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What I Learned about Climate Change: The Science is not Settled

David Siegel discusses his current views on climate change and how he arrived at those conclusions. It is an excellent read, especially for someone that is open to scientific reasoning on why the science of climate change (or global warming) is simply not settled. In fact, if the science on global warming is settled, it would have to be concluded that man in the form of carbon dioxide production, has some but a slight influence on the climate.

Mr. Siegel claims that this paper supports ten statements. He then says that he will back those statements during the paper. Unfortunately, my reading is ineffective at substantiating his ninth statement. I tend to say that there is some pretty substantial evidence of destruction of reef systems by changes in the acidification of the ocean and there appears to be some linkage between acidification and levels of carbon dioxide.

Less feedback forcing than previously guessed at

Most of the long-term climate models show feedback from an increase of carbon dioxide that ultimately creates more carbon dioxide. The theory is that as CO2 increases, the temperature increases. As the temperature increases, it forces more CO2 to be released from CO2 sinks or it causes less CO2 to be absorbed. This extra CO2 causes a dramatic increase in temperature – which releases more CO2. Many of the models that predicted the end of world had this increase in CO2 and temperature. It really wasn’t the CO2 from man that was the problem, it was the tipping point that was reached by man’s CO2.

Is global warming a hoax?

Doug Craig over at recently published an article covering the abbreviated history of research regarding greenhouse gases and the history of our scientific understanding of them. He naturally skipped those researchers and scientists that discuss the cooling affect of aerosols.

Mr. Craig’s article is pretty typical of the problem in this debate for both sides. His article is filled with references to “hoax” in this discussion. Hoax is a word that is often referenced by some that doubt global warming predictions (or more precisely, the efforts to reverse the influence). In this case, Mr. Craig is making fun of it with the natural assumption that he thinks such people are fools for thinking it is a “hoax.”

U.S. Biofuel Boom Running on Empty

As nations around the world begin to plan for Copenhagen to discuss the next generation Kyoto treaty, it is increasingly obvious that they will be ineffective.

Chief among the reasons for this ineffectiveness is that with the price of oil at its current state, it is simply not cost effective to use alternative fuels that will dump less CO2 into the atmosphere. The oil producing nations are probably not maintaining crude at this level to doom the planet to disaster, they are simply smart business people that are providing their “drugs” to the “addicts” at a price and in a way that will insure that no one can ever move off.

New Priorities For Our Energy Future

Boone Pickens and Ted Turner are well respected businessmen (the former a big  investor and the latter a media mogul and founder of CNN). Both have a history of speaking their mind on public issues and both have a history of making huge sums of money.

While I certainly do not begrudge this gentlemen the right to speak their mind, I wonder if this message (that may be good for America) also is good for their business interests. Mr. Pickens is renown in the energy sector and a large scale switch to natural gas would likely help his wallet. Mr. Turner is a very large landowner in the western States and my gut is that he has found large deposits of natural gas under some of his holdings.

Scientists and Engineers are upset

If you read this site often, you will know that I am an engineer by training (even though I don’t currently practice). I tend to respect this profession a great deal as being fairly straight-forward and hard working. As a group, they also tend to be a pretty smart bunch.

One of the major trade rags in engineering is C&EN (Chemical and Engineering News). It is edited by Mr. Rudy Baum. If you aren’t in that trade, you would probably never pick up an issue so you may not be familiar with it. I haven’t read the publication in a long time but was recently made aware of a bit of controversy by Climate Depot. While the readers of C&EN are likely not climatologists, the science of CO2 and its affect on the atmosphere is very steeped in chemistry which their target market knows a bit about.

Research links climate change patterns to El Nino

I found this study by reading the blog at  If you are interested in climate, then you should spend time reading what the meteorologists over there have to say.

A study by 3 researchers and published in the Journal of Geophysical Research has concluded that the weather variations (both increases and decreases) are the result of natural climate processes. They find that the Southern Oscillation is a key indicator of changing global atmospheric temperatures seven months later.

The paper is titled “Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature” and following is the abstract:

Could we be wrong about global warming?

There is an article in the USAToday (that is based on an article in Nature Geoscience) that is getting a lot of web traffic lately.

While few people would call me a global warming alarmists, I do think it is important to have relatively balanced perspective on all of this.  In fact, that is the essence of this blog.

Most reputable scientists without an agenda (which likely excludes anyone associated with Al Gore) had concluded long ago that it wasn’t the CO2 concentrations that would deliver the doom and gloom of the alarmists.  Rather, the concern was a feedback loop that would be accelerated by a fairly rapid expansion of carbon dioxide.  One theory is that this CO2 increase would cause temperatures to increase slightly which causes an increase in H2O in the atmosphere which further increases the temperature in an escalating fashion.

Good news for green power in Ohio

Regular readers know that I think that nuclear power is one of the very few ways we can provide the power we need without taking the chance that global warming is caused by carbon dioxide.  If you believe in anthropogenic global warming and don’t believe the human race should live like the Amish, then you really don’t have a choice but to endorse nuclear power.

Contrary to my custom, I will be recreating the complete story here.

Strickland details plans for nuclear plant
Business First of Columbus – by Matt Burns

A third nuclear power station proposed for Ohio likely wont start operating for years, but government officials and energy industry executives are saying it is time to start considering its construction and Piketon is the place for it.

Climate change failure ‘immoral’ – Oxfam

A new report from Oxfam has been released that states that the UK and the US must cut its output of carbon dioxide by 45% to prevent the catastrophe that awaits us. In addition, the poorer nations of the world would need to receive $148 billion US (90B ).

There does not appear to be any new scientific evidence of global warming in this paper.  Instead it references the 2007 IPCC findings and then studies that financial impact of those assertions.

The Telegraph recently wrote a story on the report.

The UK needs to cut greenhouse gases by 45 per cent by 2020 to prevent the world “lurching into climate disaster”, according to a new report from Oxfam.