Will increased carbon dioxide levels actually benefit planet?

William Happer

Easily spotted by their honeycomb shape, open-cell clouds
are one of the most common cloud formations, found on the
backside of low pressure systems and skirting the edges of
every continent.
(Photo/Caption: B. Keim/Wired Science)

Supposed ill effects of more CO2 are from flawed computer models in which water vapour and clouds multiply the modest direct warming by factors of up to 10.

Did the world have just the right concentration of carbon dioxide at the pre-industrial level of 270 parts per million? Reading breathless media reports about CO2 "pollution" and about minimising our "carbon footprints", one might think that the earth cannot have too little CO2. Humans and most other animals would do fine in a world with no atmospheric CO2 - but most plants stop growing if CO2 levels drop much below 150 ppm, so we would starve to death without at least this minimal amount. We are probably better off with our current 390 ppm than with the preindustrial 270 ppm, and we would be better off with still more CO2. For example, there is evidence that California orange groves are about 30 percent more productive today than they were 150 years ago because of the increase of atmospheric CO2.

What atmospheric levels of CO2 would be a direct threat to health? Both the United States Navy and NASA have performed extensive studies of human tolerance to CO2. As a result of these studies, the navy recommends an upper limit of about 8,000 ppm for cruises of 90 days and NASA recommends an upper limit of 5,000 ppm for missions of 1,000 days. We conclude that atmospheric CO2 levels should be above about 150 ppm to avoid harming green plants and below about 5,000 ppm to avoid harming people.

Cloud formation may be linked to cosmic rays

Geoff Brumfiel

Experiment probes connection between climate change and radiation bombarding the atmosphere.

It sounds like a conspiracy theory: 'cosmic rays' from deep space might be creating clouds in Earth's atmosphere and changing the climate. Yet an experiment at CERN, Europe's high-energy physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland, is finding tentative evidence for just that.

The findings, published today in Nature [1], are preliminary, but they are stoking a long-running argument over the role of radiation from distant stars in altering the climate.

For a century, scientists have known that charged particles from space constantly bombard Earth. Known as cosmic rays, the particles are mostly protons blasted out of supernovae. As the protons crash through the planet's atmosphere, they can ionize volatile compounds, causing them to condense into airborne droplets, or aerosols. Clouds might then build up around the droplets.

The number of cosmic rays that reach Earth depends on the Sun. When the Sun is emitting lots of radiation, its magnetic field shields the planet from cosmic rays. During periods of low solar activity, more cosmic rays reach Earth.

Scientists agree on these basic facts, but there is far less agreement on whether cosmic rays can have a large role in cloud formation and climate change. Since the late 1990s, some have suggested that when high solar activity lowers levels of cosmic rays, that in turn reduces cloud cover and warms the planet. Others say that there is no statistical evidence for such an effect.

New study affirms natural climate change

Dennis Avery

A new paper affirms the earth’s long, moderate, natural climate cycle. Dr. U.R. Rao, former chair of India’s Space Research Organization, says solar variations and cosmic rays account for 40 percent of the world’s recent global warming.

It’s nice when people validate your work. Fred Singer and I—co-authors of Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years —are currently basking in the glow of a new paper that affirms the earth’s long, moderate, natural climate cycle. The study is by Dr. U.R. Rao, former chair of India’s Space Research Organization. He says solar variations and cosmic rays account for 40 percent of the world’s recent global warming.

Dr. Rao says the data between 1960 and 2005 show lots fewer cosmic rays hitting the earth, due to a periodic expansion of the sun’s magnetic field. The bigger solar magnetic field blocked many of the cosmic rays that would otherwise have hit earth. Fewer cosmic rays hitting the earth meant fewer water droplets shattering in our atmosphere, and thus fewer of the low, wet clouds that deflect solar heat back into space. So the earth warmed.

Fred and I tried to tell the world in 2007 that the moderate 1500-year Dansgaard-Oeschger cycle was the cause of the warming since 1850, based on historic and paleoclimatic evidence. The cosmic ray linkage was put forth in 2008 by Henrik Svensmark of Denmark. The UN’s panel on climate change dismissed that whole approach, claiming the variations in the sun’s irradiance were far too small to account for the rapid warming from 1976–98.

