Reasons for Not Accepting the “Man-Made Global Warming” Hypothesis

25 05 2008

This post continues discussion of a paper by Arthur Robinson, et.al. from the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (http://www.oism.org/) addressing the “Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide ” (click here for a downloadable copy). The article was published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (2007). Following is the reference.

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Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

ARTHUR B. ROBINSON, NOAH E. ROBINSON, AND WILLIE SOON
Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, 2251 Dick George Road, Cave Junction, Oregon 97523 [artr@oism.org]. Published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (2007) 12, 79-90.

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In this paper Robinson and cohorts present extensive evidence against the hypothesis of “Human-Made Global Warming”. Following are selected experts from two sections of the paper, one discussing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide, and the other, the Global Warming Hypothesis. Any marked, underlined, italicized, or bold text or bullets, etc. are added by myself to help emphasize certain key points presented by Robinson, et.al. Please read the original paper (referenced above) for full representation of the text, figures and references not included here. At the end of the quoted sections are some of my observations above how scientists with varying opinions regarding “man-made global warming” need to objectively and scientifically approach disciplinary debate on the issue.

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A. ATMOSPHERIC CARBON DIOXIDE: p. 6

The concentration of CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere has increased during the past century. The magnitude of this atmospheric increase is currently about 4 gigatons (Gt C) of carbon per year. Total human industrial CO2 production, primarily from use of coal, oil, and natural gas and the production of cement, is currently about 8 Gt C per year. Humans also exhale about 0.6 Gt C per year, which has been sequestered by plants from atmospheric CO2. Office air concentrations often exceed 1,000 ppm CO2.

To put these figures in perspective, it is estimated that…

  • the atmosphere contains 780 Gt C;
  • the surface ocean contains 1,000 Gt C;
  • vegetation, soils, and detritus contain 2,000 Gt C; and
  • the intermediate and deep oceans contain 38,000 Gt C, as CO2 or CO2 hydration products.

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Each year,…

  • the surface ocean and atmosphere exchange an estimated 90 Gt C;
  • vegetation and the atmosphere (exchange) 100 Gt C;
  • marine biota and the surface ocean (exchange) 50 Gt C; and
  • the surface ocean and the intermediate and deep oceans (exchange) 40 Gt C

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So great are the magnitudes of these reservoirs, the rates of exchange between them, and the uncertainties of these estimated numbers that the sources of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 have not been determined with certainty. Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 are reported to have varied widely over geological time, with peaks, according to some estimates, some 20-fold higher than at present and lows at approximately 200 ppm.

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Human production of 8 Gt C per year of CO2 is negligible as compared with the 40,000 Gt C residing in the oceans and biosphere. At ultimate equilibrium, human-produced CO2 will have an insignificant effect on the amounts in the various reservoirs. The rates of approach to equilibrium are, however, slow enough that human use creates a transient atmospheric increase.

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B. GLOBAL WARMING HYPOTHESIS: p. 7-8

The greenhouse effect amplifies solar warming of the earth. Greenhouse gases such as H2O, CO2, and CH4 in the Earth’s atmosphere, through combined convective readjustments and the radiative blanketing effect, essentially decrease the net escape of terrestrial thermal infrared radiation. Increasing CO2, therefore, effectively increases radiative energy input to the Earth’s atmosphere. The path of this radiative input is complex. It is redistributed, both vertically and horizontally, by various physical processes, including advection, convection, and diffusion in the atmosphere and ocean.

When an increase in CO2 increases the radiative input to the atmosphere, how and in which direction does the atmosphere respond? Hypotheses about this response differ…. Without the water-vapor greenhouse effect, the Earth would be about 14 ºC cooler. The radiative contribution of doubling atmospheric CO2 is minor, but this radiative greenhouse effect is treated quite differently by different climate hypotheses. The hypotheses that the IPCC (i.e., the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, here) has chosen to adopt predicts that the effect of CO2 is amplified by the atmosphere, especially by water vapor, to produce a large temperature increase. Other hypotheses, shown as hypothesis 2, predict the opposite – that the atmospheric response will counter act the CO2 increase and result in insignificant changes in global temperature. The experimental evidence …. favors hypothesis 2. While CO2 has increased substantially, its effect on temperature has been so slight that it has not been experimentally detected.

