Anatomy of a Climate FraudNovember 22, 2010
Nov 21, 2010
By Dr. Vincent Gray, NZ Climate Truth Newsletter
Environmentalists believe that humans are destroying the earth (or as they prefer to call it, “the planet”), and they routinely manipulate news items that can be distorted to support their views. “Resources” are being “depleted”, oil is about to run out, everything is about to become extinct, all chemicals are “toxic” and all human activities must be prevented because they “damage the environment”
The “greenhouse effect” was a golden opportunity to blame every climate event on humans and prevent many classes of industrial activity.
The “greenhouse effect” is a real physical phenomenon, although it has nothing to do with what happens in a greenhouse. A greenhouse inhibits convection and confines the air warned by contact with the ground that has been heated by the sun’s radiation.
The “greenhouse effect” results from absorption of part of the infra red radiation from the earth by several trace gases in the atmosphere, causing an increase in the surface temperature of the earth,
In order to show that there are increases in this effect caused by humans which are damaging the climate several propositions had to be proved.
� Greenhouse gases are increasing because of human activity
� The temperature of the earth is increasing
� This rise is damaging the climate
� Future changes can be predicted to be disastrous
Let us take these problems one at a time.
Are Greenhouse Gases increasing?
The British scientist John Tyndall in the 1860s, who fist established the existence of the greenhouse effect, showed that the most important greenhouse gas is water vapour, so this should be the main emphasis of any investigation into possible damage from increase of greenhouse gases. Unfortunately the concentration of water vapour in the atmosphere varies over several orders of magnitude, being dependent on temperature, time and place. No accurate average value has ever been reliably measured and there is no acceptable evidence of any changes that have been taking place. Even if these were established it might be difficult to blame them on humans.
So, somehow, water vapour had to be ignored. This is done by leaving it out of lists of greenhouse gases, discussing it as little as possible and leaving it out of the main components of their model by calling it a “feedback”. assuming that its average value is exclusively dependent on average temperature.
So then, emphasis was placed on the next trace gas, carbon dioxide. This is a much more suitable candidate, because its concentration in the atmosphere can be blamed on combustion of fossil fuels by humans.
But then another snag arises. Its concentration in the atmosphere has been shown to be highly variable from some 40,000 measurements that have been reported in learned scientific journals, going back to 1850. Some of these measurements were made by Nobel Prize winners, all were respected scientists of the day, and the papers were peer reviewed in the days when this meant something.
In order to show carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere is increasing it is necessary to make continuous measurements distributed everywhere in the atmosphere on a representative basis. This is plainly impossible.
But do they despair? No. The first thing to do is to suppress all knowledge of any measurements of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere between 1850 and 1950. Then they publicized the measurements near the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii as the only authentic measurements and followed this up by taking measurements that had been made in a negligibly small sample of ice cores as representative of concentrations before the industrial era, Subsequently they permitted the use of measurements made over the sea in several places to be added, but they have prevented or suppressed all measurements over any land surface, or in any other than an approved direction which are regarded as “noise” (unwelcome data). These restricted results showed a fairly steady increase, but this was not large enough, so they more than doubled it for their models.
THE TEMPERATURE OF THE EARTH
Temperature on the earth’s surface is highly variable. It is impossible to show if there. a general increase unless you can measure the average surface temperature. This would surely involve the placing of measuring instruments randomly all over the earth’s surface, Including the 71% that is ocean, and all the forests, pastures, deserts and icecaps. Such an enterprise is impossible with current technology, so it is not possible to find if the average temperature of the earth is increasing.
But, again, a way of faking it was evolved. The originator, Jim Hansen of the Goddard Institute of Space Studies in New York features on his website a discussion headed “The Elusive Surface Temperature” which shows that there is no satisfactory way of defining or measuring the surface temperature of the earth. Yet he proposed to make use of temperature measurements that were routinely made at weather stations around the world as part of weather forecasting services, to derive what is called a “mean global temperature anomaly”.
Weather stations are not situated in representative places on the earth’s surface. They are predominantly near towns. Their number and location varies daily, so there is no fair statistical comparison over any time period. Although many (but not all) thermometers are housed in a standard screen, their positioning is far from standard and it changes over time. Many are close to buildings, sources of heat, concrete, tarmac, vegetation and other changing circumstances. There is no way of allowing either for the lack of representativity or the changes in circumstances.
Then, no weather station actually measures the average local temperature. They typically measure the maximum and the minimum over a 24 hour period which depends on the time of observation. This makes sense for weather forecasting since the temperature regimes by day and night are so different that an average between the two is meaningless.
Recent studies have shown that most weather stations, even today, cannot assess local temperature to better than a degree or two Celsius. Weather forecasters know that their figures are only rough. They never use decimals of a degree.
