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Correlation Between Temperatures and CO2
(A Shot in the foot by the IPCC and UNEP)
by Eduardo Ferreyra
President of FAEC
Argentinean Foundation for a Scientific Ecology
The website of UNEP (United Nations Environmental Program) is a perfect source (and example) of the misinformation plaguing the mainstream media. Take your time and pay it a visit. This site provides a series related to Global Warming, and one of the pages tell us about the close correlation between atmospheric CO2 levels and temperature increase, clearly implying that manmade CO2 emissions are responsible for the observed warming, urging the ratificaction of the Kyoto Protocol.blue, while the text in brown are my comments, when I feel there is a need for them.
The UNEP provides us with a beautiful graph, seen below, with the simple addition of some red vertical lines linking both CO2 levels and temperature charts, in order to make my thesis more clear: The increase in temperatures happened well in advance of the carbon dioxide increase, blaming temperature increase for CO2 increase, contrary to the current IPCC global warming hype. Not that this is any news for people who work in paleoclimatology, but this side of the story is not well known by the general public. We use the same data provided by the UNEP and IPCC to support our theory - so they cannot say we use biased data. However, the sheer poor scientific quality of the graphs invalidates our theory, not to mention theirs! So, if you are disappointed because carbon dioxide increase will not warm the Earth, don't blame me. Blame the IPCC.
Following comes what the UNEP says - their wording is displayed in
׀. Over the last 400,000 years the Earth's climate has been unstable, with very significant temperature changes, going from a warm climate to an ice age in as rapidly as a few decades. These rapid changes suggest that climate may be quite sensitive to internal or external climate forcings and feedbacks. As can be seen from the blue curve, temperatures have been less variable during the last 10 000 years. Based on the incomplete evidence available, it is unlikely that global mean temperatures have varied by more than 1°C in a century during this period.”
I will be piously kind and will not shout at them liars!; I will only say the last phrase is utter balderdash. They say climate can be highly sensitive to forcings and feedbacks but, if it became less variable in the last 10,000 years, this means the forcings either disappeared or the climate became less sensitive to the same forcings. Why? They don't say. I wonder if they know.
The most serious proxy studies performed by paleoclimatologists have shown that global mean temperatures around 1100 AD were 2º C higher than today, and as 3.5º C higher than those during the Double Maunder of the Little Ice Age (circa 1640). In the Sargazo Sea, temperatures increased from 21,5º C in the year 600 AD, 3 full degrees centigrade to 24,5º C in the year 1200 AD, going down 3 full ºC again to 21,5º C by the year 1450.
The information presented on this graph indicates a strong correlation between carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere and temperature. A possible scenario: anthropogenic emissions of GHGs could bring the climate to a state where it reverts to the highly unstable climate of the pre-ice age period. Rather than a linear evolution, the climate follows a non-linear path with sudden and dramatic surprises when GHG levels reach an as-yet unknown trigger point. "
This people have the boring habit of speaking always in the potential tense: "may", "could be possible", or abusing of vague terms, "probably", "it suggest", "it is likely", and the horrible double negation "wouldn't be unlikely" - and after introducing the potential tense wedge into de argumentation, they continue as if everything had been shown to be a proven fact, with no room for further discussion. Tricks fooling only those quite unaware, or those ignoring almost everything needed to be called literate. Really, the graph shows an apparently strong correlation betwen carbon dioxide levels and mean global temperatures only temperatures increased first, and then carbon dioxide levels followed. Check for yourself, and will see how this people have been lying more than politicians on campaign. Please, don't ever vote for them!
Figure 1: Correlation between carbon dioxide and mean global temperatures. ¿Which came first?
The issue of "correlation" can be of great visual help for an "approximate correlation" - when it comes to graphs - but in order to establish a true and "precise correlation" we need graphs with a wider scale. Each division on the graph shown above corresponds to 10,000 years, and in your computer screen (in case of using 800 x 640 pixels resolution), there are 15 pixels between each division, so each pixel corresponds to 10,000 / 15 = 666,66 years.. Keeping this in mind, we can make a rough analysis of these alleged "correlations".
Many paleoclimatic studies, especially those related with very "modern" times, as the last 1500 years, show that temperatures rose before carbon dioxide levels did and, generally, the rise in temperature anticipated by 200-400 years the rise of carbon dioxide levels - a period of time that would pass unperceived in the graph by the UNEP because 200 and 400 years years correspond to 1/3 of a pixel and 1/6 of a pixel, respectively, something no monitor can show. Could this suggest that the rise in temperature provoked the rise in carbon dioxide levels? Maybe. There are much more possibilities of this being true, and not the contrary as claimed by the IPCC. Let us see the examples marked in the graph:
Under letter A, at left, in the region about + 322.000 before present, CO2 concentrations decreased from 300 to 260 ppm, and temperatures did the same, during the same period, from 3,6º C to 1,58º C, aproximately. However, it does not matter here which one went down or up first - the point is their ups and downs do not correlate at all, as suggested by the UNEP and the IPCC. While carbon dioxide was decreasing steadily and smoothly, the temperature stopped its descent towards the end of the period, rose a few tenths of degrees, went down again, and up once more - then it began a long and sustained descent until the year 308,000 before present. On the other hand, while the temperature was decreasing uniformly, CO2 levels stopped their descent, went up a little and fell down again.
