The major development in climate science in the last year or two is something almost no one talks about–strong evidence that changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have no significant effect on global temperatures in the real world over recent decades. The studies involved conclude that the minor increases in global temperatures during this period can be entirely explained using natural factors.
The evidence for this conclusion appeared in studies done over a year ago, but neither side is saying much about them. Skeptic researchers seem to be currently concentrating on the case for lower equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS), arguing that it is lower than the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has hypothesized. I agree that the ECS is nowhere near as high as the IPCC claims, but believe that the emphasis needs to be on the larger issue of whether CO2 has a significant effect on temperatures in the real world.
The Major Question Is Why CO2 Has No Significant Effect
Now that the evidence shows that CO2 has no significant effect in the real world over recent decades, the major research question is why–not how small the ECS may be in the idealized world of climate researchers. Insignificant effects will still be insignificant regardless of who may be correct as to the ECS. Perhaps the major question is why CO2 has no significant effect on temperatures in the real world, in which case CO2 and ECS are largely irrelevant.
The climate alarmists continue to put their heads in the sand and pretend that their oft-repeated catastrophic CO2 hypothesis is somehow correct, even though it has been disproved, and the world should continue to spend more than a trillion dollars each year trying to reduce human-caused CO2 emissions. But if changes in CO2 levels have no significant effect on temperatures, their proposed reductions in human-caused emissions will not either.
Alarmists have made a major change in the last year. Instead of concentrating on EPA and national level decisions on using their favorite “renewables,” the alarmists have now switched to promoting their scientifically invalid efforts to reduce human-caused CO2 emissions reductions to the state and local levels. This is largely the result of the Democrats’ loss of the White House, not any new research.
All this strikes me as highly irrational. Now there is always the possibility that the Wallace et al. reports are wrong in their major conclusion. The techniques used are new to climate science but widely accepted in other fields. No one has demonstrated that the new research is wrong in over a year despite the authors’ offer to make available all of the data used to reach this important conclusion. And reproducing the results does not require a costly supercomputer like the IPCC’s meaningless climate models do. It seems to me that a rational agenda on the part of climate alarmists should either be to disprove the Wallace et al. studies or to implement actions that would carry out the conclusions suggested by the research (most importantly, abandoning efforts to reduce human-caused emissions of CO2). But neither is being done to my knowledge.
So what are possible physical hypotheses for the no significant effect finding? Econometric studies such as Wallace et al. can say whether there is a significant effect, but cannot provide the physical explanations for it. One interesting idea is that it results from Earth’s formidable system of natural temperature-regulating emergent phenomena, particularly near the oceanic tropics, where much of the sun’s energy enters the climate system. These phenomena include immediate increases in clouds and thunderstorms when temperatures rise, particularly when temperatures exceed 26-29oC. Other emergent phenomena that operate elsewhere, such as hurricanes and tornadoes, also redistribute heat and keep down temperatures. These emergent phenomena prevent significant increases in global temperatures regardless of their cause.
If indeed this is the explanation, concerns about catastrophic increases in temperatures are groundless and the relevant question becomes whether Earth’s de facto temperature control system overcomes the minor alleged theoretical temperature effects of CO2 increases, not whether human-caused CO2 emissions increase temperatures.
So I argue that climate alarmists are not being rational unless they think that they can continue to smother the opposition using their lock hold on the mainstream media even though they no longer have control of the Federal environmental bureaucracy.
There are many reasons CO2 cannot warm the planet, here’s 2: All cooling below 1000m. is being done by convection, not IR radiation, that means “back-radiation”, if real, doesn’t have any effect at all until you are 1000m. or above the surface. The temperature difference from sea level to 1000m. is, at least, 6,5 C. (Adiabatic Lapse Rate , ALR.)
Why is this important? Because something at least 6,5 C. colder (the air at a 1000m. altitude) .. can not warm something that is at least 6,5 C. warmer 1000m. below, at the surface.
The other thing is, at what temperature does the CO2 molecules “work”, trapping heat?
At temperature over + 46 C. or below – 54 C.
.. and where is that?
.. and the heat it “traps”, what does it do with it?
Update: (Adiabatic Lapse Rate , ALR.) was corrected.