December 24, 2009
While the United Nations, President Obama and former Vice President Al Gore look for billions of dollars to fight “global warming,” scientists all over the world are debunking the theory as “bad science” and political manipulation.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last week in a United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen that America should lead the way in spending $100 billion to fight climate change (or global warming).
Lawrence Solomon has written a book, “The Deniers: The World Renown Scientists Who Stood Up Against Global Warming, Hysteria, Political Persecution and Fraud.” (Buy the book here).
In the book, Solomon chronicles the opposition to global warming and the science that contradicts the views of Obama, Gore and the United Nations.
Dr. Edward J. Wegman is director of the Center for Computational Statistics at George Mason University, chair of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics and a board member of the American Statistical Association.
The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee asked him to assess the “hockey stick graph,” a key global warming tool created by Michael Mann of The University of Massachusetts.
The hockey stick graph shows that for most of the past one thousand years, temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere were cooling – until 1900. Then temperatures began to rise through the 1990s as mankind began to industrialize and use more hydrocarbons for energy. Mann claimed that the 20th Century was the warmest of the past millennium, the 1990s was the warmest decade and 1998 was the warmest year.
In 1990, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a graph that showed a warming period in the Middle Ages (14th Century) that led to the “Little Ice Age,” from which we have been emerging since the early 1700s.
Mann’s hockey stick graph eliminated the Medieval Warming Period, which made the 20th Century warming look more dramatic.
According to Solomon, “More than any other single piece of evidence, (the hockey stick) made global warming a serious popular and political issue.”
The United Nations IPCC 2001 report on global warming made the hockey stick graph the centerpiece on its report to international policymakers.
A Canadian mining scientist named Stephen McIntire examined the hockey stick data and found that the 1600s, not the 1900s, were the hottest century. That didn’t necessarily disprove global warming but it showed that Mann’s graph was an enormously effective prop. Professor Ross McKitrick, an economist at The University of Guelph, has joined McIntire in calling the hockey stick graph a “phony.”
The United Nations decided that Mann’s credentials were more impressive than McIntire’s.
Then, at the request of Congress, Wegman assembled a panel of expert statisticians, including the board of the American Statistical Association.
They agreed to repudiate Mann’s hockey stick graph and vindicate McIntire and McKitrick.
“Our committee believes that the assessments that the decade of the 1990s was the hottest decade in a millennium and that 1998 was the hottest year in a millennium cannot be supported,” Wegman wrote.
When measuring temperature for one thousand years, statistics become important. Only recently did the world have accurate thermometers scattered all across the globe continuously measuring temperature.
Global warming theorists have to rely on sporadic and discontinous data such as tree rings, ice cores, lake and ocean sediment and other less reliable sources.
Wegman’s report showed that tree rings are not reliable to support the hockey stick graph.
So, why did so many rush to accept Mann’s graph?
Wegman said the peer process doesn’t work because there is “too much consensus.” Mann’s reviewers all came from a very tight-knit paleoclimate community that highly respected Mann.
Solomon writes that “the hockey stick experience has convinced Wegman that much of climate science should be taken with a grain of salt, since so many studies have been peer reviewed by reviewers unqualified in statistics.”
The IPCC dropped the hockey stick graph from its 2007 report – an indication of its lack of credibility.
Is the Earth warmer?
That is the key question for those who hold to global warming.
Dr. Vincent Gray, has a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from The University of Cambridge. He has published more than 100 scientific papers and wrote The Greenhouse Delusion: A Critique of Climate Change 2001.
He has called the IPCC (United Nations) process a “swindle.”
Gray is one of the “2,500 top scientists” from around the world that the IPCC cites as backing their reports. He wrote 1,900 comments on the final draft on a recent IPCC’s report.
“Right from the beginning, I have had difficulty with this procedure,” Gray wrote. “Penetrating questions often ended without any answer. Comments on the IPCC drafts were rejected without explanation and attempts to pursue the matter were frustrated indefinitely.”
His conclusion was that the information in the IPCC reports were “unsound.”
For example, Gray says that temperature stations are not properly stationed. Ninety percent are on the land while 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by the oceans. Temperature stations are disproportionately located near cities, which are heat sources.