Solar and Celestial Causes of Global Warming

Donald W. Miller, Jr., MD

An estimated one billion people watched former Vice President Al Gore receive an Oscar for An Inconvenient Truth. In this film about global warming, Gore uses slides from lectures he gives on this subject, personal anecdotes, and footage of collapsing Antarctic ice shelves, receding glaciers, and marooned polar bears to warn us that human-made greenhouse gases are heating the planet to dangerous levels. The principal greenhouse gas that humans make, burning coal, oil, and natural gas for energy, is carbon dioxide (CO2). (In 1750, at the beginning of the Industrial Era, the earth’s atmospheric CO2 concentration was 280 parts per million by volume. In 1960 it had risen to 315 ppmv, and it is now 383 ppmv.)

There is another theory of global warming and cooling that Gore does not address in An Inconvenient Truth. The Solar/Cosmic Ray Theory posits that cosmic rays, not humans, cause climate change. The Chilling Stars: A New Theory of Climate Change (2007) by Henrik Svensmark and Nigel Calder is the first book to be published on this subject. Svensmark proposed this theory in 1996 and supplies the scientific input for the book. Calder, a British science writer, "strung the words together," as he puts it. He does this very well and explains Svensmark’s theory in an engaging and easily understandable way. It will be published in the U.S. March 25 (I obtained my copy from the UK, where it was published last month).

Svensmark: “global warming stopped and a cooling is beginning” – “enjoy global warming while it lasts”

Henrik Svensmark

Spotless Cueball: Catania observatory photosphere
image August 31st, 2009 - click for larger image

[This opinion piece from Professor Henrik Svensmark was published September 9th in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. Originally the translation was from Google translation with some post translation cleanup of jumbled words or phrases by myself. Now as of Sept 12, the translation is by Nigel Calder. Hat tip to Carsten Arnholm of Norway for bringing this to my attention and especially for translation facilitation by Ágúst H BjarnasonAnthony]

While the Sun sleeps
Henrik Svensmark, Professor, Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen
Translation approved by Henrik Svensmark

In fact global warming has stopped and a cooling is beginning. No climate model has predicted a cooling of the Earth – quite the contrary. And this means that the projections of future climate are unreliable,” writes Henrik Svensmark.

The star that keeps us alive has, over the last few years, been almost free of sunspots, which are the usual signs of the Sun’s magnetic activity. Last week [4 September 2009] the scientific team behind the satellite SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) reported, “It is likely that the current year’s number of blank days will be the longest in about 100 years.” Everything indicates that the Sun is going into some kind of hibernation, and the obvious question is what significance that has for us on Earth.

If you ask the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which represents the current consensus on climate change, the answer is a reassuring “nothing”. But history and recent research suggest that is probably completely wrong. Why? Let’s take a closer look.

Cosmic Ray Decreases Affect Atmospheric Aerosols and Clouds

Henrik Svensmark, Torsten Bondo and Jacob Svensmark

Close passages of coronal mass ejections from the sun are signaled at the Earth’s surface by Forbush decreases in cosmic ray counts. We find that low clouds contain less liquid water following Forbush decreases, and for the most influential events the liquid water in the oceanic atmosphere can diminish by as much as 7%. Cloud water content as gauged by the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) reaches a minimum ≈7 days after the Forbush minimum in cosmic rays, and so does the fraction of low clouds seen by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and in the International Satellite Cloud Climate Project (ISCCP). Parallel observations by the aerosol robotic network AERONET reveal falls in the relative abundance offine aerosol particles which, in normal circumstances, could have evolved into cloud condensation nuclei. Thus a link between the sun, cosmic rays, aerosols and liquid-water clouds appears to exist on a global scale.



08/14/09 Richard S. Lindzen Resisting climate hysteria: A Case Against Precipitous Climate Action.
08/20/09 Des Moore The Great Climate Scam

11/17/09 Peter Smith Exploiting Guilt: The Copenhagen Treaty and Versailles
11/24/09 Judy Curry On the credibility of climate research
11/25/09 Bob Carter The science of deceit
11/26/09 John McLean Climategate: Shutting out dissent
11/26/09 Gerald Traufetter Stagnating Temperatures: Climatologists Baffled by Global Warming Time-Out
11/27/09 Marco Villa What You Should Know Before the Copenhagen Summit
11/28/09 Patrick J. Michaels The Dog Ate Global Warming
11/29/09 Judith Curry An open letter from Dr. Judith Curry on climate science
11/30/09 Doug L. Hoffman Global Warming Fatigue Spreads

