Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Global Warming Nonsense Detector, by Dr. Reid A. Bryson

Please read this article by Dr. Reid Bryson and I think you will see that
what Al Gore is doing with his crusade about "global warming" is
self-serving and extremely dangerous to our country and the
world economy.
Of course everyone is against all real polluting of the
environment, but Al Gore is being blatently dishonest for his own obvious
political and financial self-gain. He needs to be revealed for the fraud that he

First, a bit about
Dr. Bryson's credentials. I knew
him from when I was at UW...

Honorary Degree and Distinguished Achievement Medallists Spring Commencement - May 9, 2003
Dr. Reid A. Bryson joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin in 1946, at the end of his military service as a Major in the Air Weather Service. His first appointment was in the Department of Geology and in the Department of Geography. In 1948 he started the Department of Meteorology, which is now one of the largest and most prestigious in the United States. In 1963, he founded the Center for Climatic Research, in which he is currently Senior Scientist. Throughout his career, Dr. Bryson has been interested in interdisciplinary studies and was one of the founders and chairman of the University of Wisconsin’s Interdisciplinary Committee on the Future of Man. He also served for 15 years as the founding Director of the renowned University of Wisconsin Institute for Environmental Studies.

Considered by many to be the ‘Father of Scientific Climatology’, Professor Bryson has written five books and more than 240 papers in the fields of limnology, meteorology, climatology, archaeology and geography. Much of Bryson’s work has dealt with climate in relation to human ecology, and this has lead him into extensive travel, especially to Asia where he worked primarily on anthropogenic changes of climate and landscape in general. His best-known laboratory works are in the development of new approaches to climatology, such as airstream analysis and quantitative, objective methods of reconstructing past climates.

Dr. Bryson is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Meteorological Society, and a charter member of the World Council for the Biosphere.Though born in Michigan in 1920, he regards Wisconsin as his home state, his profession as teaching, and his field as interdisciplinary earth science with a strong humanistic component.


2. Global Warming? by Reid A. Bryson Ph.D., D.Sc., D.Engr.1

The Built-in Nonsense Detector:

Hardly a day goes by without a news article in the paper containing a reference to someone's opinion about "Global Warming". A quick search of the Internet uncovers literally hundreds of items about "Global Warming". Issues of atmospheric science journals will normally have at least one article on climatic change, usually meaning "Global Warming" or some aspect thereof.

Whole generations of graduate students have been trained to believe that we know the main answers about climate change and only have to work out the details.Why then do I bother you by introducing this section with such a ludicrous title? I do it because, as one who has spent many decades studying the subject professionally, I find that there are enormous gaps in the understanding of those making the most strident claims about climatic change. In order to read the news rationally, the educated reader needs a few keys to quickly sort the patently absurd from the possibly correct. I propose to supply some of those keys to give the reader at least a rudimentary nonsense detector.

Some Common Fallacies
1. The atmospheric warming of the last century is unprecedented and unique. Wrong. There are literally thousands of papers in the scientific literature with data that shows that the climate has been changing one way or the other for at least a million years.

2. It is a fact that the warming of the past century was anthropogenic in origin, i.e. man-made and due to carbon dioxide emission. Wrong. That is a theory for which there is no credible proof. There are a number of causes of climatic change, and until all causes other than carbon dioxide increase are ruled out, we cannot attribute the change to carbon dioxide alone.

3. The most important gas with a "greenhouse" effect is carbon dioxide. Wrong. Water vapor is at least 100 times as effective as carbon dioxide, so small variations in water vapor are more important than large changes in carbon dioxide.

4. One cannot argue with the computer models that predict the effect of a doubling of carbon dioxide or other "greenhouse gasses". Wrong. To show this we must show that the computer models can at least duplicate the present-day climate. This they cannot do with what could be called accuracy by any stretch of the imagination. There are studies that show that the average error in modeling present precipitation is on the order of 100%, and the error in modeling present temperature is about the same size as the predicted change due to a doubling of carbon dioxide. For many areas the precipitation error is 300-400 percent.

5. I am arguing that the carbon dioxide measurements are poorly done. Wrong. The measurements are well done, but the interpretation of them is often less than acceptably scientific.

6. It is the consensus of scientists in general that carbon dioxide induced warming of the climate is a fact. Probably wrong. I know of no vote having been taken, and know that if such a vote were taken of those who are most vocal about the matter, it would include a significant fraction of people who do not know enough about climate to have a significant opinion. Taking a vote is a risky way to discover scientific truth.

So What Can We Say about Global Warming?We can say that the Earth has most probably warmed in the past century. We cannot say what part of that warming was due to mankind's addition of "greenhouse gases" until we consider the other possible factors, such as aerosols. The aerosol content of the atmosphere was measured during the past century, but to my knowledge this data was never used.We can say that the question of anthropogenic modification of the climate is an important question -- too important to ignore. However, it has now become a media free-for-all and a political issue more than a scientific problem. What a change from 1968 when I gave a paper at a national scientific meeting and was laughed at for suggesting that people could possibly change the climate!

1 Emeritus Professor of Meteorology, of Geography and of Environmental Studies. Senior Scientist, Center for Climatic Research, The Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies (Founding Director), the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
2. Bryson, R. A. and W. M. Wendland, 1968: "Climatic Effects of Atmospheric Pollution," in Proceedings of AAAS Annual Meeting, Global Effects of Environmental Pollution (Singer, ed.), pp. 130-138, Dallas, Texas, December 26-31, 1968. Also as "Climatic Effects of Atmospheric Pollution," S. Fred Singer (ed.), 1970; The Changing Global Environment, pp. 139-147, 1975.


my2cents said...

Great article. Professor Bryson has enough experience and credibility to be taken seriously. At the very least, his arguments should cast some doubt on many of the claims reported in the media.

As he says, the question is too important to ignore. Unsubstantiated claims by politicians and others who stand to gain as a result of policy changes, should be regarded as highly suspicious.

Peter said...

I think you've picked up on something very important here. You quote "Unsubstantiated claims by politicians and others who stand to gain.........should be regarded as highly suspicious." Have we not learned, for example, that the big tobacco companies were not entirely honest when they claimed their "scientific" studies show smoking is not harmful. Do a little homework and you'll find that Al Gore was once part of the tobacco industry. Is that where he learned to manipulate and deceive? Hmmmmmm.......