Global warming, I don’t think so
THURSDAY OCTOBER 01, 2009
There are about 3000 data-gathering stations worldwide, mostly in cities. Non-metropolitan Earth comprises 98.4% of its surface and includes uninhabited oceans, icecaps, swamps, bogs, craggy mountain ranges, plains and deserts. The inconvenient truth is that there aren’t any thermometers in those places. According to recent calculations the mean global temperature in the last century rose by 0.6ºC. During the first half of the century these increases were negligible and insufficient to make much difference. The real claim is for an increase of 0.4ºC since 1950. 22 Dec was the longest day of summer in Wellington. The temperature was 8ºC below the normal summer temperature and Wellingtonians miraculously survived. It is hard to grasp why anybody should be scared and forced to endure all manner of expensive changes to their way of living because of a mere increase of 0.4ºC over a period of 50 years, which is less than 1C in a 100 years.
Satellite data is unreliable because satellites have been operating only two or three decades. Land-based data is not much better. To comment on temperature rises per century, we need temperatures for several centuries. But thermometers have only been invented/perfected in the last 200 years, with meteorological stations only operational since the 1900s. Because 30 years of data is needed before a national average can be assured, usable data extends back only 60-70 years. Given that the earth is 4 billion years old, it is rather premature to come to any conclusion that the planet immediately needs saving.
Much is made of the recent Stern Report from the UK, applauded by our government anxious to befriend the Greens in an MMP environment. The Stern report says "if the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere doubles, the rise in global temperature by the end of the 21st century will be some 30C, well past the point at which the irreversible melting of the Greenland ice-sheet will have begun, and near the point at which the Amazon rainforest could begin to collapse. If greenhouse-gas concentrations continue to rise at their current rate, that doubling will occur in less than four decades". 30C is 29C in excess of all other calculations, representing a variation among scientists of 2900%. Like other claims, it is nonsense.
Even if the globe is warming, carbon dioxide which is twice as heavy as air would not be the culprit. When you blow up a party balloon it falls to the ground. CO2 is used in fire extinguishers, because the heavy gas smothers flames. When you get hot you breathe faster, and when you get tired you yawn, both expelling more CO2. The alternative would be illogical, that breathing faster made you hot and yawning tired you out. But global warmers insist that CO2 rises then temperatures rise, the climate gets destabilized, our ability to manage a global agricultural system is destroyed and so human civilization as we know it will be finished before the century is out.
Lately the word 'haze' has fallen from use. It used to be that emissions from vehicles and factories comprising CO2 (and other gases), rose to 1000 feet buoyed up by heat from the ground. Heavier than air, the haze dropped to the ground at night. Agriculturalists know that CO2, far from being a pollutant, is plant food, and in falling, feeds vegetation. Without CO2 there would be no life. Market gardeners even pump CO2 into greenhouses.
‘Haze’ has been replaced with ‘greenhouse gas’ but there is no way from smog and emissions alone that CO2 can get to a sky height of 50kms. Upper level CO2 comes out of volcanoes and at any one time CO2 comprises only 0.035% of the atmosphere. Even doubling this to 0.07% would make insignificant difference. 0.035% is equivalent to one droplet of warm milk popped into a cold jug of coffee. Would it alter the temperature of the whole jug? Negligibly, and still not even if it doubled to, heaven forbid, two droplets. Using the same analogy the milk would only have to be the temperature as a car’s exhaust – it would scarcely warm your hand. And the coffee would be the freezing temperature of the upper atmosphere, about minus 50C.
So the science is by no means settled. Temperatures are governed by the sun, moon and clouds, the latter which keep the air warm by stopping heat from escaping. Thermometers have no eyes to see clouds and it must be obvious that air temperature at any one time should take cloud cover into account.
Al Gore only shows his film "An Inconvenient Truth" to handpicked audiences of corporate business heads. The real reason he travels is to arrange private sessions with business leaders and politicians, to sell membership to his $750m General Investment fund which rewards asset holders demonstrating environmental 'sustainability'. Whilst in NZ Gore met with Paul Dwyer, Chief Investment officer for the NZ Super Fund. Whilst all this was reported, the outcome was not.
Gore is a skeptic’s delight. He asserts today's Arctic is experiencing unprecedented warmth, ignoring that temperatures in the 1930's were actually warmer. He claims the Antarctic is losing ice, failing to mention it is only true of a small region and the vast bulk has been cooling and gaining ice. He hypes unfounded fears that Greenland's ice is in danger of disappearing, and says the ice cap on Mt.Kilimanjaro is disappearing due to global warming, but satellite measurements show no temperature change at the summit. Peer-reviewed scientific literature suggests that desiccation of the atmosphere in the region caused by post-colonial deforestation is the cause of the glacial recession. Gore asserts a future massive sea level rise of 65 meters, way outside of any scientific "consensus" and not supported in even the most alarmist literature. Even NIWA claims a sea-level rise of 1mm per year, only 10cm per century. Gore implies Peruvian glacier retreat is due to global warming, ignoring that the region has been cooling since the 1930s and other glaciers in South America are advancing. He blames global warming for water loss in Africa's Lake Chad, though NASA scientists conclude that local water-use and grazing patterns are probably to blame. Gore says polar bears are drowning in significant numbers due to melting ice when in fact 11 of the 13 main groups in Canada are thriving, and there is evidence that the only groups not thriving are in a region of the Arctic that has cooled. Strange, too, that local animal welfare groups don’t complain that polar bears in Auckland Zoo must be profusely sweating and should be relocated back to the frozen wastes of the Arctic.
In short, the science falls far short of reality, but emotionalism based on everybody’s abhorrence of pollution has been effective giving western governments an easy reason to impose new carbon emission-based taxes.
Here we are denied robust debate but not so in America, where some truth-seeking politicians have aired skeptical viewpoints. America will never ratify Kyoto. Our prime minister talks a lot about moral responsibility for the planet, momentarily absent when she signed a deal selling all our Southland coal to China to pollute their skies.
So far a billion dollars of hard-earned NZ taxpayers’ money has gone into ‘research and development’ to fix a nonexistent problem. I say there is nothing to worry about. The planet is fine, still cooling at the rate of 5C every million years, from its fiery birth 4 billion years ago. It will still be here for our grandchildren. We should get out and enjoy it.