Tuesday, April 10, 2007


The following is an excerpt from a 1997 paper by T.V. Segalstad, Associate Professor of Geochemistry at the University of Oslo. The paper challenges many of the numerous assumptions in Warmism but some scientific background is needed to follow his arguments. His history below can, however, I think, be followed by anyone. It shows how past levels of CO2 were arrived at by the most dubious methods -- he shows that any data not suiting the assumptions of the Warmists were simply ignored. A highly variable history of CO2 measurements was "smoothed" simply by ignoring the values that did not fit the Warmist theory! So the CO2 history we normally have presented to us is, as Prof. Beck has also recently pointed out, a straight fraud.

3. The foundation of the CO2 dogma - early atmospheric CO2 measurements

In order to construct a "CO2 Greenhouse Effect Doom" dogma, it will be necessary to
justify that (1) pre-industrial atmospheric CO2 was lower than today, (2) atmospheric
CO2 has steadily risen from its pre-industrial level to today's level, (3) Man's burning
of fossil fuel is causing an increase in atmospheric CO2 level, (4) hence atmospheric
CO2 must have a long residence time (lifetime), and (5) atmospheric temperatures are
increasing due to Man's burning of fossil fuel.

Callendar (1938) revived the hypothesis of "Greenhouse Warming" due to man's
activity, proposed by Arrhenius (1896). Callendar may truly be regarded as the father
of the current dogma on man-induced global warming (Jaworowski et al., 1992 b). In
order to support his hypothesis, Callendar (1940, 1958) selected atmospheric CO2 data
from the 19th and 20th centuries. Fonselius et al. (1956) showed that the raw data
ranged randomly between about 250 and 550 ppmv (parts per million by volume) during
this time period, but by selecting the data carefully Callendar was able to present a
steadily rising trend from about 290 ppmv for the period 1866 - 1900, to 325 ppmv in

Callendar was strongly criticized by Slocum (1955), who pointed out a strong bias
in Callendar's data selection method. Slocum pointed out that it was statistically
impossible to find a trend in the raw data set, and that the total data set showed a
constant average of about 335 ppmv over this period from the 19th to the 20th century.
Bray (1959) also criticized the selection method of Callendar, who rejected values 10%
or more different from the "general average", and even more so when Callendar's
"general average" was neither defined nor given.

Note that Callendar (1940) wrote: "There is, of course, no danger that the amount
of CO2 in the air will become uncomfortably large because as soon as the excess
pressure in the air becomes appreciable, say about 0.0003 atmos., the sea will be able
to absorb this gas as fast as it is likely to be produced."

Callendar (1949) repeated this fact, but went on to say: "As the deep waters of the
sea move slowly and only shallow contact surface is involved in the carbon-dioxide
equilibrium, this reservoir does not immediately control a sudden eruption of the gas
such as has occurred this century. It will be hundreds or perhaps thousands of years
before the sea absorbs its fair share."
Callendar believed that nearly all the CO2
produced by fossil fuel combustion has remained in the atmosphere. He suggested that
the increase in atmospheric CO2 may account for the observed slight rise in average
temperature in northern latitudes during the recent decades.

The "CO2 Greenhouse Effect Doom" was being substantiated by Revelle & Suess
(1957) who wrote: "Thus human beings are now carrying out a large scale geophysical
experiment of a kind which could not have happened in the past nor be reproduced in
the future. Within a few centuries we are returning to the air and oceans the
concentrated organic carbon stored over hundreds of millions of years."
But by
considering the chemical facts on the exchange of CO2 between the atmosphere and
the ocean, they concluded that only a total increase of 20 to 40% in atmospheric CO2
can be anticipated by burning all fossil fuel. This is comparable to the 20% increase
calculated by Segalstad from the air/sea CO2 partition coefficient given by chemical
equilibrium constants (Segalstad, 1996).

