位置:博客 > 陆旻 > 二氧化碳不是决定气候变化的主要因素 (第1部分)

二氧化碳不是决定气候变化的主要因素 (第1部分)


Are We Heating up the Earth?


We hear millions of times that earth temperature keeps on rising; if not curtailed, anthropogenic global warming will destroy humanity. Go-Green is the new religion that is spreading to every corner of the world.  Warnings about global warming are everywhere in the news.


“Proponents of cuts in greenhouse gases cited the (ice cap) meltdown as proof that human activities are propelling a slide toward climate calamity.”-New York Times


“Spring comes earlier than it used to in Tasiilaq, Greenland. The snow starts to melt weeks before it did even a decade ago in this small Inuit settlement, while ice that was once a permanent fixture on the nearby slopes now sloughs off during the short summer.”-Financial Times


“1998 summer was the hottest summer of millennium” -American Geophysical Union news release.


“The polar ice cap as a whole is shrinking. Images from NASA satellites show that the area of permanent ice cover is contracting at a rate of 9 percent each decade. If this trend continues, summers in the Arctic could become ice-free by the end of the century” -NASA


"Early-Blooming Wildflowers: A Sign of Global Warming?” – Time


James Hansen is the godfather of global warming who has rung the bell of CO2 warning since the 80s.  He joined NASA in 1967 and was the pioneer of building a model to systematically measure and monitor global surface temperature. In 1981, his publication in Science was the first to demonstrate rising global temperature in the past century, to predict earth warming (from a cooling between 1940-1970) and increased influence of anthropogenic CO2. 


Hansen and his team further analyzed data of surface air temperature from 1880 to 1985. The result was published in 1987. They concluded that warming in the past century was found to be 0.5-0.7 °C, with warming similarly in both hemispheres. And they also analyzed the correlation of temperature data from stations in different distances. 


Source: Hansen etc. Climate impact of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide. Science, 213, 957-966.


He updated this research in 1999 to report that 1998 was the warmest year since the instrumental data began in 1880. They also found that the rate of temperature change was larger than any time in instrument history. Hansen stated in an interview in January 2009, "We cannot now afford to put off change any longer. We have to get on a new path within this new administration. We have only four years left for Obama to set an example to the rest of the world. America must take the lead."


The conclusion that 1998 summer was the hottest was also supported by research work from Michael Mann, who conducted a tree-ring based study of earth temperature to finish his Ph.D. at University of Massachusetts.  Mann’s study was a post child of researches that proved global warming in last millennium, was cited and quoted by many global warming publications.


In his publication, Mann said: ”the 1990s was the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest years, at moderately high levels of confidence.” In last 1000 years, temperature has been very stable until  the start of industrialization, based on his study.


The work done by Michael Mann at University of Massachussets, Phil Jones and Keith Briffa of Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UK) are the basis for IPCC's conclusion that "the rate and magnitude of global or hemispheric surface 20th century warming is likely to have been the largest of the millennium, with the 1990s and 1998 likely to have been the warmest decade and year”



Source: “Northern Hemisphere temperatures during the past millennium: inferences, uncertainties, and limitations” by Michael e. Mann.  Geophysical research letters, VOL 26, No. 6, Pages 759-762, March 15, 1999. 


In 2001, this “hockey stick” shaped graph of global temperature was incorporated in IPCC’s Third Assessment Report, as a decisively convincing evidence of global warming since Industrial Revolution.


Based on those studies, IPCC and Al Gore believed that “science is settled”. The Earth’s temperature has been rising since the industrial revolution, and this rise was mainly contributed by burning coal and oil fossil fuels. CO2 emmission, as a greenhouse gas, was pointed as the culprit for causing rising earth temperature. The rise of CO2 concentration in atmosphere was believed to be anthropogenic and causing global warming.




Counter argument 1:

Mann’s study was challenged by a Canadian statistician, Stephen McIntyre, who was a mining industry expert.  In 2002, McIntyre immediate cast suspicion on Mann’s data analysis.  He had extensive experience in rejecting estimates of mineral reserves made by their owners.  He ran a Climate Audit blog, which questioned the validity of the statistical analyses used to create the ‘hockey stick’ graph. He also criticized the quality of global temperature data from NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS), headed by James Hansen.


