Guest post by Joe Bastardi, WeatherBell
With the coming Gorathon to save the planet around the corner ( Sept 14) , my stance on the AGW issue has been drawing more ire from those seeking to silence people like me that question their issue and plans. In response, I want the objective reader to hear more about my arguments made in a a brief interview on FOX News as to why I conclude CO2 is not causing changes of climate and the recent flurry of extremes of our planet. I brought up the First Law of Thermodynamics and LeChateliers principle.
The first law of thermodynamics is often called the Law of Conservation of Energy. This law suggests that energy can be transferred in many forms but can not be created or destroyed.
For the sake of argument, let’s assume those that believe CO2 is adding energy to the system are correct. Okay, how much? We have a gas that is .04% of the atmosphere that increases 1.5 ppm yearly and humans contribute 3-5% of that total yearly, which means the increase by humans is 1 part per 20 million. In a debate, someone argued just because it is small doesn’t mean it is not important. After all even a drop with 0.042 gm of arsenic could kill an adult. Yes but put the same drop in the ocean or a reservoir and no one dies or gets ill.
Then there is the energy budget. The amount of heat energy in the atmosphere is dwarfed by the energy in y the oceans. Trying to measure the changes from a trace gas in the atmosphere, if it were shown to definitively play a role in change (and it never has), is a daunting task.
NASA satellites suggest that the heat the models say is trapped, is really escaping to space, that the ‘sensitivity’ of the atmosphere to CO2 is low and the model assumed positive feedbacks of water vapor and clouds are really negative. Even IPCC Lead Author Kevin Trenberth said “Climatologists are nowhere near knowing where the energy goes or what the effect of clouds is…the fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment, and it is a travesty that we can’t.”
We are told that the warming in the period of warming from 1800 was evidence of man-made global warming. They especially point to the warming from 1977 to 1998 which was shown by all measures and the fact that CO2 rose during those two decades. And we hear that this warming has to be man-made with statements like “what else could it be?”
However, correlation does not mean causation. Indeed inconveniently despite efforts to minimize or ignore it, the earth cooled from the 1940s to the late 1970s and warming ceased after 1998, even as CO2 rose at a steady pace. Some have been forced to admit some natural factors may play a role in this periodic cooling. If that is the case, why could these same natural factors play a key role in the warming periods too.
Ah, but here is where the 1st law works just fine. After a prolonged period of LACK OF SUNSPOT ACTIVITY, the world was quite cold around 1800. The ramping up of solar activity after 1800 to the grand maximum in the late twentieth century could be argued as the ultimate cause of any warming through the introduction of extra energy into the oceans, land and then the atmosphere.
The model projections that the warming would be accelerating due to CO2 build up are failing since the earth’s temps have leveled off the past 15 years while CO2 has continued to rise.
Then there is a little matter of real world observation of how work done affects the system it is being done on. When one pushes an empty cart and then stops pushing, the cart keeps moving until the work done on it is dissipated. How is it, that the earth’s temperature has leveled off, if CO2, the alleged warming driver continues to rise?
The answer is obvious. They have it backwards. It is the earth’s temperature (largely the ocean) which is driving the CO2 release into the atmosphere. That is what the ice cores tell us and recently that Salby showed using isotopes in an important peer review paper. These use real world observations not tinker toy models nor an 186 year old theory that has never been validated.
Finally, as to the matter of LeChateliers principle. The earth is always in a state of imbalance and weather is the way the imbalances are corrected in the atmosphere. Extreme weather occurs when factors that increase imbalances are occurring. The extremes represent an attempt to return to a state of equilibrium.
The recent flurry of severe weather – for instance, record cold and snow, floods, tornadoes,, is much more likely to be a sign of cooling rather than warming. The observational data shows the earth’s mid levels have cooled dramatically and ocean heat content and atmospheric temperatures have been stable or declined. Cooling atmospheres are more unstable and produce greater contrasts and these contrasts drive storms, storms drive severe weather. A warmer earth produces a climate optimum with less extremes as we enjoyed in the late 20th century and other time in history when the great civilizations flourished.
Time will provide the answer. Over the next few decades, with the solar cycles and now the oceanic cycles changing towards states that favor cooling, there should be a drop in global temperatures as measured by objective satellite measurement, at least back to the levels they were in the 1970s, when we first started measuring them via an objective source. If temperatures warm despite these natural cycles, you carry the day. We won’t have to wait the full 20-30 year period. I believe we will have our answer before this decade is done.
UPDATE: I’m told that a follow up post – more technically oriented will follow sometime next week. Readers please note that the opinion expressed here is that of Mr. Bastardi, at his request. While you may or may not agree with it, discuss it without resorting to personal attacks as we so often see from the Romm’s and Tamino’s of the nether climate world. Also, about 3 hours after the original post, I added 3 graphics from Joe which should have been in the original, apologies. – Anthony