This letter has originally been written by the Danish geologist, prof. em. dr. Johannes Krüger, and was addressed to the Danish Prime Minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen. Subsequently, the letter has been translated into Norwegian and – with slight amendments – addressed to the Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, together with signatures of 20 Norwegian scientist, all climate realists.
A Dutch translation of the Norwegian version has been published on Climategate.nl here.
Afs. Johannes Krüger
Professor emeritus, dr. scient.
Institut for Geovidenskab og Naturforvaltning
Øster Voldgade 10
DK-1350 Copenhagen K
12 March, 2019
Statsminister Lars Løkke Rasmussen,
The media are awash with reports about failure of the health system, abuse of social funds and other similar reports. They have often come to light because journalists were determined to ask the right questions. Most recently, three journalists received the Cavling Prize for the disclosure of the involvement of the Danish Bank in a € 200 bn money laundering scandal.
But when climate change and global warming are concerned, the media refuse to engage in in-depth journalism. They almost exclusively rely on so–called climate experts, who pretend to represent the entire scientific community. There are several examples of extreme pronouncements about climate change that are uncritically parroted by the media, or that journalists use the media as a platform for climate campaigning and activism. For example, when a debate moderator categorically rejected a serious counter–argument to ‘Climate realism is shirking responsibility’ (in Kristeligt Dagblads Ethisk set, 4 February, 2019). In doing so, the rules for good media ethics were violated. Media attention is almost exclusively focused on those who support the claims of UN’s IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).
The issue of the cause of today’s climate change and its many implications, is much more controversial than is being represented by the IPCC and the news media. Because the scientific measurements and observations show something which is quite different from the outcome of the inadequate computer–generated climate models. But politicians are incapable to understand this information and to use it as basis for rational decision–making, because they ignore relevant insights. This is due to the fact that the political environment, like the media world, is strongly biased by groupthink and self–censorship.
I was shocked when a 9th grade student told me that he had chosen to write a composition on the severely limited freedom of speech in the climate debate (everyone else in the class wrote about the ‘harmful’ impact of CO2). The gifted student had an interview with one of the climate spokesmen at Christiansborg (Danish Parliament) about global warming, and he had been appalled by the fact that the politician in question could only portray the emission of CO2 as pure evil.
Therefore, I turn to you and other selected politicians, in the hope that you will spend some time on reading the following, which I am sure will provide useful food for thought. We are facing a parliamentary election, where the climate issue is on the agenda and it needs a thorough overhaul.
The reluctance of the media and politicians to inform themselves of the results of international research that are inconsistent with the message of the IPCC, is certainly reinforced by the repeated propagation of unsustainable claim that 97% of climate scientists agree that most of global warming is man–made (called AGW = Anthropogenic Global Warming), and will have catastrophic consequences for the planet, if we do not act.
The 97% consensus claim has been promulgated by the media as if all global warming is man–made. The figure originates in particular from an article by J. Cook et al. (2013): ‘Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature’, in which the authors have classified 11,944 summaries of articles on global climate change and global warming into four categories. Of these summaries, 7,930 did not take any stance on AGW and were sorted out, 3,896 joined the claim of AGW, while 118 rejected it or expressed doubts. Against this background, Cook et al conclude that 97% of the climate scientists support the AGW hypothesis.
This story, that actually does not deserve a place in a serious climate debate, is the focus of B. Shollenberger in: ‘The Climate Wars – how the consensus is enforced’, and by A. Montford in: ‘Fraud, bias and public relations – the 97% consensus and its critics‘. Cook’s article is misleading. Partly because it is unacceptable to discard 7,930 relevant climate papers, and partly because Cook’s data – access to which for examination was initially refused because it was said that the computer had broken down – revealed that there were actually only 41 articles that unconditionally supported the claim of AGW. For it turned out that the group of 3,896, who apparently supported the claim of AGW, also included the scientists who believe that man contributes only 20–30% to global warming and – what is worse – even so–called skeptics, who believe that the human contribution is only a few percent. A security failure on a web–page revealed that Cook’s article was originally targeted at the media – and it was indeed – to use uncritical journalists as messengers. But Cook’s article is manipulative. It is like making a mountain out of a mole hill.
