The answer to that question is: yes and no. The climate debate has become hotter than ever. There are many people who doubt the mainstream ideas that climate change is CO2-driven, but on what kind of science do these people base their ideas? Or is it merely a belief to comfortably keep driving their big SUVs without feeling guilty? On the other hand – what exactly are the agendas of believers in anthropogenic climate change? Our research shows that the facts are quite surprising and that both sides are right and wrong. The atmosphere in its totality appears to be in “equilibrium”.
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Global Climate Change Map – Ground Based
What is Climate?
What constitutes “climate”? Traditionally, temperature, humidity, wind speed, rainfall, and sunny hours give a good idea of what defines “climate”. When the patterns of these five variables permanently change on a significant scale, we could speak of a changing climate. Is this ever properly analyzed on a global scale? Hardly. This is because earth’s climate is an amazingly complex system and is still far beyond the reach of human comprehension.
So, we ask: Is our climate really changing? And if that is so, why could it be changing?
Our Own Research, as compared to Copy-Paste Beliefs
It is widely believed, particularly in climate change discussions, that we can control the climate, as we do in our cars, by reducing CO2 emissions. But a glimpse at the historical data shows us that temperatures changed constantly over time. Who or what made this CO2 a few hundred thousand years ago? Or is CO2 the effect and not the cause – because that would explain the issue much better than vice versa.
Is our climate changing? If that is the case, what is the probable cause? To see what is really going on, let us determine this by ourselves. But that requires a lot of work. Few people are willing to do that gratuitously.
Northern Versus Southern Hemisphere – Ground Level
The Relation Between CO2 and Climate Change
The correlation between CO2 and temperature is obvious. Whether we look at recent records, or at ice core data, the correlation is always present.
Is the simple conclusion that CO2 is responsible for climbing temperatures true? Is it really THAT simple? The relationship is indeed so obvious that only a fool dares to say that CO2 is not responsible for climate change – or so it seems.
Some cases of cause and effect are simple and obvious: Does asbestos cause cancer, or does cancer cause asbestos? Because asbestos preceded cancer, it is the most probable cause.
But not all cases are so logical. We ask: Does CO2 cause climate change or does climate change cause a change in CO2 levels?
Here is another case of cause and effect: Are the wheels of a car responsible for heading in a certain direction or is it the turning of the steering wheel? There might exist some odd cases where the former situation is valid, but the wheels/steering components are so tightly connected to each other, that, if we would not know better (we have never seen a car before), we would have a very hard time to see objectively what the cause is and what the effect might be. When we change our direction of travel, the tolerance in the system would be the only way to find out the cause.
This is called hysteresis. What lags behind would be ipso facto the effect. We would discover that the steering wheel is the cause of the wheels to change direction. Grasping this principle is crucial to also have a better idea regarding our climate.
We claim that regardless of what climate scientists refer to, CO2 is ultimately not the main cause, simply because CO2 is a proxy, a reactor on changing temperatures.
The Elephant in the Room: CO2 Lags Behind
If we analyze the data by zooming in, we see that CO2 lags behind on the temperature data. Is this well known? The climate scientists know about it but they stubbornly ignore this problem. It is the elephant in the room.
Earth’s climate system is a feedback system. There are causes and there are effects. We must distinguish between these two to understand how such complicated mechanisms work.
When the alleged cause is lagging behind we can easily understand it is nothing more than an effect that is caused by something else. This “something else” however might be unknown to us.
We could concoct some unimaginably complicated system to fake CO2 as being the cause. But why would we create an incorrect cause-and-effect feedback system?
To become aware of the fact that CO2 is lagging behind temperature you must zoom in on the data.
It is crucial to grasp that, if you want to know which is causing what, you need many detailed data to show where the reversals are, where the direction changes, as in the graph shown below. The lag between input and output is what we have referred to as hysteresis.
In the graph below, there is not one single example where CO2 is not behind on changes in temperature. The odds for that correlation to be coincidental is 2.33×10-10 or 0.00000000233%. Therefore, we can say with 100% certainty that CO2 is NOT responsible for climate change – hence CO2 is the EFFECT and it correlates with changing temperatures. We must add explicitly this: ONLY IN THE ICE CORE DATA.
