The climate during the Holocene

11/09/2018 21:00 - Posted by Tom van Leeuwen
Over the last 8,000 years, the atmospheric CO2 concentration has risen steadily, while the average global temperature has declined. This fact contradicts the claim that CO2 is the main "global warming" control knob.
More on the relation between CO2 and temperature: Temperature versus CO2 – the big picture.

CO2 is a greenhouse gas, but it's warming capability is almost saturated. Even at much lower concentrations, it absorbs almost all energy that is emitted in its absorption wavelength bands, so adding more CO2 to the atmosphere has no measurable effect on global temperatures.
More in the role of CO2 as a greenhouse gas: Why did the warming stop?

An estimation of the human influence on the climate

The month of May has come to an end. Another month of economic paralysis and reduced human CO2 emissions. And again, the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere continues to rise to record levels in modern measurements.

It is time to remove the blindfolds and thoroughly analyze the question of the effect of human CO2 emissions on global temperature. I propose to divide the problem into four issues, open for discussion:

Sydney Sea-Level Rise

According to the IPCC CO2-hypothesis, rising CO2-levels leads to warming. That warming supposedly expands sea-water and melts glaciers and polar ice-caps, finally resulting in rising sea-levels. They warn us for catastrophic sea-level rises in the year 2100 and beyond because of this process.

Sydney is strategically located between the Indian, Pacific, and Southern oceans. CO2-levels went up from 300 to 400 parts per million over the past 100 years. What's the impact on Sydney's sea-level?

Democracy? Make your choice!

In recent centuries the power of governments has become stronger and stronger. The governments got involved increasingly deeper into our lives and the citizens, the individuals, have ever less to say about ever more issues.

Climate policy is an excellent example of this interference. The government relies on completely unreliable data, unproven hypotheses, and ideas while the consequences of this interference affect everyone. At present, governments worldwide are about to make cheap and reliable energy sources -that form the basis of our economic prosperity- inaccessible. The results are far-reaching.

Censored and kicked by a Facebook group!

Yesterday I decided to post my Four Interglacials to a Facebook group called "Global Warming Denialism is a Big Oil agenda".

It was an educational experience.

About consensus, "97%", and settled science

There are four misconceptions about science that are commonly used by catastrophic man-made warming advocates. Normally, when you try to start a conversation on the subject, their first reply will be one of these four "arguments".

Atmospheric CO2 distribution

On the above world map we see the average level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere over five weeks in 2014. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech.

A simple CO2 model

In this video Professor of Astronomy Michael Merrifield (University of Nottingham) presents a simple model of the CO2 greenhouse effect.

He leaves out clouds, albedo effect, ocean interaction, sun cycles and a lot of other factors that affect the climate and discusses only the CO2 radiation in the atmosphere.

Then, he explains his hypothesis for a surface temperature of 15 °C. And yes, that might be the Earth's approximate average temperature, but in the real world, temperatures vary from -40 °C to 35 °C at any given moment. He does not explain how this hypothesis works under these circunstances.

His main argument is that when the CO2-concentration rises, the atmosphere will start emitting from a higher layer. The temperature at that emitting layer has to be -18 °C. So, if the -18 °C temperature layer is higher up in the atmosphere and as the temperature rises 6.5 °C for each kilometer we go down from that layer, the surface temperature will go up.

CO2 Band-Saturation Explained

Professor at the Geophysical Sciences department at the University of Chicago David Archer describes the band-saturation of the CO2 greenhouse effect.

After that, everything goes wrong.

The first part of the lecture is very informative. Professor Archer explains in great detail how the CO2 greenhouse absorption works, it's logarithmic nature and the band-saturation. He even shows on a working instance of the MODTRAN model how adding the first ppm of CO2 to the atmosphere has a huge impact on the atmosphere's energy balance. Adding more CO2, the effect fades away.

Hydroelectricity and greenhouse gasses

Hydropower is one of the cleanest energy sources available. The only downsides known so far are the impact on the landscape and the risk of a dam breaking due to earthquakes. Carefully choosing the locations and high construction standards are needed to solve these problems.

Besides electricity generation, dams also help to regulate the water flow in the rivers, making them better navigatable and useful for irrigation.

So, overall it seems to be quite positive, but recent research has "discovered" a new downside to hydroelectricity and it's a usual suspect: Greenhouse gasses.

