Friday, June 07, 2002

Global Warming: CO2 Atmospheric Concentrations

As one person told me, "A 31% increase in CO2 concentration is a real measurable result. So you can "pooh, pooh" the science behind global warming, but the calculations are real."

The measurements of CO2 are real. If by calculations you mean the computer modeling done to predict future climate, that could not be more unreal.

It is rather striking that there has been a 31% increase in CO2, which is real and can be measured, yet there has been no measurable increase in global temperatures outside of the normal slight increase in temperature that has been going on for hundreds of years.

Kind of makes you think that the idea that increasing CO2 will increase the earth's temperature has already been proven false.

How can this be true? Well, CO2 is not that big in terms of contributing to the overall greenhouse effect. A 31% increase in heat trapping due to CO2 may be a drop in the bucket compared to natural fluctuations in other gasses. The most important gas in terms of heat energy trapping is water vapor, and we don't have a model that even begins to be consistent in estimating atmosphereic fluctuations in that. Then there is the effect of clouds, which form due to conditions that can only be described as largely chaotic and therefore unpredictable to a large degree. Most of the modelers already acknowledge that it is the effect of clouds and water on heat trapping that spoil their efforts to predict temperatures.

Add to that the effects of stuff we can't even begin to guess about, like oceanic circulation and sinking of dissolved CO2 in the water, and we really don't know which way global temperatures will go.