The Booklet The Science of Climate Change: Questions and Answer is a mere parroting of IPCC propaganda

The Booklet The Science of Climate Change: Questions and Answer is a mere parroting of IPCC propaganda

John Penhallurick

     The idea that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a source of pollution, and that unless humans dramatically reduce their CO2 emissions, excess CO2 will trigger environmental catastrophes is propaganda that has been successfully put out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It must be one of the greatest frauds ever perpetrated on mankind in human history. The Booklet published by the Australian Academy of Science offers a concise summary, with evidence, of the IPCC’s case. Hence in refuting the claims I the booklet, I am also refuting the IPCC’s claims.

Let me state my position very clearly at the start. I am not a Climate Change skeptic: only a fool would try to deny that the temperature of the atmosphere has warmed since the end of the Little Ice Age about 1830. Nor do I deny that CO2 makes some minute contribution to that warming. But I deny absolutely the claim that human emissions of CO2 are making anything other than the tiniest contribution to that process. Finally, the best response to climate change, given that it is essentially controlled by forces beyond any human control, is adaptation.

In criticising the Booklet of The Science of Climate Change: Questions and Answer, published by the Australian Academy of Science, I will address the following issues:

It is natural to wonder where all this propaganda started from. The answer, as revealed in an article published in Quadrant magazine of January 31,2010, by John Izzard, is Maurice Strong, a multimillionaire who believed in world Government, and who despised democracy as practiced in western nation states. His first attempt to achieve this was a proposal for the United Nations to levy a world tax on all monetary transactions of 0.5% which would have given the UN an annual income of $1.5 trillion, which was about equal then to the income of the USA. When this was blocked, he hit on the idea that global warming might just be the device to get his World Governance proposal up and running.
In 1972 he organised for U Thant the first Earth Summit, The Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. This led to the formation of UN Environment Program with Maurice Strong at its head. Later, as the UNEP boss he organised the first international expert group meeting on climate change. This led to exotic UN sponsored organizations such as Earth Council and Earth Charter, The World Resources Institute, the World Wildlife Fund and later The Commission for World Governance and the UN’s University for Peace.

In 1989 Maurice Strong was appointed Secretary General of the Earth Summit and in 1992, addressing Earth Summit II in Rio de Janeiro, he told the thousands of climate change delegates:
It is clear that current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class — involving high meat intake, consumption of large amounts of frozen and convenience foods, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work place air-conditioning, and suburban housing — are not sustainable.
Note that this statement is essentially that of an anti-modernist, someone who rejects technology and the modern world. Strong also founded the Earth Council Institute in 1992 and recruited world luminaries such as Mikhail Gorbachev, Shimon Peres, Al Gore and David Rockefeller. In 2000, Earth Charter was formed as a further push by Strong to create a world governing body.

There can be little doubt that the UN’s involvement in environmental matters has been valuable in raising governments’ awareness of important issues and encouraging action and cooperation. However, on the issue of climate change, there seems to have been a leap to apocalyptic conclusions which seem more religious than scientific.

The Government’s Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet, has recently stated that anyone who disagrees with the government’s proposal is ignorant of the findings of “real science”. Other climate alarmists have trumpeted the importance of “peer-reviewed science” and “the scientific consensus”. Both of these statements betray appalling ignorance of the true nature of science.

As Robert Carter (2010: 192) has stated: Regrettably…the global warming discussions in the public domain ceased to be about science many years ago, ever since the coining of the silly mantras that ‘science is settled’ and ‘there is a consensus’. As the December 2009, Copenhagen Conference confirmed…, the climate change issue is now primarily about very big politics and very big business.

Given their political aims, therefore, it is no surprise that most of today’s commentators on global warming stress the authority of the climate pronouncements made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change…and its supporting organizations. Often added to is the vacuous claim that a consensus of scientists agrees with the IPCC views, as if that were scientifically relevant, even if it were true. At the same time, continual unsolicited ad hominem attacks are made on qualified persons who espouse different views, and who are often disparaged as ‘sceptics’, ‘deniers’, or worse.

Appeals to “scientific consensus” have nothing to do with real science. At the time of Galileo, the scientific consensus was that the Sun moved around the Earth. During the nineteenth century, the scientific consensus was that the universe was permeated by a substance named “aether”, thought to be necessary as a transmission medium for the propagation of electromagnetic waves. And although Alfred Wegener postulated the theory of continental drift in 1912, it was not until 1960 that it was accepted. In the meantime, the scientific consensus remained that the continents were fixed in place.
It is illuminating that the IPCC operates in close relationship with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change which defines climate change as “a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.” (cited Carter 2010: 194) In other words, the process begins by specifying that only human-induced climate change counts as climate change. In view of the many major fluctuations of climate that have occurred just over the last 11,000 years, this is an absurd claim.

It is often claimed that the authority of the IPCC’s policy advice rests on the fact that its scientists use only information which has been published in reputable, refereed journals, and that their science summaries are also subjected to high standards of peer review. Yet the 2007 4th Assessment Report contains at least 20 references to reports and papers commissioned by environmental advocacy groups.

John McLean (2008), a climate data analyst from Melbourne, has pointed out that whereas the IPCC claims that more than 2500 scientists have participated in or approved the recommendations in the 2007 4th Assessment Report, in actuality, just 51 persons participated in the final approval of the policymakers’ summary for the Working Group 1 report. And out of the 62 expert reviewers of the critical Chapter 9 of the 2007 4th Assessment Report, Understanding and Attributing Climate Change, 55 had a conflicting or vested interest. The chapter itself was written by a small, interlinked group of authors, many of whom were employed at only three climate change institutions from among hundreds of such institutions worldwide.
A further fact that reveals that the IPCC has no claim to be respected as an institution devoted to the search for scientific truth is that fact that it sought the help of advertising in furthering its case. In 2009, M. Cohen, writing in the Times Educational Supplement of December 10, stated that the IPCC had sought the advice of several of the world’s top advertising agencies to help the IPCC fashion the most effective climate alarmist messages possible. One of the pieces of advice furnished by the agencies was to reverse the null hypothesis. In a complete perversion of normal scientific method, the onus of proof is now claimed to fall upon those who disagree with the IPCC’s case. It is this that lies behind Greg Combet’s remarks quoted above.

