Guest Blog: Human Induced Climate Change: Some Counter Evidence

One of our correspondents from New Zealand @ rogerthesurf took up my challenge to provide the counter evidence on human induced climate change. In the spirit of this blog which is about conflict, I am posting his reply to my recent climate change blog in full and without counter comment for the moment. Except to say that some of the evidence he posts include some of the reasons I mentioned I had 20% doubt about human induced climate change. Also as I posted I do not think climate change happening or not happening can be proven only failed to be disproved and so I work in probabilities. See what you think. This is my formatting and my convention to put material from others in italics and not put bold for emphasis. I hope I have formatted author/article correctly as it got a bit tricky?

  • Thanks for your reply. The notion that anthropogenic CO2 causes significant and malignant changes to our climate has not been scientifically proven. 
  • Here are some reasons why this is true. 
  • There are many academic, peer reviewed, published papers around that contradict what you read from the IPCC and other POLITICAL organisations. 
  • There are many hundreds of these, perhaps thousands that contradict every facet that the IPCC needs to support its notion of AGW. 
  • Here is a sample. 
  • <b> An assessment of validation experiments conducted on computer models of global climate using the general circulation model of the UK’s Hadley Centre (Energy &amp; Environment, Volume 10, Number 5, pp. 491-502, September 1999) – Richard S. Courtney 
  • An Alternative Explanation for Differential Temperature Trends at the Surface and in the Lower Troposphere (PDF) (Journal of Geophysical Research, Volume 114, November 2009) – Philip J. Klotzbach, Roger A. Pielke Sr., Roger A. Pielke Jr., John R. Christy, Richard T. McNide 
  • Altitude dependence of atmospheric temperature trends: Climate models versus observation (PDF) (Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 31, Issue 13, July 2004) – David H. Douglass, Benjamin D. Pearson, S. Fred Singer 
  • A test of corrections for extraneous signals in gridded surface temperature data (PDF) (Climate Research, Volume 26, Number 2, pp. 159-173, May 2004) – Ross McKitrick, Patrick J. Michaels – Are temperature trends affected by economic activity? 
  • Reply to Benestad (2004) (PDF) (Climate Research, Volume 27, Number 2, pp. 175–176, October 2004) – Ross McKitrick, Patrick J. Michaels 
  • A null hypothesis for CO2 (PDF) (Energy &amp; Environment, Volume 21, Number 4, pp. 171-200, August 2010) – Roy Clark A
  •  natural constraint to anthropogenic global warming (Energy &amp; Environment, Volume 21, Number 4, pp. 225-236, August 2010) – William Kininmonth 
  • A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions (PDF) (International Journal of Climatology, Volume 28, Issue 13, pp. 1693-1701, December 2007) – David H. Douglass, John R. Christy, Benjamin D. Pearson, S. Fred Singer A Climate of Doubt about Global Warming (Environmental Geosciences, Volume 7, Issue 4, December 2000) – Robert C. Balling Jr. 
  • A 2000-year global temperature reconstruction based on non-treering proxies (PDF) (Energy &amp; Environment, Volume 18, Numbers 7-8, pp. 1049-1058, December 2007) – Craig Loehle 
  • An empirical evaluation of earth’s surface air temperature response to radiative forcing, including feedback, as applied to the CO2-climate problem (Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics, Volume 34, Numbers 1-2, pp. 1-19, March, 1984) – Sherwood B. Idso 
  • An upper limit to global surface air temperature (Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics, Volume 34, Number 2, pp. 141-144, June 1985) – Sherwood B. Idso </b> 
  • As I said, for no good reason, these papers and many others like them are ignored by the IPCC and its followers. 
  • You may also read criticisms on the net about some of these authors, but you should also note that the criticisms are aimed at the person, not the work, and only rarely are there academic papers, that have been peer reviewed etc., published to contradict these authors, which of course is the proper scientific way to disagree in a situation like this. 
  • Therefore as there is no “strong, credible body of evidence” as the above sample of papers show, one needs to examine more closely what the IPCC is claiming. 
  • On one hand we have data that shows, or purports to show, that the climate is indeed warming unusually rapidly over the last 50 years or so. I say purports, as there is some doubt about the accuracy of the data, however the climate may well be warming. 
  • On the other hand, we have measurements of CO2 in the atmosphere that show that this has increased concentration has increased, as a portion of the atmosphere is only about 0.0213% since 1960, (dosn’t sound too much when you put it like that does it?). 
  • Nevertheless it is true that anthropogenic CO2 has increased. 
  • Now in order to prove that there is a connection between these two events that is proof of a <b>causation factor</b>, we need peer reviewed scientific publications that show this. 
  • Alas there appears to be none. All of the IPCC conclusions are based on 1. That this rather weak correlation is actual proof, and or 2. 
  • On scientific model results, which being only hypothesis in themselves, are not proof either. 
  • So one would expect something along the lines of the following:- Published academic papers using at least one of the following methods to show that the “Anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming” is more than just a possibility. 
  • 1 Empirical proof that shows the causation factor of CO2 with respect of Global Warming. 
  • 2. Statistical proof of Anthropogenic CO2. 
  • Im sure you know that correlations are never proof. 
  • 3. Evidence for the “Anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming” hypothesis to be adopted over the null hypothesis? 
  • Now I’m sure you do not need it, but just in case, here is a little reading to understand what these things are. Here is a site which describes what is needed for #3 which might help. http://www.experiment-resources.com/null-hypothesis.html I think number three is the most important, because it means, that in order to consider the “Anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming” hypothesis as a better hypothesis over a null hypothesis (such as “The climate naturally changes anyway”) one has to explain how and why all the previous warmings occurred (At least three in historical times). 
  • Now check out my blog and then see if you can find any academic papers that explain why the planet has heated up before, even though there was zero anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere. 
  • “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.” Well do you want to believe that statement in the absence of any actual proof? 
  • Well in fact who would care anyway? 
  • EXCEPT that the cost of the IPCC CO2 emission reductions and proposed wealth transfers will reduce western economies to the point where the population (including ourselves) is likely to starve.
  • This fact is becoming increasingly obvious and this is why we must insist on actual proof before we decide whether to support the IPCC. http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2008/10/co2-emission-cuts-the-economic-costs-of-the-epas-anpr-regulations http://rogerfromnewzealand.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/090327-employment-public-aid-renewable.pdf 
  • What it really boils down to is that the only “evidence” for AGW is a very tenuous correlation. 
  • When I studied statistics, almost the first lessen was that a correlation while being a neccesary condition for a proof, in itself without other evidence, has no significance at all. 
  • Cheers Roger 
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About creativeconflictwisdom

