Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball –
[Note: Some parts of this essay rely on a series of air sample chemical analysis done by Georg Beck of CO2 at the surface. I consider the air samplings as having poor quality control, and not necessarily representative of global CO2 levels at those times and locations. While the methods of chemical analysis used by Beck might have been reasonably accurate, I believe the measurements suffer from a location bias, and in atmospheric conditions that were not well mixed, and should be taken with skepticism. I offer this article for discussion, but I don’t endorse the Beck data. – Anthony]
The failed predictions (projections) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are proof that there is something seriously wrong with the science. A useful analogy of how to analyze what we are witnessing is that it is like coming upon a car wreck. What you see and what happened is hard to figure out. It takes a lot of measurements and deconstruction to reconstruct what happened. Deconstruction of the IPCC wreckage must begin with determining what they did prior to the crash and those actions involved creating conditions for a self-inflicted crash. I know some of this material is not new. I covered some of it myself. However, it is time to revisit because more people are aware of what is going on and are now on the crash scene.
IPCC and their proponents drew the map, built the roads, and designed the traffic signals, but they also designed, built and drove the car. They did not plan to crash and did everything to reach their destination. The problem developed because of the assumptions they made and the manipulation of the data needed to pre-meditate the result of the trip; a crash was inevitable.
What were the conditions they considered necessary to reach their destination? There are two distinct lists. The first is a list of the assumptions made for the scientific part of the AGW hypothesis. The second is a list of the starting conditions necessary for the political part of the AGW objective.
1. CO2 is a gas with effectively one-way properties that allows sunlight to enter the atmosphere but prevents heat from leaving. It supposedly functions like the glass in a greenhouse.
2. If atmospheric CO2 levels increase, the global temperature will increase.
3. Atmospheric levels of CO2 will increase because humans are adding more every year.
1. Global temperatures are the highest ever.
2. Global temperatures rose commensurate with the start of the Industrial Revolution.
3. CO2 levels are the highest ever.
4. CO2 levels were much lower before the Industrial Revolution.
5. CO2 levels continue to rise at a steady rate because of the annual contribution of humans.
Major objectives were to start with a low pre-industrial level of atmospheric CO2 and have a steady rise over the last 150 years. Data sources included the following
1. Bubbles extracted from ice cores, but primarily the Antarctic record.
2. Stomata are the pores on a leaf through which plants exchange gases with the atmosphere. The size varies with atmospheric levels of CO2.
3. Approximately 90,000 instrumental readings from the 19th century. Measurements began in 1812 as science determined the chemistry of the atmosphere.
4. Modern instrumental readings primarily centered on the Mauna Loa record begun in 1958 by Charles Keeling as part of the International Geophysical Year (IGY).
5. The recently launched NASA Orbiting Carbon Observatory OCO2 satellite with the first published data of CO2 concentration for October 1 to November 11, 2014.
6. IPCC estimates of human production of CO2, known currently as Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP).
The first question is what are the non-human sources and sinks of CO2. The answer is we don’t know. All we have are very crude estimates of some of them but no actual useable measures. Remember what the IPCC said in Box 2.1 Uncertainty in Observational Records.
The uncertainty in observational records encompasses instrumental/ recording errors, effects of representation (e.g., exposure, observing frequency or timing), as well as effects due to physical changes in the instrumentation (such as station relocations or new satellites). All further processing steps (transmission, storage, gridding, interpolating, averaging) also have their own particular uncertainties. Because there is no unique, unambiguous, way to identify and account for non-climatic artefacts (sic) in the vast majority of records, there must be a degree of uncertainty as to how the climate system has changed.
It is important to note that they identify one exception because it is important to their narrative, but also for recreating the IPCC wreck.
The only exceptions are certain atmospheric composition and flux measurements whose measurements and uncertainties are rigorously tied through an unbroken chain to internationally recognized absolute measurement standards (e.g., the CO2 record at Mauna Loa; Keeling et al., 1976a).
The IPCC provide a bizarre and confusing diagram (Figure 1) that is more about creating the base scenario for their narrative than it is about providing clarification.
I don’t normally include the legend of a graph or diagram but, in this case, it is informative. Not that it provides clarification, but because it illustrates how little is known and how important it is to direct the focus on human production of CO2 over the Industrial Revolution period. This is not surprising since that is the definition of climate change they received in Article 1 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). If you drive like this, a crash is inevitable.
