Paleoclimatologist – Al Gore And James Hansen Are Just Plain Wrong

Professor Ian Clark "CO2 emissions lag the climate by 800 years."

Professor Ian Clark works at the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Ottawa where he specialises in paleoclimatology, the study of climate during the entire history of our planet, as well as isotope hydrology. Isotope hydrology determines the age of ice and snow which provides information about climate in the past.

In December 2011 Professor Clark testified before the US Senate Standing Committee on Energy, The Environment, and Natural Resources where Clark expalined that the planet was coming out of a 400 year cold period.

“Our efforts to limit the use of fossil carbon-based energy has solved no environmental problems, yet has created many more, including the accelerated production of ethanol and the conversion of tropical rainforest to tropical palm oil production,” Prof. Clark told the committee. “It is time to address real, tangible environmental issues.”

Professor Clark has done an email interview with the Financial Post where he explains further:

Q: Could you elaborate on the theory that Co2 emissions lag the climate by 800 years.

A: During the ice ages, there is a very clear correlation between the concentration of CO2 and temperature. This is well demonstrated by ice core research, where ice cores have been collected that provide a continuous record of the past several hundred years.

During that time, temperature fluctuates by several degrees, and CO2 fluctuates between about 280 ppm during the interglacial periods (like today, except we have higher levels due to human emissions) and 180 ppm during glacial periods.

Former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore showed this strong correlation and misrepresented it as showing CO2 warms the climate. The reverse is true. As the temperature rises for external reasons (solar and Earth orbital parameters) the deep ocean basins (Southern Ocean mainly) begin to warm and degas CO2 to the atmosphere (CO2 is less soluble in warmer water).

However, the rise in CO2 lags the rise in temperature by about 800 years. This shows that CO2 does not play a role in the warming, and even a reinforcing role must be minor considering the lag. When the climate starts to cool, CO2 remains high, again for hundreds of years, and so plays no role in sustaining the warm climate, as the climate cools despite the high CO2.

This is not the first time that Al Gore has come under fire from scientists, Myles Allen, an IPCC author had this to say about Al Gore:

We’re hoping to get a bit quicker off the mark in future, but it is frustrating when Gore claims to know the answer before we have even asked the question.

Clark was then asked about the connection between CO2 and Global Warming.

Q: So CO2 has nothing to do with global warming …

A: First we must be clear that there is, currently, no global warming. The global temperature has fluctuated over the past 15 years around a stable value, with no upward trend. The IPCC — Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — models all predicted a steady increase of 0.2°C per decade, and this has not occurred. We have had global warming and cooling over geological time, and of course over the past century.

This is a good thing, as it warmed the planet from the cooler temperatures of the Little Ice Age. Agriculture, and civilisation flourishes with warmer temperatures. CO2, however, has had no apparent impact on the warming periods.

In fact, we experienced cooling during the years from 1950 to 1975 when global emissions were rising very quickly. Therefore, in the past we’ve seen no evidence for CO2 as a climate driver. Further, we can attribute the recent warming of the past century to a more active sun. The correlations are much stronger than between warming and CO2, and the science supporting a solar connection to climate warming and cooling becomes stronger each year.

Professor Clark was also asked about personal biases and are scientists really impartial.

Q: Scientists seem to present their findings as facts and absolutely truths. How can average people distinguish between fact and fiction and form their own opinions regarding scientific research.

A: This is not easy to answer. People must read a lot, and they must question what they read. They need to look at what the scientist has invested in the position that he is taking. Is he receiving lots of research funding? Is he advocating or presenting the results of his scientific work? Scientists are human, and consequently have personal sentiments and biases. It is easier to agree with the so-called consensus on global warming, as it aligns with the common sentiment that we live in a time of excess and over use of fossil fuels.

In the rest of the interview Profesor Clark was asked about the environmental lobby, tar sands, the Keystone pipeline and he has more to say on Al Gore, you can read the rest of the interview here, it is well worth the read.

About Tory Aardvark

Climate Realist, Conservative and proud NRA member. I don't buy into the Man Made Global Warming Scam, science is never settled. @ToryAardvark on Twitter ToryAardvark on Facebook

Posted on February 10, 2012, in Anthropogenic Global Warming, Church Of Climatology, Climate Change, Global Warming, Green Environmental Holocaust, Green Lies, IPCC, Junk Science, ManBearPig, Wealth Redistribution and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. CO2 is a trace gas in the atmosphere and insignificant by definition. It is a poor absorber of IR from sunlight. Water vapor is seven times better, molecule for molecule, and has 80 times as many molecules making 560 times the air heating effect. But, carbon is responsible for 80% of our energy. Control and taxing carbon will give the elected class more power than anything since the Magna Carta.

  1. Pingback: NASA The Sun Heats The Planet; CO2 & NO Cool The Atmosphere « Tory Aardvark

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