The IPCC and its minions systematically commit major scientific fraud. A striking example of this was the handling of a key chapter in its 1995 Second Assessment Report. It allowed a single activist, Ben Santer, who also figured in the Climategate scandal, to rewrite parts of Chapter 8 (Detection of Climate Change and Attribution of Causes). This was to make the summary of the chapter agree with a politically contrived statement in the Summary for Policymakers: namely “The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate.” (See Santer (2010))
This statement was precisely the opposite of the conclusion drawn in the original Chapter 8 text by the scientists who were its authors. It should also be pointed out that the IPCC’s own procedures contributed to this: “IPCC procedure requires that the chapters have to be made consistent with the summary, rather than vice versa. This is because the ultimate authors of the ‘intergovernmental reports’ are the governments. But they get to read and approve only the summary for policy-makers. So if the summary says something different from the chapter it supposedly summarises, then it is the chapter that has to be changed.” (Pearce F.(2010: 109). The Climategate scandal also revealed that the coterie of climate modellers acted to prevent the publication of papers that questioned their methods and results. They have also repeatedly denied access to other researchers who have sought their data, and information on their methods. There is a reference below to the climate modellers “tweaking” their results to get them to match (to some degree) current climates.

Much of the data below is taken from an excellent book by Professor Robert M. Carter (2010). Carter is one of the world’s foremost palaeoclimatologists. Contrast his expertise with the total lack of relevant qualifications of the Australian Government’s two chief “climate advisers”: Ross Garnaut, who is an economist and statistician; and Tim Flannery who is a mammologist and palaentologist. It is tempting to see the recent obsession with CO2 and the wish to denounce the excesses of capitalism and modern technologies as a natural extension of some environmentalists’ attempts over the past 30 years, when they have protested against more clearly man-made environmental degradation, such as the clearing of forests and poor management of water. In human emissions supposedly causing worldwide global warming, they have found a perfect target for their belief that modernity is evil, and that we ought to return to a simpler lifestyle. I remember a cartoon in The Australian at the time of a South Pacific Forum meeting, which showed then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd sitting with another leader with grass huts in the background. Rudd is saying: “In twenty years Sydney will be like this.”

Let us turn now to the booklet published by the Academy of Science. In each case, I will first cite the relevant text from the booklet (printed in red), and then give my response.
Claim in the Booklet:
On page 4, 1. What is climate change? We find the headline: “Greenhouse gases play an important role in determining climate and causing climate change”. Under it, we read:
“Greenhouse gases include water vapour, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, nitrous oxide, and some industrial gases such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). These gases act like an insulating blanket, keeping the Earth’s surface warmer than it would be if they were not present in the atmosphere. Except for water vapour, the atmospheric concentration of all these other gases are being directly influenced by human activities…Water vapour therefore reacts to, and amplifies, climate change caused by other factors.”
This is true, although simply attributing this to all “greenhouse gases” is more than a little misleading. By far the most important gas raising the temperature of the earth is water vapor, which is generally ignored by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its supporters. In the passage above, it is plain that the main reason for ignoring water vapour is that it is not affected directly by human activities. That is not a valid reason, however, for ignoring the preeminent place of water vapour among greenhouse gases.

The IPCC claims that CO2 and other greenhouse gases cause global warming by capturing some of the energy reflected back by the earth. But the amount of energy absorbed by any gas depends on its absorption spectrum, and also on the distribution of energy across different wave-lengths in the earth’s reflected energy.
To explain the idea of an “absorption spectrum”: molecules are able to oscillate in many ways, and each different mode of oscillation requires a very specific amount of energy to stimulate the oscillation. That is why gas molecules can absorb radiation only at specific energies. Figure 1 displays the absorption spectrum of a number of gases. It assumes a uniform input of radiance at all frequencies.

Figure 1
Absorption spectra of major greenhouse gases
Taken from Greenhouse Gas Absorption Spectrum (2010)

     Several points should be obvious from Figure 1 alone, particularly: 1) water vapour has a much broader absorption spectrum than CO2. Water vapour has absorption peaks at ~90 microns(μ); at ~110μ; at ~140μ; at ~180-200μ; at ~230-360μ; at ~400-800μ; and at ~ 1100-1400μ; CO2 has a peak at ~280μ; another at ~450μ; and a third at ~1500 μ. 2) the similarity between the absorption spectrum of water vapour and that of the total atmosphere below it testifies dramatically to the dominant role of water vapour as a greenhouse gas. If it were not for water vapour, the mean winter temperature of the earth would be -18 °C.

Also important for the role of greenhouse gases is the spectrum involved in the earth’s reflected energy (See Figure 2). The horizontal axis shows the frequency, from 400 to 1800 microns, and the vertical axis the radiance from 0 to 140 W•m−2•sr−1[=watts per steradian per square metre, the standard SI of radiance].

Figure 2
Earth’s reflected energy.
[Red + yellow + blue represents the total spectrum of energy reflected by the Earth at 7° C. Red represents the absence of an absorption spectrum due to technical reasons concerning the measurements. Blue denotes the radiation that is absorbed by greenhouse gases. And yellow represents the radiation that is allowed to pass by greenhouse gases.]
Taken from (2010)

It also displays the absorption spectra of atmospheric gases expressed as bars along the top. Note that the only frequency where CO2 has stronger absorption than water vapour is at ~1500μ, where the earth’s radiance is only ~20 W•m−2•sr−1. From these data, it is fair to say that CO2 has only 1/3 of the absorption strength of water vapour.
The absorption spectrum is a property of individual molecules. But one must also take account of the frequency of those molecules in the atmosphere. The atmosphere contains about 780 Gigatonnes (Gt) of CO2 (0.039% of the whole atmosphere). Water vapour is far more common. The troposphere, the lowest level in the atmosphere, which is where IPCC says greenhouse gases absorb the earth’s reflected energy, contains approximately 75% of the atmosphere’s mass and 99% of its water vapour and aerosols. The percentage of water vapour in surface air varies from a trace in desert regions ranging up to ~4% over oceans. For the whole atmosphere, water vapour represents on average ~0.40%. But we are interested here in the troposphere; and it makes sense to assume an average for water vapour of 2% for the whole troposphere. Contrast that with the 0.039% presence of CO2. What this means is that on average water vapour molecules are 51.28 times more abundant than CO2 molecules in the troposphere. To determine the greenhouse capabilities of CO2 vis-à-vis water vapour, we must multiply 1/3 (from the relative absorption spectra of CO2 and water vapour) by 1/51.28, which in turn means that CO2 has 1/153.84 or 0.0065% of the greenhouse capacities of water vapour.

