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What is the main cause of Global Warming?

The Greenhouse Effect is not the major factor controlling Global Warming. The news media and certain politicians often speak of “global warming” and “greenhouse effect” interchangeably, like they were one and the same. This is misleading, because global warming occurs in cycles caused mainly by changes in the sun’s energy output and the sun’s position relative to the earth.

Major Causes of Global Temperature Shifts:


(1) Astronomical Causes

  • 11 year and 206 year cycles: Cycles of solar variability ( sunspot activity )
  • 21,000 year cycle: Earth’s combined tilt and elliptical orbit around the Sun ( precession of the equinoxes )
  • 41,000 year cycle: Cycle of the +/- 1.5¬∞ wobble in Earth’s orbit ( tilt )
  • 100,000 year cycle: Variations in the shape of Earth’s elliptical orbit ( cycle of eccentricity )


(2) Atmospheric Causes

  • Heat retention: Due to atmospheric gases, mostly gaseous water vapor (not droplets), also carbon dioxide, methane, and a few other miscellaneous gases– the “greenhouse effect”
  • Solar reflectivity: Due to white clouds, volcanic dust, polar ice caps


(3) Tectonic Causes

  • Landmass distribution: Shifting continents (continental drift) causing changes in circulatory patterns of ocean currents. It seems that whenever there is a large land mass at one of the Earth’s poles, either the north pole or south pole, there are ice ages.
  • Undersea ridge activity: “Sea floor spreading” (associated with continental drift) causing variations in ocean displacement.

For more details see:

http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/paleo/milankovitch.html
http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/enviro/EnviroRepublish_233658.htm

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Is “Global warming” a real phenomenon?

“Global Warming” is something that has been happening for a long time. The temperature of the earth has been increasing more or less continuously since the time of the cave man.

Approximately 18,000 years ago the earth began a gradual process of warming up after more than 100,000 years of Ice Ages. Much of North America, Europe, and Asia lay buried beneath great sheets of glacial ice.

By about 15,000 years ago the earth had warmed sufficiently to halt the advance of glaciers, and sea levels worldwide began to rise.

By 8,000 years ago the land bridge across the Bering Strait was drowned, cutting off the migration of men and animals to North America.

Since the end of the Ice Age, Earth’s temperature has risen approximately 16 degrees F and sea levels have risen a total of 300 feet! Forests have returned where once there was only ice.

From a geological perspective, global warming is the normal state of our accustomed natural world. Technically, we are in an “interglacial phase,” or between ice ages. The question is not really if an ice age will return, but when.

Don’t panic when you hear global alarmists warning the earth may have warmed almost 1 degree in the last 200 years. Although this still hasn’t yet been proven, it is in fact exactly what should be happening if everything is normal.

If Global Warming stops, then you can start worrying! It means our warm interglacial phase is over and we may be heading into another Ice Age!

ANIMATED GLACIER: Courtesy of Illinois State Museum

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Is the Greenhouse Effect real?

The Greenhouse Effect helps to moderate temperatures — especially nighttime temperatures. Without the greenhouse effect, the average temperature of the Earth would be -18 degrees C.

Greenhouse effect diagram

Greenhouse gases allow sunlight to pass through Earth’s atmosphere, but as sunlight strikes the Earth it is partially changed to radiant heat. Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, water vapor, and methane help inhibit the escape of radiant heat back into space.

That is why the danger of nighttime frost is greater when the skies are clear than when skies are cloudy.

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Global Warming 101

global_warming_101.jpg

Global Warming Theory in a Nutshell

Every scientific theory involves assumptions. Global warming theory starts with the assumption that the Earth naturally maintains a constant average temperature, which is the result of a balance between (1) the amount of sunlight the Earth absorbs, and (2) the amount of emitted infrared (“IR”) radiation that the Earth continuously emits to outer space. In other words, energy in equals energy out. Averaged over the whole planet for 1 year, those energy flows in and out of the climate system are estimated to be around 235 or 240 watts per square meter.

