[meteorite-list] Global Warming -- My Last Word

From: Sterling K. Webb <sterling_k_webb_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2007 21:55:38 -0500
Message-ID: <035401c7abd3$fe32a6d0$c3e08c46_at_ATARIENGINE>

Hi, Allan, List

    Don't blame Harlan. It's my email you're talking about,
not his. Let me respond.

    For Listees, internet graphs are not clean primary data.
Proxy records are approximations made by combining
various data sets of uncertain correlation. Then, the "proxy
records" are adjusted to scale to each other. All the many
data sets are "smoothed" on some time scale, since the
data sets are always "spiky." The error bars are usually
quite generous, but never shown on these "summary"
graphs. Somewhere I have a link to a graph with the
lines drawn the full width of the error bars; it's a fat flat
horizontal bar. But I can't find it. I'll keep looking.

    However, Allan, your reference 1a:
precisely demonstrates many of the points I made in
my post. The present so-called "unprecedented" warming
is only a recovery from a 500-year-long cooling. There
is nothing "unprecedented" about that. It is to be expected
in any cyclical variation. There is no evidence of a CO2

    I will quote directly from the text beneath the graphic
you cite: "Evidence... suggests that during the previous
500 years global temperatures were 1.0? C cooler than
those of the 20th century during a period roughly from
1300 to 1870... It is clear, however, that the 20th century
was recovering from the average colder temperatures
of the 19th century and earlier."

    You must understand that the current warming theory
not only demands that greenhouse gases are THE strong
primary climate driver, but it demands that the warming
effects of carbon dioxide are very short-term, almost
instantaneous, in order to correlate recent increases in CO2
DIRECTLY with our recent modest temperature increase
in very short time span both increases occupy. This theory
demands rapid response to changes in CO2 that do not,
in reality, occur.

    Now, if an increase in CO2 from 280 ppm to 367 ppm
in the 20th century has caused a temperature anomaly of
+0.42? C, a temperature anomaly of - 1.0? C in the period
1300-1870 would imply there was a CO2 decrease from
280 ppm to 62 ppm IF there was such a thing as a direct
short-term response to CO2. There is, of course, no evidence
of ANY such change in CO2 over that period. Such
cyclical variations are not only unexplained by the fast
carbon dioxide driver theory, they contradict it.

    For the political advocacy of drastic immediate change
in human society to be viable, it cannot depend on millennial
time lags, or even century-long ones. You can't win elections
by saying, "Cut your emissions in half, and in a century the
disaster that will happen in the 21st century will BEGIN to
reverse..." That will not do for the politician, and, lo, theory
has gone his way, he that dispenses the grants.

    The graph you cite in reference #1b shows 0.7? C rise
in the twentieth century, NOT 1.5? C as you state. That site
gives a link to the CET data for the English Midlands for
centuries. Few regions have been as heavily industrialized
as the Midlands in these centuries, yet I look at the tables
and I see a rise of about 1.3? C over three centuries, when
measured from earliest low extreme to recent high extreme,
the maximum case! (1702 to 2002 = + 0.62? C)

    Sticking with the UNEP, let's move on to reference 2a.
    Again, I quote from the UNEP site text for this graph:
"CO2 concentration data from before 1958 are from ice
core measurements taken in Antarctica and from 1958
onwards are from the Mauna Loa measurement site.
The smooth curve is based on a hundred year running

    First, there are no "ice core measurements" for 1900,
or 1930 or 1950; that's meaningless. Antarctic snow and
ice from the "recent" past is annually eroded, removed and
replaced on short cycles; the upper levels of the ice are
churned and useless. Only below a certain depth is the
data reliable. There is no 1890-1960 ice-core data. These
are estimated or approximated or extrapolated from much
older data and connected to modern data. Actually, the
Antarctica data ends at 1891, where the CO2 level is about
315-320 ppm, the same as 1960-1970!

    This makes the past un-connectible to the present in any
way that supports the warming theory. So the Antarctic data
is shifted 83 years into the future to fabricate a smooth
curve. If there is a "scientific" rationale for assuming
the trapped air is 83 years younger than the ice it's trapped
in, I'd like to know what it is. I can't find it in the sources,
except that it's not "contamination." That was ruled out.
It is damned convenient, though.