The 97% consensus claim is still lurking around and is not only used to dismiss skeptics and block any serious climate debate, but also to create a scientific alibi for political decision–making. Former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland has stated: ‘In the climate case it is immoral to doubt’. But doubt is precisely the hallmark of science, while anti–skepticism is pseudoscience and challenges the freedom of speech and a healthy democracy.
Many perceive the IPCC as the oracle of climate change. But the IPCC is a political organization, appointed by politicians and with a mandate to give politicians advice on ‘climate policy’ in connection with human emissions of CO2. Rupert Darwall has studied the origines of the IPCC. His conclusion: The IPCC is an organisation which is reviewing itself. Politicians exercise control over its scientific reports that must underpin and, at the same time, provide an alibi for political decision–making. They dictate the conclusions of the Summary for Policymakers, which is targetted at politicians and news media. The scientists who dominate the IPCC process, therefore, behave more like politicians than as independent scientists, and are well aware that there are serious problems with their data and conclusions.
That has been revealed by Chris Landsea in an open letter, when he withdrew from his lead authorship in the IPCC, in protest over the IPCC’s handling of the issue of storm activity, which ‘is based on prefabricated agendas and is scientifically unreliable’. And it was also evident from the leaked emails of the so–called Climategate in 2009, a scandal that was subsequently cleverly swept under the carpet.
Thus, politics, science and special interests are mixed together into a dangerous cocktail, which has led to widespread group think and self–censorship. 154 Governments signed the Rio Declaration in 1992, which, on a very flimsy scientific basis, stated that human emissions of CO2 are the cause of global warming. This is the origin of a climate policy agenda and something completely unheard of: the predetermined conclusion of scientific investigation. Since then, the IPCC has contributed to a growing politicization of a scientific discipline. The entire climate and energy policy agenda is based on this view – that CO2 is the culprit. Reconsideration of what has happened is, therefore, an important social task, if one wants to strengthen enlightened democracy.
Hereafter some concrete examples are being offered of factual observations and robust research results, that are inconvenient for the IPCC, and of which politicians and the public are, therefore, not aware. It is not an overview of emotionally–charged letters, contributions to the heated debate or the impact of climate alarmism on children, grandchildren and the hopeless future of our planet. It focuses on observations and facts, instead.
‘Hot spot’ – human fingerprint on global warming!
In IPCC’s 2007 report, it is argued that increasing emissions of greenhouse gases are the cause of global warming, and that the models show that the warming would manifest itself in a ‘hot spot’ in a wide area at a height of 8–12 km above the equator. It is assumed that because of the increased CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, the balance between short–wave solar radiation and the long–wave outgoing radiation from Earth will move to a higher level higher in the atmosphere into a colder layer. This layer is subsequently warmed up to maintain the balance. According to the models, the atmosphere above the equator should be heated almost twice as fast as the earth’s surface below, which would give rise to the development of a ‘hot spot’ in the upper troposphere. However, as illustrated in Figure 1, the predicted heating does not correspond to reality. Data from balloons since 1958, and satellites since 1979, show much less temperature rise at higher altitudes than at ground level. So, what, according to the IPCC, should be a clear signal of the alarming effect of anthropogenic emission of CO2, fails to show up.
Figure 1. A crucial point in the CO2 hypothesis assumes that the atmosphere at 8–12 km above the tropics is heated approximately twice as fast as the ground surface below, and that it will create a ‘hot spot’. But as is shown in the figure there is a considerable gap between the outcome of IPCC’s climate models and reality. Source: Douglas et al. International Journal of Climatology 2008. Graphics: O. Humlum.
Errors and uncertainties in IPCC’s climate models
The climate models used by the IPCC project predict drastic global temperature increases, sea level rise and other harmful effects over the next 100 years, due to human emissions of CO2. The IPCC claims that the entire temperature rise after 1970 can be attributed to an increased greenhouse effect, in the absence of which the temperature would have been decreasing. But it is pseudoscience when the IPCC claims that the climate models are right, because they do not take account of significant aspects of the complex climate system and, therefore, have never matched the observed temperatures. Consequently many researchers believe that natural climate variations remain the driving forces behind global climate change.
