CO2, Global Warming, Climate and Energy

By Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng., P.Eng., June 2019

ABSTRACT

Global warming alarmism, which falsely assumes that increasing atmospheric CO2 causes catastrophic global warming, is disproved – essentially, it assumes that the future is causing the past. In reality, atmospheric CO2 changes lag global temperature changes at all measured time scales.

Nino34 Area Sea Surface Temperature changes, then tropical humidity changes, then atmospheric temperature changes, then CO2 changes.

The velocity dCO2/dt changes ~contemporaneously with global temperature changes and CO2 changes occur ~9 months later (MacRae 2008).

The process that causes the ~9-month average lag of CO2 changes after temperature changes is hypothesized and supported by observations.

The ~9-month lag, +/- several months, averages 1/4 of the full-period duration of the variable global temperature cycle, which averages ~3 years.

Based on the above observations, global temperatures drive atmospheric CO2 concentrations much more than CO2 drives temperature.

Climate sensitivity to increasing atmospheric CO2 must be very low, less than ~1C/(2*CO2) and probably much less.

There will be no catastrophic warming and no significant increase in chaotic weather due to increasing CO2 concentrations.

Increasing atmospheric CO2 clearly causes significantly improved crop yields, and may cause minor, beneficial global warming.

Atmospheric CO2 is not alarmingly high, it is too low for optimal plant growth and alarmingly low for the survival of carbon-based terrestrial life.

Other factors such as fossil fuel combustion, deforestation, etc may also increase atmospheric CO2. The increase of CO2 is clearly beneficial.

“Green energy” schemes are not green and produce little useful (dispatchable) energy, primarily because of the fatal flaw of intermittency.

There is no widely-available, cost-effective means of solving the flaw of intermittency in grid-connected wind and solar power generation.

Electric grids have been destabilized, electricity costs have soared and Excess Winter Deaths have increased due to green energy schemes.

HYPOTHESIS AND CONCLUSIONS

Earlier conclusions by the author and others are reviewed that disprove global warming alarmism and the justification for CO2 abatement schemes.

Increasing atmospheric CO2 does NOT cause dangerous global warming. Humanmade global warming / climate change is a false crisis.

Atmospheric CO2 changes lag global temperature changes at all measured time scales.

The process that causes the ~9-month average lag of CO2 changes after temperature changes is hypothesized and supported by observations.

This ~9-month lag, +/- several months, averages 1/4 of the full-period duration of the variable global temperature cycle, which averages ~3 years.

OBSERVATIONS

1a. In 2008 I made the following major observations in this paper:

Reference: “Carbon Dioxide Is Not The Primary Cause Of Global Warming”, January 2008

http://icecap.us/images/uploads/CO2vsTMacRae.pdf

a. The velocity of changes of atmospheric CO2 [dCO2/dt] varies ~contemporaneously with changes in global temperature (Fig.1a).

b. Therefore the integral of dCO2/dt, changes in atmospheric CO2, lag changes in global atmospheric temperature by ~9 months (Fig.1b).

Fig.1a – The very close relationship of dCO2/dt (red) vs global temperature (blue) is clearly apparent. Major volcanoes disrupt the relationship.

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1b. Integrating the dCO2/dt data in Fig 1a gives changes in CO2, which lag changes in temperature by ~9 months (Fig.1b).

Figures 1a and 1b employ Mauna Loa (mlo) CO2 data. Similar results were observed using Global CO2 data, as in MacRae 2008. The impact of major volcanoes is apparent.

The 12-month delta in CO2 is used to allow for the “seasonal sawtooth” in the Keeling Curve.

Fig.1b – The ~9-month lag of atmospheric CO2 changes (red) after global temperature changes (blue) is apparent.

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1982.0/to:2003.5/mean:12/derivative/integral/detrend:30/scale:0.3/plot/uah6/from:1982.0/to:2003.5/mean:12/offset:0.14/plot/uah6/from:1982.0/to:2003.5/mean:12/offset:0.14

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2. In 2013, a similar observation was made by Humlum, Stordahl and Solheim – that atmospheric CO2 changes lag global sea surface and air temperature changes by 9-12 months (Fig.2).

Reference: “The phase relation between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature”

Global and Planetary Change, Volume 100, January 2013

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921818112001658

a. Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging 11–12 months behind changes in global sea surface temperature.

b. Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging 9.5–10 months behind changes in global air surface temperature.

c. Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging about 9 months behind changes in global lower troposphere temperature.

