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Researchers on three different continents agree; CO2 is not the devil we once thought.

Last week I reported on a new study by the Belgium Royal Meteorological Institute that stated the effects of CO2 on world temperatures had been "grossly overstated".  The RMI's conclusion is supported by a pair of recent papers, both of which severely downgrade the warming effect of carbon dioxide.

The first is by atmospheric scientist Stephen Schwartz, of Brookhaven National Labs.  Entitled, "Heat Capacity, Time Constant, and Sensitivity of Earth's Climate System", the paper is based on more accurate estimates of feedback processes in the Earth's atmosphere.  It concludes the IPCC estimate of 2 - 4.5C degrees warming (from the anticipated 1900-2100 doubling of CO2 levels) is much too high, and the actual figure should be closer to 1.1 degree. 

The conclusion is very significant as we've already experienced some 0.7 degrees of that warming.  That means over the next century, only an additional 0.4 degrees warming is expected.   And after that, the warming effect will nearly vanish.

The reason why is CO2 only absorbs in a very narrow band of infrared.  Climatologist Timothy Ball, who was not associated with this study, explains with an analogy:  "The relationship between temperature and CO2 is like painting a window black to block sunlight. The first coat blocks most of the light. Second and third coats reduce very little more. Current CO2 levels are like the first coat of black paint."

The second study is by Chinese researchers Lin Zhen-Shan and Sun Xian.  Using a technique called Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD), they decoded temperature changes into three natural cycles-- 6-8 years, 20 years, and 60-years, along with a fourth signal, a non-periodic rising trend, which they associated with CO2-based warming.   They found that the largest effect on temperature change was due to these natural cycles, and that the CO2-based trend could only be responsible for a maximum of 40% of the warming attributed to it. 

Most astonishingly, they concluded that global cooling will result for at least the next two decades, as the longer cycles are now both in downward motion.

The factor all three of the above studies have in common?  That CO2's role has been massively overstated.  The political consequences of this are widespread-- is it worth spending trillions of dollars to reduce emissions of a gas that will have almost no effect over the next century, and essentially none at all after that?

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RE: Accuracy=Questionable
By JasonMick (blog) on 8/24/2007 1:58:35 PM , Rating: 2

Alright, we are going to have a competition about how many Ph.D. climatologists we know. I do know one personally, he currently works in meteorology, guest lectures and does research. He formerly worked at the NOAA. Now I admit I do not now any other ones personally. But this is not a question of how many weather friends you have.

My comment was based on what I read in the paper, based on my scientific understanding. And as I took enough college level calculus (3), linear algebra, discrete math, differential eqns. etc., I can get by. I also took a number of physics and chemistry courses. So basically, I read the paper and made my conclusions on my own AS I EXPLAINED clearly.

As to my "smear job" if you read on his page, he clearly did not begin to do his research on global warming until the Clinton Era. And facing funding cuts, I could definitely see him being "motivated" to look at the facts a certain way. If you deny this possibility you are being silly.

Over the past 20 years, $50B dollars have been given to fund scientists who believe in global warming

And what figure are you exactly refering to?

And your basis that the data generated by global warming research is flawed is based on recent articles by the author of this article, in all likelihood. Many of the current models are relatively accurate, though they admittedly don't have everything figured out yet. When you consider the complexity of the problem with human variables like population growth, economic trends, etc. it is pretty amazing that they are as good as they are. And is all this money purely spent to research global warming, or to research changes in climate and other scenarios that are very applicable to a broad range of climate changes, including those that have historically occurred?

And as to the money how many dollars did big oil and industry put into silencing this research?? I would hazard to guess it would be a far greater sum.

Let's face it, you will probably always believe global warming is a hoax, even when theres no ice caps left.

RE: Accuracy=Questionable
By Chillin1248 on 8/24/2007 2:12:30 PM , Rating: 4
According the U.S. Senate, Global Warming activists have recieved since 1990 $50 BILLION in funding. Global Warming skeptics during the same period recieved a paltry $19 MILLION.


RE: Accuracy=Questionable
By Bioniccrackmonk on 8/24/2007 3:32:27 PM , Rating: 2
Nice link Chillin, I believe this calls for a BOO-YAHHH!!!!!!

RE: Accuracy=Questionable
By Jellodyne on 8/27/2007 11:14:19 AM , Rating: 2
1. Lots of scientists recieved money
2. The majority of them believe global warming to be a real issue.

Not sure I'm seeing a pro-global warming agenda in that. The fact is that the majority of informed scientists believe that global climate change is a real issue. If the anti-global warming people received >25% of the funding on this issue that's a huge bias towards those few researcher in terms of funding.

RE: Accuracy=Questionable
By theflux on 8/27/2007 11:53:30 AM , Rating: 2
1. Scientist needs funding to survive.
2. Scientist who is tasked to study "Global Warming" and says it doesn't exist loses funding.
3. Scientist doesn't survive.

Do you see the problem here?

RE: Accuracy=Questionable
By masher2 (blog) on 8/24/2007 2:15:13 PM , Rating: 2
> " based on what I read in the paper, based on my scientific understanding. And as I took enough college level calculus (3), linear algebra, discrete math, differential eqns. etc., I can get by..."

Despite this, your stated objections are incorrect and based on a misunderstanding of the math behind the research. Schwartz did not use a linear model; he used a basic tenet of perturbation theory-- that by adding a small enough "perturbation" to an existing nonlinear system, the response will be linear. This is true for all physical systems from oscillating springs and falling objects to quantum mechanical processes. The process is (very slightly) similar to that in calculus, by which one adds successively smaller terms to reach a limit, thereby converting an inexact solution to an exact one.

Perturbation theory starts with that term, and uses it to gain a (usually nonlinear) solution. You can clearly see Schwartz's results in eq. (6), (10), (17) and (18) are nonlinear in nature.

In summary, simply because one skimmed a document and saw the word "linear" is no reason to discount its conclusions.

RE: Accuracy=Questionable
By grenableu on 8/24/2007 2:17:42 PM , Rating: 2
you will probably always believe global warming is a hoax, even when theres no ice caps left.
The icecaps have been steadily melting for the last 10,000 years, ever since the last ice age. If anything, this DISproves that humans are causing global warming.

RE: Accuracy=Questionable
By josmala on 8/26/2007 10:01:37 AM , Rating: 2
9% per decade melting rate we had for few last decades.
STEADY melting rate from last ice age Means that you could walk across north atlantic from england to new york just 400 years ago.
Anymore nice claims.

RE: Accuracy=Questionable
By grenableu on 8/26/2007 10:26:23 AM , Rating: 3
Greenland's glaciers are only melting at the rate of 0.25% per century, and ANTarctic ice is actually increasing, not decreasing. Clearly something else is going on in the Arctic.

Honestly, you people that think "the arctic is melting so that proves we're responsible" really need to screw your heads on straight.

By the way, if the Arctic cap does melt entirely, that's going to be a great thing for us'll allow several new ocean shipping routes, saving us hundreds of millions of gallons of diesel fuel each year.

RE: Accuracy=Questionable
By TheGreek on 8/29/2007 1:25:04 PM , Rating: 2
The icecaps have been steadily melting for the last 10,000 years, ever since the last ice age. If anything, this DISproves that humans are causing global warming.

Its a big relief to all of us that a conclusion can only be caused by one event. You've totally and scientifically ruled out than man may be exacerbating the situation.


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