The world needs more CO2

Interview with Professor William Happer of Princeton University. Mr. Happer is a renowned physicist, specialized in the field of atomic physics, adaptive optics and spectrometry. This interview from 2015 is part of the series "Conversations that Matter."

Some quotes from this interview:

The logarithmic nature of the CO2 greenhouse effect

For many people, a logarithmic relationship can be a fairly abstract concept. It is hard to imagine the implication that it has on the strength of the greenhouse effect that corresponds to the amount of CO2 that humanity emits into the atmosphere. Here we present a visualization to explain in a simple way what we are talking about.

CO2 is a greenhouse gas. The presence of CO2 in the atmosphere traps a part of the infrared radiation that the Earth's surface emits into space. The total greenhouse effect of the Earth's atmosphere is about 30 °C, without this effect, the temperature would be -15 °C instead of +15 °C, the actual current average temperature.
Water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas. CO2 provides 3 °C of heating, that is, 10% of the total effect.

When the concentration of CO2 increases, its greenhouse effect also increases, but not in a linear fashion, but logarithmically. For each increase in concentration, the effect on temperature is less and less.

Water vapor

Water vapor is the single most important greenhouse gas. It makes up 80% to 90% of the total greenhouse effect of the Earth's atmosphere.

Climate models depend on water vapor as a positive feedback for supposed CO2 warming. In these models, CO2 causes a tiny warming that causes the relative atmospheric humidity to increase. That increase in water vapor produces the catastrophic warming they predict.
The problem is that in the real world, while atmospheric CO2-concentrations increased by almost 30% since the end of World War II, the relative atmospheric humidity has been stable at low altitudes and has even decreased at higher altitudes.

Four Interglacials

This picture is part of a very interesting paper by independent researcher Brian Catt about the effects of magma and volcanism on the ocean heating through glaciation cycles.
The graph of 4 Interglacial Data Sets was created by James Covington.

It shows the temperature for the last four interglacial periods. Each interglacial has it's own color:

  • Red - The Holocene, from 18,000 years ago until today ("We are here...")
  • Green - The Eemian , from 136,000 years ago until 110,000 years ago
  • Blue - Interglacial "MIS 7", from 245,000 years ago until 219,000 years ago
  • Purple - Interglacial "MIS 9", from 343,000 years ago until 317,000 years ago

The Global Cooling Scare

During the 1970's, there was a "scientific consensus" on catastrophic Global Cooling. This clearly shows that mankind, heavily influenced by the mainstream media, overreacts to normal, natural climate variations.

The Eemian Interglacial

The Eemian Interglacial was a warm period that lasted from ca. 130,000 – 115,000 years ago and was followed by the most recent glacial period (Weichselian/Wisconsinan), which lasted until about 11,000 years ago when the current warm period, the Holocene, began. So, it's the last interglacial before the current one.

The interglacial is named after the River Eem in the Netherlands because it was first recognized from boreholes in the area of the city of Amersfoort, located in the Eem Vally. Studying the Eemian is very important because the continental configuration of the Earth was very similar to the current situation. This means that ocean currents were very likely to be the same as today.

Niels Bohr Institute: "CO2 follows temperature"

New research from the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen indicates that atmospheric CO2 concentrations follow temperature, and not the other way around.

“Our analyses of ice cores from the ice sheet in Antarctica shows that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere follows the rise in Antarctic temperatures very closely and is staggered by a few hundred years at most,” explains Sune Olander Rasmussen, Associate Professor and centre coordinator at the Centre for Ice and Climate at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen.

Warmer water can contain less CO2, so when oceans warm up they release CO2 to the atmosphere.

This is in clear contradiction with the CO2-hypothesis that says that CO2 causes warming.

Twice as much warming

Newspapers and websites from all over the world tell us that their country / region / continent is warming "faster", or even "twice as fast" as the global average. This faster than average warming is reported for:

  • Europe
  • Russia
  • Canada
  • Alaska
  • The Arctic
  • China
  • Australia
  • The Middle East
  • Africa
  • Singapore
  • The Tropical Andes
  • The Earth's mountains
  • The Earth's lakes
  • The Earth's deserts
  • The Gulf of Maine
  • Japanese waters
  • The Indian Ocean
  • The Korean Peninsula
  • The Great Lakes
  • Subtropical areas
  • The Red Sea
  • Northeastern part of the United States
  • Tibet
  • Mongolia
  • Iceland
  • West Antactica.

