AGW - Science Or Neurosis?

In response to this post about anthropogeneic global warming, a commenter suggested I visit their blog and read their take on the issue of global warming. It is something I could have responded to immediately, but decided to hold off for a short while in order to gather my counter to the 'fact' of AGW.

My biggest problem with the whole AGW claim is that we are solely responsible for the climate change over the past 150 years or so, with too many of the so-called 'warmists' using temperature recordings over that period to prove what's happening and that it's all our fault. They conveniently ignore the previous 850 years of climate during which the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age occurred. During the Medieval Warm Period (approximately 700 through 1300 A.D.) global temperatures were warmer than they are today. The old canard about Leif Erikson conning Viking settlers to Greenland by calling it “Greenland” was disproved years ago. Greenland was actually green, with a temperate climate not unlike New England or the northern Mid-Atlantic states of today. It wasn't until the Little Ice Age descended upon mankind around 1300 A.D that Greenland became a cold and inhospitable place to live. The settlers finally had to abandon their homes when agriculture was no longer possible and fishing was too poor to sustain them.

How do we know this? Part of it is in written records kept by the Norse and part by archaeological research at the sites of the settlements, showing hundreds of years of agricultural work done by the settlers of the kind only possible in a temperate climate.

Looking back even farther in the past one must take into account the Roman Warm Period, when there was a lengthy time of well above 'average' temperatures. It was even warm enough for vineyards in northern England/southern Scotland. (The Romans never really tamed the rest of Scotland. The Picts saw to that.) Some vineyards were also prevelent during the Medieval Warm Period, but not to the extent seen during the earlier Roman Period.

Work done by Dr. Henrik Svensmark of the Danish Space Research Institute has postulated a direct >tie in with the solar activity during those two periods as well as the cold periods between them and from the Medieval Warm Period and today. There are those who disagree with Svensmark's conclusions, but also plenty of climatologists that see there is something to Svensmark's theory.

I think my biggest problem is that too many are more than willing to ascribe climate change to a single cause, particularly the AGW proponents. Far too many people on both sides of the debate are willing to cast aside data or additional theories that are in direct conflict with their beliefs or try to minimize factors that may have as great or even greater affect on climate.

One chart used by my erstwhile commenter shows changes in the CO2 and changes in temperatures. Does anyone else notice the same things I did?

First, it shows a somewhat regular cycle from the beginning of the chart to the end. Second, it shows both increases and decreases in both CO2 levels and temperatures. What is driving those cycles? It sure as heck isn't likely to be human activity, is it? Obviously not. Could it possibly be driven by the sun's change in activity in a combination of the 11 year, 23 year, and 178 year solar cycles?

Regardless of the mechanisms driving climate charge – warming or cooling – there's far too much hysteria out there making debate difficult, if not impossible. The AGW folks seem to driven to neurosis, their cause taking on the characteristics of obsession, or worse, a religious cult.

Last week marked the 20th anniversary of the mass hysteria phenomenon known as global warming. Much of the science has since been discredited.

What, discredited? Thousands of scientists insist otherwise, none more noisily than NASA's Jim Hansen, who first banged the gong with his June 23, 1988, congressional testimony (delivered with all the modesty of "99% confidence").

But mother nature has opinions of her own. NASA now begrudgingly confirms that the hottest year on record in the continental 48 was not 1998, as previously believed, but 1934, and that six of the 10 hottest years since 1880 antedate 1954. Data from 3,000 scientific robots in the world's oceans show there has been slight cooling in the past five years, never mind that "80% to 90% of global warming involves heating up ocean waters," according to a report by NPR's Richard Harris.

This WSJ opinion piece goes on to claim that too much of the environmental/climate change movement has been hijacked by those with a political or ideological ax to grind, leaving the actual scientists out of the debate, except for those who are willing to trade their scientific objectivity for personal gain, political or monetary. (Let's face it, there are millions, if not hundreds of millions of dollars out there for grants and research, particularly if you'll use the money to prove climate change, specifically warming, is All-The-Fault-Of-The-Evil-Humans™. That's one hell of an incentive.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome. However personal attacks, legally actionable accusations,or threats made to post authors or those commenting upon posts will get those committing such acts banned from commenting.