Sunday, September 28, 2014

Are Humans Really Guilty of Having Caused Climate Change?

It’s not just that the climate is getting warmer—or not. Those who believe in the “settled science” of climate change believe that variations in climate are being caused by human activity.

Had they said that activity on the sun or some other naturally occurring phenomenon was causing the planet to warm up or cool down, it would have been one thing. Their assertion, however, is and has been that the activity of human beings, especially the burning of fossil fuels is directly causing the change.

If the latter is the case, then human beings are guilty-as-sin and must immediately repent and change their wicked ways. They must now curtail their use of fossil fuels, the better to save the planet. This is, at the very least, empowering. It says that human beings, by casting off their plastic shopping bags, can impact the earth’s future climate. Who would not feel flattered?

In the meantime, the New York Times reports a recent study that seems to debunk the second of the tenets of global warmism. This scientific study, published in a peer-reviewed journal, explains that certain changes in the weather patterns in the American northwest state have nothing to do with fossil fuels.  They occur because of something that is happening naturally within the ocean.

The Times explains:

A new and most likely controversial analysis of Pacific Ocean weather patterns concludes that a century-long trend of rising temperatures in the American Northwest is largely explained by natural shifts in ocean winds, not by human activity.

The analysis, published on Monday in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, effectively suggests that the region has warmed because ocean winds, on average, have weakened and shifted direction.

Scientists have long known that sea surface temperatures are lower when strong winds whip up ocean waves, and higher when the seas are calm. Researchers generally have assumed that the phenomenon was but one factor in that warming, and that increased levels of carbon dioxide from human activity play a major role in driving rising temperatures.

But the new analysis, which relies on wind, barometric pressure and temperature data recorded from 1900 to 2012, concludes that human activity has little impact.

“The concept of winds controlling or affecting ocean temperature in that very way is not controversial, but the strength of that relationship was quite amazing” in the northwestern Pacific, said James Johnstone, a climatologist and the study’s lead author. “It explains practically every wiggle in the ocean temperature variations. It’s a phenomenal correlation.”

As for the influence of rising levels of carbon dioxide, the Times explains:

The study cast doubt on the possibility that the wind changes were themselves caused by rising carbon-dioxide levels, noting that simulations employing the latest climate-change computer models found no such link, and that temperatures rose most sharply when carbon dioxide levels were lower.

Now, Al Gore can exhale without feeling guilty.

Credit to the New York Times for reporting on this study. 


Ares Olympus said...

This is a good reminder against the hysterical nonsense that says "all weather events and pattern changes are caused by global warming", but says absolutely nothing about other aspects of global climate change.

Sam L. said...

We know that cities affect their climates--all that concrete/asphalt on the ground and the buildings become huge heat sinks. And we know the climate has changed in the past, both warmer and colder, and those fossils in limestone mountains that were once submerged in oceans, long before man, and later before recorded history, and, indeed, IN recorded history (growing grapes in Britain in Roman times, little ice ages, medieval warming) before industrialization and SUVs, sooooooooo... I don't buy AlGoreBull Worming.

Ares Olympus said...

Sam L, I don't understand your argument.

Are you saying because natural climate variations exist over hundreds and thousands and millions of years, the current global record warmth can't have anything to do with human activity of deforestation and CO2 release from burning fossilized carbon?

Are you denying that the global temperature averages over the last 20 are at a 100+ year high?

Or if you accept that data, are you suggesting natural variations are the primary cause i.e. Earth orbital parameters, solar radation levels, cosmic radation, volcanic activity, or some other driver?

And if you're not sure, how many decades do you think we should wait before deciding there is a problem?

Like given CO2 increases from 170ppm preindustrial levels, and 400ppm now, if we wait until 2050, and reach 470ppm, and global temperatures are up another 0.8C or whatever, will that be evidence, or should we still wait longer, just in case a 70 trend reverses?

What's your expert opinion of when we should be worried?

Ares Olympus said...

p.s. Oops, a correction, preindustrial CO2 is estimated to be around 280ppm, not 170ppm.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Global anthropomorphic climate change is a convoluted story of mythical proportions. The assumption is the doomsday impact of the cataclysmic proliferation of carbon dioxide through the burning of fossil fuels that allows human beings to enjoy life in a host of ways. The horror.

