Prof. Robert Carter: Evidence for man-made climate change

By Prof. Robert M. Carter, James Cook University, Queensland, Australia December 9, 2009

Edited by Andy May [comments in square brackets]

I’ve always liked this essay, written by the late Dr. Bob Carter in 2009. It has been plagued by some formatting issues that detract from the excellent content. This version fixes the formatting problems in the original. In particular the spacing is improved and the “°” symbols in the original had been made into zeros. Besides fixing the formatting issues, adding some graphs, a few hyperlinks and updates in square brackets, I’ve left it as Professor Carter wrote it.

Ten facts about climate change

  • Climate has always changed, and it always will. The assumption that prior to the industrial revolution the Earth had a “stable” climate is simply wrong. The only sensible thing to do about climate change is to prepare for it.
  • Accurate temperature measurements made from weather balloons and satellites since the late 1950s show no atmospheric [tropospheric] warming since 1958.  In contrast, averaged ground-based thermometers record a warming of about 0.4°C [0.7°C through 2015] over the same time period. Many scientists believe that the thermometer record is biased by the Urban Heat Island effect and other artefacts. [Below are graphs of the UAH satellite troposphere temperature anomaly measurements (which only go back to 1979) , the Hadley CRU surface temperature anomalies and the RATPAC A global weather balloon temperature anomalies averaged to 19 km and to 7 km. The top of the troposphere varies from 7 km at the poles in the winter to 20 km near the equator. Dr. Carter’s point that it depends on where you measure the “average” temperature is well taken.]

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Greenpeace Crimes and Lies

By Andy May

Donations to Greenpeace for 2014 are a reported $318 million.  Fund raising costs are reported to be 36% or $116 million.  Administration, including generous salaries for the executives, is another 16% or $51 million. Since over half of the money collected is spent on fund raising and salaries they receive a lot of criticism.  India recently froze their bank accounts, accusing them of misreporting funds.  New Zealand rejected Greenpeace’s charitable status in 2010 with the charitable commission stating:

Two of Greenpeace’s objectives – promoting “peace” and “disarmament” – were political, not charitable.

Greenpeace was involved in illegal activities, such as trespassing; therefore it was not maintained exclusively for charitable purposes as illegal purposes are not charitable.

In 2014 the New Zealand Supreme Court ruled that Greenpeace could reapply to the Charities Board to be a charity.  Greenpeace is clearly a political organization, however the Supreme Court says that is not enough to exclude an organization from charitable status.  The court did state that illegal activity, such as trespassing on ships or drilling ships, is disqualifying.  So, the Greenpeace application may still be rejected on this basis.

Greenpeace has admitted using lying and propoganda in their regular affairs. As many of the Greenpeace founders have famously said:

“It does not matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.”

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The Value of Petroleum Fuels

By Andy May

It is difficult to compare 1840 to 2015, so much of what we have today didn’t exist then.  But, they had to move people and goods from place to place as we do now.  They had farms then as we do now. They used wagons pulled by horses, mules or oxen.  We use cars and airplanes. They used muscle power to farm, we use tractors, combines, grain carts, and trucks powered by petroleum fuels. In 1840 crude oil and natural gas production and use were rare. Coal was used in manufacturing, but steam engines were still in their infancy. So the world in 1840 was fossil fuel free for the most part. Biofuels, that is burning wood and dung, were common.  Wind power and hydro-power have been around for thousands of years.  But, windmills suitable for pumping water on small American farms would not appear until 1854. Practical hydropower was not in common use until after 1849.

The cost of gasoline can be seen on the sign at any gas station, but what is its value?  Using gasoline or diesel saves us time and manual labor. It also saves air, water and waste pollution. Let us not forget that the automobile was lauded as a great environmental improvement after the “Great Horse Manure Crisis” of 1894. Nothing like having horse manure up to your knees to help you appreciate gasoline!

How much manual labor is replaced when we use gasoline? In other words what is the value of gasoline?

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Holocene Thermal Optimum

By Andy May

The Holocene Thermal Maximum, also called the Holocene Thermal Optimum, occurred at different times in different parts of the world but generally between 10,000 BP and 4,000 BP.  I use BP to indicate years before 2000.   The world ocean was probably 0.7°C warmer than today 8,000 BP. This is remarkable because the ocean heat capacity is 1000 times larger than the atmosphere’s according to the IPCC and NOAA.  Simple high school physics is all that is required to verify this, the calculation is described here.  What this means is that if you heated the atmosphere to 1000°C and transferred all of that heat to the ocean, the ocean would only warm 1°C once the heat was well mixed. We can draw two conclusions from these facts. First, the world was much warmer 8,000 BP than today and the total heat stored in the atmosphere and in the oceans was much greater. That 0.7°C represents the heat required to warm the atmosphere to over 700°C. This would never happen, of course, ocean-atmosphere heat transfer processes would work to move heat from the ocean to the atmosphere and back again to keep temperatures moderate and stable.

The second conclusion is that there is no magic 2°C tipping point. Raising todays atmospheric temperature 2°C involves an insignificant amount of heat relative to the total ocean/atmosphere heat present only 8,000 years ago. If the oceans absorbed 2°C worth of atmospheric heat, the ocean temperature would only go up a trivial and unmeasurable 0.002°C.


