Weltweit Steuer auf CO?

VON F. DIEDERICHS, 16.04.07, 20:33h Wenn heute der UN-Sicherheitsrat erstmals in seiner Geschichte den Artikel Klimaschutz und die globale Erwärmung zum Hauptthema macht, stellt mailen sich vor allem eine Frage: Wie geht es angesichts des Krisen-Szenarios, das Wissenschaftler in den ersten beiden Teilen des Welt-Klimaberichts Druckfassung zeichneten, weiter? Am 4. Mai werden Forscher in Bangkok im mit Spannung erwarteten dritten Bericht Lösungswege aufzeigen, um die Klimaveränderungen abzumildern oder zu stoppen. Die bisher unveröffentlichten Vorschläge umfassen - wie die Rundschau jetzt von an der UNStudie beteiligten Forschern erfuhr - teilweise spektakuläre Ideen, mit denen nach Ansicht von Wissenschaftlern bei „konsequentem und schnellem Handeln“ die prognostizierte Erwärmung der Erdoberfläche noch gestoppt werden kann. Einer der wichtigsten Vorschläge: Anreize und finanzielle Vorteile für umweltfreundlichere Energien schaffen - vor allem mit Blick auf Kohlekraftwerke in Ländern wie China und Indien, die nicht die Vereinbarungen von Kyoto unterzeichnet haben. Die Industrienationen müssten im globalen Interesse Wege finden, langfristig ein Umdenken in Entwicklungsländern finanziell attraktiv zu machen. Überdacht werden sollten deshalb die Regeln des bisherigen Emissionshandels, wobei auch angeregt wird, über eine weltweite „Kohlendioxid“-Steuer nachzudenken. Gleichzeitig schlagen Forscher vor, das „Einfangen“ und Speichern von Kohlendioxid-Emissionen zu einem Hauptbestandteil im Kampf gegen Klimaveränderungen zu machen. Pilotprojekte für diese Strategien gibt es unter anderem in Deutschland. Ebenfalls fordern am dritten Klima-Bericht beteiligte Forscher deutliche Energieeinsparung beim Heizen und Kühlen in Gebäuden. Gleichzeitig wird für einen Innovationsschub plädiert, bei dem vor allem Wind- und Solarenergien, aber auch die umstrittene Atomenergie als „saubere“ Technologien neuen Stellenwert gewinnen könnten.

Climate change
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Variations in CO2, temperature and dust from the Vostok ice core over the last 450,000 years For current global climate change, see Global warming. For previous global climate change, see Global cooling. Climate change is the variation in the Earth's global climate or in regional climates over time. It involves changes in the variability or average state of the atmosphere over durations ranging from decades to millions of years. These changes can be caused by dynamic process on Earth, external forces including variations in sunlight intensity, and more recently by human activities. In recent usage, especially in the context of environmental policy, the term "climate change" often refers to changes in modern climate (see global warming). For information on temperature measurements over various periods, and the data sources available, see temperature record. For attribution of climate change over the past century, see attribution of recent climate change.

Contents
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1 Climate change factors o 1.1 Variations within the Earth's climate  1.1.1 Glaciation  1.1.2 Ocean variability  1.1.3 The memory of climate o 1.2 Non-climate factors driving climate change  1.2.1 Greenhouse gases  1.2.2 Plate tectonics  1.2.3 Solar variation  1.2.4 Orbital variations  1.2.5 Volcanism o 1.3 Human influences on climate change  1.3.1 Fossil fuels  1.3.2 Aerosols  1.3.3 Cement manufacture  1.3.4 Land use  1.3.5 Livestock 2 Interplay of factors 3 Monitoring the current status of climate 4 Evidence for climatic change o 4.1 Pollen analysis o 4.2 Beetles o 4.3 Glacial geology o 4.4 Historical records 5 Examples of climate change 6 Climate change and biodiversity 7 See also 8 References 9 Notes

[edit] Climate change factors
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Climate changes reflect variations within the Earth's atmosphere, processes in other parts of the Earth such as oceans and ice caps, and the effects of human activity. The external factors that can shape climate are often called climate forcings and include such processes as variations in solar radiation, the Earth's orbit, and greenhouse gas concentrations.

[edit] Variations within the Earth's climate
Weather is the day-to-day state of the atmosphere, and is a chaotic non-linear dynamical system. On the other hand, climate — the average state of weather — is fairly stable and predictable. Climate includes the average temperature, amount of precipitation, days of

sunlight, and other variables that might be measured at any given site. However, there are also changes within the Earth's environment that can affect the climate.

[edit] Glaciation

Percentage of advancing glaciers in the Alps in the last 80 years Glaciers are recognized as being among the most sensitive indicators of climate change, advancing substantially during climate cooling (e.g., the Little Ice Age) and retreating during climate warming on moderate time scales. Glaciers grow and collapse, both contributing to natural variability and greatly amplifying externally forced changes. For the last century, however, glaciers have been unable to regenerate enough ice during the winters to make up for the ice lost during the summer months (see glacier retreat). The most significant climate processes of the last several million years are the glacial and interglacial cycles of the present ice age. Though shaped by orbital variations, the internal responses involving continental ice sheets and 130 m sea-level change certainly played a key role in deciding what climate response would be observed in most regions. Other changes, including Heinrich events, Dansgaard–Oeschger events and the Younger Dryas show the potential for glacial variations to influence climate even in the absence of specific orbital changes.

[edit] Ocean variability

A schematic of modern thermohaline circulation On the scale of decades, climate changes can also result from interaction of the atmosphere and oceans. Many climate fluctuations — including not only the El Niño Southern oscillation (the best known) but also the Pacific decadal oscillation, the North Atlantic oscillation, and

the Arctic oscillation — owe their existence at least in part to different ways that heat can be stored in the oceans and move between different reservoirs. On longer time scales ocean processes such as thermohaline circulation play a key role in redistributing heat, and can dramatically affect climate.