     An estimate (Houghton, 2005) of total CO2 emissions per year from all sources is as follows:
1. Respiration Humans, Animals, Phytoplankton 43.5 – 52 Gt C/year
2. Ocean Outgassing (Tropical Areas) 90 – 100 Gt C/year
3. Volcanoes, Soil degassing 0.5 – 2 Gt C/ year
4. Soil Bacteria, Decomposition 50 – 60 Gt C/ year
5. Forest cutting, Forest fires 0.6 – 2.6 Gt C/year
6. Anthropogenic emissions (2005) 7.0 – 7.5 Gt C/year
TOTAL 191.6 to 224.1 Gt C/ year, a mean of 207.9 Gt C/year.
The small contribution of CO2 (0.0065% of that of
water vapour) is the result of all the CO2 in the atmosphere ~780 Gt. Human emissions in 2011 represent 7.7 Gt C/year of the annual carbon budget (co2now 2011), and thus constitute only 3.7% of total annual CO2 emissions. There is every reason to assume that human emissions of CO2 represent the same portion of total CO2 in the atmosphere. So to calculate the total greenhouse effect of human CO2 emissions vis-à-vis water vapour, we need to take 3.7% of the small contribution of all CO2: 0.0065 X 3.7/100 = 0.0002405%. Since Australia is responsible for about 1.5% of those emissions, we need finally to calculate Australia’s contribution to any warming caused by human emissions of CO2: ~0.0000036075%. Hardly a good reason to seriously damage either Australia’s or the world’s economy.

Claim in the Booklet:
In section 1 “What is Climate change?” one finds: “Once released into the atmosphere, many of these gases remain there for a long time: in particular, a significant fraction of CO2 emissions remains in the climate system for hundreds to thousands of years.” Reasons why this is claimed to be the case are revealed in Box 6. On page 10, we read: “Large amounts of CO2 are continually transferred to and from the atmosphere, which exchanges carbon with the ocean and vegetation on land. Until about 200 years ago, these natural exchanges were in rough balance, shown by the nearly constant concentrations of atmospheric CO2 for most of the last thousand years. The importance of human-caused CO2 emissions is that they are disturbing this balance, adding carbon to the atmosphere faster than it can removed by uptake by vegetation, the slow mixing of CO2 into the deep oceans, or the even slower weathering process that control the carbon balance on geological timescales.”

There are several incorrect ideas in the preceding. The claim that CO2 can persevere in the atmosphere for hundreds if not thousands of years is doubtless based on the predictions of climate models. These are criticised below, on page 33. For the present, the focus will be on more basic claims. To begin with, the idea that the current 7.7 Gt C/year due to human emissions can somehow upset the balance of regular exchanges is absurd. Human emissions of CO2 are far less than the annual variability in natural emissions.
In addition, the very claim of the prolonged life of CO2 in the atmosphere has no empirical basis whatsoever. The most authoritative estimate of the lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere was given by a Norwegian, Professor Tom Segalstad (1996). He found that the measured lifetime of CO2, based on the studies of some 50 independent researchers, is at most about 5 years. Segelstad concluded that even using the IPCC’s exaggerated estimate of the amount of CO2 emissions, human emissions would still only account for 0.45% (= 3.5 parts in 780) of the greenhouse warming in any particular year. This is equivalent to a rise of 0.1°C in the whole warming effect detected.

Claim in the Booklet:
On page 8, one reads, under the heading “Temperature observations are not the only evidence of recent climate change”:
• Sea level rise is an inevitable consequence of global warming, because ocean water expands as it warms.”
In other words, the claim is clearly made that the greenhouse effects of human CO2 emissions are causing the oceans to expand.
The basic physics of the atmosphere and the ocean preclude the the atmosphere can exert a significant heating effect on the ocean. A cubic metre of water weighs 1000 kg; in contrast, a cubic metre of air near sea level weighs 1.275 kg. Therefore, the density of water is 784.3 times the density of air. Furthermore, the oceans of the world have a far greater mass than the atmosphere: 1.5 X 1018 tonnes compared with 5 X 1015 tonnes. In consequence, the mass of the ocean is about 300 times that of the atmosphere. It follows from this that the ocean has a far greater heat capacity than the atmosphere, specifically ~235,000 times more.

Far from the atmosphere warming the ocean, it is the ocean that controls the warmth of the lower atmosphere in three main ways: through direct contact; by infrared radiation from the ocean’s surface; and by removal of latent heat by evaporation. We have had a demonstration of the power of oceans to influence the atmosphere in that fact that in late 2010, a strong El Niño event raised world temperature by ~0.55°C, according to the University of Alabama’s satellite-based measurement of temperatures. The strong La Niña event, in early 2011, which followed, caused a rapid fall of ~0.65° to a decline of -0.10°C below average. Incidentally, the 2010 El Niño rise was preceded by a fall in temperature averages of -0.30°C during 2009.

A further point made by Professor Carter is that while the time constant of the atmosphere, during which a molecule of CO2 may be circulated worldwide, is about one year, that of the ocean is one thousand years or longer. Thus it is quite likely that the outgassing of CO2 evident in the twentieth century may have been caused by the Medieval Warm Period, of about 1,000 years ago. Statements made by the IPCC and its followers talk about “sea-level change” as if this were a simple matter. It is not. For a start, it is necessary to distinguish between eustatic changes, which relate to a notional world-wide average; and local relative sea-level (LRSL),which corresponds to changes in actual sea-levels at real and particular coastal locations.

