Global Warming – Wrap Up (Can scientists be blindly trusted?)
Arising from earlier articles which I published on the subject of the possible causes of Global Warming, I have been in email communication with three “heavyweights” in the fields of Physics, Geophysics, Astronomy and Chemistry. These gentlemen have taken the trouble to point out where, as a layman, my knowledge of science was deficient. They have also educated me in the processes involved in the phenomenon – as they see these processes.
Of the three, one is committed to the linkage between Greenhouse Gases and Global Warming. The other two are not. I thank them for straightening out my thinking, and for enabling me to write the article below which sets out the state of play.
Note: This article is unusually long. It is therefore divided into two sections: “Summary and Conclusion”, and “Validation”
Summary and Conclusion
For the sake of completeness, there are three possible sources of heat which could have given rise to the recent Global Warming phenomenon. These are:
1. Electromagnetic irradiation which arrives from our Sun. As a subset of this, there are two possibilities which might even be acting in parallel:
a. The irradiation levels of our sun have increased as a result of increased sunspot activity
b. The albedo effect (percentage of the sun’s rays which are reflected by the Earth’s surface) may have been falling as highly reflective white snow and ice melts, and as the resulting dark surface beneath is exposed – causing a higher amount of energy to be absorbed by the Earth’s surface; which is then re-emitted in the form of Infra-Red energy waves.
(Chemist’s comment: “I believe that in the long run this is the most important of all since it is in the nature of a positive feedback loop that accelerates the current trend. It can account for increasing temperatures when temperatures are rising and accelerating decreasing temperatures when the trend is down, accounting for ice ages. The trend will continue until it reaches its limit. Think of it this way: earth temperature will drop if the amount of absorbed solar energy is less than the net amount of emitted IR. A snow field reflects (does not absorb) about 93% of the solar radiation but as a solid it emits IR in the manner of a solid non metal. Considering the heat capacity variation with temperature there is good reason to believe the snow will emit IR radiation just as efficiently as most other solids on earths surface. Thus we have situation where decreasing snow field area and duration increases net solar thermal input but it does not make as significant an increase in IR energy output, thus resulting in higher temperatures. Example: Compare a white painted surface with a black painted surface; one absorbs solar radiation much better than the other and turns it to heat which raises the temperature to such a level that all the energy can be emitted as IR. But both surfaces emit IR equally well, so the black surface will naturally rise to the higher temperature. In the case of earth rising temperatures of the oceans will give rise to more water vapour which may contribute to a greenhouse gas effect. The wavelengths of IR emitted or absorbed by snow will be a broad band while that emitted or absorbed by water vapour will be a narrow band governed by one kind of vibration and three kinds of rotation, so there is no chance that a major part of the IR from the snow will be absorbed by water vapour and radiated back to earth. The enormous mass of earth’s oceans will cause reversal of trends to be slow, just as the ice age cycle is slow).”
2. Raised levels of Greenhouse Gases in our atmosphere – in particular water vapour and/or CO2 – which trap some of the Infra-Red irradiation being radiated back by the Earth and/or radiate it back again towards the Earth’s surface.
3. Rising temperatures of the Earth’s inner core
As an aside, the Chemistry expert presented me with two calculations, for which I hereby thank him:
§ The increase in ocean temperatures which would arise from chemical reactions if 100% of all the CO2 in our atmosphere were to be dissolved in our oceans would be 0.000129 degrees C. This is negligible, and can be safely ignored.
§ The combined effect of burning fossil fuels (80 million barrels of oil plus 160 million equivalent barrels of oil from coal and gas every day) would be approximately a 0.02 degrees C rise in atmospheric temperature. It seems that this source of heat is also not particularly relevant.
I could find no evidence in the literature of 3 above relating to the Earth’s inner temperature (which does not necessarily negate its possibility).
2 above relating to the linkage between CO2 and Global Warming, whilst seductive in its logic, seems to me to be the result of specious syllogistic reasoning. (See main body of the article below).
The most logical “driver” of global warming would appear to be unusual solar flare activity in recent years – as reflected in the following charts:
Chart 1 below shows the high correlation between variations in arctic temperature and variations in solar irradiation reaching the arctic.
Chart 2 below shows 8,000 years of history of sunspot activity; and clearly shows elevated levels over the past few years.
