Sunday, January 13, 2013

2012 Hottest Year on Record—Really?

The news media has been flooding the public with stories that 2012 was the “hottest year on record,” implying this indicates global warming. But continental U.S., including Alaska, is only 2 percent of the earth's surface. If global warming is the issue, why not report that 2012 was the ninth warmest for the 34-year record of global satellite measurements? Wouldn't fit the hype of global warming alarmism, would it?

Satellite measurements are far more accurate than surface thermometers, and they provide readings over large areas of the oceans where there are no surface temperature measurements. They also provide a range of vertical measurements throughout the atmosphere that are unavailable from ground-based thermometers.

When you hear “hottest year on record,” that record of thermometer measurements exists only from about 1890. The earth was warmer 1,000, 3,000, and 6,000 years ago when there were no factories or automobiles or thermometers. Indeed, for 95 percent of the last 100 million years the earth was warmer than it is today.

The IPCC fourth assessment report (AR4) says current atmospheric carbon dioxide (now 391 ppm) “exceeds the 'natural range' over the last 650,000 years (180 to 300 ppm) as determined by ice cores.” Nonsense! The ice cores show measurements of over 400 ppm in 1700 A.D. and 200 A.D. Samples from Camp Century (Greenland) and Byrd Camp (Antartica) range from 250 to nearly 500 ppm over the last 10,000 years. The carbon dioxide level was about the same 10,000 years ago as today, and temperatures rose as much as 6 degrees Celsius in a decade—100 times faster than in the past century!

Furthermore, more than 90,000(!) direct (not from ice cores) measurements were made between the years 1812 and 1961 and published in 175 technical papers. These were made by top scientists, including two Nobel Prize winners, using techniques that are standard textbook procedures. They show average carbon dioxide measurements of 440 ppm in 1820 and 1940, and 390ppm in 1855. But these have been ignored because they don't fit the hypothesis of man-made global warming.

Water vapor is a strong greenhouse gas, accounting for at least 95 percent of any greenhouse effect. Since CO2 is a weak greenhouse gas, computer models predicting significant CO2 warming depend on it being amplified by increased evaporation of water. But in all the many documented periods of much higher carbon dioxide, that never happened. During the Ordovician Period, for example, the carbon dioxide level was 12 times what it is today, and the earth was in an Ice Age.

The doctrine that global warming is due to the greenhouse effect sounds plausible enough to allow it to be a tool for promoting political and ideological agendas, but it is not scientifically supportable. The sun sets the level of carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere by the cumulative effect of variations in the galactic cosmic rays reaching the earth, as modulated by the solar wind. It has nothing to do with emissions from factories or automobiles.

And clouds have a hundred times stronger effect on climate than does carbon dioxide. Even if atmospheric carbon dioxide doubled—which the alarmists say would be a disaster—its effect would be canceled out if cloud cover expanded by 1 percent. Yet in just 3 and one-half years in the 1990s, cloud cover changed by more than 3 percent. What determines cloud cover? The sun, through variations in cosmic rays and solar wind. In the words of Dr. Theodor Landscheidt of Canada's Schoeder Institute: “When the solar wind is strong and cosmic rays are weak, the global cloud cover shrinks. It expands when cosmic rays are strong because the solar wind is weak. This effect [is] attributed to cloud seeding by ionized secondary particles.”

Now perhaps you can appreciate a comment by Reid Bryson, founder of the Department of Meteorology (now Department of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences) at the University of Wisconsin and Director of the Institute for Environmental Studies: “You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide.”

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