The “mean annual global temperature anomaly” involves multiple averaging, by week, month and year, plus a subtraction from the average for a reference petiod. This process must involve very large accumulated inaccuracies so that a claim of an increase in the “anomaly” of several decimals of a degree over 100 years is meaningless.
Then there is the overall warming effect of urban and land use change. The 1990 paper in “Nature” which was routinely used to claim the urban effects are negligible was shown by Keenan in 2000 to be fraudulent when he tried to find the Chinese data upon which it was partly based. Phil Jones recently admitted that the data did show an urban effect (and then promptly denied it) but the effect is still ignored in the teeth of the evidence in its favour
IF THERE IS WARMING, IT IS NATURAL?
There is overwhelming anecdotal evidence of warm periods In history which may have exceeded temperatures today, Efforts to discount these by manipulating unreliable “proxies” such as thickness of tree rings have been unsuccessful. There is even evidence from tree rings that the current era is not unusual leading to the need to “hide the decline”.
Besides being affected by urban and land use effects, the unreliable “mean global temperature anomaly” is affected also by currently known changes in the sun and in the ocean oscillations, particularly the North Atlantic Decadal Oscillation and the Southern Oscillation Index. Our knowledge of both of these effects is currently limited. Sunspots are an extremely crude measure of the Sun’s activity, and the ocean oscillations also have crude definitions.
FORECASTING THE FUTURE
The problem of forecasting future climate is also impossible to solve. Genuine honest scientists working in meteorology have struggled for several hundred years to try and provide a model of the climate which could help future forecasting. They have collected every measurable climate variable; wind, rain, temperature, atmospheric pressure, relative humidity, sunshine hours and cloud cover, and they have launched weather balloons to study the atmosphere. One measurement they have not found useful is the concentration of carbon dioxide, although that also has been measured in many places. Yet everybody, including the IPCC, knows that forecasts beyond a week or so are unreliable.
Yet in order to confirm the influence of increased greenhouse gases forecasting is essential, otherwise any theory is worthless.
It is insufficiently understood that the IPCC admits that computer based models of the climate are currently incapable of forecasting any aspect of future climate. This fact is freely admitted. Models never make “predictions”, but always “projections”, which are the results obtained by accepting the plausibility of the model assumptions. No “projection” from any climate model has ever successfully predicted any future climate behaviour
Since this is so, all the IPCC conclusions are based on the unproven opinions of those persons who are paid to produce the models. This conflict of opinion is so severe that any model maker who has a poor opinion of the results of his model would probably lose his job and career. This unreliable process is concealed by a system of levels of “likelihood” combined with fabricated figures of the statistical reliability of the “estimates”.
The forecasts made by meteorologists can be checked. If they are consistently wrong the model has to be modified. The “projections” made by the IPCC are usually so far ahead (100 years) that they cannot be checked until the experts have enjoyed their generous pensions. There is no way of telling whether one model is better than another. When more recent “projections” fail there is always the excuse that it is due to “natural variability”.
ARE THE MODELS PLAUSIBLE?
The assumptions made by the IPCC computer models of the climate are all in complete conflict with what is known about the climate. They assume that the earth is in energy equilibrium. This means that the earth is flat, the sun shines all day and all night with one quarter of its maximum intensity, clouds are constant, and the temperature of the earth is constant. Such a model is essential if you want to calculate the possible effect of greenhouse gas increases as this can only be done if everything else is unchanging. In addition the concentration of greenhouse gases has to be constant at any point in time
All these assumptions are ridiculous. No part of the earth is ever in energy equilibrium and it is never “balanced” as a whole. It warms by day and cools by night, when there is no sun. The seasons, wind, cloud changes volcanism and ocean circulation come on top and inevitably confuse any possible change that might result from the greenhouse effect.
“ANTHROPOGENIC” INFLUENCES ON THE CLIMATE
All organisms influence the climate to a greater or lesser degree and humans are no exception. We try to maintain our body temperature by clothing and dwellings. Our buildings and our heating systems raise urban temperatures. We influence the land to encourage crops. There are wind breaks and fences and terraces and dams, and, again, climate is modified. None of these “anthropogenic” effects are allowed for by the IPCC.
Climate has always changed in an irregular manner over many time periods and its causes are at present imperfectly understood. Some changes (for example ice ages) take millions of years to develop. Others (such as the effects of a large volcanic eruption) influence only a year or so. The idea that natural changes can only be “variable” and not cause “climate change” is therefore incorrect. Also it is impossible to claim with any certainty that a particular change is “unprecedented” over such a short period as a few centuries.
The very existence of natural climate influences means that climate models that are not able to predict their influence cannot hope to detect any change caused by the greenhouse effect.
Any routine scientific study would have abandoned the attempt to justify the current emphasis on the greenhouse effect because of the impossibility of carrying out any of the necessary observations to confirm its importance. It could only have been established as a potential threat by multiple fraud from each of the considerations listed above.