Figure 3 displays eustatic changes in sea-level based on evidence from many sites since the end of the last ice-age. It shows a dramatic rise in sea-level, of about 130 m between about 20,000 years and 7,000 years before the present (BP), with a much milder rise since, of much less than a metre in the last 1,000 years. It should be noted, however, that such data do not permit the prediction of future shore-line positions at any one location, which would need to take into account local uplift or subsidence of the land substrate and also local sediment supply.

Post-glacial sea-level rise (Global Warming Art (2011))

All the evidence in fact shows that contrary to the IPCC’s claims, sea-level rise is not accelerating. UK oceanographer Simon Holgate (2008) analysed nine long sea-level records for the period 1904-2003. He found that between 1904 and 1953, sea-level rise was 2.03 mm per year, compared with 1.45 mm per year for the period 1953-2003.
Further proof that sea-level rises are not increasing, as the climate models predict, comes from a paper by Phillip Watson (2011). Based on century-long tide gauge records from Fremantle, Western Australia (1897 to present); Auckland Harbour in New Zealand (1903 to present); Fort Denison in Sydney Harbour (1914-present); and Pilot Station at Newcastle (1925 to present), Watson concluded there was a consistent trend of weak deceleration from 1940 to 2000. Climate change researcher Howard Brady of Macquarie University was quoted in The Australian of Friday 22 July, p. 1,as saying that the recent research meant sea level rises accepted by CSIRO were already dead in the water as having no sound basis in probability. He added that divergence between sea-level trends from climate models and sea-level change from the tide-gauge records was now so great that it was clear there is a serious problem with the model.

Two locations used as scare-tactics by the IPCC include the delta of the Ganges River in Bangladesh, and the Pacific Islands. In the former case, it is true that a sea-level rise of about 1 metre would flood an area 20 million people live today. Also, local sea-level rises are common in deltaic areas, because recently deposited muds and sands are water-saturated and compact easily. However, the IPCC’s case leaves out a critical factor: that the Ganges delta is currently expanding because of sediment supplied by the river. Dhaka geomorphologist Maminul Haque Sarker (cited in Inman (2009)) has shown from analysis of historic maps and satellite images that the area of the delta has been growing for centuries and is currently adding nearly 20 square kilometres a year.
Pacific atolls are inherently dynamic, being reef sandbank complexes situated on top of a sinking, extinct volcano. Robert Carter (2010: 109) has pointed out that seldom more than a metre or two above sea-level, all atolls and related sand-cay islands are at the continuing mercy of the same wind, waves, tides and weather events that built them. He adds that the dynamic nature of an atoll is exacerbated, and its integrity even more jeopardized, when it is subjected to the environmental pressures created by a growing human population. Sand mining, construction project loading, and rapid ground-water withdrawal all cause local lowering of the ground surface, and thereby encourage marine incursion quite irrespective of any sea-level change.

Webb & Kench(2010) measured 27 islands where local sea levels have risen 120 mm – an average of 2 mm a year – over the past 60 years, and found that just four had diminished in size. Working with Arthur Webb at the Fiji-based South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission, Kench used historical aerial photographs and high-resolution satellite images to study changes in the land area of the islands. They found that the remaining 23 had either stayed the same or grown bigger, according to the research published in a scientific journal, Global and Planetary Change. “It has been thought that as the sea level goes up, islands will sit there and drown,” Prof Kench told the New Scientist. “But they won’t. The sea level will go up and the island will start responding.” One of the highest profile islands – in a political sense – was Tuvalu, where politicians and climate change campaigners have repeatedly predicted it will be drowned by rising seas, as its highest point is 4.5 metres above sea level. But the researchers found seven islands had spread by more than 3 percent on average since the 1950s. One island, Funamanu, gained 0.44 hectares or nearly 30 percent of its previous area. And the research showed similar trends in the Republic of Kiribati, where the three main urbanised islands also “grew” – Betio by 30 percent (36 ha), Bairiki by 16.3 percent (5.8 ha) and Nanikai by 12.5 percent (0.8 ha). Webb, an expert on coastal processes, told the New Scientist the trend was explained by the fact the islands mostly comprised coral debris eroded from encircling reefs and pushed up onto the islands by winds and waves. The process was continuous, because the corals were alive, he said.

Claim in the Booklet:
On page 14, one reads: As a result of increased CO2 in the atmosphere, oceans will become more acidic and, in combination with the higher temperatures, coral bleaching events are likely to become more frequent and more severe around Australia.
As Robert Carter (2010: 108) has pointed out, the idea that human emissions of CO2 could lead to increased acidity in the ocean started with a Royal Society Report based on computer modelling (Raven et al. 2005). The inadequacy of the modelling was soon criticised by Bellamy & Jarret (2005:27). They pointed out 1) that unrealistic rates had been assumed for fossil-fuel burning; 2) that the model failed to take into account the ocean’s buffering characteristics; 3) that it failed to account for the ocean’s capacity to sustain large phytoplankton blooms; 4) that it ignores the river inflows that the ocean receives; 5) that it ignores the mechanisms of carbon deposition; and 6) that the model ignored the mechanisms of carbon deposition; and 7)that the model ignored the effects of increasing temperature on carbon saturation.

The essential points of the acidification scare campaign (according to Carter (2010: 107-08) are:
(1) a meaningful ocean-average pH exists at which all, or most, marine organisms thrive.
(2) The average pH has become less alkaline by 0.075 pH units since pre-industrial times (from 8.179 to 8.104 between 1751 and 1994).
(3) A doubling of atmospheric CO2 will cause a dangerous further change in ocean alkalinity that is beyond the range of adaptive response of many marine organisms.
Carter (2010: 102-113) stated that the oceans have been alkaline since the late Precambrian, about 750 million years ago, when the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere was up to twenty times higher than now. Since the Precambrian, CO2 has been progressively removed from the atmosphere via organic and inorganic sediment deposition, mostly in marine environments. These geochemical, geological and biological processes continue today, in an ocean that is now heavily buffered by water-rock and water-sediment reactions. In effect, it is difficult to permanently change the ocean pH by adding acids (including dissolved CO2, which is normally present as the mildly acidic H2CO3) or bases because any increase or decrease in the number of hydrogen ions is first compensated for by reactions with other minerals present, for example, clay minerals.

