Exposing the Global Warming Myth – CO2 Levels

An excellent article by Dr. Tim Ball explodes the myth that pre-industrial CO2 levels were significantly lower than today’s levels:

photo_38Pre-industrial CO2 levels were about the same as today. How and why we are told otherwise?

By Dr. Tim Ball  Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Canada Free Press

alg_obama-goreHow many failed predictions, discredited assumptions and evidence of incorrect data are required before an idea loses credibility? CO2 is not causing warming or climate change. It is not a toxic substance or a pollutant. Despite this President Elect Obama met with Al Gore on December 9 no doubt to plan a climate change strategy based on these problems. They make any plan to reduce of CO2 completely unnecessary.

Proponents of human induced warming and climate change told us that an increase in CO2 precedes and causes temperature increases. They were wrong. They told us the late 20th century was the warmest on record. They were wrong. They told us, using the infamous “hockey stick” graph, the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) did not exist. They were wrong. They told us global temperatures would increase through 2008 as CO2 increased. They were wrong. They told us Arctic ice would continue to decrease in area through 2008. They were wrong. They told us October 2008 was the second warmest on record. They were wrong. They told us 1998 was the warmest year on record in the US. They were wrong it was 1934. They told us current atmospheric levels of CO2 are the highest on record. They are wrong. They told us pre-industrial atmospheric levels of CO2 were approximately 100 parts per million (ppm) lower than the present 385 ppm. They are wrong. This last is critical because the claim is basic to the argument that humans are causing warming and climate change by increasing the levels of atmospheric CO2 and have throughout the Industrial era. In fact, pre-industrial CO2 levels were about the same as today, but how did they conclude they were lower?

In a paper submitted to the Hearing before the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Professor Zbigniew Jaworowski explains,

“The basis of most of the IPCC conclusions on anthropogenic causes and on projections of climatic change is the assumption of low level of CO2 in the pre-industrial atmosphere. This assumption, based on glaciological studies, is false.”

Ice cores provide the historic record and data collected at Mauna Loa the recent record. Both records are drastically modified to produce a smooth continuous curve with little variability. This was necessary to confirm the evidence falsely concluded from many 19th century measures that pre-industrial levels were approximately 280 ppm and didn’t vary much. So how did they engineer the smooth curves and ignore the fact the 19th century record shows a global average of 335 ppm and considerable variability from year to year.

Most people don’t know that thousands of direct measures of atmospheric CO2 were made beginning in 1812. Scientists took the readings with calibrated instruments and precise measurements as the work of Ernst-Georg Beck has thoroughly documented. Guy Stewart Callendar was an earlier visitor to these records. He rejected most of the records including 69% of the 19th century records and only selected certain records that established the pre-industrial level as 280 ppm. Here is a plot of the records with those Callendar selections circled.

ball1210

It is clear how only low readings were chosen. Also notice how the slope and trend is changed compared to the entire record.

As Jaworowski notes,

“The notion of low pre-industrial CO2 atmospheric level, based on such poor knowledge, became a widely accepted Holy Grail of climate warming models. The modelers ignored the evidence from direct measurements of CO2 in atmospheric air indicating that in 19th century its average concentration was 335 ppmv.”

Beck recently confirmed Jaworowski’s research. A September 2008 article in Energy and Environment examined the readings in great detail and validated the 19th century findings. In a devastating conclusion Beck writes,

Modern greenhouse hypothesis is based on the work of G.S. Callendar and C.D. Keeling, following S. Arrhenius, as latterly popularized by the IPCC. Review of available literature raise the question if these authors have systematically discarded a large number of valid technical papers and older atmospheric CO2 determinations because they did not fit their hypothesis? Obviously they use only a few carefully selected values from the older literature, invariably choosing results that are consistent with the hypothesis of an induced rise of CO2 in air caused by the burning of fossil fuel.

So the pre-industrial level is at least 50 ppm higher than the level put into the computer models that produce all future climate predictions. The models also incorrectly assume uniform atmospheric global distribution and virtually no variability of CO2 from year to year.

Beck found, “Since 1812, the CO2 concentration in northern hemispheric air has fluctuated exhibiting three high level maxima around 1825, 1857 and 1942 the latter showing more than 400 ppm.” Here is a plot from Beck comparing 19th century readings with ice core and Mauna Loa data.

ball1210-2

Compare the variability of the atmospheric measures with the smooth line of the ice core record. Eliminating extreme readings and then applying a long term smoothing average achieved this. When smoothing is done on the scale of the ice core record a great deal of information is lost. Elimination of high readings prior to the smoothing makes the loss even greater. Also note that as with all known records the temperature changes before the CO2, in this record by approximately 5 years.