[edit] The memory of climate
More generally, most forms of internal variability in the climate system can be recognized as a form of hysteresis, meaning that the current state of climate reflects not only the inputs, but also the history of how it got there. For example, a decade of dry conditions may cause lakes to shrink, plains to dry up and deserts to expand. In turn, these conditions may lead to less rainfall in the following years. In short, climate change can be a self-perpetuating process because different aspects of the environment respond at different rates and in different ways to the fluctuations that inevitably occur.

[edit] Non-climate factors driving climate change

[edit] Greenhouse gases
Main article: Greenhouse gas

Carbon dioxide variations during the last 500 million years Current studies indicate that radiative forcing by greenhouse gases is the primary cause of global warming. Greenhouse gases are also important in understanding Earth's climate history. According to these studies, the greenhouse effect, which is the warming produced as greenhouse gases trap heat, plays a key role in regulating Earth's temperature. Over the last 600 million years, carbon dioxide concentrations have varied from perhaps >5000 ppm to less than 200 ppm, due primarily to the effect of geological processes and biological innovations. It has been argued by Veizer et al., 1999, that variations in greenhouse gas concentrations over tens of millions of years have not been well correlated to climate change, with plate tectonics perhaps playing a more dominant role. More recently Royer et al.[1] have used the CO2-climate correlation to derive a value for the climate sensitivity. There are several examples of rapid changes in the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere that do appear to correlate to strong warming, including the Paleocene–Eocene thermal maximum, the Permian–Triassic extinction event, and the end of the Varangian snowball earth event. During the modern era, the naturally rising carbon dioxide levels are implicated as the primary cause of global warming since 1950. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on

Climate Change (IPCC), 2007, the atmospheric concentration of CO2 in 2005 was 379 ppm³ compared to the pre-industrial levels of 280 ppm³. Thermodynamics and Le Chatelier's principle explain the characteristics of the dynamic equilibrium of a gas in solution such as the vast amount of CO2 held in solution in the world's oceans moving into and returning from the atmosphere. These principles can be observed as bubbles which rise in a pot of water heated on a stove, or in a glass of cold beer allowed to sit at room temperature; gases dissolved in liquids are released under certain circumstances.

[edit] Plate tectonics
On the longest time scales, plate tectonics will reposition continents, shape oceans, build and tear down mountains and generally serve to define the stage upon which climate exists. More recently, plate motions have been implicated in the intensification of the present ice age when, approximately 3 million years ago, the North and South American plates collided to form the Isthmus of Panama and shut off direct mixing between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

[edit] Solar variation

Variations in solar activity during the last several centuries based on observations of sunspots and beryllium isotopes. The sun is the ultimate source of essentially all heat in the climate system. The energy output of the sun, which is converted to heat at the Earth's surface, is an integral part of shaping the Earth's climate. On the longest time scales, the sun itself is getting brighter with higher energy output; as it continues its main sequence, this slow change or evolution affects the Earth's atmosphere. It is thought that, early in Earth's history, the sun was too cold to support liquid water at the Earth's surface, leading to what is known as the Faint young sun paradox.[citation needed] . On more modern time scales, there are also a variety of forms of solar variation, including the 11-year solar cycle and longer-term modulations. However, the 11-year sunspot cycle does not manifest itself clearly in the climatological data. Solar intensity variations are considered to have been influential in triggering the Little Ice Age, and for some of the warming observed from 1900 to 1950. The cyclical nature of the sun's energy output is not yet fully understood; it differs from the very slow change that is happening within the sun as it ages and evolves.[citation needed]. To quote Spencer R. Weart (The discovery of Global Warming 2003) "The study of [sun spot] cycles was generally popular through the first half of the century. Governments had collected a lot of weather data to play with and inevitably people found correlations between sun spot cycles and select weather patterns. If rainfall in England didn't fit the cycle, maybe storminess in New England would. Respected scientists and enthusiastic amateurs insisted they had

found patterns reliable enough to make predictions. Sooner or later though every prediction failed. An example was a highly credible forecast of a dry spell in Africa during the sunspot minimum of the early 1930s. When the period turned out to be wet, a meteorologist later recalled "the subject of sunspots and weather relationships fell into dispute, especially among British meteorologists who witnessed the discomfiture of some of their most respected superiors" Even in the 60s he said, "For a young researcher to entertain any statement of sunweather relationships was to brand oneself a crank"

[edit] Orbital variations
In their effect on climate, orbital variations are in some sense an extension of solar variability, because slight variations in the Earth's orbit lead to changes in the distribution and abundance of sunlight reaching the Earth's surface. Such orbital variations, known as Milankovitch cycles, are a highly predictable consequence of basic physics due to the mutual interactions of the Earth, its moon, and the other planets. These variations are considered the driving factors underlying the glacial and interglacial cycles of the present ice age. Subtler variations are also present, such as the repeated advance and retreat of the Sahara desert in response to orbital precession.