In order to be able to use a climate model as the basis for political decision–making, one must make sure that a model includes all the main determinants in the complex climate system. Scientists around the world can provide a long list of physical and chemical processes that are not fully understood, and which are, therefore, either omitted in the climate models or inadequately represented. Therefore, they fail to match the observed data. This applies, for example, to cloud formation that takes place on a spatial scale, which is far too small than even super–computers can handle. It also applies to many of the climate system’s natural fluctuations on a long time scale and problems simulating such an important climate element as the Earth’s radiation balance.
There is also uncertainty regarding the importance of the atmosphere’s aerosol concentration. These dust grains can increase the albedo of the sun’s radiation and cause the Earth to cool. But aerosols can also absorb heat from sun rays, thus preventing the formation of clouds. Many of these processes are not sufficiently quantified and belong, therefore, to some of the greatest challenges for climate modelers. The modelers themselves, of course, are well aware of the limitations of their models, but political decision–makers and the public are unaware of it.
Figure 2. Both James Hansen’s model and the model in the IPCC’s 3rd report from 2001 deviate from observations, which are represented by the green curve. It shows the trend in the annual global temperature 1980–2014 as a moving average of the monthly average values from the three most widely used data sets. There is a gradual rise in temperature until around 2002, after which the rise in the global temperature stops. Source: University of Alabama at Huntsville, USA (UAH), Remote Sensing System, USA (RSS) and Hadley Center for Climate Prediction and Research at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, UK (HadCRUT).Figure 3. Comparison between observations from balloons and satellites and the average of 102 climate models’ temperature deviation from the 1979 temperature at 5–6 km above the tropics for the period 1979–2016. The figure was presented by atmospheric researcher John Christy during a Senate hearing in the House of Representatives, USA. Source: J.R. Christy 2017: Assumptions, policy implications, and the scientific method. Climate Science.
Therefore, as shown in Figure 2, none of the IPCC’s climate models has been able to project the actual global temperatures. Another projection, which also fails, is shown in Figure 3. It shows a simplified version of a graph presented by US atmospheric scientists J. Christy during a Senate hearing in the House of Representatives in the United States on 29 March 2017, questioning the validity of the IPCC’s climate models. It shows an increasing divergence between models and observations. None of the IPCC’s climate models has projected the ‘warming pause’ since 2000.
Hocus pocus with climate data
In 2014, the national NCDC (National Climate Data Center) broke its record in misleading the public. It concerns the temperature in the US during the period 1895–2014. In figure 4, left, the average temperature is shown, based on the original temperature data. Accessing the original data is often a problem, either because it has been deleted, supposedly due to lack of space, or because the computer that has been used for data processing, has crashed. The graph shows that there has been no temperature increase in the US over the past 90 years. The rise in temperature that we have witnessed in the 1980s and 1990s is similar to that which occurred in the 1930s and 1940s. Figure 4, right, shows the same temperature series, but adjusted by the NCDC. It is this curve of the annual average temperature in the United States that the NCDC has published. Temperatures before 2003 were adjusted downwards, while those after 2003 were adjusted upwards, in order to make them consistent with the climate policy agenda. Conclusion: climate data has been subject to hocus pocus and gross manipulation.
Figure 4. The curve on the left shows the annual mean temperature for the USA in the period 1895–2014, based on the original data. Source: The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). The curve on the right shows the adjusted annual mean temperature for the United States. The temperatures before 2003 have been adjusted downward, while those of the years after 2003 have been adjusted upward. Source: The National Climatic Data Center.
Global temperatures have been manipulated as well. The official temperature curve developed by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) of the global temperature for the period 1900–1999, which the IPCC has presented in its reports, has been extensively adjusted to show a much higher temperature rise than the original temperature data indicates. As Figure 5 shows, the adjustment contributes up to 0.3oC of the postulated global warming of 0.7–0.8oC during the 20th century. The conclusion is, therefore, that the global temperature has increased between 0.4oC and 0.7oC, where the first number is based on original temperature series and the last on adjusted and manipulated data. None of these values are alarming in any way.