While in some cases this might be true, like Singapore due to the Urban Heat Island effect, it's obviously impossible to be true for all these places because they cover almost the entire landmass of the Earth.

The webpages depicted in the above image really exist. Here they are, together with some bonus links:

CO2 does not cause Global Warming

A clarification to begin with. The title of this article and the text of the image must be understood as: "Adding more CO2 to the currently existing CO2 concentration in the Earth's atmosphere has no measurable impact on the average temperature".

There has never been conclusive scientific evidence for the CO2-hypothesis which says that human emissions enhance the greenhouse effect, resulting in global warming. On the contrary, all evidence and rational considerations point in the opposite direction, namely that this hypothesis must be refuted.

Here's an overview:


Did you know that ...

  • Oxygen feeds fires while CO2 extinguishes fires?
  • Oxygen causes rot and oxidation while CO2 feeds plants?
  • All life on Earth is as dependent on CO2 as it is on oxygen?
  • The greenhouse effect of water vapor is 10 times as strong as the CO2 greenhouse effect?
  • Oxygen does not heat the Earth and neither does CO2?
  • The Earth's atmosphere contains 525 times as much oxygen as CO2?
  • When life on Earth started, the CO2 level was more than 10 times as high as it is today?
  • Without the human burning of fossil fuels, life on Earth would have slowly started to die out due to lack of CO2?

The demonization of CO2 is an attack against human development. In the longer term it is an attack against all life on Earth.

Did you know that?

The mosquito warms the elephant!

The combined mass of the Earth's oceans is 1.35 x 1024 grams.
The specific heat of ocean water is 3.993 Joule / gram / Kelvin.
So, it takes 5.39055 x 1024 Joules to warm the oceans 1 Kelvin.

The total mass of the Earth's atmosphere is 5.1480×1021 grams.
The specific heat of the atmosphere is 1.005 Joule / gram / Kelvin.
So, it takes 5.17374 x 1021 Joules to warm the atmosphere 1 Kelvin.

500 Scientists: "There is no Climate Emergency"

Earlier this week, a group of "more than 500 knowledgeable and experienced scientists and professionals in climate and related fields" sent this urgent message to the United Nations declaring there is no climate emergency. They urge to review the climate models on which international policy is based, calling these models "unfit for their purpose" and "Immature".
The group invites the UN to organize together "a constructive high-level meeting between world-class scientists on both sides" on climate change.

The complete letter:

The fingerprints of the greenhouse effect

The hypothesis of "man-made climate change" tells us that the increase in the concentration of CO2 enhances the greenhouse effect of the atmosphere and has global warming as a final result.

Since the beginning of the industrialized era around 1850, man emits relatively large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere through the use of fossil fuels. The consequence of these emissions is that during that period, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere increased sharply from about 300 parts per million to more than 400 ppm, an increase of almost 40%. The average temperature increased in the same period more or less 1.5 °C with a small variation depending on the data source used.

Emotion versus Science

There are not more hurricanes than before. There are not more tornadoes than before. There are not more forest fires than before. There are not more heatwaves than before and the heatwaves do not last longer than before. The sea-level rise does not accelerate. We enjoy a slight increase in temperature, but it is not hotter than at other times of the Holocene.

The IPCC models do not work; the warming is much lower than predicted.

As they have understood that all the facts are against them, the UN has changed its strategy. They now play the "emotion" card. Theater time has arrived.

National Geographic and the Amazon

National Geographic made a first step in the right direction by admitting that the Oxygen balance of the Amazon rainforest equals zero:

"However, the figure—which has earned the forest the title “lungs of the Earth”—is a gross overestimate. As several scientists have pointed out in recent days, the Amazon’s net contribution to the oxygen we breathe likely hovers around zero."

The "Green Lungs of the Earth" Myth

This must be the environmental myth with the deepest roots of them all (pun intended). It's compulsory subject matter in public schools around the globe, it's passed from generation to generation and if you dare to question it in public, disbelieve, rejection, jeering and even exclusion from the conversation will be your treat. That's the typical way people react when their beliefs and primary "knowledge" are challenged.

The myth:

Woods, forests and jungles are Earth's "Green Lungs" that generate and produce the oxygen we need to breath and live.


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