[edit] Volcanism
A single eruption of the kind that occurs several times per century can affect climate, causing cooling for a period of a few years. For example, the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 affected climate substantially. Huge eruptions, known as large igneous provinces, occur only a few times every hundred million years, but can reshape climate for millions of years and cause mass extinctions. Initially, scientists thought that the dust emitted into the atmosphere from large volcanic eruptions was responsible for the cooling by partially blocking the transmission of solar radiation to the Earth's surface. However, measurements indicate that most of the dust thrown in the atmosphere returns to the Earth's surface within six months. Volcanoes are also part of the extended carbon cycle. Over very long (geological) time periods, they release carbon dioxide from the earth's interior, counteracting the uptake by sedimentary rocks and other geological carbon dioxide sinks. However, this contribution is insignificant compared to the current anthropogenic emissions. The US Geological Survey estimates that human activities generate more than 130 times the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by volcanoes.[2]

Attribution of recent climate change

[edit] Human influences on climate change
Anthropogenic factors are human activities that change the environment and influence climate. In some cases the chain of causality is direct and unambiguous (e.g., by the effects of irrigation on temperature and humidity), while in others it is less clear. Various hypotheses for human-induced climate change have been debated for many years. In the late 1800s, the "rain follows the plow" idea had many adherents in the western United States. The biggest factor of present concern is the increase in CO2 levels due to emissions from fossil fuel combustion, followed by aerosols (particulate matter in the atmosphere), which exert a cooling effect, and cement manufacture. Other factors, including land use, ozone depletion, animal agriculture[3] and deforestation, also affect climate.

[edit] Fossil fuels

Carbon dioxide variations over the last 400,000 years, showing a rise since the industrial revolution. Beginning with the industrial revolution in the 1850s and accelerating ever since, the human consumption of fossil fuels has elevated CO2 levels from a concentration of ~280 ppm to more than 380 ppm today. These increases are projected to reach more than 560 ppm before the end of the 21st century. It is known that carbon dioxide levels are substantially higher now than at any time in the last 750,000 years.[4] Along with rising methane levels, these changes are anticipated to cause an increase of 1.4–5.6 °C between 1990 and 2100 (see global warming).

[edit] Aerosols
Anthropogenic aerosols, particularly sulphate aerosols from fossil fuel combustion, exert a cooling influence[5]. This, together with natural variability, is believed to account for the relative "plateau" in the graph of 20th-century temperatures in the middle of the century.

[edit] Cement manufacture
Cement manufacturing is the third largest cause of man-made carbon dioxide emissions. Carbon dioxide is produced when calcium carbonate (CaCO3) is heated to produce the cement ingredient calcium oxide (CaO, also called quicklime). While fossil fuel combustion and deforestation each produce significantly more carbon dioxide (CO2), cement-making is responsible for approximately 2.5% of total worldwide emissions from industrial sources (energy plus manufacturing sectors).[6]

[edit] Land use
Prior to widespread fossil fuel use, humanity's largest effect on local climate is likely to have resulted from land use. Irrigation, deforestation, and agriculture fundamentally change the environment. For example, they change the amount of water going into and out of a given location. They also may change the local albedo by influencing the ground cover and altering the amount of sunlight that is absorbed. For example, there is evidence to suggest that the climate of Greece and other Mediterranean countries was permanently changed by widespread deforestation between 700 BC and 1 AD (the wood being used for shipbuilding, construction and fuel), with the result that the modern climate in the region is significantly hotter and drier, and the species of trees that were used for shipbuilding in the ancient world can no longer be found in the area. A controversial hypothesis by William Ruddiman called the early anthropocene hypothesis[7] suggests that the rise of agriculture and the accompanying deforestation led to the increases in carbon dioxide and methane during the period 5000–8000 years ago. These increases, which reversed previous declines, may have been responsible for delaying the onset of the next glacial period, according to Ruddimann's overdue-glaciation hypothesis. In modern times, a 2007 Jet Propulsion Laboratory study [8] found that the average temperature of California has risen about 2 degrees over the past 50 years, with a much higher increase in urban areas. The change was attributed mostly to extensive human development of the landscape.

[edit] Livestock
According to a 2006 United Nations report, Livestock's Long Shadow, livestock is responsible for 18% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalents. This however includes land usage change, meaning deforestation in order to create grazing land. In the Amazon Rainforest, 70% of deforestation is to make way for grazing land, so this is the major factor in the 2006 UN FAO report, which was the first agricultural report to include land usage change into the radiative forcing of livestock. In addition to CO2 emissions, livestock produces 65% of human-induced nitrous oxide (which has 296 times the global warming potential of CO2) and 37% of human-induced methane (which has 23 times the global warming potential of CO2).[3]

[edit] Interplay of factors
If a certain forcing (for example, solar variation) acts to change the climate, then there may be mechanisms that act to amplify or reduce the effects. These are called positive and negative feedbacks. As far as is known, the climate system is generally stable with respect to these feedbacks: positive feedbacks do not "run away". Part of the reason for this is the existence of a powerful negative feedback between temperature and emitted radiation: radiation increases as the fourth power of absolute temperature. However, a number of important positive feedbacks do exist. The glacial and interglacial cycles of the present ice age provide an important example. It is believed that orbital variations provide the timing for the growth and retreat of ice sheets. However, the ice sheets themselves reflect sunlight back into space and hence promote cooling and their own growth, known as the ice-albedo feedback. Further, falling sea levels and expanding ice decrease plant growth and indirectly lead to declines in carbon dioxide and methane. This leads to further

cooling. Conversely, rising temperatures caused, for example, by anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases could lead to decreased snow and ice cover, revealing darker ground underneath, and consequently result in more absorption of sunlight. [9] Water vapor, methane, and carbon dioxide can also act as significant positive feedbacks, their levels rising in response to a warming trend, thereby accelerating that trend. Water vapor acts strictly as a feedback (excepting small amounts in the stratosphere), unlike the other major greenhouse gases, which can also act as forcings. More complex feedbacks involve the possibility of changing circulation patterns in the ocean or atmosphere. For example, a significant concern in the modern case is that melting glacial ice from Greenland will interfere with sinking waters in the North Atlantic and inhibit thermohaline circulation. This could affect the Gulf Stream and the distribution of heat to Europe and the east coast of the United States. Other potential feedbacks are not well understood and may either inhibit or promote warming. For example, it is unclear whether rising temperatures promote or inhibit vegetative growth, which could in turn draw down either more or less carbon dioxide. Similarly, increasing temperatures may lead to either more or less cloud cover.[10] Since on balance cloud cover has a strong cooling effect, any change to the abundance of clouds also affects climate.[11]

[edit] Monitoring the current status of climate
Scientists use "Indicator time series" that represent the many aspects of climate and ecosystem status. The time history provides a historical context. Current status of the climate is also monitored with climate indices.[12][13][14][15]

[edit] Evidence for climatic change
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Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (June 2007)

Evidence for climatic change is taken from a variety of sources that can be used to reconstruct past climates. Most of the evidence is indirect—climatic changes are inferred from changes in indicators that reflect climate, such as vegetation, dendrochronology, ice cores[16], sea level change, and glacial retreat.