On Sunday, February 5, 2017, the world witnessed a sequel of the Climategate scandal, when it became clear that a revolutionary article in the reputable scientific journal Science was based on erroneous data and has been rushed through the publishing process, apparently to influence international climate diplomacy. The article’s main author was Thomas Karl, then one of the leading researchers in NOAA, the world’s leading organization for collecting climate data. In the article, it was claimed that the global warming pause (‘hiatus’) since 1998 had not existed and that the temperature had increased faster than the researchers had expected. Not only did the news go around the world, but it was also grist to the IPCC mill, because in its fifth main report of 2013, the IPCC acknowledged that the long–term pause in global warming was real. The following year, this was confirmed by both NASA and NOAA, but without a plausible explanation.
Figure 5. The curve shows the extent of NOAA’s adjustments to the global temperature for the period 1900-1999, ie. the adjusted data series subtracted from the original temperature measurement series. Note that the adjustment creates an artificial contribution of 0.3oC to the temperature rise in the late 1900s. Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA.
The alleged rise in temperature in Thomas Karl’s ‘denial of the hiatus’ article was based on temperature data from 3000 ARGO buoys in the oceans. But these were adjusted upwards to make them ‘homogeneous’ with the longer–running, but less reliable, temperature records taken from engine intake channels in marine vessels. In addition, Thomas Karl had ignored NOAA’s own rules for quality control and publication. This has been acknowledged by NOAA’s management, as the former climate scientist at NOAA, John Bates, has declared. He revealed the story behind the ‘denial of the hiatus’ article in The Daily Mail. It has proved impossible for other researchers to check Thomas Karl’s work, because the data in question have not been archived. But the damage had happened. The ‘denial of the hiatus’ article offered a perfect scientific alibi for far–reaching political decisions.
Is the hot, dry 2018 summer in Denmark caused by global warming?
Many partial explanations of this phenomenon have been published. The extreme 2018 summer will certainly be remembered as the warmest and driest period in ‘people’s memory’. Not only Denmark, but also large parts of Europe were affected. It is understandable that the heat and drought, which have inflicted severe damage on agriculture, was perceived as a result of global warming. The media reported it, and powerful interest groups exploited the situation to once again promote the ‘fight against climate change’. The media have frightened children and young people, who demonstrated in the streets of Europe’s big cities – and the media has thrown oil on the fire. Watching the 16–year–old Swedish girl Greta Thunberg’s appearance on TV is tragic. The United States and Central Asia also experienced a hot summer. But at the same time it was – as illustrated in Figure 6 – unusually cold for the time of the year in eastern Canada and in Greenland, where cold records were broken, as was the case in eastern Asia.
But the extremely dry and hot summer can be explained by the atmospheric phenomenon of the polar jet stream, which at times is heavily meandering which causes redistributes of heat and cold and contributes to creating regional heat and cold records. The fact is that the global average temperature for the period June–July was slightly below the average of the previous decade – a fact that is easily ignored by the media and so–called climate experts. Meandering of the polar jet stream is not new. In the past, periods of 20–30 years with more frequent fluctuations in the polar jet stream, with dominant north–south winds, interrupted by periods of similar length with fewer fluctuations and more frequent west–east winds, are well known.
The extreme weather in the summer of 2018 in Denmark was not a caused by global warming, but must remind us that we live in a local or regional climate – not in a global climate. In retrospect, figures from DMI (Danish Meteorological Institute) – as illustrated in Figure 7 – show that the temperature has not increased in Denmark over the past couple of decades, but the public is not aware of that.
Figure 6. The belt along the path of the jet stream, where, in June 2018, there were lower or higher temperatures compared to the average temperature for the month in question, over the past 10 years. Data source: Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS).