Then, there is a lack of correlation between increase and decrease of CO2 levels and increase and decrease of temperature, possibly due to other factors acting independently on those quite wide variations. ¿Which could have been those factors? Perhaps an increase or decrease in volcanic activity, a variation in the tilt of the Earth's rotation axis, in the precession, and other astronomical factors, most notably the known variation in the lenght of solar magnetic cycles and activity of the corona. (In order to learn more about the influence of the Sun on Earth's climate, please read the scientific study by Dr. Theodor Landscheidt (A New Ice Age Instead of Global Warming?) This means that the apparent correlation observed between CO2 and temperature, is not a net cause and effect correlation as there are other factors exerting their influence and destroying such cause and effect" correlation
Let us go to the example marked by the letter C. What happened here, people in the IPCC? Temperatures began to go down, and CO2 levels kept going for about 1800 years more! Then, while CO2 levels remained stable (in clear and wide plateau during about 8,000 years), the temperature went down, kept quite stable, went down again, up, and down once more before CO2 levels started to decrease. But, as in the case B, changes in temperature occurred BEFORE carbon dioxide levels followed the correlation.
The same lack of correlativity is present in example D, where temperatures go down rapidly, while carbon dioxide levels keep stable for a while, and the go down in a manner and intensity that differ with other parts of the chart, showing CO2 is not the important GHG pretended by the IPCC and the "warmers". But, above all, from the analysis of the UNEP and IPCC data, what came out clear is - leaving aside the imprecision and lack of adequate scaling - that correlation between CO2 and temperatures is quite poor and mostly contradictory. It shows that there are other factors affecting the temperature increases and decreases, and scientists ought to reach an agreement, once and for all, about which are those factors .
Another very popular graph in the internet, especially among "warmers", is the one shown next. It uses the sama UNEP and IPCC data, but has been packed in one chart - but it still can be blamed of a too small scale to be useful.
The same remarks as before are applied here, only the red line at the right - marked by the letter B appears much more displaced to the left, indicating that temperatures had risen long before carbon dioxide levels started to rise. Noblesse oblige, the crudness of the graph (quite beautiful, but highly useless as a scientific document), does not allow to claim absolutely nothing pretending to have scientific seriousness. However, this graph is used by "warmers" as a "proof" of the close correlation between CO2 levels and temperature increase - being the cause carbon dioxide increase and the effect temperature increase. Widely used for convincing elementary scholl children -and the rest of unaware and ignorant public.
More correlations, this time with the Sun
The UNEP and the IPCC like to speak about correlation between global temperatures and CO2, but the never speak about correlation between solar activity and global temperatures because, they say, the Sun's activity has a negligible influence on Earth's climate as if the planet were receiving heat from other more important sources!
Then, let us see what the UNEP and the IPCC have to say about the more than evident correlation between lenght of solar cycles and global temperatures. The graph corresponds to a study made in 1995 by astrophysicists Dr. Willie Soon, from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and Dr. Sallie Baliunas, from the Mount Wilson Observatory, in California. There is not much we can add to the graph, so conclusions are quite obvious. To UNEP and IPPC uncomfort and displease, the cause and effect correlation between solar cycles and terrestrial temperatures is incontrovertible. For the "warming industry" disgrace, in this case the cause is solar cycles and the effect is the temperature variations on Earth simply because variations on Earth could never induce variations on the Sun's activity.
But, nothing is impossible for the IPCC and the Warmer Legion, and as they blame "global warming" for the freezing winter of 2003 in the Northern Hemisphere - and the June snow in Moscow - they will surelly be tempted to blame "global warming" for the observed variations on solar activity. Now will have to watch how far it reaches their, up to now, unlimitited abilty to distort science.
In the same website by the UNEP, a page is published among all those dedicated to global warming, where a really pretty graph is displayed:
Trends in average global surface temperature"
15. The figure shows the combined land-surface air and sea surface temperatures (degrees Centigrade) 1861 to 1998, relative to the average temperature between 1961 and 1990. The mean global surface temperature has increased by about 0.3 to 0.6°C since the late 19th century and by about 0.2 to 0.3°C over the last 40 years, which is the period with most reliable data. Recent years have been among the warmest since 1860 – the period for which instrumental records are available.
