Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Great Global Warming Swindlers



This is an interesting documentary. What is of particular importance is the content between 19:39 and 21:57. Watch that part before reading on.

Quotes of particular interest:

Ian Clark ("arctic paleoclimatologist"):

"We use isotopes to reconstruct temperature, but the atmosphere that's imprisoned in that ice, we liberate and then we look at the CO2 content."


Martin Durkin (director):

"Professor Clark and others have indeed discovered, as Al Gore says, a link between carbon dioxide and temperature. But what Al gore doesn't say is that the link is the wrong way 'round."


Clark:
"Temperature is leading CO2 by 800 years."


Durkin:
"There have now been several major ice core surveys. Every one of them shows the same thing. The temperature rises or falls, and then, after a few hundred years, carbon dioxide follows."


Professor Tim Ball (retired):

"The most fundamental assumption of the whole theory of climate change, due to humans, is shown to be wrong."


To make the point crystal clear, here is a chart:





Is this really true? Many so-called scientists are jumping on this bandwagon. In fact, this has become the central issue in what's left of the global warming "debate".

If there's one thing I've learned about paid hacks and quack scientists, it is this: their claims are shrouded in a veil of ostensible validity, but once you look past it, they are easy to disprove. They're like magicians, once you figure out their trick, you see them for what they are: people with utter contempt for science. They scour through data like hungry lawyers, looking for little loopholes they can use to bury the public in a cloud of FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt). FUD is always the name of the game.

So is there a trick here? Have they found a loophole? The answer to both question is... Yes!

I'm going to analyze the data from the Vostok Ice Cores. Take a look at the raw data file.



Here is a snapshot of the beginning of the file:




Do not be afraid of numbers! Only quacks and hacks need to fear the data! It's not that complicated at all, at least not yet. There are 3 columns. The first is the depth of the ice. The second is the age of the ice, calculated by the concentration of various hydrogen isotopes. The 3rd column is the age of the CO2 that is "trapped" inside this ice. Notice that there is NO DATA in the third column! Not until they get about 100 meters down. Eh? Why is that? Apparently the people in that documentary never stopped to think about it.




So why is the age of the CO2 lagging behind the age of the ice that contains the CO2?? Why is the CO2 inside the ice so much "younger" than the ice itself?? It's simple really: Ice is permeable to CO2.

Keep in mind that they say the CO2 data lags behind the temperature data, and this proves that the changes in CO2 concentrations are a result of the changes in temperature. This is very important!

The reason the CO2 data lags behind the temperature data is because the CO2 permeated into the ice, down to a depth of 100 meters or more. This can easily be proven for those that don't believe it is possible. Just make yourself a huge block of ice with a hollow center, fill it up with compressed CO2, seal it off, and see how long the pressure lasts! It wont last a day, let alone a thousand years. Gases bleed right through ice like water through a filter, even under normal atmospheric pressure. Whether it is a tiny ice cube or a 100 meter thick chunk of ice, the same basic rule applies. This is basic science here. No quackery. It is easily proven. But what does it mean for the ice core data?

Back to the ice core data. Lets look at the data from 10000 years ago:




At a depth of 239 meters, you have ice that is measured to be 10027 years old. But the CO2 trapped inside the ice at that depth was measured to be only 6714 years old. It is extremely important to note that none of this data is being disputed. Both sides are taking the same exact data and merely interpreting it differently.

Here is where it gets a bit more complicated.

You have two more sets of data.

1. The CO2 data


2. The temperature data


Ok, so you've got all this data. This is the data that is used to make the charts like the one shown above and also the one in An Inconvenient Truth. Again none of this data is in dispute. The dispute lies in how they line this data up. Here's how they do it.

