It's a Gas - Lies, More Lies and Statistical Analysis

The information that the concentration of CO2 Gas in the atmosphere has risen over the last 650,000 years has been in the news recently; generally talked about as another 'Chicken Little' hysterical case of the vapours.

Some excerpts from BBC News/Science:

Current levels of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere are higher now than at any time in the past 650,000 years.

No news there, Volcanoes and Plant, Animal and Marine Life account for the majority of this.

The scientists say their research shows present day warming to be exceptional.

Compared to what. Compared to the similar warming around 900 AD when wine grapes were growing in Greenland?

Other research, also published in the journal Science, suggests that sea levels may be rising twice as fast now as in previous centuries.

I wrote about the Sea Level Change here -- this is an excerpt from that post:

For a wonderful examination of Sea Level change from 1841 to 2004, this picture is worth a thousand words:


Here is another view -- this time, the mark has been traced over with line to emphasize it.


These photos are from this website— here is the text that accompanies them:
The 1841 sea level benchmark (centre) on the ‘Isle of the Dead’, Tasmania. According to Antarctic explorer, Capt. Sir James Clark Ross, it marked mean sea level in 1841. Photo taken at low tide 20 Jan 2004. Mark is 50 cm across; tidal range is less than a metre.
Let’s read that again and consider four things:

#1) - the mark was placed at mean sea level. The word “mean” in this use denotes the “mathematical average”. The sea rose above it and set below it by an equal amount during the tidal cycle.
#2) - The mark was made in the middle of the tidal range in 1841 and it was photographed 163 years later at the bottom of the tidal cycle.
#3) - the tidal cycle is one meter and the mark is 50 centimeters or one-half meter long.
#4) - the mark is sitting about 30 or 40 centimeters above the water in the photograph. Given that there is some wave surge, it looks like the level of the ocean has not changed one bit in 163 years.

Granted, this will not show a change of a centimeter or so but to have such a good record over 163 years and to not have any visible change surely pricks the credibility of the climate change people...

Now, let's go over to the New Scientist where we get a more sober reporting and some actual numbers:

Record ice core reveals Earth's ancient atmosphere
The longest ice-core record of climate history ever obtained has hugely extended the detailed history of Earth's atmosphere, and shows that levels of greenhouse gases really do march in lockstep with changes in temperature.

The frozen record of the Earth's atmosphere is 3270 metres long and covers the last 650,000 years � 50% longer than before. It was obtained from the tiny air bubbles trapped in a deep ice core from Antarctica.

The tight coupling between temperatures and the greenhouse gas levels revealed by the core matches the predictions from climate models used to forecast future global warming. It also bears some good news: the warm interglacial periods between ice ages can last a long time, contrary to the view that we may already be due for the onset of the next ice age.

And the numbers:

Today's level of 380 parts per million of carbon dioxide is 27% above its previous peaks of about 300 ppm, according to the team led by Thomas Stocker of the University of Bern in Switzerland.

Dear Readers, 380 ppm represents a concentration of 0.038 Percent.
The other greenhouse gas we need to worry about is good old water vapor which is anywhere from zero to four percent.

The researchers are noting changes in CO2 levels that track periods of warming and cooling but these can also be attributed to a healthy, normal biosphere...

Granted, we need to keep an eye out but programs like Kyoto are so deeply flawed that they are less than useless -- they are actually harmful. We enjoy a separation of Church and State -- we need to enjoy a similar separation of Science and Political Agenda.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on November 26, 2005 8:40 PM.

Michael Brown hits bottom and starts digging... was the previous entry in this blog.

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