore an integrator of internal and external signals.
It is not the only way the climate changes, but evidence suggests it is the main one.
The Winter Gatekeeper hypothesis does not disprove greenhouse gas effect induced climate change—manmade or otherwise—in fact, it acts through it. But it does not require changes in the atmospheric content of non-condensing greenhouse gases to cause significant climate change. Therefore, it does refute the hypothesis that CO2 is the main climate change control knob.
Meridional transport moves energy that is already in the climate system toward its exit point at the top of the atmosphere at a higher latitude. It is carried out mainly by the atmosphere, in both the stratosphere and troposphere, with an important oceanic contribution. The greenhouse effect is not homogeneous over the planet due to the unequal distribution of water vapor, and it is stronger in the wet tropics, weaker over deserts, and much weaker at the poles in winter. When meridional transport is stronger, more energy reaches the poles. There it can more efficiently exit the climate system, particularly during the winter, when there is no Sun in the sky. Most polar imported moisture in winter freezes, emitting its latent heat. Additional CO2 molecules increase outward radiation, as they are warmer than the surface. The net result is that all imported energy into the polar regions in winter exits the climate system at the top of the atmosphere (Peixoto & Oort, 1992, p. 363), and increasing the energy transported there at that time can only increase the loss.
When meridional transport is stronger, the planet loses more energy and cools down (or warms less) in a non-homogeneous way, because the net energy loss is greater in the polar regions. However, as more energy is directed toward the poles, the Arctic region warms, even as the rest of the world cools or warms more slowly. When meridional transport is weaker, less energy reaches the poles and exits the climate system. Then the planet loses less energy and warms, while the Arctic cools, because it receives less energy from the lower latitudes.
Figure 12: The effect of strong and weak Atlantic THC. Idealized portrayal of the primary Atlantic Ocean upper ocean currents during strong and weak phases of the thermohaline circulation (THC) Source: Bill Gray: H20 is Climate Control Knob, not CO2
Most of the energy is transported through the lower troposphere and ocean track. As a result, changes in multidecadal ocean oscillations produce a greater effect on climate in the multidecadal timeframe than changes in solar activity. Solar changes have a stronger effect on stratospheric energy transport. Even so, there is a non-well defined link between changes in solar activity and changes in the multidecadal oscillations that result in major multidecadal climate shifts right after 11-year solar cycle minima (see Part IV). Nevertheless, modern global warming started c. 1850, when the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation increased its amplitude and period (Moore et al. 2017). The overall multidecadal oscillation (aka the stadium wave) currently has a period of c. 65 years, and the 20th century included two rising phases of the oscillation, explaining its two warming phases (1915-1945, and 1976-1997; Fig. 7.1).
Meridional transport was further reduced during the 20th century by the coincidence of the Modern Solar Maximum (Fig. 7.1 at top): A long period of above average solar activity between 1935 and 2004. It is the longest such period in at least 600 years. Solar activity acts mainly on stratospheric energy transport, but since it affects the strength of the polar vortex and the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (see Part II), it also influences tropospheric transport.
As it can be seen in Fig. 7.1, most of the warming during the 20th century can be explained by the combined effect of the ocean multidecadal oscillations and the Modern Solar Maximum on meridional transport. No other proposed factor can satisfactorily explain the early 20th century warming period, the mid-20th century shallow cooling, and the late 20th century strong warming period, without resorting to ad-hoc explanations. In a single century two periods of reduced transport (warming), coincided with the ascent of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and the effect of the modern solar maximum.
This resulted in 80 years of diminished transport that contributed to the greatest warming in 600 years, triggering political and scientific alarm.
Background Post Arctic “Amplification” Not What You Think
This post is challenging the notion of Arctic Amplification itself. The term is bandied about with the connotation that man-made global warming is multiplied in the Arctic and responsible for weather extremes.
As the animation above shows, there have been in recent years alternating patterns of unusually cold or warm weather in the Northern Hemisphere. There are several problems in the attempt to link these events to global warming/climate change, i.e. claiming causation from a slow increase in baseline global average temperatures.
Arctic Amplification is an artifact of Temperature Anomalies
Arctic Surface Stations Records Show Ordinary Warming
Arctic Warmth Comes from Meridional Heat Transport, not CO2
Clive Best provides this animation of recent monthly temperature anomalies which demonstrates how most variability in anomalies occur over northern continents.