By his relentless criticism and adamant request for data, methods and source codes from Mann, Mann reluctantly shared some of his data with McIntyre and then stopped. Eventually, Mann shared all the data after the intervention of National Science Foundation and Congressman Joe Barton. McIntyre conducted his own analysis of Mann’s research data, using a different statistical method.


In 2003, Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick published in the journal Energy and Environment 14(6) 751-772 "Corrections to the Mann et al. (1998) Proxy Data Base and Northern Hemisphere Average Temperature Series". In this publication, McIntyre and McKitrick expressed their difficulty to reproduce the results of Mann. 


The controversy of Mann’s and other’s research data attracted the attention of US Energy and Commerce Committee, which convened a team of scientists by the National Research Council to assess Mann’s data.  Additionally, Congressman Joe Barton requested Dr. Edward Wegman and another two statisticians to conduct the same analysis. 


In 2006, the Wegman committee issued their reports that rejected the Mann’s hockey stick graph, and supported McIntyre’s conclusion.  “In general, we found MBH98 and MBH99 to be somewhat obscure and incomplete and the criticisms of MM03/05a/05b to be valid and compelling” (Page 3 of Wegman report).


Source: Wegman report.  Top panel is the Mann’s original analysis and result.  Bottom panel is the result based on a Wegman review that utilized a statistical method advocated by McIntyre.


In 2007, when IPCC published its SUMMARY FOR POLICYMAKER of its voluminous Fourth Assessment Report (AR-4), Mann’s “hockey stick” graph was dropped. 


Counter argument 2:


In 2001, Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu demonstrated that since 1660, central England has been gradually heating up at a rate of 0.5 Celsius degree per 100 years. However, this rising temperature is due to reversing from a little ice age, and the increase is linear and gradual. Industrialization in Europe, the United States and Japan did not cause any sudden acceleration of temperature rise.

Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu, a Founding Director and Professor of Physics, Emeritus, was the director of the International Arctic Research Center of the University of Alaska.  From the establishment of the research center in 1998 till January of 2007, Dr. Akasofu has published more than 550 professional journal articles, authored and co-authored 10 books, and has been invited to author many encyclopedia articles. His paper on the aurora published in 1964 was cited as one of the most quoted papers.

His view was that much of the warming of the 20th century was a continuation of whatever natural trend that drove the increase in the previous century. That linear increase of 0.5 degree per 100 years, is likely to be a natural change, due to recovering from the little ice age. 

Source: Akasofu, University of Alaska.

Hence, the man-made greenhouse effect should be the difference between the actual rise of temperature and the natural trend. Nevertheless, the difference is so minuscule that no one would even call it global warming.  CO2 can cause greenhouse effects, but CO2 alone cannot be the primary cause of global warming.

Counter argument 3:

In 2004, Polyakov etc published the average temperature record at the stations along the coast of the Arctic Ocean.  We can see that the temperature rose rapidly between 1920 and 1940, and also from 1970 to 2000.  What is striking is the drop in temperature from 1940 to 1960 in the Arctic, and the rise of CO2 level from 290 ppm to 315 ppm. (according to Scripps Institution of Oceanography)

Source: Polyakov etc 2004. The red line is the rise of global temperature as reported in IPCC 2007 report. Arctic temperature rises more rapidly than the average temperature.


My view of rising earth temperature:


It is extremely difficult to measure a global average temperature because we can not install a thermometer on every inch of the earth.  Temperature is measured at selected spots of the earth.  Are those spots evenly distributed? No. Are there any biases of their locations? YES. Most land based weather station, built in the 1950s and 1960s, are located in the suburban areas of major cities because there was no need or necessity to know the temperature and weather in remote areas.


What happened in those suburban areas in the last decades? They are becoming urban areas! They are now surrounded by high-rises, by new power plants, by shopping malls and by cars driving through. 


