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In search of the elusive Carbon Footprint. Recently several special interest groups have been preaching gloom and doom in hopes of getting a slice of.

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Presentation on theme: "In search of the elusive Carbon Footprint. Recently several special interest groups have been preaching gloom and doom in hopes of getting a slice of."— Presentation transcript:

1 In search of the elusive Carbon Footprint

2 Recently several special interest groups have been preaching gloom and doom in hopes of getting a slice of the Federal Pie that they expect to be served up with the intention of staving off a Natural Phenomenon that has been labeled “Global Warming”.

3 Most people know almost nothing about Global Warming except that certain Special Interest groups are telling us that Global Warming is………

4 “Bad”

5 And that we are assuredly guilty of causing it…..

6 What really controls Global Warming? Then I am going to explain how carbon dioxide plays a role. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ First I will introduce you to some sea level history and some climate controls that take literally thousands of years to influence weather Finally I will introduce some natural events that take only a decade or so to make significant climate changes……...

7 Incidentally The only reason I am giving Carbon Dioxide (CO 2 ) any attention at all is because it is billed as the star player in the whole global warming saga.

8 The major “Greenhouse Gas” is not a gas at all, It’s water vapor. It’s water vapor. Yep, good old fog, clouds and humidity. water vapor.

9 So, when you think about eliminating the greenhouse gas culprits….

10 Personally, I’d much rather pitch my tent in one of those humid rainforests that we were concerned about saving last year,

11 Than I would in a cold arid desert

12 Here is a chart posted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, indicating a skyrocketing warming of the globe. This “Hockey Stick” chart has been embraced by many without question. By the way, are you suspicious of the hockey stick chart? You should be. Check out “What is the Hockey Stick Debate About?" At And while you’re at it, take a look at Now, we are pretty certain that as temperatures increase, glaciers melt and global sea level rises. We see the glaciers melting and sea level rising today Albritton, D.L. & Meira Filho, L.G. coordinating lead authors. Technical Summary. In: Climate change 2001: the scientific basis. Working Group I to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge, UK and New York, USA: Cambridge University Press, 2001

13 Here is a chart from the Quaternary Research Association website (http://qra.org.uk/what.html) that reflects global sea level changes over the past 2.6 million years.http://qra.org.uk/what.html For illustration purposes I flipped it to it’s mirror image…….. Then I rotated it 90 degrees clockwise, highlighted present day sea level in blue and added some labels. 2.6 mya 1.0 mya 2.0 mya Today Present day sea level Pleistocene

14 The Quaternary Period The Quaternary is the most recent geological period of time in Earth’s history, spanning the last two million years and extending up to the present day. The Quaternary period is subdivided into the Pleistocene (“Ice Age”) and the Holocene (present warm interval) epochs, with the Pleistocene spanning most of the Quaternary and the Holocene covering the past years. The Quaternary period is characterized by a series of large-scale environmental changes that have profoundly affected and shaped both landscapes and life on Earth. One of the most distinctive features of the Quaternary has been the periodic build-up of major continental ice sheets and mountain ice caps in many parts of the world during long lasting glacial stages, divided by warm episodes (interglacials) of shorter duration, when temperatures were similar to or higher than today. During long periods of these climatic cycles, perhaps 8/10th of the time, temperatures were cool or cold. The number of Quaternary interglacial-glacial cycles is probably in the order of Ólafur Ingólfsson, Professor of glacial and Quaternary Geology University of Iceland, Department of Geology and Geography and Institute of Earth Sciences So here is that chart of global sea level fluctuation over the past 2.6 million years, along with a discussion of the Quaternary……... Holocene 2.6 mya 1.0 mya 2.0 mya Today Pleistocene Present day sea level

15 2.6 mya 1.0 mya 2.0 mya Today 200,000 years ago 800,000 years ago 600,000 years ago 400,000 years ago 0200,00080,00060,00040,00020,000100,000180,000160,000140,000120,000 Years Ago Let’s stretch this 200 thousand years a bit………How about a closer look…………

16 0200,00080,00060,00040,00020,000100,000180,000160,000140,000120,000 Years Ago 19, ,00015,00013,00011,000 Years Ago 020,0008,0006,0004,0002,00010,00018,00016,00014,00012,000 Now, let’s stretch this 20 thousand years some………

17 19, ,00015,00013,00011,000 Years Ago 020,0008,0006,0004,0002,00010,00018,00016,00014,00012,000 Right here. Remember the 1000 year “Hockey Stick” chart? Where does it fit in the scheme of time?

18 2.6 mya 1.0 mya 2.0 mya Today Right about here…… And where does it fit on the 2.6 million year chart?

19 The data was collected from an ice core taken from the Vostok ice sheet in Antarctica. 2.6 mya 1.0 mya 2.0 mya Today 200,000 years ago 800,000 years ago 600,000 years ago 400,000 years ago Question………. Is the concentration of CO 2 (greenhouse gas) a driver of global warming, Or is it a result? Hold that thought while we look at something else. Let’s slide it up for a closer look It suggests that CO 2 concentration has fluctuated with sea level change and climate variation over the past 400 thousand years and probably longer. This chart displays CO 2 concentrations over the past 400 thousand years.