1. Arctic Amplification is an artifact of Temperature Anomalies
Beyond the issues with the measurements and the questionable adjustments, there is a more fundamental misconception about air temperatures in relation to “climate change.” Clive Best does a fine job explaining why Global Mean Temperature anomalies do not mean what people think. Below is my synopsis of his recent essay entitled Do Global Temperatures make sense? (link)
Background: Earth’s Heat Imbalance
ERBE measurements of radiative imbalance.
The earth’s temperature at any location is never in equilibrium. It changes daily, seasonally and annually. Incoming solar radiation varies enormously especially near the poles which receive more energy per day in summer than the equator.
The earth cools primarily by moving heat from hot tropical regions towards high latitudes where net IR radiation loss cools the planet, thus maintaining a certain temperature profile.
Key Point: GMT Anomalies Are Dominated by the Highest Latitudes
The main problem with all the existing observational datasets is that they don’t actually measure the global temperature at all. Instead they measure the global average temperature ‘anomaly’. . .The use of anomalies introduces a new bias because they are now dominated by the larger ‘anomalies’ occurring at cold places in high latitudes. The reason for this is obvious, because all extreme seasonal variations in temperature occur in northern continents, with the exception of Antarctica. Increases in anomalies are mainly due to an increase in the minimum winter temperatures, especially near the arctic circle.
To take an extreme example here is the monthly temperature data and calculated anomalies for Verkoyhansk in Siberia. Annual temperatures vary from -50C in winter to +20C in summer. That is a seasonal range of 70C each year, and a year to year anomaly variation of ~8C is normal. The only global warming effect evident is a slight increase in the minimum winter temperatures since 1900. That is not due to any localised enhanced greenhouse effect but rather to an enhanced meridional heat transport. Temperatures in equatorial regions meanwhile have only ~4C seasonal variations, and show essentially no warming trend.
2. Arctic Surface Stations Records Show Ordinary Warming
Locations of 118 arctic stations examined in this study and compared to observations at 50 European stations whose records averaged 200 years and in a few cases extend to the early 1700s
A recent extensive analysis of Northern surface temperature records gives no support for Arctic “amplification” fears.
The Arctic has warmed at the same rate as Europe over the past two centuries. Heretofore, it has been supposed that any global warming would be amplified in the Arctic. This may still be true if urban heat island effects are responsible for part of the observed temperature increase at European stations. However, European and Arctic temperatures have remained closely synchronized for over 200 years during the rapid growth of urban centres.
And the warming pattern in Europe and the Arctic is familiar and unalarming.
Arctic temperatures have increased during the period 1820– 2014. The warming has been larger in January than in July. Siberia, Alaska and Western Canada appear to have warmed slightly more than Eastern Canada, Greenland, Iceland and Northern Europe. The warming has not occurred at a steady rate. Much of the warming trends found during 1820 to 2014 occurred in the late 1990s, and the data show temperatures levelled off after 2000. The July temperature trend is even slightly negative for the period 1820–1990. The time series exhibit multidecadal temperature fluctuations which have also been found by other temperature reconstructions.
3. Arctic Warmth Comes from Meridional Heat Transport, not CO2
Key Point: Heat Distribution Changes, not Global Temperatures
Rising CO2 levels modify that radiation imbalance profile slightly. Surface temperatures in the tropics are not really warming at all. Any excess heat induces more clouds and more convection while surface temperatures remain constant. What really happens is that the meridional radiation profile changes. Slightly more heat is transported polewards so that hot places are shifting more heat to cold places which are doing the warming. If CO2 levels stop rising then a new temperature and radiation profile would rather quickly be reached. This is then called ‘climate change’ but any such changes are concentrated in colder regions of the world. The global ‘temperature’ itself is not changing, but instead the global distribution of temperature is changing.
Key Point: More Atmospheric Heat means Warming in the Coldest Places
Temperatures at the poles during 6 months of darkness would fall well below -150C if there was no atmosphere, similar to the moon. Instead heat is constantly being transported from lower latitudes by the atmosphere and ocean and so that temperatures never fall much below -43C. If more heat is transported northwards than previously, then minimum temperatures must rise, and this is what we observe in individual measurements.
Long term changes in temperature anomalies occur mainly in northern continents in winter months. This is not because the earth as a whole is warming up but rather that meridional heat transport from the equator to the poles has increased and the largest effect on ‘anomalies occurs in winter. The average absolute temperature of the earth’s surface is unknown. Basing the evidence for climate change on the 150 year trend in global averaged temperature anomalies still biases the result towards higher latitudes where most of the stations are located.
When heat is released into the atmosphere from the oceans, it is transported toward the poles to dissipate into space. Places in higher latitudes are warmed, not by radiative effects of greenhouse gases in those locales, but by the incursion of warmer air from the equator.