    That's what "a hundred year running mean" means!
Yes, you can "smoothe" a curve, but this isn't "smooth;"
this is "slick." When I was a student at MIT, we had a
term for this; it was "k-sub-f" or the "coefficient of fudge,"
more informally known in the lab classes as the fudge
factor. Maybe here it's "T = t + 83 yr."

    But the best part, as I said, is putting the one and only
CO2 monitoring station for the planet on top of an active
volcano. Why? Simple. It was the IGY, and the Air Force
had IGY money for Dave Keeling to put his brand-new
continuous chart-reading spectrophotometer on top of
a volcano. It was a lousy place to measure CO2, on top
of an active volcano, and he knew it, but that's where the
money was. It's also where the excess CO2 was.

    Keeling was an excellent scientist. His plan was to place
spectrophotometers around the world in truly pristine
environments -- lots of spectrophotometers. Earlier attempts
to measure CO2 levels (in Scandinavia) had all failed: all
noise, no signal. Local contaminations overwhelmed the
data. In a distant mountain meadow or a far forest that
seemed pristine, CO2 levels would jump to over 1000 ppm
and crash to near zero erratically during a single DAY. He
got the Navy to fund one in Antarctica for a while but it was
pulled, so he was stuck with an active volcano.

    And the Mauna Loa record is filled excursions and spikes
and "events" from that volcano. You won't find those on the
Internet. All the "volcanic signal" has to be laboriously removed
from the data, or at least it's assumed it's volcanic signal. But
let's say all the noise is volcanic. What we CANNOT determine
from the Mauna Loa record is the local volcanic component of the
CO2 background level. That could only be done with an identical
machine in another pristine location, to see if it produces a
consistently lower background record. Keeling couldn't get
the lousy $10,000 to do it. Well, there are billions available now.
But oddly, it's never been done. No one wants to know. Why?
We get two landers for Mars and one CO2 station for Earth, that
distant planet without any obvious trace of intelligent life.

    What Keeling wanted, and what there should be, is a global
network. Apart from the volcanic CO2 component, Mauna Loa
may very well be chiefly measuring the CO2 emissions of
CHINA, which is what's globally "upwind" of the station.
Moreover, 80% to 90% of the CO2 released to the atmosphere
is from the ocean surface and Mauna Loa is "downwind" of
a vast stretch of ocean.

    Why not an additional Himalayan mountain station "upwind"
of China and "downwind" of non-industrialized Central Asia
or the Tibetan plateau, a land area? An Arctic station? An
Antarctic station? Southern hemisphere stations? A global
network. Can you honestly tell me that full reliance on a
single station to monitor the most "jittery" atmospheric
component, perched on top of an active volcano that burps
the measured commodity, provides adequate data for an
entire planet and that this is "good science"?

    The full story of the start of Mauna Loa monitoring:

    And lastly, you say "Temperature and atmosphere CO2
change together." This is simply not true, unless you want
to argue about the meaning of "together." CO2 rise appears
to lag behind temperature rise! Such close dating requires
very precise isotopic measurements on very small samples,
I find recent work at isotope labs that all find 600 +/-400 year
lags. "Official" sources (NOAA's NCDC) say "too close
to call" but all these are "updates" from 1998-2000. This
"lag" has been known for a decade and just officially ignored.
This is the only reference specifically to this point and its
argument is absurd on the face of it:

    Carbon dioxide rise cannot be the cause of temperature
rise if it does not precede it. Given the sluggishness of a
glaciation, it would need to precede it by a substantial
amount that would be easily detected in these ice cores.
In my universe, effect does not precede its physical cause
(except at the spooky quantum level or in relativistic frames).
That temporal relationship makes for a poor scientific argument.
At least, I perceive it as a flaw.

    It is correct that "the CO2 level in the atmosphere now is
far above what it ever was in the last 400,000 years." Yes, it's
been cycling up and down, following the glaciations through
all ice ages until this century. Personally, I could do without
those glaciations. Seriously.

    Since this is OFF topic, I'm going to get all the little replies
in at once. For Darren, yes, ice ages are dry, desiccated times,
jungles die (the Amazon was a grassland with no Amazon river
12,000 years ago, China was nearly desert) -- a lot of water is tied
up in the ice. It's also an excessively windy time because of
the high temperature gradient, equator to pole.

