The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) publishes almost daily newsletters containing information on climate science and energy policy, The Science & Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) publishes weekly newsletters on climate science and energy policy, and the Nongovernmental International Policy on Climate Change (NIPCC) by The Heartland Institute publishes weekly newsletters on latest peer-reviewed publications on climate science.
These are only three of hundreds, and maybe thousands worldwide, of Internet and published newsletters dealing with climate science and energy policies that show fallacies of the hypothesis carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels causes catastrophic global warming and energy policies trying to reduce fossil fuel use. Free subscriptions are available from all sources by simply checking a box “subscribe” on their home pages. [Get the weekly NIPCC report here.]
The February 21, 2013 GWPF featured an article titled, “The phase relation between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperatures,” Global and Planetary Change, Vol 100, January 2013, pp 51-69. The Norwegian authors are Ole Humlum, Kjell Stordahl, and Jan-Erik Solheim.
This is an important piece of research that should have been reported years ago. However, due to research funding in the United States and other parts of the world only being distributed to support the hypothesis carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels causes global warming, this type of research would be deemed irrelevant.
The paper studied global temperatures and carbon dioxide changes from January 1980 to December 2011. Temperature data is from several sources for sea surface temperatures and global air surface temperatures.
Atmospheric carbon dioxide changes increase due to burning fossil fuels with a superimposed sine wave variation over a year’s time. The acknowledged world measuring point is at Mauna Loa, Hawaii since 1959.
At Mauna Loa there is a decrease in atmospheric carbon dioxide in the Northern spring and summer due to plant’s taking up carbon dioxide due to photosynthesis and an increase in the Northern fall and winter due to plant growth slowing and dying plant material decaying. About ninety percent of the earth’s land area is in the Northern Hemisphere; so the growing activity takes place mostly in that region.
Figure 3 of the Norwegian researchers paper is shown below.
“Fig. 3. 12-month change of global atmospheric CO2 concentration (NOAA; green), global sea surface temperature (HadSST2; blue) and global surface air temperature (GISS; red dotted). All graphs are showing monthly values of DIFF12, the difference between the average of the last 12 months and the average for the previous 12 months for each data series.”
Temperature data shows temperature increases are taking place during carbon dioxide declines. The delay in carbon dioxide changes following temperature changes is about 11-12 months for global sea surface temperatures and 9.5-10 months for global surface air temperatures.
Ice core data from thousands of years ago indicated carbon dioxide increases followed temperature increases by about 800 years. The following figure shows Vostok ice core data from Antarctica.
This is a good reason to believe carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels does not influence global temperatures. The phase lag in modern temperature and carbon dioxide measurements is an additional argument increasing carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is a minor player in global warming.
The March 2, 2013 issue of SEPP mentioned a recent article ”Synchronous Change of Atmospheric CO-2 and Antarctic Temperatures During the Last Deglacial Warming” in Science, Vol. 339, No. 6123, pp. 1060-63, March 1, 2013. This article contests the 800 plus year following of carbon dioxide changes from temperature changes shown by the preceding graph. The paper covers the last 20,000 years and mentions differences in temperature-carbon dioxide changes were less than 200 years and may not have existed at all. Since the temperature-carbon dioxide measurements don’t cover the same time period, the challenge of past time lags needs further verification.
To add more confusion to the role of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels, a paper by Ed Caryl “Most Of The Rise In CO-2 Likelly Comes From Natural Sources.” This paper examines monthly changes in global and sea surface temperatures and carbon dioxide changes. The good correlation of carbon dioxide and sea surface temperature changes makes the author think carbon dioxide increases are due to natural events. The solubility of carbon dioxide in water decreases with water temperature increases, so atmospheric carbon dioxide increases with sea water temperature increases.
by James H. Rust
James H. Rust is a policy advisor for The Heartland Institute, a retired professor of nuclear engineering, and an outspoken critic of unnecessary alarmism over man-made global warming. He funds several scholarships for students majoring in chemical engineering at Purdue University. He currently is delivering a talk titled “America's Failed Energy Policies and The Reason Why.”
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