Global Warming: CO2 increase is a symptom, not the main cause

Tradução para o inglês do meu artigo Aquecimento Global: aumento de CO2 é um sintoma, não a causa principal publicado em 2010 neste blog e na página do GlobalResearch.

Global Warming: CO2 increase is a symptom, not the main cause

By Francisco Roland Di Biase

Disclaimer: (January 2018)
The original title of this article (Climate Change is Not Cause by Man) has been changed since the central theme is that CO2 is only the symptom of the problem and not the main cause. Of course, because CO2 has a small role in the greenhouse effect (water vapor is the major prompter) once its concentration in the atmosphere increases, a vicious cycle begins.

The vast majority of people think global warming is serious, and that scientists have reached a consensus on what is happening. The debates are only about how long we still have. The mainstream media along with many environmentalists led us to believe that unless we take immediate steps we will head for an environmental cataclysm where sea levels will rise causing millions of refugees around the world. The ecosystem will change, breaking the food chain and leading to mass extinctions.

For those who saw the movie "An Inconvenient Truth", from the former U.S. vice president Al Gore, the impression is that there aren’t dissenting voices in the scientific community, or if it exists, they are paid by big oil corporations. Also there is a widespread idea that climatology, climate science, is very complicated, and that probably you will need a PhD to understand it. Any science to those who weren’t trained in it is complicated, and so is climatology. It works by the observation of the present and especially of the past through the examination of ice samples from different epochs from various locations on Earth, in an attempt to determine how climate has behaved in the past to give an idea of how it will behave in the future.

Returning to Mr. Gore’s film, that won the Oscar - and Gore himself won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in "enlighten" people. It shows many infographics and computer projections that give the impression that everything he says is based on concrete and indisputable scientific facts.

Well, one fact about the movie that is little known is that in 2007 the British High Court ruled that "An Inconvenient Truth" ceased to be shown in schools because were found at least nine factual errors or exaggerations in the "scientific facts". For example, the film shows that many coastal towns on the planet will be flooded due to rising sea levels. Mr. Gore shows a projection where the seas will rise by seven meters by the end of the century while the IPCC report says it will need thousands of years to reach that level.

Another unproven issue, in this case completely unsubstantiated, is that polar bears are threatened. The truth is that to date there are no scientific studies indicating that the population of polar bears is shrinking. On the contrary, in the area where they have being monitored it seems that their population is increasing. In addition, it is known that about 8,000 years ago there was a warming period on Earth, larger than the current one, called the Holocene Optimum Period, which lasted more than three thousand years, the polar bears survived as everyone can attest. We can’t forget also that scientists knows from long time that in medieval times there was also a warming that allowed the Vikings (Nordics) to colonize Greenland and develop agriculture. Also permitted grapes cultivation in northern England and agriculture in Greenland, which is impossible today because of the cold.

As the planet has been hotter in the past it also has been colder in others eras. In the last ice age (12,000 years ago) the ice covered almost the entire temperate zone of the northern hemisphere. Places like Canada, northern USA, Russia and northern Europe were covered by ice. It is safe to conclude that there was a warming since the ice retreated to their present positions in the Polar Regions. We also know that shortly after the medieval warming occurred the "Little Ice Age" in the fourteenth century when Greenland was covered in ice. In winter the cold was so intense that even the River Thames in London, was completely frozen allowing skating on its surface as shown in the picture below.

During the last ice age the planet's temperature was around 12°C only 2.4 degrees of difference for the 14.4°C of today. But remember that during most of the planet's history the temperature was around 22°C. Only tropical and subtropical regions existed, there was no ice in the polar caps, and this was not a catastrophic scenario. Patrick Moore, founding member of Greenpeace, says that when we analyze the pattern of biodiversity in the regions of the globe we realize that going from tropical to subtropical and then to temperate zones, where there are frosts and snow in winter, there is a drop of 90% of biodiversity. He argues that the ice may be considered an enemy of life and that it would not be a bad thing if the planet warmed slightly as was in the past.

Man was not responsible for these climate changes that happened. They are part of natural cycles of warming and cooling that exist on our planet. If we look at the graph of temperature variation (graph 1 below) we see that it fluctuates and is not a straight line with a sudden rise in the twentieth century (graph 2 below) as the IPCC has put in its 3rd report.