[edit] Pollen analysis
Palynology is the science that studies contemporary and fossil palynomorphs, including pollen. Palynology is used to infer the geographical distribution of plant species, which vary under different climate conditions. Different groups of plants have pollen with distinctive shapes and surface textures, and since the outer surface of pollen is composed of a very resilient material, they resist decay. Changes in the type of pollen found in different sedimentation levels in lakes, bogs or river deltas indicate changes in plant communities; which are dependent on climate conditions[17][18].

[edit] Beetles
Remains of beetles are common in freshwater and land sediments. Different species of beetles tend to be found under different climatic conditions. Knowledge of the present climatic range

of the different species, and of the age of the sediments in which remains are found, allows past climatic conditions to be inferred.[19]

[edit] Glacial geology
Advancing glaciers leave behind moraines and other features that often have datable material in them, recording the time when a glacier advanced and deposited a feature. Similarly, by tephrochronological techniques, the lack of glacier cover can be identified by the presence of datable soil or volcanic tephra horizons. Glaciers are considered one of the most sensitive climate indicators by the IPCC, and their recent observed variations provide a global signal of climate change. See Retreat of glaciers since 1850.

[edit] Historical records
Historical records include cave paintings, depth of grave digging in Greenland, diaries, documentary evidence of events (such as 'frost fairs' on the Thames) and evidence of areas of vine cultivation. Daily weather reports have been kept since 1873, and the Royal Society has encouraged the collection of data since the seventeenth century.

[edit] Examples of climate change
Climate change has continued throughout the entire history of Earth. The field of paleoclimatology has provided information of climate change in the ancient past, supplementing modern observations of climate. 1. Climate of the deep past o Faint young sun paradox o Snowball earth o Oxygen Catastrophe 2. Climate of the last 500 million years o Phanerozoic overview o Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum o Cretaceous Thermal Maximum o Permo–Carboniferous Glaciation o Ice ages 3. Climate of recent glaciations o Dansgaard–Oeschger event o Younger Dryas o Ice age temperatures 4. Recent climate o Holocene Climatic Optimum o Medieval Warm Period o Little Ice Age o Year Without a Summer o Temperature record of the past 1000 years o Global warming o Hardiness Zone Migration

[edit] Climate change and biodiversity
The life cycles of many wild plants and animals are closely linked to the passing of the seasons; climatic changes can lead to interdependent pairs of species (e.g. a wild flower and its pollinating insect) losing synchronization, if, for example, one has a cycle dependent on day length and the other on temperature or precipitation. In principle, at least, this could lead to extinctions or changes in the distribution and abundance of species. One phenomenon is the movement of species northwards in Europe. A recent study by Butterfly Conservation in the UK[20], has shown that relatively common species with a southerly distribution have moved north, whilst scarce upland species have become rarer and lost territory towards the south. This picture has been mirrored across several invertebrate groups. Drier summers could lead to more periods of drought[21], potentially affecting many species of animal and plant. For example, in the UK during the drought year of 2006 significant numbers of trees died or showed dieback on light sandy soils. In Australia, since the early 90s, tens of thousands of flying foxes (Pteropus) have died as a direct result of extreme heat[22]. Wetter, milder winters might affect temperate mammals or insects by preventing them hibernating or entering torpor during periods when food is scarce. One predicted change is the ascendancy of 'weedy' or opportunistic species at the expense of scarcer species with narrower or more specialized ecological requirements. One example could be the expanses of bluebell seen in many woodlands in the UK. These have an early growing and flowering season before competing weeds can develop and the tree canopy closes. Milder winters can allow weeds to overwinter as adult plants or germinate sooner, whilst trees leaf earlier, reducing the length of the window for bluebells to complete their life cycle. Organisations such as Wildlife Trust, World Wide Fund for Nature, Birdlife International and the Audubon Society are actively monitoring and research the effects of climate change on biodiversity and advance policies in areas such as landscape scale conservation to promote adaptation to climate change[23].