At the same time Craig (1957) pointed out from the natural (by cosmic rays) radiocarbon (14-C) production rate that atmospheric CO2 is in active exchange with very large CO2 reservoirs in the ocean and biosphere. However, Callendar (1958) had apparently more faith in his carefully selected CO2 data, because he commented Craig's conclusion by writing: "Thus, if the increase shown by the measurements discussed here is even approximately representative of the whole atmosphere, it means that the oceans have not been accepting additional CO2 on anything like the expected scale."

4. The building of the dogma - recent atmospheric CO2 measurements

The stir around the atmospheric CO2 data selected by Callendar made it necessary to
start compiling analytical data of contemporary atmospheric CO2. 19 North-European
stations measured atmospheric CO2 over a 5 year period from 1955 to 1959. Measuring
with a wet-chemical technique the atmospheric CO2 level was found to vary between
approximately 270 and 380 ppmv, with annual means of 315 - 331 ppmv, and there was
no tendency of rising or falling atmospheric CO2 level at any of the 19 stations during
this 5 year period (Bischof, 1960). The data are particularly important because they are
unselected and therefore free of potential biases from selection procedures, unlike the
CO2 measurements based on the procedures at Mauna Loa (see below). Note that
these measurements were taken in an industrial region, and would indeed have shown
an increase in CO2 levels if increasing amounts of anthropogenic CO2 were
accumulating in the atmosphere during this period.

During the same period atmospheric CO2 measurements were started near the top
of the strongly CO2-emitting (e.g., Ryan, 1995) Hawaiian Mauna Loa volcano. The
reason for the choice of location was that it should be far away from CO2-emitting
industrial areas. At the Mauna Loa Observatory the measurements were taken with a
new infra-red (IR) absorbing instrumental method, never validated versus the accurate
wet chemical techniques. Critique has also been directed to the analytical methodology
and sampling error problems (Jaworowski et al., 1992 a; and Segalstad, 1996, for
further references), and the fact that the results of the measurements were "edited"
(Bacastow et al., 1985); large portions of raw data were rejected, leaving just a small
fraction of the raw data subjected to averaging techniques (Pales & Keeling, 1965).

The acknowledgement in the paper by Pales & Keeling (1965) describes how the Mauna Loa CO2 monitoring program started: "The Scripps program to monitor CO2 in the atmosphere and oceans was conceived and initiated by Dr. Roger Revelle who was director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography while the present work was in progress. Revelle foresaw the geochemical implications of the rise in atmospheric CO2 resulting from fossil fuel combustion, and he sought means to ensure that this 'large scale geophysical experiment', as he termed it, would be adequately documented as it occurred. During all stages of the present work Revelle was mentor, consultant, antagonist. He shared with us his broad knowledge of earth science and appreciation for the oceans and atmosphere as they really exist, and he inspired us to keep in sight the objectives which he had originally persuaded us to accept." Is this the description of true, unbiased research?

The annual mean CO2 level as reported from Mauna Loa for 1959 was 315.83 ppmv (15 ppmv lower than the contemporaneous North-European average level), reportedly rising steadily to 351.45 in January 1989 (Keeling et al., 1989), by averaging large daily and seasonal variations (the significance of all their digits not justified), but still within the range of the North European measurements 30-35 years earlier. Hence a rise in global atmospheric CO2 level has not yet been significantly justified by validated methods and sound statistics.

5. Setting the dogma baseline - CO2 measurements in ice cores

In order to show that recent atmospheric CO2 levels have risen due to Man's burning of fossil fuel, it was necessary to show a significant level increase above pre-industrial CO2 levels. We saw how Callendar was able to set a baseline of about 290 ppmv by rejecting values deviating more than 10% from his desired value.