A question that sprung in my mind is, "Why are they choosing the average temperature of the period 1961-1998 as the "normal one"? Is this temperature considered the best for life on Earth? If that's so, why climatologists called "Little Climatic Optimum" (or "Medieval Optimum Climatic") the period extending from 800 AD to 1250 AD? During this period, just before the "Little Ice Age" (about 1300-1850), temperatures were about 2º C higher than present days, something that opened vast areas in Europe and Russia for agriculture and trading, and allowed the Vikings to colonize Greenland, because it didn't have the present thick ice cover, and the north of the eastern US coastline, a warm and nice tempered region. Those were not Apocalyptic years, as shown by the huge leap forward experienced by makind in terms of agriculture productivity, commerce and opening of new territories for all kinds of human beneficial activities!
If the "Medieval Optimum Climatic" temperatures were considerd the best and most desirables for mankind, seen the beneficial effects obtained in those days, all the catastrophic argumentation presented by the IPCC and the UNEP is wiped out as a playing cards castle under a tornado.
The warming is evident in both sea and surface land based temperatures. Urbanization in general and desertification could have contributed only a small fraction of total global warming, though urbanization could have had an important influence in some regions. Indirect indicators as temperatures obtained from ice cores and decrease of glaciers provide independent support for the observed warming. It should also be noted that warmig has not been globaly uniform - The recent warming has been greater between latitudes 40º N y 70º N, though some areas as the North Atlatic have cooled in recent decades.
This comment by the UNEP obviously leaves aside measuring errors due to inappropriate techniques, or old and unefficient equipments, as it has been demonstrated more times than the IPCC likes to remember. A 0.5º C error in measurement made during the sailboat era, when canvas or metal buckets wre used to pick the water from the sea surface; or by means of pipe intake feeding the boilers of early 20th century ships, etc, are enough to invalidate (if those arrors are not corrected) all sea surface temperature records prior to the 1950s.
The same applies to temperatures obtained over Earth's surface, where the location and orientation of the measunig wheather station is vital. Temperatures were rising as cities were engulfing wheather stations, adding a spurious 4º C to the records. A good source of information on this side of the question is John Daly's article about the "heat island effect" in DTu-r (max)=1.42 log10 (POP)-2.09 in "Still Waiting for Greenhouse" website.
Why the areas between 40º N y 70º N, warmed while some North Atlantic areas in the same latitudes cooled? The IPCC does not know how to explain this, much in the same way they don't know how to explain many things surrounding their absurd theory of anthropognic warming. Simply because their hypotesis is just a warm air ballon full of holes, from where science is escaping aghast ashamd to be used in such a dishonest way to enforce politics aimed to stop industrial and econimic development in poor nations of the Earth.
I draw in the graph an horizontal key covering the cool period from 1947 to 1977, and marked it with the letter A. According to the IPCC, the rising levels of CO2 anthropogenic emissions are responsible for the sustained temperature increase. Ergo, the bigger the concentrations of carbon dioxide, the greater the warming. Period. And don't you dare to discuss this climatic papal bull.
There is something in this logic that doesn't close. Given that the famous CO2 graph used by the warming industry es absolutely uniform, why temperatures went down between 1947 and 1877, if CO2 levels went up, up, and up during the same period? It looks somewhat silly, but not even Stephen Schneider nor his friends in the IPCC have never explained this "anomaly". To attribute this to natural causes is out of the question, of course: for the IPCC there are not natural causes affecting the climate; only man-made CO2 emissions can do it if we are going to believe them. Are we?
But there is something else that throws the human induced global warming theory to the garbage can: as the IPCC and its followers desmiss the "urban heat island effect", and do not include the necessary corrections in their records and charts, the cooling effect happened between 1947 and 1977 must have been much greater (at least by 3º C) than the declared by the iPCC, and the ensuing warming must have been smaller, in about those 3ºC, than the one claimed by the IPCC graphs.
Very Short Conclusion
(GCM), an issue too well known as to be treated here. However, if you have an inquiring mind, or still have some doubts about their validity and usefulness, please read the excellent scientific paper by Dr. Willie Soon, Sallie Baliunas, Sherwood W. Idso, Kirill Ya. Kondriatev, and Eric Postmentier, Modeling climatic effects of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions: unknowns and uncertainties,.
- Correlation between CO2 and global temperatures is clear but only in some part of the world's climatic history and the attribution of "cause and effect" was done backwards: temperatures seem to drive CO2 levels, and not the opposite as the IPCC and the "warmers" claim.
- Correlation between solar cycles and temperatures on Earth have been proved beyond any doubt.
- The trend toward warming is driven by another cause, and not by atmospheric CO2 levels, since carbon dioxide levels rose uniformely during 30 years between the years 1947-1977, mean global temperatures went their own course, totally ignoring carbon dioxide levels.
- All this nonsense of man-made global warming through CO2 emissions are based in a huge amount of unknowns, ambiguities and uncertainties found in the so called General Circulation Models
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