In March 2006 it was announced that “NCAR [National Centre for Atmospheric Research] scientists have succeeded in simulating the intensity of the sunspot cycle by developing a new computer model of solar processes. This figure compares observations of the past 12 cycles (above) with model results that closely match the sunspot peaks (below). The intensity level is based on the amount of the Sun's visible hemisphere with sunspot activity. The NCAR team predicts the next cycle will be 30-50% more intense than the current cycle. (Figure by Mausumi Dikpati, Peter Gilman, and Giuliana de Toma, NCAR.)”
“The Predictive Flux-transport Dynamo Model is enabling NCAR scientists to predict that the next solar cycle, known as Cycle 24, will produce sunspots across an area slightly larger than 2.5% of the visible surface of the Sun. The scientists expect the cycle to begin in late 2007 or early 2008, which is about 6 to 12 months later than a cycle would normally start. Cycle 24 is likely to reach its peak about 2012.
By analysing recent solar cycles, the scientists also hope to forecast sunspot activity two solar cycles, or 22 years, into the future. The NCAR team is planning in the next year to issue a forecast of Cycle 25, which will peak in the early 2020s.”
One consequence of increased sunspot activity is that cosmic radiation from exploding supernovae in Deep Space is inhibited from reaching the Earth’s surface – thereby preventing cloud formation in our atmosphere. By contrast, when the sun’s sunspot activity wanes, increased cosmic irradiation interacts with the water vapour in our atmosphere and more clouds form. The clouds shield the Earth’s surface from the (now) reduced sunspot activity, and the Earth’s surface cools. In simple terms: Because of the interplay between solar irradiation and cosmic irradiation, more sunspots lead to fewer clouds and a hotter Earth; fewer sunspots lead to more clouds and a cooler Earth.
Note: The leading researcher in this regard is Henrik Svensmark of the Danish National Space Centre (See: http://www.dsri.dk/~hsv/Noter/solsys99.html and http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2007/sci_techs/3410danish_warming.html )
Chart 4 below shows the high (adjusted inverse) correlation between the Earth’s surface temperature and the amount of cosmic irradiation reaching the Earth’s surface.
It follows from all of the above (and more information below) that – at some time between 2012 and 2020 – the Earth’s surface will likely begin to cool; perhaps too rapidly for comfort. It will therefore be sensible to begin immediately to implement prophylactic measures which will enable humanity to survive a (possible) Ice Age.
Following his having read this article, the scientist who is “pro” the linkage between CO2 and Global Warming sent me the following comment:
“I am not a crusader, I am a truth-seeker, and I am ready to change the camp whenever I smell there is something fishy. What puts me in the Greenhouse-Global Warming camp is not a sort religious belief, but the fact that I see the people in this camp struggling hard to have all the hard facts included in their models. Of the well established facts and measurements ( e.g. variations in solar irradiance, orbital variations etc) there is not even a single item to my knowledge which is not included into the models of the Greenhouse-Global warming camp”.
As a layman, it would be arrogant of me to ignore such a heartfelt observation. Nevertheless, the “hard facts” which I have at my disposal (sourced from the various sources referred to below) are either incorrect, or the term “Greenhouse” must be interpreted to include water vapour. If the latter, this begs the question: What caused the rise in water vapour?
The four variables which are inadequately explained by the CO2/Global Warming argument are:
1. CO2 appears to be a lagging indicator (It lags temperature by up to 800 years)
2. CO2 accounts for 0.054% of our atmosphere. Further, for example, humans produce 6.5 gigatons of CO2 a year by burning fossil fuels, as compared with 150 gigatons from dieing vegetation. There are also other sources such as volcanos, animals and bacteria. Humankind thereby produces a small fraction of the incremental CO2 that is released into the atmosphere every day – probably less than 4% of the total. By contrast, water vapour, which is also a Greenhouse Gas, accounts for 95% of all Greenhouse Gases in the atmosphere. (Source: http://www.jonhs.net/freemovies/great_global_warming_swindle.htm )
3. There has been an unexpected and measurable impact of Global “Dimming” (less direct sunlight reaching the Earth’s surface) arising from two factors in the recent past:
a. Jet aircraft have been leaving a criss-crossing band of white “chemtrails” which, in turn, appear to have been reflecting sunlight away from the Earth’s surface
b. Clouds of raised levels of particulate matter in the atmosphere – as a result of burning impure fossil fuels – have had the twin impact of acting as a sort of blanket that keeps warm air trapped below their surfaces, whilst at the same time have also been reflecting some of the sun’s rays and preventing them from reaching the Earth’s surface.