It was believed that snow accumulating on ice sheets would preserve the contemporaneous atmosphere trapped between snowflakes during snowfalls, so that the CO2 content of air inclusions in cores from ice sheets should reveal paleoatmospheric CO2 levels. Jaworowski et al. (1992 b) compiled all such CO2 data available, finding that CO2 levels ranged from 140 to 7,400 ppmv. However, such paleoatmospheric CO2 levels published after 1985 were never reported to be higher than 330 ppmv. Analyses reported in 1982 (Neftel at al., 1982) from the more than 2,000 m deep Byrd ice core (Antarctica), showing unsystematic values from about 190 to 420 ppmv, were falsely "filtered" when the alleged same data showed a rising trend from about 190 ppmv at 35,000 years ago to about 290 ppmv (Callendar's pre-industrial baseline) at 4,000 years ago when re-reported in 1988 (Neftel et al., 1988); shown by Jaworowski et al. (1992 b) in their Fig. 5.

Siegenthaler & Oeschger (1987) were going to make "model calculations that are based on the assumption that the atmospheric [CO2] increase is due to fossil CO2 input" and other human activities. For this modelling they constructed a composite diagram of CO2 level data from Mauna Loa and the Siple (Antarctica) core (see Jaworowski et al., 1992 b, Fig. 10). The data from the Siple core (Neftel et al., 1985) showed the "best" data in terms of a rising CO2 trend. Part of the reason for this was that the core partially melted across the Equator during transportation before it was analysed (Etheridge et al., 1988), but this was neither mentioned by the analysts nor the researchers later using the data (see Jaworowski et al., 1992 b). Rather it was characterized as "the excellent quality of the ice core" and its CO2 concentration data "are assumed to represent the global mean concentration history and used as input data to the model" (Siegenthaler & Oeschger, 1987). The two CO2 level curves were constructed to overlap each other, but they would not match at corresponding age.

In order to make a matching construction between the two age-different non-overlapping curves, it was necessary to make the assumption that the age of the gas inclusion air would have to be 95 years younger than the age of the enclosing ice. But this was not mentioned by the originators Siegenthaler & Oeschger (1987). This artificial construction has been used as a basis for numerous speculative models of changes in the global carbon cycle.

Oeschger et al. (1985) postulated this "air younger than enclosing ice" thesis from an explanation that the upper 70 m of the ice sheets should be open to air circulation until the gas cavities were sealed. Jaworowski et al. (1992 b) rejected this postulate on the basis that air is constantly driven out of the snow, firn, and ice strata during the snow to ice compression and metamorphism, so that ice deeper than about 1,000 m will have lost all original air inclusions. Deep ice cores will fracture when they are taken to the surface, and ambient air will be trapped in new, secondary inclusions. Both argon-39 and krypton-85 isotopes show that large amounts of ambient air are indeed included in the air inclusions in deep ice cores, and air from the inclusions will not be representative of paleoatmospheres (Jaworowski et al., 1992 b).

Contamination from drilling fluids and more than twenty physical-chemical processes occurring in the ice before, during, and after drilling, make ice cores unsuitable for paleoatmospheric work (Jaworowski et al., 1992 b).

The most famous ice core, the Vostok (Antarctica) core, with air inclusions allegedly representing the global paleoatmospheres over the last 160,000 years, show CO2 levels below 200 ppmv for many tens of thousands of years spanning 30,000 to 110,000 years BP (Barnola et al., 1987). "Most geochemists were convinced that changes such as these could not occur", says Sarmiento (1991) about these low alleged paleoatmospheric CO2 levels. Such low atmospheric CO2 levels below approximately 250 ppmv (McKay et al., 1991) would have led to extinction of certain plant species. This has not been recorded by paleobotanists, showing clearly that the ice core CO2 results are not representative of paleoatmospheres (Jaworowski et al., 1992 b), hence the CO2-ice-core-method and its results must be rejected.

