"Every age has a governing creed from which dissenters are branded
heretics or enemies of the people. Once it was that God created the world.
Next it was that man had to recreate the world as the workers' paradise.
When communism imploded in the late 1980s another belief emerged to
fill the gap - that mankind was destroying the world through global
warming. Anyone who questions the orthodoxy that the West's rising output of
carbon dioxide will produce environmental catastrophe is branded as mad,
bad or in the pay of the oil industry. [...] There is no conclusive
evidence to support the global warming theory. Scientists are deeply
divided over it. Most independent climate specialists, far from
supporting it, are deeply sceptical. A growing body of rigorous science is
showing that many of the claims made to support the most apocalyptic
scenarios are demonstrably false."
--Melanie Phillips, The Sunday Times, 15 April 2001

"Although initially generated by honest scientific questions of how
human-produced greenhouse gases might affect global climate, this topic has
now taken on a life of its own. It has been extended and grossly
exaggerated and misused by those wishing to make gain from the
exploitation of ignorance on this subject. This includes the governments of
developed countries, the media and scientists who are willing to bend their
objectivity to obtain government grants for research on this topic. I have
closely followed the carbon dioxide warming arguments. From what I have
learned of how the atmosphere ticks over 40 years of study, I have been
unable to convince myself that a doubling of human-induced greenhouse
gases can lead to anything but quite small and insignificant amounts of
global warming."
--Professor William Gray, Colorado State University

    Andrew Yee <>

    The New York Times, 13 April 2001

    John L. Daly

(4) TEMPERATURE-TO-CO2 PROVED, 19 April 2001

    CO2 Science Magazine, 18 April 2001

    CO2 Science Magazine, 18 April 2001

    TechnoPolitics, 13 April 2001

    Scientific American, April 2001

    The Sunday Times, 15 April 2001

(10) AND FINALLY: CHILLED WINE, 14 April 2001


From Andrew Yee <>

Joint American Geophysical Union/California Institute of Technology/
New Jersey Institute of Technology Release

Harvey Leifert, (202) 777-7507,

Caltech Contact:
Robert Tindol, (626) 395-3631,

NJIT Contact:
Sheryl Weinstein, (973) 596-3436,

For Immediate Release: April 17, 2001


Scientists Watch Dark Side of the Moon to Monitor Earth's Climate

WASHINGTON -- Scientists have revived and modernized a nearly forgotten
technique for monitoring Earth's climate by carefully observing
"earthshine," the ghostly glow of the dark side of the moon. Earthshine
measurements are a useful complement to satellite observations for
determining Earth's reflectance of sunlight, an important climate parameter.
Long-term observations of earthshine thus monitor variations in cloud cover
and atmospheric particles known as aerosols that play a role in climate

Earthshine is readily visible to the naked eye, most easily during a
crescent moon. Leonardo da Vinci first explained the phenomenon, in which
the moon acts as a giant mirror, showing the sunlight reflected from Earth.
The brightness of the earthshine thus measures the reflectance of Earth.

In May 1 issue of the journal, Geophysical Research Letters, published by
the American Geophysical Union, a team of scientists from the New Jersey
Institute of Technology and the California Institute of Technology report
that Earth's albedo, the fraction of sunlight it reflects, is currently
0.297, with a margin of error of 0.005.

"Earth's climate is driven by the net sunlight that it absorbs," says Philip
R. Goode, leader of the New Jersey Institute of Technology team, Director of
the Big Bear Solar Observatory, and a Distinguished Professor of Physics at
NJIT. "We have found surprisingly large -- up to 20 percent -- seasonal
variations in Earth's reflectance. Further, we have found a hint of a
2.5-percent decrease in Earth's albedo over the past five years." If Earth
reflected even one percent less light, the effect would be significant
enough to be a concern with regard to global warming.

In the early 20th century, the French astronomer André-Louis Danjon
undertook the first quantitative observations of earthshine. But the method
lay dormant for nearly 50 years, until Caltech professor Steven E. Koonin
described its modern potential in a 1991 paper. The newly published data are
the first that are precise and systematic enough to infer the relative
health of Earth's climate.

Koonin notes that "studies of climate change require well-calibrated,
long-term measurements of large regions of the globe. Earthshine
observations are ideally suited to this, because, in contrast to satellite
determinations of the albedo, they are self-calibrating, easily and
inexpensively performed from the ground, and instantaneously cover a
significant fraction of the globe."

The new albedo measurements are based on about 200 nights of observations of
the dark side of the moon at regular intervals over a recent two-year
period, and another 70 nights during 1994-95. Using a six-inch refractor
telescope and precise charge coupled devices at the Big Bear Solar
Observatory, the researchers measure the intensity of the earthshine.

By simultaneously observing the bright "moonshine" from the crescent, they
compensate for the effects of atmospheric scattering. The data are best
collected one week before and one week after the new moon, when less than
half of the lunar disk is illuminated by the sun. When local cloud cover is
also taken into account, Earth's reflectance can be determined on about
one-quarter of the nights.

The study relies on averages over long periods, because the albedo changes
substantially from night to night with changing weather, and even more
dramatically from season to season with changing snow and ice cover. The
location of land masses also affect the albedo as Earth rotates on its axis.

For example, the observations from California easily detect a brightening of
earthshine during the night as the sun rises over Asia, because the huge
continental land mass reflects more light than the Pacific Ocean. "Thus, the
averaging of lots of data is necessary for an accurate indication of a
changing albedo," Goode says.