Figure 7. The columns show the monthly temperature deviation from the latest official climate standard 1961-1990 (mean temperature 7.7 oC) in Denmark for the period 2000-2017. The curve shows the moving mean. As is the case globally, the temperature in Denmark has not increased in the last couple of decades. Data source: DMI.
Water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas
The IPCC suggest that CO2 is the dominant greenhouse gas, but the IPCC’s greenhouse concept is a misleading simplification. In its reports, the IPCC omits crucial aspects of the greenhouse effect, which would otherwise reveal the CO2–greenhouse gas’s very limited impact on the climate. The importance of CO2 as a greenhouse gas is greatly exaggerated, because, in fact, water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas. But unlike CO2, water vapor increases cloud formation and thus cooling.
In brief, and without being too technical, the explanation is as follows. When the sun heats the earth’s surface, much of the heat is absorbed for evaporation of water, which, accounts for more than 70% of the Earth’s surface. Like CO2, the invisible water vapor is a greenhouse gas, because it is capable of absorbing the infrared, long–wave, backward radiation from the Earth. While CO2 and likewise methane are only able to absorb the long–wave radiation within a very narrow band of the wave spectrum, water vapor – as shown in Figure 8 – can absorb the back–radiation in almost the entire spectrum of infrared light, also those parts of the wave spectrum covered by CO2 and methane. Therefore, water vapor is also capable of absorbing most of the infrared back–radiation from the earth’s surface before reaching the higher–lying infrared–active CO2 molecules, as well as the rays emitted by CO2 back to Earth. These processes help to reduce the impact of the increase in atmospheric CO2 that has occurred since the 1970s.
The actual CO2 concentration is well over 400 ppm, while the average water vapor concentration is estimated to be about 4000 ppm. Both because of the molecular properties of water vapor and the large amounts of water vapor in the atmosphere, water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas. According to DMI, water vapor is the largest contributor to the greenhouse effect, as on average about 60% of the total radiation impact from greenhouse gases comes from water vapor. For comparison, it is almost 30% for CO2.
Figure 8. At the top left of this figure the wavelength spectrum of the solar radiation is shown through which radiation can pass and reach the Earth. At the bottom right is the spectrum of the heat radiation from Earth when the soil surface temperature is around its mean value of 15oC. In the tropics where the surface is warmer, the radiating area is shifted to the left (shorter wavelength). In the polar areas, it is shifted to the right. At the top right of the figure the wavelength range is shown, where radiation from the surface can pass through to the atmosphere into space. The black bars in the middle of the figure show the areas of the wave spectrum where water vapor, CO2 and methane, respectively, are able to absorb the long–wave radiation from Earth. It is clear that both CO2 and methane have marginal significance as greenhouse gases, while water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas. Data source: Atmosphere physicist Ole Henrik Ellestad 2017.
Water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas, but water vapor transfers the absorbed radiation into heat, which causes the water vapor to rise. According to atmospheric physicians, this convection is a central, but underestimated, element of the greenhouse mechanism. In fact, the convection is 10 times more effective than radiation and completely dominates the energy flow from Earth to space in the lower layers of the atmosphere. As the temperature drops through the troposphere, which forms the lower layer of the atmosphere, the water vapor is cooled and gradually condensed into clouds. Clouds account for 65 ± 3% of the planet’s surface and reflect approx. 20% of the incoming solar energy, because clouds have a white surface. The global cloud cover, therefore, acts as a huge parasol – like a cooling blanket that prevents the sun’s radiation from reaching the Earth’s surface and thus has a decisive effect on Earth’s climate.
By analyzing satellite images collected by the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project, scientists have mapped and measured the low cloud coverage since 1983 and compared the result with changes in global temperature. As illustrated in Figure 9, a clear connection between the global cloud cover and the temperature has been demonstrated. The entire global warming at the end of the 20th century can be explained by a reduction in global cloud cover of 3%, and the breakdown of global warming over the past two decades coincides with a stable cloud cover.
Figure 9. The interaction between changes in the total global cloud cover and changes in the global surface temperature 1983-2010. Source: Had-CRUT (temperature). International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project.