The reality, as Carter (2010: 108-10) points out is that Ocean pH is not a function of atmospheric CO2 alone, but depends just as much on complex oceanographic and biogeochemical processes, attendant physical changes in temperature, salinity and nutrients and submarine volcanic sources – a major consequence of which is that ocean surface pH varies widely from one locality to another, from less than 7.8 in regions of upwelling deep water to about 8.5 in areas of surface sinking.

Carter (2010: 109-112) has pointed out that the claims of alarmist model projections in relation to CO2 increasing the acidity of oceans suffer from many inadequacies.
• Inadequate knowledge of the natural flux of CO2 into the ocean, especially from volcanic sources, against the contextual background of a possible human input of 7 Gigatonnes of Carbon per year (Gt C/yr) into an ocean reservoir that already contains 39,000 Gt C.
• Inadequate numbers and inadequate historical, geographical and depth coverage, of measurements of ocean pH values. The available data do not permit accurate calculation of changed pH, and all estimates of its change are unvalidated model studies.
• The inaccuracy of some historical pH measurements, including inadequate correction for the temperature dependency of pH. Seawater pH is very sensitive to temperature and it is far from certain that earlier temperature measurements are of sufficient accuracy to constrain the pH value.
• The equilibrium value of atmospheric and dissolved CO2 is very sensitive to the chemistry of ocean surface water. While it is true that a large change in atmospheric CO2 concentration would cause a small and slow change in surface ocean pH, it is equally the case that a small change in the ocean’s chemistry (perhaps caused by upwelling) would provide a more immediate change to atmospheric CO2 concentration. The available historical data are not determinative of which of these processes has dominated, or to what degree, so it remains possible that a variation in ocean surface pH has to a greater or lesser extent contributed to the observed rise in atmospheric CO2 during the twentieth century in line with Henry’s Law-whereby any warming of the oceans results in outgassing of CO2, concomitantly reducing the amount of dissolved gas and reducing the alkalinity of ocean surface waters.
• The ignoring of experimental data, which show that adding CO2 or iron to the ocean can cause more photosynthesis (fertiliser effect) rather than pH change. This result is consistent with Sea-viewing Wide-Field-of-View Sensor Satellite measurements, which indicate an increase in oceanic chlorophyll-a levels over the last 15 years. Much of this increased productivity encompasses the growth of more plankton with carbon tests, such as coccoliths and planktic foramenifera, the dead skeletons of which settle to the seafloor to accumulate as limestone or to be dissolved in deep, unsaturated water.
• The promulgation of alarm about skeletal thinning in planktonic micro-organisms in response to reduced alkalinity (Moy et al.(2009)and Roberts et al. (2008)). Meanwhile new experiments (see Iglesias-Rodriguez et al. (2008)) which show that the common phytoplankton of the North Atlantic actually grow in size with increasing CO2 are ignored.
• A failure to account for an effect of the weathering caused by enhanced atmospheric CO2, whereby the slight acidity of rain (typically pH 5.7) causes an acceleration of chemical weathering, thus driving more calcium down the rivers to encourage the eventual formation of more oceanic carbonate, including limestone, thereby sequestering CO2 below the seabed.
• The false assumption that any decline in pH that is observed should be attributed to increased atmospheric CO2 whereas some such changes are certain to be related to natural multi-decadal cycles such as the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation which are known to change oceanic temperature and biological productivity; other changes stem from upwelling of cold deep water of lower pH.
• The failure to allow for variations in the depth of the ocean lysocline, the 3.5-4.5 km depth below which calcium carbonate dissolution accelerates. The lysocline varies by up to 1000 m across the ocean basins, and also by about 200m between glacial and interglacial time. The pH range of the modern ocean is maintained by a fluctuating and self-adjusting balance between calcium carbonate production by lime-secreting organisms (especially plankton), and its accumulation as sealed limestone at depths above the lysocline, typically at rates of 1-2 cm per 1000 years in deep water and at much greater rates in shallow water; and the destruction of carbonate by dissolution below the lysocline.
• A lack of allowance for the proven adaptability of marine organisms and that biological processes can provide homeostasis against changes in pH in bulk waters of the range predicted during the 21st century; also ancient coral reefs first evolved at a time when the atmosphere contained many times the present concentration of CO2., and modern coral reefs are known to thrive in CO2-rich environments (Pichler & Dix (1996); Pichler et al.(2000)). Experimental work (Herfort, Thake & Taubnet (2008)) has demonstrated that additions of HCO3 to synthetic seawater increases the calcification rate of reef-building corals over a range of up to (for Porites) and beyond (for Acropora)a concentration of three times that of today’s seawater.
• A failure to consider the context that the small changes in equilibrium ocean pH projected by chemical modelling, even should they eventuate, lie well within the current natural range of pH variability to which many marine organisms are already comfortably adapted.
To conclude, the ocean acidification scares promulgated by the IPCC and its followers represents a grain of truth embedded in a mountain of nonsense.

Claim in the Booklet:
On page 6, it is stated that:” The Medieval Warm Period (AD 800-1300) and Little Ice Age (AD 1500-1800) are two well-known climate episodes during the past thousand years. The Northern Hemisphere may have been up to 1°C warmer on average during the former period than during the latter. However, several assessments indicate that the Northern Hemisphere average temperatures over the last 50 years have been warmer than during the Medieval Warm Period, and temperatures over the last decade are warmer still. Records are sparse in the Southern Hemisphere, but those available indicate that there was little or no correlation with warming in the Northern Hemisphere during the Medieval Warm Period, unlike the more globally coherent cooling in the Little Ice Age and warming over the last century.”
At least it is refreshing to see that the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age are acknowledged to have occurred. This is an improvement over the fraud in the notorious “Hockey Stick” version of climate change over the last 1,000 years, which on the basis of scraps of evidence, tried to give the impression that there were no significant temperature fluctuations over the last thousand years. However, the statement still appears to be trying to paint the Medieval Warm Period as a minor phenomenon, restricted to the Northern Hemisphere. In fact, there were many major climate fluctuations in recent times as can be seen in Figure 4.

