Alan Carlin | September 21, 2016
As discussed in my book, Environmentalism Gone Mad, two of the reasonable inferences from the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) hypothesis (the scientific basis for the world climate scare pushed by the United Nations and the Obama Administration) are that atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels should affect global temperatures, and that the resulting heat generated should be observable by a hot spot about 10 km over the tropics. In fact, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UNIPCC) argues that both should exist and the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) uses the hot spot as one of its three “lines of evidence” for justifying its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Endangerment Finding (EF).
The EF, in turn, is used by EPA to justify all its climate regulations, including its ultra-expensive so-called “Clean Power Plan” (CPP} requiring that many coal plants be replaced with wind and solar-generated electric power at huge expense to ratepayers in terms of outlays and reductions in reliability as well as to taxpayers for government subsidies. The 2016 Democratic Party Platform last July now carries this approach to a new extreme by advocating that all use of fossil fuels be ended by 2050, which is highly unlikely to even be achievable at any cost.
Climate skeptic scientists have long questioned whether the effects of relatively minor (compared to other CO2 sources and sinks) human-caused emissions of CO2 have more than a minor effect on global temperatures and some have even questioned whether the UN and USEPA have even gotten the causation backwards (i.e., because on balance global temperatures affect atmospheric CO2 levels). A very interesting new study shows that their skepticism has been more than justified. By using sophisticated econometric/statistical methods on 13 different climate databases for the years 1959 to 2015 where available, the study concludes that the changes in CO2 have no measurable net effects on global temperatures but that global temperatures affect CO2levels. The real advance in the new study is that it assumes that global temperatures may affect atmospheric CO2 levels in addition to assuming that CO2 may affect global temperatures (as assumed by UNIPCC and USEPA). This introduces complexity to the analysis but is a crucial improvement over most earlier studies.
New Research Findings Support Earlier Research by Skeptics
This conclusion is exactly what Dr. Murry Salby has independently concluded in recent years. Unfortunately, his conclusions resulted in the loss of his professorship at Macquarie University in Australia in 2013 and the confiscation of his research notes by climate alarmists at the University. As a result, his research has not been published to date in journal format as far as I know. The absence of any measurable effect of CO2on global temperatures and the resulting missing hot spot invalidates the CAGW hypothesis in terms of the Scientific Method, and thus the EPA EF as well as the basis for the UN IPCC physical science reports and thus the scientific basis for the Paris Treaty of 2015 as well as the USEPA CPP. Alarmist scientists have tried to argue that the hot spot is actually present, but have failed to make a convincing case.
The new research report is consistent with the findings of Environmentalism Gone Madthat CAGW is invalid because reasonable inferences from it are not supported by comparisons with real world data (as required by the scientific method), but goes beyond it by providing still another, and a more sophisticated, basis for rejecting the UNIPCC/USEPA CAGW hypothesis.
The new econometric/statistical report shows that that the minor increases in global temperatures can be entirely explained by natural factors. By subtracting temperature changes due to the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) the report shows that there is no role for human emissions of CO2 as a cause of global warming.
The Role of ENSO in Determining Global Temperatures
It has long been evident even to a casual observer that global temperatures vary with ENSO since these temperatures consistently increase when El Nino conditions prevail and fall when La Nina conditions prevail. The alarmists have generally tried to ignore this reality, but in the last year or two even they have finally begun to recognize the role of ENSO in global temperatures and eagerly awaited the expected increase in global temperatures (the so-called highest recorded temperatures resulting from the 2016 El Nino) in order try to justify their now invalidated CAGW hypothesis.
Atmospheric CO2 levels, on the other hand, have been increasing fairly steadily and bear no obvious similarity to global temperatures. Previous skeptic studies have simply looked for the hot spot and not found it. But the new study shows that the current warming can be fully explained by including ENSO variations in the analysis and that while changes in CO2 levels must be considered in the analysis, it turned out that they can safely be ignored, which is even more than most skeptics have long argued.
The authors believe that ENSO is a natural phenomenon and I agree. There is no basis I know of for arguing that the gradual and fairly steady increases in atmospheric CO2levels would bring about the ENSO fluctuations in the vast Central Pacific Ocean. ENSO has been observed over long periods and predated humans. The authors believe that ENSO appears to be influenced by changes in solar activity, so such oscillations are highly unlikely to be human influenced. Thus there is no basis to blame human activities for global temperature changes as the alarmists claim. And there is thus no basis for claiming that humans must reduce their CO2 emissions in order to avoid CAGW at the cost of hundreds of trillions of dollars, much less reliable energy supplies, and significantly lower economic growth by using wind and solar energy.
In the words of the new report:
- These analysis results would appear to leave very, very little doubt that EPA’s claim of a Tropical Hot Spot [THS], caused by rising atmospheric CO
- levels, simply does not exist in the real world. Also critically important, even on an all-other-things-equal basis, this analysis failed to find that the steadily rising atmospheric CO
- concentrations have had a statistically significant impact on any of the 13 temperature time series analyzed.
Thus, the analysis results invalidate each of the Three Lines of Evidence in its CO2Endangerment Finding. Once EPA’s THS assumption is invalidated, it is obvious why the climate models they claim can be relied upon, are also invalid. And, these results clearly demonstrate — 13 times in fact — that once just the ENSO impacts on temperature data are accounted for, there is no “record setting” warming to be concerned about. In fact, there is no ENSO-Adjusted Warming at all. These natural ENSO impacts involve both changes in solar activity and the 1977 Pacific Shift.
Moreover, on an all-other-things-equal basis, there is no statistically valid proof that past increases in Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations have caused the officially reported rising, even claimed record setting temperatures. To validate their claim will require mathematically credible, publicly available, simultaneous equation parameter estimation work. Where is it?