The answer to that question is: YES and NO. And this makes the discussions on internet to go on perpetual. All views lack coverage and depth, however, we have included a much broader view in our research. Our research shows that the facts are quite surprising and that both sides are right and wrong. Our discoveries are groundbreaking: the atmosphere in its totality appears to be in equilibrium. And we can explain why glaciations wax and wane, and why CO2 is both a proxy and a cause.
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Global Climate Change Map – Ground Based
What is Climate?
What constitutes “climate”? Traditionally, temperature, humidity, wind speed, rainfall, and sunny hours give a good idea of what defines “climate”. When the patterns of these five variables permanently change on a significant scale, we could speak of a changing climate. Is this ever properly analyzed on a global scale? Hardly. This is because earth’s climate is an amazingly complex system and is still far beyond the reach of human comprehension.
So, we ask: Is our climate really changing? And if that is so, why could it be changing?
Our Own Research, as compared to Copy-Paste Beliefs
It is widely believed, particularly in climate change discussions, that we can control the climate, as we do in our cars, by reducing CO2 emissions. But a glimpse at the historical data shows us that temperatures changed constantly over time. Who or what made this CO2 a few hundred thousand years ago? Or is CO2 the effect and not the cause – because that would explain the issue much better than vice versa.
Is our climate changing? If that is the case, what is the probable cause? To see what is really going on, let us determine this by ourselves. But that requires a lot of work. Few people are willing to do that gratuitously.
Northern Versus Southern Hemisphere – Ground Level
The Relation Between CO2 and Climate Change
The correlation between CO2 and temperature is obvious. Whether we look at recent records, or at ice core data, the correlation is always present.
Is the simple conclusion that CO2 is responsible for climbing temperatures true? Is it really THAT simple? The relationship is indeed so obvious that only a fool dares to say that CO2 is not responsible for climate change – or so it seems.
Some cases of cause and effect are simple and obvious: Does asbestos cause cancer, or does cancer cause asbestos? Because asbestos preceded cancer, it is the most probable cause.
This form of straightforward thinking is popular and often true, however, in more complicated systems like climate change, it can also lead to oversimplifying causes, and this leads to a form of self-falsification without the authors themselves being aware of it. It is then easy to kick in the door for agitators of all sorts – deniers, debunkers, for conspiracists. And so the debate becomes perpetual. The reason? Lack of insight, lack of data, lack of interest in the real causes, biased positions, and so on.
Does CO2 cause climate change or does climate change cause a change in CO2 levels? The solution is in the nuances and the willingness to research deep enough.
The Elephant in the Room: CO2 Lags Behind
If we analyze the data by zooming in, we see that CO2 lags behind on the temperature data. Is this well known? The climate scientists know about it but they stubbornly ignore this problem. It is the elephant in the room.
Earth’s climate system is a feedback system. There are causes and there are effects. We must distinguish between these two to understand how such complicated mechanisms work.
When the alleged cause is lagging behind we can easily understand it is nothing more than an effect that is caused by something else. This “something else” however might be unknown to us.
We could concoct some unimaginably complicated system to fake CO2 as being the cause. But why would we create an incorrect cause-and-effect feedback system?
To become aware of the fact that CO2 is lagging behind temperature you must zoom in on the data.
It is crucial to grasp that, if you want to know which is causing what, you need many detailed data to show where the reversals are, where the direction changes, as in the graph shown below. The lag between input and output is what we refer as a form of hysteresis.
In the graph below, there is not one single example where CO2 is not behind on changes in temperature. The odds for that correlation to be coincidental is a whopping 1 to 4.3 billion. It is therefore, very unlikely that CO2 is responsible for climate change in the ice core data – hence CO2 is the EFFECT and it correlates with changing temperatures. We must add explicitly this: ONLY IN THE ICE CORE DATA.
Why is this nuance important? Because what climate skeptics always do, is to take the ice core data, and compare it with the temperature data over the last few hundred years or so. It appears you cannot compare these data simply just like that. We have discovered that CO2 is like a coin that has two sides. So, it becomes a little bit more complicated.
Temperature Leads CO2 by an Average of About 1,000 Years
Reasons Why Temperatures Increase in Urbanized Zones
About 85% of the measuring stations are on land, while land covers only about 33% of the planet. It is not difficult to see that, when we use this data, we introduce major errors when we try to calculate an average global temperature.
About 50% of the stations that are used to measure global temperature are situated at airports. Many of these stations are incorrectly located, meaning that they collect heat from the exhaust of airplanes or from the tarmac runway. Since the air traffic has increased, the heat collection by the sensors from the jet exhausts increases as well. The short and intense heat bursts of the engines accumulate to result in serious errors of many temperature measurements.
Most other stations are in expanding urbanized areas. The measurements are affected by growing traffic and growing heat radiation of buildings over the last decades. The explosive growth of air conditioners on buildings add an enormous heat source to cities and therefore influence the measurements of urban-situated weather stations.
The measurements from some of the stations in large urbanized areas must be corrected by other nearby remote stations before they can be used to present a global warming map. And even if we do this, we still present only the temperatures at ground level. We have no idea what happens higher up in the atmosphere, and deeper down in the oceans.
How Accurate Are the Temperature Measurements?
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the number of weather stations dropped dramatically from about 12,000 in 1990 to about 6,000 stations in 1995. In the same period, the alleged global temperature started to rise dramatically.
- Cause: the “cold” stations were gone from the statistics. Mainly the warm urbanized stations remained.
- Effect: the statistics started to present a distorted picture of the global temperatures.
On the other hand, if these “cold” former Soviet stations would all show warming temperatures, than it would add a significant proportion of warming data to the existent data. But because this data is no longer available we turned to another method of measuring globally, and we discovered something surprising.
