Myopic Vision

Myopic Vision

Ask anyone today about the location of Henderson field and you will likely receive a blank stare, even though it was the pivotal location of a decisive six-month-long battle in the early days of WWII.

It’s only natural for people to think in terms of the past decade or the recent past, rather than events that happened thousands of years before their lifetime.

The recent discovery of human footprints that were made 23,000 years ago in the Southwestern United States is a reminder that we should be thinking in terms of thousands of years, not just decades.

In the case of climate change, we are focused only on 150 to 200 years, i.e., 1850 to today, rather than on what happened over the past 10,000 years, if not longer.

This myopic view of climate change, foisted on the world by the IPCC and its adherents, is blinding us to the facts we need to see.

What happened over the past 10,000 years is immensely important with respect to climate change, because temperatures varied widely over this period with several periods lasting over a few hundred years where temperatures were higher than today. 

These higher temperatures were not caused by CO2 because CO2 levels were essentially level at 280 ppm over the past 10,000 years.

This myopic vision of climate change is one reason why we have overlooked the evidence that climate change is most likely natural, and not seriously affected by CO2 levels in the atmosphere. 

Just as the footsteps in the sand from 23,000 years ago changed our understanding of how kong people have been in the North America continent, we can learn from the abundant evidence available from the past ten-thousand years to conclude that climate change is mostly natural and largely unaffected by our burning of fossil fuels.

There are several graphic representations of temperatures over the past 10,000 years, a period known as the Holocene, of which this is only one. They all establish the same fundamental facts that today’s temperatures are not unusual, and that temperatures have been higher for long periods over the past ten-thousand years.

We are in greater danger of destroying our livelihoods and economic future with net-zero carbon policies, than by continuing to use fossil fuels. 

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15 Replies to “Myopic Vision”

  1. Great analysis. Maybe one of those footprints from 23,000 years ago was one of my ancestors. Your diagram plus other plots from Greenland’s ice core drillings all show the same thing … a slow cooling trend starting about 6,000 years ago.

  2. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #472 – Watts Up With That?

  3. There has been general agreement in the scientific community that climate changes naturally much like the graph you showed. That’s not the point. The point is that the best analysis indicates that the additional CO2 we are releasing is adding addition warming on top of what naturally occurs, and will do so relatively quickly.

    The graph you show has a range of about +/-1 degree C over the last 10,000 years since the last ice age. Continued (or even growing) CO2 emissions may add another 2-3C which is much more than the changes over the last 10,000 years. And it may do so over the next 100 years, both more extreme and more rapid than the changes in the graph. There is nothing normal about that, and it’s certainly not myopic.

    • Thanks for your comments.
      I’m glad you responded the way you did.
      The chart I used does not prove that warming is natural. It merely establishes that it could be.
      Unfortunately, you have jumped to the conclusion that increased atmospheric CO2 levels will result in warming.
      The science says that’s not correct.
      A chart by Dr. Happer shows that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 will have very little effect on temperatures.
      I would like to say thais is proof that CO2 is not an existential threat to mankind, but I’ll let physicists do that.
      I can’t upload the chart here, but you can see the chart by going to How to think about Climate Change, Here’s the link https://bit.ly/3oHYIN5
      The area within the circle, in red, shows that a doubling of CO2 has almost no effect on temperatures.
      In essence, the atmosphere is saturated and additional CO2 has little effect.
      In examining our past history over the Holocene, we should have asked why would increased levels of CO2 increase temperatures? This is a good question since, going back 300 to 500 million years ago, very high levels of CO2 didn’t affect temperatures.
      Now we have scientific evidence that a doubling of CO2 will have little effect on temperatures.

      • You can always find one scientist that believes in anything, usually more than one. William Happer doesn’t represent the consensus so when you say “I’ll let the physicist do that” you are referring to an outlier who’s background and main body of work isn’t even climate science,

        Why not “I’ll let the community of physics that actually focus on climate science do that”? Because I expect they would disagree with your statements. Nearly 97% of publishing climate scientists agree that CO2 emissions will likely warm the planet:

        Wikipedia on climate consensus, you can easily look up the references: Nearly all actively publishing climate scientists (97–98%[3]) support the consensus on anthropogenic climate change,[4][5] and the remaining 2% of contrarian studies either cannot be replicated or contain errors.[6

        Even the American Physical Society says : “ Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate. ”.

        https://www.aps.org/policy/statements/07_1.cfm

        If you are so keen to trust the science, why do you neglect what the vast majority are saying when you say “I’ll let a physicist do that”?

        Is there a chance that this majority of scientists are incorrect? Sure, there’s a chance, but I expect it would be a poor bet.

        • I wouldn’t denigrate Dr. Happer.
          Consensus isn’t science. It’s politics.
          I know that a lot of people have bought into the consensus, and that the 97% totem is regurgitated endlessly, but when anyone looks at the facts they must realize there are many discrepancies between the consensus and the facts.
          I hope you will listen to Dr. Happer’s presentation and see what he has to say. You might also look into what Henrik Svensmark has hypothesized. In fact, there are hundreds of scientists who disagree with the consensus. I listed many of them in my book The Looming Energy Crisis.
          Remember, trying to achieve net-zero carbon will destroy the United States.
          That’s the premiss of my next book.