Greenhouse components in the atmosphere (mostly water vapor, clouds, carbon dioxide, and methane) exert strong controls over how fast the Earth loses IR energy to outer space. Mankind’s burning of fossil fuels creates more atmospheric carbon dioxide. As we add more CO2, more infrared energy is trapped, strengthing the Earth’s greenhouse effect. This causes a warming tendency in the lower atmosphere and at the surface. As of 2008, it is believed that we have enhanced the Earth’s natural greenhouse effect by about 1%.

Global warming theory says that the lower atmosphere must then respond to this energy imbalance (less IR radiation being lost than solar energy being absorbed) by causing an increase in temperature (which causes an increase in the IR escaping to space) until the emitted IR radiation once again equals the amount of absorbed sunlight. That is, the Earth must increase its temperature until global energy balance is once again restored. This is the basic explanation of global warming theory. (The same energy balance concept applies to a pot of water on a stove set on “low”. The water warms until the rate of energy loss through evaporation, convective air currents, and infrared radiation equals the rate of energy gain from the stove, at which point the water remains at a constant temperature. If you turn the heat up a tiny bit more, the temperature of the water will rise again until the extra amount of energy lost by the pot once again equals the energy gained from the stove, at which point a new, warmer equilibrium temperature is reached.)

Now, you might be surprised to learn that the amount of warming directly caused by the extra CO2 is, by itself, relatively weak. It has been calculated theoretically that, if there are no other changes in the climate system, a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration would cause less than 1 deg C of surface warming (about 1 deg. F). This is NOT a controversial statement…it is well understood by climate scientists. (As of 2008, we were about 40% to 45% of the way toward a doubling of atmospheric CO2.)

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Some Global Warming Q&As To Consider in Light of the EPA Ruling

Reproduced with permission

No amount of experimentation can ever prove climate models right; a single experiment can prove climate models wrong.
– adapted from Albert Einstein quote.

Two days ago, on April 17, the EPA ruled that greenhouse gases (especially carbon dioxide) endanger human health and welfare. There is now a 60 day public comment period for people to give their opinions on this ruling before the EPA takes the next step and actually implements regulations on greenhouse gas emissions.

To help out, I’ve whipped up some commonly asked questions and their answers (below) on global warming to help you better understand the issues involved. As you will see, the science of global warming is far from ‘settled’. It is only because of the political and financial ramifications of global warming that so many people (mainly politicians and those who have vested interests) are trying to convince you otherwise.

IS GLOBAL WARMING HAPPENING NOW?
There is no way to know if warming is ‘happening now’. Because natural climate fluctuations on a year-to-year basis are so large, we will only recognize warming (or cooling) several years down the road when it appears in the rearview mirror. The most important statistic to me is that global average temperatures stopped rising in 2001, as shown in the following chart of global tropospheric temperatures that John Christy and I derive from satellite measurements.

As you can see, we might have even entered a new cooling trend. The claim that the warming trend over the last 50 to 100 years is continuing right now, or that it is even ‘accelerating’ is pure speculation, based upon the assumption that what has happened in recent decades will continue into the future.
uah_lt_since_19792

ISN’T IT WARMER NOW THAN IT HAS BEEN IN THOUSANDS OF YEARS?
Well, look at the following recently published proxy reconstruction of global temperatures over the last 2000 years. This graph is based upon 18 previously published temperature proxies, and so provides the most robust estimate available to date. It can be seen that significant warming and cooling periods of 50 to 100 years in duration seem to be the rule, rather than the exception. There were probably even warmer years during the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) than we have seen in recent years. Even the warmth of the ‘record’ warm El Nino year in 1998 (see temperature chart above) might well have been surpassed several times during major El Nino events that occurred during the MWP. Unfortunately, there is no way to know how warm individual years were a thousand years ago…the graph below is made up of thirty-year averages. I added the dotted line toward the end showing the modern thermometer record.
2000-years-of-global-temperature

