Much can be said about the Left’s lavishly-financed effort to portray global warming as an existential threat, so that a small minority can profit while the rest of us are impoverished. But this is perhaps the most fundamental point: a scientific argument can be made that doubling the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere will increase global temperatures by about one degree C. Most people agree that this would be a good thing; it would undoubtedly contribute to the greening of the Earth, since CO2 is the plant food required for photosynthesis.
So what’s the problem? The climate alarmists assert that various positive feedbacks, principally an increase in the main greenhouse gas, water vapor, will amplify that scientifically-defensible one degree increase into something like six degrees. EVERY SINGLE THING you have ever read about the supposedly baleful effects of CO2 is based on that unproven assumption. Actually, the net feedbacks‚Äìclouds are the great unknown‚Äìmay be negative rather than positive.
Ken Haapala, President of the Science and Environmental Policy Project, explains in the current The Week That Was:
The highly influential 1979 Charney report contained an estimate that a doubling of carbon dioxide (CO2) would cause a warming of the earth’s surface of 3 degrees C ¬± 1.5 degree C (roughly 6 degrees F ¬± 3 degrees F). The report presented the assumption by climate modelers that the very modest warming by CO2 demonstrated by laboratory experiments will be amplified several times by a warming caused by water vapor taking place in the atmosphere over the tropics centered about 10 km, 33,000 feet ‚Äì the so-called “hotspot.”
Given the lack of data in 1979, there was no way to confirm or deny this important assumption. The findings of the Charney Report of 3 degrees C ¬± 1.5 degrees C have been repeated, with minor modification, in all five Assessment Reports (ARs) of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) with no other explanation of why CO2 warming occurring in nature will greatly exceed the warming found in the laboratory. These IPCC reports date from 1990 to 2014, with a sixth report underway. In general, the global climate models have the same results, but due to their incomprehensibility, it is not clear if the models use some other mechanism to arrive at the result.
The February 2 testimony by John Christy included comprehensive satellite data of global temperatures covering 37 years (from December 1978 to the end of 2015) of the atmosphere from the surface to 50,000 feet. These data demonstrated that a speculated, pronounced warming of the atmosphere from water vapor does not exist.
After over 35 years of speculation, 25 years of IPCC reports, multiple US government reports, and US government estimates that it spent over $40 Billion on climate science since 1993, and it spent over $150 Billion on activities to “fight global warming”; it is past time to produce physical evidence that the amplified atmospheric warming from increased water vapor exists. If the evidence is not produced, the hypothesis that human emissions of CO2 will cause dangerous global warming is as obsolete as peak oil theory, or that the sun is immutable, unchanging.
The lack of any empirical evidence for the alleged positive feedbacks isn’t the only blindingly obvious hole in the alarmists’ theories, but it may be the most important one. If I am not mistaken, measured water vapor levels have actually declined over the last 75 years, not increased as they would if the alarmists’ theory were correct.