20 During the early 1900’s, Milutin Milankovitch published a paper entitled “Record of Radiation on Earth and Its Application to the Problem of Ice Ages ” In this paper he attributes the advance and retreat of the glacial ice sheets over the millennia to three things: –The eccentricity cycle –The obliquity cycle –Precession of the Equinoxes

21 Eccentricity Cycle This is a cycle during which the Earth’s orbit around the sun goes from nearly circular to elliptical and back to circular. The Earth will experience a greater distance from the Sun as it completes an annual revolution during the elliptical phase. A full cycle occurs once every 100,000 years.

22 Obliquity Cycle Obliquity refers to the degree of tilt of the Earth’s axis from the sun. This determines the angle of incidence of sunlight striking the Earth at various latitudes. A full cycle from perpendicular axis to perpendicular axis occurs every 41,000 years.

23 Precession of the Equinoxes This refers to a cycle during which a(n) hemisphere is tilted away from the sun to toward the sun to away again at aphelion. This cycle occurs every 23,000 years.

24 The CO 2 Cycle Why should CO 2 concentration fluctuate with temperature?

25 Think of the ocean as a huge carbonated beverage Have you ever noticed that a cold soda doesn’t fizz as much as a warm one? That’s because more CO 2 can dissolve in cold water than in warm water. A warm soda is saturated

26 The ocean is a CO 2 sink That means it is a buffer or surge tank that absorbs CO 2. When the oceans are cool they absorb CO 2. When they get warm they give up CO 2. Just as they have over much of geological history. Long before humans came on the scene.

27 In another 15,000 years… The Earth will probably be within another glacial stage. It will last about 100,000 years…… The time it takes for an Eccentricity cycle to occur.

28 We’ll probably miss it…… But there will still be some shorter term things of interest going on. Let me explain

29 Here is the world’s longest record of Fahrenheit thermometer readings, and they were recorded in Central England. This record indicates that there have been significant annual temperature fluctuations over the centuries. A period of significant cooling occurred between 1650 and 1715 AD. This cooling period is referred to as “The Little Ice Age” During this time glaciers advanced, growing seasons shortened, crops and people froze and there was famine……..

30 There have been periods of cooling since that time, though not as severe (They were also separated by periods of warming). This little nipper started in 1950 after a period of warming and triggered fears of decreased growing season and famine by the end of the 20 th century. It made the Science Section of the April 27, 1975 issue of Newsweek, with the title “The Cooling World”.

31 This chart reflects the recorded observation of sunspot activity over the centuries. The red line represents the mean value. Little Ice age Compare the sunspot activity curve with the temperature curve The lull in sunspots between 1650 and 1715 was named the “Maunder Minimum” The “Maunder Minimum” coincides with the “Little Ice Age” There was a lull in sunspot activity ( The Dalton Minimum) in the early1800’s that coincided with a cooling trend. …and other sunspot lulls and associated cooling trends Including the 1975 fear of crop shortage and famine Simply put, sunspot activity fluctuations are associated with solar radiation intensity fluctuations, which directly affect global temperature and climate.

32 Albritton, D.L. & Meira Filho, L.G. coordinating lead authors. Technical Summary. In: Climate change 2001: the scientific basis. Working Group I to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge, UK and New York, USA: Cambridge University Press, 2001 Remember that skyrocketing warming of the globe chart? Let’s compare it to the temperature and sunspot activity charts…… …and other cooling periods Here’s the Little Ice Age and Maunder Minimum All of which are associated with changes in sunspot activity

33 “[In the] Second Assessment Report of the IPCC, there was no hockey stick. Instead the millennial climate history contained a MWP and a subsequent Little Ice Age, as shown as in Figure 3. The late 20th century appears to be nothing special by comparison. It is easy to see why this graph was a problem for those pushing the global warming alarm. If the world could warm so much on such a short time scale as a result of natural causes, surely the 20th century climate change could simply be a natural effect as well. And the present climate change could hardly be considered unusually hazardous if even larger climate changes happened in the recent past, and we are simply fluctuating in the middle of what nature regularly dishes out?” Here’s an excerpt from “What is the Hockey Stick Debate About?” - Ross McKitrick APEC Study Group, Australia; April 4, 2003

34 These charts by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change make better cases for part of my argument than I have: Climate appears to be controlled by natural causes; not by the habits of civilization. Folland, C.K. Karl, T. & Ya. Vinnikov, K. Observed climate variations and change. In: Climate change: the IPCC scientific assessment. Houghton, J.T. et al. eds. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, p. 202, 1990 Figure 7.1. Schematic diagrams of global temperature variations since the Pleistocene on three time-scales: (a) the last million years; (b) the last ten thousand years, and (c) the last thousand years. The dotted line nominally represents conditions near the beginning of the twentieth century.