Why is this nuance important? Because what climate skeptics always do, is to look at the ice core data, and compare it with the temperature data over the last 150 years. It appears you cannot compare these data simply just like that. We have discovered that CO2 is like a coin that has two sides. So, it becomes more a little bit more complicated.
Temperature Leads CO2 by an Average of About 1,000 Years
Reasons Why Temperatures Increase in Urbanized Zones
About 85% of the measuring stations are on land, while land covers only about 33% of the planet. It is not difficult to see that, when we use this data, we introduce major errors when we try to calculate an average global temperature.
About 50% of the stations that are used to measure global temperature are situated at airports. Many of these stations are incorrectly located, meaning that they collect heat from the exhaust of airplanes or from the tarmac runway. Since the air traffic has increased, the heat collection by the sensors from the jet exhausts increases as well. The short and intense heat bursts of the engines accumulate to result in serious errors of many temperature measurements.
Most other stations are in expanding urbanized areas. The measurements are affected by growing traffic and growing heat radiation of buildings over the last decades. The explosive growth of air conditioners on buildings add an enormous heat source to cities and therefore influence the measurements of urban-situated weather stations.
The measurements from some of the stations in large urbanized areas must be corrected by other nearby remote stations before they can be used to present a global warming map. And even if we do this, we still present only the temperatures at ground level. We have no idea what happens higher up in the atmosphere, and deeper down in the oceans.
How Accurate Are the Temperature Measurements?
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the number of weather stations dropped dramatically from about 12,000 in 1990 to about 6,000 stations in 1995. In the same period, the alleged global temperature started to rise dramatically.
- Cause: the “cold” stations were gone from the statistics. Mainly the warm urbanized stations remained.
- Effect: the statistics started to present a distorted picture of the global temperatures.
Recently, a far better way of collecting data has come into use: Remote Sensing Systems, or shortly RSS. Satellites gather data over large areas by using microwave sensors. This data is much more reliable and much easier to process than the old-fashioned weather stations that climate models are still based on.
It is important to note that this system successfully monitored the temperatures of the whole atmosphere, but it suddenly stopped to gather data in 2015, after budget cuts by NASA. RSS, as a more reliable tool to observe the climatic system, did NOT support the agenda of climate change driven by CO2 and that is something to think about …
A Temperature Scan of the Whole Atmosphere
RSS Results Over the Last Two Decades
Warming + Cooling = Equilibrium
Why is the Atmosphere as a Whole in Equilibrium?
Over the last two decades, the atmosphere as a whole is in equilibrium. The lower atmosphere warms up, while the higher atmosphere cools down.
This relatively simple formula expresses this process in a nutshell:
ΔTall = ΔTtropo × Mtropo – ΔTstrato × Mstrato = 0
Indeed, the greenhouse gases partially trap the collected warmth in the troposphere, but because the stratosphere receives less back radiation through the CO2 blockade, it cools down very rapidly. The sum of both remains the same.
The higher stratosphere then becomes affected, due to the CO2 blanket, by the much slower convection and mixing processes in the atmosphere. Large amounts of emitted CO2 cause a sort of “flash heating” in the lower atmosphere. But this heat will never be entrapped for very long due to convection and mixing. When we look at the short-term aspects, it causes sudden melting of Arctic and Antarctic regions. In the longer term, it causes periods of melting and periods of extreme freezing – a less stable climate with more extremes indeed.
Radiation is Quicker Than Convection
Radiation works much faster than convection and mixing, and that is why we witness an alleged warming of the atmosphere when lots of CO2 is emitted. You can compare it with a reflector heater versus a convector heater. The reflector heater “transmits” its energy much faster than a convector heater.
However, because the higher atmosphere, the stratosphere, cools equally down, global warming at ground level is not a simple steady process that can be tracked back to CO2 alone. Convection and mixing between the warmed up troposphere and cooled down stratopshere interferes in this process. This is why there are two confused, fanatical camps of proponents and opponents of anthropogenic climate change. They are both right and both wrong. The key is in both their viewpoints.