Figure 6.1 | Simplified schematic of the global carbon cycle. Numbers represent reservoir mass, also called ‘carbon stocks’ in PgC (1 PgC = 1015 gC) and annual carbon exchange fluxes (in PgC yr–1). Black numbers and arrows indicate reservoir mass and exchange fluxes estimated for the time prior to the Industrial Era, about 1750 (see Section 126.96.36.199 for references). Fossil fuel reserves are from GEA (2006) and are consistent with numbers used by IPCC WGIII for future scenarios. The sediment storage is a sum of 150 PgC of the organic carbon in the mixed layer (Emerson and Hedges, 1988) and 1600 PgC of the deep-sea CaCO3 sediments available to neutralize fossil fuel CO2 (Archer et al., 1998). Red arrows and numbers indicate annual ‘anthropogenic’ fluxes averaged over the 2000–2009 time period. These fluxes are a perturbation of the carbon cycle during Industrial Era post 1750. These fluxes (red arrows) are: Fossil fuel and cement emissions of CO2 (Section 6.3.1), Net land use change (Section 6.3.2), and the Average atmospheric increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, also called ‘CO2 growth rate’ (Section 6.3). The uptake of anthropogenic CO2 by the ocean and by terrestrial ecosystems, often called ‘carbon sinks’ are the red arrows part of Net land flux and Net ocean flux. Red numbers in the reservoirs denote cumulative changes of anthropogenic carbon over the Industrial Period 1750–2011 (column 2 in Table 6.1). By convention, a positive cumulative change means that a reservoir has gained carbon since 1750. The cumulative change of anthropogenic carbon in the terrestrial reservoir is the sum of carbon cumulatively lost through land use change and carbon accumulated since 1750 in other ecosystems (Table 6.1). Note that the mass balance of the two ocean carbon stocks Surface ocean and Intermediate and deep ocean includes a yearly accumulation of anthropogenic carbon (not shown). Uncertainties are reported as 90% confidence intervals. Emission estimates and land and ocean sinks (in red) are from Table 6.1 in Section 6.3. The change of gross terrestrial fluxes (red arrows of Gross photosynthesis and Total respiration and fires) has been estimated from CMIP5 model results (Section 6.4). The change in air–sea exchange fluxes (red arrows of ocean atmosphere gas exchange) have been estimated from the difference in atmospheric partial pressure of CO2 since 1750 (Sarmiento and Gruber, 2006). Individual gross fluxes and their changes since the beginning of the Industrial Era have typical uncertainties of more than 20%, while their differences (Net land flux and Net ocean flux in the figure) are determined from independent measurements with a much higher accuracy (see Section 6.3). Therefore, to achieve an overall balance, the values of the more uncertain gross fluxes have been adjusted so that their difference matches the Net land flux and Net ocean flux estimates. Fluxes from volcanic eruptions, rock weathering (silicates and carbonates weathering reactions resulting into a small uptake of atmospheric CO2), export of carbon from soils to rivers, burial of carbon in freshwater lakes and reservoirs and transport of carbon by rivers to the ocean are all assumed to be pre-industrial fluxes, that is, unchanged during 1750–2011. Some recent studies (Section 6.3) indicate that this assumption is likely not verified, but global estimates of the Industrial Era perturbation of all these fluxes was not available from peer-reviewed literature. The atmospheric inventories have been calculated using a conversion factor of 2.12 PgC per ppm (Prather et al., 2012).
This is likely one the most remarkable examples of scientific obfuscation in history. Every number used is a crude estimate. The commentary says we don’t know anything but are certain about human CO2 production in the Industrial Era. To my knowledge, there are no cohesive, comprehensive, measures of CO2 exchanges for most of the land surfaces covered by various forests, but especially the grasslands. The grasslands illustrate the problem, because, depending on the definition the extent varies from 15 to 40 percent. The important point is that we have little idea about volumes or how they change over time. A supposedly knowledgeable group, the American Chemical Society, provides confirmation of this point. Of course, we know how professional societies were co-opted to support the IPCC positions. In an article titled “Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks” they present a diagram from the IPCC (Figure 2).
The text says from the American Chemical Society, who presumably knows about atmospheric chemistry says,
The sources of the gases given in these brief summaries are the most important ones, but there are other minor sources as well. The details of the sinks (reactions) that remove the gases from the atmosphere are not included. The graphic for each gas (or class of gas) is from Figure 1, FAQ 7.1, IPCC, Assessment Report Four (2007), Chapter 7. Human-caused sources are shown in orange and natural sources and sinks in teal. Units are in grams (g) or metric tons (tonne: international symbol t = 103 kg = 106 g). Multiples used in the figures are: Gt (gigatonne) = 109 t = 1015 g; Tg (teragram) = 1012 g = 106 t; and Gg (gigagram) = 109 g = 103 t.
As a professional group surely they should know about the lack of knowledge about gases in the atmosphere, yet they promote the IPCC illusions as fact. There are few caveats or warnings of the scientific limitations that even the IPCC include as in Box 2.1
Creating A Smooth CO2 Curve
A major flaw of the hockey stick involved connecting a tree ring record, the handle, with an instrumental temperature record, the blade. It was done because the tree ring record declined and that contradicted their hypothesis and political agenda. Ironically, a major challenge in climatology is to produce a continuous record from data gathered from different sources. H.H. Lamb spends the first part of his epic work, Climate, Present, Past and Future (1977) discussing the problems. He also provides a graph showing the length of possible climate time scales and the overlap problem (Figure 3). There are three areas, the instrumental or secular, the historic, and the biological and geologic.
