Why (Really) is Our Planet Warming?
June 23, 2007
Warning: The article that follows cuts across conventional wisdom.
The reader is entreated to leave his/her prejudices at the door and to approach this Global Warming boat-rocking article with an open mind. There is too much at stake to not rock the Global Warming boat.
By way of introduction, it will probably be constructive to focus on the well accepted principle that "No man is an island". Individual's have a need to belong. It's called a social need. We all have it in varying degrees. Thus, when society as a whole embraces a particular idea it is very difficult for a normal individual to embrace any contrary idea which might be seen to be undermining that which has become generally accepted. Such behaviour would be viewed by the group as disloyal, and would have the effect of marginalising that individual from the society to which he belongs. Such marginalisation can be very traumatic - particularly when society as a whole is under stress and people feel a heightened need to band together.
There are many examples to illustrate the point, one of which was in respect of Copernicus. He was the guy who argued that the Earth revolved around the sun when Church policy was that the Earth was the centre of the Universe. The hard fact is that ancient civilizations dating as far back as 3,500 BCE already knew for a certainty that which Copernicus was putting forward as a so-called radical new idea in 1,530CE; 5,000 years later. So, if Copernicus' idea wasn't particularly radical, why did he wait until he was on his deathbed in 1543CE before publishing? Answer: It would not have been Politically Correct to rock the boat. Life was stressful in Copernicus' days. The world was midway through a mini Ice Age at the time. In addition, the Catholic Church - which had solidified its power during the Crusades, was under threat from Martin Luther's reformists. (Luther and Copernicus lived at the same time).
As a starting point, it's important to bear in mind that a given volume of water requires 30-50 times as much energy to warm it as will be required to warm the same volume of air. Both our oceans (which cover two thirds of the surface of our planet) and our air (which extends as high as the mesosphere) have been warming. The question is: Have our warming oceans warmed our atmosphere, or has our warming atmosphere warmed our oceans?
This is not a frivolous question: Which has been cause, and which has been effect?
Let's look at the Greenhouse Gas argument, which suggests that whilst the albedo coefficient of any particular surface on Earth quantifies the proportion of the sun's heat energy which is reflected from that surface, in the case of the planet Earth as a whole, this overall reflected infra-red heat is now being absorbed by the elevated levels of CO2.; thereby causing a warming of our atmosphere. i.e. By this argument, the warming atmosphere has warmed our oceans. That, in layman's language, is one theory.
I have heard another theory - to the effect that all the heat being given off by the coal fired power plants, and exhaust fumes of motor cars, and people sweating in gyms all over the planet, is being absorbed by the CO2 blanket.
There is yet a third theory: Because CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere is heavier than air it has been sinking into our oceans, where it has been absorbed. The oceans now no longer have the capacity to absorb any more, and the chemical reaction of the gas dissolving in the oceans has been warming them.
The reality is that the idea of a linkage between CO2 emissions and global warming has been "bought" by the public, notwithstanding the fact that very few people understand the precise mechanism by which the warming is supposed to be occurring. Unfortunately, when you stop to think about it, none of these arguments passes the commons sense test:
1. If there is indeed a large volume of CO2 in our atmosphere, and if CO2 does indeed absorb infra-red heat, why would it not absorb the heat of the sun's rays on their way to the earth's surface? Why would this infra-red heat be allowed to pass through the CO2, only to be absorbed when it is reflected? Surely, using this logic, exactly the opposite should happen. If less heat reaches the Earth's surface, then the Earth's surface should be cooling, not heating!
2. The fact is that CO2 is heavier than air. Everyone who has been to a live performance play will know that when dry ice (frozen CO2) melts, a white cloud of CO2 gas crawls along the stage below knee level. It does not rise into the air. Under such circumstances, how is it possible for a 'blanket' of CO2 to trap the exothermic warmth of burning fossil fuels?
3. Why would water warm when CO2 dissolves in it? When you dissolve salt in water does the water warm up? What is the chemical reaction? Are our oceans turning into carbonic acid? (H2CO3)
Unfortunately, we live in a culture which has been weaned on the "sound bite". Our politicians say something or the media reports something and, therefore, it must be true. In respect of CO2 in the air, some of it does indeed combine with water vapour to form carbonic acid. The following is a direct quote from an article entitled "On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground": "Thus if the quantity of carbonic acid increases in geometric progression [exponentially] , the augmentation of the temperature will increase nearly in arithmetic progression" (Source: http://web.lemoyne.edu/~GIUNTA/Arrhenius.html )
The reality is that there is no statistically defensible linkage between Greenhouse Gases (interesting emotive name) and Global Warming. In the absence of statistical proof of cause and effect, it is as likely that our warming oceans have warmed our atmosphere as it is that our warming atmosphere has warmed our oceans.
How do I know that this is the reality?: Because a guy by the name of Edward Wegman said so.
Edward Wegman is no ordinary naysayer. These are his credentials:Professor at the Centre for Computational Statistics at George Mason UniversityChairman of the National Academy of Sciences' Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics,Board member of the American Statistical Association.
Wegman headed a panel which investigated the statistical model on which the entire argument of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is based, and this panel concluded that the model was flawed. Intuition notwithstanding, Wegman's panel concluded there is no statistically relevant linkage between CO2 emissions and Climate Change.