Elimination of data is also done with the Mauna Loa and other atmospheric readings, which can vary up to 600 ppm in the course of a day. Beck explains how Charles Keeling established the Mauna Loa readings by using the lowest readings of the afternoon. He ignored natural sources, a practice that continues. Beck presumes Keeling decided to avoid these low level natural sources by establishing the station at 4000 meters (m) up the volcano. As Beck notes “Mauna Loa does not represent the typical atmospheric CO2 on different global locations but is typical only for this volcano at a maritime location in about 4000 m altitude at that latitude.” (Beck, 2008, “50 Years of Continuous Measurement of CO2 on Mauna Loa” Energy and Environment, Vol 19, No.7.)

Keeling’s son continues to operate the Mauna Loa facility and as Beck notes, “owns the global monopoly of calibration of all CO2 measurements.” Since the young Keeling is a co-author of the IPCC reports they accept the version that Mauna Loa is representative of global readings and that they reflect an increase since pre-industrial levels.

The Ice Core record

Jaworowski estimates the ice core readings are at least 20% low. That is more reasonable given the CO2 levels for 600 millions years using geologic evidence.  Here the current level of 385 ppm is the lowest in the entire record and only equaled by a period between 315 and 270 million years ago (mya).

ball1012-3

There are many problems with the ice core record. It takes years, sometimes up to 80, for air to be trapped in the ice so the question is what is actually being trapped and measured? Melt water moving through the ice especially when the ice is close to the surface can contaminate the air bubble. Bacteria form in the ice releasing gases even in 500,000-year-old ice at great depth. Under the pressure below 50m ice changes from brittle to plastic and begins to flow. The layers formed with each year of snowfall gradually disappear as the ice layers meld and compress. A considerable depth of ice covering a long period of time is required to obtain a single reading at depth.

Further evidence of the effects of smoothing and the artificially low ice core readings are provided by measurements of stomata. Stomata are the small openings on leaves that vary directly with the amount of atmospheric CO2. A comparison of a stomata record with the ice core record for a 2000-year period illustrates the issue.

ball1210-4

Stomata data on the right show the higher readings and variability when compared to the excessively smoothed ice core record on the left. This aligns quantitatively with the 19th century measurements as Jaworowski and Beck assert. A Danish stomata record shows levels of 333 ppm 9400 years ago and 348 ppm 9600 years ago.

The EPA is planning to declare CO2 a toxic substance and a pollutant. Governments are preparing to create carbon taxes and draconian restrictions that will cripple economies for a completely non-existent problem. It appears that a multitude of failed predictions, discredited assumptions and pieces of incorrect data are required before an idea loses credibility. Credibility should have collapsed but political control and insanity prevail.

“Dr. Tim Ball is a renowned environmental consultant and former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg.  Dr. Ball employs his extensive background in climatology and other fields as an advisor to the International Climate Science Coalition, Friends of Science and the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.”

Dr. Ball can be reached at: Letters@canadafreepress.com

Older articles by Dr. Tim Ball
Dr. Tim Ball most recent columns

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19 Comments on “Exposing the Global Warming Myth – CO2 Levels”


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  2. CavMom Says:

    All that I know is that Hell froze over last night we got snow in Houston. Must be the side effects of the global warming.

  3. tgusa Says:

    The same people that don’t understand economics, the very fools that brought us the fannie mac debacle. The exact same numbskulls that have created, yes created, this economic meltdown are now telling us that carbon dioxide is a pollutant. When I was a kid, science stated that co2 was an essential element of life on Earth but that was when we, the average citizens, were capable of critical thinking.

    I watch the learning channels today (when I can tolerate it) and just about everything is blamed on AGW, well that or spacemen. It’s a boggie man, a monster in the closet kind of mindset, I tagged the history channel the myistory channel for a for a reason you know. The Earth changes, sometimes violently. If this is what they want I have my pet peeve too. We must stop the culture of eruptions, volcanic eruptions, otherwise, on this “raging planet” we are all dead.

    I’m to the point where I cant take their bs anymore, most of these loons already got theirs in life and now that they have it they want to change it so you cant get yours. It’s an ages old strategy, nothing new about it except in the old days these lunatic groups were isolated and considered dangerous, now they represent democrat morons nationwide. Wake me up when they start sacrificing animals to their weather lord.

    • co2 is good Says:

      Tg USA:

      I totally agree! I like your line:
      “Wake me up when they start sacrificing animals to their weather lord.’

      Ha! al gore is their high priest.

      I’ll probably re=post your comments, if you don’t mind.

      It sums up the the cap n’ trade foolishness that comes out of BrainWashington.

  4. newchum Says:

    In fact, pre-industrial CO2 levels were about the same as today, but how did they conclude they were lower?”