I spent 32 years in a Fortune Five company working on conflict: organizational, labor relations and senior management. I have consulted in a dozen different business sectors and the US Military. I work with a local environmental non profit. I have written a book on the neuroscience of conflict, and its implications for conflict handling called Creative Conflict Wisdom (forthcoming).
This entry was posted in Conflict Statistics, Economic Conflict, Ways to handle conflict and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Guest Blog: Human Induced Climate Change: Some Counter Evidence

  1. Thanks Roger. I will take a look in detail at what you post. In the meantime, I have re-posted it as a guest blog on my site in its own right as we like a good argument here. Best from the Creative Conflict Blogger.

  2. PS Having assembled the data you have, my own Popper influenced conflict approach now calls for you to go looking for the contrarian evidence in favor of malign human induced climate change. The Grist organization (on my blog roll) has I think a website link that rebuts every one of the arguments against climate change. Might be worth taking a look. You have a hypothesis and you now seek to overturn it, just as I did by asking you to post your data/point of view. That is how science should proceed, not to mention politics.

    • PPS Roger and on the precautionary principle, just in case you are wrong, as a conflict professional, who might want to move there, I would suggest New Zealand improves its defences, and buys some combat planes. Right now you are paradise away from almost all the negative effects of climate change, waiting to be taken over. 🙂 You really should have replaced your Sky Hawks with something better, though some shore based Tomahawk long range anti ship missiles would be a cheap contingency weapon with practically no running costs and they are under $1 million each I think. Take care. CCB

  3. klem says:

    “I mentioned I had 20% doubt about human induced climate change”

    If you are at 20% doubt you are now a climate denier pal, it’s over. You have already crossed to the dark side. True alarmist believers have no doubt whatsoever. Have you told your friends, family and significant other of your recent conversion from the faith? I suggest you do so.

    cheers

    • @ klem. Well I appreciate your sense of humor, but you clearly don’t get the approach of this blog. No one I know or read is 100% convinced that human induced climate change is happened at a specific rate with specific consequences. Most of the blind faith I see is among the denialists who are projecting their ‘faith’ based approach onto their opponents. I like them better as doubters than cast iron certain deniers.

