Saturday, September 01, 2007

Global average air temperature near the Earth's surface rose 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) during the twentieth century. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes, "most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations,"[1] which leads to warming of the surface and lower atmosphere by increasing the greenhouse effect.

On Earth, the major natural greenhouse gases are water vapor, which causes about 36–70% of the greenhouse effect (not including clouds); carbon dioxide (CO2), which causes 9–26%; methane (CH4), which causes 4–9%; and ozone, which causes 3–7%.

The above quote is a synopsis of Global Warming from Wikipedia.

First let me define two terms for this essay; Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW), simply that human activity is causing a rise and Climate Change (CC) normal cyclic climate variations.

Many claim the matter settled and AGW is a settled scientific fact, that major economic and social disruptions are going to occur if AGW is not stopped and reversed. AGW is a major political issue of our time. It is driving candidates, politicians and policy. It has become heretical in some circles to question AGW.

I question AGW and here is why.

First temperature rise, how much over how much time? The above Wikipedia article claims 0.74° C over the last century. When you claim a rise in measurement the assumption in the statement is the baseline is stable. That all that is being measured is the rise, and all other factors are accounted for.

There is an issue with temperature measurements. There appears to other contributing factors to the measured temperature rise. This principle in scientific measurements; isolation of variables, accounting for all the factors in a measurement. Only, and only when you can account for all the other factors, can you claim to have made an accurate measurement.

Surface temperature measurements are made in white boxes with slotted panels set up on a stand called a Stevenson Screens. Stevenson Screens are required to be setup to certain requirements. These requirements are intended to isolate as much possible the screen from local environmental variables.

There are two issues with the screens; location and paint.

The paint has been changed over the years from plain old white wash to a variety of white paints. However the heat absorbtion of the new paints compared to white wash is unknown, and there is no standards for heat absoption characteristics of the paints used.

We all know how different the temperature can be between under the tree in the front yard and on the roof, as much 20° or more difference on the same day at the same time. Which temperature is the “real” temperature for that time on that day? That is the purpose of the Steveneson Screen, establish a reliable means of measuring an average temperature.

Problem is Stevenson Screens are on roofs, next to parking lots, under air conditioners. All this would contribute to false higher temperature readings. Remember we are talking about 0.74° C over a century, the type of errors that misplacement of the screens cause is an order of magnitude higher than the claim of AGW.

Second problem with surface temperature measurements is the urban heat island effect. Concentrations of people, structures and paving generate and retain heat at higher rates than unpopulated areas. The temperature measurement stations 50 years ago were farther from urban areas than now. The urban area has engulfed the stations and with it a corresponding rise in temperature.

This type of issue would not be a problem if research measures the local effects, and correct the readings for effect. They have not done this. The are including the effects of a temperature station on the roof, next to a parking lot, in an urban area into the overall global rise in temperature. That is just plain bad science. Just this error in temperature measurement should be enough, by itself and on the face of to disqualify all claims of AGW.

But that is not all.

They’re in essentially three sets of atmospheric temperature measurements. Surface, balloon and satellite. One would reasonable expect that if global warming were occurring all measurements would show a similar rise in temperature. They don’t only surface temperature shows rises. The balloon and satellite measurements show no rise. With the issues of surface temperature measurements detail above the lack of rise in other sets of measurements by other means further calls into question the claim of AGW.

Those famous and oft used evidence for AGW is the Hockey Stick Chart, showing temperature over that last centuries, with a sharp, dramatic increase in the last 50 years. This Hockey Stick chart was generated by Mann. Simply put the Hockey Sticky chart is a fraud, a hoax. Mann altered not only the data, but the method of anaylsis to generate the “hockey stick.”

So far; the source of the increase in measured temperature is subject to unaccouted for outside influence when other atomsphereic measurements have not show the same increase. The chart cited most often to support AGW is a fraud with manipulated data and analysis.

This alone should be enough for anyone to go question the entire premise of AGW. But we are not yet done.

The claim of proponents of AGW is that humans are putting more CO2 than ever before. This increase of in the amount of atomsphereic CO2 is driving the global temperature increase. The foremost adovocate of AGW Al Gore in his film Inconvient Truth charts the relationship of CO2 and temperature with a dramatic graphing of the two trends. Very nice, very compelling, and also completely wrong.

Gore’s uses data from a source known as the Vostok Ice Core. Antartic ice in some areas does not melt year to year it therefore contains minute samples of air in tiny bubbles from each year going back 400,000 years. The ratios of gases and isotopes can tell scientists much about atmospheric conditions in that year including amount of CO2 and temperature.

What is the problem you ask? The data Gore uses does not show what Gore claims, that CO2 increase before temperature increase. In fact the data show just the opposite, CO2 increase lag behind temperature increases. Since CO2 rises after temperature it cannot au priori be the driver of global temperature rises.

To add to the problems with the theory of AGW NASA recently announced that it had adjusted the temperature record due to some miscalculations. According to NASA the ’30s are now the warmest recent period not the ‘90s. How is the problem for AGW advocates? AGW theory claims human activity is cause the current increase in global temperature. There are two major anomalies in the record that run counter to that claim. The 30’s was the depression era when vast sections of the economy and industry where idled, yet it was the warmest period of the century. Conversely the post WWII era was a boom time… and global temperatures dropped.

To review AGW; is the claim that human activity producing CO2 is causing the global temperature to rise.

I contend there are two many unresolved issues to make that claim:
· Actual temperature rise measurements are subject to unaccounted influences.
· The primarily used analysis show the increase in temperature is fraudulent.
· Analysis of the historical record show CO2 trails temperature.
· The link between human activity and temperature rise has two significant disconnects in the 20th century.

These issues need to resolved before AGW can be taken seriously, and definitively laid to rest before large sums of money and social changes required to combat a highly questionable theory.

I am not merely going to cast stones at AGW, there is an alternate explanation.

CC is a real phenomenon, the climate in continual flux, climate is not static. We may very well be, and most likely are in a warming period. The closest correlated data to the historical temperature trends is solar activity. The sun also has cyclic patterns and the amount of energy output varies so the amount of energy put into the earths climate varies. In fact the overwhelming majority if not the only source of energy for climate activities is the sun.

A slight rise in solar output would provide more energy into the climate system with a noticeable increase in temperature. This theory also provides an explanation for the increase in CO2 that follows temperature increases. Ocean water warms as average temperatures increase; warming liquids hold less dissolved gas than cold liquids. CO2 gas would be released into the atmosphere as temperature rises.

The solar output theory of CC does not require explanation or development of previously undiscovered mechanism for the data and theory to mesh.

When Occam’s Razor is applied to the competing theories only one theory passes the test.

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