12/01/09 FOS Friends of Science Society Position Statement
12/03/09 Susan Swift Climate Gate: Where Politics and Religion Unite
12/04/09 Aletho News There's more to climate fraud than just tax hikes
12/05/09 Richard S. Lindzen Climate Science: Is it currently designed to answer questions?
12/07/09 Wendy McElroy "Settled"? It's not even "Science"
12/07/09 Mervyn F. Bendle The Eco-Apocalypse Craze
12/09/09 Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. The Left Fell into the Climate Morass
12/09/09 Marco Villa Copenhagen Beware
12/10/09 Friends Of Science Myths / Facts: Common Misconceptions About Global Warming
12/11/09 Steve McIntyre IPCC and the “Trick”
12/12/09 Notsilvia Night Why are the oligarchic elites trying so hard to push their climate change policies through right now?
12/13/09 Bob Carter Scam of the century
12/13/09 Lord Christopher Monckton Lord Monckton’s summary of Climategate and its issues
12/15/09 Merv Bendle Brave New Green World
12/17/09 The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley Lord Monckton reports on Pachauri’s eye opening Copenhagen presentation
12/20/09 Merv Bendle Politics of green unreality
12/20/09 Paul Driessen Cleaning out the climate science cesspool
12/21/09 Mick Greenhough Elite Politique
12/22/09 Terence Corcoran Climategate: A 2,000-page epic of science and skepticism --Part 1 & 2
12/23/09 S. Fred Singer Al Gore and Global Warming Alarmism
12/24/09 Richard Moore There is no global warming problem
12/27/09 Peter Smith Seeking untainted science
12/27/09 Bill Steigerwald G. P. Bear goes to Washington: The true story of a freedom-loving carnivore

01/06/10 Neil Frank Climategate: You should be steamed
01/08/10 John Izzard The Pachauri affair
01/11/10 Lord Monkton Climate change: proposed personal briefing
01/15/10 Roy Spencer, PhD. A Demonstration that Global Warming Predictions are Based More On Faith than On Science
01/16/10 Patricia Adams The next big scam: carbon dioxide
01/25/10 Luboš Motl / Anthony Watts Global UAH: warmest January day on record

02/01/10 Ninad D. Sheth The Hottest Hoax in the World
02/05/10 From the University of Haifa via Eurekalert Israeli study shows variable sea level in past 2500 years
02/06/10 Des Moore The IPCC's flawed data
02/07/10 Julie Chao LBNL on Himalayas: “greenhouse gases alone are not nearly enough to be responsible for the snow melt”
02/08/10 Margaret Wente The great global warming collapse
02/10/10 Henrik Svensmark, Torsten Bondo and Jacob Svensmark Cosmic Ray Decreases Affect Atmospheric Aerosols and Clouds
02/10/10 EUReferendum White Death or How wrong can they get?
02/12/10 Henrik Svensmark Svensmark: “global warming stopped and a cooling is beginning” – “enjoy global warming while it lasts”
02/14/10 S. Fred Singer MUST READ: The end of the IPCC
02/17/10 Marc Sheppard Evidence of Climate Fraud Grows, Media Coverage Doesn't
02/22/10 Anthony Watts The most slimy essay ever from the Guardian and Columbia University
02/27/10 Walter E. Williams Global Warming Update

03/03/10 Steven Mosher The Final Straw
03/04/10 Iain Murray & Roger Abbott Climategate: This Time It's NASA
03/08/10 Joanne Nova The money trail
03/10/10 Tom Minchin Monckton on the IPCC
03/13/10 Donald W. Miller, Jr., MD Solar and Celestial Causes of Global Warming
03/20/10 Matt Ridley The case against the hockey stick
03/22/10 Bob Carter Lysenkoism and James Hansen
03/29/10 John O’Sullivan The bubble of climate change group-think burst in a cooling world

04/01/10 E. Calvin Beisner The Illusion of "Scientific Consensus" on Global Warming
04/02/10 Marco Evers, Olaf Stampf and Gerald Traufetter A Superstorm for Global Warming Research
04/04/10 Des Moore Climate inquiry, now
04/09/10 S. Fred Singer End of the IPCC: one mistake too many
04/19/10 På Høyden Om forholdet mellom CO2 og global temperatur


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