But because global warming has become an emotional topic, reason does not seem to work anymore. Both camps refuse to even ponder a split second at other ideas than their own.
It is crucial to understand our concept of equilibrium to fully understand the processes in the atmosphere. Eventually, the strongly cooled stratosphere will receive what it is entitled to, although it might take some time.
That is why both sides are right and wrong. The truth is in the nuances present in both viewpoints.
Where Does All the CO2 Come From?
The increase of CO2 from 290 ppm to about 400 ppm over the last 100 years is mainly caused by the warming of the oceans. The oceans contain about 98% of all the carbon in the biosphere. The release of CO2 is partially caused by the above-mentioned sun cycles, and by the rebound effect of the last ice age that ended some 12,000 years ago, which was, in fact, a crustal deformation.
What many people do not know is that seawater is especially able to dissolve huge amounts of CO2. When temperatures of the oceans drop, seawater will dissolve more CO2. Is this CO2 then again released when the temperatures of the oceans rise again? There is ipso facto a strong correlation between temperatures and CO2 – but the water temperatures of the oceans decide at what levels CO2 is released into the atmosphere.
This is precisely what happened after the termination of the last ice age. The ocean temperatures bounced back up again. Additionally, a few midterm oscillations accumulated and caused constant small swings around the “setpoint”. Therefore, CO2 is behind in temperatures.
The small CO2 variations we saw over the last three decades are caused by ocean currents driven by varying amounts of solar activity. The midterm variations, like the Medieval Winter, were caused by the Hallstatt cycle. The large CO2 increase over the last 12,000 years is the rebound effect of the last major ice age.
Is There a Cold Wave Coming?
And of course, if our civilization emits high amounts of CO2, that would then cause what we have called “flash heating”, and that is what we see today. But this flash heat will remain only for a short while in the lower atmosphere if we lower our CO2 output radically.
A massive cold blanket will fall on us and cause a lot of troubles, like crop losses and frozen ports if we stop to emit CO2 without a sensible phasing out policy. And because radical CO2 reduction seems to be one of the main goals of all governments, there is a massive cooling wave coming. Don’t throw away your warm coat too soon!
The Ultimate Key to Many Questions
What Caused the Large Temperature Changes?
The biggest remaining question is: what caused the very large long-term temperature swings of the last glaciations?
- Sunspots? No.
- El Niño and El Niña? No.
- Bretagnon oscillations? No.
- PDO? No.
- Hallstatt cycles? No.
- Earth Crust Deformations? Yes!
Earth Crust Shifts are rejected and even ridiculed by geologists, while they offer the only rational explanation for the very large long-term temperature swings around the “setpoint”. We have gathered an incredible amount of data and are sure that crustal deformations are the only explanation for what science has called “glaciation cycles”.
What happens with ice core samples considering the assumption that the crust was fixed? The interpretations will lead to conclusions of very large temperature swings, which in fact never took place. Shifts in climatic zones, which are not recognized as such, lead automatically to the idea that the Earth was in a series of ice ages, while there is never any mechanism that was found to have caused such frigid events.
Read the article on our home page and you will understand how it works. Earth crust deformations were responsible for large climatic changes over many hundreds of thousands of years. They were caused by the high eccentric orbits of Earth around the Sun. That is the reason ice ages relate so well to the earth’s orbit eccentricity.
Today, we are still in the rebound of the last crustal deformation that terminated 26,000 years ago. This rebound effect causes the present temperature to still rise a little, which in turn causes the warming of the oceans, which in turn releases CO2. This is the chain of cause and effect regarding the all-important subject of CO2.
On the question, who is right and who is wrong, the answer is: They are all right and wrong at the same time. One must look at this issue from a wider, higher perspective to understand what is going on. Only then you can see that both perspectives contain parts of a much bigger picture, and that both sides have something useful to say.
© 2015- by Mario Buildreps et al.
Proofreading and editing: J.B.