    For Trace and Dean: You know we are ALL waiting for the
opening season of the Canadian Riviera! The nude beach in
Labrador, the great water skiing in Churchill...

    To Martin: the life of a farmer is to be at the mercy of the
world; just ask any farmer. Some will benefit, some will suffer,
when change comes. Millions of US farmers were driven off
the land of the Great Plains when they became hot and dry
1920-1940. Millions of US farmers found lands that used to
be too cold and wet became productive. Not the same millions,
unhappily. (Secretly, some English want the Warming because
there will be vineyards again in Britain!)

    Neither Allan nor I are writing these posts because we think
we're going to change each other's minds. No, we're writing
for the listening Listees (if there's any left, that is). So, These
Links are for You!

    Is CO2 the climate driver for the Earth? For the longest
long-term chart of CO2 vs. temperature:
    NO, I repeat, NO obvious relationship of CO2 and climate
on this planet.

Measured recent troposphere and low stratosphere temperatures.

Long-term temperatures graphed for students at
the University of Arizona WITHOUT Mann's erroneous "hockey stick"

Another long term graph (2000 years) WITH Mann's erroneous "hockey stick"

A multitude of charts and graphs, very pretty but
what does it all mean is not always answered:

Arctic warming, past and present (with professional references):

    The American Institute of Physics has put the whole
of Spencer Weart's excellent book, "The Discovery Of
Global Warming," on-line (and it's hyperlinked and

    That's all the List space for me (off-list is OK).

Sterling K. Webb
----- Original Message -----
From: "Treiman, Allan" <treiman at lpi.usra.edu>
To: <Meteorite-list at meteoritecentral.com>
Sent: Sunday, June 10, 2007 9:45 AM
Subject: Re: [meteorite-list] Global Warming - 'Facts'

Hi, meteorite-lovers ?

    Too much heat and not enough fact on global warming!

     Your politics are your own, but I want to correct a
few fact issues in Harlan Trammel?s email. Not to dump on
Harlan ? at least he went beyond name-calling and based
his letter on data as he understands them.

    Harlan has four ?facts? at the bottom of his email,
and they are incorrect or incomplete.

#1 ?There is no unequivocal evidence that the Earth is warming ??
There is clear, unequivocal evidence from many sources that the
Earth?s climate has warmed, overall, about 1.5 degrees C in the
last two centuries. And the rate of change is faster since about
1930 or so. Here are links to three graphics, first with
multiple lines of evidence (my favorite being borehole temperatures),
second with average air temperatures, and the third (from my wife)
showing that gardening planting zones have moved north because of
higher temperatures.


1b. http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/info/warming/

1c. http://www.arborday.org/media/zones.cfm &

#2. ?There is NO evidence that carbon dioxide is a primary cause,
or driver, of climate change. Period. Not now. Not ever.?
In fact, human emissions of carbon dioxide track the atmosphere?s
increase in carbon dioxide pretty well, and both track the change
in global temperatures pretty well. See the graphs above and these


2b. http://www.grida.no/climate/vital/07.htm

  These graphs show a correlation between carbon dioxide and
temperature, and greenhouse warming is a known mechanism that
relates the two. Primary cause - who can say? Some reasonable people
would say the correlation showing cause.

#3. ?There is even less evidence that man-made carbon dioxide,
a tiny fraction of the carbon dioxide total, is climatically
significant in any way.?
   Graph 2b show that, before the industrial era, CO2 levels in
the atmosphere were near 280 ppm. Now, they are 370 ppm. This is
an increase of 25% - hardly a ?tiny fraction? ? and graph 2a shows
that this increase is comparable in time and proprtion with human
produced carbon dioxide.

#4. ?Nevertheless, Climate does change.?
Absolutely true, and ice cores give a record of temperature an
carbon dioxide in the atmosphere going back at least 400,000 years.
In that time, the earth has been much colder and somewhat hotter
than it is now. Temperature and atmosphere CO2 change together, but
does one cause the other? FWIW, the the CO2 level in the atmosphere
now is far above what it ever was in the last 400,000 years.

4a. http://www.grida.no/climate/vital/02.htm

Allan Treiman

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Received on Sun 10 Jun 2007 10:55:38 PM PDT

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