- 1. Climate has always changed,
and it always will. The assumption that prior to the industrial revolution
the Earth had a "stable" climate is simply wrong. The only sensible
thing to do about climate change is to prepare for it.
- 2. Accurate temperature measurements made from weather
balloons and satellites since the late 1950s show no atmospheric warmingsince
1958. In contrast, averaged ground-based thermometers record a warming
of about 0.40 C over the same time period. Many scientists believe
that the thermometer record is biased by the Urban Heat Island effect and
- 3. Despite the expenditure of more than US$50 billion
dollars looking for it since 1990, no unambiguous anthropogenic (human)
signal has been identified in the global temperature pattern.
- 4. Without the greenhouse effect, the average surface
temperature on Earth would be -180 C rather than the equable +150 C
that has nurtured the development of life.
- Carbon dioxide is a minor greenhouse gas, responsible
for ~26% (80 C) of the total greenhouse effect (330C), of which in
turn at most 25% (~20C) can be attributed to carbon dioxide contributed
by human activity. Water vapour, contributing at least 70% of the effect,
is by far the most important atmospheric greenhouse gas.
- 5. On both annual (1 year) and geological (up to 100,000
year) time scales, changes in atmospheric temperature PRECEDE changes in
CO2. Carbon dioxide therefore cannot be the primary forcing
agent for temperature increase (though increasing CO2 does cause
a diminishingly mild positive temperature feedback).
- 6. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
has acted as the main scaremonger for the global warming lobby
that led to the Kyoto Protocol. Fatally, the IPCC is a political, not scientific,
- Hendrik Tennekes, a retired Director of Research at the
Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, says that "the IPCC review
process is fatally flawed" and that "the IPCC wilfully ignores
the paradigm shift created by the foremost meteorologist of the twentieth
century, Edward Lorenz".
- 7. The Kyoto Protocol will cost many trillions of
dollars and exercises a significant impost those countries that signed
it, but will deliver no significant cooling (less than .020 C by 2050,
assuming that all commitments are met).
- The Russian Academy of Sciences says that Kyoto has no
scientific basis; Andre Illarianov, senior advisor to Russian president
Putin, calls Kyoto-ism "one of the most agressive, intrusive, destructive
ideologies since the collapse of communism and fascism". If Kyoto
was a "first step" then it was in the same wrong direction as
the later "Bali roadmap".
- 8. Climate change is a non-linear
(chaotic) process, some parts of which are only dimly or not at all
understood. No deterministic computer model will ever be able to make
an accurate prediction of climate 100 years into the future.
- 9. Not surprisingly, therefore, experts in computer
modelling agree also that no current (or likely near-future) climate
model is able to make accurate predictions of regional climate change.
- 10. The biggest untruth about human global warming
is the assertion that nearly all scientists agree that it is occurring,
and at a dangerous rate.
- The reality is that almost every aspect of climate
science is the subject of vigorous debate. Further, thousands of qualified
scientists worldwide have signed declarations which (i) query the evidence
for hypothetical human-caused warming and (ii) support a rational scientific
(not emotional) approach to its study within the context of known natural
- LAYING TEN GLOBAL WARMING MYTHS
- Myth 1 Average global temperature
(AGT) has increased over the last few years.
- Fact 1 Within error bounds, AGT has not increased
since 1995 and has declined since 2002, despite an increase in atmospheric
CO2 of 8% since 1995.
- Myth 2 During the late 20th Century,
AGT increased at a dangerously fast rate and reached an unprecedented magnitude.
- Facts 2 The late 20th Century AGT rise was
at a rate of 1-20 C/century, which lies well within natural rates
of climate change for the last 10,000 yr. AGT has been several degrees
warmer than today many times in the recent geological past.
- Myth 3 AGT was relatively
unchanging in pre-industrial times, has sky-rocketed since 1900, and will
increase by several degrees more over the next 100 years (the Mann, Bradley
& Hughes "hockey stick" curve and its computer extrapolation).
- Facts 3 The Mann et al. curve has been exposed as
a statistical contrivance. There is no convincing evidence that past climate
was unchanging, nor that 20th century changes in AGT were unusual,
nor that dangerous human warming is underway.
- Myth 4 Computer models predict
that AGT will increase by up to 60 C over the next 100 years.
- Facts 4 Deterministic computer models do. Other
equally valid (empirical) computer models predict cooling.
- Myth 5 Warming of more than
20 C will have catastrophic effects on ecosystems and mankind alike.
- Facts 5 A 20 C change would be well
within previous natural bounds. Ecosystems have been adapting to such changes
since time immemorial. The result is the process that we call evolution.
Mankind can and does adapt to all climate extremes.
- Myth 6 Further human addition
of CO2 to the atmosphere will cause dangerous warming, and is generally
- Facts 6 No human-caused warming can yet be detected
that is distinct from natural system variation and noise. Any additional
human-caused warming which occurs will probably amount to less than 10 C.
Atmospheric CO2 is a beneficial fertilizer for plants, including especially
cereal crops, and also aids efficient evapo-transpiration.
- Myth 7 Changes in solar
activity cannot explain recent changes in AGT.
- Facts 7 The sun's output varies in several ways
on many time scales (including the 11-, 22 and 80-year solar cycles), with
concomitant effects on Earth's climate. While changes in visible radiation
are small, changes in particle flux and magnetic field are known to exercise
a strong climatic effect. More than 50% of the 0.80 C rise in AGT
observed during the 20th century can be attributed to solar change.
- Myth 8 Unprecedented melting
of ice is taking place in both the north and south polar regions.
- Facts 8 Both the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets
are growing in thickness and cooling at their summit. Sea ice around Antarctica
attained a record area in 2007. Temperatures in the Arctic region are just
now achieving the levels of natural warmth experienced during the early
1940s, and the region was warmer still (sea-ice free) during earlier times.
- Myth 9 Human-caused global
warming is causing dangerous global sea-level (SL) rise.
- Facts 9 SL change differs from time to time and
place to place; between 1955 and 1996, for example, SL at Tuvalu fell by
105 mm (2.5 mm/yr). Global average SL is a statistical measure of no value
for environmental planning purposes. A global average SL rise of 1-2 mm/yr
occurred naturally over the last 150 years, and shows no sign of human-influenced
- Myth 10 The late 20th Century increase
in AGT caused an increase in the number of severe storms (cyclones), or
in storm intensity.
- Facts 10 Meteorological experts are agreed that no
increase in storms has occurred beyond that associated with natural variation
of the climate system.
- Robert M. Carter is a Research Professor at
James Cook University (Queensland) and the University of Adelaide (South
Australia). He is a palaeontologist, stratigrapher, marine geologist and
environmental scientist with more than thirty years professional experience.
- © Copyright Robert M. Carter, James Cook University,
Queensland, Australia, 2009