The IPCC fails to include the impact of such crucial thermodynamic and hydrological processes as convection and cloud formation, for it is simply not capable of calculating and translating it into computer language. And this is a major reason why climate models do not match observations of the real climate. The IPCC itself acknowledges that they have little understanding that cloud formation has a dominant effect on the global climate, but the public is unaware of this.
Will continued CO2 emissions lead to a global climate catastrophe?
A team of international scientists has warned that the world is already facing a global climate catastrophe which, in the long term, will create hot house conditions like in the Tertiary and Cretaceous, millions of years ago, due to uncontrollable domino effects in the complex climate system. And that this will happen even if CO2 emissions are reduced. This view has made a deep impression on politicians, not least on the Danish energy and climate minister Lars Christian Lilleholt, who demands international action. But is there any scientific evidence for catastrophic warning, or is this just one of a series of usual scare-mongering stories propagated by climate alarmists?
On August 7, 2018, in the news broadcasts on radio and on television, one could hear and watch a clearly shocked energy and climate minister, after he had read a recently published climate report. The report not only casted doubt on the 2–degree objective of the Paris Agreement, but also presented a gloomy picture of the future of the planet. ‘We know very well that we have a very big challenge ahead of us, which calls both national and, not least, international action,’ said the minister.
The report which the minister qualified as ominous, is an article: Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene, which a team of international scientists, led by climate theologian Will Steffen, published in the prominent scientific journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The team had investigated the risk that self–reinforcing climatic feedbacks – a kind of uncontrollable domino effect – can push the Earth’s climate towards a critical threshold that – if exceeded – can cause the global temperature to run out control and turn the Earth into a hot house. It is quite shocking reading. But the article is based on the IPCC’s flawed models of the climate, of which the IPCC’s own reports acknowledge: ‘In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non–linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long–term prediction of future climate states is not possible.’ Therefore, it should rather be considered to be a piece of science fiction, which should not shock ministers.
It might raise some suspicion that when a television journalist asked one of the co–authors of that article at a mini climate symposium at the University of Copenhagen in March 2009 prior to COP-15, whether CO2 is really the main culprit, the answer was: ‘All invited scientists agree.’
So far, the IPCC has not been able to demonstrate that atmospheric CO2 controls the global temperature, neither in the long run nor in the short run. Ice core data, on the other hand, show that CO2 is lagging behind the temperature, and new research shows that this also applies today. It is the temperature that controls CO2 and not the other way around. This is because a warm atmosphere can accommodate more CO2, which is outgassed from the oceans. In addition, the effect of CO2 as a greenhouse gas, decreases logarithmically with increased CO2 concentration. The effect simply flattens out. As can be seen in Figure 10, the climatic effect of an increased CO2 emission is so marginal that the human impact cannot be detected. Therefore, CO2 should not be considered a threat, but as an elixer of life. More CO2 produces a greener Earth, that can feed an increasing population – for many decades already, gardeners use CO2 in glasshouse horticulture in order to increase production.
Figure 10. Temperature rise due to increased CO2 emissions. The effect is greatest at small concentrations of CO2, whereas the effect at concentrations now at about 400 ppm or higher is marginal. If there is a massive reduction in atmospheric CO2 content to 140 ppm, all plant growth on Earth will cease. Source: Atmosphere physicist Ole Henrik Ellestad 2017 – based on Lambert & Beer’s Law.
In response to the claim that livestock is a problem for the climate, you called on Danish farmers at the meeting on Agriculture & Food in Herning on 7th–8th November, 2018: ‘Show that you also care about the planet, our children and the future.’ But agriculture does not have to join the climate hysteria – it is not based on scientific evidence, nor is there any evidence that veganism will have an impact on climate.
Does sea ice in the Arctic melt at galloping pace?
Sea ice and polar bears in the Arctic occupy an iconic position in the climate debate. If one may believe the climate models, the sea ice in the Arctic will disappear in the near future, and it is often emphasized in the media that it is a consequence of man–made global warming. It is assumed that the melting of sea ice is a self–reinforcing process that, according to the statements of climate alarmists, will reach a critical point where the sea ice will melt away at galloping pace – a process which risks to be irreversible. But is this really true?
