Monday, January 7, 2013

Are Greenhouse Gases responsible for Global Warming?

As we come into 2013, the time has come to dispose of a few politically inspired myths and global warming caused by man’s overuse of cars, aeroplanes and industrialisation is just one of them. To challenge the prevailing views on climate change is according to Lord Lawson of Blaby “politically incorrect”. If something is considered improper in this way, then it’s necessary to ask whether there is a hidden agenda. The experts on weather change are not politicians like Presidential hopeful Al Gore but climate scientists.
The media talks about CO2 in awed terms as if it were some vicious substance destined to end man’s tenure on earth. Carbon di-oxide is a naturally occurring gas which helps living things grow. Humans produce a small portion of the world’s supply, somewhere in the region of 6 gigatons, which palls when compared to the 150 gigatons created  by animals and bacteria. CO2 is a small component of the earth’s atmosphere, comprising a tiny 0.54% . It’s a greenhouse gas, but by far the biggest is water vapour , which comprises 95% of the total. These gases are essential; they trap the sun’s heat in the troposphere. If this did not happen, it would dissipate off into space and life here on earth would be impossible. If greenhouses gases are responsible for climate change then the troposphere should be getting warmer, and this is not happening. The facts don’t fit the theory.
After being declared the victor in 2000 presidential election and then defeated by a recount and a decision by the US Supreme court, Al Gore became not President but a vociferous spokesman on  global warming.  In his emotional film “An Inconvenient Truth”, he bases his argument on ice core samples. These create a weather picture spanning millennia. He used the information to establish a correlation between the rise of CO2 and temperature increase, but he leaves out an important fact. Professor Clark points out that there is a considerable time lag between the temperature rise and the increase of the gas. Temperatures have increased by 0.5 degrees Celsius over the last 150 years. The greatest increase came prior to 1940 when industrial production was relatively low and then dropped over the succeeding 40 years which was a time of massive industrial expansion due to the post war industrial boom. It seems then that CO2 increases are the result and not the cause of temperature increase. Professor Michaels of the University of Virginia says people who claim CO2 is responsible for global warming have simply not examined the facts.
Oceanographer Karl Wunsch of MIT reiterates the oceans are the planets biggest treasury of carbon di-oxide. He explains the time interval between temperature rise and gas increases is due to the size  of the oceans. When temperatures rise the sea is warmed and gives off higher amounts of CO2. However, it takes a long time to raise sea temperature, and that explains the significant time lag between increased temperature and heightened CO2 levels.
If Greenhouse gases and CO2 are not causing so called global warming, what is? Look up in the sky and chances are you’ll see the sun. It’s increased sunspot activity that is causing temperature increases. This is not new. Historically there have been periods of earth’s history when the weather has been much warmer and times when it has been a lot cooler. Prior to the current 150  year cycle there was a cold spell known as the “Little Ice Age”; this began in Europe in the fourteenth century. Contemporary pictures and illustrations show this. In London, the Thames froze over most years; this cold snap was preceded by a time where temperatures where noticeably warmer and referred to as “The Medieval Warm Period”. Vines grew right up to northern England according to Geoffrey Chaucer. So why are we being misled? Margaret Thatcher jumped on this bandwagon and played a role in setting up the UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). She did this to justify her nuclear fuel strategy. Those events happened over a quarter of a century ago, and remember the UN has proposed a global carbon tax; is there a connection?
Alister Bredee
December 2012


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