Graph 1 - Temperature Variation

Graph 2 - Hockey Stick (IPCC) 1

This IPCC graph called "Hockey Stick" because of its resemblance to the object in question has been thoroughly discredited by Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick. They used the same data of the IPCC scientists (Mann et al.) in a proprietary method and obtained very different results. Then they analyzed the method of Mann et al. and realized that it looks exactly for the data sequence required to form the hockey stick graph. As if they were thinking: we want this result (constant temperature and heating in the twentieth century - hockey stick graph) then we create a method that from the available data will provide this predetermined result. When we ignore the scientific method we don’t produce science but something else without any scientific value.

Another factor that influences the climate, recently discovered, is a small cycle of warming and cooling that lasts about 30 years related to the operating cycle of the Pacific Ocean, hot or cold. The data show that in this first decade of the 21st century the ocean went from hot to cold mode. And as Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT, a former member of the IPCC confirms there was no significant increase in temperature during this period, contradicting with the IPCC predictions, and virtually absolving the guilt of CO2 since China has significantly increased its emissions in the last two decades. It is very likely that we will be entering a cooling period.

Alternate cycles of warming and cooling since 1470 AD. (Blue is cold and red is hot) - based on oxygen isotopes rates in the Greenland ice core GISP2.

The map above shows cooler temperatures in blue in the ocean (note the North America coast).
The graph shows how the Pacific was changing between its modes hot and cold over the last century and an extrapolation for the next years based on previous years.

This cycle of 30 years is more evident when we look at the data and see that the 1930s were the warmest of the 20th century and the year 1934 the hottest and not 1998 and 2006 as the IPCC said. By contrast in the 1970s there was a substantial cooling that led some scientists raise the question if we were going enter into a new ice age. One such scientist was Stephen Schneider, one of the leading voices of the movement. Today, the same Stephen Schneider is a leading member of the IPCC and special adviser to Al Gore (Schneider was with Al Gore when he received the Nobel Prize). The same person who, 30 years ago said that we would freeze, says we'll cook today.

A fact that the mainstream media likes to show a lot as --- evidence of global warming is the glaciers breaking up and thus reducing the Arctic icecap. But according to Professor Syun Ichi Akasofu, founding director of the International Artic Research Center, the ice began to decline in 1850 not in the 20th century when the CO2 concentration increased in the atmosphere. And besides, the latest satellite data shows that the area covered in ice in the summer of 2008 was bigger than in 2007 (figure below).

It's always good to remember that the IPCC is not a scientific institution but a political one. It was created by the UN (a political organization) to analyze the causes and impacts of climate change. And as their sponsors, the same of UN (U.S. is the largest), have specific objectives, the scientists do their best to achieve the expected results for its funds continue flowing. One of the basic patterns of the scientific process, the peer review publication, has been dropped. In the IPCC you are your own editor and decides what is relevant to review. This led to publication of conclusions, at least exaggerated ("hockey stick" graph) and the fleeing of several scientists from fields such as geology, geophysics, astrophysics, epidemiology and others because their views contradict those desired. Nevertheless their names still appear in the reports. Today the IPCC is basically composed of meteorologists and environmentalists making conclusions very limited if not erroneous.

One of the scientists who left the IPCC is Prof. Paul Reiter from Pasteur Institute in Paris who only got his name removed from the report after threatening it with legal action. He says the idea that further warming will increase the incidence of diseases like malaria is false. The premise of the IPCC is that as malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes and mosquitoes do not survive in the cold, warming will increase the amount of mosquitoes. Reiter says that this is not true, that mosquitoes are extremely abundant in the Arctic and that one of the largest epidemics of malaria occurred in the Soviet Union (now Russia) in the 1920s, with 13 million cases and 600,000 deaths. His findings never got to the report, but his name was listed as a contributor.

As we all like Al Gore and we were shocked when the 2000 presidential election was stolen from him, lets talk about his biggest "misunderstanding" not to say manipulation.

In the movie "An Inconvenient Truth" he shows the relationship between temperature and CO2, only with the graph of the variation of the two (below) and explained that the relationship is very complicated concluding that the increase in atmospheric CO2 causes an increase in temperature on the planet. We have a serious problem here because without knowing what is the relationship between temperature and CO2 we have to believe, take as faith, in the word of Mr. Gore, a person who is not a scientist but a politician (what was the last time you believed in a politician?).

The relationship that is supposed very difficult for Mr. Gore is not that much to someone with a little patience to understand it. The first interesting fact is that if we look closely at the graph we see that there is a time delay between the change in temperature and CO2. First we see the temperature increase and then we finally see the increase in CO2, as is clear from the graph below that shows a delay of approximately 800 years. Just this fact leads us to suppose that the temperature is not a consequence of CO2 but the opposite, first the temperature needs to increase and then the CO2 level increase. But back to the relationship between the two. Today oceanographers as Professor Carl Wunsch of MIT know that a temperature rise in the oceans causes the dissolved CO2 in the sea to be release into the atmosphere and when the temperature decrease  the CO2 is absorbed by the sea. The oceanography also tells us that any effect we are seeing in the ocean today is because they happening 800 years ago simply because the oceans are very big and takes about 800 years to warm up or cool down.