Fig.2 – “The phase relation between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature”, Jan. 2013

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3a. The lag of atmospheric CO2 changes after Equatorial Pacific Ocean Nino34 Area Sea Surface Temperature changes is apparent (Fig.3a).

Fig.3a

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3b. Like Fig.3a but with 13-month centered averages, the coherence of Nino34 SST changes with CO2 changes and the time lag are more apparent (Fig.3b).

Fig.3b

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4a. In the following plot, Nino34 SST data is shifted later in time and offset and scaled for comparison with the CO2 mlo 12-month Deltas (Fig.4a).

The close correlation is apparent. Note that the CO2 mlo 12-month Delta is increasing, but the Nino34 SST is flat over the plotted interval.

Fig.4a

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4b. In this plot, the 13-month averaged Nino34 SST data is shifted later in time and offset and scaled to compare with the CO2 mlo 12-month Deltas (Fig.4b).

Nino34 SST’s have a primary impact on changes in atmospheric CO2, as evidenced by this data. The governing mechanism is described below.

Fig.4b

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5. UAH LT Global Temperatures can be predicted ~4 months in the future with just two parameters:

UAHLT (+4 months) = 0.2*Nino34Anomaly + 0.15 – 5*SatoGlobalAerosolOpticalDepth (Figs. 5a and 5b)

Note the suppression of air temperatures during and after the 1982-83 El Nino, due to two century-scale volcanoes El Chichon and Mount Pinatubo.

Much of the atmospheric warming from ~1982-1996 (blue trend) was a recovery from the two major volcanoes – Nino34 SST’s (purple trend) cooled slightly.

I discovered this relationship in 2016 and published it, originally without the Sato correction as:

UAHLT = 0.20*Nino34SSTAnomaly + 0.15

I then found that Bill Illis previously had developed a better model, and I added the Sato correction that accounts for major volcanoes. Sato data was only available to 2012.

References:

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/07/01/spectacular-drop-in-global-average-satellite-temperatures/comment-page-1/#comment-2250319

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/09/23/lewandowsky-and-cook-deniers-cannot-provide-a-coherent-alternate-worldview/#comment-1866819

Fig.5a – All data is plotted in real time.

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Fig.5b – plotted with UAHLT actual temperatures in real time, and UAHLT temperatures calculated from Nino34 shifted 4 months later to show coherence. clip_image018[10]

6. The sequence is Nino34 Area SST warms, seawater evaporates, Tropical atmospheric humidity increases, Tropical atmospheric temperature warms, Global atmospheric temperature warms, atmospheric CO2 increases (Figs.6a and 6b).

Other factors such as fossil fuel combustion, deforestation, etc. may also cause significant increases in atmospheric CO2. However, global temperature drives CO2 much more than CO2 drives temperature.

Fig.6a – Nino34 Area SST warms, seawater evaporates, Tropical atmospheric humidity (offset) increases, Tropical atmospheric temperature warms…clip_image020[10]

Fig.6b …and UAH LT Tropics Atmospheric Temperature leads UAH LT Global Atmospheric Temperature, which leads changes in Atmospheric CO2.

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7a. Why does the lag of atmospheric CO2 changes after temperature changes equal ~9 months?

In a perfect sine wave, the integral lags its derivative by pi/2, or 1/4 cycle.

There should therefore be approximately a (4 times 9 months = 36 months) 3 year average period in the data.

The Nino34 data shows a 3.1 year average period (Fig.7a in Excel spreadsheet and Table 7a).

Global Lower Troposphere Temperature data shows a 3.1 year average period (Fig.7b and Table 7a).

Mauna Loa Atmospheric CO2 data shows a 3.1 year average period (Fig.7c and Table 7a).

The climate data are not perfect sine waves and the data are natural and chaotic.

Nevertheless, it appears that an approximate 3.1 year average period is present in all three datasets, as hypothesized.

The cycles are in phase with the lag of CO2 after Nino34 SST.

Fig. 7d – Nino34 SST changes, followed by UAH LT temperature changes, followed by atmospheric temperature changes.

clip_image024[10]

Further Support for the Hypothesis:

Based on Fig.3b, CO2 mlo data “peaks”(maxima) lag Nino34 peaks by an average of 0.81 years in an average Period of 3.28 years, and the Lag/Period is 0.25.

This Lag/Period is consistent with my hypothesis that the Lag/Period should equal ~0.25 or 1/4 period, or pi/2 in a full period of 2*pi radians (Table 7a).

Table 7a – Peaks Analysis – Periods and Lags in Years (Fig.3b)

7b. Statistical analyses support the existence of an average ~3.1 year period in the data for NIno34 SST, UAH LT temperature and atmospheric CO2, averaging ~3.6 years before year 2003.5 and ~2.5 years after 2003.5, as depicted in Figs. 7e to 7j (Excel spreadsheet) and Table 7b.

