Climate Change: Incorrect information on pre-industrial CO2
Statement written for the US Senate Committee on Commerce,
Science, and Transportation
Statement of Prof.
Chairman, Scientific Council of Central Laboratory
for Radiological Protection
I am a Professor at
the Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection (CLOR) in Warsaw,
Poland, a governmental institution, involved in environmental studies.
CLOR has a "Special Liaison" relationship with the US National Council on
Radiological Protection and Measurements (NCRP). In the past, for about
ten years, CLOR closely cooperated with the US Environmental Protection
Agency, in research on the influence of industry and nuclear explosions on
pollution of the global environment and population. I published about 280
scientific papers, among them about 20 on climatic problems. I am the
representative of Poland in the United Nations Scientific Committee on the
Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), and in 1980-1982 I was the chairman
of this Committee.
For the past 40 years I was involved in glacier
studies, using snow and ice as a matrix for reconstruction of history of
man-made pollution of the global atmosphere. A part of these studies was
related to the climatic issues. Ice core records of CO2 have been widely
used as a proof that, due to man's activity the current atmospheric level
of CO2 is about 25% higher than in the pre-industrial period. These
records became the basic input parameters in the models of the global
carbon cycle and a cornerstone of the man-made climatic warming
hypothesis. These records do not represent the atmospheric reality, as I
will try to demonstrate in my statement.
In order to study the history of industrial pollution of the
global atmosphere, between 1972 and 1980, I organized 11 glacier
expeditions, which measured natural and man-made pollutants in
contemporary and ancient precipitation, preserved in 17 glaciers in
Arctic, Antarctic, Alaska, Norway, the Alps, the Himalayas, the Ruwenzori
Mountains in Uganda, the Peruvian Andes and in Tatra Mountains in Poland.
I also measured long-term changes of dust in the troposphere and
stratosphere, and the lead content in humans living in Europe and
elsewhere during the past 5000 years. In 1968 I published the first paper
on lead content in glacier ice. Later I demonstrated that in
pre-industrial period the total flux of lead into the global atmosphere
was higher than in the 20th century, that the atmospheric content of lead
is dominated by natural sources, and that the lead level in humans in
Medieval Ages was 10 to 100 times higher than in the 20th century. In the
1990s I was working in the Norwegian Polar Research Institute in Oslo, and
in the Japanese National Institute of Polar Research in Tokyo. In this
period I studied the effects of climatic change on polar regions, and the
reliability of glacier studies for estimation of CO2 concentration in the
False Low Pre-industrial CO2 in the Atmosphere
Determinations of CO2 in polar ice cores are commonly used for
estimations of the pre-industrial CO2 atmospheric levels. Perusal of these
determinations convinced me that glaciological studies are not able to
provide a reliable reconstruction of CO2 concentrations in the ancient
atmosphere. This is because the ice cores do not fulfill the essential
closed system criteria. One of them is a lack of liquid water in ice,
which could dramatically change the chemical composition the air bubbles
trapped between the ice crystals. This criterion, is not met, as even the
coldest Antarctic ice (down to -73°C) contains liquid water. More than
20 physico-chemical processes, mostly related to the presence of liquid
water, contribute to the alteration of the original chemical composition
of the air inclusions in polar ice.