It is significant that earthshine data suggest that the albedo has decreased
slightly during the past five years, as the Sun's magnetic activity has
climbed from solar minimum to maximum during that time. This supports the
hypothesis that the Sun's magnetic field plays an indirect role in Earth's
climate. If supported by further observations, it would explain why there
seem to be so many signatures of the Sun's 11-year activity cycle in Earth's
climate record, although the associated variations in the Sun's brightness
are too weak to have an effect.

The researchers plan to continue observations from the Big Bear observatory.
"These, supplemented with additional observations from a planned worldwide
network, will allow even more precise, round-the-clock monitoring of the
earth's reflectance," Goode says. "That precision will also make it possible
to test connections between solar activity and Earth's climate."

"It's really amazing, if you think about it," Koonin says, "that you can
look at this ghostly reflection on the Moon and measure what Earth's climate
is doing."

The study was funded by both NASA, beginning in 1998, and the Western Center
for Global Environmental Change, during 1994-95. In addition to Goode,
members of the NJIT team were Jiong Qiu, Vasyl Yurchyshyn, and Jeff Hickey.
Members of the Caltech team, in addition to Koonin, were C. Titus Brown,
Edwin Kolbe (now at the University of Basel), and Ming Chu (now at the
Chinese University of Hong Kong).


Notes for journalists:

The paper, P.R. Goode, J. Qui, V. Yurchyshyn, J. Hickey, M-C. Chu, E. Kolbe,
C.T. Brown, and S.E. Koonin, "Earthshine Observations of the Earth's
Reflectance," will appear in Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 28, no. 9
(May 1, 2001), pages 1,671-1,674. A copy may be ordered from Harvey Leifert, . Please indicate whether you prefer PDF or fax and provide
your contact information.

Dr. Goode (pronounced "good'-ee") may be reached by email at or by phone, as follows:

* Through April 26 -- (909) 866-5791 x20
* April 28-30 -- (973) 596-3565 (work)
* May 2 onward -- (909) 866-5791 x20


From The New York Times, 13 April 2001


Using two different computer simulations of climate and the oceans, separate
research teams have concluded that a buildup of heat in the seas over the
last five decades was almost certainly caused by the heat- trapping effect
of greenhouse gases released into the air by human activities.

The findings provide new evidence that people, mainly through the burning of
fossil fuels, have caused at least a substantial portion of a global warming
measured since the 1950's, several independent experts on climate models

The work is described in two papers in today's issue of the journal Science.
The raw data on the oceans' rising heat were published last year, but the
two new studies were the first to
offer an explanation for what influence, natural or otherwise, accounted for

The computer models used in the research were among the world's most
advanced efforts to recreate the behavior of earth's climate system and so
study how changes in the atmosphere might change weather patterns. Even so,
they are relatively rough sketches of the real world.

In fact, some climate experts said the papers' conclusions were overstated,
a result, they said, of the computer models' lacking sufficient detail to
deal with small but potentially important
changes in ocean conditions. 

But an author of one study, Dr. Tim P. Barnett, said the findings were
strong enough to overcome his long skepticism about the models' ability to
pinpoint a human influence amid all the
naturally chaotic ups and downs of climate.

Dr. Barnett, a marine physicist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography,
in San Diego, said in an interview that he was now convinced that people
were contributing to global warming.

"I was maybe 60-40 before, but I'm at least 90-10 now," he said. "The
chances that our model could have done this by itself are virtually nil."

He added that the ability of the two computer simulations to reproduce the
warming actually measured in the oceans in recent decades indicated that
these models were valid tools for projecting how the continuing emission of
greenhouse gases might spur further climate changes in coming decades.

This is important because the models, and others like them, are the basis
for many of the forecasts being used by experts to recommend how forcefully
societies must move to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other
greenhouse gases.

At least one aspect of the new studies bears directly on that question. Dr.
Barnett and other scientists said the analyses supported the idea that by
absorbing most of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases in the air above, the
oceans could act as a strong buffer against abrupt climate warming.

"The immediate impact may not be as great, because the oceans may slow
things down a little," he said. But eventually that heat will be released
from the ocean's surface back into the air, he and others said.

The other modeling study was led by Dr. Sydney Levitus, director of the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's ocean climate laboratory,
in Silver Spring, Md. It was Dr. Levitus who collated the millions of
accumulated temperature measurements, taken around the world's oceans, that
detected the heat rise.

Other scientists said the new analyses showed the importance of Dr.
Levitus's decade-long effort.

"In putting together this global data set, he's like a national treasure,"
said one expert on computer climate models, Dr. Andrew Weaver, a professor
of atmospheric science at the University of Victoria, in British Columbia.

Dr. Weaver said previous efforts to identify human interference with the
climate system had focused on changes in air temperature, which varies
enormously day to day, year to year, in ways that hide clues.

The oceans, in sharp contrast, are a vast long-term repository for heat
absorbed from the air, and so exhibit little confounding variability, he

"This is a much more convincing approach," he said. "It's not only
consistent with the land-based detection schemes, but it doesn't suffer from
the problems of being clouded by the noise that critics always focus on."

Even so, some scientists said they were concerned that such similar results
could emerge from models that deal very differently with forces affecting
climate. For example, the model used by Dr. Levitus's group included the
sun-blocking effect of volcanic emissions that have punctuated recent
decades, while the model used by Dr. Barnett did not.

Others had different criticisms. Chris N. Hill, a designer of ocean computer
models at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said, "The models being
used, although state of the art, still represent the ocean as a viscous
oil-like fluid, rather than the turbulent and highly variable real ocean."