Table 7b – Divide Figure 7a, 7b, 7c data into pre-and post-2003.5 intervals and calculate the periods.

8. In 2015, I published the following paper summarizing my observations and conclusions to date. All these conclusions continue to be supported, based on more recent evidence.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/06/13/presentation-of-evidence-suggesting-temperature-drives-atmospheric-co2-more-than-co2-drives-temperature/

Discussion:

Scientists who support the catastrophic human-made global warming (CAGW) hypothesis say that based on physics at the molecular scale, they KNOW that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and more CO2 will cause warming. Two questions: How much warming, and what are the scale-up effects?

How much global warming?

Christy & McNider (2017) and Lewis & Curry (2018) proved that climate sensitivity to increasing CO2 is too low to cause dangerous warming – see Section #11.

Furthermore, atmospheric CO2 changes LAG temperature changes at all measured time scales, including ~9 months in the modern data record and much longer in the ice core record. It is possible, perhaps even probable, that increasing atmospheric CO2 causes some mild warming, but full-earth-scale data prove that this CO2 warming effect is drowned out by the much larger impact of temperature on CO2.

Conclusion: Temperature drives atmospheric CO2 much more than CO2 drives temperature. Climate is NOT highly sensitive to increasing CO2. Increasing CO2 will NOT cause dangerous global warming.

What are the scale-up effects?

Earth is not molecular-scale, and there are complex CO2 interactions between the oceans, the land, the biosphere and the atmosphere. Some of these important interactions are described in #1 to #7 above.

Warming tropical oceanic temperatures cause evaporation of seawater, tropical water vapour increases (and water vapour is a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2), equatorial warming follows, that warming then extends to the rest of the planet, and atmospheric CO2 increases. Tropical sea surface temperatures increase, global temperatures increase, and atmospheric CO2 increases, in that order.

The huge “seasonal sawtooth” Keeling Curve of atmospheric CO2 is dominated by photosynthesis in the Northern Hemisphere (NH) Spring that draws down CO2, and oxidation in the Fall and Winter that releases CO2 back into the atmosphere. The Keeling Curve amplitude ranges from ~16 ppm at Barrow Alaska to ~1 ppm at the South Pole. The seasonal CO2 flux is much greater than the ~2 ppm average annual increase in CO2.

Atmospheric CO2 is increasing, and the conventional view is that this CO2 increase is human-made, caused by fossil fuel combustion, deforestation, etc. While this is scientifically important, it is not necessary to debate this point in order to disprove global warming alarmism.

Scientists including Salby, Berry and Harde have hypothesized that the increase in atmospheric CO2 to more than 400 ppm is largely natural and not mostly human-made. While my 2008 observations support this hypothesis, I have considered this question for ~11 years, and am still agnostic on the conclusion. Regardless of the cause, the increase in CO2 is strongly beneficial to humanity and the environment.

References:

The Keeling Curve, Scripps Institution of Oceanography https://scripps.ucsd.edu/programs/keelingcurve/

Address to the Sydney Institute, Murry Salby, 2011 http://youtu.be/YrI03ts–9I

“Human CO2 Has Little Effect on Atmospheric CO2”, Edwin Berry, 2019

https://edberry.com/blog/climate-physics/agw-hypothesis/contradictions-to-ipccs-climate-change-theory/

“What Humans Contribute to Atmospheric CO2: Comparison of Carbon Cycle Models with Observation”, Hermann Harde, International Journal of Earth Sciences Vol. 8, No. 3, 2019

Recent evidence supports my above conclusions, as follows:

9. Even if ALL the observed global warming is ascribed to increasing atmospheric CO2, the calculated maximum climate sensitivity to a hypothetical doubling of atmospheric CO2 is only about 1 degree C, which is too low to cause dangerous global warming.

Christy and McNider (2017) analysed UAH Lower Troposphere data since 1979:

Reference: https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/2017_christy_mcnider-1.pdf

Lewis and Curry (2018) analysed HadCRUT4v5 Surface Temperature data since 1859:

Reference: https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0667.1

Climate computer models used by the IPCC and other global warming alarmists employ climate sensitivity values much higher than 1C/doubling, in order to create false fears of dangerous global warming.

10. I wrote in an article published 1Sept2002 in the Calgary Herald:

“If [as we believe] solar activity is the main driver of surface temperature rather than CO2, we should begin the next cooling period by 2020 to 2030.”

