Old Patriot's Pen

Personal pontifications of an old geezer born 200 years too late.

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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

I've been everywhere That was the title of a hit country-and-western song from the late 1950's, originally sung by Hank Snow, and made famous by Johnny Cash. I resemble that! My 26-year career in the Air Force took me to more than sixty nations on five continents - sometimes only for a few minutes, other times for as long as four years at a time. In all that travel, I also managed to find the perfect partner, help rear three children, earn more than 200 hours of college credit, write more than 3000 reports, papers, documents, pamphlets, and even a handful of novels, take about 10,000 photographs, and met a huge crowd of interesting people. I use this weblog and my personal website here to document my life, and discuss my views on subjects I find interesting.

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Failed Power Grab

A lot of things are happening in the "climate change" world. Some of it's good, and much of it is pure evil. I like this guy's comments, but some of the information he provides needs some explanation for those that don't follow this hysteria on a day-by-day basis. I've copied Mr. Gerhard's comments in bold, with my additional comments below.

First and foremost, everyone needs to understand that the current battle has nothing to do with "manmade climate change" and everything to do with the United Nations attempting to become a world government, with or without the consent of any of the nations that currently belong to it. Raw, naked power is what drives the IPCC and most of the other agencies of the United Nations. "Climate change" was just the last in a long list of scares the United Nations has tried to use to gain that power. Once you understand that, everything else falls into place.

Here are Mr. Gerhard's comments:

1. Comments by Lee C. Gerhard, Geologist, IPCC reviewer, December 16, 2009
These important comments should be kept in mind when reading articles about climate issues. [Note: these comments are now posted on the ICECAP web site:]

It is crucial that scientists are factually accurate when they do speak out, that they ignore media hype and maintain a clinical detachment from social or other agendas. There are facts and data that are ignored in the maelstrom of social and economic agendas swirling about Copenhagen. Greenhouse gases and their effects are well-known. Here are some of things we know:

  1. The most effective greenhouse gas is water vapor, comprising approximately 95 percent of the total greenhouse effect.

  2. The general breakdown of greenhouse gasses in most chemistry books are water vapor, 95%, carbon dioxide, 4%, all others (a LONG list), 1%. The latest information I've found indicate that human beings contribute about 2% of water vapor, 3.5% of CO2, and about 6% of all other gasses (including all the methane released by bovine (cattle) flatulence (farts) and oil and gas drilling. Total human contribution to greenhouse gasses is 0.021% (0.019% of water vapor, 0.0014% of CO2, and 0.0006% other). Mayon Volcano, in the Philippines, is currently spewing out more greenhouse gasses (carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, and others) every day than all human contributions add in a year.

  3. Carbon dioxide concentration has been continually rising for nearly 100 years. It continues to rise, but carbon dioxide concentrations at present are near the lowest in geologic history.

  4. Current concentrations are approximately 380 parts per million by volume (ppmv). Human generated carbon dioxide is supposed to push this level to 450 ppmv by 2050. In contrast, the lowest level recorded for CO2 was around 285ppmv, while levels of more than 8000 ppmv have been detected in ice cores and interpreted from other sources. If levels ever dropped below about 250 ppmv, most scientists believe all plant life on Earth would die. On the other hand, scientific experiments in controlled environments show that increased levels of CO2 cause plants to significantly increase yields.

  5. Temperature change correlation with carbon dioxide levels is not statistically significant.

  6. Most studies show that CO2 levels usually FOLLOW, not lead, major temperature changes, making it difficult to correlate temperature changes from CO2 levels. It actually appears to be the other way around - rising temperatures cause CO2 levels to rise.

  7. There are no data that definitively relate carbon dioxide levels to temperature changes.

  8. Every report of how "greenhouse gasses" are causing "global warming" or "global climate change" are based on computer models. The CRUTape emails show how all of these predictions have been achieved by the date being "adjusted" to give the results desired. There is no scientific evidence for anthropogenic (human caused) climate change outside these models.

  9. The greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide logarithmically declines with increasing concentration. At present levels, any additional carbon dioxide can have very little effect.

  10. What that means is that the first 100ppmv of CO2 will cause, let's say, 90% of all warming due to atmospheric CO2. The next 100ppmv will cause 9%, the next 100 ppmv will cause 0.9%, etc., until the increase in temperature due to increased CO2 is virtually unmeasurable. That doesn't mean that there isn't a problem with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere - beyond a certain concentration, human breathing is so
    severely affected that it can cause anoxia (unconsciousness) and death. That's because the human lungs are managed so that humans are virtually forced to exhale when the level of CO2 in our lungs reach a certain point. If the level of atmospheric CO2 reaches too high a limit, this mechanism is overpowered, and we simply stop breathing. That's a bad thing. As an aside, submarine crews have been known to survive CO2 levels of 600 to 800 ppmv, although at that level, their physical and mental activity was severely impaired.

