Given how much scientific work has been done on chaotic weather and climate patterns since the Second World War, it might be a surprise that the best that ‘settled’ science can come up with to explain all recent changes is that it’s all down to humans adding small amounts of a trace gas into the atmosphere by burning previously sequestered plant material. But how plausible is that hypothesis? Not very, says Dr. Stuart Harris, a retired Professor of Geography at the University of Calgary, in a recently published and wide-ranging review of climate. The relationship of carbon dioxide to atmospheric air temperature has been widely discussed for 50 years, writes the author, and evidence from 24 sites shows that warming during the current deglaciation appears to precede increasing CO2 concentrations.
As the full implications of Net Zero start to become apparent, it is increasingly clear that blaming all climate change on human-caused C02, as the UN-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states, is a political construct that will enrich global elites and impoverish ordinary people around the world. In Harris’s view, the climate of the Earth is driven by uneven solar heating of the surface, and the movement of the excess heat in the tropics towards the cooler polar regions, primarily via ocean currents, modified by the movement of air masses. Emeritus Professor Richard Lindzen also argues that most weather and long-term climate change is caused by heat exchanges across the planet. In his view, doubling C02 from its present level would lead to only a 2% perturbation to this vast energy budget.
Settled climate science, of course, relies on a vast array of ‘attributions’ and forecasts from computer models. This accumulation of false and/or misleading claims is often referred to as the ‘overwhelming evidence’ that we’re in the midst of a ‘climate emergency’, notes Lindzen. “Without these claims, one might legitimately ask whether there is any evidence at all,” he says.
Different changes in recent temperatures over the planet – higher in the Arctic, much lower in Antarctica, with eastern China and Germany showing “no obvious warming” – raise alarm bells about the anthropogenic climate change hypothesis. Harris notes that atmospheric CO2 is present in extremely low quantities and has a narrow band of wavelengths to absorb heat. It cannot possibly compete, he continues, with much larger solar radiation reaching the Earth’s surface. The gas is mainly held down in the lower atmosphere by gravity, and models that assume it rises to the outer portion are unrealistic. “Water, in all its phases, is a much more potent agent for moving heat around the globe,” he observes.
Many scientists put great store in trying to understand long-term changes in the climate by studying Milankovitch cycles and the eccentricity of Earth’s orbit around the Sun. The cycles determine how much solar heat and energy the Earth receives and in which areas it falls. There are a number of these cycles over different time periods. Harris reports that the 23,000-year Milankovitch cycle has begun to reduce winter heat reaching the surface in the mid-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. This results in “extreme” winter weather and high summer temperatures, and is said to herald the start of the next glaciation. Harris’s paper is an excellent summary of many of the natural influences affecting the climate. A brief outline is given of some of the Milankovitch climatic changes that may be expected in western Canada – during the next 11,500 years.
Harris notes that low levels of CO2 in the atmosphere during colder events could result in too little of this gas being available to support photosynthesis in plants, “resulting in the extermination of most life on Earth as we know it”. As the Daily Sceptic has reported, the Earth is emerging from a period of CO2 denudation where levels have been as low as any observed in the 600 million-year paleo record. The unproven human-warming hypothesis – after 50 years, not a single paper yet provides credible proof – fails on the observational front with CO2 amounts up to 15 times higher in the past. No obvious link between gas and temperature can be seen in the historic or paleo record.
One possible reason why this link is absent is the ‘saturation’ hypothesis – also noted in past Daily Sceptic articles. As Professor Harris observes, CO2 only traps heat within a narrow band of the infrared spectrum. There is a debate about the level at which peak absorption is reached, but some scientists say the heating work is mainly done around 300 parts per million (ppm) concentration, about 100 ppm below the current atmospheric level. Above 300 ppm, the warming of CO2 seems to fall off a logarithmic cliff.
Alas, the opportunity for vast financial subsidies to peddle inferior green technologies that few people want is a tad less under the saturation hypothesis of atmospheric greenhouse gas warming.
Chris Morrison is the Daily Sceptic’s Environment Editor