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Scientific Consensus Busters: Four things science tells us about fossil-fueled carbon dioxide (CO2)

(The only) Four things science tells us about fossil-fueled carbon dioxide (CO2)

by Dr. Caleb Rossiter, climate statistician

(Executive director of the CO2 Coalition, a science education organization comprised of 45 physicists, climatologists, agronomists, geologists, and energy economists)

  1. Carbon dioxide is plant food. That’s why it’s pumped into commercial green houses! The increase since 1900 of CO2’s share of the atmosphere from three percent of one percent to four percent of one percent has boosted global crop productivity by 15 to 30 percent. In addition, the crops need less water and less fertilizer.  Field experiments show that all these benefits will be even greater as CO2 rises to five percent of one percent by about 2050. Minor reductions in a few nutrients for a few crops will be more than offset by new methods and increased income from fossil-fueled economic growth. Industrial CO2 is the Real Green Deal! 
  2. Carbon dioxide is a warming gas. CO2 molecules vibrate at the same frequency as heat waves leaving the earth, so they briefly trap some energy. Because CO2 is one of the minor warming gasses (water vapor and upper level cirrus clouds are much more important), it accounts for no more than half of the one degree Celsius rise in global average temperature since 1900. The Earth has been warming since the 19th century, from natural causes, rebounding from the “little ice age.”
  3. The UN’s own data show NO catastrophic climate effects from global warming, whatever its cause. In 1989 the UN and the US EPA predicted that within 10 years rising seas would destroy island nations and coastal regions, and that crop failures would create “eco-refugees.” None of these and other predictions of doom have come true. In fact, UN data show no statistically-significant changes since 1900 in: droughts, hurricanes, tornados, cyclones, rainfall, heatwaves, floods, and the rate of sea-level rise (less than an inch per decade).
  4. The UN’s climate models have badly over-predicted the warming from industrial carbon dioxide, “running hot” over the past 30 years by two to three times the actual increase in global average temperatures. Today’s models produce “scenarios,” not science, when they predict dangerous warming from increased CO2.