Friday, December 28th 2012, 6:12 PM EST
Carbon Dioxide Not the Devil He Claims
The first three parts of this series showed the academic fraud that for 33 years promoted the greenhouse gas effect. The articles caused enormous outrage among believers in the cult as evidenced by the comments section of my blog. But with some of the cultists having come out to openly debate we can better gauge the intellectual bankruptcy of their arguments.
Not only are there so many assumptions made about what is the greenhouse gas effect (GHE) but what strikes me most about these discussions is how believers in the ‘theory’ assiduously avoid addressing why, if this is all ‘settled science,’ there is no standard definition. Moreover, the closer we look at it the less it is clear just how this ‘theory’ even operates. Pointedly, despite around $100 billion spent on climate research, this cornerstone of the man-made global warming science hasn’t even been validated by any objective test in earth’s atmosphere.
What has triggered the furor is my analysis of the seminal 13,000-word report from 1979 by the National Academy of Sciences. The study is often referred to as the Charney Report and was commissioned by the U.S. Government to supposedly explain how carbon dioxide (CO2) will impact future climate. From our modern perspective – 33 years on – it seems incredible that such an in-depth report should fail to mention even once the greenhouse gas effect (GHE). This is especially incongruous being that climatologists will glibly tell you the theory has unimpeachable provenance stretching back 150 years to the formative era of radiative physics and Arrhenius and Tyndall.
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But it isn’t just the absence of any mention of the GHE that is odd. There is also the total failure to identify the mechanism by which CO2 is supposed to generate additional warming at the earth’s surface. Today, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims ‘back radiation’ heating as the mechanism by which CO2 supposedly adds additional heat to our planet. But that term, just like the GHE, is utterly absent from the Charney Report. Thus an objective reading of the report adds, not diminishes, my skepticism especially knowing that the ‘best evidence’ for the phenomenon is nothing more than a ‘toy’ model generated by a NASA computer, as adeptly shown by Professor Claes Johnson. Likewise, none of the GHE chicanery is getting past astrophysicist, Joseph E Postma who provides his own latest assessment on climateofsophistry.com. Postma observes:
“The one thing which has become very clear, is that the GHE doesn’t actually have a consistent explanation or description. We have seen it as the backradiation “active heating” mechanism, where radiation from a cold source adds serially with the radiation from the Sun in order to amplify the temperature generation; we have seen it as the “delayed cooling” mechanism, where GHE advocates wish to be in compliance with the Laws of Thermodynamics, and so backradiation does not cause “active heating”, but merely serves to reduce the rate at which energy is lost, particularly during the nighttime. In my last paper, we proved that neither of these things actually occur because, by definition, these things should be quantifiable and observable in their effect on the temperature, and they were not.”
What the NAS report did stress was that uncertainties abounded wherever the scientists looked. The authors admitted they lacked sufficient real world data and so had to rely on guesstimates from computer models. From such speculation emerged the view that an otherwise benign trace gas (CO2) may warm the climate. But the caveat in ‘Charney’ was that CO2 might actually cause cooling, something the IPCC and GHE advocates would rather you didn’t know.
Aficionados mostly from Skepticalscience.com were having none of it. My blog became riddled with irate accusatory comments from them. In response I pointed out time and again that nowhere in this major report were the best brains in the business able to put a name to what they described. If it was the greenhouse gas theory then surely an in-depth 13,000-word report on atmospheric carbon dioxide would at least make some passing reference to it. Secondly, and perhaps more damaging to the credibility of the ‘theory’ is that the NAS overlooked to mention ‘back radiation’ heating as the mechanism that could trigger the heat adding phenomenon, either. But upon further investigation we may have found out why it was no oversight. The concept of ‘back radiation’ heating seems to have been invented years later, according to Dr. Judith Curry, in the reports of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It is this dubious concept that the ‘Slayers’ have insisted falls foul of the laws the thermodynamics. Dismissing ‘back radiation’ heating in no uncertain terms is popular skeptic climatologist, Dr. Tim Ball who noted,
“… [radiation] merely resonating in place does not imply reflecting energy back at the source….it is so difficult to argue with the absurd Alice looking glass science.” While Georgia Tech. climatologist, Dr. Judith Curry conceded, ““Back radiation is a phrase, one that I don’t use myself, and it is not a word that is used in technical radiative transfer studies. Lets lose the back radiation terminology, we all agree on that.”