But members of both modeling teams said their results were so robust, and
the match to the rise in greenhouse gases was so clear, that more detail was
unlikely to make a difference.

Copyright 2001 The New York Times Company


by John L. Daly

Critical comment on -

Levitus, S. et al., "Anthropogenic Warming of Earth's Climate System"
Science, vol.292, p.267-270, 13 April 2001 [8]

Barnett, T. et al., "Detection of Anthropogenic Climate Change in the
World's Oceans"
Science, vol.292, p.270-274, 13 April 2001 [2]


These two papers were published in the same issue of the journal `Science',
on consecutive pages, both of which attracted a barrage of media publicity,
most of whom like `New Scientist' [6] seemed to know the contents of the
papers well before their actual release. 'New Scientist' declared "The
strongest evidence to date for global warming undermines a discrepancy often
cited by sceptics.", a comment typical of other major media outlets. In
fact, the papers did nothing of the kind.

Those PR considerations aside, did these papers tell us anything new about
the state of the Earth's climate, or of human influence? In other words,
were they good science, even if released for headline grabbing?  

Both papers were somewhat complementary in that both covered much the same
ground (thus the reason for `Science' publishing them on consecutive pages
in their journal).  Good publicity they may have been, but good science they
were not.

To briefly summarise their findings, the Levitus paper presented a
calculation of their estimate of  increased heat content of the world's
oceans,  atmosphere, and of the cryosphere (ice covered regions) during the
latter half of the 20th century, their conclusion being that  the oceans had
gathered nearly 10 times as much heat as the rest of the atmosphere or
cryosphere combined.  This calculation was based on separate estimates of
increased heat content of the oceans, the atmosphere, continental glaciers,
Antarctic sea ice extent, mountain glaciers, northern hemisphere sea ice
extent, and perennial Arctic sea ice volume.  Each variable was estimated
separately and then combined into one global estimate of heat content
increase.  Having made the grand total, the authors concluded, "the observed
increase in ocean heat content may largely be due to the increase of
anthropogenic gases in Earth's atmosphere."  `May'...,  but then maybe not.

By contrast, the Barnett paper concentrated entirely on the world's oceans,
comparing ocean temperature data from the 1950s to the 1990s and comparing
the trends with those produced by a new generation model called the
`Parallel Climate Model'.  This was described as `state of the art' and
regarded by the authors as superior to all previous models.  When the
historical data for surface and deep ocean temperature was matched to the
model, they found that both the model and the observations agreed closely
when the model was forced with the greenhouse gas increases we know have
occurred in the last 45 years. Since the two correlated, the authors
concluded that the greenhouse gases caused the ocean temperature increase in
both the model and the observed data.

Where Levitus et al. went wrong

It is a rule in science that you must always check and verify your
assumptions. The Levitus paper was dependent on some very rubbery
assumptions to arrive at its conclusions.

Firstly, they accepted as a prior assumption that the oceans had in fact
warmed when a lack of reliable global data for such a claim makes such an
assumption premature.  Furthermore, the data they cite dates from 1955, a
known cold period worldwide, with the consequent distortion which comes from
beginning any data series from a known anomalous starting point.  Had the
ocean temperature data been taken from the 1930s, a known warm period
worldwide, a much different picture would have emerged. That's rubbery
assumption no.1



From, 19 April 2001

Some studies get the full media treatment because they support global
warming claims. The others just get ignored.

A recent paper titled 'Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations over the Last Glacial
Termination' by Monnin et al. appeared without fanfare in Science (Science,
vol.291, p.112, 5 Jan 2001), and addressed a long-standing point of
contention between promoters and sceptics of global warming.

During the transition from the last Ice Age to our present Interglacial (or
warm period), did rising CO2 cause temperatures to rise, or did rising
temperatures cause CO2 to rise? Global warming promoters frequently claimed
or implied the former as a means to 'prove' that CO2 really can warm the

Although it has been known for a long time that CO2 changes were correlated
with temperature changes, the question as to which causes which has been a
controversial issue.  No more.  We now know for sure. 

The authors examined samples from a recent ice core extracted from the
Concordia Dome in Antarctica (75°06'S 123°24'E) in 1999, and which has
provided a better dating resolution than previous Antarctic or Greenland
cores.  According to the authors, "We found that the start of the CO2
increase lagged the start of the dD (temperature) increase by 800 ± 600
years, taking the uncertainties of the gas-ice age difference and the
determination of the increases into account."  Even allowing for error
factors in the time resolution, the temperature-to-CO2 sequence was quite

The above graph (colour indicators added for
clarity) shows the relationship between temperature, CO2 and methane during
the Glacial-Interglacial transition, the temperature clearly leading CO2
(three matched transitions shown by blue arrows). The 'YD' refers to the
`Younger Dryas' cooling episode and 'BA' refers to the 'Bølling/Allerød'
warming episode, both in the North Atlantic and mainly affecting methane.
Since temperature clearly leads CO2, that means the rise in temperature
caused the rise in CO2. Notice also that at the start point of the Holocene
period 10,600 years ago, CO2 had risen sharply during the immediate previous
centuries, with no apparent effect on temperature which had already levelled
out a thousand years earlier. That suggests that CO2 has only a very weak
effect on climate.


