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Blowin' in the Wind, Issue #082 Climate Changes over Time - April 1, 2011
March 30, 2011
Climate Changes over Time
Does the EPA Want You to Die Young? Have we assessed the climate changes over time properly?
The IPCC and the EPA demand that we drastically reduce our use of fossil fuels because, they insist, we human beings have caused all or nearly all of the 0.702°C rise in surface temperatures on the Earth observed since 1950. But let's take a cue from the World Climate Report and do some real science to check into this claim.
Meteorology Scientists and ResearchersA study of the annual global average temperature history from 1950 to 2009 (source: U.K. Hadley Center), with an adjusted annual global average temperature to remove Sea Surface Temperature errors taken from an article in the science journal Nature by David Thompson and colleagues, reduces the warming from 1950 to 2009 that may be attributable to man-made causes to just 0.552°C. That's interesting!
But observed warming can also be influenced by non-GHG factors such as urbanization influences, local land-use changes, degradation of measuring station quality, and changes in thermometers, among others. The World Climate Report's Patrick Michaels and his colleague Ross McKitrick discovered through their research that as much as 50% of warming observed over land since 1980 was due to non-climatic influences. If we factor this in, too, now we find that the total warming possibly from man-made causes from 1950 to 2009 is only 0.468°C.
Particulate Matter Air PollutionThen there's the work of S. Solomon and colleagues. They found that some warming can be caused by increased amounts of water vapor in the upper atmosphere. They also found that this water vapor is not linked to man-made activity. (Solomon, S., et al. 2010. Contributions of stratospheric water vapor to decadal changes in the rate of global warming. Science, published on-line January 28, 2010.) Factor this in, and now we are down to only 0.408°C warming from 1950 t0 2009.
Then we have Ramanathan and Carmichael (Ramanathan V., and G. Carmichael, 2009. Global and regional climate changes due to black carbon. Nature GeoScience, 1, 221-227.), who through their research concluded that black carbon aerosols have caused about 25% of the climate's forced warming since the pre-Industrial period. Very large amounts of black carbon may be thrown into the atmosphere by volcanic eruptions. If we factor in black carbon, our potential GHG warming from 1950 to 2009 is lowered to just 0.306°C.
More people in recent years have become more aware of the Sun's possible influence on climate warming, and a leading researcher into this relationship is Duke University's Nicola Scafetta. Scafetta finds that since 1950, the output from the Sun could be responsible for anywhere from about zero to 65% of observed warming. Scafetta's most reasonable estimate is that the Sun has caused 33% of observed warming since 1950.
If we factor in Scafetta's conclusions, we are now reduced to only 0.204°C of warming that is even possibly related to man-made GHG emissions. This is less than one-third the amount of warming that we wicked humans are supposedly causing.
And here's something else to think about: average life expectancy in the United States since 1900 has nearly doubled. It's up to over 78 years. (In fact, for women it's about 83 years now.) In 1900 it was 47 years, three months.
Some life expectancy increases are of course due to medical technology. However, perhaps even a stronger factor is inexpensive and abundant food and energy, which fossil fuel use has allowed. (Not to mention that a slightly warmer atmosphere makes it easier to grow crops!) If we harm our economy by following the dictates of the EPA, where they actually believe carbon dioxide is a poison, we are harming human beings. Quite directly.
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