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PowerLine Assault on AGW Continues

February 27, 2012

One of Power Line’s favorite topics is Climate Change. Steven Hayward writes regularly on the subject and he always concludes that it isn’t a problem. Yesterday he quoted a presentation from MIT’s Richard Lindzen.

It most certainly is not about whether climate is changing: it always is. It is not about whether CO2 is increasing: it clearly is. It is not about whether the increase in CO2, by itself, will lead to some warming: it should. The debate is simply over the matter of how much warming the increase in CO2 can lead to, and the connection of such warming to the innumerable claimed catastrophes. The evidence is that the increase in CO2 will lead to very little warming, and that the connection of this minimal warming (or even significant warming) to the purported catastrophes is also minimal. The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak – and commonly acknowledged as such.

According to Mr. Lindzen, a doubling of CO2 concentrations from pre-industrial levels will only result in a 1 degree Celsius rise in global temperatures (we should reach this level of CO2 sometime late this century). If true, this would be manageable. Most climate scientists believe that it would take over 2 degrees of global warming to cause serious problems. Unfortunately, most climate scientists estimate CO2 sensitivity to be between 2 and 4.5 degrees with the most likely value being 3. That amount of warming would be problematic.

Reading through Lindzen’s entire report, I found one graphic that made me wonder if he’s even being honest. It’s this one:

He must know that the industrial revolution began in the 1750’s and by 1946 human activity had already had a significant impact on atmospheric CO2 concentrations. It seems there are only two explanations for his failure to mention this – either he is ignorant about human greenhouse gas emissions, or he is being deliberately deceptive.

Contrary to Lindzen’s claims, there is actually a high degree of correlation between CO2 levels and global temperatures.


From → Climate, Politics

  1. knight427 permalink

    That second chart reminds me of “The Escalator”.

    • Michael permalink

      Skeptical Science is a great source of actual information. Steven Hayward and the Power Line regulars really should check it out. They also have a great graph of CO2 and global temperatures which I added to the post.

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