From CO2 Science Magazine, 18 April 2001

Back from the Jaws of Extinction
(Or What a Difference a Degree Makes)
Volume 4, Number 16b: 18 April 2001

In a brief note less lengthy than this review, Nature's contributing
correspondent for Australasia, Peter Pockley, reports the results of a
recent survey of the plants and animals on Australia's Heard Island, a
little piece of real estate located 4,000 miles southwest of Perth.  Over
the past fifty years this sub-Antarctic island has experienced a local
warming of approximately 1°C that has resulted in a modest (12%) retreat of
its glaciers; and now, for the first time in a decade, scientists are
attempting to document what this warming and melting has done to the ecology
of the island.

Pockley begins by stating the scientists' work has unearthed "dramatic
evidence of global warming's ecological impact." Oh no, we thought. How bad
can it be? But we had it wrong. The impact, as we clearly should have
surmised, was positive, and dramatically so. But, in our defense, how often
does one read good news about rising temperatures? And in Nature!

First off, Pockley reports on the "rapid increases in flora and fauna" that
have accompanied the warming. He quotes Dana Bergstrom, an ecologist at the
University of Queensland in Brisbane, as saying that areas that previously
had been poorly vegetated are now "lush with large expanses of plants." To
this information is added the fact that populations of birds, fur seals and
insects have also expanded rapidly. One of the real winners in this regard
is the king penguin, which, Pockley says, "has exploded from only three
breeding pairs in 1947 to 25,000."

Eric Woehler of Australia's environment department is listed as a source of
other equally remarkable figures, like the Heard Island cormorant's comeback
from "vulnerable" status to a substantial 1,200 pairs, and fur seals
emergence from "near extinction" to a population of 28,000 adults and 1,000

Yes, you read that right. The regional warming experienced at Heard Island
has actually snatched these threatened animal populations from the jaws of
extinction, which is a very long goodbye.  So it's time to celebrate! And if
CO2 is to "blame" for the "debacle," ought we not raise a glass (milk,
please) to the "polluters," whose actions, most greens and climate alarmists
would be forced to aver, must surely have caused this consequence? After
all, responsibility does cut both ways; and if emitters of CO2 are blamed in
advance for theoretical warming-induced future extinctions, they should
likewise - and even more so - be thanked immediately for warming-induced
rescues from extinction that have already occurred.

Dr. Craig D. Idso
Dr. Keith E. Idso

Pockely, P. 2001. Climate change transforms island ecosystem. Nature 410:

Copyright © 2001.  Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change


From CO2 Science Magazine, 18 April 2001

CO2-Temperature Correlations -- Summary

Mann et al. (1999) present a tree-ring-and-ice-core-derived proxy
reconstruction of Northern Hemispheric temperatures over the past thousand
years that shows relatively warm temperatures early in the millennium but a
prolonged cooling trend following the 14th century. This temperature decline
reverses itself when the planet begins to recover from the Little Ice Age,
however; and the subsequent warming prompts the authors to declare the last
decade of the past millennium "the warmest for the Northern Hemisphere this

Because the air's CO2 content has also risen significantly over the past
couple of centuries, this temperature history has led many people -
especially certain journalists and politicians - to declare that the ongoing
rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration has been the cause of the concomitant
rise in air temperature.  However, as we have noted previously (see our
editorial CO2 and Temperature: The Great Geophysical Waltz), (1) correlation
does not prove causation, (2) cause must precede effect, and (3) when
attempting to evaluate claims of causal relationships between different
parameters, it is important to have as much data as possible in order to
weed out spurious correlations.  Hence, when we look at data in addition to
that presented by Mann et al., such as what has been provided by the
scientific studies reviewed in this section of our web site, we find that
the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration over the past century or so is
very unlikely to have been the cause of the warming experienced near the end
of the past millennium.

Consider, for example, the study of Fischer et al. (1999), who examined
trends of atmospheric CO2 and air temperature derived from Antarctic ice
core data that extended back in time a quarter of a million years.  Over
this extended period, the three most dramatic warming events experienced on
earth were those associated with the terminations of the last three ice
ages; and for each of these climatic transitions, earth's air temperature
rose well in advance of any increase in atmospheric CO2.  In fact, the air's
CO2 content did not begin to rise until 400 to 1,000 years after the planet
began to warm.  Such findings have been corroborated by Mudelsee (2001), who
examined the leads/lags of atmospheric CO2 concentration and air temperature
over an even longer time period, finding that variations in atmospheric CO2
concentration lagged behind variations in air temperature by 1,300 to 5,000
years over the past 420,000 years.

Other studies have also documented a fundamental violation of the
cause-must-precede-effect principle in the climate alarmist hypothesis of
CO2-induced global warming.  From a high-resolution temperature and
atmospheric CO2 record spanning the period 60 to 20 thousand years ago,
Indermuhle et al. (2000) examined the CO2/temperature relationship at four
distinct periods when temperatures rose by approximately 2°C and CO2 by
about 20 ppm.  One type of statistical test performed on the data suggested
that the shifts in the air's CO2 content during these intervals lagged those
in air temperature by approximately 900 years; while a second statistical
test yielded a mean lag time of 1200 years.

Focusing on the transition from glacial to interglacial conditions during
the period between 22,000 and 9,000 years ago, Monnin et al. (2001) found
that the start of the CO2 increase lagged the start of the temperature
increase by 800 years.  An additional analysis of this most recent
glacial/interglacial transition by Yokoyama et al. (2000), which has also
been discussed by Clark and Mix (2000), revealed that a rapid rise in sea
level, caused by the melting of land-based ice that began approximately
19,000 years ago, preceded the post-glacial rise in atmospheric CO2
concentration by about 3,000 years.  Then, when the CO2 finally began to
rise, it had to race to make up the difference; but it still took it a
couple more thousand years to catch up with the sea level rise.