We also know a lot about Earth temperature changes:

  1. Global temperature changes naturally all of the time, in both directions and at many scales of intensity.

  2. During the past 2500 years, average annual temperatures have changed repeatedly. The period around Christ's birth was significantly warmer than today. This time period was called the Roman Optimum. The so-called "Dark Ages" can be correlated with a time when it was much colder. The period from around 900AD to about 1350AD is called the Medieval Warm Period, when the Norse settled Greenland (and probably Newfoundland), and grapes grew in England. A prolonged cold period began following the Medieval Warm Period, and lasted until about 1850. This period is known as the "Little Ice Age". The Norse colonies in Greenland were practically wiped out, the settlements elsewhere were withdrawn, the Thames River frequently froze over. This is the period Charles Dickins wrote about in his novels. The world has been recovering for the last 150+ years.

  3. The warmest year in the U.S. in the last century was 1934, not 1998. The U.S. has the best and most extensive temperature records in the world.

  4. While the last statement is the truth, there is one major problem with our temperature record: urban growth. Thermometers that were once in rural areas near towns and cities are now surrounded by suburbs and other urban growth. There is a valid temperature fault that is caused by this growth - a well-defined Urban Heat Island effect. This effect can raise recorded surface temperatures by as much as two degrees Fahrenheit, and can cause, if not properly corrected for, an indicated temperature increase that is local, not worldwide.

  5. Global temperature peaked in 1998 on the current 60-80 year cycle, and has been episodically declining ever since. This cooling absolutely falsifies claims that human carbon dioxide emissions are a controlling factor in Earth temperature.

  6. Many climate scientists, as well as specialists in dozens of other fields (especially solar physics) have discovered that there are many, many "cycles" in nature that affect climate. The simplest of these is the day/night cycle and the annual cycle of seasonal changes. Others include the approximately 11-year sunspot cycle, the 30-year sunspot cycle, up through the approximate 125,000-year ice age cycle (110,000 years of ice, 12,000 years of warmth, and a few thousand years in between where the two opposing cycles clash). Dr. Fred Singer has a book out about climate change, where he explains his deductions that we're in the end phase of a 1500-year cycle. There are dozens of often conflicting theories about what controls these cycles, and what their effect on our world's climate actually are. So far, none of the theories can explain everything that's going on ("the science is settled" is a myth mainly aimed at governments for grants and at citizen's pocketbooks).

    One theory that has lots of support outside the CRUGroup is that the number and variety of sunspots affects Earth temperature. Two major periods of low sunspot activity are identified as the Maunder Minimum and the Dalton Minimum. The Maunder Minimum corresponds with the beginning of the Little Ice Age, and the Dalton Minimum corresponds to the extremely low temperatures just before the end of the Little Ice Age. Scientists aren't sure why sunspots affect temperature, but the current quiet sunspot period may provide additional information that will explain the link, at least in part.

  7. Voluminous historic records demonstrate the Medieval Climate Optimum (MCO) was real and that the “hockey stick” graphic that attempted to deny that fact was at best bad science. The MCO was considerably warmer than the end of the 20th century.

  8. See the first item above. The "hockey stick" was what started many people, especially Steve McIntyre, to question the climate "science" of people like Prof. Michael Mann.

  9. During the last 100 years, temperature has both risen and fallen, including the present cooling. All the changes in temperature of the last 100 years are in normal historic ranges, both in absolute value and, most importantly, rate of change.

  10. May we all say a heart-felt "Amen".

Contrary to many public statements:

  1. Effects of temperature change are absolutely independent of the cause of the temperature change.

  2. I'm not exactly sure what Mr. Gerhard means by this, but my best guess is that the effects of temperature change on the world are independent of the mechanism that causes those changes. For instance, one major factor appears to be the geomagnetic fields of the Sun and the Earth, and how they react. The changes in the strength of these magnetic fields may affect how many cosmic rays enter the Earth's atmosphere. Cosmic rays appear to change formation of low clouds in the atmosphere which has a direct effect on how much solar energy is reflected back into space, changes in sea surface temperatures, and much, much more. Sunspots have been shown to be huge solar magnetic surface storms that can also affect cosmic ray bombardments of Earth.

  3. Global hurricane, cyclonic and major storm activity is near 30-year lows. Any increase in cost of damages by storms is a product of increasing population density in vulnerable areas such as along the shores and property value inflation, not due to any increase in frequency or severity of storms.

  4. Polar bears have survived and thrived over periods of extreme cold and extreme warmth over hundreds of thousands of years - extremes far in excess of modern temperature changes.

  5. The polar bear population in 1950 was around 8000. The current population is around 25,000. The biggest problem with polar bears is their range is being reduced by human development, but only in some certain areas. Elsewhere, the population continues to grow. Polar bears depend upon seals and walruses for food. There's no shortage of these food sources in 90% of the polar bear's current habitat. The only place where there's been a decline in polar bears is in the western Hudson's Bay area, where they've become a danger to the local human population.