    People are getting excited about this idea. It comes from a fellow called E.G. Beck, possibly via Zbigniew Jaworowski, who is pushing a similar line. It seems that Beck summarized the scientific community’s European measurements of CO2 levels from 1800 onwards and saw that there were many readings in the 350+ ppm range, and Jaworowski reasoned that the ice core sampling that the IPCC relies on, seriously underestimates the CO2 actually in the atmosphere. This line of thought has been very well received by the skeptics, and it was a case of ‘take that, alarmists’.

    Alas, for these people anyway, there has been re-evaluation of Beck’s conclusions, see
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/beck-to-the-future/
    where the author points out that most of the European measurements in Beck’s paper were taken in or near capital cities, where the CO2 levels had been raised by the burning of coal and other fuels, and that accurate readings can only come from pristine environments (if anyone is going to have a go at me over this, please read the paper first, and see the variation of CO2 levels in today’s Paris).
    Bottom line – the readings from the ice samples are still considered to be the most accurate, and the CO2 levels are increasing.

    Next up, and a topic for another day, is the chemical reaction
    H2O + CO2 -> H2CO3 ie carbonic acid which dissociates as H+ and HCO3-.
    What this means is that as the CO2 levels rise, more is stored in water and while the effect of this varies with the temperature and depth of the water and the mixing effect at the surface, the net result is that the water becomes more acidic, and the estimates are that at around 450 ppm CO2, parts of the sea, especially relatively shallow regions, will start to become too acidic for some of the corals and other tiny calcium shelled animals to survive. These animals are a large part of the reef food chain, and effects will ripple up.
    Never mind global warming, which I am not entirely convinced about, this will be a catastrophe. See if your video store has a copy of ‘Soylent Green’

  5. tgusa Says:

    That’s pretty interesting stuff newchum and I agree with you, there are lots of things to consider looking at the big picture. The elites are operating on a Hollywood script and they refuse to deviate or improvise that script. If we take the Soylent Green model which if you notice is a world based on the former fact, the world will be out of oil by the 21st century, it would probably be somewhat realistic. Unfortunately, for the plot, we haven’t run out of oil yet. Back when that movie came out most of us already knew that burning oil in millions of cars was not healthy, not from an AGW standpoint but purely an air quality thing.

    That was one reason we saw the push for nuclear energy back then but we were told, as usual no, no, no, you cant do that. Way back when, I was actually considering getting into that field that I saw as a potentially profitable, reliable and interesting line of work. Soylent Green is a world that has for the most part stopped using energy, except for the elites and the authorities of course. Yep, a lot like what these so called experts are proposing for our future. Soylent Green is a world that refused to use nuclear energy, the consequences, well as babs might sing it, people, people who eat people.

    With the easy access to WMD’s and the psychopathic islamists I am leaning more toward the Omega Mans type of world if we don’t do something about that issue fast and first. I find it disturbing that here in Ca we have an 11 billion dollar shortfall, we have maybe 10 million illegal’s here yet no one will mention that fact, it’s all about cutting back on energy use. We don’t utilize our resources and now Reichsminister ahnuld has decided to not only decrease resource utilization but to trade carbon credits. I suppose we have to share our slice of the carbon pie with illegal’s now.

    The world is a competition, a race between the races and cultures. The Chinese have their sprinters outfits on and we are tying our legs together preparing for a three legged race. Don’t be surprised if America’s grandchildren are flipping carbon neutral burgers for Chinese fatcats in the future. Of course if they don’t like cooking they can always find work cleaning toilets or cutting lawns.

  6. Rev Says:

    The same people that don’t understand economics and science, the very fools that brought us the fannie mac debacle. The exact same numbskulls that have created, yes created, this economic meltdown are now telling us that the CO2 has never increased, ice in the arctic is not melting, don’t worry, nothing bad can come of it….


  7. […] Exposing the Global Warming Myth – CO2 Levels « Doctor Bulldog & Ronin […]

  8. newchum Says:

    If we take the Soylent Green model which if you notice is a world based on the former fact, the world will be out of oil by the 21st century, it would probably be somewhat realistic. Unfortunately, for the plot, we haven’t run out of oil yet.

    Soylent Green is not set against the scenario where the world has run out of oil (you might be thinking of Mad Max II, aka the Road Warrior), but rather where the oceans have died, the air is polluted, and Charlton Heston discovers the source of the new foodstuff that the government is providing for the masses (hint : lots of people are disappearing).

    The issue here is the effect of the rising concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. Do you have a reply to the problem of the acidification of the oceans ?


  9. You know, my fish require an alkalinity pH near 8.2, ranging from 8.0 to 8.4…

    From what I’ve read, the oceans are currently between 8.2 and 8.5 pH, so they are highly alkaline.

    I would say that we are helping the fish by keeping the alkalinity levels down.