          • Yes I’ve seen the video. I wasn’t denigrating him, he’s simply incorrect, and using outdated data (more on that below)

            At 21 minutes, he gives basic overview of rather absorption and retaliation. He says water vapor and CO2 warm the planer at minute 22: “The earth is 20-30 degrees warmer than it would normally be if it was not for water vapor and CO2”

            Minute 23: he acknowledged that this was discovered in 1875 and has been generally understood for years.

            Minute 24: “CO2 is indeed a greenhouse gas”

            Then he talks about the that the growth of the radiative forcing effect of CO2 is slows increasing CO2: yes people know it’s logarithmic, this is well understood by climate scientists. It’s this relatively small number of watts per square meter that is being assumed in the models that is causing the rise, and stated in absolute terms (kelvin) the rise predicted is also very small, it just has large implications.. Interesting that he ignores methane which covers a different part of the spectrum and isn’t even close to saturating.

            Then he talks about the models being wrong . I’ve watched the model results over the years and they have been pretty good, yes there are 5-10 years of variability as we are looking at small accumulated changes over many decades. At minute 31 he shows the model results indicating a rise of about 0.75 to 0.8 degree C since 1980 and that the results are lower than that. But a few more that’s not too far off of what we’ve seen. It’s been about 0.18 degree per decade or about 0.72 degrees as there has been a ~0.3-0.4 degree rise over the last 6 years since his, already outdated, 2015 chart. So an updated view shows the models to be in the ballpark. Why didn’t he use an updated view? Here’s one for you:

            https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-global-temperature

            The fact that he spends the first 15 minutes talking about issues with non-carbon energy sources and the harm doing anything about it will do to or economics makes it clear: He thinks the cure will be worse than the disease. This is certainly a valid concern, we DON’T have the technologies we need to create a viable low carbon energy system yet. But you don’t have to ignore the reality of the science to have that debate. I mean the fact that CO2 is higher in room with people?

          • Thanks for your added comments. I appreciate your taking the time to watch Happer’s presentation.
            I can’t respond to all your comments, but this may address a few.
            First, in case you want additional information here are two sources you may find useful in answering your questions.
            1. Link to a paper reviewing the study on which the Hillsdale presentation is based https://bit.ly/36dNCpy
            2. The original paper is available on the internet. Search for William Happer and Willem van Wijngaarden.

            Second, there is a graph for methane. I published both graphs some time ago and this is the link to the article with the methane graph http://bit.ly/2sg2PFs

            Happer also sent me a reply to a question, similar to one you raise, that another person had raised. Here is Dr. Happer’s response to that question.

            Dear Donn,
            We did not calculate a “climate sensitivity,” in the sense or IPCC’s average surface warming from a doubling of CO2.
            The 3 W/m^2  for doubling CO2 our paper is calculated for temperate latitudes in springtime. Under these conditions the total thermal radiation to space is about 277 W/m^2, as you can see from the Planck-Schwarzschild viewgraph I sent. So doubling CO2, a 100% increase in concentration,  decreases the thermal radiation to space by only 1.1%.  The 1.1% relative decrease of flux is about the same at different latitudes and seasons of the year, although the absolute values of the flux and its increment differ substantially.
            To first approximation the thermal radiation to space is proportional to the fourth power of Earth’s absolute temperature, T. The T^4 law was discovered experimentally by the Slovenian physicist Stefan in the late 1800’s and it was put on a firm theoretical footing by Stefan’s graduate student Boltzmann. Because radiation increases as the 4th power of the temperature, the temperature only has to increase by (1.1)/4% to restore the loss of cooling flux to space caused by doubling CO2.  Since the Earth’s surface temperature is around  T=290 K, the first approximation to the temperature increment, DT, due to doubling CO2 would be DT = 1.1*290/400 = 0.8 K = 0.8 C.
            The goal of climate alarmists for the past 50 years has been to convince a scientifically illiterate world that “positive feedbacks,” mainly from water vapor and clouds, multiply this 0.8 C warming to somewhere between 2 C and 4 C, that is, by a positive feedback factor between 2.5 and 5.  This in spite of the fact that most feedbacks in nature are observed to be negative (Le Chatelier’s principle).
            We discussed one of the favorite feedback mechanisms, constant relative humidity, in Section 7 of our arXiv  paper. We can’t get even a factor of 2 positive feedback from the assumption (which we don’t believe, since it is not supported by observations) of no change in relative humidity at all altitudes in response to a CO2-induced change of surface temperature.
            The 800 lb gorilla in this narrative is clouds. On average, about half of the Earth is covered with clouds. These certainly diminish the effects of changing levels of CO2, CH4, N2O, etc. Our arXiv paper showed calculation for cloud-free conditions. About half of the Earth is covered with clouds at any time and that fraction of Earth is much less sensitive to changes in greenhouse gases.  
            I hope this helps.
            Will

            As for my comment about not wanting to claim that Happer has provided proof CO2 is not an existential threat, let me say that I believe it does provide proof, but that, as an engineer and not a physicist, I didn’t want to be presumptuous.
            One more thing. The link you included about temperature rise is misleading information because these temperatures have been manipulated. I’ll have an article about that in the near future.

            I hope all of this provides you with the information in which you are interested.
            I greatly appreciate your interest in the subject and that you have gone the extra mile to search for information. Not many people go the extra mile.
            Many thanks

    • You use words like “may” and “will” which are only expectations — and not reality. CO2 is skyrocketing while temperatures barely change. Niels Bohr said, “Prediction is very difficult, especially it it’s about the future.” Furthermore, we are in a CO2 famine and more is better … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xcc5-ApXFm8

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