    Polar bears are VERY good swimmers, and can easily cover distances of 150 miles or more. They also like to "play" on ice floes. There is no danger of them becoming extinct from climate change OR human interference.

  6. The 2009 minimum Arctic ice extent was significantly larger than the previous two years. The 2009 Antarctic maximum ice extent was significantly above the 30-year average. There are only 30 years of records.

  7. The 2007 Arctic sea ice levels were unusual. The majority of people who study such things correlate the decline in sea ice coverage to changing ocean currents, not "global warming". There are two major current changes that happen periodically (mostly in 30-year or 40-year cycles): the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. These two patterns of ocean current changes, plus the El Nino/La Nina cycle, affect sea currents in the Arctic Ocean, and climate in the United States.

  8. Rate and magnitude of sea level changes observed during the last 100 years are within normal historical ranges. Current sea level rise is tiny and, at most, justifies a prediction of perhaps ten centimeters rise in this century.

  9. There are many different things that can cause sea-level changes, but melting polar ice is not one of them. Anyone who's ever enjoyed a glass of iced tea know that ice floats. Ice is less dense than water. All the sea-surface ice in the world won't add to sea-level rise, as the ice displaces more volume than the water contained in that ice that melts. A simple experiment shows this: take a glass, put it on a dish, add ice and water to the rim, and let it sit out (do this inside, so you don't cause too much water expansion as the water warms). Once all the ice has melted, look at the level of the water in the glass. It should be less than when it was filled. There should be only a tiny amount of water in the dish (from condensation of moisture in the air).

    Sea levels in the past have been far less than they are today, and far more. During the Ice Age that ended about 11,000 years ago, one could walk from Great Britain to France without worrying about getting your feet wet. This is shown in one of the stamp issues of the Island of Jersey (Scott Catalog numbers 285-288). Sea levels 16,000BC appear to have been as much as 600 feet below current levels. As the glacial ice melted, sea levels rose to today's levels. There's very little, if any, glacial ice from the last Ice Age, so there is very little ice to add to current sea levels.

    Another major factor changing sea levels for some is a process called "isostatic rebound". If you have an air mattress (and sometimes, even with a "normal" mattress), you can demonstrate this concept. Just press down on the center of the mattress, and watch the edges. Most of the time, the edges will rise in response to your pressing down. When you release the pressure, the area where you pressed down comes up, and the edges that rose decline.

    The same thing happens during Ice Ages. As more and more ice builds up on the land, its weight presses down. Even continents respond when tens of trillions of ice presses down upon them as it did during the various ice ages. Equally, once the ice melts, the land begins to "rebound", rising in response to the released pressure. When the ice forms and the land is pressed down, the ocean bottoms rise, causing some islands to appear that didn't previously exist. Once the ice melts and the continents begin to rise, the ocean floor begins to sink. The combination of ice melting and ocean bottoms sinking cause many islands to disappear. None of these changes have anything to do with "anthropogenic global warming".

The present climate debate is a classic conflict between data and computer programs. The computer programs are the source of concern over climate change and global warming, not the data. Data are measurements. Computer programs are artificial constructs.

Public announcements use a great deal of hyperbole and inflammatory language. For instance, the word “ever” is misused by media and in public pronouncements alike. It does not mean “in the last 20 years,“ or “the last 70 years.” “Ever” means the last 4.5 billion years. For example, some argue that the Arctic is melting, with the warmest-ever temperatures. One should ask, “How long is ever?” The answer is since 1979. And then ask, “Is it still warming?” The answer is unequivocally “No.” Earth temperatures are cooling. Similarly, the word “unprecedented” cannot be legitimately used to describe any climate change in the last 8,000 years.

The Copenhagen conference in December was supposed to end in all the nations of the world signing a legally binding document to cut the use of fossil fuels, and thus the emission of carbon dioxide. It would have formed a permanent, very powerful bureaucracy that would control all economic activity in the world, "tax" the use of fossil fuels and use the money to pay "developing nations" "compensation" for developed nations' "excessive" use of fossil fuels. Thanks in part to the CRUtape scandal, and part to more and more people finally LISTENING to the people screaming for the imposition of such legislation as "cap and trade", it failed.

My only real complaint with Mr. Gerhard's article is the lack of references. The article itself was published on Dr. Fred Singer's Science and Environmental Policy Project web page. Much of what I've learned about the subject has come from Anthony Watt's weblog, Watts Up with That. I keep up-to-date on sunspots at Space Weather. Some of the other sites I visit are:
Steve McIntyre's Climate Audit site;
Bishop Hill Weblog
Dr. Roy Spencer's weblog
Heliocentric Climate Change weblog.

There are several others on the link bar to the left. I strongly recommend CO2 Science Magazine and the Cato Institute.