Senate Report: Over 400 Scientists Dispute Manmade Global Warming
By Noel Sheppard Created 2007-12-20 13:26 So, the debate is over, right? The science is settled? Well, according to a report [1] just published at the United States Senate Committee on Environment & Public works website, over 400 prominent scientists from all over the world have "voiced significant objections to major aspects of the so-called ‘consensus' on man-made global warming." As it appears a metaphysical certitude green media will totally boycott these revelations, NewsBusters is presenting some of the findings: Over 400 prominent scientists from more than two dozen countries recently voiced significant objections to major aspects of the so-called "consensus" on man-made global warming. These scientists, many of whom are current and former participants in the UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), criticized the climate claims made by the UN IPCC and former Vice President Al Gore. The new report issued by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee's office of the GOP Ranking Member details the views of the scientists, the overwhelming majority of whom spoke out in 2007. Even some in the establishment media now appear to be taking notice of the growing number of skeptical scientists. In October, the Washington Post Staff Writer Juliet Eilperin conceded the obvious, writing that climate skeptics "appear to be expanding rather than shrinking." Many scientists from around the world have dubbed 2007 as the year man-made global warming fears "bite the dust." (LINK [2]) In addition, many scientists who are also progressive environmentalists believe climate fear promotion has "co-opted" the green movement. (LINK [3]) This blockbuster Senate report lists the scientists by name, country of residence, and academic/institutional affiliation. It also features their own words, biographies, and weblinks to their peer reviewed studies and original source materials as gathered from public statements, various news outlets, and websites in 2007. This new "consensus busters" report is poised to redefine the debate. Many of the scientists featured in this report consistently stated that numerous colleagues shared their views, but they will not speak out publicly for fear of retribution. Atmospheric scientist Dr. Nathan Paldor, Professor of Dynamical Meteorology and Physical Oceanography at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, author of almost 70 peer-reviewed studies, explains how many of his fellow scientists have been intimidated. Though lengthy, readers are strongly encouraged to review this entire document [4] to learn the truth about what real scientists - those not receiving Oscars, Emmys, and Nobel Peace Prizes - think about this controversial issue.

Source URL: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2007/12/20/senate-report-over-400-scientistsdispute-manmade-global-warming

June 22, 2007 The global warming scam
You know how we’re told sixty times per minute that man-made global warming is no longer just a theory but it’s now demonstrable fact, and that anyone who contradicts this is clinically insane because there’s a consensus of all scientists that it’s happening and only about 2.5 scientists on the entire planet disagree and they’re in the pay of Big Oil anyway so we can forget about them; and so the debate is TOTALLY OVER, says the BBC, which has been told that it is authoritatively by Very Important Scientists, so that the ‘impartial’ and ‘objective’ BBC says that it no longer needs to give us a balanced argument about climate change because there just isn’t any reputable scientific opposition to the proven facts about seas rising and ice melting and hurricanes happening, all because of the human race and its foul and filthy habits of combustibles, cars and capitalism? Well, read this remarkable article in Canada’s National Post by R. Timothy Patterson, professor and director of the Ottawa-Carleton Geoscience Centre, Department of Earth Sciences, Carleton University. This is what Prof Patterson says: In a series of groundbreaking scientific papers starting in 2002, Veizer, Shaviv, Carslaw, and most recently Svensmark et al., have collectively demonstrated that as the output of the sun varies, and with it, our star’s protective solar wind, varying amounts of galactic cosmic rays from deep space are able to enter our solar system and penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere. These cosmic rays enhance cloud formation which, overall, has a cooling effect on the planet. When the sun’s energy output is greater, not only does the Earth warm slightly due to direct solar heating, but the stronger solar wind generated during these “high sun” periods blocks many of the cosmic rays from entering our atmosphere. Cloud cover decreases and the Earth warms still more. The opposite occurs when the sun is less bright. More cosmic rays are able to get through to Earth’s atmosphere, more clouds form, and the planet cools more than would otherwise be the case due to direct solar effects alone. This is precisely what happened from the middle of the 17th century into the early 18th century, when the solar energy input to our atmosphere, as indicated by the number of sunspots, was at a minimum and the planet was stuck in the Little Ice Age. These new findings suggest that changes in the output of the sun caused the most recent climate change. By comparison, CO2 variations show little correlation with our planet’s climate on long, medium and even short time scales. In some fields the science is indeed ‘settled.’ For example, plate tectonics, once highly controversial, is now so well-established that we rarely see papers on the subject at all. But the science of global climate change is still in its infancy, with many thousands of papers published every year. In a 2003 poll conducted by German environmental researchers Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch, two-thirds of more than 530 climate scientists from 27 countries surveyed did not believe that ‘the current state of scientific knowledge is developed well enough to allow for a reasonable assessment of the effects of greenhouse gases.’ About half of those polled stated that the science of climate change was not sufficiently settled to pass the issue over to policymakers at all. Solar scientists predict that, by 2020, the sun will be starting into its weakest Schwabe solar cycle of the past two centuries, likely leading to unusually cool conditions on Earth. Beginning to plan for adaptation to such a cool period, one which may continue well beyond one 11-year cycle, as did the Little Ice Age, should be a priority for governments. It is global cooling, not warming, that is the major climate threat to the world, especially Canada. When you’ve digested that, allow your gaze to settle mid-text on the list of previous Post articles in its series about the ‘deniers’, the scientists who are outside this fabled ‘consensus’ on global warming. Read those articles and you will discover, as did to his astonishment the journalist who wrote them and who had previously accepted the ‘consensus’ as true and settled fact, that more and more of the most distinguished names in climate science around the world are saying that the theory is total junk — and who, moreover, have given devastating evidence of the way the global warmers have falsified the evidence to create an entirely spurious, anti-scientific and deeply dishonest panic.