Figure 4
Global Temperature Variation over the last 11,000 years
David Archibald (2011)

The highest temperatures in the last 11,000 years were during the Holocene Climate Optima which occurred from about 8,000-6,000 years Before the Present(BP) and again from 5,000 to 3,500 BP. Then we have the Minoan Warming from about 3,200-2,900 years BP; then a very cold period from about 2,800-2,400 year BP. This was followed by the Roman Warming from about 2,300-1,700 year BP; the minor Dark Ages Cooling; then the Medieval Warm Period, followed by the Little Ice Age, and since about 190-180 years BP the Modern Warming. Such data are nonetheless embarrassing for the Australian Academy of Science’s case, as human emissions can have played no part in climate change prior to 1850. Taking account of this historical perspective, it is inconceivable that the recent warming is solely or even mainly due to a new factor, human emissions of CO2, and that natural variability, which was responsible for all previous warmings and coolings, has suddenly stopped playing any role.

As for the view that the Medieval Warm Period was limited to the Northern Hemisphere or northern Europe, there is ample evidence this period was worldwide in its effects. Tree ring studies from California suggest North America was also warmer (see Becker (2001)). Greenland was settled by the Vikings during this period. In East Africa, the same period of warming is shown from evidence using sediments, fossil diatoms and numbers of species of midges, which shows alternating dry and wet conditions. China flourished during this period. In Argentina, the carbon chemistry of prehistoric villages shows that villagers clustered in the lower valleys during the Dark Age Cooling; that they moved upslope to 4300m in the Central Peruvian Andes during the period of the Early Medieval Warming, and that they moved back downslope with the onset of the Little Ice Age in 1320. (see Cioccale (1999)).

The beginning of the Little Ice Age 1280-1300 to 1850 AD coincided with the Wolf Minimum of the Sun(1280-1340 AD). Other solar minima during this period include the Spörer Minimum (1450-1540 AD), the Maunder Minimum (1645-1715 AD), the coldest period in the Little Ice Age; and the Dalton Minimum (1795-1825 AD). Not surprisingly, since these events involved solar minima, their effects were experienced world-wide. That it affected all continents and all major islands from New Zealand in the South Pacific to Svalbard in the Arctic Sea is clear. (see Grove (1988). The Little Ice Age was not a uniformly cold episode, however. In Europe and North America, at least six phases of glacial expansion occurred. These were separated by warmer periods.

Claim in the Booklet:
In Chapter 3, the booklet claims: “Measurements from many hundreds of thermometers around the globe, on land and over the ocean, show that the average near-surface temperature increased over the 100 years to 2009 by more than 0.7°C.” They add: “Many of these instrumental records, which began in the second half of the 19th century, were not initially designed to be used for climate monitoring. This means that they have had to be carefully analysed to deal with changes in instruments, observational practice, location and the growth of cities.”
In Chapter 3, it is also stated: “The rates of near-surface warming increased in the mid-1970s. Since then, the global land surface has warmed at about double the rate of the ocean surface. Measured warming over the past 50 years was nearly twice the rate for the past 100 years. The last decade has been the warmest yet recorded.”
Also in Box 3 on page 7, it is stated: “ The temperatures recorded by some weather stations in cities have been affected by non-climate related changes, including warming due to their proximity to buildings and other structures that emit, absorb and radiate heat. Climate researchers have made extensive efforts to avoid and correct such problems, and several tests show that this has minimised any effects on long-term trends, particularly when averaged over large regions. Nonetheless, regional and year-to-year variability is not known precisely, especially earlier in the period.”

It must be stressed that the period we are dealing with is a mere 150-odd years, a very short period in terms of climate history. It is also true that during that period, the earth has been warming after the end of the Little Ice Age, so it cannot be claimed that the warming is unexpected. It must also be pointed out that because of the well-known urban heat-island effect, official thermometer readings, including those from nearly all land-based measurements up to the present, are highly suspect. Figure 5 reveals how significant the impact of a drastic reduction of earth measuring stations since 1990 has been. The temperature data is based on uncorrected measurements, which are available from such sources as GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies (available at The decline in the number of ground stations which, as shown in Figure 5, began in 1970 and became severe in 1990, is not randomly distributed. Most stations were lost in the former Soviet Union, China, Africa and South America. And most of the stations that closed were in relatively remote areas. (To examine these closures go to University of Delaware global temperature archive, click Available Climate Data; log in; under Global Climate Data select Time Series 1950 to 1999; then select Station Locations (MPEG file for downloading)). As early as 1991, there was evidence that station closure beginning in the 1970s had added a permanent upward bias to the global average temperature.

Figure 5
Uncorrected global surface temperature measurements against number of reporting stations
(Available from

Willmott, Robeson and Feddema (1991) calculated a +0.2C bias in the global average due to pre-1990 station closures, and the effect since 1990 must be considerably greater. The climate modellers claim to have corrected for the urban heat island effect, but they refuse to reveal the nature and basis of their corrections. Meteorologists Joseph D’Aleo and Anthony Watts (2010)stated that instrumental temperature data for the pre-satellite era have been so widely, systematically and undirectionally tampered with that it does not constitute a reliable record of land-based temperatures.

It is also appropriate to mention here the notorious case of China temperatures used in the study of urban heat-island effects. Jones et al.(1990) argued that their data proved that local urban heating was not a significant factor in the warming trend. This paper has been repeatedly relied on by the IPCC, including in its 2007 report. A particular problem was with details of 42 weather stations in China, namely that crucial data about the location of the weather stations could not be verified because documents containing the information no longer exist. It would take too much time to go into all the details here, but one is left with the conclusion that the 1990 paper should not carry the weight which the IPCC has invested in it. Also, the issue of the post-1990 major declines in land-based measurement stations has not been addressed by the IPCC.
As for the statement that the last decade has seen the warmest temperatures ever recorded, a serious error was found in the NASA temperature data for the United States in 2007. When corrected, it was determined that the warmest year in the past 100 years was not in 1998 and 2006 as previously believed, but was 1934, followed by 1998. 1921 became the third hottest year, followed by 2006 and 1933. Out of the five hottest years, three occurred in the 1920s and 30s and only two were in the past 10 years. We should also take into account that in that 15-year period, there have been two strong El Nino events (1997 and 2009), and one moderate (2002).