More here

Pointless crusades reveal our arrogance

WE'VE had the platitudes drummed into our heads since infancy: "let's all pull together", "every little bit counts", "we can all make a difference". They might evoke warm and fuzzy feelings, but they also aid and abet a widespread Western mind-set that transgresses political persuasion and encourages a dangerously inflated view of our individual and collective efficacy. To be fair, there was a time when these sentiments were somewhat practical. For the generation that lived through the Depression and World War II, tightening the belt and donating your scrap metal to the munitions factory was an important part of civic duty. But applied to the headline grabbing crises of today, they are mostly bunk.

For example, when there are a billion-plus energy-hungry Chinese, a Sydneysider turning his lights off for an hour won't make a dent in the world's power consumption. Even as a symbolic gesture it's pretty pointless. But dare mention this in polite conversation and you are likely to find yourself edging precariously close to the verbal equivalent of a lynching. And not just at the larynxes of hard-core eco-warriors, but at those of a growing army of otherwise balanced people who are determined to believe that their individual actions are meaningful on a planetary scale. If you want to push the conversational envelope, suggest that global warming might be caused not by reducible carbon emissions but by increased solar activity, and your friendly neighbourhood handwringers will leave their calloused digits alone just long enough to prepare the metaphorical noose.

No doubt the latest report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, warning as it does of an apocalyptic future should global warming continue at the predicted rates, will only recruit more foot soldiers for the battle against carbon emissions. And you can bet that nobody in this growing contingent will want to hear that their pet cause might be just as futile as the assortment of other "wars" declared against equally amorphous enemies -- be they poverty, drugs, obesity, or terror - which seem to be as unwinnable as they are semantically ridiculous.

Take the war on poverty: just look at the amount of foreign aid that has been pumped into Africa over the past four decades (close to $US600 billion). Yet in the same period there has been zero growth in Africa's per capita income. In other words, while aid may have temporarily alleviated some of the continent's poverty, it is essentially no better off than when the West first started flooding it with cash. So how much more money is it going to take to finally fix Africa? A growing number of high-profile advocates - from U2's Bono to economist Jeffrey Sachs - assert that if we only pumped another $US100 billion ($122 billion) or so a year into Africa, its poverty would become history.

Let's say that this enormous financial commitment was undertaken and fulfilled. How many billions of dollars would end up like the better part of the funds the West has already sunk into Africa: that is, how much would get caught up in bureaucracies, how much would be pilfered by corrupt government officials, and how much would just be flat out wasted through mismanagement? Contra Bono and crew, it seems highly unlikely that this war is going to be won any time soon.

Let's shift our gaze to another bottomless cash hole: the war on drugs. First declared in 1971 by US president Richard Nixon, it has continued to be vigorously fought by every successive American administration. Most other Western nations have also joined the cause. Yet despite swallowing tens of billions of tax dollars every year, the war on drugs has done little to curb illegal drug use. Apparently nobody, least of all the US government, learned anything from its disastrous war on alcohol, aka the prohibition, the only legacy of which was the entrenchment of organised crime in American society. With UN estimates now valuing the world's illicit drug trade at more than $US400 billion a year, the most notable result of the criminalisation of recreational drugs is the empowerment of a whole new class of criminals (maybe Bono should see if the drug cartels would like to donate a few quid to Africa; they can certainly afford it).

And while on the topic of senseless tactics used in poorly thought out wars, who honestly thinks that the war on terror is going to be won by forcibly exporting the model of liberal democracy to fundamentalist and essentially tribal Middle Easterners?

Government blunders aside, grassroots supporters also fight their favourite wars in equally ineffectual ways. From hordes of screaming teenagers at Make Poverty History concerts through to folks plastering "Just Say No to Drugs" stickers on the back of family four-wheel-drives and green-conscious households switching off their lights for an hour, millions of Westerners have convinced themselves that their simple actions are somehow making a meaningful difference to complicated national and global problems.

Western culture is still addicted to crusades, albeit no longer the type driven by faith in an omnipotent God, but, worse still, a type driven by the certainty of our own omnipotence. Today, most Westerners can't help but imagine every serious crisis as being either caused or correctable by human action. Of course, there are times when we must act decisively on an individual as well as a collective level. But as a culture we should learn to think things through rather than just madly rush into the fray. We could do worse that to reflect on influential theologian Reinhold Niebuhr's well known prayer: "God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things which should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other."


