20 January, 2007

Global Warming

Well perhaps, depends on the what your baseline is – compared to a measly 10K years ago when most of the north America landmass was under hundreds of feet of ice or even the “little ice age” (1300 to 1850CE) yes – compared to Jurassic and Cretaceous – or even the medieval warm period (900 to 1300CE) of the current interglacial time - no

Historic records – both direct observation and various disciplines from archeology to tree ring analysis to sediment pollen counts to ice core drilling to the geologic record itself show that this crusty ball of mostly molten silica with a liquid iron core has gone through several extremes of climate for sustained periods of time – so, what is your baseline?

Anthropogenic Global Warming

This will most likely tick off some friends and acquaintances but like orifices in the gluteus maxims we’ve all got opinions. While I make no claim to being an atmospheric scientist and have no applicable credentials (which doesn’t seem to any impediment for a former VP) the claim that mankind’s (and specifically us evil white SUV driving males in the United States) CO2 output is the cause of Global Warming – or taking the other side of the equation, a major reduction mankind’s CO2 output will somehow reduce the effect.

When it comes to ad hominem attacks and calls to suppress and harass representatives of either side, when a Weather Channel spokes mouth calls for the decertification of broadcast meteorologists who don’t conform to the cult of AGW, by invoking the Evil ExxonMobil (almost as bad as Halliburton) as funding anything that might oppose the dissemination of the light of AGW.

When it comes to ceaseless drumbeating with regurgitated and debunked (Tuvalu is not being flooded by rising sea levels, the Island is sinking) scare stories and selective reporting (the former VP’s power point presentation shows lots of shots of the 2% of the Antarctic that is warming but ignores the 98% of it that has actually been cooling for the last 35 years and increasing in snowmass)

When the political correctness reaches into Scientific American who refused to even discuss Bjorn Lomborg’s Skeptical Environmentalist

Its time to call it for what it is

AGW Is based on computer models – Try a simple experiment (depending on your local) try tracking the 24 to 96 hour forecast and correlating with the actual weather - most of the year they will be accurate but the examples of wrong calls and ‘oops’ abound.

Computer models are great things, the Club of Rome made some dire predictions back in 1972 based on then ‘State of the Art’ computer models that, had they come anywhere near to pass would be dire indeed – however, there is a saying from the dawn of the computer age – GIGO

Garbage In, Garbage Out

If the models do not conform to reality then they are wrong.- if the models can not accurately model the last two hundred years let alone the weather next week – why on earth would you believe they can predict the next two centuries?

Its time to take a close look at some of the claims with ol’Ockams edge and see which side of the blade they ends up – is there irrefutable evidence to back the claim? If not, then it ceases to be science and becomes opinion at best and politics of control at worst.

CO2 as a ‘greenhouse gas’- yes it is, it’s not the most effective heat trapping gas (Water vapor and Methane are far more important – major produces of which are the oceans being heated by the sun, and termites respectively) but it does have some effect, the question if mankind’s CO2 output in combination with all natural sources of CO2 is enough to make a significant change is open and by “their” own admission – if the Kyoto proposal was fully followed it would only result in less than one half of a degree of reduction based on their models.

CO2 makes up about one half of one percent of the air we breathe, most of it is the result of natural processes, the current best guess is mankind produces somewhere around one 10th of one percent - one Mt. Pinatubo sized volcano puts out more CO2 in a day of belching than mankind in a year and they are not unique events on the geologic time scale

CO2 as a pollutant? Well, if you consider Dihydrogren Monoxide a pollutant (it certainly is lethal in large doses) I guess so, but I find both of them in reasonable amounts to be necessary for my well being and both are absolutely required for my daily minimum ration of beer.

Besides, the ice caps on Mars are shrinking – I suppose us SUV driving old white guys are responsible for that as well.

No links – I leave that as an exercise for the students, find 10 pro AGW and 10 anti AGW scientific sites and examine the language, reports and arguments (with facts) are due next week.


  1. Thanks, Occ.

    That put it in perspective. A rational skeptic is a wonderful thing!

  2. Hi Ronni,

    The subject is far more complex than a simple blog entry (heck even several textbooks) can touch upon and “we/they” haven’t even identified all the variables and how the affect the weather/climate – take water vapor for example, it is one of the two major greenhouse gases yet it has both a heat trapping affect as well as increased Albedo (reflecting solar radiation away from the geosphere before it warms the land and sea) not to mention the affects of particulate aerosols. Methane is another subject entirely – the other single major identifiable greenhouse gas is produced by not only insect/animal digestion (plankton, termites, farting cows – heck, farting anything) but just recently been discovered that plants themselves produce methane, so the question of AGW is very much open

  3. Occam,

    You don't seem to be living up to your name. Work out the numbers, and you will find that the amount of CO2 pumped into the air is more than adequate to raise the worldwide ppm from 280ppm to 380ppm. The governmental site, CDIAC, does the calculation that anthropomorphic CO2 exceeds the increase by about 60%.

    Now, since we have not seen CO2 levels this high in any ice core data, it is safe to assume that volcanoes can be ruled out, as our century has been bereft of major eruptions (on the scale of a Yellowstone, Rotarua, or even Mazama). Your data on this, regardless, is wrong, as Pinatubo release about 1/100th of the amount of manmade CO2, according the USGS. Look it up. Do the math.

    In conclusion, change your name. Any true believer in Occam's Razor would follow this thinking:
    1) Man is creating extra CO2.
    2) CO2 levels have risen since man has been creating CO2.
    3) CO2 is a greenhouse (i.e. warming) gas.
    4) Man is causing global warming.
    I realize your article wouldn't have been as long, though I would like to see your opposing Occamism. Good luck!


  4. Anonymous20:23

    There are many ice core samples that show much higher CO2 levels than those we see today. I believe this is covered in the journal Science on or about Feb. 2008. Our ppm output is so small that it has little or no effect. And if you are going to apply occams razor, if the ice on both Mars and Earth are melting...what common ground do they both have. (I'll give you a hint that humans are left out of the equation)