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Climate Change
Searching for the Truth!
The Greenhouse Effect
What is the greenhouse effect? It is
heat from the sun being trapped by the
gases in our atmosphere.
– A greenhouse effect you may relate to is
that of a closed car on a cold, sunny day in
– The greenhouse effect is a GOOD thing! It
allows for life on our planet!
The Greenhouse Effect
What are greenhouse gases? They are gases in
the atmosphere that trap and radiate heat
from the sun.
Major greenhouse gases include: water vapor, carbon
dioxide, CFC’s, methane, nitrous oxide.
Water vapor is one of the most important greenhouse
gases. It accounts for 95% of greenhouse gases and its
level in the atmosphere is not directly affected by human
Carbon dioxide is the greenhouse gas that is most
directly affected by human activity. (Although it only
makes up .04% of our atmosphere.)
Methane released by warming oceans and defrosting soil
of the tundra can also raise global temperatures.
The Greenhouse Effect
Climate Change
Historically, two
circumstances have
caused global climate
- An increase in the
solar output of the sun
(warming the Earth)
-Volcanic eruptions
(cooling the Earth)
The Eruption of Tambora
“1816 is probably the best known example of
a volcanically-induced climate cooling
It was largely caused by the eruption of
Tambora, Indonesia, in April 1815, in one
of the largest known eruptions of the
past few millennia.
The aerosol veil caused Northern
Hemisphere cooling of up to 1 degree
Celsius, and considerably more locally,
with effects lasting until the end of
1816 and extending to both
Snow fell in New England in June and
abnormally cool temperatures in Europe
led to widespread famine and misery,
although the connection to volcanic
aerosols was not realized at the time.
Image of the volcano is from the NASA
Space Shuttle, showing the 7 kilometrewide caldera depression formed in
1815. (Image: NASA.) ”
• Tambora
Climate Change – Fact…
The Earth is getting
warmer. (by about 1
degree F during the
past 150 years)
Climate Change- Fact…
Sea level has risen
by about 10 – 25 cm
(about 7 inches) in
the past 100 years.
Climate Change – Fact …
• Glaciers are melting in Greenland, N.
America, S. America, and Europe.
• Ice shelves are breaking off in
• The interior of Antarctica is getting
• Polar pack ice in the Arctic Circle is
forming later in the fall and melting
earlier in the spring.
Glaciers Melting In Greenland
Evidence of Climate Change –
Antarctic Ice Shelves Breaking
Evidence of Climate Change –
Antarctic Ice Shelves Breaking
“In 1995 the northern part of the
Larsen ice shelf (known as Larsen
A) collapsed – a process observed
by Envisat’s predecessor
spacecraft ERS.
On 18 March 2002 another part
known as Larsen B followed it, as
captured by ASAR.
During this most recent collapse a
200-metre-thick shelf with an
area of 3,300 km2, equivalent in
size to more than a third of the
island of Corsica or the whole of
Luxembourg, was lost.”
Credits: H. Rott
What is the Kyoto Protocol?
It is agreement on global
warming reached by the UN
Conference on Climate
Change in Kyoto Japan in
The major industrial nations
(163 as of April ’06)
pledged to reduce their
emissions of greenhouse
gases between 2008 and
A new treaty has not been
The Kyoto Protocol
Why didn’t the United
States ratified the
Kyoto Protocol?
- It would be very
expensive to carry out
(about $400 billion/
- Our government wants
more information on the
causes of global
One Major Issue
The issue of climate change is probably one
of the most important of our day.
No scientist questions that we have
experienced a warming phase lately.
The question is the cause of the warming – is
it caused by people releasing carbon dioxide
into the atmosphere or by natural forces
such as the sun and water vapor?
If we have caused it, we should take steps
to fix it. If we have not caused it, we
should not take costly and ineffective steps
to fix what we cannot control.
One Troublesome Molecule
• CO2 is a trace greenhouse gas. How
trace, you might ask??
• It composes .04% of the atmosphere.
• That’s 4 molecules out of 10,000!
• It’s measured in PARTS PER million!
One Troublesome Molecule
• CO2 is released in combustion reactions when
we burn fossil fuels, from volcanoes,
weathering rocks & warm ocean waters and
when we exhale.