What are the effects of urban development on global reported temperature?  Here is an example of weather stations located at different neighborhoods that have generated different trends of local climate trend. A measuring station in  an undeveloped suburban neighborhood showed a cooling pattern, while a station on a residential area showed an upward trend of local temperature


Source: USHCN



Dr. Ross McKitrick is a professor of environmental economics at University of Guelph, Canada. He is widely-cited in Canada and around the world as an expert on global warming and environmental policy issues. He has been interviewed by Time, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The National Post, The Globe and Mail, the CBC, BBC, Bloomberg, Global TV, CTV, and several others.


He constructed this chart of overlapping average temperature and the number of global stations.  There was a significant loss of stations since 1990 in the former Soviet Union, China, Africa and South America. This loss of stations coincided with a sudden rise of average temperature.  Is it because those lost stations are in remote areas so that the remaining stations are mostly located near cities?  We know that cities are heat islands.


A map of global weather stations shows clearly that they are distributed unevenly.


Source:Dr. Ross Mckitrick.   http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/nvst.html

Source: NASA map by Robert Simmon, based on data from the National Climatic Data Center.

The bias from surface measurement of earth temperature is easy to understand.  Hence, average of data from weather stations is not a reliable source to definitely answer the question of whether the earth is heating up or not.  Sampling errors and surface variability can easy distort the conclusion.  We have to find different ways to measure the earth temperature.

Can we measure the earth temperature of the air and of the ocean water? Yes, actually. We have the temperature data of the low atmosphere (called troposphere) from balloon carried instruments since 1958, and from satellite instruments since 1979.  Those measurements should reflect the true earth surface temperature.  According to IPCC advocated climate model, atmosphere temperature should rise if the earth surface warms up, because more radiation from the surface will heat up molecules in the air. 

The data came out from balloons and satellites disappointed believers of global warming. Those data did NOT show the same warming trend of earth temperature as was hoped. A report by the National Research Council in the late 1990s that reviewed the upper air temperature trends stated that:

"Data collected by satellites and balloon-borne instruments since 1979 indicate little if any warming of the low- to mid-troposphere—the atmospheric layer extending up to about 5 miles from the Earth's surface. Climate models generally predict that temperatures should increase in the upper air as well as at the surface if increased concentrations of greenhouse gases are causing the warming.”


Not surprisingly, the significant discrepancy between weather station data and satellite data created huge controversies. US Climate Science Program took on the task of re-analyzing the data.  After extensive efforts of different scientific bodies, they could still not agree on one definite conclusion. IPCC (of course) said that significant discrepancy no longer exists because errors in the satellite and radiosonde data have been identified and corrected.  Others said that issues with reconciling data and models remain.  Here is the chart from IPCC’s report on this satellite issue.  Honestly, I can not see any clear trend. 

Source: IPCC - Climate Change 2001: Working Group I: The Scientific Basis Figure 2.12

Did Anyone See More Hurricanes?

"Experts warn global warming likely to continue spurring more outbreaks of intense activity." - Kevin Trenberth

“Stronger Link Found between Hurricanes and Global Warming. A century's worth of records suggests that hurricanes are on the rise and a warming Atlantic is to blame.”  - David Biello

In the eyes of global warming, many naturally occurring events are the victim of rising earth temperature, including hurricane, flu, and even pest outbreak.   We have read many publications, from scientific journals to newspapers, which linked hurricanes to global warming in the last few years.  The 2005 Hurricane Katrina became such an easy scare tool to use.  Due to lack of evidence and data, many of those articles drew their conclusions from suggestions and speculations.

Not only did they create media hype, but also travesty jokes.

Dr. Kevin Trenberth is a well accomplished scientist as the Head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. He has published 450 scientific papers, including 47 books and 198 journal articles, which places  him among the top 20 authors with highest citations in all of geophysics.  He shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Price with Al Gore. 

In an article published in the Scientific American, June 17, 2007, “Warmer Oceans, Stronger Hurricanes. Evidence is mounting that global warming enhances a cyclone's damaging winds and flooding rains”, he said that “The summer of 2004 seemed like a major wake-up call: an unprecedented four hurricanes hit Florida, and 10 typhoons made landfall in Japan—four more than the previous record in that region.”