Data from different sources had to link to create the continuous smooth curve of CO2 from the pre-industrial levels through to the present. This involved three data sources, ice cores, 19th century instrumental readings and the Mauna Loa record. Figure 4 shows Ernst-Georg Beck’s reconstruction of the three sources. If you remove the 19th century data, it is another example of a ‘hockey stick’. The ice core data is the handle, from a single source, an Antarctic core. The blade is the Mauna Loa instrumental measure. As the 2001 IPCC Working Group I Report notes,
“The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has risen from close to 280 parts per million (ppm) in 1800, at first slowly and then progressively faster to a value of 367 ppm in 1999, echoing the increasing pace of global agricultural and industrial development. This is known from numerous, well-replicated measurements of the composition of air bubbles trapped in Antarctic ice. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations have been measured directly with high precision since 1957; these measurements agree with ice-core measurements, and show a continuation of the increasing trend up to the present.”
These measurements are not well replicated and have many serious limitations. Some of these include
1. It takes years for the bubble to be trapped in the ice. Which year does the final bubble represent?
2. As the ice gets thicker, it becomes impossible to determine the layers and, therefore, the relative dating sequence. Some say that at 2000 meters it requires 245 cm of ice to obtain a single sample, but under the compression and melding that represents one bubble for several thousand years.
3. Meltwater on the surface, which occurs every summer, moves down through the ice contaminating the bubbles. As Zbigniew Jaworowski said in his testimony to the US Senate,
“More than 20 physico-chemical processes, mostly related to the presence of liquid water, contribute to the alteration of the original chemical composition of the air inclusions in polar ice.”
4. A study by Christner (2002) titled “Detection, Recovery, Isolation and Characterization of Bacteria in Glacial Ice and Lake Vostok Accretion Ice.” Found bacteria were releasing gases at great depth even in 500,000-year old ice.
A deconstruction of these portions of the crash reveals how it was achieved.
Professor Zbigniew Jaworowski was attacked viciously during the latter years of his life because of his views on climate change and ice core data. Like all who are attacked it is a sure indication they are exposing the deliberate deceptions of the global warming political agenda. Here are Jaworowski’s credentials that accompanied his presentation to the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
“I am a Professor at the Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection (CLOR) in Warsaw, Poland, a governmental institution, involved in environmental studies. CLOR has a “Special Liaison” relationship with the US National Council on Radiological Protection and Measurements (NCRP). In the past, for about ten years, CLOR closely cooperated with the US Environmental Protection Agency, in research on the influence of industry and nuclear explosions on pollution of the global environment and population. I published about 280 scientific papers, among them about 20 on climatic problems. I am the representative of Poland in the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), and in 1980 – 1982 I was the chairman of this Committee.
For the past 40 years I was involved in glacier studies, using snow and ice as a matrix for reconstruction of history of man-made pollution of the global atmosphere. A part of these studies was related to the climatic issues. Ice core records of CO2 have been widely used as a proof that, due to man’s activity the current atmospheric level of CO2 is about 25% higher than in the pre-industrial period. These records became the basic input parameters in the models of the global carbon cycle and a cornerstone of the man-made climatic warming hypothesis. These records do not represent the atmospheric reality, as I will try to demonstrate in my statement.”
There was nobody more qualified to comment on the ice core record and here is part of what he said to the Committee.
“The basis of most of the IPCC conclusions on anthropogenic causes and on projections of climatic change is the assumption of low level of CO2 in the pre-industrial atmosphere. This assumption, based on glaciological studies, is false.”
Of equal importance Jaworowski states,
The notion of low pre-industrial CO2 atmospheric level, based on such poor knowledge, became a widely accepted Holy Grail of climate warming models. The modelers ignored the evidence from direct measurements of CO2 in atmospheric air indicating that in 19th century its average concentration was 335 ppmv (Figure 2). In Figure 2 encircled values show a biased selection of data used to demonstrate that in 19th century atmosphere the CO2 level was 292 ppmv. A study of stomatal frequency in fossil leaves from Holocene lake deposits in Denmark, showing that 9400 years ago CO2 atmospheric level was 333 ppmv, and 9600 years ago 348 ppmv, falsify the concept of stabilized and low CO2 air concentration until the advent of industrial revolution .
Figure 5 shows the stomatal evidence of CO2 levels compared with the ice core data that Jaworowski referencs.