Claim in the Booklet:
Chapter 4 deals with the question: “Are human activities causing climate change?” This includes Box 6, which refers to the claimed “unbalancing” of natural exchanges of CO2, which we have refuted above. There are several references in this chapter to proof from “models”, as, for example, in statements such as: “This is shown by a wide range of measurements and models.” (p.10). And on page 12, in Chapter 4 with the heading: “How do we expect climate to evolve in the future?” we have a more open endorsement of climate models: “To answer more complex questions, computer simulations, or models of the Earth’s climate are used. These models incorporate many factors that affect our climate, using mathematical equations based on fundamental laws of nature, together with approximations of some physical processes that cannot be represented exactly.” (Emphasis added).

All the predictions of catastrophic effects because of the increase in human emissions of CO2 stem from climate models. For supporters of the IPCC’s case, these seem to have the same infallibility as if their results had been brought down from Mt Sinai, engraved in stone by the finger of God! But even supporters of climate models are aware that such is not the case. Anil Ananthaswamy (2011) stated: “Our knowledge about the Earth is not perfect, so our models cannot be perfect. And even if we had perfect models, we wouldn’t have the computing resources needed to run the staggeringly complex simulations that would be accurate to the tiniest details.” More trenchantly, the climate models fail miserably to meet the many of the 127 principles of good models put forward by the Institute for Forecasting (available at A 2007 paper found that GCM Climate Models violated 72 out of the 127 agreed principles of good forecasting. (see Green & Armstrong(2007))

Ananthaswamy also stated: “There are important phenomena missing from the IPCC’s most recent report. Consider a region that starts warming. This causes the vegetation to die out, leading to desertification and an increase in dust in the atmosphere. Wind transports the dust and deposits it over the ocean, where it acts as fertiliser for plankton. The plankton grow, taking up CO2 from the atmosphere and also emitting dimethyl sulphide, an aerosol that helps form brighter and more reflective clouds, which help cool the atmosphere. This process involves carbon flow, aerosols, temperature changes, and so on, but all in specific ways not accounted for by each factor alone.”

Climate models are deterministic: that is, every factor that is known to influence climate significantly must be included in order for the model to be able to predict a future climate state. But some climate processes are too complex or small in scale to be properly represented in the models; or scientists know too little about the processes in question. These include atmospheric convection; land surface processes such a reflectivity and hydrology; and cloud cover and its microphysics. Modellers parametrise these factors: that is, they make guesses about their values. Depending on the values selected, they could make the model show no warming; or very large increases in warming, which would strain credulity. Unsurprisingly, the modellers have chosen values which produce a mild warming, in order to seem more credible. But these values are largely arbitrary. One suspects the notorious “tweaking” of the results of their climate models, which was done to be able to generate the current climate, was done by manipulating these arbitrary parameters. But of course one cannot be sure because the modellers refuse to specify how they achieved different results.

In fact the problem is much worse than that. Gabriele Gramelsberger, a philosopher of science, who has specialised in “Embodied Information-Lifelike Algorithms and Cellular Machines’. (Available at debat/rethink-nature/?show=fww) stated: “Today’s climate models use boxes that represent an average of 100 to 60 kilometers in the horizontal and several hundreds of kilometers in the vertical depending on the number of levels used by the model and the maximum altitude. The problem is that no process, which takes place on a scale smaller than global resolution can be considered in the model. Therefore, subscale processes have to be considered in the model explicitly as parametrisations. Each parametrisation computes results that are then added to the dynamically computed results. This is one of the reasons why climate models become fatter: the role of parametrisation is growing constantly. Typical parametrisations include processes in clouds, which are too small to be resolved in global resolution. Clouds are important agents for weather and climate processes; therefore every climate model includes a cloud file”.

Current climate models are AOGCM coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation models designed to create complete earth systems. The dynamics of the ocean also follows the basic equations which drive the atmosphere. Subscale processes have to be parametrised as well. This creates a major problem. Climate models are weakened by their inability to model some larger scale processes, because simply not enough is known about these processes. Furthermore, when it comes to the parametrisation of smaller processes, there is simply no relevant information available at that level of detail for a large part of the earth’s surfaces. The information may be available for most of Europe (6.8% of the earth’s land area), but is almost certainly missing for much of Asia (29%); South America (12.0%) and Central America(1.54%), northern and Arctic North America, most of Africa (24.4%), and much of Australia (5.9%). Thus for something like ninety per cent of the earth land territory, modellers are forced to guess much of the information in these parametrisations. This can hardly be called true “science”.

Kevin Trenberth, IPCC senior scientist and lead author, has surprisingly admitted (2011) that it is incorrect to say that the models offer predictions, as they are too simplified for that. What they offer are “scenarios”: In fact, since the last report it is also often stated that the science is settled or done and now is the time for action. In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been. The IPCC instead proffers “what if” projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios. There are a number of assumptions that go into these emissions scenarios. They are intended to cover a range of possible self consistent “story lines” that then provide decision makers with information about which paths might be more desirable. But they do not consider many things like the recovery of the ozone layer, for instance, or observed trends in forcing agents. There is no estimate, even probabilistically, as to the likelihood of any emissions scenario and no best guess.

