NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Sunday, December 26, 2004


Michael Schwalm is worrying needlessly about a Potential catastrophe?, in the December 25, 2004 Union letters to the editor.
In the last hundred years, man has extracted and burned enormous amounts of hydrocarbons which took millions of years to form. This has resulted in a trillion tons of "abnormal" CO2 introduced into our atmosphere. Carbon dioxide levels have risen 30 percent during this short time.

However, the process is accelerating and predicted to reach 130 percent in next 90 years.
This is out right bunk. The growth of CO is not accelerating. It peaked at about 1.2 metric tons per capita in 1979 and has been declining slightly ever since. If measured against global GDP, the CO2 emission per unit of growth has dropped 30 percent. The more prosperous the world becomes the the less CO2 we produce per unit of economic growth. An acceleration slope would have an upward curve. CO2 increased from 294 parts per million in 1900 to 364 ppm in 1998 on a relatively linear slope. No acceleration in growth!
That could raise the earth's temperature 9 degrees F. with disastrous results.
More bunk science, the 9 degrees is based on a computer model that cannot be validated by scientific analysis. From 1979 to 1996 balloon carried radiosonde show a minus 0.06 degree C per decade slope in temperature decline. Satellite Microwave Sounding Units measure the lower troposphers temperature, from 1979 to 1997 and show a minus 0.07 degree C per decade decline. Science measurements trump computer guesses in my book.
Most atmospheric scientists are sounding serious warnings about catastrophic long-term effects from rising CO2 levels.
About 2000 scientist worked on the UN Climate Change project, and many of them disputed the final product, which was extensively edited by nonscientists, who removed the paragraphs expressing scientific concern over the uncertainty in the forecasted temperature changes. On the other hand 17,000 US scientists, half of whom are trained in the fields of physics, geophysics, climate science, meteorology, oceanography, chemistry, biology, or biochemistry signed a petition which in the abstract states there is no basis for believing:
That atmospheric CO2 is causing a dangerous climb in global temperatures,

That greater concentrations of CO2 would be harmful, or

That human activity leads to global warming in the first place.
You can find all 17,000 signers listed here.

Michael Schwalm is worked up about a problem that does not exist, except in the mind of those who want to stop economic progress and return us to a pre-industrial world.


Global Mean Temperature Variance From Average, Lower Troposphere, December 2004: +0.102 °C (Northern Hemisphere: +0.146 °C , Southern Hemisphere: +0.010 °C )
Peak recorded: +0.746 °C April 1998. Current change relative to peak recorded: -0.644 °C

GISTEMP Anomaly November 2004 +0.72 °C .
Peak recorded: +0.97 °C February 1998. Current change relative to peak recorded: -0.25 °C

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