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  • Global Warming Conference: The Science of Climate Change

    The first panel at the Heartland Institute today brings together four of the world’s best scientists when it comes to climate change study. The first speaker is Anthony Watts, creator of the website SufaceStations.org, “created in response to the realization that very little physical site survey data exists for the entire United States Historical Climatological Network (USHCN) and Global Historical Climatological Network (GHCN) surface station records worldwide.” SufaceStations.org is a project that monitors the quality of data at America’s 1,221 weather stations. Once a believer that manmade carbon dioxide had a significant effect on the earth’s atmosphere, Watts’ change of heart is largely based on the lack of credible science.

    Watts is widely known in the climate change science community for visiting weather stations across the country. He found that several biases in the location of many of the temperature reading devices. Many are on unnatural surface temperatures: on cinder, asphalt, wood chips, and concrete. They lay on top or roofs or on airport runways. Other spots for stations included spots next to an incinerator, waste management facilities (where it’s much warmer) and outside of an air conditioning unit right next to where the warm air is released. One station in Baltimore had readings of over 100 degrees F when no other nearby station did. That station has been shut down but the climate records remain. His conclusion is that most of the weather stations have an upwards bias of 1 degree Celsius and in many cases it’s two degrees C. Check out Watts’ project, SurfaceStations.org for much more.

    University of Virginia professor Fred Singer is up next. His main conclusion is the science is not settled. Singer is also the president of the Science and Environmental Policy project and just published an 800 page report entitled, “Climate Change Reconsidered” that questions and debunks many of the conclusions found by the IPCC report – the report Al Gore and others use as evidence manmade carbon dioxide is a severe problem. Singer’s report is one of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, mockingly suggesting the conclusions of the original IPCC report came more from politicians than climatologists.

    There are too many unsolved problems when it comes to climate sensitivity and the feedback effects of water vapor and clouds. Many scientists purport natural forcings are the chief contributor to global climate change, and scientists continue to study the effects of internal oscillations and the sun’s effect on climate change, which leads us to the next speaker.

    Harvard astronomer Willie Soon follows Singer. Dr. Soon is known for his tireless work advocating that solar activity and not man-made emissions is the leading variable behind the earth’s temperature change. He recently had the opportunity to tell Al Gore he “strongly disagreed” with his stance on global warming. He begins with a joke, suggesting that the reason he gets so hot in his car with the windows rolled up in the summertime is not from greenhouse effect but must be from the carbon dioxide he is breathing, a joke approved by the audience with laughter and applause. He then asserts that carbon dioxide is not an “air pollutant” but food for plants and marine life.

    The focus of Soon’s speech is removing politics from science, a large challenge. Soon argues the “magical” CO2 knob that we can turn to the right or left to control the weather and climate simply does not exist. He emphasizes that sun-induced climate change theories are making significant progress, which is largely Soon’s own doing.

    Soon, about 5’9” and 170 pounds uses an interesting analogy to discuss carbon dioxide’s effect on the climate. He has three photos on a slide: himself eating a cheeseburger, Tom Brady, and a gorilla drinking water. Soon represents carbon dioxide, Tom Brady represents the climate and the gorilla represents the sun. His point is simple. He can eat as much meat as he wants but at the end of the day, it’s the gorilla that can knock Tom Brady over, not Willie Soon. The translation: Even if carbon dioxide is increasing at a rapid rate, because the sun is such a significant contributor, the smallest amount of change will have a much more dramatic effect.

    Soon asks an important question: What happens if we find out carbon dioxide is not a pollutant that has significant effects on global temperature and once we spend trillions of dollars to regulate it, it disrupts the CO2 vital for plant and marine life? He warns it could be an ecological disaster.

    Rounding up the panel is Harrison Schmidt, a former NASA astronaut, one of the most recent Americans to walk on the moon, an earth scientist and a former Congressman. His talk is more political than scientific. He believes that any attempt to regulate carbon dioxide will be one of the largest losses of liberty our country has ever faced. By regulating just about everything that emits carbon dioxide, the government could force people to significantly change their behavior and reduce consumer choice in ways almost unimaginable. A good message from someone who understands both the science and the politics behind climate change.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    12 Responses to Global Warming Conference: The Science of Climate Change

    1. Dan Pangburn, Phoeni says:

      People are delusional to believe that the self flagellation of atmospheric carbon dioxide reduction will have any significant effect. See the pdf links at http://climaterealists.com/index.php?tid=145&… to discover what really caused the temperature run up in the 20th century and the proof that it wasn't atmospheric carbon dioxide.

    2. Tony Quintanilla, Ch says:

      Does this conference contradict the major conclusions of the 2007 IPCC consensus report and the peer-reviewed science used in its development?

