Reply to article: Martin Hertzberg: The Carbon tax
Climate Realists preface: If Prof. Frank had done his science homework by researching the totality of the climatological data rather than regurgitating the cherry-picked, fear mongering hysteria of environmental lobbyists, he would have realized that a carbon tax will have no effect either on atmospheric CO2 or the weather.
His "hottest 12 month period of record" in the US was accompanied by average global temperatures that were quite normal. Blocking high pressures are quite common during the warmer months. They give cloudless skies when the Sun is nearest to Zenith, descending air which is adiabatically heated and dried, giving heat waves and droughts. They are quite common and have nothing to do with atmospheric CO2. The recent one in the U S was rather mild compared to the ones in the mid 1930's that gave us the "dust bowl" at a time when human CO2 emission was much lower than it is today.
So in case the Times is really interested in presenting an accurate analysis rather than aiding and abetting one of the greatest frauds in the history of science, I have attached an article for your consideration, in the hope that you will at least begin to set the record straight on this issue.
The Lynching of Carbon Dioxide by Dr. Martin Hertzberg
(NY Times article here)
I served as a forecasting and research meteorologist while on active duty with the U. S. Navy. It was then that I first learned what climatologists and meteorologists have known for centuries and what the current crop of so-called “climate scientists” and EPA administrators apparently never learned: that weather and climate are controlled by natural laws on an enormous scale that dwarfs human activity. Those laws engender forces and motions in our atmosphere and oceans that are beyond human control. Weather and climate existed long before humans appeared on Earth, and will continue to exist in the same way long after we are gone.
Those forces and motions are driven by the following: First, the motions of the Earth relative to the Sun: the periodic changes in its elliptical orbit, its rotation about its polar axis, changes in the tilt of that axis, and the precession of that axis. Second, the variation in solar activity that influences the radiant energy reaching the Earth and modulates cosmic ray activity which controls cloudiness. Third, the distribution of land and water on the Earth’s surface; which controls its temperature distribution, moisture availability, monsoon effects, hurricanes, and other storm tracks. Fourth, the topography of the Earth’s surface which causes copious precipitation on the windward side of mountains and aridity on the leeward side. Fifth, the fluid motions within the Earth’s oceans that determine moisture availability and ocean surface temperatures (El Nino and La Nina cycles).
Water in all of its forms is the main agent through which those forces operate. It provides vapor in the atmosphere, heat transport by evaporation and condensation, and the enormous, circulating mass of the ocean whose heat capacity dominates. And finally it provides the cloud, snow, and ice cover that control the radiative balance between the Sun, the Earth, and free space.
While the presence of 0.04 % of CO2 in our atmosphere is essential for life in the biosphere, the notion that such a minor constituent of the atmosphere can control the above forces and motions, is absurd. There is not one iota of reliable evidence that it does. Furthermore, human emission of CO2 is but a trivial fraction of all natural sources and sinks of CO2. Human emission dissolves rapidly into the ocean and re-circulates within it. The ocean contains 50 times more dissolved CO2 than is contained in the atmosphere. The current small measured increase in CO2 is coming from the oceans: the same place CO2 changes came from during the 400,000 years shown in the Vostok ice-core data. That data show four glacial coolings each followed by an interglacial warming with atmospheric CO2 concentrations near their highest during the warmings and near their lowest during the coolings. In all cases, however, the temperature changes precede the CO2 changes by about 500 - 1,000 years. Each glacial cooling and interglacial warming cycle has a period of about 100,000 years, which corresponds to the periodic changes in the Earth’s elliptical orbit about the sun. Those increases and decreases in atmospheric CO2 occurred long before any significant human emission of CO2. And furthermore, the fact that they were preceded by the temperature changes means that the temperature changes are causing the CO2 changes and not the reverse. As oceans warm, they emit CO2, and as they cool they absorb it. Bubbles of CO2 are emitted from cold soda as it is poured into a warm glass, and soda is produced by dissolving CO2 into cold water.
When initially formulated by the Anthropogenic Global Warming advocates, their theory argued that greenhouse gases kept the Earth’s surface warm by absorbing its infrared energy and then radiating it back down to the Earth below. Greenhouse gases were thus “heat trapping” gases. Originally, that was supposed to cause “global warming”. But there has been no global warming for the last 10 years despite the increase in atmospheric CO2. So global warming morphed into “climate change”, but climate is always changing. So it then morphed into “extreme weather events” which really catches people’s attention. The latest projected catastrophe is “ocean acidification”, although the ocean is about 100 times more basic than it is acidic, and that even a doubling of the CO2 concentration will have a trivial effect on its basicity.
The latest modification to the theory argues that by its infrared absorption, CO2 “blocks the Earth’s natural cooling”. The proponents of that theory seem to have forgotten Kirchhoff’s fundamental law of radiation. A strong absorber of radiation is also a strong emitter of that radiation. Hence atmospheric CO2 emits as strongly as it absorbs. None of that emission from the colder CO2 in the atmosphere can go back to the warmer Earth’s surface below (2nd law of thermodynamics). The only place where it can go is to the void of free space above the atmosphere. Thus atmospheric CO2 blocks nothing but simply continues that natural cooling.
All of the believers in human caused “global warming” seem to see something “unprecedented” in the recent changes in temperature. But all recent changes are well within the normal range of variability, and recent small temperature excursions have been matched or exceeded many times in the past: the Medieval Warm Period, the Roman Warm Period, the Minoan Warm Period, the Holocene Warming, and all the major interglacial warmings that preceded them as shown in the Vostok data. They all occurred without any significant human emission of CO2.
The catastrophe that the global warming advocates project may indeed be realized, but only if we are stupid enough to implement draconian measures of “carbon control” based on the fraudulent theory that they espouse.