Emotion versus Science

09/25/2019 12:05 - Posted by Tom van Leeuwen
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.

At the UN climate summit in New York, it was not about science, they have not proved the CO2 hypothesis, they have not even touched on the subject. It was all about commitments and promises, appearing to be the most worried, the most committed to the cause.

A couple of blocks away from the UN headquarters, The Heartland Institute had organized a climate change conference. They invited more than twenty politicians, scientists, and journalists to share their views on the climate and to discuss science, including Michael Mann and Alexandria Ocasio Cortéz. The proposal was to discuss the issue with three realistic scientists, experts in astrophysics and climate.
Of the twenty invited guests, not one appeared. Many of them never responded to the invitation, others had some kind of excuse despite receiving the invitation well in advance. They simply do not dare to discuss the science behind their hypothesis with experts because they know they are without arguments and will lose the discussion.

So we have seen a lot of emotion, a lot of theater in New York, but unfortunately, very little science.

Tom van Leeuwen, September 25, 2019


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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.

Why did the warming stop?

The political reports of the IPCC are based on the hypothesis that CO2 is the most important control knob of the Earth's temperature. The problem is that this hypothesis does not correspond at all with the empirical data available to science. Forecasts are made using models that are not capable of 'predicting' the past.

Temperature versus CO2 – the big picture

When discussing “Climate Change” it’s good to have an understanding of how the Earth’s climate has changed in the past. That will give us a reference to decide whether the current changes are normal or not.

Global temperatures have varied a lot over the last 500 million years. Depending on the timescale used, the current temperature is either cold or hot, so when you want to know the “normal temperature” you’ll have to indicate what timescale you’re using.

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.