There’s this article, for example, about Duncan Wingham, Professor of Climate Physics at University College London and Director of the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling. Last summer, Dr. Wingham and three colleagues published an article in the journal of the Royal Society that casts further doubt on the notion that global warming is adversely affecting Antarctica. By studying satellite data from 1992 to 2003 that surveyed 85% of the East Antarctic ice sheet and 51% of the West Antarctic ice sheet (72% of the ice sheet covering the entire land mass), they discovered that the Antarctic ice sheet is growing at the rate of 5 millimetres per year (plus or minus 1 mm per year). That makes Antarctica a sink, not a source, of ocean water. According to their best estimates, Antarctica will ‘lower [authors’ italics] global sea levels by 0.08 mm’ per year. Then there’s this article on Christopher Landsea of the Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory. Chair of the American Meteorological Society’s committee on tropical meteorology and tropical cyclones and a recipient of the American Meteorological Society’s Banner I. Miller Award for the ‘best contribution to the science of hurricane and tropical weather forecasting’, Landsea was a lead author on the subject for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — until he discovered that that the IPCC was falsley stating that global warming was causing hurricanes to happen. He wrote: Where is the science, the refereed publications, that substantiate these pronouncements? What studies are being alluded to that have shown a connection between observed warming trends on the earth and long-term trends in tropical cyclone activity? As far as I know, there are none. But since the IPCC seems to have already come to the conclusion that global warming has altered hurricane activity and has publicly stated so. This does not reflect the consensus within the hurricane research community Landsea resigned. Then there is this article on Professor Paul Reiter, head of the Insects and Infectious Disease Unit at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, an officer of the Harvard School of Public Health, a member of the World Health Organization’s Expert Advisory Committee on Vector Biology and Control, and lead author of the Health Section of the U.S. National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change. This was his experience with the IPCC’s handling of his special area of expertise: In one of the IPCC’s most egregious errors, in its Second Assessment Report chapter on human population health, it created the scare — repeated by scientists with a popular following such as David Suzuki — that global warming could lead to 80 million additional cases of malaria per year worldwide. The IPCC scientists’ ‘glaring ignorance’ dumbfounded Prof. Reiter and his colleagues. For example, the IPCC claimed that malarial mosquitoes cannot ordinarily survive temperatures below 16C to 18C, not realizing that many tropical species do and that many temperate species survive temperatures of –25C. Likewise, IPCC scientists didn’t know at what altitudes mosquitoes can be found. As Prof. Reiter testified to a U.K. parliamentary committee in 2005, ‘The paucity of information was hardly surprising: Not one of the lead authors had ever written a research paper on the subject! Moreover, two of the authors, both physicians, had spent their entire career as environmental activists. One of these activists has published “professional” articles as an “expert” on 32 different subjects, ranging from mercury poisoning to land mines, globalization to allergies and West Nile virus to AIDS. Among the contributing authors there was one professional entomologist, and a person who had written an obscure article on dengue and El Nino, but whose principal interest was the effectiveness of motorcycle crash helmets (plus one paper on the health effects of cellphones).’ Then there’s Dr Claude Allegre. In 1967 Dr Allegre became director of the geochemistry and cosmochemistry program at the French National Scientific Research Centre; in 1971, he became director of the University of Paris’s Department of Earth Sciences; in 1976, he became director of the Paris Institut de Physique du Globe. He is an author of more than 100 scientific articles, many of them seminal studies on the evolution of the Earth using isotopic evidence, and 11 books. He is

a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the French Academy of Science. Dr. Allegre was among the 1500 prominent scientists who signed ‘World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity,’ a highly publicized letter stressing that global warming’s ‘potential risks are very great’ and demanding a new caring ethic that recognizes the globe’s fragility in order to stave off ‘spirals of environmental decline, poverty, and unrest, leading to social, economic and environmental collapse.’ He was therefore part of the fabled Consensus. But now look at what Dr Allegre is saying, as a result of looking at the evolving scientific evidence: His break with what he now sees as environmental cant on climate change came in September, in an article entitled ‘The Snows of Kilimanjaro’ in L’ Express, the French weekly. His article cited evidence that Antarctica is gaining ice and that Kilimanjaro’s retreating snow caps, among other global-warming concerns, come from natural causes. ‘The cause of this climate change is unknown,’ he states matter of factly. There is no basis for saying, as most do, that the ‘science is settled.’… Calling the arguments of those who see catastrophe in climate change ‘simplistic and obscuring the true dangers’, Dr. Allegre especially despairs at ‘the greenhouse-gas fanatics whose proclamations consist in denouncing man’s role on the climate without doing anything about it except organizing conferences and preparing protocols that become dead letters.’ If I were part of the man-made global warming ‘consensus’, right now I’d be fingering my professional collar.

CLIMATE CHANGE: MENACE OR MYTH?
Fred Pearce
12 February 2005 NewScientist.com ON 16 FEBRUARY, the Kyoto protocol comes into force. Whether you see this as a triumph of international cooperation or a case of too little, too late, there is no doubt that it was only made possible by decades of dedicated work by climate scientists. Yet as these same researchers celebrate their most notable achievement, their work is being denigrated as never before. The hostile criticism is coming from sceptics who question the reality of climate change. Critics have always been around, but in recent months their voices have become increasingly prominent and influential. One British newspaper called climate change a "global fraud" based on "left-wing, anti-American, anti-west ideology". A London-based think tank described the UK's chief scientific adviser, David King, as "an embarrassment" for believing that climate change is a bigger threat than terrorism. And the bestselling author Michael Crichton, in his much publicised new novel State of Fear, portrays global warming as an evil plot perpetrated by environmental extremists. If the sceptics are to be believed, the evidence for global warming is full of holes and the field is riven with argument and uncertainty. The apparent scientific consensus over global warming only exists, they say, because it is enforced by a scientific establishment riding the gravy train, aided and abetted by governments keen to play the politics of fear. It's easy to dismiss such claims as politically motivated and with no basis in fact - especially as the majority of sceptics are economists, business people or politicians, not scientists (see "Meet the sceptics"). But there are nagging doubts. Could the sceptics be onto something? Are we, after all, being taken for a ride?