This carbon dioxide is ravaging the planet. Keep in mind that the climate changes, and has been changing... well, since the planet formed out of the cosmic dust some billions of years ago. Perhaps you didn't know there were large, cold-blooded reptiles called dinosaurs roaming the earth at one time. They were cold-blooded, so to survive we know they had to live in the right... climate (it was hot then). Oh, and there were these hominid creatures who lived tens of thousands of years later called Neanderthals, and they survived in cold climates. We have penguins while survived evolution, and armadillos, too. Please note they don't live in the same, er, climate.

So what's the right climate? When was the right climate? Can we do anything about it?

We're taught that plant life thrives on carbon dioxide, but this reality is quickly dispatched with the destruction of the rainforest. We're also told there is a shrinking Arctic ice cap, while data shows it's growing. We're told there are fewer polar bears (animals so cuddly, they're the only animal on the planet observed to stalk home sapiens), while there are actually more polar bears. We're told the science is settled and the data are conclusive, and then we find out the East Anglia data aren't reliable. We have a national space agency tasked with taking man into the far reaches beyond, but the head of NASA is a climate change celebrity spouting off about threats to Earth.

We're told these things again and again and again... a constant drumbeat of doom. We are all gonna die, and it's our fault. I can't catalogue all the deceptions. What about sun spots, volcanism, asteroids, etc.? Nope. It's something much more simple. You exhale it. Your existence is a problem. Your furnace is a problem. Your car is a (big) problem. That's just for starters.

We're told weather isn't climate, but a string of hot days is positioned as something that portends our super-heated future. Great game.

So these days aren't too good for the climate change crowd. Instead of being thrilled that we're not going to burn extra crispy, they remain depressed and rage-filled at man's inhumanity to earth. In fact, that's what unites them altogether: human beings suck, in all forms, in all dimensions. We're parasites, a pestilence. The same-old heresy. And it's all about energy... oil, coal, nuclear power, etc. We need it, it's all bad, yet renewables won't meet our needs.

So what do we get with the data showing global temperatures haven't risen in 15-23 years? We're told the carbon dioxide has retreated deep into the oceans. Kind of like Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster. This is speculative "science," because global temperatures won't cooperate with climate models. Who are you going to believe? Anthropomorphic climate change is a myth perfectly packaged for gullible environmentalists and Leftists. Listening to them huff and puff makes Nessie into a fire-breathing dragon.

This does not mean we shouldn't conserve energy resources. It means that we needn't scare the hell out of people with speculative, phony "science" to achieve political ends under the guise of impending doom. And we don't need to say we're running out of oil, which is as self-evidently stupid as complaining about our planet's climate changing. Of course fossil fuels are finite, that's why we must be stewards of them. And of course the climate is changing, or we'd have pet dinosaurs... with penguins and armadillos living comfortably next door. With Nessie.

Dennis said...


It is why I am a Conservationist vice and Environmentalist. Too much "junk science" in environmentalism. If man is supposed to be able to affect the environment in the manner postulated then who is to say that environmentalists would not make it worse? I would posit that we do not know enough to make the kinds of decisions requisite. We are still comparatively barbarians which is what we call people a hundred years ago and a hundred years from now people will call us.
Too many people trying to fix a problem that may not be a problem trying to mess with a system that is self contained.
It would seem to me that the people who are into AGW, given the heat of their rhetoric, would do the planet a lot of good if they just removed themselves, but they seem determined to remove others instead. Interesting how it always works for our better to survive given the catastrophe they posit is happening. One wonders how many people they will kill before enough is enough or will there never be an end because of false and misleading premises.

Dennis said...

Not to change the subject, but sometimes I wonder if there is a difference between ISIL and this country's Left. The ultimate solutions to both group's ideas are the death of those who disagree with the main tenets of ISIL/Leftism. There is a large degree of religiosity and faith in both groups. Woe be to the nonbeliever.
I suspect if the Left in this country thought they had the power that they would kill anything or one that gets in their desire for power. What is it Bill Ayers said? It would take at least the death of 25 million people in this country to meet his expectations for the US.