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The computer climate models upon which “human-caused global warming” is based have substantial uncertainties and are markedly unreliable. This is not surprising, since the climate is a coupled, non-linear dynamical system. It is very complex. (Figure 19 in the original paper) illustrates the difficulties by comparing the radiative CO2 greenhouse effect with correction factors and uncertainties in some of the parameters in the computer climate calculations. Other factors, too, such as the chemical and climatic influence of volcanoes, cannot now be reliably computer modeled.

In effect, an experiment has been performed on the Earth during the past half-century – an experiment that includes all of the complex factors and feedback effects that determine the Earth’s temperature and climate. Since 1940, hydrocarbon use has risen 6-fold. Yet, this rise has had no effect on the temperature trends, which have continued their cycle of recovery from the Little Ice Age (e.g. see discussion of this historic phenomena in the paper) in close correlation with increasing solar activity.

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Not only has the global warming hypothesis failed experimental tests, it is theoretically flawed as well. It can reasonably be argued that cooling from negative physical and biological feedbacks to greenhouse gases nullifies the slight initial temperature rise.

The reasons for this failure of the computer climate models are subjects of scientific debate. For example, water vapor is the largest contributor to the overall green house effect. It has been suggested that the climate models treat feedbacks from clouds, water vapor, and related hydrology incorrectly.

The global warming hypothesis with respect to CO2 is not based upon the radiative properties of CO2 itself, which is a very weak greenhouse gas. It (i.e., the global warming hypothesis) is based upon a small initial increase in temperature caused by CO2 and a large theoretical amplification of that temperature increase, primarily through increased evaporation of H2O, a strong greenhouse gas. Any comparable temperature increase from another cause would produce the same calculated outcome.

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Thus, the 3,000-year temperature record ….. also provides a test of the computer models. The historical temperature record shows that the Earth has previously warmed far more than could be caused by CO2 itself. Since these past warming cycles have not initiated water-vapor-mediated atmospheric warming catastrophes, it is evident that weaker effects from CO2 cannot do so.

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The “human-caused global warming” …. hypothesis depends entirely upon computer model-generated scenarios of the future. There are no empirical records that verify either these models or their flawed predictions. Claims of an epidemic of insect-borne diseases, extensive species extinction, catastrophic flooding of Pacific islands, ocean acidification, increased numbers and severities of hurricanes and tornados, and increased human heat deaths from the 0.5°C per century temperature rise are not consistent with actual observations. The “human-caused global warming” hypothesis and the computer calculations that support it are in error. They have no empirical support and are invalidated by numerous observations.

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Following are a few closing comments from this blogger’s perspective on objective scientific inquiries related to the “man-made global warming” hypothesis.

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As credible and responsible scientists we are required to critically examine relevant issues, to develop and to scientificly test hypotheses in our fields of disciplinary study. We are called to apply “due diligence” in the process of first developing testable hypotheses and then actually testing them according to accepted scientific methods. That said, emotionally and politically charged topics such as “man made global warming” are difficult to handle given their inherent public scrutiny and pressures. That responsible scientists will disagree on such an issue is to be expected – in fact, it is extremely healthy. As “iron sharpens iron”, logical objective, strenuous, energetic, multi-faceted and multi-sided debate of such an issue as this is necessary.

http://www.myastrologybook.com/Plato-Aristotle-history-of-astrology%4075.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. A painting of Plato and Aristotle (presumably debating some deep philosophical issue!)

In other words, let this debate regarding the legitimacy of the findings of those who accept the man-made global warming hypothesis be joined.  As a great professor of mine once said, “You have to know what we teach you but you dont have to believe it.”  How has science ever changed direction when narrow paradigms of disciplinary thought were the only ideas allowed a hearing in an academic discipline?

Churchlayman