• CO2 is used by plants in the process of
photosynthesis – to make food and grow!
• No matter what you may hear from the media
or the president of the USA, CO2 is NOT a
toxic gas! Nor is it pollution.
The Carbon Dioxide
• A carbon sink is a place that
absorbs and stores CO2.
– Carbon sinks include oceans
and terrestrial forests.
– The natural process that
removes carbon dioxide from
the atmosphere is
photosynthesis – which
explains why carbon sinks
absorb CO2!
• This also explains why excess
CO2 acts as a fertilizer to
Two Opposing Groups
• United Nations IPCC
1. What is their purpose? Established in 1988 “to provide the
decision-makers and others interested in climate change
with an objective source of information about climate
change.” (
2. Who are these people? Composed of “hundreds of
scientists all over the world (who) contribute to the work of
the IPCC as authors, contributors and reviewers.” (
3. What was the outcome? Compiled 4 IPCC Assessment
Reports - 1990, 1995, 2001, 2007 - used by governments
around the world to create policies that address climate
change. (
4. Official website – (Fun reading!)
5. These are the MANMADE CLIMATE CHANGE people.
The View of the United Nations
1. This era of global warming “is unlikely to be
entirely natural in origin” and “the balance of
evidence suggests a discernible human
influence on the global climate.”
2. IN OTHER WORDS: People, by burning
fossil fuels are causing global warming! (And
it’s going to be a catastrophe - like in The Day
After Tomorrow!)
The View of the United Nations
3. This is referred to as
the consensus view. (A
“consensus” means that
everyone agrees!) “The
vast majority of
scientists agree that
global warming is real,
it’s already happening
and that it is the result
of our activities and not
a natural occurrence.”
( –
Gore’s website)
The View of the United Nations
4. IPCC’s Proposed Solution:
a. Limit our use of fossil fuels by
b. Carbon trading (Cap and Trade) –
which punishes companies for using
c. Develop alternative sources of energy.
The Science of the United
Nations IPCC
1. … Studies that show that atmospheric
carbon dioxide levels have gone up in
the past century.
The Carbon Dioxide
As stated earlier, CO2 is a
greenhouse gas over which
people have some control.
In 1958, the geophysicist Charles
keeling began taking
measurements of CO2 in the
atmosphere from atop Mauna
Loa in Hawaii.
He found that the amount of CO2
in the atmosphere increased.
(From 314 ppm in 1958 to 358
ppm in 1994 )
Remember – CO2 is measured in
The Science of the United
Nations IPCC
2… Computer models that attempt to predict
what would happen to Earth’s climate. These
models doubled and tripled the levels of CO2
without taking into account the effect of the sun
or water vapor (which accounts for 95% of
greenhouse gas effect due to its role in forming
clouds). These models then predicted a huge
hot spot along the equator that did not happen!
(Joseph L. Bast, ICCC Conference)
The Greenhouse Effect –
Greenhouse Gases: Water Vapor
Notice the solar radiation
that is reflected back to
space from the tops of the
clouds and the heat that is
reflected back to Earth’s
surface by the bottom of
the clouds. Water vapor’s
role in the greenhouse
effect is not completely
understood and is difficult
to model in computer
simulations on global
The Science of the United
Nations IPCC
3. …Hockey-stick Graph Climate studies
that mostly date from about 1750
to the present day. The infamous
“hockey-stick” graph by Mann et. al.
1998 did go back to 1000 BC but
completely ignored the major shifts in
climate known as the “Medieval
Warming” and the “Little Ice Age.”
The hockey-stick graph is on top and the
corrected graph is shown on the bottom.
“The large, full-colour “hockey-stick” was the key graph in the UN’s 2001
report, and the only one to appear six times. The Canadian Government copied
it to every household. Four years passed before a leading scientific journal
would publish the truth about the graph. Did the UN or the Canadian
government apologise? Of course not. The UN still uses the graph in its
Mann’s Graph Corrected…
Mann’s data (lower, darker line) was faulty – ignoring the fertilizing
effects of carbon dioxide on bristlecone pine trees. His study
contradicted what is known about the Medieval Warming and the
Little Ice Age from hundreds of historical sources and scientific
Who are the Skeptics?
