Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Viv Forbes: Cycles, not Carbon Dioxide, Control Climate.

The war on hydro-carbon fuels will have no measurable effect on global temperatures. Nor will carbon taxes, carbon offsets or subsidies for wind turbines or solar panels. There are climate controllers far bigger than human CO2 at work.

No place on Earth lives in the mythical average global temperature. Earth’s temperature dances to cyclic rhythms every hour, every day, every month, every season, every year, and to every beat of the sun-spot and glacial cycles.

The daily cycle of Earth’s rotation causes continual changes in radiant energy received by and transmitted from every spot on Earth. It produces the cold at dawn and the afternoon warmth.

Superimposed on the daily solar cycle is the monthly lunar cycle, driven by the orbit of the Moon around the Earth. These two cycles interact to produce variations in atmospheric pressure, and tides and currents in the oceans and the atmosphere. These are the short-term weather makers.

The yearly seasonal cycle is caused as the tilted axis of Earth’s rotation affects the intensity of solar energy received by each hemisphere. This produces spring, summer, autumn and winter for every spot on Earth. As the Earth’s orbit cycles between more or less elliptical, seasonal extreme temperatures also vary.

Then there is the 22 year sun-spot cycle, which correlates with cycles of floods and droughts. Sunspots are indicators of solar activity which cause periods of global warming and cooling.

Earth also generates the less predictable El Nino climate events that have a huge effect on the global patterns of weather and temperature.

The least recognised but most dangerous climate cycle is the glacial cycle.

We live in the Holocene Epoch, the latest warm phase of the Pleistocene Ice Age. The climate history of the Holocene, and its predecessor the Eemian, are well documented in the ice core logs and other geological records. One cycle consists of a glacial age of about 80,000 years followed by a warmer age of about 20,000 years, with peak warming occurring over about 12,000 years. Our modern warm era commenced 12,000 years ago, so it is probably nearing its end.

There have been eight warm eras separated by long glacial winters over the last 800,000 years of the Pleistocene. In every beat of this cycle, the vast ice sheets melt, sea levels rise dramatically, coral reefs and coastal settlements are drowned, and forests and animals re-colonise the higher land released from the ice. Warm climate animals such as hippos, water buffaloes and elephants got as far north as Germany in the last warm era.

Then the ice returned, covering the northern hemisphere as far south as Chicago and London, destroying the forests, lowering the seas, stranding the relocated coral reefs and eliminating unprepared species. (Some dopey grizzly bears got stranded in the growing Arctic Ice and the most enterprising of them survived to evolve into white grizzlies now called polar bears.)

This regular repetition of natural climate change is best explained by the Milankovitch cycles relating to changes in Earth’s orbit and tilt. These drive variations in solar energy received by Earth and have the greatest temperature effect on the large land masses of the Northern Hemisphere.

Earth’s climate is never still for long.

On a longer time scale, passage of the solar system through the plane of the Galaxy seems to trigger magnetic reversals and violent spasms of volcanism, glaciation and species extinction.

What is the role of carbon dioxide in climate? Al Gore did a great job to dramatise the recurring cycles of glaciation and carbon dioxide in his widely acclaimed work of science fiction. But he missed two “inconvenient truths”.

First, the ice cores show that in the glacial spring-time the temperature rose BEFORE the CO2 levels rose. Therefore the rising CO2 cannot be a CAUSE of the warming – it is a RESULT of CO2 being expelled from the warming oceans.

Second, at the top of every summer-time in the glacial cycle, the high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere were totally unable to prevent the cooling into the next cycle of ice. CO2 levels fell later as the cooling oceans absorbed more CO2.

We are already in the autumn of the current glacial cycle and nothing man can do will change that. Global temperatures today are lower than they were in Roman and Medieval times. They will still fluctuate with the effects of daily, lunar, seasonal, yearly and sun-spot cycles, but the long-term trend of maximum and minimum temperatures will continue drifting downwards. As soon as summer temperatures in Siberia and northern Canada are unable to melt last winter’s snow, the growing glaciers will join to form ice sheets which reflect more solar radiation, and Earth will once again slip into another long hungry Glacial Winter.

The warm days, seasons, years and epochs have never been a deadly threat to life on Earth. Frost, snow, hail and ice are the killers. If our descendants do not have the energy, resources and wisdom to keep their people warm and fed through the coming glacial epoch, humans may follow our Neanderthal cousins who perished in the last glacial winter, just 20,000 years ago.

There is ZERO evidence in the climate record that carbon dioxide has a detectable effect on global temperatures. However if it does indeed slightly delay the onset of the next glacial winter, we and all life on Earth should count ourselves extremely lucky.

Viv Forbes is a geologist and financial analyst with e keen interest in energy policy. He lives in rural Australia. To download this article with a cartoon image click:


Charles said...

Quite a few respected people have pointed out these details and will no doubt continue to do so as the planet slips inexorably into a new ice age. There will be few people left in NZ by then, the population having been crippled and destroyed by anal politics.

Unknown said...

Agreed- and perhaps the argument that cattle are contributing/causing global warming should be put into context also. The global biomass of ruminants was higher in prehistoric times than today (for example 60-80 million North American Bison , and untold Wapiti, Deer, Antelope, Horses, Wild sheep,Moose,Caribou etc vs todays cattle and sheep which equate to roughly the same . ) Its the stuff that is brought up from underground that makes the difference , if it does at all )

mike said...

Well said. It's just a shame that the schools (both teachers and students) are not taught about earth's environmental history. Instead they are fed "green untruths" propagated by the UN.

Allan said...

Another IMPORTANT cycle is the four-hundred year cycle. Already crops are being affected in the Northern hemisphere because of cooler temperatures & excessive rain making planting areas unable to be planted. But hey, what have facts got to do with taxing & controlling the population when you are extreme LEFT politically, & you believe ruling the world is your destiny. After all, we now have nearly two generations that have come through the indoctrinating, not educating school system. They are the generation currently running the country, so they sincerely believe what they are preaching. Until the education system is revamped, & facts are taught as facts, like the facts Viv quoted, & theories are taught as theories until they become facts, then we will continue down the slippery slope to starvation & poverty..

Bos said...

Of course there is climate change, no one can deny that. But to think the puny effects of human activity can have much effect is to put us in the class of King Canute who was deluded enough to think he could command the tide. Last seen sitting on his throne at waters edge crying "Back OH Sea!" as the water lapped up his legs.