Lastly, Petit et al. (1999) have shown that during all of the glacial
inceptions of the past half million years, temperature always dropped before
the air's CO2 concentration declined; and their data indicate, in their own
words, that "the CO2 decrease lags the temperature decrease by several
thousand years."  Clearly, therefore, changes in the air's CO2 content
cannot be responsible for these major climate changes, for it would be a
strange cause indeed that followed its effect!

Somewhat smaller, but still large, environmental changes during the last
glacial period also demonstrate the weak coupling of CO2 and air
temperature.  During certain climatic transitions characterized by rapid
warmings of several degrees Centigrade, which were followed by slower
coolings that returned the climate to full glacial conditions, Staufer et
al. (1998) observed the atmospheric CO2 concentration derived from ice core
records to typically vary by less than 10 ppm.  And here, too, they
considered these environmental perturbations to have been caused by changes
in climate, rather than by changes in CO2.

Other studies periodically demonstrate a complete uncoupling of CO2 and
temperature (Cheddadi et al., 1998; Gagan et al., 1998; Raymo et al., 1998).
Steig (1999) for example, demonstrated that between 7,000 and 5,000 years
ago, atmospheric CO2 concentrations increased by just over 10 ppm at a time
when temperatures in both hemispheres cooled.  Such findings were echoed by
Indermuhle et al. (1999), who demonstrated that after the termination of the
last great ice age, the CO2 content of the air gradually rose by
approximately 25 ppm in almost linear fashion between 8,200 and 1,200 years
ago, also during a period of time that saw a slow but steady decline in mean
global air temperature, which results are obviously just the opposite of
what would be expected if changes in atmospheric CO2 drove climate change in
the way claimed by the popular CO2-greenhouse effect theory.

Going back even further in time, Pagani et al. (1999), working with sediment
cores from three deep-sea drilling sites, found the air's CO2 concentration
to be uniformly low (180 to 290 ppm) throughout the early to late Miocene
(25 to 9 million years ago), at a time when deep-water and high-latitude
surface water temperatures were as much as 6° C warmer than they are today,
leading them to state that what they found "appears in conflict with
greenhouse theories of climate change."  Furthermore, they noted that the
air's CO2 concentration seemed to rise following the expansion of the East
Antarctic Ice Sheet, which is also in conflict with greenhouse theories of
climate change.

With respect to the middle Eocene climate of 43 million years ago, Pearson
and Palmer (1999) report the planet then may well have been as much as 5°C
warmer than today; but the mean CO2 concentration of the atmosphere, as
determined by pH data inferred from boron isotope composition in planktonic
foraminifera, was only on the order of 385 ppm.

Much the same thing was found by these authors one year later in an analysis
of atmospheric CO2 and temperature over the past 60 million years (Pearson
and Palmer, 2000).  Starting 60 million years before present (BP), for
example, the authors note the atmosphere's CO2 concentration is
approximately 3600 ppm and the oxygen isotope ratio is about 0.3 per mil.
Thirteen million years later, however, the air's CO2 concentration dropped
all the way down to 500 ppm; but the oxygen isotope ratio dropped (implying
a rise in temperature) to zero, which is, of course, just the opposite of
what one would expect were CO2 the all-important driver of climate change
that the climate alarmist make it out to be.

Next comes a large spike in the air's CO2 content, all the way up to a value
of 2400 ppm.  And what does the oxygen isotope ratio do?  It rises slightly
(implying temperature falls slightly) to about 0.4 per mil, which is again
just the opposite of what one would expect under the CO2-induced global
warming hypothesis.  After the spike in CO2, of course, the air's CO2
concentration drops dramatically, declining to a minimum value of close to
what it is today.  And the oxygen isotope ratio?  It barely changes at all,
defying once again the common assumption of the CO2-induced global warming
hypothesis.  Between this point and the break in the record at 40 million
years BP, the air's CO2 concentration rises again to approximately 1000 ppm;
and - need we say? - the oxygen isotope ratio rises slightly (implying a
slight cooling) to 0.6 per mil.  And once again, well, you get the picture:
the common assumption of the CO2-induced global warming hypothesis, i.e.,
that changes in atmospheric CO2 drive changes in air temperature, fails

Picking up the record at 24 million years BP, there are but relatively tiny
variations in atmospheric CO2 concentration up to the present; but, of
course, there are large variations in oxygen isotope values, both up and
down, again in clear contradiction of the CO2-induced global warming
hypothesis.  The most interesting of these last oxygen isotope changes is
the dramatic increase (implying a dramatic cooling) over the most recent two
million years, when, of course, the air's CO2 concentration has actually
risen slightly.

Considered in their entirety, these several results present a truly chaotic
picture with respect to any possible effect that variations in atmospheric
CO2 concentration may have on global temperature.  Clearly, atmospheric CO2
is not the all-important driver of global climate change the climate
alarmists make it out to be.

Cheddadi, R., Lamb, H.F., Guiot, J. and van der Kaars, S.  1998.  Holocene
climatic change in Morocco: a quantitative reconstruction from pollen data.
Climate Dynamics 14: 883-890.

Clark, P.U. and Mix, A.C.  2000.  Ice sheets by volume.  Nature 406:

Fischer, H., Wahlen, M., Smith, J., Mastroianni, D. and Deck, B.  1999.  Ice
core records of atmospheric CO2 around the last three glacial terminations.
Science 283: 1712-1714.