Media Bias: How It Works

Post below lifted from Powerline -- which see for links

Sometimes media bias is blatant and grotesque; it can extend to flat misrepresentations, use of fake documents, etc. Much more often, it is relatively subtle, as reporters push their version of a story in small ways, day after day. Here is a textbook example, via Power Line News.

Yesterday, in an interview with the Associated Press, one of the world's leading weather experts, Dr. William Gray, blasted Al Gore for perpetrating global warming hysteria. Since Dr. Gray is generally recognized as the world's leading expert in the science of forecasting hurricanes, this is news. But let's examine how the AP handled it in the article that resulted from their interview. The AP begins in a straightforward manner:

A top hurricane forecaster called Al Gore "a gross alarmist" Friday for making an Oscar-winning documentary about global warming. "He's one of these guys that preaches the end of the world type of things. I think he's doing a great disservice and he doesn't know what he's talking about," Dr. William Gray said in an interview with The Associated Press at the National Hurricane Conference in New Orleans, where he delivered the closing speech.

But watch where the story goes from there. First the subtle demeaning of the distinguished Dr. Gray:

Gray, an emeritus professor at the atmospheric science department at Colorado State University, has long railed against the theory that heat-trapping gases generated by human activity are causing the world to warm.

Gray is implicitly depicted as a crank; he "rails." Note that the hysterical and ill-informed Gore never "rails." Further, Gray "has long railed," which suggests that, rather than being a consistent critic of an unproven theory, he is a tiresome eccentric whose views have been heard and discounted. More on this later. The AP continues:

Gray's statements came the same day the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change approved a report that concludes the world will face dire consequences to food and water supplies, along with increased flooding and other dramatic weather events, unless nations adapt to climate change.

As we have noted elsewhere, the U.N.'s IPCC is a political body, not a scientific one, and its findings have been subject to withering criticism. But the AP implies that the U.N's report represents a scientific consensus. Next:

Rather than global warming, Gray believes a recent uptick in strong hurricanes is part of a multi-decade trend of alternating busy and slow periods related to ocean circulation patterns. Contrary to mainstream thinking, Gray believes ocean temperatures are going to drop in the next five to 10 years.

Now it's explicit. The elderly crank who "rails" and disagrees with the U.N. is not part of "mainstream thinking," notwithstanding the fact that, as the AP acknowledges, he is the world's foremost authority on hurricanes. Now the conclusion: in evaluating media bias, it is always important to see who gets the last word. The AP signs off with a scientist who contradicts Gray's views:

Kerry Emanuel, an MIT professor who had feuded with Gray over global warming, said Gray has wrongly "dug (his) heels in" even though there is ample evidence that the world is getting hotter.

There you have it. Dr. Gray is a fuddy-duddy who "has long railed" and is outside the "mainstream." He has "dug his heels in" and is so out of date that he tries to dispute the obvious fact that the world is currently getting warmer! The AP is telling us that, however distinguished Gray may be, he can safely be disregarded on this issue.

But wait! Does Dr. Gray really deny the "ample evidence that the world is getting hotter"? Maybe the AP reporter just took Emanuel's word for it. Maybe he was too lazy to do any research. Maybe he deliberately misled his readers. Through the miracle of Google--do AP reporters know about Google?--it took me approximately 30 seconds to find this interview of Dr. Gray, in which he talked about whether the earth is "getting hotter":

Q: ... is global warming behind this increase in hurricanes?

Gray: I am very confident that it's not. I mean we have had global warming. That's not a question. The globe has warmed the last 30 years, and the last 10 years in particular.