These two factors may have been a source of some confusion to the scientists who have been building their sophisticated computer models.
4. There has been a strange phenomenon in that “pan evaporation” has been slowing down. What is pan evaporation? For decades, scientists have been measuring evaporation levels of water poured into a pan and left outside. On a regular basis, the scientists monitoring the evaporation will dutifully top up the water in the pan to determine how much of it has evaporated between refills. Over the past couple of decades these particular scientists have noticed a slowing down in the rate of evaporation. This may or may not be counterintuitive in the event we have Global Warming. (Source: http://www.jonhs.net/freemovies/global_dimming.htm )
Let’s examine this last point a bit more carefully.
If rising ocean temperatures (from historically rising sunspot activity) have resulted in rising levels of water vapour in the atmosphere (and, incidentally, also rising levels of CO2) then a more humid atmosphere might have slowed down the rate of pan evaporation notwithstanding rising ambient temperatures in our environment.
Raised levels of humidity would also account for the increased precipitation of snowfalls which gave rise to the deposit of an additional 45 Billion tons of Ice on the Eastern Antarctic Ice Shelf in the 11 years to 2003; as well as the blizzards which swept across North America and Northern Europe in the winter of 2006/7.
Let’s now turn our attention to providing possible explanations as to how and why so many scientists might have arrived at the wrong conclusion regarding the linkage between CO2 and Greenhouse gases.
How did some scientists arrive at the incorrect conclusion?
The dictionary defines “syllogism” as: “A form of argument or reasoning expressed or claimed to be expressible in the form of two propositions (the major premise and the minor premise) containing a common term, and a third proposition (the conclusion) following necessarily from them”.
Example: All trees have roots; an oak is a tree, therefore an oak has roots.
There is also another definition for syllogism as follows: “A specious or very subtle argument; a deviously crafty piece of reasoning”
Example: All cats have four legs; all dogs have four legs; therefore all cats are dogs.
Given the factual inconsistencies referred to above, I have concluded that the arguments which claim a linkage between Carbon Dioxide and the extent of Global Warming which we have been experiencing over recent decades arise from syllogistic reasoning of the specious type. In short, the Global Warming scientists have gotten carried away.
Syllogisms aside, in statistical terms one would talk about Independent Variables and Dependent Variables. The fact that two variables occur simultaneously does not necessarily make them dependent on one another. There are three possibilities:
1. The two variables may both be dependent on something else
2. x may be dependent on y
3. y may be dependent on x
Why did some scientists arrive at the incorrect conclusion?
I have no reason to doubt the integrity of scientists. Of all humanity, I believe that scientists may well have the highest integrity when searching for the truth.
However, scientists are also human – and there are two forces at work here:
1. General: Any ‘normal’ person reading the history of the Second World War with the benefit of hindsight would reasonably ask him/her self: “How could the average citizen in Germany have just accepted what that madman Hitler was doing?” The answer to this question (I believe) lies in a social phenomenon. Everyone has a need to belong somewhere. So, we ‘filter’ information, and ‘rationalise’ what is going on around us to ensure that we are accepted (not rejected) by the group to which we belong. The human mind has an extraordinary capacity to rationalise. In particular, when we are dealing with scientists, we are typically talking about extraordinarily intelligent human beings. The higher the IQ, the more powerful is the ability to rationalise. It is very difficult for an ordinary mortal to win an argument with a scientist in the scientist’s field of expertise.
2. Specific: If a scientist earns his living in a particular field, and he is seen to be going against the ‘consensus’ in his field, he will soon be out of a job. No employer will pay a scientist to prove the employer wrong. Thus, as a means of ensuring a continuation of their capacity to earn an income, and thereby put food on their families’ tables, the scientists’ thought processes may (unwittingly) become biased.
§ In this regard, and with no disrespect to scientists, I recall an anecdote told to me by a friend who built a multinational corporation in the Software Industry. One day he called a programmer in, and asked that programmer to develop a program which would assign a positive value to all payments received from debtors on a Monday and a Wednesday, a negative value to all payments received on a Thursday and a Friday, and a zero value to all payments received on a Tuesday. He gave some imaginary explanation which made no sense whatsoever. The programmer did not argue with his boss. He went away and designed a flawless program which worked absolutely perfectly. He also presented the source code, neatly bound in a manual to which future programmers might refer. He was not stupid. To the contrary, he was brilliant. But above all, he was an honest, hard working and loyal employee. He did not see it as his place to second guess his boss. He was not predisposed to bite the hand that fed him.
