A Very Basic Primer on Climate Change
1. Climate change activists want you to believe that the rise in atmospheric CO2 from fossil fuel burning is causing a dangerous warming of the Earth’s surface.
2. The idea is not supported by the evidence.
3. Since 1850, before humans began to burn fossil fuels for energy, atmospheric CO2 was about 280 ppm (parts per million). Today it is about 415 ppm. Does a 1.35 hundredths of 1% increase in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere over 171 years make any difference?
a. Is it more important than changes in the amount of energy hitting the Earth from the Sun, which accounts for 99.98% of the energy warming the Earth?
b. Is it more important than the extent of cloud cover?
c. The evidence suggests that the answer is no.
4. There is abundant, compelling evidence that the concentration of CO2 in the atmospheric does not drive temperature change. For example:
a. Data from Antarctic ice cores shows that an increase in temperature on average occurs 800 years before a rise in CO2. Something that comes before something else cannot cause it.
b. Viewed on a geologic time scale – the last 570 million years — atmospheric CO2 is near its lowest level ever. During the past 150 million years CO2 has declined from 2500 ppm. Eons before man appeared, CO2 concentrations were as much as fifteen times higher. Yet life thrived and here we are.
c. What mainly does drive temperature change – the location of the Earth is in its elliptical orbit around the Sun, the tilt of the Earth’s axis relative to the Sun, the intensity of cosmic rays striking the Earth’s atmosphere – is beyond human control and overwhelmingly swamps the impact of burning fossil fuels.
i. The further the Earth’s position from the Sun, the less energy it gets.
ii. The tilt of the Earth’s axis affects how much energy hits the northern latitudes where most of the temperature variation occurs.
iii. More cosmic rays mean more cloud formation and therefore less radiation striking the Earth’s surface.
5. The case for climate change activism rests entirely on models, which have proven wrong. They all “run hot”.
a. Even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Chane (IPCC) implicitly believes that its models are useless: “The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long term prediction of future climate states is impossible (IPCC 2018)”.
“Thus the addition of CO2 increases an effect which already naturally occurred. ”
This is a supposition and not a fact. The addition of more CO2 to the atmosphere may add or subtract to the greenhouse effect since climate is a coupled, non-linear, chaotic system any changes may cause any number of other changes, or none at all.
On the contrary, there is ample data supporting the notion of anthropogenic climate change.
In the absence of any green house gases, the Earth would be much colder than it is. Thus the addition of CO2 increases an effect which already naturally occurred. While not all the symptoms of climate change include warming in one form or another, many do.
(*) extended duration of growing season in the taiga and tundra
(*) diminished ice cover in the Arctic Ocean.
(*) depletion of permafrost
(*) nearly universal retreat of mid and low latitude glaciers
(*) noticeable increase in the severity of cyclones and hurricanes
(*) occurrence of noctilucent clouds at mid latitudes
(*) impending failure of the Pine Island and Thwaites ice sheets, with subsequent injection of non-floating ice into the oceans.
It’s important to recall that CO2 is not the only greenhouse gas, and it is not even the strongest one. Methane, for example, is about 80 times more effective at greenhouse effects, and human activities are a major source, from coal mining, oil and natural gas extraction, rice cultivation, cattle cultivation. Meanwhile warming in the Arctic threatens to release large amounts of methane and CO2 as the permafrost thaws. Furthermore, significant quantities of methane are bound in clathrates found on the ocean floor.