Tuesday, 01 December 2009 20:30

Climate Change Claims Bizarre, Says Lindzen

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Richard LindzenPopular climate-change science is unsound, especially in its claim that humans are the cause of global warming, says a professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Richard S. Lindzen reports in The Wall Street Journal, "Claims that climate change is accelerating are bizarre."

Professor Lindzen explains that the global averaged temperature anomaly, or GATA, a measurement used to determine temperature differentials, has shown insignificant warming since the middle of the 19th century. He points out the 1.5 degree Fahrenheit increase since about 1850 is better understood in light of the fact that the Earth experienced a "little ice age" from the 15th until the 19th centuries. Accompanying the warming trend was, of course, the industrial era, which Lindzen acknowledges increased greenhouse gas emissions. However, he also states that anthropogenic (human-caused) emissions make up such a small percentage of gases regulating the greenhouse effect, that humans could at most affect temperatures by tenths of a degree.

Lindzen also makes the case that in the past 20 years, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has had no success in its attempts to prove that humans are to blame for global warming. In fact, the only thing IPCC researchers have conclusively proven is that their climate models are faulty since even they have to admit the models do not account for naturally occurring variability and therefore cannot explain the lack of warming during the past decade.

Scientists agree that doubling atmospheric carbon dioxide — from all sources, not just humans — would increase temperatures by about two degrees Fahrenheit. Lindzen explains that clouds and water vapor play a much bigger role in the greenhouse effect. He says that IPCC models predict higher temperatures on the assumption that clouds and water vapor exacerbate the effect of carbon dioxide, a phenomenon called positive feedback. At the same time, the IPCC admits that clouds are "a source of major uncertainty in current models." Moreover, there is no scientific consensus as to whether clouds and water vapor produce positive or negative feedback.

Lindzen argues against the idea that positive feedback dominates the greenhouse effect, citing the lack of historical and geological evidence. He quotes Jeff Kiehl with the National Center for Atmospheric Research who reported in 2007 that IPCC models regularly and arbitrarily insert atmospheric aerosols to generate effects UN researchers want their models to report.

Lindzen says such deceitful reporting, and resulting threats of imminent eco-catastrophy, amount to an even greater scandal than Climategate. True climate science involves multiple factors completely independent of human activity that influence normal variations in nature such as "open water in summer over the North Pole, droughts, floods, hurricanes, sea-level variations, etc." Researchers who conceive these occurrences as dreadful omens and blame human activity for them are taking "a gigantic step backward in the science of climate."

Photo: Dr. Richard S. Lindzen

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