What happens if more CO2 is added into the atmosphere? No one knows, but there are many opinions, a popular one being that more heat is retained in the atmosphere. But in that case, that additional heat will be shed by the planet in exactly the same manner: transport to the poles with slightly less extremely cold air at the higher latitudes.
Why in the world would we pay anything to prevent a little bit of warming in the world’s coldest places?
London, 23 September – A prominent climate scientist has warned that the picture of climate change presented in the IPCC’s narrative is simplistic, ill-conceived, and undermined by observational evidence. In a new discussion paper, Professor Richard Lindzen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) points out that the official picture, focusing narrowly on carbon dioxide as a warming agent, becomes implausible when applied to the details of the climate system. According to Lindzen,
“If you are going to blame everything on carbon dioxide, you have to explain why, on all timescales, temperatures in the tropics are extremely stable while those in high latitudes are much more variable. The IPCC’s story is that small amounts of greenhouse warming near the equator are ‘amplified’ at high latitudes. But neither theory nor data support the idea of amplification.”
Instead, says Lindzen, this pattern – of stable tropical temperatures and fluctuating ones in high latitudes – is mostly a function of natural processes in the atmosphere and oceans; in other words, changes in oceanic and atmospheric currents that transport heat poleward while drawing varying amounts of heat out of the tropics. These changes in transport affect the tropics, but they are not determined by the tropics.
“The changes in the earth’s so-called temperature are mainly due to changes in the temperature difference between the tropics and the poles – at least for major changes. The changes in tropical temperature, which are influenced by greenhouse processes, are a minor contribution.”
Excerpts from the Introduction in italics with my bolds.
In the past few years, confidence in the AGW theory has declined dramatically. New research points to natural causes of the modern warming, and stabilizing (by some measures, falling) global temperatures have called attention to long-recognized shortcomings of the AGW theory. Tens of thousands of scientists have signed petitions expressing their dissent from the so-called “consensus” in favor of AGW. Opinion polls show a majority of the public in the U.S. and in other countries no longer believes human activity is causing global warming. Evidence of the decline of the AGW theory is presented in the postscript to this booklet.
The demise of the AGW theory makes this a good time to look at other theories of climate change put forward by prominent scientists but overlooked in the rush to judgment. This booklet identifies seven theories – AGW plus six others that do not claim man-made CO2 is a major cause of climate change.
Each theory is plausible and sheds light on some aspects of climate change that were hidden or obscured by too great a focus on the AGW theory.
In some respects these theories are not mutually exclusive: solar variability could be the sustaining force behind what I have called the “cloud formation and albedo” and “ocean currents” theories as well as being its own theory, though the mechanisms in each case differ slightly. Most physicists don’t study biology or chemistry and so don’t pay much attention to biological and chemical feedbacks. If they did, they would probably recognize that such processes play a bigger role in controlling climate than previously believed.
Deeper analysis also reveals that these theories are not all trying to answer the same questions or necessarily achieve predictive power. Trying to discern a human effect on climate is not the primary objective of biologists studying the effect of higher levels of CO2 on plants or of physicists measuring the amount of energy leaving Earth’s atmosphere. While they are “experts” on climate change, they are not part of the search for a “human fingerprint” on Earth’s climate. Nor are they qualified to make predictions based on their narrow expertise, as Kesten Green at the University of South Australia and J. Scott Armstrong at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania have tried to explain.
The six theories of climate change that do not involve man-made greenhouse gas emissions
are incompatible, though, with the AGW theory.
If evidence exists that negative feedbacks offset whatever warming is caused by man-made greenhouse gases, then the warming during the past 50 years could not be due to the burning of fossil fuels. Similarly, if solar variability explains most or all of the variation in temperatures in prehistoric as well as modern times, then there is no room for speculation about a large role for man-made CO2 .
Over time, the science of climatology will become somewhat more exact, based on examination of the historical record and newly assessed empirical evidence. It probably will not be illuminated much by mathematical models that cannot generate reliable forecasts of a system that even proponents of the anthropogenic global warming theory admit is naturally chaotic. We cannot adequately measure the enormous quantity of data necessary to feed the models, and we are not even sure which variables should be included.
The uncertainty that pervades climate science today, as climate scientist Mike Hulme has written,
is a function of the limits of science itself.
The object of this essay is not to say which of these seven theories is right or “best,” but only to present them to the reader in a format that allows reflection and balanced consideration. Such dispassionate interest in the subject has been lacking in recent years, and the scientific debate has suffered for it.