So, we are faced with the following:There is no doubt that the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have been risingThere is no doubt that the planet has been warming
Global Warming protagonists, their voices raised in hysteria, make the following unsubstantiated statement: "Hey guys. Clearly, the one caused the other". Additionally, based on this assumedlinkage, they are forecasting a continuing hockey stick rise in global temperatures. By drawing a straight line through a series of dots on the CO2 emission chart, they are concluding that "Therefore, unless we reduce CO2 emissions, the global temperature will rise right up to the sky".
Their conclusion?: "The world needs to reduce CO2 emissions".
This idea of a cause and effect linkage between CO2 emissions and Climate Change has now been adopted. It has become mainstream. It is also factually incorrect. Not only is it wrong, it isdangerously wrong - because it is causing us to take our eye of the ball. We are not focussing on the real issues - the real causes of Climate Change.
I put it to the readers of this article that the time has come for a reality check! Look around you: All of Nature vibrates in a cyclical manner. The sun rises and sets in a predictable fashion. When you go for an Electrocardiograph test, what the ECG is monitoring is a pulsating pattern of your heartbeat. The entire Universe, and everything in it, is vibrating with sinusoidal energy - a vibration which tends to be repetitive over time.
In the 1920s, Milutin Milankovitch published the Milankovitch Theory, which states that as the Earth travels through space around the sun, cyclical variations in three elements of Earth-sun geometry combine to produce variations in the amount of solar energy that reaches Earth:
1. Variations in the Earth's orbital eccentricity-the shape of the orbit around the sun.
2. Changes in obliquity-changes in the angle that Earth's axis makes with the plane of Earth's orbit.
3. Precession-the change in the direction of the Earth's axis of rotation, i.e., the axis of rotation behaves like the spin axis of a top that is winding down; hence it traces a circle on the celestial sphere over a period of time.
Together, the periods of these orbital motions have become known as Milankovitch cycles.
In addition to these, there is yet another influence on the amount of sun's irradiation that reaches our planet's surface - the intensity of solar activity. In turn, this is impacted and influenced by the sun's position relative to other stars as it travels along its own cyclical pathway through the vast Milky Way Galaxy.
To suggest that humanity is capable of impacting and disturbing forces of such magnitude is reflective of a self-centred arrogance that is mind numbing. Humanity is a subset of Nature. Nature is not a subset of humanity. We have travelled full circle. We are back in the mindset that prevailed when Society's leaders dictated what people in Copernicus' days may or may not think. The Earth is once again flat.
In the end analysis, our sun has been unusually active in the past twelve to thirteen years. Increased irradiation has warmed our oceans. This caused a slowing of the heat pump which is known as the Great Ocean Conveyor System. It also caused a warming of our atmosphere. In turn, this caused the ice on the surface of the planet to rearrange itself. This ice has been melting in some parts of the world and increasing in other parts. A fall of up to 10 degrees can be expected to occur in the Northern Hemisphere - where 88% - 90% of the planet's population lives. I would hypothesise that this might be one reason why the bee colonies have been decimated. (Colony Collapse Disorder)
For evidence that we are in all likelihood experiencing the culmination phase of an 11,500 year Global Warming cycle preparatory to entering another Ice Age (the fifth in 425,000 years) please refer to page 3 on my website at www.beyondneanderthal.com - behind the button entitled "Introducing Beyond Neanderthal"
For evidence relating the current cosmological impact on our planet's climate, please refer to the following article which appeared on today's Drudge Report:
In particular, refer to the work ofHabibullo Abdussamatov, head of the St. Petersburg's Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in Russia , andHenrik Svensmark of the Danish National Space Center
For an understanding of what the impact of this might be on life on Planet Earth, I commend you to read: The Little Ice Age, How Climate Made History, 1300-1850, Brian Fagan, Basic Books, 2000
All of which begs the question: If we are indeed headed for an Ice Age, what the bleep do we do about it?
That is one of the questions which is addressed in-depth by my novel, Beyond Neanderthal.
Since 1987, when Brian Bloom became involved in the Venture Capital Industry, he has been constantly on the lookout for alternative energy technologies to replace fossil fuels. He has recently completed the manuscript of a novel entitled Beyond Neanderthal which he is targeting to publish within six to nine months.
The novel has been drafted on three levels: As a vehicle for communication it tells the light hearted, romantic story of four heroes in search of alternative energy technologies which can fully replace Neanderthal Fire. On that level, its storyline and language have been crafted to be understood and enjoyed by everyone with a high school education. The second level of the novel explores the intricacies of the processes involved and stimulates thinking about their development. None of the three new energy technologies which it introduces is yet on commercial radar. Gold, the element, (Au) will power one of them. On the third level, it examines why these technologies have not yet been commercialised. The answer: We've got our priorities wrong.
Beyond Neanderthal also provides a roughly quantified strategic plan to commercialise at least two of these technologies within a decade - across the planet. In context of our incorrect priorities, this cannot be achieved by Private Enterprise. Tragically, Governments will not act unless there is pressure from voters. It is therefore necessary to generate a juggernaut tidal wave of that pressure. The cost will be 'peppercorn' relative to what is being currently considered by some Governments. Together, these three technologies have the power to lift humanity to a new level of evolution. Within a decade, Carbon emissions will plummet but, as you will discover, they are an irrelevancy. Please register your interest to acquire a copy of this novel at www.beyondneanderthal.com . Please also inform all your friends and associates. The more people who read the novel, the greater will be the pressure for Governments to act.
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