Truth, Understanding, Insight

Climate Thermostat Set Point?

25th December 2009, hej


There has been a fact lost in translation from objective science to politics.

AFP reported Britain blames China over 'farcical' climate talks

The accord promised $US100 billion ($A112.25 billion) for poor nations that risk bearing the brunt of the global warming fallout, and set a commitment to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius.
Scientists say hundreds of millions of people are threatened in the next few decades by worsening drought, floods, storms and rising sea levels as a result of rising temperatures.

I'm not too sure which 'scientists' these are, but AFP has not put in their mouth an objective scientific statement.  I didn't read any such statement in even the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. The IPCC report by, arguably, one of the most biased group of scientists in this field, is full of carefully worded caveats. This is just one example from the IPCC 2007 Report here,

Increases in the frequency of droughts (Salinger, 2005) or a higher intensity of tropical cyclones (See Meehl et al., 2007) could occur. (my emphasis)

Clearly "could occur" was lost in translation. The following is also from the IPCC 2007 assessment report chapter 10

These results (projections for the Greenland ice sheet, see context) are supported by evidence from the last interglacial, when the temperature in Greenland was 3°C to 5°C warmer than today and the ice sheet survived, p829

A mere 2 degrees of warming is within what the scientists have ascertained as having occurred in the past...I wonder if some people can read? How is it that this fact given above from the IPCC report did not make it to Copenhagen, assuredly full of experts, who supposedly would have read the IPCC report!  Marian Wilkison reports

The day the Earth stood still

IN a faltering step that nearly all concede is too little to avert a climate crisis, the majority of world leaders will adopt the first international agreement that recognises global warming must stay below two degrees to avoid dangerous climate change.

Two things may worry us. Why did Wilkinson report 'the earth stood still' when it didn't, and, why is it she didn't know the IPCC said that it was 3-5 degrees Celsius warmer in the clearly non-dangerous time in the past of Greenland?

The 'agreement' that came out of the Copenhagen COP15 is so flawed as to be absurd. A draft text is here. or final text with schedules. The first point states,

We underline that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. 

If this is the case the world ought to be a happy place. How does variation in a variable climate compare to nuclear war, war in the Middle East, massive global poverty, disease, or the increasing lack of clean drinking water?  Copenhagen revealed immense inequality, surely more of a global challenge than climate? The point continues

To achieve the ultimate objective of the Convention to stabilize greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, we shall, recognizing the scientific view that the increase in global temperature should be below 2 degrees Celsius 

This is rather staggering. It implies two things.
1. That humans have enough power to interfere with the climate.
2. That they can by their actions control the 'set point'  of the climate.

After now 20 years of very well funded research by qualified people, there is no direct link between Carbon Dioxide gas & equivalent gases(CO2-e) and global temperature proven!  The last 20 years have shown the climate to be more complex than thought.  The impending volcanic eruption in the Philippines will be a driver of the global climate in ways we cannot predict, but we can predict it will have an effect (see here).  We know that the next sunspot cycle will have a measurable effect on the climate (see When the sun goes quiet earth shivers).  The drivers for the climate are not all understood, but enough is known now that nobody with any scientific credibility would claim CO2-e is a sole 'driver' of the climate!

The point to notice is that whereas there is some causality relationship between human CO2-e to atmosphere and global CO2-e levels, it is not linear and direct.  Life in the ocean and land has a huge effect. In the past increased anthropogenic CO2-e was absorbed possibly in the oceans and did not result in a increase in CO2-e in the atmosphere.  But there is causality as quite obviously increasing CO2-e output to atmosphere will increase CO2-e in the atmosphere, just by how much depends on what else is occurring on the CO2-e producing and absorbing planet. Let's say it's complex, but causality is there.

It is as yet unproven that there is a causality relationship between CO2-e and temperature. In science it is not enough to show a relationship, you must also prove that one event is the cause of the other event.  There are not enough years of reliable data.  To test the thesis of causality, a pattern of higher temperatures at higher CO2-e and lower temperatures at lower CO2-e would need to be shown - and so far this has not emerged at all.  We have a time which IPCC scientists state was 3-5 degrees warmer than now in the interglacial period, but we have no evidence of higher human made CO2-e levels back then. We have now documented rising CO2-e levels and the temperature rise of the 1990's has not continued (see BBC News!) Quite simply there is no direct relationship between CO2-e and global temperature, and there may not even be causality!

It is quite clear politicians are not reading even the newspapers which have reported the lack of temperature rise (even apart from the East Anglia email scandal). It is even clearer the science is not making it to the political level.  As a result the politicians agree to limit to 2°C temperature rise which is something no one knows the mechanism of, but didn't put a limit on the more certain global CO2-e emissions!  It is possible to control emissions, at least from an individual level, by not doing things, but the idea that politicians, or nations, can control the thermostat 'set point' of the climate is nonsense!

