Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Science debunks global warming again?

MEI has received by email an article containing views on global warming that some will find very controversial and politically driven. I would be interested in any views on this, as the need to reduce carbon emissions impacts on every industry, particularly the minerals and metals industries.

The article was sent by Dr. Jerome Corsi, of Red Alert, a weekly, global financial strategies newsletter.

“Now that Al Gore has admitted that an agenda to drive global governance stands behind global warming hysteria, another inconvenient scientific paper has been published challenging the assumptions of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate, or IPCC, that carbon emissions are the culprit.The study, which was published July 13 in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature Geoscience, suggested that the U.N. scientists' best predictions about carbon dioxide producing global warming might be incorrect, according to a press release from Rice University.The study involved an analysis of the Palaeocene-Eocene thermal maximum, or PETM, a well-documented period of rapid global warming 55 million years ago in which the globe's ice caps melted."In a nutshell, theoretical models cannot explain what we observe in the geological record," oceanographer Gerald Dickens, a co-author of the study and a professor of earth science at Rice University said in the press release. "There appears to be something fundamentally wrong with the way temperature and carbon are linked in climate models."The Rice University press release pointed out that during the PETM, for reasons that are still unknown, the amount of carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere rose dramatically, while average temperatures worldwide rose about 13 degrees Fahrenheit, in the relatively short global span of about 10,000 years.In a study titled "Carbon dioxide forcing alone insufficient to explain Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum warming," the scientists determined that the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased by about 70 percent during the PETM.Carbon dioxide levels are believed to have risen about one-third since the start of the industrial revolution.Global warming hysterics typically postulate that the consumption of hydrocarbon fuels will cause carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to double within the next century or two.Still, the scientists in this new study found that using the PETA carbon data, the models used by U.N. IPCC scientists could only explain about half of the warming that the earth experienced during PETM 55 million years ago."We conclude that in addition to direct carbon dioxide forcing, other processes and/or feedbacks that the warming during the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum," the scientists wrote. "Once these processes have been identified, their potential effect on future climate change needs to be taken into account.""Some feedback loop or other processes that aren't accounted for in these models the same ones used by the IPCC for current best estimates of 21st century warming caused a substantial portion of the warming that occurred during the PETM," Dickens emphasized in the press release.Red Alert has previously reported that in the ideological determination to see cap-and-trade legislation passed at any cost, the Obama administration has censored the release of a report by Environmental Protection Agency physicist and economist Alan Carlin that questioned IPCC scientific assumptions by pointing out global temperatures are currently on an 11-year downward trend, despite increased levels of carbon dioxide emissions.Red Alert has also reported that under tight questioning from Oklahoma's Republican Sen. James Inhofe, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, appearing before the Senate Environment Public Works Committee, confirmed that an Environmental Protection Agency chart did show that unilateral U.S. actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would have absolutely no effect whatsoever on the global climate. Meaningful emission reductions on a global basis can only occur if China, India and the developed nations go along.Red Alert continues to note that climatologist Cliff Harris and meteorologist Randy Mann have created on their website LongRangeWeather a chart that shows the tremendous fluctuations in global temperature that have occurred since 2500 B.C., the vast majority of which cannot possibly have anything to do with man-made causes.Remember, global warming hysterics not only have to prove the earth is getting warming; the burden of proof is to demonstrate that human activity is the cause of global warming. Red Alert continues to argue that global warming and climate change hysteria are a political agenda of the Obama administration and the political Left, not indisputable science.”
Comments please!


  1. Here’s another view to understanding the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme:

    Imagine 1 kilometre of atmosphere that we want to rid of human carbon pollution. We’ll have a walk along it.

    The first 770 metres are Nitrogen.

    The next 210 metres are Oxygen.

    That’s 980 metres of the 1 kilometre. 20 metres to go.

    The next 10 metres are water vapour. 10 metres left.

    9 metres are argon. Just 1 more metre.

    A few gases make up the first bit of that last metre.

    The last 38 centimetres of the kilometre – that’s carbon dioxide.

    A bit over one foot.

    97% of that is produced by Mother Nature. It’s natural.

    Out of our journey of one kilometre, there are just 12 millimetres left. About half an inch. Just over a centimetre.

    That’s the amount of carbon dioxide that global human activity puts into the atmosphere.

    And of those 12 millimetres Australia puts in .18 of a millimetre.

    Less than the thickness of a hair. Out of a kilometre.

  2. I've seen the 'thickness of a hair' piece repeated in several places and while it might be seen as a good analogy it doesn't strike me as particularly scientific. Perhaps we could create a minerals engineering equivalent using flotation as an example...my days as a minerals engineer undergrad are too far behind me to do it myself, but the collector and frother could be used to represent CO2 given that in both cases they are being added at very low concentrations. However, while the original '1 km analogy' implies that 'adding something in such small amounts can't really make a difference can it?' the flotation analogy would more likely imply 'we only added a tiny amount but it made a huge difference'. All of which goes to prove that analogies can be created to suit any point of view I suppose, which is unfortunate given that a large majority of the population is likely to rely on them rather than 'hard science'.

    Posted by Paul Mitchell in Minerals Engineers Group, LinkedIn

  3. "Hard Science" is having difficulty proving the influence Man (not to mention individual countries) has on global warming - especially when the Earth has been heating and cooling over the ages and when data from measurements is limited. What of all the other "small" influences such as global de-forestation, dust emissions, ozone depletion, etc.? Would taxes correct the wrong?

    Posted by Olaf Nölle in Minerals Engineers Group, LinkedIn

  4. Regardless of whether the current paradigm shift regarding atmospheric carbon, the influence of industrial society and its likely affect on global climate is proven, the socio-political reality is that 'something should be done'. Quantitatively knowing the mechanisms involved in the carbon cycle would be nice, but their complexity is such that modelling is difficult, hence the debate. While changes to taxation etc. may be necessary to tackle the potential 'worst case', measures which address waste and inefficiency are receiving insufficient attention despite being triple bottom line 'winners' independently of carbon. And more trees and improved soil carbon would not hurt either. Whatever the cause, there are opportunities for positive change, but selecting the right ones is the political, scientific and social challenge that needs addressing.


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