Gagan, M.K., Ayliffe, L.K., Hopley, D., Cali, J.A., Mortimer, G.E.,
Chappell, J., McCulloch, M.T. and Head, M.J.  1998.  Temperature and
surface-ocean water balance of the mid-Holocene tropical western Pacific.
Science 279: 1014-1017.

Indermuhle, A., Monnin, E., Stauffer, B. and Stocker, T.F.  2000.
Atmospheric CO2 concentration from 60 to 20 kyr BP from the Taylor Dome ice
core, Antarctica.  Geophysical Research Letters 27: 735-738.

Indermuhle, A., Stocker, T.F., Joos, F., Fischer, H., Smith, H.J., Wahllen,
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Copyright © 2001.  Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change


From TechnoPolitics, 13 April 2001
British politicians have alleged that the decision to renege on the
agreement would "kill thousands or millions around the world" because
American emissions would cause catastrophic global warming. One member of
Tony Blair's Labour party alleged that the decision was "equivalent to
launching a nuclear attack."

If the plan had gone ahead, the US would have been responsible for much of
the reform in the industrialized world. In 1990, the US was responsible for
48 percent of the developed world's carbon emissions, but it would be
responsible for 64 percent of the Kyoto reductions. This calculation,
however, only tells part of the story. The Europe that has been so scathing
about the American decision is actually by far the biggest culprit in the
emissions field.

This is because Kyoto did not take account of a crucial scientific fact.
Carbon dioxide is not really a pollutant, as the Environmental Protection
Agency has labeled it. It is a vitally important contributor to plant life,
which uses much of the gas in the atmosphere. Geographic areas with large
amounts of plant life therefore act as "carbon sinks," sucking in carbon
dioxide from the air.

A scientific paper published in October 1998 ("A Large Terrestrial Carbon
Sink in North America Implied by Atmospheric and Oceanic Carbon Dioxide Data
and Models," Fan et al, Science, Vol. 282, p. 442 ff.) concluded that the
North American continent acted as a huge carbon sink, absorbing about 1.7
billion metric tons of atmospheric carbon dioxide per year. As North America
is responsible for only about 1.6 billion tons of carbon emissions per year,
the continent is actually a net consumer of carbon dioxide.

The same paper, however, found that the Eurasian continent was in a much
less healthy state, consuming an "uptake" of only about 100 million tons of
carbon per year while at the same time being responsible for 3.6 billion
tons of emission. Unlike North America, the majority of the plant life in
Eurasia is outside the Temperate Zone. The temperate areas of Eurasia, which
include the industrial nations of Western Europe, actually act as a net
"source" of carbon. It seems likely, therefore, that all of Western Europe's
carbon emissions (about 1 billion metric tons in total) survive in the
atmosphere, unlike North America's. Europe is actually a net polluter, while
North America cleans up its own mess.

Just how great the discrepancy is can be seen when we look at the effects
per person. Under the Kyoto Protocol, America would have to reduce its
emissions by about 2.3 tons per person. Europe, with a far bigger population
but a far lower reduction target, would only have to reduce its emissions by
about 0.4 tons per person. But if we take the carbon sink/ source effect
into account, America actually absorbs 0.4 tons of carbon per person while
the average European puts out about 2.5 tons each.

The net effect of the Kyoto Protocol would be to increase the size of the
net "free capacity" of the North American carbon sink to about 400 million
tons per year. Western Europe, on the other hand, would go on "exporting"
860 million tons of this pollution annually.

Many people in Europe have been critical of the American idea of "emissions
trading," whereby states in the former Soviet bloc could sell credit for
their emissions reductions caused by the collapse of their economies to
other states. It seems, however, that their beloved Kyoto Protocols was a
different form of trading fix. In essence, Kyoto's effect would have been to
legitimize emissions "dumping," whereby Europe's over-production of carbon
dioxide would have been deposited on North America because it is able to
absorb the extra supply. Those same Europeans are, of course, opposed to
dumping in its more conventional, economic form.

It would perhaps be too cynical to suggest that this is what the Europeans
had in mind all along, but Kyoto as it stands gives the European countries a
free ride. It should be incumbent on the Europeans to find some way of
cleaning up their own mess, rather than continuing on as they are, as the
planet's worst net polluters.

IAIN MURRAY is a British science writer working at STATS - the Statistical
Assessment Service - in Washington, DC.

Copyright 2001, TechnoPolitics


From Scientific American, April 2001

A Case Study for Global Warming
Review by Keay Davidson

The Little Ice Age offers clues to how our society might handle a major
climate change

The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History 1300-1850
by Brian Fagan
Basic Books, New York

In the mid-17th century in the Swiss Alps, the inhabitants of Les Bois
feared destruction by an unusual enemy: a glacier. The immense sheet of ice
was slowly advancing through mountain passes to their village. In those days
no one suspected that the danger was at least partly connected with the
sun-specifically, with a curious absence of dark splotches on its shiny
surface 93 million miles away. Instead they assumed what any devout European
peasant of those days would have assumed, namely, that God was angry and
punishing humanity for its sins. The bishop of Geneva took action: he led
300 locals to the village and blessed the glacier. Some years afterward a
warming trend forced it into retreat.