The AP is resorting here to the media's constant trick of misrepresenting the position of those who oppose the global warming theorists. The issue is not whether the earth has recently warmed; it has, by around 7/10 of a degree in the last century. The questions are, 1) to what extent, if any, is that warming (or the cooling that also occurs periodically) caused by human activity, 2) how much warming (or cooling) is there likely to be in the future, 3) what will the net effects, good and bad, of such warming or cooling be, and 4) are the benefits, if any, of reducing CO2 emissions by a given amount worth the costs?

The Associated Press, like nearly all mainstream media outlets, runs interference for the global warming hysterics by misrepresenting the nature of the debate, misrepresenting the positions of those who oppose the hysteria, and subtly (or perhaps not so subtly) suggesting that all who question the anthropogenic global warming theorists can safely be dismissed as cranks.

Science vs. Gore on Polar Ice Wastage and Sea Level Change

If Greenland melted or broke up and slipped into the sea - or if half of Greenland and half of Antarctica melted or broke up and slipped into the sea, sea levels worldwide would increase by between 18 and 20 feet. - Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth, p. 196.

After making this dramatic statement - which is indeed correct, because of the two important "ifs" it contains - Gore approvingly quotes the United Kingdom's Sir David King as saying "the maps of the world will have to be redrawn," as if the occurrence of this hypothetical scenario was something we may expect to witness sometime in the very near future. And to visually make his point more poignant, Gore goes on to illustrate what would happen to Florida, San Francisco Bay, the Netherlands, Beijing, Shanghai, Calcutta, Bangladesh and Manhattan, suggesting that we should begin preparing now for what he implies is a serious threat commensurate with other major present-day concerns. The perspective provided by real-world science, however, is something far, far different.

In the 16 March 2007 issue of Science, which highlights the current status of polar-region science at the start of the International Polar Year, Shepherd and Wingham (2007) review what is known about sea-level contributions arising from wastage of the Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheets, concentrating on the results of 14 satellite-based estimates of the imbalances of the polar ice sheets that have been derived since 1998. These studies have been of three major types - standard mass budget analyses, altimetry measurements of ice-sheet volume changes, and measurements of the ice sheets' changing gravitational attraction - and they have yielded a diversity of values, ranging from a sea-level rise equivalent of 1.0 mm/year to a sea-level fall equivalent of 0.15 mm/year.

Of these three approaches, the results of the latter technique, according to Shepherd and Wingham, "are more negative than those provided by mass budget or altimetry." Why? Because, in their words, the gravity-based technique "is new, and [1] a consensus about the measurement errors has yet to emerge, [2] the correction for postglacial rebound is uncertain, [3] contamination from ocean and atmosphere mass changes is possible, and [4] the results depend on the method used to reduce the data." In addition, they say that (5) the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) record is only three years long, and that (6) it is thus particularly sensitive to short-term fluctuations in ice sheet behavior that may not be indicative of what is occurring over a much longer timeframe. Even including these likely-inflated results, however, the two researchers conclude that the current "best estimate" of the contribution of polar ice wastage to global sea level change is a rise of 0.35 millimeters per year, which over a century amounts to only 35 millimeters or - to better compare it to the 20-foot rise described by Gore - a little less than an inch and a half.

Yet even this unimpressive sea level increase may be far too large, for although two of Greenland's largest outlet glaciers doubled their rates of mass loss in less than a year back in 2004, causing many climate alarmists to claim that the Greenland Ice Sheet was responding much more rapidly to global warming than anyone had ever expected, Howat et al. (2007) report - in the very same issue of Science as Shepherd and Wingham - that the two glaciers' rates of mass loss "decreased in 2006 to near the previous rates." And these observations, in their words, "suggest that special care must be taken in how mass-balance estimates are evaluated, particularly when extrapolating into the future, because short-term spikes could yield erroneous long-term trends."

In light of these many observations, we feel it should be obvious to all reasonable people that the former U.S. Vice President has implied much more than is scientifically justified about the future behavior of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets and their impacts on global sea level. Indeed, he has implied vastly more than is justified.



Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is generally to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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