Guest Post by Peter Morcombe (gallopingcamel)
The Kyoto Protocol
Elites around the world tend to believe that rising levels of CO2 in our atmosphere will cause catastrophic climate changes. Collectively they wield enough power to shape energy policies in many nations according to commitments laid down in the “Kyoto Protocol” and subsequent accords. It is interesting to compare the fate of the Kyoto Protocol based on the work of “Climate Scientists” such as Michael Mann with that of the Montreal Protocol based on the work of people like McElroy.
The Montreal Protocol essentially banned the production of Freon and similar compounds based on the prediction that this would reduce the size of the polar “Ozone Holes”. After the ban went into effect the size of the ozone holes diminished. This may mean that the science presented by McElroy and his cohorts was “Robust” or it may be dumb luck. Either way, McElroy has credibility and “Skeptics” are ridiculed. The Kyoto Protocol did not fare so well.
When the Kyoto Protocol went into effect in 1994 it committed the nations signing it to:
“…..reducing their overall emissions of such gases by at least 5 per cent below existing 1990 levels in the commitment period 2008 to 2012.”
“The Parties included in Annex I shall strive to implement policies and measures under this Article in such a way as to minimize adverse effects, including the adverse effects of climate change,”
The Protocol fails to explain what the adverse effects of climate change are but given that the year was 1994 and the IPCC was the only “Scientific” authority cited in the protocol it seems safe to assume that failure to limit CO2 emissions was expected to result in “Catastrophic Global Warming” which was the meme back then. Nobody believes in CAGW any more; today we discuss “Climate Change”. You have to love the brilliance of this re-branding…….who could dissent with the idea that climate will change?
The Kyoto Protocol required a reduction of ~5% in 2012 relative to 1990. The 1990 emissions of CO2 were 22.5 billion tonnes so the target was 21.4 billion tonnes by 2012. Actual emissions in 2012 were 33.5 billion tonnes, equivalent to a 49% increase over 1990 levels.
Given the failure to meet Kyoto targets we should be noticing an uptick in global temperatures. Satellite measurements show that temperatures rose 0.25 Kelvin from 1990 to 1998 but have not risen since. (http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/)
In spite of the huge increase in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere the predicted temperature rise did not materialize so we need to ask what is wrong with “Climate Science” given that it claimed that the “Consensus” is supported by 97% of scientists and “The Debate is Over”. In my opinion the debate is indeed over because the cause of CAGW (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming) is dead and buried. What we need now is a better understanding of the effects of rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere given that the “Consensus” theory failed so dismally.
The New Lysenkoism
Living as I do on the “Space Coast” it offends me that thousands of pink slips have been issued at the Kennedy Space Center while the Goddard Institute of Space Studies remains fully funded. It is sickening that purveyors of fairy stories such as Al Gore and James Hansen are showered with awards while scientists like Murray Salby and Nicola Scafetta are victimized. How could such injustice happen? Vaclav Havel provides valuable insights in his “The Power of the Powerless” (1978).
“In 1974, when I was employed in a brewery, my immediate superior was a certain Š, a person well versed in the art of making beer. He was proud of this profession and he wanted our brewery to brew good beer. He spent almost all his time at work, continually thinking up improvements and he frequently make the rest of us feel uncomfortable because he assumed that we loved brewing as much as he did. In the midst of the slovenly indifference to work that socialism encourages, a more constructive worker would be difficult to imagine.
The brewery itself was managed by people who understood their work less and were less fond of it, but who were politically more influential. They were bringing the brewery to ruin and not only did they fail to react to any of Š’s suggestions, but they actually became increasingly hostile towards him and tried in every way to thwart his efforts to do a good job. Eventually, the situation became so bad that Š felt compelled to write a lengthy letter to the manager’s superior, in which he attempted to analyze the brewery’s difficulties. He explained why it was the worst in the district and pointed to those responsible.
His voice might have been heard. The manager, who was politically powerful but otherwise ignorant of beer, a man who loathed workers and was given to intrigue, might have been replaced and conditions in the brewery might have been improved on the basis of Š’s suggestions. Had this happened it would have been a perfect example of small-scale work in action. Unfortunately, the precise opposite occurred; the manager of the brewery, who was a member of the Communist Party’s district committee, had friends in higher places and he saw to it that the situation was resolved in his favor. Š’s analysis was described as a “defamatory document” and Š himself was labeled a “political saboteur”. He was thrown out of the brewery and shifted to another one where he was given a job requiring no skill. Here the notion of small-scale work had come up against the wall of the post-totalitarian system. By speaking the truth, Š had stepped out of line, broken the rules, cast himself out, and he ended up as a sub-citizen, stigmatized as an enemy. He could now say anything he wanted, but he could never, as a matter of principle, expect to be heard. He had become the “dissident” of the Eastern Bohemian Brewery.