Meet the Sceptics
Most of the prominent organisations making the case against mainstream climate science have an avowed agenda of promoting free markets and minimal government. They often accept funding from the fossil-fuel industry. Few employ climate scientists. 1 Competitive Enterprise Institute (Washington DC) A free-market lobby organisation that employs six experts on climate change. Two are lawyers, one an economist, one a political scientist, one a graduate in business studies and one a mathematician. They include economist Myron Ebell, most famous in the UK for a tirade on BBC radio in November 2004 in which he

accused the UK Government's chief scientist David King of "knowing nothing about climate science". The institute receives funding from ExxonMobil, the world's largest oil company and an outspoken corporate opponent of mainstream climate science. 2 American Enterprise Institute (Washington DC) Another free market think tank. The five experts it sent to the most recent negotiations on the Kyoto protocol, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in December, included just one natural scientist - a chemist. Receives money from ExxonMobil. 3 George C. Marshall Institute (Washington DC) A think tank that has been promoting scepticism on climate change since 1989. It is a leading proponent of the argument that climate change is highly uncertain. Receives money from ExxonMobil. 4 International Policy Network (London) Free-market think tank which in November 2004 said global warming was a "myth", and described David King as "an embarassment". Receives money from ExxonMobil. 5 The Scientists There are a few authoritative climate scientists in the sceptic camp. The most notable are Patrick Michaels from the University of Virginia, who is also the chief environmental commentator at the Cato Institute in Washington DC, and meteorologist Richard Lindzen from MIT. Most others are either retired, outside mainstream academia or tied to the fossil fuel industry. In the UK, three of the most prominent are Philip Stott, a retired biogeographer, former TV botanist David Bellamy, and Martin Keeley, a palaeogeologist. Keeley argues on a BBC website that "global warming is a scam, perpetrated by scientists with vested interests". He is an oil exploration consultant. This is perhaps the most crucial scientific question of the 21st century. The winning side in the climate debate will shape economic, political and technological developments for years, even centuries, to come. With so much at stake, it is crucial that the right side wins. But which side is right? What is the evidence that human activity is warming the world, and how reliable is it? First, the basic physics. It is beyond doubt that certain gases in the atmosphere, most importantly water vapour and carbon dioxide, trap infrared radiation emitted by the Earth's surface and so have a greenhouse effect. This in itself is no bad thing. Indeed, without them the planet would freeze. There is also no doubt that human activity is pumping CO2 into the atmosphere, and that this has caused a sustained year-on-year rise in CO2 concentrations. For

almost 60 years, measurements at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii have charted this rise, and it is largely uncontested that today's concentrations are about 35 per cent above preindustrial levels (see Graph).

The effect this has on the planet is also measurable. In 2000, researchers based at Imperial College London examined satellite data covering almost three decades to plot changes in the amount of infrared radiation escaping from the atmosphere into space - an indirect measure of how much heat is being trapped. In the part of the infrared spectrum trapped by CO2 wavelengths between 13 and 19 micrometres - they found that between 1970 and 1997 less and less radiation was escaping. They concluded that the increasing quantity of atmospheric CO2 was trapping energy that used to escape, and storing it in the atmosphere as heat. The results for the other greenhouse gases were similar. These uncontested facts are enough to establish that "anthropogenic" greenhouse gas emissions are tending to make the atmosphere warmer. What's more, there is little doubt that the climate is changing right now. Temperature records from around the world going back 150 years suggest that 19 of the 20 warmest years - measured in terms of average global temperature, which takes account of all available thermometer data - have occurred since 1980, and that four of these occurred in the past seven years (see Graph).

The only serious question mark over this record is the possibility that measurements have been biased by the growth of cities near the sites where temperatures are measured, as cities retain more heat than rural areas. But some new research suggests there is no such bias. David Parker of the UK's Met Office divided the historical temperature data into two sets: one taken in calm weather and the other in windy weather. He reasoned that any effect due to nearby cities would be more pronounced in calm conditions, when the wind could not disperse the heat. There was no difference. It is at this point, however, that uncertainty starts to creep in. Take the grand claim made by some climate researchers that the 1990s were the warmest decade in the warmest century of the past millennium. This claim is embodied in the famous "hockey stick" curve, produced by Michael Mann of the University of Virginia in 1998, based on "proxy" records of past temperature, such as air bubbles in ice cores and growth rings in tree and coral. (see "Areas of contention") Sceptics have attacked the findings over poor methodology used, and their criticism has been confirmed by climate modellers, who have recently recognised that such proxy studies systematically underestimate past variability. As one Met Office scientist put it: "We cannot make claims as to the 1990s being the warmest decade." There is also room for uncertainty in inferences drawn from the rise in temperature over the past 150 years. The warming itself is real enough, but that doesn't necessarily mean that human activity is to blame. Sceptics say that the warming could be natural, and again they have a point. It is now recognised that up to 40 per cent of the climatic variation since 1890 is probably due to two natural phenomena. The first is solar cycles, which influence the amount of radiation reaching the Earth, and some scientist have argued that increased solar activity can account for most of the warming of the past 150 years. The second is the changing frequency of volcanic eruptions, which produce airborne particles that can shade and hence cool the planet for a year or more. This does not mean, however, that the sceptics can claim victory, as no known natural effects can explain the 0.5 °C warming seen in the past 30 years. In fact, natural changes alone would have caused a marginal global cooling (see Graph).

“Natural changes alone would have caused a marginal global cooling in the past 30 years”

How hot will it get?
In the face of such evidence, the vast majority of scientists, even sceptical ones, now agree that our activities are making the planet warmer, and that we can expect more warming as we release more CO2 into the atmosphere. This leaves two critical questions. How much warming can we expect? And how much should we care about it? Here the uncertainties begin in earnest. The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere now stands at around 375 parts per million. A doubling of CO2 from pre-industrial levels of 280 parts per million, which could happen as early as 2050, will add only about 1 °C to average global temperatures, other things being equal. But if there's one thing we can count on, it is that other things will not be equal; some important things will change. All experts agree that the planet is likely to respond in a variety of ways, some of which will dampen down the warming (negative feedback) while others will amplify it (positive feedback). Assessing the impacts of these feedbacks has been a central task of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a co-operative agency set up 17 years ago that has harnessed the work of thousands of scientists. Having spent countless hours of supercomputer time creating and refining models to simulate the planet's climate system, the IPCC concludes that the feedbacks will be overwhelmingly positive. The only question, it says, is just how big this positive feedback will be. The latest IPCC assessment is that doubling CO2 levels will warm the world by anything from 1.4 to 5.8 °C. In other words, this predicts a rise in global temperature from pre-industrial levels of around 14.8 °C to between 16.2 and 20.6 °C. Even at the low end, this is probably the biggest fluctuation in temperature that has occurred in the history of human civilisation. But uncertainties within the IPCC models remain, and the sceptics charge that they are so great that this conclusion is not worth the paper it is written on. So what are the positive feedbacks and how much uncertainty surrounds them?