    3. Westhighlander, Lexi says:

      Tony, This is not the kind of science (e.g. high-energy physics, astrophysics, etc.) where the term "peer-reviewed" really matters all that much….There are plenty of opportunities for "just plain folks" to dig-up important matters…Conversely, You probably could not get "a study of lousy locations for temperature monitoring" — published by anyone, except for yourself….My experience in discussing Anthropogenic Global Warming with top experts (e.g. Prof. Richard Lindzen of MIT) is that nearly all the experts criticize the relevant data, models or theory within their own area of expertise…..However, they tend to take at face value the stuff outside their specialty….My approach is…I want to challenge it all and see how much of it meets the criteria of a testable theory as opposed to a PR exercise…..for example if increasing CO2 is supposed to result in increased Temperature (the essence of the so-called Greenhouse Effect”) then one would expect that for the 50 + years of the continuous CO2 measurements with the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere exhibiting a fairly steady increase, that temperatures should also have increased fairly steadily…However, no matter how you measure the temperature (surface, balloons or satellites) the temperature does anything but increase steadily….rather it increases, has periods of nearly constant temperature and even decreases…..The surface record, the longest, but least reliable temperature record actually declined quite dramatically for the first twenty years, sufficiently to trigger concerns of a possible new Ice Age in the mid 1970’s. Since that time the surface record has mostly increased until about 2000 – sparking the talk of Global Warming…since then temperature has been mostly constant while CO2 continues to rise. The latter twenty plus years is generally confirmed by the balloon and satellite data….So — based on this and other not so obvious behavior — I can't say that I know what has caused the recent small amount of warming (of order 0.5 degree C) over the past 100 years … however,…I'm skeptical that human caused emissions of CO2 has much to do with it….Perhaps it is the Sun!

    4. Greg, Vail, AZ says:

      It is interesting that among all the proposed causes for global warming, the most significant is almost never mentioned. Volcanic activity on the ocean bottoms has been steadily increasing of the last decade or more. This activity is slowly raising the temps of the oceans. This activity is not something we can control. The earth is basically a hollow ball filled with molten rock under pressure. As the pressures build up it is released through volcanic vents. As the oceans heat up, the atmosphere is soon to follow. This is a cyclic phenomenon and has occurred thousands of times over the course of the earths billions of years of existence. To think that humans can somehow contribute more to global warming than NATURALLY OCCURRING CAUSES is just plain idiocy.

    5. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      I can get a more accurate accounting of Scientific facts from a group of four year olds observing a catterpiller that Al Gore and his "Global Warming" Fairy Tale.

      The biggest problem is that some many of are polluted policititions have campaigned on this falsehood so long that they have come to believe it!

      No we have a President willing to take this great Nation of ours beyond the edge of ruin with his 'Green Energy' and Green Cars' as a result of Mr. Gore's lies.

      Mr. Gore single handedly ruined General Motors and Chrysler, and all the suppliers of them and all teir distributorships. All those who sold tires. All those who drilled for oil and natural gas, and refined and stored these things.

      When before in history has one man done so much damage to the peoples of not only America, but the entire world, for his vanity and vainglory?


    6. danny says:

      Finally, some people with common sense are coming forward to debunk the lie that is Global Warming.

    7. Ben C, Ann Arbor, MI says:

      Does this conference contradict the major conclusions of the 2007 IPCC consensus report and the peer-reviewed science used in its development?

      This was a hypothesis and to date has not been proven. The computer model that was proposed fit the climate model until about the year 2000, then the algorithms fell apart. At this point true scientists began to challenge the hypothesis and most now discredit the hypothesis. (I have references)

      FINALLY, support for the position of the majority. Global warming is bogus. As I have posted in the past. The "ice out" dates for the inland lakes in Michigan have not changed for at least the past thirty years. The ice leaves the inland lakes the same time every year. Clearly if out planet was warming up there would be a change in these dates – and there isn't any.

      Its all political – pure and simple.

    8. Jim@Redding,CA says:




      ANY LIFE???

    9. Ross writes, Flori says:

      Thank you "The Heritage Foundation" and "Energy and Environment"! I'm not a scientist of any kind, but I consider myself of at least having commonsense or native logic on what I observe. I liked Dr Soon's example with the 900lb gorilla in the room.

      I also agreed with the comment of Greg inthat the planet Earth itself has a geo-cycle and that we've not yet grasped these governing principles and unique cycles.

      Inasmuch as this knowledge will have a major impact on the ability of all living beings to survive, it is too early to stand on the rooftops and scream to the world the date, time, and year all living beings will cease to exist due to the green gases emissions of the United States of America.

    10. Claude Cornell says:

      What scares me more than the so-called warming of the planet, is how so many people can be misled so easily. It seems that many people can no longer think for themselves.

    11. DANNY, MISSOURI says:

      My,My,My…….What we let our politicians get away with. This is all about taxation, not science. Let't come to our senses before it is too late.

    12. judith, new york says:

      The Waxman-Markey Cap and Trade Bill has already passed through the Energy and Commerce Committee by a vote of 33 to 25. 32 of 36 democrats and 1 republican voted in favor. This week news reports are surfacing that Al Gore's venture capital firm stands to make multi millions when this legislation is imposed. We must flood our members of Congress, especially members of the Energy and Commerce Committee and blue dog democrats with the sound arguments made at this Conference as pointed out in this article.

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