We know also that sunspots are closely linked to cloud formation on Earth. When the sun's activity increases, increasing the number of sunspots, the sun's magnetic field, where Earth is inserted, increases. This field provides us with a kind of shield against cosmic rays, originating from very distant supernova. The stronger the shield (magnetic field) fewer rays reach the Earth. These rays are directly related to the formation of clouds because when they reach the planet causes the molecules of hydrogen and oxygen in the atmosphere, to join to form micro-particles of water and hence clouds. If we have a decrease in cosmic rays (magnetic field stronger and more sunspots) we’ll have a decrease of clouds and more solar rays will reach the surface of the planet warming it.

So the relationship between temperature and CO2 is: Increased solar activity causing increased sun's magnetic field (seen by the number of sunspots), resulting in fewer cosmic rays hitting the earth which leads to fewer clouds in the sky causing more solar radiation focuses on the surface increasing the temperature of Earth. Consequently with increasing temperature, the oceans begin to release CO2 increasing the concentrations in the atmosphere.

Looking at the solar activity (sunspot) graph below and temperature, produced by the team of Prof Eigil Friis-Christensen, director of the Danish Space Center, is clear the relationship between the two.

When this relationship became evident, Prof. Ian Shaviv of the Physics Institute of Jerusalem University decided to compare his data from cosmic rays with the temperature data of Prof. Ian Veizer dating back thousands of years in the past and the result was even clearer. In the graph below the temperature blue line was inverted to show the inverse relationship between temperature and cosmic rays.

So is little wonder that Mr. Gore has said that this relationship is very complicated because if he explain it would became clear that is not the CO2 that makes the temperature rise but the rise in temperature that increases the CO2.

We can’t perceive that the increase in CO2 occurs before the temperature in the Al Gore’s graph because he uses the same trick that magicians use, simply diverts our attention to the similarity between the two and we don’t look at the scale he uses. The problem of the time scale used is that it’s very large, hundreds of thousands of years, making it difficult to see only 800 years. But increasing the chart and looking closely we can see that in the mark "a" the CO2 decrease as temperature rises and in mark "b" the CO2 increases as the temperature decreases, illustrating that not always when the CO2 is increasing the temperature is also increasing.

Another factor rarely publicized is that we have greenhouse gases and not a single gas. The biggest greenhouse gas is water vapor, responsible for at least 75% of the greenhouse effect. CO2 has little involvement and the part which is generated by man (understood burning of fossil fuels) is small compared to the CO2 generated in nature. The volcanoes, animals, and decaying leaves produce more CO2 than man. But by far the largest producer of CO2 is the ocean as we have seen. We must not forget that CO2, the gas they say will cause a disaster, is one of the basic elements of life, without CO2 there would be no life on Earth. Plants need it to do photosynthesis and in the respiration process of living beings it’s released constantly.

Even if the current warming was due to the greenhouse effect would be natural that the troposphere warmed faster than the surface. But data from both satellites and weather balloons show no such warming. Indeed show that the surface is warming faster contradicting the theory of the greenhouse effect and confirming the theory of higher incidence of solar radiation on the surface.

The environmental movement today, as Patrick Moore says, has become a political movement. And its most extreme portion became anti-development and therefore anti-human. Because once you tell poor countries not to use oil, gas and coal to generate electricity and that they need to use solar and wind energy, in truth you're saying they can not have electricity. If in developed countries solar and wind energy are expensive imagine for an underdeveloped African nation. And if you're thinking that electricity is not so important, after all we survived thousands of years without, imagine your life without fridge, light and hot water. Imagine a world without steel. Electricity is the main factor in developing countries and in improving the living conditions of people.

In Brazil we do not think much of the impact that would have if power generation from fossil fuels stopped because most of our energy is generated by hydroelectric dams. But do not forget that 85% of energy generation in the world comes from fossil fuels, including in developed countries. Much of the energy generated in the U.S. has coal as fuel. Energy from fossil fuels is inexpensive making it affordable for a large portion of the population. If we restrict its use the development in several countries will stagnate and may even regress, particularly in Africa which has large reserves of oil and coal, and only now start to use them.

Today the few scientists who speak against the theory that global warming is caused by man are marginalized as if they were saying that the Holocaust did not happen. Often they see their funds decrease and are repeatedly attacked by the media.