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Climate and Human Civilization over the last 18,000 years, updated

By Andy May

This is an updated timeline of climatic events and human history for the last 18,000 years. The original timeline was posted in 2013. The updated full size (Ansi E size or 34×44 inches) Adobe Reader version 8 PDF can be downloaded here or by clicking on Figure 1. It prints pretty well on 11×17 inch paper and very well on 17×22 inch paper or larger. To see the timeline in full resolution or to print it, you must download it. It is not copyrighted, but please acknowledge the author if you use it.

Figure 1

References to the images and data are given in this essay as hyperlinks. I’ve done my best to verify the accuracy of the content by checking multiple sources. When references had different dates for the same event, I chose the most commonly cited date or the most prestigious source. All dates (except some in the modern era) are given as “BP” or before the year 2000 for simplicity, using 1950 (the radiocarbon zero) was too cumbersome.

The heart of the poster is the timeline of historical and climatic events. The Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) ended around 19,000 BP, the illustrations on the lower left of the poster illustrate what the world was like then. Much of the land area of the world was under ice or desert at the time and the exposed land had less precipitation than we do today.

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Dr. Harold Lewis, why he resigned from the American Physical Society (APS)

Dr. Harold Lewis was a towering figure in physics. He resigned from the APS and detailed his reasons in an important open letter. In his view government research grants corrupted the APS. The environmental community has tried to demonize privately funded research as “corrupt” so that “pristine” government funding has a monopoly on research. In this way, by controlling the government funding, they can dictate outcomes. Thus man-made climate change becomes “fact,” although all data indicates otherwise. In Professor Lewis’s own words:

“It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist.”

Dr. Benny Peiser’s notes on the UK Met Conference on Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change

Dr. Peiser’s notes on the 2005 UK conference are worth a read. He notes that Professor Yuri Israel, the chief climatologist at the Russian Academy of Science estimated that attempts to stabilize the world’s climate may cost 18 trillion US dollars! He encouraged adaptation and little mitigation. He was rudely and disrespectfully admonished by the IPCC crowd. Typical.

A Short Summary of Soon, Connolly and Connolly, 2015; “Re-evaluating the role of solar variability on Northern Hemisphere temperature trends since the 19th Century”

By Andy May

Soon, Connolly and Connolly (2015) is an excellent paper (pay walled, for the authors preprint, go here) that casts some doubt about two critical IPCC AR5 statements, quoted below:

The IPCC, 2013 report page 16:

“Equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely in the range 1.5°C to 4.5°C (high confidence), extremely unlikely less than 1°C (high confidence), and very unlikely greater than 6°C (medium confidence).”

Page 17:

“It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together.”

Soon, Connolly and Connolly (“SCC15”) make a very good case that the ECS (equilibrium climate sensitivity) to a doubling of CO2 is less than 0.44°C. In addition, their estimate of the climate sensitivity to variations in total solar irradiance (TSI) is higher than that estimated by the IPCC. Thus, using their estimates, anthropogenic greenhouse gases are not the dominant driver of climate.

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New Book: A Disgrace to the Profession, by Mark Steyn

Mark Steyn has written a wonderful new book on Dr. Michael Mann’s hockey stick and the controversy surrounding it. It is difficult to overstate the significance or impact of Mann’s Hockey Stick (Mann, Bradley, Hughes (23 April 1998), “Global-scale temperature patterns and climate forcing over the past six centuries” (PDF), Nature 392 (6678): 779–787, Figure 5, the paper is often abbreviated as “MBH”). The Hockey Stick appeared in Figure 1 of the Summary for Policymakers of the third IPCC Assessment Report (called “TAR” published in 2001) and it was prominently displayed in Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth.” As the book clearly shows, both the graph and the movie have been thoroughly discredited by hundreds of scientists who have attempted and failed to reproduce Michael Mann’s hockey stick using his data and other proxy data.

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#a-disgrace-to-the-profession, #climate-change, #hide-the-decline, #hockey-stick, #ipcc, #mark-steyn, #mikes-nature-trick, #scientific-fraud

Notes on the APS Workshop on Climate Change

In January, 2014 the American Physical Society (APS) held a one day workshop on climate change and invited six climatologists to participate.  A full transcript of the workshop can be found here. The six speakers are all very eminent climate scientists.  The discussion was limited to the physical basis of climate change and atmospheric physics was the predominant topic.  Three of the speakers lean to the alarmist view. That is they think we are headed toward a climate catastrophe due to man-made Carbon Dioxide. These are Dr. Held, Dr. Collins, and Dr. Santer.  The other three lean to the skeptical view and do not think we are headed to a climate catastrophe. These are Dr. Curry, Dr. Lindzen and Dr. Christy.  Short biographies of each of the speakers can be seen here. Someone new to the climate change debate would have a hard time telling the alarmists from the skeptics from this transcript. They were all very professional and they stuck to the science as their host, Dr. Koonin, requested. Climate science and the debate about it are much more complex than the media, the politicians and public know. This workshop drills down to the root of the disagreements and reading it reveals the considerable uncertainty in estimates of both climate sensitivity to CO2 and the effect of natural long term climate cycles.

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