One of these processes is
formation of gas hydrates or clathrates. In the highly compressed deep ice
all air bubbles disappear, as under the influence of pressure the gases
change into the solid clathrates, which are tiny crystals formed by
interaction of gas with water molecules. Drilling decompresses cores
excavated from deep ice, and contaminates them with the drilling fluid
filling the borehole. Decompression leads to dense horizontal cracking of
cores, by a well known sheeting process. After decompression of the ice
cores, the solid clathrates decompose into a gas form, exploding in the
process as if they were microscopic grenades. In the bubble-free ice the
explosions form a new gas cavities and new cracks. Through these
cracks, and cracks formed by sheeting, a part of gas escapes first into
the drilling liquid which fills the borehole, and then at the surface to
the atmospheric air. Particular gases, CO2, O2 and N2 trapped in the deep
cold ice start to form clathrates, and leave the air bubbles, at different
pressures and depth. At the ice temperature of -15°C dissociation pressure
for N2 is about 100 bars, for O2 75 bars, and for CO2 5 bars. Formation of
CO2 clathrates starts in the ice sheets at about 200 meter depth, and that
of O2 and N2 at 600 to 1000 meters. This leads to depletion of CO2 in the
gas trapped in the ice sheets. This is why the records of CO2
concentration in the gas inclusions from deep polar ice show the values
lower than in the contemporary atmosphere, even for the epochs when the
global surface temperature was higher than now.
The data from shallow ice cores, such as those from Siple,
Antarctica[5, 6], are widely used as a proof of man-made increase of CO2
content in the global atmosphere, notably by IPCC. These data show a
clear inverse correlation between the decreasing CO2 concentrations, and
the load-pressure increasing with depth (Figure 1 A) . The problem with
Siple data (and with other shallow cores) is that the CO2 concentration
found in pre-industrial ice from a depth of 68 meters (i.e. above the
depth of clathrate formation) was "too high". This ice was deposited in
1890 AD, and the CO2 concentration was 328 ppmv, not about 290 ppmv, as
needed by man-made warming hypothesis. The CO2 atmospheric concentration
of about 328 ppmv was measured at Mauna Loa, Hawaii as later as in
1973, i.e. 83 years after the ice was deposited at Siple.
ad hoc assumption, not supported by any factual evidence[3, 9], solved
the problem: the average age of air was arbitrary decreed to be exactly
83 years younger than the ice in which it was trapped. The "corrected"
ice data were then smoothly aligned with the Mauna Loa record (Figure 1
B) , and reproduced in countless publications as a famous "Siple curve".
Only thirteen years later, in 1993, glaciologists attempted to prove
experimentally the "age assumption", but they failed.
The notion of low pre-industrial CO2
atmospheric level, based on such poor knowledge, became a widely accepted
Holy Grail of climate warming models. The modelers ignored the evidence
from direct measurements of CO2 in atmospheric air indicating that in 19th
century its average concentration was 335 ppmv (Figure 2) . In Figure
2 encircled values show a biased selection of data used to demonstrate
that in 19th century atmosphere the CO2 level was 292 ppmv. A study of
stomatal frequency in fossil leaves from Holocene lake deposits in
Denmark, showing that 9400 years ago CO2 atmospheric level was 333 ppmv,
and 9600 years ago 348 ppmv, falsify the concept of stabilized and low CO2
air concentration until the advent of industrial revolution .
Improper manipulation of data, and arbitrary rejection of readings
that do not fit the pre-conceived idea on man-made global warming is
common in many glaciological studies of greenhouse gases. In peer reviewed
publications I exposed this misuse of science [3, 9]. Unfortunately, such
misuse is not limited to individual publications, but also appears in
documents of national and international organizations. For example IPCC
not only based its reports on a falsified "Siple curve", but also in its
2001 report used as a flagship the "hockey curve" of temperature,
showing that there was no Medieval Warming, and no Little Ice Age, and
that the 20th century was unusually warm. The curve was credulously
accepted after Mann et al. paper published in NATURE magazine. In a
crushing criticism, two independent groups of scientists from disciplines
other than climatology [16, 17] (i.e. not supported from the annual pool
of many billion "climatic" dollars), convincingly blamed the Mann et al.
paper for the improper manipulation and arbitrary rejections of data. The
question arises, how such methodically poor paper, contradicting hundreds
of excellent studies that demonstrated existence of global range Medieval
Warming and Little Ice Age, could pass peer review for NATURE? And how
could it pass the reviewing process at the IPCC? The apparent scientific
weaknesses of IPCC and its lack of impartiality, was diagnosed and
criticized in the early 1990s in NATURE editorials [18, 19]. The disease,
seems to be persistent.