In the 1920s and 1930s, when it was also relatively warm in the Arctic, there was also massive melting of sea ice. Nevertheless, the sea ice recovered during the following decades up to 1979, after which it began to dwindle again. As can be seen in Figure 11, the sea ice area in the Arctic has not been significantly reduced over the past decades – and certainly not at a galloping pace as it has been claimed.
Although the sea ice area has shrunk, there are more polar bears today than 40 years ago. The population is growing and now amounts to 25–30,000. This growth is partly due to the fact that the melting of sea ice has created larger areas with open water in summer and autumn, which has improved the polar bears’ living conditions. Open water in the summer has a positive effect on the entire food chain in Arctic waters. When ocean currents add nutrients from the Bering Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, open water helps to increase photosynthesis. Then the amount of plankton grows and thus the amount of polar cod, which is important source of food for the seals, which in turn offer food for the polar bears. Throughout the summer, the seals stay in open water. The seals, therefore, thrive when the ice breaks up early. The polar bears’ main nutritional period extends from late March to a few months afterwards. It is the time of the year when the seals and their cubs stay on the ice where both the adult polar bears and their pups feed themselves. The polar bear is, therefore, thriving when there is sufficient ice in the spring and large areas with open water in summer and autumn.
The number of polar bears can fluctuate considerably, but there is no danger of extinction of the polar bear. 7,000 Years ago the temperature in the Arctic was 2–3 degrees warmer than now, and the sea ice area correspondingly shrunk. Still, the polar bear survived. For centuries the polar bear has adapted to an Arctic climate with great natural fluctuations in temperature and ice conditions. So, the polar bear is not an endangered animal. The biggest threat to the polar bear population is uncontrolled hunting and too much and too thick sea ice.
Figure 11. Sea ice distribution in the Arctic summer (September) and winter (March) during the period 2000-2018. As can be seen from the figure, sea ice has only shrunk a little during that period. Data source: National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).
When the amount of solar radiation and changes in the cloud cover have been the main driving forces behind climate change so far, it is most likely that this will also apply in the future. As illustrated in Figure 12, the IPCC models present a gloomy picture of future global temperature. But – as we have seen – one cannot have confidence in the IPCC climate models’ projections about the future climate. The statistical–empirical climate models, which are based on analyses of natural fluctuations back in time appear to be useful for forecasting. They project a slight decrease in global temperature after 2030 and up to 2050, after which the temperature will increase in the following 30 years to then stabilize towards the year 2100 at a level about 0.1oC above current the global temperature.
Figure 12. The change in observed global temperature in relation to the mean value for the period 1991-2000, compared with the IPCC’s alarming forecasts, partly with a statistical-empirical model constructed on the basis of natural variations in temperature, and partly with a situation with weakened solar activity. Source: J.-E. Solheim 2017.
A third scenario in Figure 12 is related to the Sun’s activity. The latest sunspot cycle (No. 23), which ended in December 2008, has been exceptionally long, namely 12.6 years – it is the longest since the Little Ice Age that ended just over 100 years ago. The previous sunspot cycle was only 9.7 years long. The researchers take the long solar cycle as an indication that the Sun has become much weaker. We have to go back to 1850 to find a sunspot cycle, where there have been as many days without sun–spots. The sun’s behavior is, therefore, unusual at the moment. The solar activity declines faster than it has done at any time since the Little Ice Age. As expected, the current solar spot cycle culminated in 2013 with a minimum maximum that was significantly less than the previous one in March 2000. Therefore, one may fear that the Sun is entering a very deep minimum, similar to Maunder Minimum in the period 1645–1715 or the so–called Dalton Minimum 1790–1820 during the Little Ice Age. A 210–year cycle is well known in the Sun’s activity. It is visible in the data series from the GISP2 ice core from the inland ice in Greenland.