Apart from the higher overall average, notice the smoothness of the ice core curve partly achieved by a 70 year smoothing average, an action that removes large amounts of information, especially the variability, as the stomata record shows.
The other reference Jaworowski makes is to a graph (Figure 6) produced by British Steam Engineer and early supporter of AGW, Guy Stewart Callendar.
Figure 6 (Trend lines added by the author.)
The dots represent the measures of atmospheric CO2 taken during the 19th century by scientists using rigid methods and well-documented instrumentation. The objective of the measures, started in 1812, was not related to climate. It was to determine the constituent gases of the atmosphere. It continued the work of Joseph Priestly who, though not the first to discover oxygen, was the first with published reports (1774). Figure 6 shows the samples that Callendar selected (cherry picked) to claim a low pre-industrial level. Equally important, he changed the slope from a decreasing to increasing trend. Figure 4 shows the same 19th century data plotted against the ice core and Mauna Loa curves.
Disclaimer: Ernst-Georg Beck sent me his preliminary work on the data, and we often communicated until his untimely death. I warned him about the attacks but know they exceeded anything he expected. They continue today, even though his work was meticulous as his friend, Edgar Gartner, explained in his obituary.
“Due to his immense specialized knowledge and his methodical severity Ernst very promptly noticed numerous inconsistencies in the statements of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC. (Translation from the German)
The problem with Beck’s work was it identified why Callendar dealt with the data as he did. In the climate community, the threat was identified and dealt with by a 1983 paper “The pre-industrial carbon dioxide level” published by Tom Wigley, then Director of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU). I recall the impact because I ran graduate level seminars at the time on the significance of the paper.
Criticisms of the 19th century records are summarized with one comment; they were random. Yes, in most studies randomly sampling is more desirable and representative of the reality than pre-selected, pre-determined sampling at specific points and specific levels as is currently done. That only works if you assume the gas is well mixed. One criticism is that Beck’s record shows high levels around 1942 compared to the Antarctic record. This is likely because CO2 is not well mixed, as the OCO2 and other records record indicate, but also that most of the records were taken in Europe during the war. Besides, with the 70-year period required to enclose the Antarctic gas bubble that record would only be showing up in 2012. The truth is there are no accurate measures of CO2 in 1942 other than the ones Beck used.
Another criticism says the locations, including the height at which measurements were taken varied considerably. Of course, that’s the point. They were not narrowed and manipulated like the current Mauna Loa and similar records, so they only provide measures at a few points that essentially eliminate all natural influences. It is obvious from the preliminary OCO2, the stomata, and Beck’s record that great variability from day to day and region-to-region is the norm. Further proof that this is the norm of this is that they tried to eliminate all this natural variability in the ice core record and at Mauna Loa. When outgoing longwave radiation leaves the surface, it passes through the entire atmosphere. The CO2 effect operates throughout, not just in certain narrowly chosen spots at certain altitudes like Mauna Loa measures. As Beck noted,
“Mauna Loa does not represent the typical atmospheric CO2 on different global locations but is typical only for this volcano at a maritime location in about 4000 m altitude at that latitude.
Charles Keeling established the Mauna Loa station with equipment he patented. As Beck wrote, the family owns the global monopoly of all CO2 measurements. Keeling is credited with being the first to alert the world about AGW. As Wikipedia’s undoubtedly vetted entry notes,
Charles David Keeling (April 20, 1928 – June 20, 2005) was an American scientist whose recording of carbon dioxide at the Mauna Loa Observatory first alerted the world to the possibility of anthropogenic contribution to the greenhouse effect and global warming.
Keeling’s son, a co-author of IPCC Reports continues to operate the facilities at Mauna Loa. The steady rise in the Keeling curve, as it is known, is troubling, especially considering the variability in the records not considered suitable for the IPCC story. How long will that trend continue? We know the global temperatures rose until the satellite data produced a record independent of the IPCC. There is no independent CO2 record, the Keeling’s have the monopoly and are the official record for the IPCC.
As Beck explained,
Modern greenhouse hypothesis is based on the work of G.S. Callendar and C.D. Keeling, following S. Arrhenius, as latterly popularized by the IPCC. Review of available literature raise the question if these authors have systematically discarded a large number of valid technical papers and older atmospheric CO2 determinations because they did not fit their hypothesis? Obviously they use only a few carefully selected values from the older literature, invariably choosing results that are consistent with the hypothesis of an induced rise of CO2 in air caused by the burning of fossil fuel.
Now they have the dilemma that the temperature has not increased for 19 + years but CO2, according to Mauna Loa, continues its steady rise. How long before we see a reported decline in the Mauna Loa record to bring the data in line with the political message? Fortunately, thanks to the work of people like Jaworowski and Beck, it is too late for them to mitigate the damage from the slow motion crash that is inevitably evolving? The hockey sticks of the entire team were broken in the crash.