The basis of most of
the IPCC conclusions on anthropogenic causes and on projections of
climatic change is the assumption of low level of CO2 in the
pre-industrial atmosphere. This assumption, based on glaciological
studies, is false. Therefore IPCC projections should not be used for
national and global economic planning. The climatically inefficient and
economically disastrous Kyoto Protocol, based on IPCC projections, was
correctly defined by President George W. Bush as "fatally flawed". This
criticism was recently followed by the President of Russia Vladimir V.
Putin. I hope that their rational views might save the world from enormous
damage that could be induced by implementing recommendations based on
1. Jaworowski, Z., Stable
lead in fossil ice and bones. Nature, 1968. 217: p. 152-153.
Mulvaney, R., E.W. Wolff, and K. Oates, Sulpfuric acid at grain boundaries
in Antarctic ice. Nature, 1988. 331(247-249).
3. Jaworowski, Z.,
T.V. Segalstad, and N. Ono, Do glaciers tell a true atmospheric CO2 story?
The Science of the Total Environment, 1992. 114: p. 227-284.
Shoji, H. and C.C. Langway Jr., Volume relaxation of air inclusions in a
fresh ice core. Journal of Physical Chemistry, 1983. 87: p. 4111-4114.
5. Neftel, A., et al., Evidence from polar ice cores for the
increase in atmospheric CO2 in the past two centuries. Nature, 1985. 315:
6. Friedli, H., et al., Ice core record of the 13C/12C
ratio of atmospheric CO2 in the past two centuries. Nature, 1986. 324: p.
7. IPCC, Climate Change - The IPCC Scientific Assessment.
ed. J.T. Houghton et al. 1990, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, pp.
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Compendium of Data on Global Change. 1990, Oak Ridge National Laboratory:
Oak Ridge, Tennssee, pp. 257.
9. Jaworowski, Z., Ancient
atmosphere - validity of ice records. Environ. Sci. & Pollut. Res.,
1994. 1(3): p. 161-171.
10. Schwander, J., et al., The age of the
air in the firn and the ice at Summit, Greenland. J. Geophys. Res., 1993.
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11. Slocum, G., Has the amount of carbon
dioxide in the atmosphere changed significantly since the beginning of the
twentieth century? Month. Weather Rev., 1955(October): p. 225-231.
12. Callendar, G.S., On the amount of carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere. Tellus, 1958. 10: p. 243-248.
13. Wagner, F., et al.,
Century-scale shifts in Early Holocene atmospheric CO2 concentration.
Science, 1999. 284: p. 1971-1973.
14. IPCC, Climate Change 2001:
The Scientific Basis., ed. J.T. Houton et al. 2001, Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, pp. 892.
15. Mann, M.E., R.S. Bradley, and M.K.
Hughes, Global-scale temperature patterns and climate forcing over the
past six centuries. Nature, 1998. 392: p. 779-787.
16. Soon, W.,
et al., Reconstructing Climatic and Environmental Changes of the past 1000
years: A Reappraisal. Energy & Environment, 2003. 14: p. 233-296.
17. McIntyre, S. and R. McKitrick, Corrections to the Mann et al.
(1998) proxy data base and Northern hemispheric average temperature
series. Energy & Environment, 2003. 14(6): p. 751-771.
Editorial, A., IPCC's ritual on global warming. Nature, 1994. 371: p. 269.
19. Maddox, J., Making global warming public property. Nature,
1991. 349: p. 189.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * End of Jaworowski
Statement * * * * * * * * * * *
The following are not part of the above statement, but have been added
At least somewhat related to reference 13,
atmospheric CO2 changes associated with the 8,200-years-B.P. cooling
contains additional discussion of stomatal indications of
early Holocene atmospheric CO2 concentrations in excess of 280 ppmv.
For additional information regarding reference 17, see McIntyre and
McKitrick web pages.