      So no dark side cross over for me. And as I posted, as I think that most of the action we need to take for climate change (nuclear power, alternative fuels, better insulation etc.) is sensible anyway, the percentage probability is not such a big deal, though given the downside to human induced climate change, anything much more than a 20% risk is enough for us to act, just as I ensure my house against lowish probabilities. The precautionary principle is one thing I am keen on though short of ‘faith’

      So what is your percentage probability for 4 degrees C human induced climate change? 0%

      • klem says:

        Near zero.

        I beleive we have a much better chance of being struck by a large meteor, and we should be spending alot more money on that than on the trace gas CO2. Yet the UN wants $500 billion a year spent on this trace gas. Actually I beleive the earth has a 100% chance of being struck, yet we spend very little. Amazing.

        According to the IPCC, all of humanity produces 3% of the earths annual CO2 emissions. I have yet to hear anyone explain how our 3% dominates the other 97%.

        And that’s only C02, which contributes only 20% of the greenhouse effect, most of the remainder is due to water vapor.

        How does our 3% dominate the entire greenhouse effect?

        I don’t know.

      • @klem. Well I guess you are agreeing with the guest blogger so I will also leave it to him to reply as well. But for the record, I don’t believe that intuitive hunches on probabilities are much use. The risk of large meteor strike is well known and probably calculable and also I think a worthy precautionary project as you suggest. As for climate, what I don’t think that intuitive assessments of percentages are of much use, no disrespect. The models have done quite well in predicting things so far but the science is not complete. One thing I do understand is that the idea that climate change is not happening is certainly not supported. The speed and tipping points are open for debate.

      • @klem. One way of answering your question:

        Consider what happens when more CO2 is released from outside of the natural carbon cycle – by burning fossil fuels. Although our output of 29 gigatons of CO2 is tiny compared to the 750 gigatons moving through the carbon cycle each year, it adds up because the land and ocean cannot absorb all of the extra CO2. About 40% of this additional CO2 is absorbed. The rest remains in the atmosphere, and as a consequence, atmospheric CO2 is at its highest level in 15 to 20 million years (Tripati 2009). (A natural change of 100ppm normally takes 5,000 to 20,000 years. The recent increase of 100ppm has taken just 120 years).

        Human CO2 emissions upset the natural balance of the carbon cycle. Man-made CO2 in the atmosphere has increased by a third since the pre-industrial era, creating an artificial forcing of global temperatures which is warming the planet. While fossil-fuel derived CO2 is a very small component of the global carbon cycle, the extra CO2 is cumulative because the natural carbon exchange cannot absorb all the additional CO2.

  4. Jeff M says:

    creativeconflictwisdom: I don’t see a reply button on your post from December 12, 2011 so i’ll just post it here and hopefully you get around to reading it. Basically adding on to your last post regarding human emission upsetting the natural carbon cycle you can look at the amount the atmosphere is increasing by, the current average is 2ppm/y or 15.6 billion tons (Scripps data, Mauna Loa), then look at the amount of human emissions, currently standing at roughly 33.5 billion tons (CDIAC data, 2009/2010). You can also look at measurements of outbound radiation through three different data sets over an approximate 33 year period by looking at Griggs & Harries 2007 paper “Comparison of Spectrally Resolved Outgoing Longwave Radiation over the Tropical Pacific between 1970 and 2003 Using IRIS, IMG, and AIRS”.

    • @Jeff M. Thanks. Interesting data. The problem folk have with data is the lenses they look through at the data. There are scientists for whom data is linked into an explanatory set of hypotheses or unified theory that they are testing, by making predictions. One or two true climate scientists have their doubts, but in the main climate scientists are agreed on a broad model of climate change, though they disagree on the likely feedback loops, most of which seem to be positive, accelerating what Co2 is doing. And they disagree on the likely average temperature rise. What is more complex is that the process is not one of uniform temperature rise, but the possibility of some areas even being cooler and of course some areas are getting wetter and others drier. Which is why I prefer the term climate change to global warming. In any event, thanks for the info.

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