By Jim Whiting, MD, FACR
It is very disheartening, with some frequency, to find people with a science education willing to support more unscientific statements, suggestions, and predictions.
The Smithsonian, for example.
That article affirms that “The World Meteorological Organization released its decadal poll, which contained dire predictions: There is a 90 percent chance that one of the next five years will be the hottest ever, and a 40 percent Chance that we will experience it ”. a year with a global average temperature of 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels. “
There is no explanation of what could be the basis for these alarming predictions, nor how the probabilities were determined. In poker, you know how many cards are in the deck and how many cards are dealt. In craps, you know how many spots there are on the faces of the dice.
The article quotes without comment the climate scientist Randall Cerveny of Arizona State University, who expressed his disappointment: “We had some hopes that with last year’s COVID scenario, perhaps the lack of travel [and] the lack of industry could act as a brake. But what we see is, to be honest, not. “
It goes without saying that during the Depression years of 1929-1931, when human CO2 production decreased by 30%, CO2 continued its sluggish rise, with temperatures continuing to rise until 1941 when they began to decline slightly again until 1972 without any change in the increase in CO2 despite the Second World War and post-war reconstruction. With that, the “Arriving Ice Age!” Horror in the early 1970s (see Time and Newsweek and ScienceNews in the early 1970s). This change in CO2 was also not preceded by a temperature reversal in the last 550 million years. In addition to the WMO scandal text, it is also not mentioned that humans produce less than 5% of the annual CO2 contribution in the atmosphere.
It quotes without comment the absurd decision of the Paris Agreement that no temperature rise above 2.7 ° F above pre-industrial can be tolerated … “Otherwise the planet is threatened with a climate catastrophe.” It is not indicated that the world has lived half of the last 550 million years within a few degrees plus and minus 22 ° C – that’s an average of 72 ° F versus the current 59 ° F (15 ° C). The dinosaurs basked in a humid world at 18 ° C.
The choice of 2.7 ° F versus pre-industrial is imaginarily arbitrary given past global temperatures in our absence. In the last 550 million years there has never been a turning point: neither in the PT extinction warming (to at least 28 ° C) nor, surprisingly, in the “snowball earth” events when the glaciers almost reached the equator and the albedo rose dramatically.
In addition to history, there is theory. The exponential decline in the GHG impact of CO2 has been known since Arrhenius, and the numbers are now correct. The next doubling of CO2 to 800 ppm will theoretically increase its GHG effect by less than 2%.
So there is no justification for assuming that CO2 is controlling climate change at these levels at this point, nor is there any justification for assuming that we are responsible for CO2.
Climate change is natural, not a problem. Problems have solutions. The fact that “we have to do something about it” doesn’t mean we can.
CO2 reduction is a problem, not a solution.
These are not controversial facts. Everyone with scientific interests should know and apply them.