The best-kept secret of the climate-communist profiteers of doom is that – to make it look as though manmade global warming might be enough to cause catastrophe – their massive computer models use an equation borrowed from the process used by engineers who design electronic circuits to triple the tiny direct warming that arises from our sins of emission.
The excuse for the tripling is that the mere fact of warming the world causes consequential changes in the climate that greatly amplify the small direct warming from, say, doubling the CO2 concentration in the air.
The most notable of these imagined consequential changes, known as “temperature feedbacks,” is that as the atmosphere warms it is capable of holding near-exponentially more water vapor, a greenhouse gas far more potent than CO2 because of its sheer quantity in the atmosphere.
The direct warming even from a doubling of CO2 concentration compared with today – which would take 150 years to occur – would be little more than 1 Celsius degree. That direct warming is small, harmless and even beneficial, since doubling the CO2 in the air would increase the yield of most staple crops by 20-40 percent, and make them more resistant to drought, and it would greatly increase the total plant biomass on Earth.
But if a direct warming of just over 1 Celsius degree is suddenly, arbitrarily and capriciously multiplied by three, Houston, we have a problem. Instead of 1 Celsius of warming over the next few centuries (for although the CO2 would double in 150 years, the full effect of the consequent warming would not be felt for 500 years), we should see 3.3 Celsius of warming – and that would be large enough, perhaps, to cause problems.
So it is the tripling of the direct manmade warming to allow for imagined temperature feedbacks that is the sole reason why the climate communists are enabled to claim that manmade warming might prove dangerous.
Now, here is the problem – and a fatal problem at that – for the climate communists’ case. They had thought – for they know very little elementary physics – that the Bode feedback system-gain equation, which they had appropriated from the process engineers, applies just as much to dynamical systems such as the climate as it does to dynamical systems such as electronic circuits.
However, unknown to nearly all climate modelers, there are two distinct classes of dynamical systems, and they behave in different ways. In an electronic circuit, when the feedbacks become large enough to drive the closed-loop gain beyond 1, the current instantaneously flicks from the positive to the negative rail. What was as near an infinite positive voltage as the average feedback-enhanced circuit can deliver becomes a near-infinite negative voltage as the loop gain exceeds 1.
What is more, in such systems the output – in this case the voltage – is what is known as a bare output. The fact that the output voltage increases does not affect the behavior of the circuit.
The climate, however, is a dynamical system in a quite different class. Here, the temperature is the output, and even if the feedback loop gain exceeds unity, there is no physical mechanism by which a temperature that was formerly rising toward infinity can suddenly plunge to absolute zero as the loop gain exceeds 1.
Furthermore, in the climate the temperature is not a bare output. Rising temperature is the mechanism by which the radiative imbalance created, say, by our releasing large quantities of CO2 back into the atmosphere from which they originally came is resolved and equilibrium is restored.
For this and other reasons, the climate acts just like your thermostat at home. You probably set it so that the ambient indoor temperature is free to vary by three or four Celsius degrees, so that the system is not constantly switching itself on or off.
The earth is just the same. And the rising temperature in response to rising CO2 concentration acts just like the rising temperature in your home when the heating is on. Eventually the temperature reaches the upper limit you have set on the thermostat, and the system switches off and cools down. And the temperature of earth, having risen by enough to offset the radiative imbalance caused by our adding CO2 to the air, restores what the climate scientists call “radiative equilibrium.”
For just the same reasons as your thermostat does not allow the ambient temperature in your house to go above or below the maximum or minimum values you have chosen, the earth’s temperature also changes very little.
Indeed, ice-cores drilled in the Antarctic have enabled paleoclimatologists to study how global mean surface temperatures have changed over the past 810,000 years. And the results show that absolute mean global surface temperature has varied by – wait for it – just 1 percent, or 3 Celsius, either side of the long-run average throughout those 810,000 years.
So the variation in the earth’s average temperature, over all those millennia, has been scarcely greater than the variation in the temperature of your house as you have set it on your thermostat. The changes were enough to give us ice ages at one era and a hothouse earth the next: but they were nothing like enough to imagine that strongly-amplifying temperature feedbacks are in operation.
It is the Bode equation that misled climate scientists into think they could turn a non-problem into a problem by tripling the tiny warming from CO2. But – and this is the key point – the Bode equation does not – repeat not – apply to dynamical systems such as the climate.
It is the wrong equation.
Take away that inappropriate and misapplied equation, remove the unjustifiable tripling and the climate “crisis” vanishes.
I am the lead author of a paper published this week in the Science Bulletin of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. My distinguished co-authors are Dr. Willie Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, professor David Legates of the University of Delaware, and Matt Briggs, statistician to the stars. Our peer-reviewed paper demonstrates that the Bode equation is not applicable to the climate and, therefore, there is no need to spend a single red cent on making global warming go away.
Thanks to the generosity of the Heartland Institute, you can download the paper for free at Scibull.com. Just click on “Current issue” and then look for our paper, “Why models run hot.”Please download it and encourage your friends to do the same. It is heavily mathematical, but its virtue is that, for the first time, it reveals in the simplest way what the climate communists have previously kept secret: namely, just how it is that the climate models determine how much warming a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration may cause.
The correct policy response to our paper, of course, would be to cease at once and forever all the trillions of dollars of spending on global warming. Every penny of that spending has been, is and will be wasted.
But governments that panicked themselves into jumping on to the global warming bandwagon just as the wheels were coming off are not going to admit overnight that they were wrong.
Instead, they will press ahead with their wretched world-government climate treaty in Paris just nine months from now. We have till December to save democracy. For their world government will not be elected. It will be a tyranny more absolute and more inescapable than any previously known.
And the hollow basis for that tyranny – which will bring down forever the curtain on the democracy, liberty and prosperity for which your Founding Fathers prayed and worked and fought and died – is a single, well-hidden but erroneous equation. As the Good Book says, weep for yourselves and for your children.
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