Trenberth continues: “Even if there were, the projections are based on model results that provide differences of the future climate relative to that today. None of the models used by IPCC are initialized to the observed state and none of the climate states in the models correspond even remotely to the current observed climate. In particular, the state of the oceans, sea ice, and soil moisture has no relationship to the observed state at any recent time in any of the IPCC models. There is neither an El Niño sequence nor any Pacific Decadal Oscillation that replicates the recent past; yet these are critical modes of variability that affect Pacific rim countries and beyond. The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, that may depend on the thermohaline circulation and thus ocean currents in the Atlantic, is not set up to match today’s state, but it is a critical component of the Atlantic hurricanes and it undoubtedly affects forecasts for the next decade from Brazil to Europe. Moreover, the starting climate state in several of the models may depart significantly from the real climate owing to model errors. I postulate that regional climate change is impossible to deal with properly unless the models are initialized.”
Another obvious defect of climate models is that they emphasize positive feedback while neglecting negative feedbacks. Kininmonth (2010) pointed out that current computer models of the climate system apparently underestimate the rate of increase of surface evaporation with temperature leading to a gross exaggeration of the surface temperature response to radiative forcing. He pointed out that the rate of increase of evaporation (and latent heat exchange) with temperature at the surface is a critical restraining factor that damps surface temperature response to radiative forcing. So even if one accepts the assumptions of the IPCC (as I certainly do not) global average surface temperature is unlikely to rise beyond 1°C. It is the climate models alone that suggest such devastating effects of human emissions of CO2. But as is well known, GIGO i. e. garbage in = garbage out.

Claim in the booklet
Chapter 4 includes Box 7, which poses, and purports to answer, the question: “Could changes in the Sun be causing global warming?”. We read: “Not much of it. Most estimates show that solar output has not significantly increased since 1979, when satellites began measuring it accurately. Indeed, some estimates indicate that the Sun has grown slightly cooler since 1960, a period during which global temperatures have risen. While there have been some suggestions of a significant solar contribution to the observed warming over the period over the past 20 years, all the trends in the Sun that could have had an influence on the Earth’s climate have been in the opposite direction to that required to explain the observed rise in global average temperatures. Indeed estimates for earlier times suggest that the Sun has contributed only about 10% of the global warming since 1750.

The mention of solar irradiance points to another major failing of climate models: that they totally ignore the sun, which is the source of all the energy in the world, except for minor contributions from the molten core of the planet and the decay of radioactive elements. The Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) varies in an 11 year sunspot cycle, during which the sun builds up from a small to a large number of sunspots, which then again decline in number. The importance of the Solar cycle for climate on earth is convincingly demonstrated by the Maunder Minimum, which saw the lowest temperatures of the Little Ice Age. During one 30-year period within the Maunder Minimum, astronomers observed only about 50 sunspots, as opposed to a more typical 40,000-50,000 spots in modern times. The IPCC discounted the significance of the sun for increasing temperatures, because there has been only a 0.1% increase in TSI since the seventeenth century. But, as Carter (2010: 48-50) pointed out, this is to forget the other ways in which the sun can influence climate:
• Variations in the intensity of the sun’s magnetic field with cycles including the Schwabe (eleven year), Hale (22 years) and Gleissberg (70-90 years).
• Effect of the sun’s plasma and electromagnetic fields on rates of the earth’s rotation, and hence the length of the day.
• Effect of the sun’s gravitational field through the 18.6 year Lunar Nodal Cycle, causing variation in atmospheric pressure, temperature, rainfall, sea-level and ocean temperatures, especially at high latitudes.
• Known links between solar activity and monsoonal activity, or the phases of climate oscillations such as the Atlantic Multidimensional Oscillation, a 60-year long cycle during which sea surface temperatures vary about 0.2°C above and below the long-term average, with effects on northern hemisphere air temperature, rainfall and drought.
• Magnetic fields associated with solar flares, which modulate galactic cosmic ray input into the Earth’s atmosphere. This in turn may cause variations in the formation of low-level clouds. This causes cooling: a one per cent variation in low cloud cover producing a similar change in forcing to the estimated increase caused by human green-house gases.
• The 1500 year-long Bond Cycle, as a result of which the three most recent warm peaks of this cycle had a major effect on the Minoan, Roman and Medieval Warm Periods
As Robert Carpenter (2010) has stated: “That many of the mechanisms and possible mechanisms by which the sun influences Earth’s climate are poorly understood is no justification for ignoring them.” Of immediate relevance is the fact that solar cycles longer than the eleven year average are followed by later cycles of lesser intensity, and with it a cooler climate. According to Archibald (2010), Cycle 24 may produce cooling of up to 2.2°C for the mid-latitude grain-growing areas of the northern hemisphere. This may have already started.

Dr. Vincent Courtillot, who is a professor of geophysics at the University Paris-Diderot and Chair of paleomagnetism and geodynamics of the Institut Universitaire de France, has pointed (2011) to the failure of climate models in relation to the sun. He notes that while the total solar irradiance (TSI) only varies by about 0.1% over a solar cycle, the solar UV varies by about 10% and that secondary effects on cloud formation may vary up to 30% over solar cycles. The IPCC computer models dismiss the role of the sun by only considering the small variations of the TSI and ignore the large changes in the most energetic and influential part of the solar spectrum – the ultraviolet.

Sun scientists are telling us that the Sun is behaving in an unusual fashion. Typically, as regards sunspots, the Sun goes through a roughly 11-year cycle, during which sunspots appear at a lower rate, then move to a higher rate and gradually decline again to a lower rate. Direct observations over the past four centuries show that the number of sunspots observed on the Sun’s surface varies periodically, going through successive maxima and minima. Following sunspot cycle 23, the Sun went into a prolonged minimum characterized by a very weak polar magnetic field, and an unusually large number of days without sunspots. (Nandy, Muñoz-Jaramillo & Martens, 2011, Nature,471: 80-82)
It is quite possible that the Earth might be entering a cooler period equivalent to the Maunder Minimum, which occurred between 1645 and 1715. This was the coldest period of the Little Ice Age, and was characterised by bitterly cold winters. It can be expected that these cold winters will have their highest impact in the Northern Hemisphere, where the Earth’s land mass is concentrated, rather than the southern hemisphere, which consists largely of ocean.

In conclusion, we have shown that the case of the IPCC and its alarmist propaganda started out as fraud, and has continued to pervert the cause of real science.

I urge readers to buy and read the excellent book Robert M. Carter, 2010, Climate: the Counter Consensus, London, Stacey International ISBN 978 1 906768 29 4. I also urge them to consult an excellent website:

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About jpenhall

I am a keen birder and have devoted my life especially since retirement to a study of the world's birds. But I was also a professor, with thirty years experience of both carrying out and evaluating research.But I detest shoddy research. Thus I reject almost wholly the propaganda of the IPCC and its minions
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