Here are more words of the 'agreement'

We agree that deep cuts in global emissions are required according to science, and as documented by the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report with a view to reduce global emissions so as to hold the increase in global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius

So the planet is a human controlled air-conditioner!  But there is worse, it goes on,

Adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change and the potential impacts of response measures is a challenge faced by all countries

But no scientist would say that there is a direct relationship between a specific natural disaster and CO2-e. This is an exemplar scientific approach to a freak storm by Ben Cubby  here

Although weather conditions today are extremely rare, such storms have occasionally hit the east coast before, and any single weather event can be attributed to random factors that could occur with or without the effect of human-induced climate change.

In other words it is going to be hard for a nation to actually name an event, or "adverse effect" caused by "human-induced climate change".  There is even less likelihood some nation is going to claim a benefit due to human induced climate change!  Of note, however, are the measurable effects of the clean air acts and the reduction of air travel over America after 9/11. Worth pondering.  But in the panorama of a climate dramatically changing over all of recorded history, how can we spot the changes due to human actions?

But the arrogance of the 'agreement' does not stop, point 6 states,

We recognize the crucial role of reducing emission from deforestation and forest degradation and the need to enhance removals of greenhouse gas emission by forests

They may have been tired drafting this, but apparently nations are going to help forests increase their removal of CO2-e! Somehow humans must breed better trees?  The aim to improve on creation might be  going too far.

The remainder of the Copenhagen Accord 'agreement' is mostly about money.  It might not be a bad thing for nations to spend money on science.  I would just like to point out for all the money spent on climate science (and it is not an inconsequential amount), none of the real scientific findings made it to Copenhagen!

The science of climate is about observation and a search for causal relationships.  There is a scientifically valid theory called the Gore effect. A source for this idea is the Washington Times, not by any means known for its science, but worthy of investigation (see the Gore effect) On March 4,2009 an editorial claimed,

The Gore Effect was first noticed during a January 2004 global warming rally in New York City, held during one of the coldest days in the city's history. Since then, evidence has mounted of a correlation between global warming activism and severely cold weather.

An astute reader pointed out that Al Gore spoke on the opening day of the 1997 Conference at Kyoto, and the controversial scientist Fred Singer wrote,

On the opening day of the conference, Greenpeace set up penguin ice sculptures in front of the conference hall, intending to make a visual statement as the little birds gradually melted into puddles. But in this sketch nature decided not to cooperate. The day they set them out, a cold front swept through Kyoto surprising everyone with snow.(Singer

It is possible the Gore effect extends to any climate event no matter how small or remote. The November 2008 Peoples Power for the Climate action in Newcastle, Australia website states their,

 9 day vigil has been canceled due to various circumstances including terrible weather

Al Gore did attend Copenhagen 2009 and spoke of his fears of the loss of the polar ice in the 14th of December 2009 (contradicting the IPCC report on Greenland, above) and it became colder.  The end of the Copenhagen climate conference saw an unprecedented wide-ranging snow and a cold snap across the entire Northern hemisphere with snow in Paris blocking the communication between France and England, symbolic of breaking their collusion on this issue, and with a blizzard sweeping across America. Notice how it hit the nations who lead the Climate Change initiatives worst?

the storm dropped 16 inches of snow Saturday on Reagan National Airport outside Washington - the most ever recorded there for a single December day

Co-incidence or the Gore effect?  The article on the Gore effect ends,

If nothing else, the Gore Effect proves that God has a sense of humor.

I'm not so sure about that.  In March 1959 the US State Department has on record that Harland Cleveland said officially,

In the area of weather prediction and control....In the field of meteorology it has progi-essed [sic] in one century from sea to land, to air, and now to outer space. And from observation, collection, and analysis of data to hemispheric predictions and even efforts at weather modification and control.

Control!  The Copenhagen Accord is a progression from this view in 1959 and implies humans control the climate. The problem with this view is that it denies the specific statements of the God of the Bible. Job is asked,

Have you entered into the treasures of the snow? or have you seen the treasures of the hail, Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war? (Job 38:22-23)

Moses stood and showed to Egypt the power of the Israelite's God over the hail. The psalmists asked ancient Israel to sing about their God,

He sends forth his commandment upon earth: his word runs very swiftly. He gives snow like wool: he scatters the hoarfrost like ashes. He casts forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold? He sends out his word, and melts them: he cause his wind to blow, and the waters flow. (Psalm 147:15-18)

Let us note "who can stand before his cold"! The prophets wrote,

I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labours of your hands; yet you turned not to me, said the LORD. (Haggai 2:17)

As yet the best of current science has no idea why weather and climate is so unpredictable.  If indeed there is observation of a scientific statistical relationship between unprecedented cold snaps and human gatherings ostensibly against Anthropogenic Global Warming, we may be sure that ancient Hebrew observation (science), is correct. 

The cold snap subsequent to Copenhagen in Europe and America that made a mess of many people's lives is not consistent with a sense of humour, it is to make a protest and point out to the observant that only one Being controls the climate.  

Even from a scientific viewpoint, humans are fools if they think they can control the climate as if it has a thermostat 'set point'!  But it might be worth fearing the real cause of climate change:  the Creator of the snow and hail.

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For more see Clouds, climate Change and Conviction