Recently, a far better way of collecting data has come into use: Remote Sensing Systems, or shortly RSS. Satellites gather data over large areas by using microwave sensors. This data is much more reliable and much easier to process than the old-fashioned weather stations that climate models are still based on.
It is important to note that this system successfully monitored the temperatures of the whole atmosphere, but it suddenly stopped to gather data in 2015, after budget cuts by NASA. RSS, as a more reliable tool to observe the climatic system, did NOT support the agenda of climate change driven by CO2 and that is something to think about …
A Temperature Scan of the Whole Atmosphere
RSS Confirms Warming of the Lower Atmosphere
The RSS data shows dramatic results and confirms our data of the ground stations in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2. The low atmosphere is warming up, and the reason seems to be very obvious. CO2 is much denser than the other two main elements, N2 and O2, in what we call “air”, and so it sticks to the ground level. And because CO2 has increased dramatically due to human activity, and because it has the property to block back radiation at night, the conclusions are obvious.
Human activity is the cause of temperature change at ground level. There is no way to get around this conclusion. However, there is more to this discussion than meets the eye. For example, it is only true on the short term and at ground level. So, if humans keep emitting CO2 at high rates, it is true on the short term at ground level.
However, if one would look at specifically temperature changes of our oceans over the last few decades one would discover that here also CO2 follows the temperature changes of the oceans. Here, CO2 lags as well, and that is because the oceans store massive amounts of CO2, and emit CO2 when they slightly warm up, and absorb CO2 when they cool down a fraction.
RSS Results Over the Last Two Decades
Warming + Cooling = Equilibrium
Why is the Atmosphere as a Whole in Equilibrium?
Over the last two decades, the atmosphere as a whole is in equilibrium. The lower atmosphere warms up, while the higher atmosphere cools down.
This relatively simple formula expresses this process in a nutshell:
ΔTall = ΔTtropo × Mtropo – ΔTstrato × Mstrato = 0
Indeed, the greenhouse gases partially trap the collected warmth in the troposphere, but because the stratosphere receives less back radiation through the CO2 blockade, it cools down very rapidly. The sum of both remains the same.
The higher stratosphere then becomes affected, due to the CO2 blanket, by the much slower convection and mixing processes in the atmosphere. Large amounts of emitted CO2 cause a sort of “flash heating” in the lower atmosphere. But this heat will never be entrapped for very long due to convection and mixing. When we look at the short-term aspects, it causes sudden melting of Arctic and Antarctic regions. In the longer term, it causes periods of melting and periods of extreme freezing – a less stable climate with more extremes indeed.
Radiation is Quicker Than Convection
Radiation works much faster than convection and mixing, and that is why we witness an alleged warming of the atmosphere when lots of CO2 is emitted. You can compare it with a reflector heater versus a convector heater. The reflector heater “transmits” its energy much faster than a convector heater.
However, because the higher atmosphere, the stratosphere, cools equally down, global warming at ground level is not a simple steady process that can be tracked back to CO2 alone. Convection and mixing between the warmed up troposphere and cooled down stratopshere interferes in this process. This is why there are two confused, fanatical camps of proponents and opponents of anthropogenic climate change. They are both right and both wrong. The key is in both their viewpoints.
But because global warming has become an emotional topic, reason does not seem to work anymore. Both camps refuse to even ponder a split second at other ideas than their own.
It is crucial to understand our concept of equilibrium to fully understand the processes in the atmosphere. Eventually, the strongly cooled stratosphere will receive what it is entitled to, although it might take some time.
That is why both sides are right and wrong. The truth is in the nuances present in both viewpoints.
Is There a Cold Wave Coming?
And of course, if our civilization emits high amounts of CO2, that would then cause what we have called “flash heating”, and that is what we see today. But this flash heat will remain only for a short while in the lower atmosphere if we lower our CO2 output radically.
A massive cold blanket will fall on us and cause a lot of troubles, like crop losses and frozen ports if we stop to emit CO2 without a sensible phasing out policy. And because radical CO2 reduction seems to be one of the main goals of all governments, there is a massive cooling wave coming. Don’t throw away your warm coat too soon!
The Ultimate Key to Many Questions
What Caused the Large Temperature Changes?
The biggest remaining question is: what caused the very large long-term temperature swings of the last glaciations?
- Sunspots? No.
- El Niño and El Niña? No.
- Bretagnon oscillations? No.
- PDO? No.
- Hallstatt cycles? No.
- Earth Crust Deformations? Yes!
Earth Crust Shifts are rejected and even ridiculed by geologists, while they offer the only rational explanation for the very large long-term temperature swings around the “setpoint”. We have gathered an incredible amount of data and are sure that crustal deformations are the only explanation for what science has called “glaciation cycles”.
Crustal deformation are ultimately caused by expansion of our planet and this also caused gravity to increase over time. Our data suggests that geologists are still living in the 19th century when it comes to major Earth changes. Pangaea is a fact, however, it covered the whole planet…when it was smaller in diameter. Increasing gravity also caused the major extinctions of life on earth, like that of the dinosaurs. You can find profound research on this topic on our website.
What happens with ice core samples considering the assumption that the crust was fixed? The interpretations will lead to conclusions of very large temperature swings, which in fact never took place. Shifts in climatic zones, which are not validated as such, lead automatically to the idea that the Earth was in a series of ice ages, while there is never any mechanism that was found to have caused such frigid events.
On the question, does CO2 causes climate changes? is the answer: they are both right and wrong at the same time. One must look at this issue from a broader, higher perspective to understand what is going on. Only then you can see that both perspectives contain parts of a much bigger picture, and that both sides have something useful to say.
It is time to gradually phase out the fossil fuel era, over a slow course of about 50 years.
© 2015- by Mario Buildreps et al.
Proofreading and editing: J.B.