For the people who think the discussion is closed it is worth remembering that the scientific debate can never be suppressed, it is against the very principle of the scientific method. A good example is the field of physics. With Newton's Gravity Theory it was thought that it was just a matter of time for everything to be explained until Einstein came up with the Relativity Theory and showed that Newton's Theory was only an approximation of reality. We have quantum physics where there are several branches. There is a predominant but the others were not annihilated and discarded. The debate has lasted for nearly a century and nobody knows which one is correct, if there is even a correct one.

A great scientist and fomenter of science once said: "The theory that is inconsistent with the facts must be discarded or revised for more than we liked the idea," his name was Carl Sagan. Do not watch "An Inconvenient Truth" as the definitive popular presentation on global warming as Carl Sagan did with the "Cosmos" series. Al Gore is not a scientist, much less Carl Sagan.

Addendum: Others factors to consider

January 2018

We must not forget that methane is 21 times more potent than CO2 for the greenhouse effect. Any specialist in the field will tell you that when we drill a petroleum well or natural gas it is impossible not to have leaks. In the oil wells there are pockets of gases, including methane, that end up being released into the atmosphere before beginning the extraction. This is part of the normal well drilling process.

But when do we have accidents like the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico? This catastrophe was commonly called the oil spill, but the oil was not the only hydrocarbon that left the Macondo well for 84 days. Scientists have reported that up to 40% of the leak was gas, mostly methane that is invisible to the naked eye. Their findings were published in the journal Nature Geoscience. The authors, Samantha Joye, Ian MacDonald, Ira Leifer and Vernon Asper, calculate that the total volume of gas released was 260,000 up to 520,000 tons. In addition, the impact on the ecosystem was terrible. Several gulf fishing communities were devastated with several people losing their livelihood. A chemical was used to sink most of the oil that was on the surface making the bottom of the sea uninhabitable.

As we can see our focus should not be whether CO2 is the main culprit for global warming or not, but how to live in harmony with the environment. The use of harmful substances should be the minimum necessary, and in the future through science eliminated. Thus, we can consider that renewable energy sources are the evolution necessary to abolish once and for all the harmful sources. They are already economically viable. In many countries they are even cheaper than hydroelectric, fossil fuel and nuclear. There is no longer any justification for continuing to burn fossil fuels because the by-product is not just CO2. Other harmful substances are also generated as sulfur, carbon monoxide and various micro-particles that damage our respiratory system. Nuclear energy is expensive and subsidized by governments, and the risks in the event of an accident is too high. Just look at the recent disaster in Fukushima. To date, the nuclear reactors have not been controlled and a huge amount of seawater is needed to cool them. This contaminated water in turn is dumped back into the ocean. Hydroelectric plants, while not releasing greenhouse gases directly into the atmosphere, have a huge environmental impact. The moment we dam a river the whole ecosystem of the river, its banks and surroundings is affected. The larger the dammed area the worse the impact. In addition, all the vegetation that remained in the flooded area starts rotting away releasing methane into the atmosphere, ie indirectly hydroelectric are responsible for the release of greenhouse gases as well. 


Documentaries films

An Inconvenient Truth of Davis Guggenheim

Not Evil Just Wrong of Phelim McAleer & Ann McElhinney;

The Great Global Warming Swindle of Martin Durkin.


Global Cooling is Here - Evidence for Predicting Global Cooling for the Next Three Decades of Prof. Don J. Easterbrook – Department of Geology of Western Washington University

Climate Science: Is it currently designed to answer questions? of Prof. Richard S. Lindzen – Program in Atmospheres, Oceans and Climate. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

There Is No 'Consensus' On Global Warming of Prof. Richard S. Lindzen – Program in Atmospheres, Oceans and Climate. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Global Warming: A Convenient Lie of Andrew Gavin Marshall – Research Associate with the Center for Research on Globalization (CRG)

75 Reasons to be Skeptical of "Global Warming" of Josh Fulton – Graduation Student of North Caroline University

Climate Science: Observations versus Models of Richard K. Moore – Independent writer

Copenhagen and Global Warming: Ten Facts and Ten Myths on Climate Change of Prof. Robert M. Carter – James Cook University (Queensland) and University of Adelaide (South Australia)

Frosty, Frigid Global Warming of Ted Twietmeyer

From the addendum

Up to 40 Percent of Gulf Oil Spill was Potent Methane Gas, Research Shows de Lisa Song published at Truthout:

The Methane Monster Roars de Dahr Jamail published at Truthout: 


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