Historical Data on Global Warming
Dan Pangburn, P.E.
obviously has changed and will continue to change. But the observation
that ice is melting, which can look dramatic on TV, does not show that
human activity is the cause. The assertion that humans have or ever can
have a significant influence on climate such as by limiting the use of
fossil fuel (a.k.a. limiting human production of carbon dioxide) is not
supported by any historical record. Avoid the group-think ‘consensus
science’ and de facto censorship by Climate Scientists. Directly
interrogate official government data that taxpayers have paid for from
ORNL and NOAA as follows:
temperature1 has varied substantially while the carbon
dioxide in the atmosphere2 exhibits a smooth progressive
rise. Note on this graph that prior to about 1910, and again from 1944
to about 1976, temperature showed a decreasing trend while atmospheric
carbon dioxide level was increasing. Thus, as shown on this graph, until
1998 the average global temperature trend and atmospheric carbon dioxide
level went in the same direction about half the time and in opposite
directions the other half. The temperature rise that received so much
attention and contributed to the Global Warming mistake lasted for about
22 years from 1976 to 1998. The temperature stopped significant increase
in 1998. According to NOAA data, the average global temperature trended
down during 2007 to lower than it was in 1998. This down-trend continues
with the average for the first two months of 2008 being substantially
the previous graph it appears that since 1976 the increasing carbon
dioxide level has caused the average global temperature to rise.
However, a close look at the graph below3,4 reveals the fact
that, typically in the past, global average temperature rose or fell before
the carbon dioxide level changed.
of the idea that recent human activity has caused global warming
rationalize this lag of carbon dioxide change to temperature change,
which existed before human activity was an issue, with the theory that
something external started the temperature change, the temperature
change caused carbon dioxide change and then a positive feed back effect
from the added atmospheric carbon dioxide caused the temperature change
to continue. However, as the temperature record shows, temperature
change began and ended at many different temperature levels. This would
not be possible with significant positive feedback. Thus significant
positive feedback did not exist then and does not exist now. Back then the
atmospheric carbon dioxide increased as the ocean temperature increased
driving out dissolved carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The current
atmospheric carbon dioxide increase is all a result of burning fossil
fuel. Added carbon dioxide has no significant influence on average
global temperature. Global average temperature change must be
driven by factors other than carbon dioxide level.
Although the time scale on this graph can make times look close together, the change in atmospheric carbon dioxide level typically lagged average earth temperature change by hundreds of years. Note especially the period around 112,000 years ago when the decline in carbon dioxide level lagged the decline in average global temperature by thousands of years. Also on this graph, observe that temperature went up and down quickly and frequently while carbon dioxide level changed comparatively slowly. Note also that this graph is in years before 1999 so the present time is at the left side of the graph.
Carbon dioxide levels from http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/co2/vostok.html
This graph also shows that global temperature change is
not significantly influenced by atmospheric carbon dioxide level change.
Sargasso Sea Surface Temperatures5
were compiled from proxies and reported at
Keigwin, L. D. (1996) Science 274, 1504-1508. These temperatures
are corroborated by historical records of colonizing and abandoning
Greenland, vineyards in
Vostok ice core data provide carbon dioxide level4 only until
about 340 BC. More recent data on atmospheric carbon dioxide level is
provided by ice cores from Law Dome6, Antarctica and
atmospheric sampling at
Law Dome carbon dioxide data http://cdiac.ornl.gov/ftp/trends/co2/lawdome.combined.dat
graph is a higher-resolution time scale of the previous graph showing
detail of the last 1000 years with several other sources of carbon
dioxide data added. The added data corroborate the Law Dome data and
continue measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide level to the present
time from Mauna Loa7. This graph shows that the average
global temperature 400 years ago was significantly higher than now and
the recent rate of temperature change is not unusual. Recent
measurements show that average earth temperatures in 2006 and 2007 were
slightly lower than in 1998 and the average temperature for the first
two months of 2008 is substantially lower.
most of earth’s history carbon dioxide level has been several times
higher than the present8,9. The planet plunged in to the
Andean-Saharan ice age 440 million years ago10 when the
carbon dioxide level was over ten times higher than now.
conclusion from all this is that carbon dioxide change does NOT cause
significant climate change.
Actions to control the amount of non-condensing greenhouse gases that
are added to the atmosphere are based on the mistaken assumption that
global warming was caused by human activity. These actions put freedom
and prosperity at risk.
Data through 2006 is at ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/in-situ/mlo/
other sources through 2007 at http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/co2/
Raw science report http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Reference_Docs/Geocarb_III-Berner.pdf
Includes easier-to-read graph which uses the appropriate curve from 8
plus a temperature curve. http://mysite.verizon.net/mhieb/WVFossils/Carboniferous_climate.html
which appears to come from 8. and only shows carbon dioxide level.