ISN’T DISAPPEARING SEA ICE IN THE ARCTIC PROOF OF MANMADE GLOBAL WARMING?
Warming, yes. Manmade, no. As can be seen in the following chart, it was just as warm in the Arctic (or nearly as warm) in the 1930s, with loss of sea ice and changing wildlife patterns reported in newspapers. The water levels in the Great Lakes reached record lows during this time, too…just as has happened again in recent years.
ghcn-arctic-temps-since-1920
It should be remembered that we have had accurate satellite measurements of sea ice only since 1979, a period which has been entirely during the positive (warming) phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO, see graph below). The PDO is an index of weather patterns over the North Pacific Ocean that flips every 30 years or so. The coincidence that the satellite era started right after the “Great Climate Shift of 1977‚Ä≥ has probably biased what we consider to be ‘normal’ for global climate. In fact, based upon the 2,000-year temperature graph shown previously, one might argue that there is no such thing as ‘normal’ climate.
great-global-warming-blunder-pdo-2000-2008-5monavg
ISN’T ARCTIC SEA CONTINUING TO MELT FASTER AND FASTER?
No. As can be seen in the graph below (updated here through April 21, 2009), 2007 was the year when summer ice melt resulted in a 30-year record low in sea ice coverage. In 2008, the ice recovered somewhat. And from looking at 2009, we might well see further recovery this summer. Based upon the PDO index (above) it could be we have entered a new cooling phase of the PDO, which might explain this sea ice recovery, as well as our recent return to colder, snowier winters in the Northern Hemisphere.
amsre-arctic-sea-ice-4-21-09

AREN’T THE POLAR BEARS DYING FROM DISAPPEARING SEA ICE?
Generally speaking, no. While 2 sub-populations of polar bears appear to be threatened by the recent reduction in Arctic sea ice, the other dozen or more sub-populations are either stable or growing. Polar bears survived previous periods of Arctic warmth, and they will survive this one, too.

Polar bears, especially the cubs, tug at our heartstrings because they are so cute, and so make wonderful ‘poster children’ for global warming. What is ironic is that the polar bear is the only predator that will actively track down and eat a human being. The following two photos were sent to me by someone in Alaska…a polar bear that was waiting for a man to return to his truck.
fast-runner-4
fast-runner-1
You can learn the truth about the polar bear issue from a polar bear researcher here.

WHAT ABOUT THE COLLAPSING ICE SHELVES IN ANTARCTICA?

Just as Greenland glaciers will continue to flow downhill and break off into the sea as snow keeps falling on Greenland, the Antarctic ice sheet also slowly flows toward the sea. But in Antarctica, this forms ice ‘shelves’ that can extend out over the ocean a considerable distance. These ice shelves ring the entire continent, and eventually they must break off and float away. It could be that ice shelf collapse events become more common when warmer ocean waters affect a portion of the continent, as has been the case in recent years. Maybe a period of more rapid ice shelf collapse also occurred during the Medieval Warm Period of 1,000 years ago…we just don’t know.

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Professor Ian Plimer presents an easy to understand wide range of facts that debunks the AGW

Geology Professor Ian Plimer very well spoken with slides presents an easy to understand wide range of facts that debunks the AGW.

About 47 minutes in 5 clips.

Human Induced Climate Change – Ian Plimer Pt 1

Human Induced Climate Change – Ian Plimer Pt 2

Human Induced Climate Change – Ian Plimer Pt 3

Human Induced Climate Change – Ian Plimer Pt 4

Human Induced Climate Change – Ian Plimer Pt 5

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Al Gore at Work

One of the big frauds of carbon offsets is that they do nothing to actually reduce energy usage or carbon emissions.  Which brings me to this photo of Al Gore at work.  If he really wants to reduce his carbon footprint, does he really need three gigantic computer monitors as well as an electricity hogging flat screen TV on at the same time?

gore the energy hog

Source

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