by Ed Berry
It is time for our elected representatives to understand that Al Gore’s concept of “global warming” and the idea that our carbon dioxide emissions represent a danger to our planet or to our lives is a total myth.
It is time for our legislators to abandon all economic favoritism toward green “renewable” energy which is destroying Montana’s economy, as it has already done to Spain, and to put all forms of energy generation on a level economic playing field.
It is time for our legislators to take charge of our school and university system so we can remove professors like Steve Running who force feed Montana students with pseudo science and unrealistic scare scenarios, and give bad, incompetent advice to our public about environmental legislation.
It is time to pass the anti-global warming bills currently in progress and to remove Montana from the faulty and disastrous Western Climate Initiative. Then, in the future, for the sake of Montana’s economy, we will make sure Gov Schweitzer never has the opportunity to exert his bad judgment on Montana again.
The first phase of Climate Clash is now completed.
Dr. Eric has had 4 months to present and argue his case that human carbon dioxide emissions are causing or will cause serious global warming. An excellent summary of the debate is in the comments by scientist Dr. Leonard Weinstein. Let’s follow his key statements below.
Comment @51 by Leonard Weinstein
You continue to take the position that the increase in CO2 that occurred in the glacial to interglacial transitions, and the fact that the average absorbed solar insolation is not greatly directly increased by the “Milankovitch Cycles” proves that the CO2 was the main cause of the temperature increase. Your (and others) logic is that the “Milankovitch Cycles” caused a very small change in temperature that caused the oceans to release some CO2, and then the CO2 caused a greater change in the temperature with the aid of strong positive feedback from increasing water vapor. Your position is: the increase in temperature can’t be explained (by models) unless this argument is valid.
The fact is that the “Milankovitch Cycles” did not directly increase the absorbed solar insolation, what they did was change the orientation of the Earth so that particular parts of the Earth received more solar insolation.
In particular, high Northern latitudes received more sunlight and this made winters shorter and summers longer. This resulted in massive melting of glaciers on land and also sea ice. The melting ice resulted in a significant change (decrease) in average albedo, and this triggered a strong positive feedback (from ocean water absorbing more solar energy), which continued until the ice was mostly in a new equilibrium. The oceans also released some dissolved CO2, since the solubility of warmer water is lower than colder. CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and this release did contribute a small amount to the heating, but the direct contribution was very small.
The increasing temperature due initially and mainly from the ice melting also caused the water vapor content to increase, and since water vapor is a stronger greenhouse gas than CO2, the water vapor increase also added to the temperature rise. Since the amount of water available was essentially unlimited, the temperature rise due to increasing water vapor engendered more release of water vapor and this initially resulted in positive feedback. However, at some point, the water vapor content became high enough that more clouds formed and this resulted in negative feedback, stopping further increase.
There is not even a need for CO2 increases to be in this picture for the glacial to interglacial transitions. This is NOT to say that CO2 is not an important greenhouse gas, it may have been necessary to prevent an icebox Earth. However, we are talking about glacial to interglacial and present trends.
The entire argument for CO2 and positive feedback is actually an argument about water vapor as a positive feedback. The trigger for water vapor increase is not CO2, it is a small temperature increase. Anything that causes a small temperature increase should do the exact same thing (look at the definition of sensitivity, and it has no information on rate, only level). For this reason, the ice melt and water vapor itself completely satisfied the need for explaining what happens during a glacial to interglacial transition. In fact, the interglacial periods end when CO2 is a maximum. If CO2 is the dominating factor, the interglacial would not end due to minor effects like “Milankovitch Cycles.”
The present increase in CO2 is likely mainly caused by human activity. However the temperature sensitivity to doubling CO2, including all feedbacks is not known, and real world data seems to be leaning toward a low value (less than 1 C/doubling). Unless you can give more demonstrated real DATA (not models) that show otherwise, you have a poor case.
Comment @58 by Leonard Weinstein
Your comparing my comments to Hansen’s analysis is badly misplaced. The basic issue is not the overall sequence, which is agreed to by most scientists, but the size of the problem, i.e., the sensitivity, and the effect of increasing temperature.
By insisting that the 15 year old girl, and also myself and most skeptics, are wrong (and indicating you are absolutely correct), you show just how little you understand of the actual state of present knowledge. The analysis of that child is a far more consistent and logical presentation of the facts as known and the logical conclusion than anything I have seen from you.