I will stand with this prediction – for moderate, natural cooling, similar to that which occurred from ~1940 to the Great Pacific Climate Shift of 1977, despite accelerating fossil fuel combustion and atmospheric CO2. Similar cooling occurred from ~1945 to 1977 as fossil fuel consumption accelerated.

I now think global cooling will start closer to 2020. The following plot explains why (Fig.10).

I hope to be wrong, because humanity and the environment suffer during cold periods.

Fig.10 – Apparent Coherence of Total Solar Irradiance, Sea Surface Temperature and Lower Tropospheric Temperature, interrupted by the 1998 El Nino

http://woodfortrees.org/plot/pmod/offset:-1360/scale:0.2/plot/hadsst3gl/from:1980/plot/uah6/from:1980

clip_image032[10]

11. An important fact pertaining to Energy Policy:

More than 50,000 Excess Winter Deaths occurred in England and Wales during the winter of 2017-18 – an Excess Winter Death rate about THREE TIMES the per-capita average in the USA and Canada.

Proportionally, that is about 35,000 more deaths in the UK than the average rates of the USA and Canada. British government climate and energy policies are effectively killing off the elderly and the poor.

Excessively high energy costs in the UK due to false global warming hysteria are a major component of the cause of these Excess Winter Deaths – global warming alarmists and corrupted governments and institutions are complicit in these premature deaths.

Reference: “Cold Weather Kills 20 Times as Many People as Hot Weather”

by Joseph D’Aleo and Allan MacRae, September 4, 2015

https://friendsofsciencecalgary.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/cold-weather-kills-macrae-daleo-4sept2015-final.pdf

12. Fossil fuels comprise fully 85% of global primary energy, unchanged in decades, and unlikely to change in future decades.

The remaining 15% of global primary energy is almost all hydro and nuclear.

Eliminate fossil fuels tomorrow and almost everyone in the developed world would be dead in about a month from starvation and exposure.

Despite trillions of dollars in squandered subsidies, global green energy has increased from above 1% to below 2% is recent decades.

Intermittent energy from wind and/or solar generation cannot supply the electric grid with reliable, uninterrupted power.

“Green energy” schemes are not green and produce little useful (dispatchable) energy, because they require almost 100% conventional backup from fossil fuels, nuclear or hydro when the wind does not blow and the Sun does not shine.

There is no widely-available, practical, cost-effective means of solving the fatal flaw of intermittency in grid-connected wind and solar power generation.

Hydro backup and pumped storage are only available in a few locations. Other grid-storage systems are very costly, although costs are decreasing.

To date, vital electric grids have been destabilized, electricity costs have increased greatly, and Excess Winter Deaths have increased due to grid-connected green energy schemes.

Reference: “Statistical Review of World Energy”

https://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy.html

Reference: “Wind Report 2005” – note Figs. 6 & 7 re intermittency.

http://www.wind-watch.org/documents/wp-content/uploads/eonwindreport2005.pdf

13. Radical greens have made many scary predictions, but every one of their predictions has failed to happen.

Radical greens have successfully subverted climate science as a means of stampeding the uneducated and the gullible to support their fundraising activities and their political objectives.

Reference: by Allan MacRae, August 26, 2015

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/un_ipcc_has_no_credibility1/

14. The scientific reality is that increasing atmospheric CO2 will cause increased plant and crop yields, and possibly some minor, beneficial global warming.

There will be no catastrophic warming and no significant increase in chaotic weather resulting from increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

Reference: “Greening of the Earth and its drivers”

by Zaichun Zhu et al, April 25, 2016

https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate3004

Reference: “Countering The Misinformation Of Al Gore’s Dirty Weather Report”

by Ian Clark, Bob Carter, Madhav Khandekar, Tim Ball, November 14, 2012

http://www.climatescienceinternational.org/index.php?option=com_content&id=751

15. Atmospheric CO2 is not alarmingly high, it is too low for optimal plant growth and alarmingly low for the survival of carbon-based terrestrial life. The real danger is not too much CO2 – it is CO2 starvation. Over geologic time, CO2 is ~permanently sequestered in carbonate rocks.

Plants evolved at atmospheric CO2 concentrations of 2000 ppm and greater, and many grow best at about 1200 ppm CO2 – about 3 times current levels. That is why greenhouse operators pump 1000-1200 ppm CO2 into their greenhouses.

Major food crops (except corn) use the C3 photosynthetic pathway, and die at about 150 ppm from CO2 starvation – that is just 30 ppm below the minimum levels during the last Ice Age, which ended just 10,000 years ago – “the blink of an eye” in geologic time. Earth came that close to a major extinction event.

