HOW I BECAME AN AGW (Man-caused Global Warming) SKEPTIC
(and why I still am)
In July 2007 I visited the Mendenhall Glacier a few miles from
the Alaska Capital of Juneau.
On the bus trip up the valley the driver pointed out the roads
and houses that had been built up the mountain where the glacier had retreated.
In the visitors center was a very interesting graphic of Mendenhall's recent
retreat history dating from 1765
The "interpreter" was relating the glacier retreat to the
Gore-hypothesis that CO2 was the primary driver of this massive melting and
How could that be I wondered, most of the retreat was between
1750 (end of the little ice age) and 1910, well before there was any significant
amount of man-made CO2.
Later I "attached" the Oak Ridge Lab CO2 graphic to the
Mendenhall graphic to compare the retreat to the CO2 build-up.
Clearly man-made CO2 was NOT the cause of the massive Mendenhall
retreat from 1750 to 1950 and that begs some questions:
1. Since it's clear that CO2 did not cause Mendenhall to
retreat, what did?
2. Are there other examples of land-based glacier retreats
that have been documented. (floating melting icebergs are hard to measure)
I then visited and researched Nisqually Glacier at Mt. Ranier in
I was impressed with the very similar pattern.
I then visited two glaciers in Southern Norway and they have the
When I compared these graphs to the Gore-Mann hockey stick
graphic and some of their other data it became clear that Gore-Mann had not
included or accounted for the Medieval Warm Period nor the Little Ice Age nor had they accounted
for the massive glacier melting from the end of the little ice age (circa 1750)
to the significant buildup of CO2 starting about 1950.
They also neglected to account for the
significant cooling from 1940 through 1975 during a period of significant and
increasing CO2 levels.
Another key Gore-Mann chart was the Vostok Ice Core Graphic that
purported to show that CO2 has historically, over the
millenniums, had been the driver for temperature changes. This was another highlight
of the "Inconvenient Truth" package that also turned out to be inconveniently
When one changes the graphic scale from millions of years to thousands of years
it became clear that there was an 800 year delay between the CO2 plot and the
temperature plot that demonstrated that if there were a cause-effect
relationship it was the temperature that drove the CO2 directly opposite the Gore
advertisement! There is basis for this cause-effect in that warm water can
absorb less CO2 than cold water (something about opening a bottle of soda)!
A major measurement that is accepted by many Skeptics and AWGs
is that if increasing CO2 is the cause of temperature increases the models will
clearly show a greenhouse signature of major temperature increases in the
atmosphere from 4 to 12 kilometers above the tropics. This signature does
show up on some of the models but is not there in the atmosphere as measured and
published by the US Climate Change Science Program.
The absence of a significant size "signature" is a major shortfall in the AGW
Most scientists agree that CO2 is and has always been a contributor to the
greenhouse effect and therefore is a contributor to global warming.
The NASA data shows about 0.85 degree C increase during the past 130 years.
It's interesting that one can claim to quantify the average total earth & water
temperature to a fraction of a degree over 130 years when my heating-air
conditioning system can't control the temperature throughout the rooms in my
home within plus and minus two degrees of the set point.
The Gore-Mann-AGW team have focused on building models that they
claim can predict the future.
They do not calibrate or validate these models against the recent past
thousand years or even the past 250 years, therefore the models are simply a
mathematical representation of what teams of programmers think the primary
variables are and how they relate to some preconceived outcomes.
Others who have modeling experience in other fields define this as: garbage in - garbage out.
They even glibly ignore the fact that our supercomputer weather models with the
latest technology are unable to tell us what the weather will be next week.
They also continue to claim every significant weather event as AGW caused
without presenting historical data that clearly demonstrates what the
corresponding historical data has been. Outlandish claims include those
about ocean rise that ignore the fact that 16,000 years ago the Atlantic was 400
feet lower than today and the Outer Banks were 50 miles out at the Continental
Shelf. The long term and short term history of sea level rise is well
documented and there is clearly a message there for those who choose to invest
or live at the shore.
Data and observations were the basis for me
becoming a "skeptic". The steady stream of outlandish
alarmism increased my distrust and throughout the "official" data trail was a
Mr. Jim Hanson whose data veracity and accuracy has come into question multiple
Compounding and reinforcing these doubts about AGW was the ClimateGate mess and
its secretive review by fellow AGW team-members.
The actions by UVa to refuse to make Prof. Mann's tax-paid files available to
the public has destroyed any pretext of an open and public analysis.
Prof Hal Lewis' Resignation Letter From The American Physical Society should be
required reading for everyone interested in the AGW debate.
Attending several international seminars on the subject and following the
on-going web based material has caused me to have additional concerns about the
"level of confidence" that one should have in the AGW hypothesis and
The AGW story has been developed with hundreds of millions of tax-dollars yet the data
bases, the assumptions and the algorithms have not been placed in a public
repository for open and public examination and there has not been opportunities
for open and public debate.
The AGW position is that "we have a consensus of our team members and
that's all that should be needed for governments to make major changes in
world-wide energy policy."
A few of the many interesting references that document that "the science is not settled"!
WSJ: The Climategate Whitewash Continues
850 Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism of "Man-Made" Global Warming (AGW)
scientists have signed the petition, including 9,029 with PhDs
The Key Question Remains Unanswered:
What is the "level of confidence" in the AGW claims and how has that been