The Les Bois incident was one of the odder episodes of the so-called Little
Ice Age, a prolonged cold snap that lasted many decades and possibly more
than five centuries (experts disagree). Nowadays scientists are paying
growing attention to the Little Ice Age for two reasons. First, it might
shed light on subtle links between solar activity and terrestrial climate;
curiously, sunspots largely disappeared between 1645 and 1705. Scientists
have debated for years whether the sunspot drought caused terrestrial
cooling-and if so, why. If the Little Ice Age really lasted between 1300 and
1850 (as some scientists believe), then the cooling must have had several
causes other than a transient lapse in solar activity.

Second, the Little Ice Age offers a well-documented case study of the impact
of major climate change on a thriving civilization, in this case
preindustrial Europe. How Newton's and Voltaire's generations handled the
Little Ice Age provides hints of how our society might handle a different
episode of climate change now well under way: global warming. We may not
handle it terribly well, judging by the historical lessons of this book by
Brian Fagan, a professor of archaeology at the University of California at
Santa Barbara.
In 246 smoothly written pages, Fagan tells how different societies were
altered by major climate changes from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.
His book could do for the historical study of climate what Michel Foucault's
classic Madness and Civilization did for the historical study of mental
illness: make it a respectable subject for scholarly inquiry. True, the
climate has been explored for decades by other scholars, notably Emmanuel Le
Roy Ladurie and Hubert H. Lamb. But it never acquired much of a following
among historians. One reason is historians' sour memories of the heyday of
"climatic determinism," a minor scholarly fad of the early 20th century
whose champions, notably the explorer Ellsworth Huntington, badly overstated
the importance of climate change in spawning and destroying civilizations.
Today scholars-including Fagan-agree that the fates of nations are usually
too complex to be blamed solely on the fluctuations of barometers or on
temperature variations recorded in tree rings and ice cores. Unlike
Huntington, Fagan convinces precisely because he refuses to overstate his
case. He emphasizes that although weather partly accounts for historical
traumas such as the French Revolution and the Irish potato famine, these
events also have many other social, economic and political causes.

Fagan's multicausal analysis is especially welcome at this time, as we
inhabitants of the early 21st century confront the threat of global warming.
The scientific evidence for global warming is strong, yet an amazing number
of intelligent people still question its reality. Why? I suspect it is
because sometimes emotional media coverage encourages them to think that
global warming will arrive suddenly, announcing itself via some overnight
cataclysm-say, the submerging of several Pacific islands or a hurricane of
unprecedented ferocity that slaughters thousands of Floridians. (Some
dreadful science-fiction movies have implied that global warming will arrive
in exactly this manner.)

But as Fagan's historical case studies reveal, most big climate changes
don't strike so quickly. To date, the climatic "signal" of global warming
has been subtle, forcing scientists to use complex computer programs to
identify it against meteorological background noise. In the absence of a
more clear-cut signal, certain politicians, oil companies and other interest
groups have argued for doing little or nothing about the problem.

They should read Fagan's book. Its unspoken message is clear: when the
atmosphere prepares to clobber humanity, it walks softly but carries a big
stick. The time to act is now, however cloudless the horizon may appear.

Keay Davidson is a science writer at the San Francisco Chronicle and author
of Carl Sagan: A Life (John Wiley & Sons, 1999).

MODERATOR'S NOTE: I'm afraid this is another bad example of abusing the
Little Ice Age in order to promote global warming politics. As I have
pointed out repeatedly, there is compelling evidence both in historical and
climatological records that climatic downturns are generally detrimental to
human societies, while climatic upturns are largely benefitial to societal
and technological evolution. Mr Davidson seems rather confused about the
whole issue and asks why "an amazing number of intelligent people still
question [the] reality of global warming." The reason is rather simple and
can be found in his own contradictory comments: In one paragraph, he claims
that "the scientific evidence for global warming is strong", only to admit
in the next that "to date, the climatic "signal" of global warming has been
subtle." He should have added that there is even less evidence that any
current warming trend is caused by man-made emissions. As long as
apocalyptic prophecies and calls for "action" are based on such flimsy
arguments, nobody should be surprised that global warming scpeticism is on
the increase. After all, such scepticism is, and has always been, essential
for the preservation of an independent and unbiased scientific culture that
won't be silenced by political or governmental pressure. BJP


From The Sunday Times, 15 April 2001

By Melanie Phillips
Every age has a governing creed from which dissenters are branded heretics
or enemies of the people. Once it was that God created the world. Next it
was that man had to recreate the world as the workers' paradise. When
communism imploded in the late 1980s another belief emerged to fill the gap
- that mankind was destroying the world through global warming.

Anyone who questions the orthodoxy that the West's rising output of carbon
dioxide will produce environmental catastrophe is branded as mad, bad or in
the pay of the oil industry. Hence the hysterical incredulity which greeted
President George W Bush's decision to abandon the Kyoto protocol which
sought to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Now John Prescott and other
ministers want to punish Bush by putting the special relationship with the
United States into "deep freeze".

There is no conclusive evidence to support the global warming theory.
Scientists are deeply divided over it. Most independent climate specialists,
far from supporting it, are deeply sceptical. A growing body of rigorous
science is showing that many of the claims made to support the most
apocalyptic scenarios are demonstrably false.

Take the latest. Two teams of American oceanographers have reported that the
oceans have got hotter. From this finding, they claim proof of man-made
climate warming. This extrapolation is absurd; and yet precisely this
reasoning accounts for much of the warming calculation behind Kyoto.