Thus my thesis is a simple one: when the best brains from thirty years ago commissioned to explain what CO2 does in the climate overlook to identify the GHE or it’s mechanism, ‘back radiation heating,’ then there is something seriously awry with the provenance of this ‘settled science.’
What further stokes my cynicism is how much uncertainty the Charney Report expressed about how our climate actually works. It seems utterly plausible to infer that the reason why the panel of scientists that included James Hansen and Richard Lindzen who are now so certain the GHE and ‘back radiation’ are real failed so abysmally to persuade their distinguished colleague to make any mention of it. But once you learn that Hansen’s version of the GHE is very different to Lindzen’s pet theory you can understand the reticence.
These ‘experts’ can’t even agree on the name! Depending on which afficianado you talk to, some will tell you the name ‘greenhouse effect’ is utterly misleading because ‘no one means the atmosphere acts just like a greenhouse.’ But, yes, many of the top authorities do. There are no less than will find 53 bogus authority statements online declaring that Earth’s atmosphere DOES act ‘like a greenhouse.’ You might imagine a similarly hostile religious debate between Shia and Sunni Muslims, or Protestants and Catholics. But instead of fighting over interpretations of a biblical script these cultists argue over the computer models.
The ‘blasphemy’ in my series of articles was daring to prove that their “settled science” emperor has no clothes. Only yesterday (December 27, 2012) James Hansen had a letter to the editor published in the Wall Street Journal. A skeptical article the previous week by Matt Ridley in WSJ (December 19) titled “Cooling Down the Fears of Climate Change” upset him. Hansen called it “another misleading attempt to present a distorted view of the consensus that exists among the vast majority of the community of science experts”. He countered with his own speculations for GHE ‘back radiation’ warming (with a 68% probability). Hansen claims “this agrees with IPCC estimates.”
However, 33 years ago when contributing to the NAS report Hansen, Lindzen and others did not attribute any warming, as per IPCC ‘science’ to such ‘back radiation’ heating. But worse yet, if you examine how back then Hansen, Lindzen and others describe the mechanism for this ‘theory’ you can understand why there is so much confusion.
From all this “confusion” it is no wonder why any thinking scientist could believe that any gas could “store” energy even though the absorption/emission cycle of carbon dioxide is one billionth of a second – less than the blink of an eye. At Principia Scientific International (PSI) hundreds of experts are aghast that such a small bit of radiation briefly bouncing around the atmosphere before it escapes to outer space should be accorded anything other than a very negligible in impact on the overall system.
For PSI researchers the real emphasis should be on the very powerful energy storage potential of water and the relentless dynamo of the hydrological cycle. Speak to anyone who glibly spouts to you that the greenhouse gas effect is real and the chances are they have no clue that there is no less than 130 years’ worth of solar energy stored in latent heat in the liquid of our oceans. They are likely also oblivious to the fact there is around 7 days’ worth of solar energy stored in water vapor latent heat of our atmosphere.
We have seen in this series of articles that the science academies and their well-funded researchers are at odds with independent scientists (i.e. those not on the global warming gravy train). Here are just a few comments from top scientists weary of this whole scam. Tens of thousands share their sentiments. All too often GHE believers have wrongly assumed that the properties of latent heat and other elements of the Ideal Gas laws are the GHE. They then casually toss in the bogus belief that ‘colder makes warm even warmer.’ To fudge that they then seek to add any and all admitted uncertainties and claim them as also part of the ‘signal’ for the GHE. This is in large part how they concoct the illusion of the ‘settled science’ they often refer to. GHE advocates just don’t want to let go of this unscientific and illogical conflation.
As Professor Takeda Kunihiko, vice-chancellor of the Institute of Science and Technology Research at Chubu University in Japan says, CO2 emissions make absolutely no difference one way or the other – every scientist knows this, but it doesn’t pay to say so.”
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