July 2, 2009


Letters to the Editor and other People Speak

FROM- The Advocate

Letter: Warming issue foundation faulty

I congratulate the U.S. House of Representatives on passing a society-altering climate bill most members haven’t read, and The Advocate for reporting this as a great leap forward (“House passes climate measure,” McClatchey Newspapers article, June 27).

No problem; it’s the right step, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and everybody knows the IPCC is right. Or is it?

The IPCC attempts to simulate climate with computer models and attributes global warming to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions based on the argument that only by adding “CO2 forcing” to natural climate forces is it possible to simulate the past three decades of the 20th century.

Thanks to the news media, few know this argument, and that it doesn’t prove model predictive ability.

But the point of this letter is different, which is that perhaps the most critical input to the IPCC models is wrong, that the correct input has been available for at least a decade and when put into the models, at most 1 degree Fahrenheit additional warming by 2100 is indicated.

Scientists agree that a doubling of CO2 by itself won’t result in much additional warming. What’s important are the “feedbacks,” other climate factors that could either augment (positive) or diminish (negative) CO2 warming.

The key feedback behavior is the “climate feedback parameter,” which is basically the amount of incoming solar energy immediately leaked back out into space. The temperature dependence of this is what the IPCC has wrong.

The IPCC assumes energy leakage becomes less and less efficient as temperature increases, causing extra energy buildup in the atmosphere. This is what leads directly to the IPCC’s prediction of excessive warming of as much as 11 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100.

But with the advent of weather satellites it is actually possible to measure the climate feedback parameter, and Richard Lindzen, Ph.D. (professor of atmospheric sciences, MIT), has used a 16-year record to determine that the IPCC has it backward. Feedbacks are negative, i.e., they diminish the already-limited effect of CO2.

Lindzen has determined that the energy loss to space becomes MORE AND MORE efficient as temperature increases, such that a self-limiting situation is soon reached where there is not enough energy left in the atmosphere to drive temperature higher.

Please note that this remains true no matter how much more CO2 is put into the atmosphere, because of the physics of electromagnetic absorption. And when Lindzen puts the correct temperature dependence of the climate feedback parameter into the IPCC models, the models predict that additional warming will be limited to a wholly beneficial 1 degree Fahrenheit (, especially Figure 3; in press).

What we see, then, is that the very foundation of the global warming issue is wrong, and we will pay a huge price for nothing.

Claude Culross, Ph.D.
Baton Rouge


No comments:

Post a Comment