They take the temperature that was calculated at a given depth, and they take the CO2 concentration that was calculated at that same depth. This has to be done because you cannot plot a multi series graph unless you line both data series up against some common reference point on the X axis. (This is a basic rule in making charts.) It is only logical that depth, and hence age, be the X axis. But that brings us right back to this:



Any chart we plot has to take into account the fact that the air at any given age is going to be buried about 60 meters deeper into the ice. The data clearly shows that at 239 meters, the ice is 10000 years old yet the CO2 at that depth is only 6700 years old. So when you plot a multiseries graph, such as that shown above (temperature and CO2 vs time), you have to be very careful how you align the data. If you take the temperature from ice that is 10027 years old, and align that with the CO2 concentration as measured from air that is 10027 years old, you're naturally going to find that the CO2 levels are lagging behind. Why? Because the 10000 year old CO2 is trapped within ice that is 13000 years old!!! And at 13000 years old, the temperature levels would have been different, leading to misleading data. This is what has happened.

So to compensate for this, you have to slide the CO2 graph approximately 3000 years to the left so that it properly aligns with the temperature graph. Otherwise any conclusions are going to be invalid. And we wouldn't want that! Some quack might end up thinking that CO2 lags behind temperature!

Just remember this:




That is a negative offset. That negative offset has to be added to the CO2 graph, in order for the two graphs to line up properly in the chart. In other words, the guys in that documentary are commiting scientific fraud. They are taking ice that is age X, and comparing it with CO2 that is also age X, but that age X CO2 is trapped within ice that is age X+3000. So really they are taking CO2 data that is 3000+ years older as compared to the temperature data, and then they are using that fraudulent data to claim that CO2 lags behind temperature!

Hoaxes like this only work because they think this stuff goes over people's heads. Don't let that happen.

8 Comments:

Blogger bk said...

If what you say is true, wouldn't the re-alignment of the data be even more convincing toward the argument that Temperature drives CO2 as oppossed to CO2 driving temperature?

1:06 PM  
Blogger Iconoclast421 said...

I can see why you might think that. I know it is easy enough to say there's a negative offset, but working it out in your own mind, to see if it makes complete logical sense, is much more difficult! Look at one data point along the graph. Lets pick the 10000 year mark that I used in the OP. Say you have ice that is 10000 years old, which contains trapped CO2 that is 6700 years old. (Because new air kept bleeding into the ice until enough ice formed on top of it to stop the bleeding process.) In order to graph both data sets, the CO2 and the temperature, You have to move the CO2 data forward 3300 years so that you're using air that is 10000 years old to match the age of the ice. Since the X-axis is chronological, such a movement has to be to the left, which is a negative offset. If you move the line the other way, as you suggest, you'd be comparing air that was roughly 4000 years old with ice that was 10000 years old, resulting in an even more erroneous chart. The chart would be so far off that you'd begin to notice that the data doesn't follow each other. You'd have periods in history where temperatures rose while CO2 levels fell. That would not be acceptable because all sides in the debate agree that CO2 and temperature rise and fall together, with one party saying one lags while the other party says it leads.

4:20 PM  
Blogger DavidJHarper said...

Ok, I've processed the data using excel. I plotted a scatter graph based on the ice age as recorded in the data files you supplied links to.

The average sampling interval for the temperature data is 127 years.

The problem here Iconoclast is that this is low resolution CO2 data.

The average interval between samples is 1460 years which is nearly twice as long the lag (800 years) that Prof Clark describes.

Therefore this low resolution data is not capable of proving a lead or lag of less than 1400 years. In practice it would be difficult to even find that. My experience in signal processing tells me that an interval of 250 years or less would be required to get really good information.

Your implication that Prof Clark didn't line the data up is pretty far fetched. I don't think you really understand what's going on here.

If you want to see a quack or a swindler maybe you should look in the mirror.

Based on this data set no conclusions can be drawn as to whether Prof Clark's statement is correct.

9:21 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

What caused the ancient CO2 spikes? Volcanos? anybody know?

6:41 PM  
Blogger Iconoclast421 said...

DavidJHarper you are pulling numbers right out of thin air. Sampling interval of 127 years? 1460?

The interval is 40 years, according to all the data above, data taken directly from the source.

Since you know signal processing, and how to use excel, then you'd know that all the tables show a clear interval of about 40 years. That gives you 20 samples per 800 year interval, more than enough to prove lead or lag.

I suspect you are trying to obfuscate things by pulling numbers out of thin air. Supply relevant data to support your claim, and explain exactly how the data is relevant. Or be exposed as yet another fraud.

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