During one of the next Ice Ages, unless there is massive human intervention, atmospheric CO2 will decline to below 150 ppm and that will be the next major extinction event – not just for a few species but for ~all complex terrestrial carbon-based life forms.

Reference: “(Plant) Food for Thought”

(first posted in January 2009 on wattsupwiththat.com, published on icecap.us in December 2014)

by Allan MacRae, Dec 18, 2014

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/new-and-cool/plant_food_for_thought2/

Reference: “Should We Celebrate Carbon Dioxide?”

by Patrick Moore, October 15, 2015

https://www.thegwpf.org/patrick-moore-should-we-celebrate-carbon-dioxide/

16. Another important observation is the corruption of institutions. The green movement has been taken over by radicals, as described in 1994 by Dr. Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace.

That takeover by radical greens has now extended to universities, scientific associations, professional societies, media and governments.

Reference: “Hard Choices for the Environmental Movement”, 1994 – note “The Rise of Eco-Extremism”.

http://ecosense.me/2012/12/30/key-environmental-issues-4/

Reference: “Science’s Untold Scandal: The Lockstep March of Professional Societies to Promote the Climate Change Scare”

by Tom Harris and Jay Lehr, May 24, 2019

https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/sciences-untold-scandal-the-lockstep-march-of-professional-societies-to-promote-the-climate-change-scare/

17. Commentary concerning global warming and climate change catastrophes are typically political propaganda, not scientific reality.

The leaders of the radical greens typically know they are misleading the public. The Climategate emails provide irrefutable evidence of their misconduct. Their followers typically believe the falsehoods, and apparently do not have the education or the intellectual ability to do otherwise.

Reference: https://wattsupwiththat.com/climategate/

Reference: https://www.thegwpf.com/climategate-a-scandal-that-wont-go-away/

Reference: http://www.theclimategatebook.com/about-the-book/table-of-contents/

18. We have known for decades that global warming alarmism was a false crisis, and that “green energy” schemes were not green and produced little useful (dispatchable) energy.

In 2002 we were confident in the following points, sufficient to publish them and sign our names to them:

“Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.”

“The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply – the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels.”

Reference: APEGA’s “Debate on the Kyoto Accord”, published in the PEGG November 2002, reprinted by other professional journals, The Globe and Mail and La Presse

by Sallie Baliunas, Tim Patterson and Allan MacRae, November 2002

http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/KyotoAPEGA2002REV1.pdf

19. Science, governments, media and institutions have all been corrupted due to false global warming / climate change alarmism.

Enormously costly and destructive government policies have been adopted to “fight global warming / climate change”. Trillions of dollars of scarce global resources have been squandered, tens of millions of lives have been needlessly lost and delicate environments including tropical rainforests severely harmed due to environmental extremism.

Reference: “Hypothesis: Radical Greens are the Great Killers of Our Age”

by Allan MacRae, April 14, 2019

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/04/14/hypothesis-radical-greens-are-the-great-killers-of-our-age/

20. Global warming / climate change mania will eventually cease, but this will probably take time – climate extremism has strong support.

Global warming / climate change alarmism is the most expensive and the most lucrative scientific error in history. There is ample evidence of fraud.

Epilogue

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.”

Reference: “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds”, Charles Mackay, 1841.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Data Sources

University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) Lower Troposphere (LT) Temperatures

https://www.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0/tlt/uahncdc_lt_6.0.txt

Nino Area Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Data

https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/data/indices/sstoi.indices

Mauna Loa Atmospheric CO2 data

http://www.scrippsco2.ucsd.edu/assets/data/atmospheric/stations/in_situ_co2/monthly/monthly_in_situ_co2_mlo.csv

Sato Aerosol Optical Depth Volcanic Index (to 2012)

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/strataer/

https://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/strataer/tau.line_2012.12.txt

NOAA Precipitable Water Monolevel +/-20 N, 0-360W

http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries1.pl

https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries.pl?ntype=1&var=Precipitable+Water&level=2000&lat1=20&lat2=-20&lon1=0&lon2=360&iseas=0&mon1=0&mon2=0&iarea=1&typeout=1&Submit=Create+Timeseries

Acknowledgements

Sincere thanks to Jan-Erik Solheim, Matt Briggs, Richard S Courtney, Joseph D’Aleo, Patrick Moore, William Happer, David Devenny, Bill Illis, Willie Soon, Sallie Baliunas and Tim Patterson.

This article appeared on the WattsUpWithThat? website at https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/06/15/co2-global-warming-climate-and-energy-2/