Buckets of seawater are hauled up and their temperature is taken, which is
then used as a proxy for the temperature of the air. But water is not the
same as air. And, surprise, surprise, other scientists have now discovered
that sea temperatures have risen faster than those of the air. This means
that these seawater calculations have overestimated the rate of global
warming during the past 20 years by one third. When air alone is measured,
the past two decades are revealed actually to have cooled.

Is it credible that scientists can be so silly? There is much, much more. We
are told that the ice sheets are thinning, proved by the tremulous discovery
of stretches of water in the Arctic. But there is always water in the Arctic
summer. In fact, the extent of Arctic ice has remained almost unchanged over
the past 20 years, and in the Antarctic sea ice has actually increased by
about 1.3% per decade.

We are told that the seas are rising and will soon engulf land from Samoa to
Swanage. But this is based on surveys of only some seas. There is, in fact,
a great mass of contradictory sea level data. Around southern Australia, for
instance, there was almost no rise in sea levels for the whole of the past

Perhaps most eye-popping of all is the claim that the 1990s were the warmest
decade in history. This completely ignores the medieval warm period. In
1200, Europe was 2°C warmer than it is now. This was followed by a cold
period known as the little ice age, which lasted until the latter part of
the 19th century. So it's hardly surprising that the climate has warmed
since then.

The historical evidence suggests that our current rate of warming is no big
deal and is part of the natural cyclical pattern in which the Earth has
periodically warmed and cooled. Many scientists take this view.

Yet Sir John Houghton, former head of the Meteorological Office and now
co-chairman of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) whose
report formed the basis of the Kyoto protocol, has said there are no more
than 10 active scientists in the world who disagree with the notion of
human-induced climate change.

But there are thousands of scientists who disagree with the prediction of
climate catastrophe caused by human agency and who are utterly dismayed by
what they see as the falsehoods of Kyoto and the IPCC report. Many have
signed statements saying so; these are never reported. And some on this
sceptic side are extremely eminent indeed.

Dr Richard Lindzen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one of the
foremost experts on atmospheric science, says there is no evidence that
greenhouse gases could disrupt the climate. In a withering put-down of the
"absurd" Kyoto protocol, he describes it as "very much a children's exercise
of what might possibly happen", prepared by "a peculiar group" in the IPCC
almost all of whom have "no technical competence".

Dr Jan Veizer, the renowned geologist, has produced a definitive
reconstruction of the world's climate history, which says there is no
correlation between cold and warm periods and low and high levels of carbon
dioxide. Indeed, there were long periods when rises in carbon dioxide were
accompanied by a drop in the average temperature.

Some scientists say this report alone sounds the death knell for the
man-made global warming theory. Certainly there are scientists on the other
side of this argument. The authors of the IPCC report said there was a
"discernible human influence on climate change".

So shouldn't we adopt the precautionary principle just in case? But
precaution against what? The physicist Sir Fred Hoyle and the mathematician
Chandra Wickramasinghe argue that carbon dioxide needs to rise to prevent
another ice age. This may be eccentric, but how can ordinary people decide
what calamity to be terrified of?

All one can do is apply some common sense. The climate predictions (and even
some of the alleged historical "facts") are the product of computer
modelling. But this modelling interpolates hypotheses into a prophecy. This
produces a guesstimate which merely replicates a premise, however flawed.

Moreover, climate change is made up of a vast number of interrelating
factors, to which carbon dioxide is but one minute contributor. These
factors produce a myriad feedback effects which computer modelling is too
crude to acknowledge.

The IPCC report itself admits its own inadequacy. Because there is no
straightforward cause and effect in climate change, it says, "the prediction
of a specific future climate is not possible". It admits that, of 12 factors
thought to influence climate change, nine are very poorly understood. It
also admits that certain key changes indicating global warming have not

But these scientific caveats are overwhelmed by politics. The text is
studded with weasel words and phrases - "very likely", "best estimate",
"simulations", "scenarios", "assumptions" - to support the dire predictions
it says it cannot make. So a combination of flawed modelling, buried
caveats, weasel words and bad science history has produced a report more
akin to a religious icon than a piece of scientific reasoning.

The science of global warming has been suborned by politics and ideology. It
was hijacked by those who wanted a new stick with which to beat western
capitalism, America and globalisation. It is the green version of the big

The great danger, as several despairing scientists point out, is that this
will so disillusion people that it will damage the real and pressing agenda
to steward the Earth properly: to reduce pollution, to conserve energy and,
above all, to adapt responsibly to inevitable change.

Copyright 2001, The Sunday Times, 15 April 2001


From, 14 April 2001

The AP reports (14 Apr 2001) that the worst frost to hit northern
Californian vineyards in three decades has caused millions of dollars in
damage to vineyards.

"So much for global warming." said one grower after surveying frost damage
in neighbouring vineyards. "There's damage on hillside vineyards where
there's never been damage before, at least in the 37 years I've been farming
out here." he said.  Presumably he is not a Kyoto fan either.

Frost is lethal for grapes at this time of year, when vulnerable spring
shoots begin to sprout.

Further south, the Mojave Desert area of southern California has had a
rather cool winter. Not record breaking, but definitely on the cold side of

One correspondent has lived in this area for 20 years and says he cannot
remember a winter with as many snow days. He said, "Some winters (including
last winter) we get none. Others we get a handful, 3-4. But for a while in
January and February it seemed like we were getting flurries every night of
the week!"

His local paper, the `Daily Press', had the following story on April 10th -
"Spring storm sprinkles snow on Victor Valley". Apparently, that in itself
is odd for this area.

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