IN the Australian Parliament, or more particularly the Australian Senate, the vote of one senator may be important for the passage of the government’s cap and trade legislation, also known as the emission trading scheme.
Senator Steve Fielding recently returned from ‘The Third International Climate Change Conference’ in Washington indicating that he was unconvinced carbon dioxide was driving global warming and that he would like to meet with the Minister for Climate Change, Penny Wong, to ask a few questions. The Australian media immediately tried to brand him a ‘sceptic’, but Senator Fielding has continually denied that he is a sceptic, just that he has an obligation to get to the bottom of a couple of issues before he votes on the important legislation.
Senator Wong organised to meet with him and Australia’s chief scientist Penny Sackett. The meeting apparently took place yesterday and Senator Fielding apparently brought along some other scientists including some so-called sceptics.
Interviewed this morning on ABC radio Senator Fielding explained that he really had one key issue, how can it be that we have carbon dioxide emissions going up and global temperatures, the way the IPCC has been measuring them, not going up.
According to Senator Fielding the Chief Scientist explained that the Australian government is using a different method to measure temperature, one involving the oceans, and indeed this shows temperatures are going up. The long and the short appears to be that Senator Fielding is still unclear: Are carbon emissions driving up global temperatures?
Some of the side arguments at the meeting apparently concerned other potential drivers of global temperature including solar activity.
If I had been at the meeting I would have explained the dilemma as follows:
Yes, carbon dioxide levels have been rising over the last decade, but global temperatures haven’t been increasing. Indeed, since 2003 it appears that even the oceans have started to cool. This does not accord with anthropogenic global warming theory.
There are a range of factors additional to carbon dioxide that can influence temperature including solar activity. Indeed it seems there is so much we don’t understand about global climate and climate change and many competing theories: That is the nature of science to some extent.
I would then explain that according to a new theory dubbed the ‘Saturated Greenhouse Effect’ developed by a Hungarian physicist (Ferenc Miskolczi) adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere will not impact global temperatures because the atmosphere will compensate by reducing specific humidity at critical altitudes. Indeed Dr Miskolczi acknowledges the potential warming effect of carbon dioxide but, through the development of a new law of physics, can explain how changes in the concentration of other greenhouse gases have offset the impact of the additional carbon dioxide.
In summary, I would say, the evidence, suggests the climate system is more robust than we thought because despite increasing levels of carbon dioxide global warming has stalled.
For those prepared to at least consider a new theory, the really good news could be that the critical regulating greenhouse gas, water vapour, is unlikely to ever be limiting because there is just so much of it on planet earth.
Of course, this new theory may be disproven, but at this point in time, given the available evidence, it appears to better explain what is happening in the real world than the accepted alternative, the anthropogenic global warming theory.
So, Senator Fielding to answer your specific question: Are carbon emissions driving up global temperatures? No. The observational data doesn’t support this proposition and there is a new theory that can explain why.
Notes and Links
Proceeding of Third International Climate Change Conference
Fielding Unconvinced After Climate Change Lesson
F.M. Miskolczi (2007) Greenhouse effect in semi-transparent atmospheres, Quarterly Journal of the Hungarian Meteorological Society 111(1): 1-40.
‘The Saturated Greenhouse Effect’ by Ken Gregory provides a good summary of the new theory developed by Ferenc Miskolczi .