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Stop Scaring The Children – There Is No Climate Crisis

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Our governments instilled fear in our children with claims of an existential climate emergency caused by human carbon dioxide emissions, followed up with bold promises of fixing it with emissions reductions.

Intergenerational debt has been accrued for green energy projects that are unreliable at best and even more environmentally damaging at worst.

Energy poverty has become a first-world self-inflicted wound, and without carbon dioxide-emitting fossil fuels, the return to the regular kind of poverty awaits the developing world.

After COP 26, those same governments have no hope of delivering on the emissions reductions or producing cheap energy. For our youngest citizens, the climate change fear that was gratuitously instilled in them is now transitioning into despair because our politicians deliberately politicized climate science.

Classical sciences, specifically the unadulterated observational scientific method, should have been taught in our schools rather than political agendas driven by fear.

If you take the politics out of the science and rely on observed climate data, the claim of a human-caused existential threat of global warming is difficult to support.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is in large part responsible for the politicization of climate science. But a careful examination of their publications reveals acknowledgment of classical science.

For example, their public domain files state, “In fact, the absolute concentrations are not especially important, as the temperature response to increasing CO2 concentration is logarithmic—a doubling from 500 to 1,000 ppmv would have approximately the same climatic effect.

In this quote, the IPCC is confirming they agree that whatever the level of greenhouse gas effect we have seen in the last century is, it will take twice as many CO2 additions to the atmosphere to get the same temperature increase again.

This doubling of the CO2 each time to get the same temperature increase never stops. Our politicians often warn us of global warming as a result of doubling the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but then are silent on what happens after that doubling is reached instead of acknowledging that the rate of global warming dramatically diminishes as CO2 concentrations increase.

For the sake of illustrating the impact of this logarithmic relationship, let’s be diplomatic and take a 50/50 approach on what is causing global warming, human versus natural.

Let’s assume that of the 0.8°C temperature increase seen from the beginning of the 20th century to 2020, 50% was caused by human emissions of CO2, and 50% was naturally caused.

This would result in a 0.4o°C temperature increase caused by a gain of 120 parts per million (ppm) in CO2 (from 280 ppm in 1900 to 400 ppm in 2020). You would then need to add 240 more ppm CO2 to the atmosphere—for a total concentration of 640 ppm—to get another 0.4°C temperature gain.

Based on the average of six IPCC public forecasts for atmospheric CO2 concentrations, 640 ppm CO2 should occur in about 2080.

We are likely 60 years (two generations) from hitting 640 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere, where global warming caused by CO2 is 0.4°C hotter than 2020 and 1.2°C hotter than 1900 in the 50/50 case. A 1.2°C increase over almost two centuries is not a climate emergency.

If diplomacy fails and the 50/50 split is disagreeable on both sides, then you have a range of outcomes for the year 2080. Let’s look at the two extremes:

  • If you assign 100% of the last century’s temperature increase to the human-caused CO2 increase, then the temperature in 2080 should be 0.8°C hotter than today and 1.6°C hotter than pre-industrial times. This is probably not reasonable as even the IPCC does not claim all post-industrial global warming was caused by humans. They claim only that at least 50% of the increase in global temperature from 1950 to 2012 was caused by humans.
  • If you attribute 100% of the last century’s temperature increase to natural causes (such as solar activity), 2080 will have the same temperature as now. More on that later.

There’s a second release from the IPCC that further undermines the political declarations of a climate emergency:

“The rate of warming over the past 15 years (1998–2012; 0.05 [-0.05 to +0.15]° per decade) is lower than the trend since 1951 (1951–2012; 0.12 [0.08 to 0.14]° per decade).”

This quote is from the last fully completed IPCC Assessment Report (AR5) of 2014. If you found it to be a bit confusing, that’s because it was written to hide an inconvenient truth.

The quote is confirmation from the IPCC that global warming ceased between 1998 and 2012, a period the report describes as having the highest anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions in history.

Data supports this cessation of warming (the inconvenient truth), which some climate change heretics call the Global Warming Hiatus. The quote is obviously contrived to be misleading.

It compares two trends, one from 1951 to 2012 with a warming trend of 0.12°C per decade, and the other from 1998 to 2012 with a warming trend of 0.05°C per decade.

Note that each trend ended in 2012. It would be better to compare the actual data from 1951 to 1998 to the actual data from 1998 to 2012, rather than the statistically manipulated trends.

According to the same public domain database the IPCC used, the 1998 temperature was about 0.6°C warmer than in 1951. The global average temperature in 2012 was 0.1°C cooler than in 1998.

That degree of accuracy in global average temperature is probably not possible. However, the IPCC phrasing “a much smaller increasing linear trend” obscures the fact that there was no global warming between 1998 and 2012.

When the 2014 IPCC Assessment Report was released, our political elite should have summoned the courage to address the observed data and ask if we had already hit and surpassed the peak rate of global warming (for clarity, global warming may still be occurring but at a much slower rate).

If they had addressed the data they might have learned the classical, non-politicized science of climate change, and the two possible explanations offered by classical science:

  • If current global warming is mostly caused by human emissions, there may already be enough CO2 in the atmosphere to limit the greenhouse gas effect caused by CO2. Carbon dioxide absorbs heat radiation from the surface of the Earth predominately in the wavelength range of 14 to 16.5 micrometers. If this band of radiation is already being absorbed then a further increase in CO2 concentration will not add to the greenhouse gas global warming effect. This is substantiated from NASA satellites which have measured a drop in the Earth’s radiation of that wavelength range. Adding more CO2 is like adding more nets to catch fish when there are no more fish to catch.
  • If current global warming is mostly caused by natural variations in the Sun, consider that from 1700 to 1950 there have been 23 solar cycles with an average peak of 165 sunspots. During the period of high global warming from 1951 to 1998, there were five solar cycles with an average peak of 220 sunspots. From 1999 to 2019, which covers the period of no global warming there have been two solar cycles with an average peak of 145 sunspots. NASA predicts we are now entering the weakest solar cycle in 200 years. This might be the beginning of a decades-long Grand Solar Minimum. Correlation does not prove causation, but it is a reasonable hypothesis to explore since during the Little Ice Age there were four consecutive Grand Solar Minimums.

Instead of addressing these scenarios in 2014, our political elite signed the 2015 Paris Agreement. That agreement includes the emissions reductions thought to be required to limit global warming from a base in 1900 to within the range of 1.5°C to 2°C by the year 2100.

Classical science suggests that if global warming is 100% caused by human-emitted CO2, those limits may already be predestined regardless of emission reductions.

Classical science also suggests that if global warming is 100% caused by natural variations in the Sun, then the global warming peak may have been reached. In light of COP26, now is another chance for courageous politicians to ask those questions.

But we have already allowed politicized science to scare hope for the future right out of the next generations. My book is an entertaining way you can share the truth about climate hysteria and maybe change that. Climate Discussion Nexus agrees: “…very readable Sunlight on Climate Change: A Heretic’s Guide to Global Climate Hysteria we recommend for the concerned but open-minded young person on your gift list…”


Ron Barmby (www.ronaldbarmby.ca) is a Professional Engineer with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, whose 40+ year career in the energy sector has taken him to over 40 countries on five continents. He recently published “Sunlight on Climate Change: A Heretic’s Guide to Global Climate Hysteria” (AmazonBarnes & Noble) to explain in understandable terms the science of how both natural and human-caused global warming work.

Permission to use this content is granted freely to all, provided that any such use is accompanied by attribution and link. —CCD Ed.

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