Climate Said Warming Because Of Sun, Not Man.
The world’s climate is being heated up by the sun, not by the actions of mankind, according to a book published this month.
The book, “The Manic Sun”, by scientific journalist Nigel Calder, says the “greenhouse” theory which reckons that increases in world temperatures result from excessive burning of fossil fuels is wrong, and has been sustained by science corrupted by pressure from politicians.
Any climate warming has occurred because of the influence of the sun, responsible for fluctuations in temperature and weather for centuries. Calder says British scientists in general and Britain’s Meteorological Office in particular have misled the public.
The Metrological Office said it stuck by its methods, which date back more than 100 years, and denied what its spokesman called another paranoid attack on scientists’ honesty.
Scientists working for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) also come under attack from Calder.
IPCC scientists have backed the theory that the climate was warming up because of carbon dioxide (CO2) build-up from the burning of fossil fuels.
Hand Of Man
The IPCC’s most recent report in 1996 said that the hand of man was now discernible in climate change.
Developed nations promised at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro to cut carbon dioxide to 1990 levels by 2000. Carbon dioxide is said to trap the sun’s heat, raising the earth’s temperature. Environmentalists say the increased temperature will cause havoc with the climate. Melting polar ice would raise sea levels and submerge low-lying areas and wipe out some island nations.
Traditional agriculture would be decimated by intolerable temperatures. Severe storm frequency would increase inexorably.
At a recent conference in Brussels the World Energy Council, a private organisation which says it seeks balance in energy issues, said the Rio targets would not be achieved. It said they should be delayed to permit more realistic goals to be set.
“We can state with some confidence that the industrialised countries’ CO2 emissions are currently over five percent above 1990 levels, and in aggregate are likely to be over eight percent up on 1990 levels in the year 2000,” WEC deputy secretary-general Michael Jefferson told the conference.
Nevertheless the momentum behind the Rio Summit powers on. Next month in New York, world leaders including U.S. President Bill Clinton will assess the progress made in the five years since Rio.
In December, IPCC delegates will gather in the Japanese city of Kyoto when some countries will seek mandatory CO2 emission targets.
Industrial groups and trade unions in the United States are beginning to agitate against such action.
They say that if industrial nations agree to one-sided cutbacks in CO2 emissions, this will cut industrial output, and effectively transfer wealth and jobs to emerging nations which do not have to meet such targets, at least in the short term.
If the sun theory gained ground, the insistence by environmentalists that fossil fuel burning must be cut back would be hard to maintain.
The Sun Dunnit
Calder said that recent discoveries by Danish scientists show that the world’s climate has fluctuated over the centuries because of the influence of the sun.
“I firmly believe that the whole effect of the global warming till now is due to the sun,” he quotes Danish Meteorological Institute’s Eigil Friis-Christensen as saying.
Friis-Christensen says the climate is crucially influenced by cosmic and solar rays impacting on the earth’s magnetic field. Cosmic rays vary with the solar cycle and interact with the solar wind which has a direct impact on the world’s cloud formation and therefore on the climate.
Data For 3,800 Years
Friis-Christensen’s research used ice cores drilled in Greenland to trace back climate change for some 3,800 years.
Calder said that the credibility of IPCC predictions has already been undermined by errors and omissions, causing it to cut back on some of its theories.
“(The IPCC’s) Climate Change 1995 revised the best estimate of global temperature rise in the 21st century from three degrees Celsius before 2100 to two degrees by 2100. As for the rise in sea level, the best estimate was cut back from 65 centimetres in the 1990 report to 50 centimetres in the 1995 report.”
Calder said it will still make sense for people to economise in the use of fossil fuels, plant more trees than they fell, and treat the environment with respect.
Scientists Who Hobnob
But public science will need time to win back respect, Calder says.
“Every generation of scientists throws up individuals who like to hobnob with ministers or glorify their specialist knowledge by preaching policy…If physics remained in excellent shape, the same could not be said for science applied in public affairs. The greenhouse warming hypothesis was sustained in the face of much contrary evidence, by scientists of many nationalities who persisted in approving the reports of the IPCC. Most questionable was the role of British scientists and the UK Meteorological Office at Bracknell…Its sincerity was not in question. Their motive was to save the world and their belief in the greenhouse warming was genuine. Such virtues carried no weight in science.”
Dr Geoff Jenkins, head of Climate Prediction at Britain’s Meteorological Office struck back.
“It is hard to believe that this (theory) throws away a hundred years of work on the climate at a stroke,” Jenkins said.
“How could 100 years of work be perverted by government? This consensus was built up from vast numbers of scientists from different countries with different attitudes. This sounds like another paranoid theory which we refute totally.”
“I don’t think that any scientist worth his salt would last very long if his peers thought that he was bending results to suit his paymasters,” Jenkins said.
Neil Winton – May 1997