I think this is a model case which, from another point of view, illustrates what I have already said in the preceding section: you do not become a “dissident” just because you decide one day to take up this most unusual career. You are thrown into it by your personal sense of responsibility, combined with a complex set of external circumstances. You are cast out of the existing structures and placed in a position of conflict with them. It begins as an attempt to do your work well, and ends with being branded an enemy of society.”
You might be inclined to dismiss this as something that could only happen in a corrupt “One Party” state, yet similar things are happening in countries that are nominally democratic. The problem is much deeper than politics or ideologies. John Acton explained it when he said:
“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”
How is it that we’ve ended up with a corrupt society where science has to conform with some ‘truth’ that has been decided by men of power, and those who do not conform are cast as heretics?
In the USA we have Nicola Scafetta who noticed a correlation between planetary periods and global temperatures. While his correlations are “robust” he lacked a physical mechanism to explain the correlations. A much larger problem was the fact that he was suggesting that solar activity might have a greater effect on global temperature than [CO2]. I don’t know whether Nicola is right, yet his predictions and backcasts are demonstrably closer to observations than the IPCC with its CMIP models. In a better world this disagreement would be resolved by debate or experiment but given the toxic state of “Climate Science” Scafetta must not be heard. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/09/scaffeta-on-his-latest-paper-harmonic-climate-model-versus-the-ipcc-general-circulation-climate-models/
Things are even worse in Australia as the treatment of Murray Salby shows. Here is what annoyed his superiors at Macquarie (Sydney) leading to his being fired without “due process” when he was attending a function in Europe. His return air ticket was voided so that he had to pay for his return to Australia: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/11/22/excerpts-from-salbys-slide-show/
Creative people always had to sing for their supper. Nobody would have heard of Michaelangelo but for the patronage of Pope Julius II. Likewise for Bach and Prince Leopold. Today patronage is in the hands of the federal government. President Eisenhower warned us it would be a problem:
“Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.
The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.
Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”
If you believe (as I do) that “Climate Science” is corrupt how do you prove it? My approach depends on comparing theory with observations. Temperature drives [CO2] over long time scales: https://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2013/05/04/the-dog-that-did-not-bark/
Nikolov & Zeller declared that climate was primarily dependent on pressure and they presented an impressive correlation between planetary surface temperature and pressure (for a given Total Solar Irradiance). I thought that N&Z were onto something when they claimed that pressure is the prime variable. So I decided to test their theory at arbitrary pressures rather than those observed at the surface of rocky bodies. Here is what I found by applying equations to gas giants with no observable surfaces: https://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/unified-theory-of-climate/
If N&Z are right, pressure is the main variable and the composition of Earth’s atmosphere does not matter. Increasing the CO2 concentration would have no significant effect on global climate. N&Z claimed that the PETM was caused by an increase in atmospheric pressure. I tried to explain this on the assumption that oxygen provided the extra gas pressure but failed: https://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2013/02/16/unified-theory-of-climate-revisited/
When I called Nikolov to discuss the failure of the oxygen based hypothesis he told me (in confidence) he was working on a paper that proposed a different mechanism for modulating atmospheric pressure on a macroscopic scale. Until that paper is published I can’t comment further.
Then I came across “Robinson & Catling” and found their equations worked at arbitrary pressures and not just at the surfaces of rocky planets. Unlike N&Z’s equations the R&C model works from the troposphere to the stratosphere: https://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2014/04/27/robinson-and-catling-model-closely-matches-data-for-titans-atmosphere/
Using the R&C model it should be possible to test Nikolov & Zeller’s assertion that the concentration of CO2 in a planet’s atmosphere would have very little effect on the surface temperature. It would also enable me to test the assertions that James Hansen made in a paper published in 2013: http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/371/2001/20120294
Figure 7 in the above paper is classic James Hansen bullshit. It shows global cooling at a rate of 16 K/halving of CO2 which neatly explains the last seven glacial cycles in terms of CO2. It also shows 4.5 K/doubling of CO2, exactly the figure calculated by Arrhenius in 1896. By publishing such nonsense, the Royal Society is declaring that it is just as corrupt as the Goddard Institute of Space Studies.
My initial intent was to use the R&C model to challenge Hansen’s analysis in the above paper but I did not want to involve Tyler Robinson or David Catling in a dispute that might turn ugly. Therefore I decided to replicate their model using an alternative approach based on Finite Element Analysis. This approach has the potential to improve on the R&C model by introducing cloud layers.
The FEA software enabled me to replicate the work of Ashwin Vasavada, which is a work in progress: http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2014/04/18/a-new-lunar-thermal-model-based-on-finite-element-analysis-of-regolith-physical-properties/
Let’s hope it can work for planets with significant atmospheres.