Geophysicist Syun-Ichi Akasofu, a founding director of the International Arctic Research Center of The University of Alaska in 1964 discovered the origin of storms in the aurora borealis. He has published more than 550 professional journal articles.
Akasofu says the Earth slowly warmed about one half of one degree Celcius during the 20th Century. That also happened over the course of the 18th and 19th centuries. The rate of warming has been fairly consistent since the Little Ice Age, which ended in 1900.
“The Earth may still be recovering from the Little Ice Age,” Akasofu said. If that is true, there is no need to blame greenhouse gases for warming in the 20th Century.
In other words, if there has been slight (one half degree) global warming, it is part of a cycle and not man made. The Norwegian Sea has been continuously receding since 1800 due to the North Atlantic Oscillation – a natural phenomenon.
Many glaciers advanced during the Little Ice Age and have been receding ever since, Akasofu states.
What is the impact of CO2 (carbon dioxide)?
The warmists believe that human activity and industrialization have increased the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to the point of raising the Earth’s temperature – and thus leading to eventual climactic catastrophe.
Most scientists agree that carbon dioxide absorbs space-bound infrared radiation and leads to warming and increased evaporation at the Earth’s surface.
The question is how much of an impact it truly has.
Former Vice President Al Gore in his movie, An Inconvenient Truth, states that a rise in CO2 always brings about a rise in temperature.
But arctic data show a large rise and fall in temperature between 1920 and the early 1970s while the global average shows little change. A second major fluctuation happened in 1975. These correlate with changes in CO2 levels.
In other words, these normal fluctuations show a natural cycle that diminishes the greenhouse effect.
“Indeed, there is so far no definitive proof that most of the present warming is due to the greenhouse effect,” Akasofu said.
Arctic temperature had a cooling effect from 1940 to 1975 even though CO2 levels began to rise in 1940.
Akasofu said you cannot know the exact effect of CO2 without subtracting natural causes that are hard to measure.
The IPCC’s own climate change models show carbon dioxide to be irrelevant.
Dr. Tom Segalstad is head of the Geological Museum at The University of Oslo and was a former expert reviewer for the IPCC.
Cars are a source of CO2 emissions and so are people (as they exhale). The oceans absorb and release CO2. In fact, most scientists believe that CO2 can’t stay in the atmosphere for more than five years because it is absorbed in the oceans.
CO2 in the atmosphere and the oceans reach a stable balance when the oceans contain about 50 times more than the atmosphere.
Segalstad said that based on isotope mass balance calculations, if CO2 in the atmosphere had a lifetime of 50 to 200 years (as claimed by the United Nations), the atmosphere would have half of its current CO2 mass. That’s nonsense. The IPCC counters with a “missing sink” model that claims half of the CO2 is “hiding somewhere.”
Looking for the missing sink in the biosphere, carbon cycle modeling shows deforestation must have added a lot of CO2 to the atmosphere. Instead of finding a missing sink, the models find another CO2 source.
An error of “about three giga-tonnes of carbon annually not explained by a model would normally lead to complete rejection of the model and its hypotheses,” Segalstad said.
“It is all a fiction.”
Astrophysicist Nir Shaviv of Israel had logically concluded that increases in carbon dioxide and other gases led to the greenhouse effect. He thought greenhouse gases increased in the 20th Century due to human activity. Nothing else explained it, he thought.
Shaviv has changed his mind.
“…after carefully digging into the evidence, I realized that things are far more complicated than the story sold to us by many climate scientists or the stories regurgitated by the media,” Shaviv said.
Shaviv believes that CO2 plays only a subordinate role – a circumstantial one at best.
Man’s role is so uncertain that the Earth may have been cooling, Shaviv said. We understand the role of CO2 but we don’t understand other factors.
It’s like the man who lost his keys in the dark but looks for them a block away under a street light because the light there is better, Shaviv said.
“Solar activity can explain a large part of the 20th Century global warming,” Shaviv said. He thinks natural solar processes account for 80 percent of the warming.
He favors curbing the use of fossil fuels – not to prevent global warming but to lessen pollution.
Lawrence Solomon is the author of The Deniers. He is a columnist with National Post (Toronto), Executive Director at Energy Probe and a self-described environmentalist. The book is published by Richard Vigilante Books (www.richardvigilantebooks.com).