Melting of polar ice is almost certainly one. Where the ice melts, the new, darker surface absorbs more heat from the sun, and so warms the planet. This is already happening. The second major source of positive feedback is water vapour. As this is responsible for a bigger slice of today's greenhouse effect than any other gas, including CO2, any change in the amount of moisture in the atmosphere is critical. A warmer world will evaporate more water from the oceans, giving an extra push to warming. But there is a complication. Some of the water vapour will turn to cloud, and the net effect of cloudier skies on heat coming in and going out is far from clear. Clouds reflect energy from the sun back into space, but they also trap heat radiated from the surface, especially at night. Whether warming or cooling predominates depends on the type and height of clouds. The IPCC calculates that the combined effect of extra water vapour and clouds will increase warming, but accepts that clouds are the biggest source of uncertainty in the models. Sceptics who pounce on such uncertainties should remember, however, that they cut both ways. Indeed, new research based on thousands of different climate simulation models run using the spare computing capacity of idling PCs, suggest that doubling CO2 levels could increase temperatures by as much as 11 °C (Nature, vol 434, p 403). Recent analysis suggests that clouds could have a more powerful warming effect than once thought - possibly much more powerful (New Scientist, 24 July 2004, p 44). And there could be other surprise positive feedbacks that do not yet feature in the climate models. For instance, a release of some of the huge quantities of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, that are frozen into the Siberian permafrost and the ocean floor could have a catastrophic warming effect. And an end to ice formation in the Arctic could upset ocean currents and even shut down the Gulf Stream - the starting point for the blockbuster movie The Day After Tomorrow. There are counterbalancing negative feedbacks, some of which are already in the models. These include the ability of the oceans to absorb heat from the atmosphere, and of some pollutants - such as the sulphate particles that make acid rain - to shade the planet. But both are double-edged. The models predict that the ocean's ability to absorb heat will decline as the surface warms, as mixing between less dense, warm surface waters and the denser cold depths becomes more difficult. Meanwhile, sulphate and other aerosols could already be masking far stronger underlying warming effects than are apparent from measured temperatures. Aerosols last only a few weeks in the atmosphere, while greenhouse gases last for decades. So efforts to cut pollution by using technologies such as scrubbers to remove sulphur dioxide from power station stacks could trigger a surge in temperatures. “Efforts to cut aerosol pollution could trigger a surge in temperatures” Sceptics also like to point out that most models do not yet include negative feedback from vegetation, which is already growing faster in a warmer world, and soaking up more CO2. But here they may be onto a loser, as the few climate models so far to include plants show that continued climate change is likely to damage their ability to absorb CO2, potentially turning a negative feedback into a positive one.

Achilles' heel?
More credible is the suggestion that some other important negative feedbacks have been left out. One prominent sceptic, meteorologist Richard Lindzen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has made an interesting case that warming may dry out the upper levels of the innermost atmospheric layer, the troposphere, and less water means a weaker greenhouse

effect. Lindzen, who is one of the few sceptics with a research track record that most climate scientists respect, says this drying effect could negate all the positive feedbacks and bring the warming effect of a doubling of CO2 levels back to 1 °C. While there is little data to back up his idea, some studies suggest that these outer reaches are not as warm as IPCC models predict (see "Areas of contention). This could be a mere wrinkle in the models or something more important. But if catastrophists have an Achilles' heel, this could be it. Where does this leave us? Actually, with a surprising degree of consensus about the basic science of global warming - at least among scientists. As science historian Naomi Oreskes of the University of California, San Diego, wrote in Science late last year (vol 306, p 1686): "Politicians, economists, journalists and others may have the impression of confusion, disagreement or discord among climate scientists, but that impression is incorrect." Her review of all 928 peer-reviewed papers on climate change published between 1993 and 2003 showed the consensus to be real and near universal. Even sceptical scientists now accept that we can expect some warming. They differ from the rest only in that they believe most climate models overestimate the positive feedback and underestimate the negative, and they predict that warming will be at the bottom end of the IPCC's scale For the true hard-liners, of course, the scientific consensus must, by definition, be wrong. As far as they are concerned the thousands of scientists behind the IPCC models have either been seduced by their own doom-laden narrative or are engaged in a gigantic conspiracy. They say we are faced with what the philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn called a "paradigm problem". "Most scientists spend their lives working to shore up the reigning world view - the dominant paradigm - and those who disagree are always much fewer in number," says climatologist Patrick Michaels of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, a leading proponent of this view. The drive to conformity is accentuated by peer review, which ensures that only papers in support of the paradigm appear in the literature, Michaels says, and by public funding that gives money to research into the prevailing "paradigm of doom". Rebels who challenge prevailing orthodoxies are often proved right, he adds. But even if you accept this sceptical view of how science is done, it doesn't mean the orthodoxy is always wrong. We know for sure that human activity is influencing the global environment, even if we don't know by how much. We might still get away with it: the sceptics could be right, and the majority of the world's climate scientists wrong. It would be a lucky break. But how lucky do you feel? From issue 2486 of New Scientist magazine, 12 February 2005, page 38