Day by Day

Monday, December 13, 2010

Do Angels Dance on Pins? Yes, just like humans cause global warming

An article came to my attention showing that during a recent period (in geologic time), atmospheric CO2 fell over 1,000 ppm (its about 350 ppm now) while temperatures rose 7 degrees Centigrade (12.6 degrees Fahrneheit). Many questions came to mind. One, how much higher was global temperature then than now? Answer: about 12 degrees F. As the chart below shows, the Earth is usually warmer, and as expected, atmospheric CO2 was much higher because of the warmer seas and the higher rate of plant growth and subsequent decay. All natural, of course.

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Now we are in a period of relatively low temperatures and atmospheric CO2. Atmospheric CO2 has increased about 80 ppm in the past 200 years, and warming increased a modest 0.6 degrees Centigrade (1 degree F) since the end of the Little Ice Age about 160 years ago.

Only Al Gore and his Acolytes would think that any of this is remarkable, or not natural. What is an icrease of 80 ppm for CO2 when previous fluctuations have been in thousands? What is an increase of 0.6 degrees C when geological records show rapid swings of 7 degrees C?

I have seen hundreds of peer-reviewed journal articles that establish such phenomena as a global Medieval Warm Period, a much warmer than present Holocene Optimum, and at least four other periods of equal or greater warming in the past 11,000 years. Arrayed against that is the discredited "hockey stick" of Mann et al, which among many shortcomings attempts to hide the divergence between what the trees are supposedly telling us compared to modern instument records. Can you have it both ways? Tree rings prove there was no Medieval Warm Period, but can't show current warming?

Concerning CO2 levels, 3% is produced by human activity, and 97% by the natural carbon cycle, which includes decaying plant material and the oceans. In terms of the nonexistent "greenhouse effect", water vapor contributes roughly 95% of atmospheric warming as the atmosphere acts as an air conditioner cooling and warming the Earth by a combination of thermodynamics and radiation.

CO2 is an insignificant trace gas, incapable of aborbing heat energy and reradiating it towards an area of greater energy concentration, the Earth. Simply, a cooler body cannot warm a warmer one.

All of the Warmist arguements are like speculating about the number of Angels who can dance on the head of a pin, without first proving the existence of Angels.

Friday, December 10, 2010

To Obscurity, Whoever You Are

I just posted this on Dr. Roy Spencer's blog as a comment to a post by "Obscurity", who accused skeptics of making fun of man-caused global warming by noting the current record lows in Cancun, the UK, and Europe.

Skeptics are not alone in sometimes citing weather (cold snaps, record low temperatures) as climate trend. Al Gore was awarded a Nobel Prize for that very thing. When or where did Al Gore mention that current warming started around 1850, at the end of the Little Ice Age? Or that there have been at least six periods of greater or equal natural warming in the Holocene, including most recently the Medieval Warm Period?

"An Inconvenient Truth" is replete with examples of weather (Katrina, floods, a strong storm drowning three polar bears, etc.) that Al Gore cites as proof of AGW (or climate change). Kilimanjaro is prominently featured, even though its glacier retreat occured predominantly prior to 1900 and had nothing to do with warming (the glacier field never warms above freezing - Al never heard of sublimation?). Then there's the 20 feet of sea rise by 2100 compared to about six inches in the past century (and 420 feet in the past 11,000 years, an average of four feet per century).

What explains that cooling always beginnings when atmospheric CO2 is relatively high? If increasing CO2 causes warming, why can't high levels of CO2 prevent cooling?

I'm glad Al Gore brought the Vostok ice cores to our attention, showing that changes in CO2 follow, not precede, changes in temperature. Thanks, Al.