Monday, November 23, 2009

Global warming e-mails

The debate about global warming has been enlivened by the release of e-mails to an from the University of East Anglia. This was an involuntary release - someone hacked into their computer.

The issue is whether or not global temperatures have been rising because mankind in all his activities is producing increasing amounts of carbon dioxide, which acts as a greenhouse gas. If this hypothesis is true (and only 41% of the UK population believes it) then the Copenhagen conference which aims to reduce carbon dioxide production is more important than even the current financial crisis. There is an alternative hypothesis which states that fluctuation in global temperature is a natural phenomenon and that it has happened in the past and may well happen in the future. Warming sceptics like Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit have held that the data being presented by various authorities (including NASA) have been doctored to produce graphs that support the warming hypothesis (the famous 'hockey-stick' graph).

The facts that the Thames froze over in the seventeenth century and that grapes were grown in northern England in Romans times are not reflected in the hockey stick graph. I have not read many of the e-mails and I don't intend to - it is outside my field of expertise - but those I have read are alarming. They seem to suggest that there has been a conspiracy to massage the data to eliminate the cold spell in the seventeenth century and make it appear that temperatures were stable until recently. There has certainly been a conspiracy to circumvent the Freedon of Information Act. Now this might have been that they genuinely did not want the data to be in the hands of someone like McIntyre for fear that he would cherry-pick from it, but from the tone of the e-mails that I have seen it appears that it was the climate scientists at East Anglia who were manipulating the data. There are a huge number of emails, so there may be more to come.

My own position on anthropogenic global warming is one of mild scepticism. Scientists are human and I have seen enough scientific fraud to believe that no-one is above manipulating data. When all the climate journals are controlled by people of the same opinion, a little healthy scepticism is not out of place. Carbon dioxide is released from solution by warming that solution - take a bottle of soda pop from a fridge and you will see what I mean. The graphs seem to me to show that CO2 levels rise after a rise in temperature, not before. This would be what one expects if there were a lot of CO2 dissolved in the sea. CO2 is also a growth factor for plant life. There are a lot of blue-green algy in the Pacific. So vast are the oceans of the earth that I would have thought that they had ample buffering capacity to deal with the small amount of CO2 produced by mankind, which is only 7% of the total production.

But then, I am not an expert in this field, just a bit scepticical about what scientists tell me.

1 comment:

Burke said...

As a lawyer with more than 40 years of learning to become cynical about such things, I am a lot more than merely skeptical.

The "threat" of global warming is exactly the kind of thing I would expect a bunch of leftist, anti-capitalistic parasites to come up with if you gave them 50-100 billion dollars of other peoples' money to do "research" with, which is what various govt's have done.

I won't go into all the arguments against GW, but they are substantial. Essentially, the alarmists are claiming that they can predict the future with computers when they can't accurately predict the weather next week. As long as we keep pouring money into their "research," their computers are going to keep pouring out disaster scenarios.

What more obvious indication of their disingenuousness than the fact that they have almost completely stopped using the phrase "global warming" and use instead "climate change"?

That's because they don't have a clue what is going to happen and want to be able to play their options.

The release of these emails has been described as "ClimateGate." Let's hope it becomes so. The "threat of CO2" is the biggest, most expensive, and potentially the most destructive scientific hoax in history.

A complete corruption of science with govt money.