35 1 There have been several warming and cooling cycles over the past one million years Figure 7.1. Schematic diagrams of global temperature variations since the Pleistocene on three time-scales: (a) the last million years; (b) the last ten thousand years, and (c) the last thousand years. The dotted line nominally represents conditions near the beginning of the twentieth century. Folland, C.K. Karl, T. & Ya. Vinnikov, K. Observed climate variations and change. In: Climate change: the IPCC scientific assessment. Houghton, J.T. et al. eds. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, p. 202, 1990

36 Figure 7.1. Schematic diagrams of global temperature variations since the Pleistocene on three time-scales: (a) the last million years; (b) the last ten thousand years, and (c) the last thousand years. The dotted line nominally represents conditions near the beginning of the twentieth century. Average temperatures during this period have fluctuated from at least: 1 degree centigrade (about 2 degrees F.) warmer than present day to about 4 degrees centigrade (about 7 degrees F.) cooler than present day. Folland, C.K. Karl, T. & Ya. Vinnikov, K. Observed climate variations and change. In: Climate change: the IPCC scientific assessment. Houghton, J.T. et al. eds. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, p. 202, 1990

37 Figure 7.1. Schematic diagrams of global temperature variations since the Pleistocene on three time-scales: (a) the last million years; (b) the last ten thousand years, and (c) the last thousand years. The dotted line nominally represents conditions near the beginning of the twentieth century. 2 There have been 4 cooling periods in the past 11,000 years. Average temperatures dropped from about 1 degree F. to about 6 degrees F. during those periods. Folland, C.K. Karl, T. & Ya. Vinnikov, K. Observed climate variations and change. In: Climate change: the IPCC scientific assessment. Houghton, J.T. et al. eds. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, p. 202, 1990

38 Figure 7.1. Schematic diagrams of global temperature variations since the Pleistocene on three time-scales: (a) the last million years; (b) the last ten thousand years, and (c) the last thousand years. The dotted line nominally represents conditions near the beginning of the twentieth century. Average temperatures dropped only about 3 degrees F. during that time. The latest was The Little Ice Age, which was mentioned earlier (the IPCC extends the Little Ice Age to the beginning of the twentieth century). Folland, C.K. Karl, T. & Ya. Vinnikov, K. Observed climate variations and change. In: Climate change: the IPCC scientific assessment. Houghton, J.T. et al. eds. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, p. 202, 1990

39 Figure 7.1. Schematic diagrams of global temperature variations since the Pleistocene on three time-scales: (a) the last million years; (b) the last ten thousand years, and (c) the last thousand years. The dotted line nominally represents conditions near the beginning of the twentieth century. It occurred after the Medieval Warming Period……. when average temperatures had been 2 degrees F. warmer than today. Folland, C.K. Karl, T. & Ya. Vinnikov, K. Observed climate variations and change. In: Climate change: the IPCC scientific assessment. Houghton, J.T. et al. eds. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, p. 202, 1990

40 Figure 7.1. Schematic diagrams of global temperature variations since the Pleistocene on three time-scales: (a) the last million years; (b) the last ten thousand years, and (c) the last thousand years. The dotted line nominally represents conditions near the beginning of the twentieth century. 3 We emerged from the Little Ice Age, according to the 1990 IPCC report, at the beginning of the Twentieth Century. Folland, C.K. Karl, T. & Ya. Vinnikov, K. Observed climate variations and change. In: Climate change: the IPCC scientific assessment. Houghton, J.T. et al. eds. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, p. 202, 1990

41 And, according to the 1990 pre-Hockey Stick chart ….. Folland, C.K. Karl, T. & Ya. Vinnikov, K. Observed climate variations and change. In: Climate change: the IPCC scientific assessment. Houghton, J.T. et al. eds. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, p. 202, 1990

42 Average global temperatures have flattened at only a fraction of a degree above the 1900 average temperature when we emerged from the Little Ice Age 108 years ago. Folland, C.K. Karl, T. & Ya. Vinnikov, K. Observed climate variations and change. In: Climate change: the IPCC scientific assessment. Houghton, J.T. et al. eds. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, p. 202, 1990

43 This chart, borrowed from climatologist Cliff Harris & Meteorologist Randy Mann at also tells an intriguing story of past temperature fluctuations & what the future may hold.

44 Even the foreboding Hockey Stick, with it’s apparent exaggeration of today’s temperatures as compared to the past, has some promise of better times when solar radiation & sunspot frequency are considered.

45 Little Ice age Today, average global temperatures are high. But a slight plateauing appears to be occurring …and a decline in sunspot activity is occurring. If this latest trend continues, we could experience significant Global Cooling within the next ten to twenty years.

46 When the Earth starts to cool again….. Let’s hope we have an Efficient AND Clean Burning……… FUEL SUPPLY

47 Jim Wilson Thanks goes to that excellent geophysicist Tom Bakewell, who researched some of the links that were included in this presentation and tirelessly critiqued it between bicycling adventures.. Thanks also to the webmasters and others who are striving to inform the world of those neglected facts about the natural aspects of global warming. Some of them are referenced in this presentation.


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