§ For those readers who might be interested to delve more deeply into this phenomenon of “social compliance pressure” you may wish to refer to the case study of Dr Ignaz Semmelweis (1818 – 1865). http://www.uh.edu/engines/epi622.htm Semmelweis was able to reduce maternal mortality rate due to puerperal fever (a childbirth fever) from 13.10% to 2.03% by the simple means of washing his hands in disinfectant before delivering babies; but his peers actively blocked his efforts to get them to change their ways.
Of course, as the years have passed, scientific process and scientific “discipline” have been evolving as a result of the conscious attempts on the part of scientists to eradicate bias. At a base and simplistic level, they do this by means of blind tests – where they objectively test one variable against another (blind variable) for the purpose of benchmarking in an impartial manner.
A potential flaw in this reasoning is that there may be other variables which might have an impact on the outcome – which have been either consciously or unwittingly excluded from the equation. For this reason, a drug like Thalidomide slips through the net.
Alternatively, we look back into history and we say: “This particular group of variables existed in combination when the value of that particular variable was varying”. From the process of measuring the values of all these variables over time, the following argument emerges:
“We have calculated a ‘correlation coefficient’ which is so high that we have a (say) 90% level of confidence that if we project the relevant ‘set’ of independent variables into the future, we can derive an accurate value for the dependent variable. Thus If the CO2 saturation rises to (say) .075% we can forecast with (say) 90% confidence that the ambient temperature will be (say) 6 degrees C higher than it is today”.
A potential flaw in this latter reasoning is that a multiple correlation coefficient does not prove “cause and effect” it proves the simultaneous existence of several variables. The fact that cats and dogs exist simultaneously with four legs does not imply any relationship whatsoever. The fact that the population of cats and dogs might be rising simultaneously does not imply that a rise in the population of cats causes a rise in the population of dogs, or vice versa.
The “cause and effect” linkage between CO2 and Global Warming is spurious:
The fact is that the linkage between CO2 and Global Warming – to which Mr. Al Gore brought the world’s attention – does not imply that CO2 is a leading indicator. To the contrary, closer analysis shows CO2 to be a lagging indicator. The evidence suggests that CO2 levels tend to rise with up to an eight hundred year time lag as the temperature of the Earth and its Oceans rise as a result of increased solar irradiation over time, with CO2 being released from the oceans into the atmosphere as the water warms. (Source: http://www.jonhs.net/freemovies/great_global_warming_swindle.htm). This, all by itself, negates the conclusion that CO2 causes Global Warming.
Nevertheless, we certainly do owe Mr. Gore a debt of gratitude. If he had not created the internet (which he claimed to do in an interview with Wolf Blitzer on March 9th 1999) then this article would not have been possible. Ultimately, it is the Internet which will defeat ignorance. Thank you Mr Gore.
Why it is important to understand the real driver of Global Warming:
From a thirty second perusal of the following chart, the repetitive cyclical pattern becomes clearly visible. This causes me ask myself whether or not we might be experiencing the final blow-off phase of an 11,500 year cycle of Global Warming which, if true, will very likely be followed by an Ice Age.
Source: The Little Ice Age, Brian Fagan, Basic Books, 2000.
Quote: “Khabibullo Abdusamatov said he and his colleagues had concluded that a period of global cooling similar to one seen in the late 17th century - when canals froze in the Netherlands and people had to leave their dwellings in Greenland - could start in 2012-2015 and reach its peak in 2055-2060.” Source: http://en.rian.ru/russia/20060825/53143686.html
The purported linkage between CO2 emissions and Global Warming is inconsistent with some key facts and is therefore unlikely to be true. By contrast, the high correlation between sunspot activity, solar irradiation and atmospheric temperature seems to be consistent with all the available facts. There is evidence to suggest that what we have been recently experiencing on Earth may be the tail end of an 11,500 year period of Global Warming which will likely continue until 2012. Thereafter, it might well give way to Global Cooling and temperature falls which will be consistent with an Ice Age.
Clearly, if we are heading for an Ice Age, the appropriate response would be to implement prophylactic measures as soon as possible.
In the recently completed manuscript of my novel, Beyond Neanderthal, (to be published in 6-9 months time) suggestions are made as to what some of these prophylactic actions might be, and a roughly costed strategy is put forward regarding how these suggestions might be implemented across the planet within a decade.
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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January 23rd, 2020
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