*ICCC Attendees and More Than 31,072
Like-minded American Scientists
1. What is their purpose? Met in March of 2009 to “confront the
issue, “Global warming: Was it ever really a crisis?” and to
“answer questions overlooked by the United Nations’
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).”
2. Who are these people? Composed of scientists from such
prestigious places as MIT, Harvard, NASA, NOAA’s Hurricane
Research Division, and Colorado State University who
presented research that is skeptical of manmade global
3. What was the outcome? They came to an alternative consensus
that global warming was never really a crisis and is NOT
caused by human activity.
4. Official website –
5. These are the people who are SKEPTICAL OF MANMADE
The View of the Skeptics
1. “Since 2007, more than 31,072 American
scientists, including 9,021 with PhDs, have
signed a petition which says, in part, "There is
NO convincing scientific evidence that human
release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other
greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the
foreseeable future, cause catastrophic
heating of the Earth's atmosphere and
disruption of the Earth's climate.”
Timothy Ball, Former Professor of Climatology, Univ. of Winnipeg
The View of the Skeptics
3. IN OTHER WORDS: People are NOT causing global
With thousands of scientists disagreeing with the
“consensus” view, it doesn’t appear to be a consensus
at all!
William Gray
Colorado State University
World’s Greatest Hurricane Expert
in the World
The View of the Skeptics
5. Proposed Solution:
a. Learn as much as
possible about natural
climate cycles
b. Adapt for the future.
c. Do NOT waste money
on costly and
ineffective measures to
limit carbon dioxide
d. Focus on helping people
in poverty.
Willie Soon
The Science of the Skeptics
1… Ice core studies that show that global
temperatures rise and fall BEFORE
carbon dioxide levels rise and fall.
These studies suggest that global
warming causes the release of carbon
dioxide – from carbon sinks such as the
ocean - rather than carbon dioxide
causing global warming!
The Science of the Skeptics
2… Sunspot data that
suggests that the
sun has a lot more
to do with heating
Earth than a trace
greenhouse gas like
carbon dioxide!
The Science of the Skeptics
3… Climate studies that go back over a thousand years
(and more). Again, take a look at our Earth’s average
temperatures (shown as a fluctuation above or below
20th century average temperatures).
Note the period of global
cooling in the 1970’s –
well into the industrial
revolution when carbon
dioxide levels were going
up exponentially!
Time Magazine did a cover
story in the 70’s to warn the
world about Global Cooling!
It was a lot warmer back in
Medieval days than it is
now and they weren’t
burning a whole lot of
fossil fuels! (Did you
ever wonder why the
Vikings called Greenland,
People were also living
longer and growing
crops where none had
grown before. It was a
good thing!
One Final Thought…
The issue of
what causes
change is far
from settled.
Manmade Climate Change…
Proponents of
Manmade climate
change (such as Al
Gore and his
friends at the
United Nations)
point to carbon
dioxide as the
major cause of
global warming
Manmade Climate Change…
Measurements have shown that atmospheric carbon
dioxide levels have increased in the past 150 years
since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
(Carbon dioxide is a trace greenhouse gas.)
2. At the same time, global temperatures went up in the
1980’s and 1990’s (after a cooling phase in the 1970’s)
– with 1998 being the hottest year on record.
3. They concluded that it was carbon dioxide (carbon
emissions) that caused the global warming. (And they
have computer models to prove it!)
Skeptics of Manmade Climate
Scientists (like William Gray, Willie
Soon and Timothy Ball) that are
skeptical of the manmade climate
change hypothesis do not think that
carbon dioxide is the major cause of
global warming because …
Skeptics of Manmade Climate
Although atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have
gone up in the past 150 years, there are studies
that show that these levels rise and fall AFTER
global temperatures rise and fall.
During those same 150 years of rising carbon
dioxide levels, *the Earth warmed and cooled.
3. If rising carbon dioxide levels cause global
temperatures to go up, then there should not be any
cooling phases when in fact there were two cooling
phases. (In the 1930’s and 1970’s)
Skeptics of Manmade Climate
*Global temperatures have gone up and
down throughout recorded and prerecorded history – before the
Industrial Revolution began in the
1800’s and before people began to burn
large amounts of fossil fuels.
* In 2008, Earth experienced a cooling.