Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Regardless of the ultimate impact of the exposed e-mails from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU), numerous facts about the atmosphere surrounding climate change have always been apparent to the broad atmospheric-science community.

The raw CRU e-mails, however, indicate that the gatekeepers of climate knowledge have limited what the public has been allowed to know about climate change.

Three important facts that have been sidetracked by the venerated gatekeepers include:

c There has never been an established consensus among scientists that humans are causing long-term, global climate change.

c Climate models have always been rather crude, inaccurate tools for projecting the worldwide trends of an extremely complex climate system.

c Water, not carbon dioxide (CO2) or any other greenhouse gas, has always been the most significant climate regulator on Earth.

Regarding the “consensus,” climate czar Carol Browner said she relies on those “2,500 scientists” from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to support her claim that human carbon emissions are likely pushing climate change.

But not all of the 2,500 are actually climate scientists. The IPCC group consists of a mix of scientists, bureaucrats and governmental representatives, many of whom seem bent on a power-grab agenda.

The thousands of non-IPCC scientists specializing in atmospheric and climate-related work have never been quizzed as to their confidence in the hypothesis that humans are substantially responsible for changing the global climate.

In addition, the official charge to the IPCC members is “to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation” [emphasis added]. Note the directive to be “open and transparent.”

But, perhaps more important, the members are assigned the task of assessing “human-induced” climate change, which implies such inducing already exists. In essence, members seemingly are expected to support the theme of human-induced climate change, not to investigate the existence of such change.

As for modeling, although terrific for research and understanding the dynamics of the atmosphere, climate models are rather crude, inaccurate tools for long-term climate predicting with any specificity. For instance, in the real world, complex elements such as clouds have a profound effect on regulating the Earth’s surface temperature. Yet clouds are inadequately represented by the computer models designed to simulate them.

That brings us to water in general as a key climate regulator. As stated in the past, the global atmospheric temperature is “substantially controlled by water in all its forms, as invisible vapor in air, as liquid in oceans and clouds, and as solid ice crystals, snow cover and glaciers” (see, “In global warming we trust,” The Washington Times’ Commentary pages Feb. 23). But, government regulation of water based on the tactic that it’s a dangerous pollutant is a more difficult sell than the CO2-is-bad-for-polar-bears ruse. Besides, the claim that “CO2 is causing global warming” is itself a rather shallow proposition.

Deep ice core records going back hundreds of thousands of years show that global temperature increases lead global CO2 increases - that is, temperature goes up first followed by a rise in CO2. Surely such evidence should put the brakes on climate hysteria.

Despite good scientific reason to be skeptical of official pronouncements on climate change, the CRU e-mail revelation certainly sheds more light on climate-science machinations. But, let’s face it, the train hauling cargo boldly labeled “Humans are Causing Long-term Climate Change” has long-ago departed the station - and now it is heading full-throttle to the next stop in Copenhagen.

Though it’s too late to flag the train before it pulls into the depot, at least the public is probably beginning to realize the train’s boldly labeled containers may in fact be empty.

Anthony J. Sadar is a certified consulting meteorologist and co-author of “Environmental Risk Communication: Principles and Practices for Industry” (CRC Press/Lewis Publishers, 2000).

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