Thursday, March 22, 2012

Global Warming Must Be Stopped - Even if it doesn't exist

Climate change supporters and global warming skeptics continue to argue vociferously throughout the blogosphere, each touting their own opinion about the reality of climate change, its human origins, or not, predicting dire results, global benefits and, always, political outcomes.

The result is a moribund environmental community, unable to deal with anything other than the argument amongst deniers and alarmists about what constitutes climate change, how soon will it make itself known and what are the implications for the natural world, and, of course, humankind. Few admit to the full implications of "doing something" about climate change, that is reduce human industrial activity in order to reduce CO2 production to a level deemed "sustainable" by those who make decisions about such things. Not that there is any science behind this speculation. It just sounds good.

Global warming alarmists take it as given that the observed steady increase in global atmospheric CO2 concentration is a result if human CO2 production, despite the fact that we have only observed global average atmospheric CO2 concentration since 1958, and we have only a vague idea of what CO2 concentration was before that time. Ice core records go back thousands of years, but are not helpful in the past 2,000 years. Even beyond, atmospheric CO2 levels are difficult to discern with any accuracy as there is not a one to one linear relationship between the contents of a bubble in a glacier and the content of the atmosphere at the time it was captured in ice. The capture process may take hundreds of years, while gas exchange continues between the ice and the atmosphere.

The upshot is that we don't really understand the relationship between atmospheric CO2 concentration and global average surface temperature. Which comes first, variation temperature or variation CO2 concentration? Ice core records, as imprecise as they are, seem to indicate that, historically,  CO2 concentration variation lags global average surface temperature. This would imply that today's increase in CO2 concentration is a result of the warming during the Medieval Warming Period 800 years ago, rather than modern CO2 concentration causing an immediate rise in global average surface temperature.

The fact that global average surface temperature has been rising steadily and slowly since the end of the Little Ice Age, around 1800, before significant human CO2 production, suggests that the latter interpretation more accurately fits the observations. And the rise in CO2 concentration is consistent with a temperature caused increase in CO2 800 years after a significant rise in global average surface temperature.

It seems most likely that observed climate variation is a result of natural climate drivers, such as interacting solar and cosmic cycles, modified by interacting internal positive and negative feedbacks (such as warming from human produced CO2). This means that there is very little, if anything at all, that we can do to significantly alter observed patterns of natural climate variation.

That being said, it's high time to get off the Global Warming Hysteria Wagon (TR) and get back to the grinding everyday gut work of environmentalism. There's plenty of habitat loss, air, water and soil pollution, biodiversity loss, resource depletion, human population excess and resulting ecosystem degradation going on to keep us all busy for the rest of our lives, if we live that long.

Let's stop this Global Warming nonsense and get back to the task at hand: stop the human growth monster, with its companion consumption ogre; repair, restore, revive and reinvigorate the remaining natural, undeveloped world, and roll back the destruction of the natural world that has been the chief human occupation for the past 5,000 years.

Stop Global Warming! Start Global Healing!