Reduced sunspot activity and a longer sunspot cycle are the harbingers of a colder climate within a few years – and some scientists even believe that we might be heading towards a new Little Ice Age, which may already arrive in the middle of this century. The alternation of the current warm period and a cooler period and, in the worst case, of a new Little Ice Age, will have serious consequences for society, for agriculture, fishery and, not least, for energy consumption. But as the IPCC itself concludes in its 2001 report: ‘In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non–linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long–term prediction of future climate states is not possible.’
Modern weather extremes
Why is the extreme weather perceived as something extraordinary these days, something that only happens in our lifetime? There are four main reasons for this.
First, the IPCC, politicians, news media, and school teachers have been good at indoctrinating us and a generation of children and adolescents with the notion that today’s weather is extremely extreme because of global warming and its scary effects, due to human carbon emissions. It has been easy to instill the CO2 hypothesis into the common consciousness.
Secondly, our lifestyle is based on the belief that the climate has largely been stable throughout generations, and that a stable climate is, therefore, a matter of course and even a human right, such as the UN’s former High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, grotesquely declared in 2009. But the climate has always been changing.
Thirdly, finite resources have to be shared by a growing population. Human settlements have expanded to places which were uninhabited before – and this has contributed to increased damage by accidents that follow in the wake of weather extremes. A storm surge of the same size as Bodil in 2013 hit Roskilde Fjord in January 1921, but without causing damage. At that time, no one lived in the areas affected by the storm surge.
Fourth, modern communication does not stop at national boundaries. From the couch in the living room at home, we may watch frightening images of events, from nearby and far–away places, of the mighty weather’s violent forces which sow death and destruction. The news media exposes us to a ‘bombardment’ of calamities that can lead us to believe that the end is nigh. It has created a climate hysteria with religious overtones. Even the former president of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri, wrote in an open letter to the world community on February 15, 2015: ‘For me it is not just a mission, It is a religion.
It is an alarming thought that the leader of such a powerful organization as the IPCC wants to believe rather than to know. The climate changes with extreme weather we are witnessing today, have occurred earlier and were even much worse, even in the more distant past of which meteorological records are available.
For instance, according to DMI most nationwide storms in Denmark occurred during the cold decades around 1900. And in the western Mediterranean region, rainfall has over time followed a natural cycle of about 200 years, from long periods dominated by rainy years to periods dominated by rain–poor years and drought. If one looks far enough into the past, then one will find that history repeats itself – but the IPCC does not want to do that. And one may wonder why. And the public is unaware of all this.
Already in the 16th century, people believed that the sky was important for climate. Here, archers try to change the weather by shooting into the clouds.
During the debate on the defense budget in the autumn of 2017, you stated from the Folketing’s rostrum: ‘We should not ignore reality’. But in the climate area, politicians and the media consistently ignore the reality of observations and robust science. The politicians’ alibi for far–reaching political decisions, which are becoming increasingly intrusive and costly for society, are the IPCC’s ‘scientific’ conclusions and recommendations. The IPCC scandals, the many scientific errors, denials of alarming statements or the absence of correlation between the CO2 concentration and temperature – the CO2 concentration has sometimes been 5–10 times higher than now – are being ignored by the political elite. Developments reached a culmination point when politicians decided to follow the projections from climate models, which are inadequate. In the IPCC’s own professional reports it is acknowledged: ‘In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long–term prediction of future climate states is not possible.’
It should also be emphasized that some of the world’s leading experts in forecasting, K.C. Green & J.S. Armstrong, have pointed out that the IPCC followed only 17 of the 89 relevant principles that should be met for good forecasts (Global warming: Forecasts by scientists versus scientific forecasts. Energy & Environment 18, 7, 997-1021, 2007).
Moreover, politicians and the media cannot clearly distinguish between environment and climate. The two concepts are mixed up into one big mishmash.
We can and should do something about the environment, but climate is controlled by nature.
Thank you for your attention.
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Johannes Krüger is dr. and Professor Emeritus at the Department of Geosciences and Nature Management, University of Copenhagen. Fields of research: landscape, glaciers and climate. He is author of the book: Climate myths – a critical assessment of today’s CO2–panic [Klimamyten – et opgør med tidens CO2–panik] (People’s Press 2016).