    🙂

    (Yes, I’m being sarcastic)

    Cheers

  10. newchum Says:

    If fish require an alkaline environment, and the acidity of the oceans are inceasing as CO2 concentration in the atmosphere increases, why are you assuming the ostrich position.

    This (as I see it, please correct me if you can) is the key issue to increasing CO2 levels, and it is surely time for informed debate, notwithstanding the health of you fish.


  11. newchum,

    I have hardly been keeping my head in the sand. I’ve been reading and studying the reports for the past two days:

    Click to access Final_acidification.pdf

    and,

    http://royalsociety.org/displaypagedoc.asp?id=13539

    Already, I have spotted a problem with the first data sets in the first report.

    In Figure 1.2, the first thing that pops out at me is that the Pacific Ocean data collected at the Hawaii Ocean Time series station (HOT) has a significantly different Delta than the Atlantic Ocean data from the Bermuda-Atlantic Time-series Station (BATS). The BATS data shows hardly any significant Delta decline in pH levels.

    Obviously, they are collecting their data samples from surface water, as the pH levels are lower than the 8.2 average found in the Ocean.

    It might be worth noting that HOT is collecting data near an active volcano in Hawaii – a high source of sulfur, which we all know converts to sulfuric acid in the atmosphere and comes down as acid rain. This is one possibility for the difference between the two stations in the pH Delta data.

    There is no temperature data provided with the pH data. This is odd, because pH also varies with temperature.

    The second report from the Royal Society is looking pretty crappy too.

    Section 2.6 is quite humorous as Section 2.5 ends with the following statement:

    “We caution, therefore, that there is substantial uncertainty in both proxy and model reconstructions, and that these uncertainties increase as one goes back from centuries to millennia and to millions of years in time.”

    Section 2.6 then proceeds to throw that caution out the window and starts out with an assumption that it is possible to calculate the pH of the surface oceans in pre-industrial times by relying on Caldeira & Wickett’s computer model from 2003.

    A computer model is only as good as its input variables and the ocean is so complex that there is no way the Caldeira & Wickett model can take into account all variables. The computer model is based on C02 absorption and retention in surface oceans and a rudimentary understanding of the CaC03 buffer. It doesn’t take into account the acidic properties of decompositional bacterium which thrive when seas become eutropied (overnourished) and autotrophs (plants) are in excess.

    The importance of this cannot be stressed enough as autotrophs consume hydrogen ions which drives the alkalinity, or pH, upwards, while decompositional bacterium return hydrogen ions, thus increasing acidity and driving the pH down.

    This cycle can swing the daily pH data by about 250%, or about 0.4 pH units.

    As I see it, the acidification of the seas is a red-herring. According to some other research I have come across, the excess CO2 in the atmosphere should be causing an increase in the CaO3 in the oceans, which should be increasing the alkalinity of the Oceans.

    So, either way, if the seas are leaning acidic or alkalizing, the global warming alarmists will be blaming the CO2. It’s a win-win situation for them.

    Now, leave me alone and let me finishing analyzing the data. It’s going to take a while.


  12. […] Warming is a myth! CanadaFreePress.com Proponents of human induced warming and climate change told us that an increase in CO2 precedes and […]


  13. Hmm, a professor of geography and a physicist. When faced with competing theories, I think I’ll stick with the scientists with actual training in the field. I suppose it could be just a coincidence that the vast majority of those have different opinions. Wait, don’t tell me, it’s a vast left wing conspiracy.


  14. […] CO2 levels were about the same as today, but how did they conclude they were lower? Exposing the Global Warming Myth – CO2 Levels Doctor Bulldog & Ronin __________________ Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to […]

  15. Misty Says:

    Happened across this page. Is this for real even? It has to be a joke? 99% of scientists think global warming is real. Uhhhh, I think im going to listen to those who spend their entire lives conducting research vs this guy who works for a company THAT RECEIVES THEIR FUNDING FROM OIL COMPANIES. Wow, biased much???

    • Big Frank Says:

      Misty, I doubt the 99% is accurate figure there are many PHDS” in the US Canada and Europe questioning the entire concept of global warming or climate change. There is room for much more intelligent discussion and fact finding to be done. what really bothers me is that the liberal and left leaning governments and academia are in such a rush to declare a crisis so they can tax the hell out of us. We are already being taxed to draconian standards by politicians who can never seem to confiscate enough of our hard earned wages.

      • tgusa Says:

        We’re also running out of burrito wrappings too. Klimate kookery, brought to you by Taco Bell.

        No doubt some of these loons would cheerfully get into a car alongside a homicidal necrophile. Bundy girls unite!

    • Dee Says:

      That is bc you happen to read what you want to believe in,you obviously do not try to read and compare different studies or research .If you had- you would be embarrassed by your flippancy


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