[asa] Limted role for CO2

From: Janice Matchett <janmatch@earthlink.net>
Date: Mon Feb 05 2007 - 11:29:34 EST

Another "cooler head" chimes in.

  ~ Janice ...noting that Mother Gaia is not
pleased with these "truth-deniers" that hinder
her successful use of the guilt-trip tactic. He
will be helped to get his head on straight, too.
Example: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1779095/posts?page=31#31

Sunday February 4 2007

Limted role for CO2

Financial Post
Friday, February 02, 2007

Astrophysicist Nir Shariv, one of Israel's top
young scientists, describes the logic that led
him -- and most everyone else -- to conclude that
SUVs, coal plants and other things man-made cause global warming.

Step One Scientists for decades have postulated
that increases in carbon dioxide and other gases
could lead to a greenhouse effect.

Step Two As if on cue, the temperature rose over
the course of the 20th century while greenhouse
gases proliferated due to human activities.

Step Three No other mechanism explains the
warming. Without another candidate, greenhouses
gases necessarily became the cause.

Dr. Shariv, a prolific researcher who has made a
name for himself assessing the movements of
two-billion-year-old meteorites, no longer
accepts this logic, or subscribes to these views.

He has recanted: "Like many others, I was
personally sure that CO2 is the bad culprit in
the story of global warming. But after carefully
digging into the evidence, I realized that things
are far more complicated than the story sold to
us by many climate scientists or the stories regurgitated by the media.

"In fact, there is much more than meets the eye."

Dr. Shariv's digging led him to the surprising
discovery that there is no concrete evidence --
only speculation -- that man-made greenhouse gases cause global warming.

Even research from the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change-- the United Nations agency that
heads the worldwide effort to combat global
warming -- is bereft of anything here inspiring
confidence. In fact, according to the IPCC's own
findings, man's role is so uncertain that there
is a strong possibility that we have been
cooling, not warming, the Earth. Unfortunately,
our tools are too crude to reveal what man's
effect has been in the past, let alone predict
how much warming or cooling we might cause in the future.

All we have on which to pin the blame on
greenhouse gases, says Dr. Shaviv, is
"incriminating circumstantial evidence," which
explains why climate scientists speak in terms of
finding "evidence of fingerprints."
Circumstantial evidence might be a fine basis on
which to justify reducing greenhouse gases, he
adds, "without other 'suspects.' " However, Dr.
Shaviv not only believes there are credible
"other suspects," he believes that at least one
provides a superior explanation for the 20th century's warming.

"Solar activity can explain a large part of the
20th-century global warming," he states,
particularly because of the evidence that has
been accumulating over the past decade of the
strong relationship that cosmic- ray flux has on
our atmosphere. So much evidence has by now been
amassed, in fact, that "it is unlikely that [the
solar climate link] does not exist."

The sun's strong role indicates that greenhouse
gases can't have much of an influence on the
climate -- that C02 et al. don't dominate through
some kind of leveraging effect that makes them
especially potent drivers of climate change. The
upshot of the Earth not being unduly sensitive to
greenhouse gases is that neither increases nor
cutbacks in future C02 emissions will matter much in terms of the climate.

Even doubling the amount of CO2 by 2100, for
example, "will not dramatically increase the
global temperature," Dr. Shaviv states. Put
another way: "Even if we halved the CO2 output,
and the CO2 increase by 2100 would be, say, a 50%
increase relative to today instead of a doubled
amount, the expected reduction in the rise of
global temperature would be less than 0.5C. This is not significant."

The evidence from astrophysicists and
cosmologists in laboratories around the world, on
the other hand, could well be significant. In his
study of meteorites, published in the prestigious
journal, Physical Review Letters, Dr. Shaviv
found that the meteorites that Earth collected
during its passage through the arms of the Milky
Way sustained up to 10% more cosmic ray damage
than others. That kind of cosmic ray variation,
Dr. Shaviv believes, could alter global
temperatures by as much as 15% --sufficient to
turn the ice ages on or off and evidence of the
extent to which cosmic forces influence Earth's climate.

In another study, directly relevant to today's
climate controversy, Dr. Shaviv reconstructed the
temperature on Earth over the past 550 million
years to find that cosmic ray flux variations
explain more than two-thirds of Earth's
temperature variance, making it the most dominant
climate driver over geological time scales.

The study also found that an upper limit can be
placed on the relative role of CO2 as a climate
driver, meaning that a large fraction of the
global warming witnessed over the past century
could not be due to CO2 -- instead it is
attributable to the increased solar activity.

CO2 does play a role in climate, Dr. Shaviv
believes, but a secondary role, one too small to
preoccupy policymakers. Yet Dr. Shaviv also
believes fossil fuels should be controlled, not
because of their adverse affects on climate but to curb pollution.

"I am therefore in favour of developing cheap
alternatives such as solar power, wind, and of
course fusion reactors (converting Deuterium into
Helium), which we should have in a few decades,
but this is an altogether different issue." His
conclusion: "I am quite sure Kyoto is not the right way to go."

Lawrence Solomon@nextcity.com

All 10 articles on scientists who buck the
conventional wisdom on climate science, The
Deniers by Lawrence Solomon, can be found on nationalpost.com

CV OF A DENIER: Nir Shaviv, an associate
professor at the Racah Institute of Physics at
the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, received his
doctorate from the Israel Institute of Technology
in 1996. Since then, he has authored or
co-authored some three dozen peer-reviewed
studies and presented papers at some two dozen
conferences. The Smithsonian/ NASA Astrophysics
Data System credits his works with a total of 613
citations. Among his prizes is the Beatrice
Tremaine Award from the Canadian Institute for
Theoretical Astrophysics at the University of Toronto.

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Received on Mon Feb 5 11:29:44 2007

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