“Global climate change, and global warming in particular, create a different background environment in which the hurricanes are working,” he said, “The sea surface temperatures are a little warmer, the whole environment is a bit wetter, there’s more humidity, and that’s the main fuel for hurricanes.”

This sounded quite convincing and reasonable. However, there was no hard data from the past hurricane activities to support the conclusion.  In 2005, while Dr. Trenberth was leading the effort to draft the Fourth Assessment Report of IPCC (AR-4 report) on hurricane activities, among the team scientists who were recruited to write for the report was the National Hurricane Center's chief scientist, Dr. Chris Landsea. It is a privilege to be a writer for this report as we know IPCC is the leading global organization focusing on climate issues. Dr. Landsea received the American Meteorological Society's Banner I. Miller award for the "best contribution to the science of hurricane and tropical weather forecasting."

While preparing for the write-up of the report, Dr. Landsea experienced a politicalized, non-objective process in citing evidences and drawing conclusions about hurricane and global warming. His concern about mis-representation of scientific data was dismissed by Dr. Trenberth and the rest of IPCC leadership. In an open letter, Dr. Landsea wrote:

“All previous and current research in the area of hurricane variability has shown no reliable, long-term trend up in the frequency or intensity of tropical cyclones, either in the Atlantic or any other basin.”

"I personally cannot in good faith continue to contribute to a process that I view as both being motivated by pre-conceived agendas and being scientifically unsound. As the IPCC leadership has seen no wrong in Dr. Trenberth’s actions and have retained him as a Lead Author for the AR4, I have decided to no longer participate in the IPCC AR4.”

I am glad we have great scientists in the world who are objective, non-biased and insistent on their research.  They enlighten humans understanding of nature, and help make right policies for the society and future generations. We owe them the biggest thanks.

Here are the data that demonstrated no increased frequency of storms and hurricane in last 50 years by Dr. Klotzbach.

Source: Philip Klotzbach etc. 2007. Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences, Colorado State University.

Source: Annual average maximum wind speeds recorded in Atlantic basin tropical cyclones (Landsea C.W., et al., 1996).

During the 2010 season, there was no hurricane landfall in US, despite that 12 hurricanes formed in the Atlantic Ocean. 

Now, who and what should we believe about  hurricanes and global warming? And about CO2 and climate change?  Analyzing the huge amount of climate data is not everyone’s job. It needs tremendous resources and efforts.  Only the large scientific and political bodies like IPCC or US Global Change Research Program have the funding and scientists to conduct  large scale research and review. The rest of us can only read newspapers and listen to the evening TV talks.  It is very scary if those researches are biased and politically motivated. 

Who will safeguard the objectivity of our climate research?

Climate is constantly changing and is affected by many factors, both earthly ones and extraterrestrial factors. Temperature will move upward and downward, depending where we are in the cycle.  Change is constant. Supporting this view is British scientist Jane Francis, who maintains that:

"What we are seeing really is just another interglacial phase within our big icehouse climate." Dismissing political calls for a global effort to reverse climate change, she said, "It's really farcical because the climate has been changing constantly... What we should do is be more aware of the fact that it is changing and that we should be ready to adapt to the change."

今年的联合国气候变化大会于11月28日至12月9日在南非的德班召开。每年一度的全球碳排放会议已经举行了17次了。最有实质意义是1997 的京都会议,该会通过的京都协议书至今已有191国家签署。但是如果今年的大会未能达成新的协议,京都协议将于2012底过期。关于碳排放量的争议,已超过了传统的在发达国家和发展中国家之间的矛盾。各国出于自身利益,不断调整自己的筹码和底线,使得谈判的复杂性远远超过以前。在人们开始互相指责前,有很多问题需要考虑。

1. 二氧化碳假设的由来





资料来源:迈克马恩“北半球过去一千年的温度:推断,不确定性和局限性”《地球物理研究》26卷  1999年3月份5号)


2. 二氧化碳假设的致命缺陷













数据来源:Polyakov 2004. 红线是IPCC2007年报告中的全球温度趋势,蓝线是北极海岸线平均温度。


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