Last Thursday, Nov 19th, I got back to Birmingham Airport in time to hear the BBC’s “Material World” programme on Radio 4 as I drove home. Yet again, they were banging on about Climate Change, this time because a group of scientists has insisted that we are “at the top end of IPCC estimates”, and that global temperatures “could increase by 6 degrees”. Of course the alarmists are ramping up the rhetoric in the hope of scaring us to death ahead of Copenhagen in December. The truth is that global temperatures are below the low end of IPCC predictions, and the alarmists are terrified of the truth getting out. See James Delingpole’s excellent exposé of the shenanigans being practiced at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) to keep the Great Carbon Myth alive, at http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100017393/climategate-the-final-nail-in-the-coffin-of-anthropogenic-global-warming/
They had a scientist called Louise Sime in the programme. She had just undertaken research on ice cores in the Arctic, showing that during the Eemian Interglacial around 125,000 years ago, temperatures had been relatively high, and atmospheric CO2 levels had also been high. Of course there is nothing new there. We have had for some time the temperature and CO2 level records from the Vostok and other ice cores covering over half a million years, and they do indeed show a close correlation between temperature and atmospheric CO2. And it is worth recalling that temperatures in that last Interglacial were higher than this time round, yet the polar bears survived, there was no runaway global warming, no tipping point, no disaster — at least until the end of the Interglacial, when the ice came back again.
The whole debate on the programme simply assumed that this was further evidence that CO2 causes climate change. But hang on a minute. There was no industry, no oil, no coal mining, no 4x4s. So where did this elevated CO2 level come from? It is of course just possible that a super-volcano eruption could have caused elevated CO2 levels 125,000 years ago, but I am not aware of any such event. We know that Interglacials have occurred around every 120,000 years for over two million years, and just about everyone agrees that that regular periodicity can only be the result of astronomical cycles.
If you have two variables A and B, like temperature and CO2, that show a correlation, there are four possible conclusions:
1 A causes B.
2 B causes A.
3 Both A and B are caused by some third factor C (like the correlation between the number of murders and the number of Methodist Ministers in the USA over many decades — presumably both driven by rising population).
4 Or the correlation is purely coincidental.
In this case the correlation is too close, over too long a period, for coincidence. And there is no very obvious “C” in this case. So either temperature drives CO2, or CO2 drives temperature. Which is it?
In fact if you look at the graphs of CO2 and temperature in high resolution, it becomes clear that the changes in temperature precede the changes in CO2 by around 800 or 1000 years. This is conclusive proof that temperature drives CO2, not vice versa. And it explains the elevated atmospheric CO2 discovered by Ms. Sime in the Arctic. Why should temperature drive CO2? Because there is a great deal more CO2 in the oceans than in the atmosphere, and warmer water can dissolve less CO2. So rising temperatures cause the upper levels of the ocean to release CO2 into the atmosphere.
The whole global warming scare is driven by the wrong interpretation of this correlation. Al Gore and the BBC jump to the conclusion that CO2 causes warming, without stopping to consider the obvious alternative. And they threaten to bankrupt Western economies on the altar of their blind faith in the Great Carbon Myth.
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